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on 6 May 2015
The book is a bit of a hard slog for those of us with only average intelligence, but it is well worth the slog. I think possibly that the UK medical profession is not so drug-happy as the USA in their treatment of the mentally ill, but unfortunately, the UK often follows America, which would, as the reading of this book shows, be a tragic mistake. I was convinced by the end that mental illness is not a 'disease' as we have all been conditioned to believe, and that the answer does not lie in throwing drugs at the patient. I found this comment from the book enlightening: "phychosis does not live in the head. It lives in the in between of family members, and the in between of people...it is in the relationship, and the one who is psychotic makes the bad condition visible. He or she 'wears the symptoms' and has the burden to carry them.' The revelations of deliberate suppression by the psychiatric profession and the terrible dangers of the drugs they use was quite depressing reading and I began to wonder if all was lost, so I was greatly relieved when I got to the section entitled 'Solutions'. There really is hope for those affected by depression, schizophrenia and phychosis. But it will take time and doctors who are willing to give it. I hope they read this book.
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on 23 February 2015
A compelling, easily readable and easily understood scientific, evidenced based exploration of the "benefit - harms" balance of drug use in "mainstream psychiatry". Drug toxicities are validated and analysed in individuals, and their families, as well as in terms of adverse outcomes over short, intermediate and (especially) long term in human populations. It is very painful to read for anyone who has witnessed the cumulative toxicity of medications which may be enforced despite dubious benefit. This book does not condemn the use of psychotropic drugs. On the contrary, it is a powerful advocacy for judicious and compassionate use of limited duration ( where appropriate ) of Pscho-tropic medication. It does however powerfully demonstrate Pharma "marketing masquerading as medicine". It is of particular relevance for G.P.'s /Family Physicians and for any potential patient who is given the label of "chemical imbalance".
The underlying, implied appeal is - "first do no harm."
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on 7 June 2013
Whitaker exposes Big Pharma as a purveyor of snake oil sold out the back of a covered wagon only now they've got Harvard Professors and super slick marketing strategies. Suckers of that big, scaley pecker each and every one of them. The DSM is but a glossy brochure for their tragic potions. Make up a disorder and medicate it. Watch RD Laing on Youtube talk about the DSM and check out some of its diagnoses for kids. The same people are in charge of US foreign policy. Psychopaths. Mental health in UK is a hideous farce. Most Trusts advertise for newly qualified RMNs to work on their acute wards because the poor saps don't know any better. I was used as they will be. In my experience, community and fellowship will always be much better for you. Essential.
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on 18 April 2017
Excellent reading. I Couldn't put the book down. I'm not a psychiatrist so couldn't critique or verify the facts that were presented in the book, but I was hooked from the start. If everything in this book is true, then I am left wondering why society as a whole, doesn't seem too bothered.
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on 3 October 2017
Should be required reading
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on 2 May 2017
Good fairly easy read, should be compulsory for every GP /family doctor who prescribes anti-depressants. A shocking indictment of big pharma and the doctors in their pay.
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on 25 June 2017
Deeply informative. An intense wakeup call to all that an average practitioner in mental health services could be taking for granted.
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on 29 March 2017
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on 27 October 2011
Anatomy of an Epidemic is excellent. It is the best book of this type I have read. It confirms what many of us have believed about psychiatric drugs for a long time. I have been recommending this book to my students. Even for people who firmly believe the information supplied by drug companies this is still a must read book in order to understand the views of millions who have taken the drugs, experienced worsening symptoms and bad side-effects.

Prior to this book I found it difficult to explain why drugs that have never been shown to be beneficial are continuing to be prescribed. This book has made my life easier. I only need to say that the facts are explained in Anatomy of an Epidemic.

Robert Whitaker's style is excellent. It is a subject that can seem daunting yet he takes you on a journey from the first `energisers' of the 1950's to the more recent chemicals, which turn out to be surprisingly similar in action to the earliest ones.

One effect of the book is that I find I am now increasing being asked questions about coming off psychiatric medication. It makes sense to ask. Stopping quickly is almost always a bad idea, whereas finding a doctor you can work with is an excellent idea and then working with that doctor to find ways towards lower safer doses usually improves what you can achieve.
Mood Mapping: Plot your way to emotional health and happiness
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on 24 April 2010
I enjoyed his earlier book 'madness in America' this is equally good.There has been quite a few books on psychiatric medication recently but this one does bring a lot of evidence together.He looks at the amazing increases in diagnosis of mental illness over the last 20 years.He examines the usual reasons identified such as changes in diagnosis,societies changes,BIG PHARMA and medication. He is quite convincing that psychiatric medication,like all psycho active drugs seems to make changes to the brain long term which may result in future relapses.These relapses appear to be more severe and more frequent.He is especially concerned about psychiatric drug use in the young,considering the debate about cannabis causing psychosis in young people,giving them amphetamines does seem questionable.He does not argue that medication is not useful at all but thinks the dosages and length of time on them maybe creating problems for the future. The alternative of safe supported rehab care for people he acknowledges would be expensive and time consuming but may over a persons life time be cheaper than the revolving relapse door and wasted lives. It of course applies equally to any modern Western country as we have all imported America's psychiatric culture.
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