Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, by Robert Whitaker

By Robert Whitaker

During this outstanding and startling publication, award-winning technological know-how and background author Robert Whitaker investigates a clinical secret: Why has the variety of disabled mentally unwell within the usa tripled over the prior 20 years? on a daily basis, 1,100 adults and kids are further to the govt incapacity rolls simply because they've got develop into newly disabled through psychological sickness, with this epidemic spreading so much swiftly between our nation’s childrens. what's going on?

Anatomy of a deadly disease challenges readers to imagine via that query themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what's identified this day concerning the organic explanations of psychological issues. Do psychiatric drugs repair “chemical imbalances” within the mind, or do they, actually, create them? Researchers spent a long time learning that question, and through the overdue Nineteen Eighties, that they had their resolution. Readers can be startled—and dismayed—to observe what used to be suggested within the clinical journals.
Then comes the clinical question on the center of this e-book: in the past fifty years, while investigators checked out how psychiatric medicines affected long-term outcomes, what did they locate? Did they notice that the medication aid humans remain good? functionality higher? take pleasure in strong actual healthiness? Or did they locate that those medicinal drugs, for a few paradoxical cause, increase the chance that folks becomes chronically ailing, much less capable of functionality good, extra vulnerable to actual sickness?
This is the 1st ebook to examine the benefits of psychiatric medicines during the prism of long term effects. Are long term restoration premiums better for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia sufferers? Does taking an antidepressant reduce or elevate the danger depressed individual becomes disabled by means of the affliction? Do bipolar sufferers fare larger this day than they did 40 years in the past, or a lot worse? while the nationwide Institute of psychological healthiness (NIMH) studied the long term results of youngsters with ADHD, did they verify that stimulants offer any profit?
By the top of this assessment of the results literature, readers are absolute to have a haunting query in their personal: Why have the implications from those long term studies—all of which element to a similar startling conclusion—been saved from the general public?
In this compelling heritage, Whitaker additionally tells the non-public tales of kids and adults swept up during this epidemic. ultimately, he stories on leading edge courses of psychiatric care in Europe and the U.S. which are generating strong long term results. Our state has been hit by means of a pandemic of disabling psychological sickness, and but, as Anatomy of a pandemic reveals, the clinical blueprints for curtailing that epidemic have already been drawn up.

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

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Is depression simply a non-specific response to brain injury? Curr Psychiatry Rep 203; 5:386–393. GAD = generalized anxiety disorder; PTSD = post-traumatic stress disorder. See references 3–7. 2 to 5 times (or greater) compared to the general population base rate of 0–5% (Chapter 3). ,2 it is actually rather difficult to identify a psychiatric disorder in which an increased risk of depression is absent. Consequently, it appears that any psychiatric illness increases the risk for developing major depression.

2. Anxiety Disorders Anxiety disorders are exceptionally common in people with “primary” depressive disorders, occurring in up to 60% of individuals, and depression even more commonly develops during the course of primary anxiety disorders. In particular, there is a very strong relationship between major depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), specifically, such that co-occurrence is the rule rather than exception. For example, in a New Zealand birth cohort study,4 037 individuals were followed for up to 32 years; 2% developed co-occurring GAD and major depression by adulthood.

Goodwin FK, Jamison KR. Chapter 3: Genetics. In: Manic-Depressive Illness. New York: Oxford University Press 2007. 3. Bienvenu OJ, Davydow DS, Kendler KS. Psychiatric ‘diseases’ versus behavioral disorders and degree of genetic influence. Psychol Med 20; 4:33–40. 4. Strakowski SM, Adler CM, DelBello. Is depression simply a nonspecific response to brain injury? Curr Psychiatry Rep 203; 5:386–396. Strakowski SM. Chapter 6. Genetics of bipolar disorder. In: Bipolar Disorder, pp. 47–54. Oxford American Psychiatry Library.

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