Anatomy of an Epidemic

Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Author: Robert Whitaker

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307452436

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

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Now with bonus material, including a new foreword and afterword with updated research In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nation’s children. What is going on? Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges readers to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them? Researchers spent decades studying that question, and by the late 1980s, they had their answer. Readers will be startled—and dismayed—to discover what was reported in the scientific journals. Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness? This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit? By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies—all of which point to the same startling conclusion—been kept from the public? In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.
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Pharmageddon

Author: David Healy

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520270983

Category: Medical

Page: 302

View: 9487

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"This meticulously documented book makes extraordinary claims with far-reaching intellectual and practical ramifications. It is the most powerful critique of the contemporary medical-industrial complex that I know."--Andrew T. Scull, author of "Hysteria" and "Madness: A Very Short Introduction" "This book shines a bright light on the pharmaceutical industry (and American healthcare) in the same way that "Silent Spring" called out the chemical industry and "Unsafe at Any Speed" called out the automobile industry. "Pharmageddon" is Healy's most important book to date. It will make a real contribution toward healing our sick system of pharmaceutical-driven medicine and helping doctors provide better care for their patients."--Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, author of "The Estrogen Elixir" and "On the Pill" "In this startling book, David Healy argues that 'evidence-based' medicine--and a healthy dose of corrupt science--has led modern medicine off a cliff. His book is provocative, challenging, and informative, and ultimately it serves as a powerful manifesto for rethinking modern medicine."--Robert Whitaker, author of "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America" "Like a good detective story, "Pharmageddon" weaves together the history of modern medicine, the evolution of clinical trials and statistical analyses, changes in international patent laws, privatization of clinical research, blurring of the line between academics and industry, and the enabling role of medical journals. If you want to learn how to protect yourself (or your patients) from medical commercialism and how medical practice can be re-directed back toward its true mission, this book is a must read."--John Abramson, author of "Overdosed America"
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In the Fellowship of His Suffering

A Theological Interpretation of Mental Illness—A Focus on “Schizophrenia”

Author: Elahe Hessamfar

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630874671

Category: Religion

Page: 390

View: 9268

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"Schizophrenia" is by many accounts the most devastating illness of our time. In this book, Elahe Hessamfar uses her personal encounter with her daughter's illness to bring the reader to experience the pain and anguish of those who suffer so intensely. She candidly discusses the gripping and dark realities her family has faced in the midst of this journey and exposes that the ride isn't easy, but it can be fruitful and purposeful, and it can be a journey of joy and peace if understood from the intended perspective. This is a fascinating and deeply theological portrayal of madness under the mighty hand of God. It challenges and awakens the reader to a heightened awareness about self, community, pain, brokenness, sin, grace, and redemption. This is the first truly biblically based, theological interpretation of madness in conversation with psychiatry and social sciences. Hessamfar passionately discusses the shortcomings of our current medical model of mental illness and directs the reader's attention to the mistreatment of those the medical community labels with "schizophrenia." She argues that not only is "schizophrenia" not pathological but it touches on the most fundamental fragilities of the human soul, and hence, it is a critical pastoral issue. Hessamfar offers tangible, inspiring, and life-changing solutions for those dealing with this most elusive and mysterious phenomenon--solutions that would bring hope and healing to the hopeless people chained in the abyss of madness.
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The Art of Narrative Psychiatry

Stories of Strength and Meaning

Author: SuEllen Hamkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199982066

Category: Medical

Page: 224

View: 2934

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Narrative psychiatry empowers patients to shape their lives through story. Rather than focusing only on finding the source of the problem, in this collaborative clinical approach psychiatrists also help patients diagnose and develop their sources of strength. By encouraging the patient to explore their personal narrative through questioning and story-telling, the clinician helps the patient participate in and discover the ways in which they construct meaning, how they view themselves, what their values are, and who it is exactly that they want to be. These revelations in turn inform clinical decision-making about what it is that ails them, how they'd like to treat it, and what recovery might look like. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is the first comprehensive description of narrative psychiatry in action. Engaging and accessible, it demonstrates how to help patients cultivate their personal sources of strength and meaning as resources for recovery. Illustrated with vivid case reports and in-depth accounts of therapeutic conversations, the book offers psychiatrists and psychotherapists detailed guidance in the theory and practice of this collaborative approach. Drawing inspiration from narrative therapy, post-modern philosophy, humanistic medicine, and social justice movements - and replete with ways to more fully manifest the intentions of the mental health recovery model - this engaging new book shows how to draw on the standard psychiatric toolbox while also maintaining focus on the patient's vision of the world and illuminating their skills and strengths. Written by a pioneer in the field, The Art of Narrative Psychiatry describes a breadth of nuanced, powerful narrative practices, including externalizing problems, listening for what is absent but implicit, facilitating re-authoring conversations, fostering communities of support, and creating therapeutic documents. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry addresses mental health challenges that range from mild to severe, including anxiety, depression, despair, anorexia/bulimia, perfectionism, OCD, trauma, psychosis, and loss. True to form, the author narrates her own experience throughout, sharing her internal thoughts and decision-making processes as she listens to patients. The Art of Narrative Psychiatry is necessary reading for any professional seeking to empower their patients and become a better, more compassionate clinician.
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Mad Science

Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs

Author: Stuart A. Kirk

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351507931

Category: Medical

Page: 358

View: 6541

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*Winner of an honorable mention from theSociety for Social Work and ResearchforOutstanding Social Work Book AwardMad Science argues that the fundamental claims of modern American psychiatry are based on misconceived, flawed, and distorted science. The authors address multiple paradoxes in American mental health research, including the remaking of coercion into scientific psychiatric treatment, the adoption of an unscientific diagnostic system that controls the distribution of services, and how drug treatments have failed to improve the mental health outcome.When it comes to understanding and treating mental illness, distortions of research are not rare, misinterpretation of data is not isolated, and bogus claims of success are not voiced by isolated researchers seeking aggrandizement. This book's detailed analysis of coercion and community treatment, diagnosis, and psychopharmacology reveals that these characteristics are endemic, institutional, and protected in psychiatry. They are not just bad science, but mad science.This book provides an engaging and readable scientific and social critique of current mental health practices. The authors are scholars, researchers, and clinicians who have written extensively about community care, diagnosis, and psychoactive drugs. This paperback edition makes Mad Science accessible to all specialists in the field as well as to the informed public.
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Radically Open

Transcending Religious Identity in an Age of Anxiety

Author: Robert F. Shedinger

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1620320428

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 8658

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America stands in the throes of an anxiety epidemic, yet Americans live in one of the most religious countries in the world? Shouldn't people with deep spiritual roots be less vulnerable to emotional suffering? Such an enigma stands at the center of this book, but the enigma turns out to be more apparent than real. The overt religiosity so characteristic of modern American society ironically serves to foster the anxiety epidemic by locking people into a disenchanted secular mindset, leaving them cut off from the deep spiritual resources they so desperately need in the face of mounting anxiety. Based on the author's own journey through the darkness of anxiety in conversation with the psychology of Carl Jung, this book argues that transcending religious identity and submitting to the greater wisdom of the cosmic story holds a powerful key to resolving anxiety and creating a more just and sustainable world. Surprisingly, the Islamic tradition may provide one of the best models for how to accomplish this.
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My Age of Anxiety

Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

Author: Scott Stossel

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385351321

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 9507

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A riveting, revelatory, and moving account of the author’s struggles with anxiety, and of the history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand the condition As recently as thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category. Today, it is the most common form of officially classified mental illness. Scott Stossel gracefully guides us across the terrain of an affliction that is pervasive yet too often misunderstood. Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes, to the latest research by neuroscientists and geneticists. Stossel reports on famous individuals who struggled with anxiety, as well as on the afflicted generations of his own family. His portrait of anxiety reveals not only the emotion’s myriad manifestations and the anguish anxiety produces but also the countless psychotherapies, medications, and other (often outlandish) treatments that have been developed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impact, its devastating power to paralyze—while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it find ways to manage and control it. My Age of Anxiety is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.
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The Noonday Demon

An Atlas Of Depression

Author: Andrew Solomon

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451676883

Category: Psychology

Page: 576

View: 8622

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With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Andrew Solomon takes the reader on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning. The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the reader's view of the world.
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Alternative Therapies For Epilepsy

Author: Orrin Devinsky, MD,Steven V. Pacia, MD,Steven C. Schachter

Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing

ISBN: 1617050660

Category: Medical

Page: 240

View: 1425

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Written by three distinguished epileptologists with a long-standing interest in alternative therapies, this book provides an evidence-based consideration of the use of complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies in epilepsy care. Organized by problem, the authors review alternative approaches to epilepsy- related conditions to help physicians, healthcare professionals, CAM providers, and patients understand the options and safely integrate treatments that work into their regimens. The book begins with an overview of the therapies themselves, including herbal remedies, nutrition, alternative pharmacological therapies, physical treatments, and neurobehavioral approaches, and also discusses medication-related considerations and caveats. The next group of chapters covers CAM and preventive approaches to mitigating the effects of epilepsy and epilepsy therapies, such as drug toxicity and side effects of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), seizures, enhancing cognitive function, issues for women (pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause), and managing anxiety and depression. The final part of the book focuses on quality of life and lifestyle modifications to reduce seizure risk, including techniques for stress reduction, sleep disturbances and aids to normalize, alcohol and recreational drugs, and environmental factors. Features of Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy Include: Evidence-based review of CAM therapies for epilepsy Problem-oriented, practical approach to integrating alternative treatments into traditional regimens for healthcare providers Written by distinguished epileptologists with broad clinical experience Addresses all aspects of health for persons with epilepsy (not just seizures) and offers practical suggestions for improving patient care and patient health
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