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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Thesis

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Robert Whitaker

2011

Link

2019-03-23

- Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (2011)

The thesis is although anti-psychotics and antidepressants can alleviate symptoms in the short term, in the long-term they change brain chemistry toward a pathological dependence on the medication. Long-term use of psychiatric drugs is associated with worse outcomes than drug-free treatment or no treatment. More people are mentally disabled and unable to function in society in populations with access to these medications than those without.

Now this idea, even if it should prove true in some non-human sense, is unauthorized in human science. For a guardian, state, or facility to deny or interfere with doctor recommendations or best practices or suggest that the mentally ill should go off their meds endangers the public health. Some researchers who have held this view were no long welcome professionally. So I guess, this book is moot for human treatment. But I think I'm lucky I avoided the psychiatrists.

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