February 1982

Interpersonal Issues in Prescribing Medication

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry University of Cincinnati Medical Center 231 Bethesda Ave Cincinnati, OH 45267

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(2):235. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290020085015

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To the Editor  — I found the letter titled "Drugs and Psychotherapy in Acute Depression" (Archives 1981;38:115) by Dr Jeffrey Mattes as disconcerting as he found the article by DiMascio et al titled "Differential Symptom Reduction by Drugs and Psychotherapy in Acute Depression" (Archives 1979;36:1450-1456) on which he was commenting. In fact, I found the whole dialogue somewhat disconcerting. Despite the thorough documentation by authors such as Michael Balint, MD, and Stewart Wolfe, MD, we are still seeing articles that suggest there can be anything but exquisite technical and theoretic attention paid to the interpersonal events between patient and prescribing psychiatrist.Whether or not it is labeled pyschotherapy, the events occurring before, during, and after the prescribing all seem to have a major effect on the use ("compliance") and effectiveness of a particular medication. Exploring the patient's thoughts and feelings about medication as well as taking a thorough medication history both require

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