Friday, June 24, 2005

Tom Cruise is the medical expert

According to Tom Cruise he's a medical expert who should be considered a thought leader in Neurobiology, Pharmacology, Drug Chemistry (he's a bit of a history buff to boot). At least that's the gist of what he told Matt Lauer this morning when he insisted Lauer didn't know what he was talking about after being questioned for criticizing Brooke Shields' use of anti-depressants to treat post-partum depression.
"You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," Cruise said.

The interview became more heated when Lauer, who said he knew people who had been helped by the attention-deficit disorder drug Ritalin, asked Cruise about the effects of the drug.

"Matt, Matt, you don't even -- you're glib," Cruise responded. "You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That's what I've done."
I, for one, would love to see Dr. Cruise's board scores and medical license. Cruise, of course, has a right to refuse any sort of medical or psychological treatment he wants (interestingly, Scientology proscribes psychological counseling despite the fact it is a form of psychotherapy). He has a right to say his religion forbids use of psychotropic medications and/or any that have any CNS effects. If he, on behalf of Scientology (Hubbard wrote SciFi books and called his religion Scientology, he was not a scientist) or as a private citizen, wants to complain that we, as Americans, tend to be to quick to rely on pharmacological intervention for ourselves and our children and/or that parents, teachers, schools & doctors are quick to label a kid as having ADHD - more power to him (I would actually agree on those points). But for him to verbally attack people for using medications legitimately prescribed to treat an organic medical condition, discourage them from following physicians orders (other than to advise to seek a second opinion) and/or to actively engage himself in treatment/removal of treatment by claiming expertise is irresponsible at best. We all know Cruise can memorize and regurgitate, these are core skills he needs and utilizes as an actor, but reading some articles and to make blanket statements about all "psychotropic" medications applied across all situations is a sign of Cruise's distinct lack of analytical skills. If so much as one patient discontinues use of a needed medication and/or therapy to treat mental illness due to Cruise's assertions he is an expert who "knows" all these medications and everything to do with psychiatry is wrong, Cruise should be held morally and criminally responsible for any decompensation (including any indirect injury to others secondary to the decompensation). This is no longer a "has Cruise gone off his rocker" question in response to his mercurial behavior of late, this is a matter of Cruise's megalomaniacal irresponsibility.

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