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Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by [Whitaker, Robert]
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Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Whitaker‘s articles on the mentally ill and the drug industry have won several awards, including the George Polk Award for medical writing and the National Association of Science Writers’ Award for best magazine article. He is also the author of The Mapmaker’s Wife and The Lap of the Gods. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1212 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 2 edition (17 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003HO5UW4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,380 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This book is a highly enjoyable read that approaches its subject matter from a chronological approach. Its argument is basically that the prevailing socialital attitude to the mentally ill is far more important in determining their treatment than any 'advances' in the field of psychiatry, psychology or nursing. The author then goes on to show how all care systems which beleive that mental illness is a disease or can be modelled as such invariably involve inhumane treatment.
The book begins with the moral treatment pioneers in the early life of american society. It details how that method became perverted and debased before it collapsed into punitative asylums. Then the author follows the treatments, the beleifs and actions of our care systems. He shows the rise of eugenics and how the history of mental health care is riven with cruelty.
This book is disturbing, surprising reading. By taking a chronological approach the book often details familiar things in unfamiliar ways. For example when the neuroleptic medications (now used near universally in treatment) were first introduced they were not at all advertised as 'treatment' for mental illness rather than as a form of chemical sedation similar in aim to giving patients a lobotomy.
The book closes by debating whether their has been any true advance in mental health care. Odd as this argument may seem the book makes a compelling case to reconsider our treatments and our methods.
In all, although the book is American, I would recommend this book for anyone with a connection to the mental health system who is wondering quite how it came to look as it does today.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the background of psychiatry from the age of blood letting to present day atypical antipsychotics shold read this book.

It delivers vast insight into the treatment of those labelled mad not just from schizophrenia but also other mental illnesses and the often horrendously cruel methods that psychiatrists advocated at any given time from the 19th century to the 21st.
From one supposed wonder cure to the next you will be horrified by the ineptitude and downright lack of humanity shown by psychiatry throughout the modern age of this pseudo-science.

I really can't emphasise enough how great a text Mad in America is on it's subject matter, it highlights so well the mistreatment of the mentally unwell and how psychiatrists desperate to establish psychiatry as a legitimate branch of medicine went to extreme lengths to try and fine a cure for those deemed mad. Frontal lobotomies, electroschock, insulin comas - there was nothing that they weren't prepared to do to find a remedy but ultimately never have found anything to help those with schizophrenia merely they have left a tarnished mark on thousands of patients, many of whom were treated like worthless human beings and died as a result.

Fascinating reading, will keep you turning from page to page chapter to chapter, really opens the eyes to the mental health system and how it is now overun by powerful and rich pharmaceutical companies clamouring to make profit from false promises.
One of te best books i have ever read period, never mind just in the mental health genre.
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Format: Paperback
From Bedlam to chemical lobotomies; a harrowing history of the way people with mental illness have been treated in the US and other developed countries. Why does the World Health Organization say outcomes for people with schizophrenia are likely to be better in poor African countries than in the US? Try drug company conspiracies, medical arrogance and fear of the "insane". This is brilliant factual writing that will change many people's view of the world.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who has been on various different medications for natural reactions to the rigours of existence and has spent time on psychiatric wards, this book was illuminating and depressing (maybe it wasn't the book but some malignant growth or abnormality in my brain making me feel depressed, or maybe its cause was these little pus-filled bullets!).

The book is an excoriating, polemic history of psychiatry in them old United States, that there place that is supposed to be an exemplar of virtue and liberty, at least as seen through the lens of American exceptionalist theory. Needless to say, the truths imparted to the reader by this book don't comport well with the aforementioned theory. It is a history of barbarous pseudo-therapeutics, of malefactors donning the apparel of the benefactors of tormented humanity, of an extremely profitable industry and its leverage over the psychiatric establishment.

The book challenges the conventional wisdom concerning the atypical antipsychotics, and the many myths attendant on the belief of their supposed curative potentialities, itemising the deleterious effects on mind and body they can have and also detailing the unethical practice, common in the establishment, of hoodwinking patients into taking these malignant pills without being informed of the effects both long-term and short.

I was never told about the cumbersome anhedonia; I was led to believe that the weight-gain would stop after 2 years (where the hell did she get that that figure from...
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