File Size: 4839 KB
Print Length: 418 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (March 31, 2010)
Publication Date: April 13, 2010
I read Robert Whitaker's book almost two years ago, and his results alarmed me. I also had to honestly question, do I really feel better on all these medications than I would without them? I had already been told by well-respected psychiatrists at two major research universities that the only way to prevent continuing depressive episodes was to be on medication for life. I had believed them, and taken the medications. I felt fairly okay a lot of the time, though relatively dulled and flattened by the meds. But I actually still had debilitating depressive episodes, sometimes lasting for years, in spite of the medications. As I looked around at my many, many friends and family members on psychiatric medications, it seemed to me that nearly all of them were still pretty substantially depressed a lot of the time.
For years I had formed found the notion of " chemical imbalance" reassuring. The perfect solution is to my mental distress–medication–was no different than if I had diabetes and needed insulin, apparently! Taking psych meds with this perspective makes you feel that you are doing your best to care for yourself, which is reassuring when you're still feeling dreadful. You're doing what you can do. " Far better living through chemistry! " I used to wryly joke, as I'd down my cocktail of about three or more medications every night. I regularly saw my psychiatrist, who would tweak the meds here and there to offer me better relief.
How unhappy that the " chemical substance imbalance" theory just won't hold up to genuine research! I understand how doctors came to use that analogy to assure patients who were alarmed at the prospect of being on mind-altering drugs for a long time. But there are no chemicals being balanced here. P results are powerful, however they are not restoring what is missing and replicating a healthy brain. That reality, well researched in this book, needs to find out.
After reading " Anatomy of an Epidemic" two years ago, I was convinced that I at least needed to try life without medications. The husband is a physician, and he found the investigation in the book convincing as well. I do a very slow, careful taper off of my psych drugs, over a period of months (this part is absolutely crucial). The medial side effects of pulling out were physically painful at times, but I obtained through them. I've been off psychiatric medication for over per year and a fifty percent, and I feel great.
Do I still get depressed? Yes, sometimes I actually do. And surely not more depressed than I did so on the medications. I truly appreciate having the full range of my emotional responses restored to me. It's dreary getting the ecstatic part of life chopped off, along with the hangdog misery. Drugs do that. And psychiatric medications have frightening long-term consequences, some of which are just arriving to light now that individuals have been in it for decades. If medications are truly needed, in most cases they should be temporary, not long-term.
A lot more hard, stress is real, and problems need to be dealt with. There is no magic bullet. I have found daily aerobic exercise to be a far more reliable way of mitigating depression than my previous medications, and research in this guide shows this to be true for a majority of people as well. Mindfulness meditation has also helped, and kind people who listen to me.
I don't blame my doctors for my years of overmedication. They were doing the best they knew how for me, given the way that training is passed on doctor-to-doctor through medical education. The particular " medical model" of psychiatry saved that part of medicine from declining out, given our insurance-based healthcare system, and Robert Whitaker does a great job of exposing the collusion involving the pharmaceutical companies and the American Psychiatric Association, with its frightening effects. I found the area of the book talking about the way research facts was " rewritten" for medical school textbooks truly alarming.
There's a great deal at stake here for the psychiatric profession; it's not surprising that so many psychiatrists turn from this research with alarm and denial. I admire Robert Whitaker for bringing this problem to light, and for doggedly pursuing it both in the US and internationally. I recommend his website " Mad in America" for recent reports and discussion., Very technology based. There's a number of reviews on here that say this guide is invalid, but when you dig into their reasons, they are cherry picking data and using disproven research. For instance, a lot of critics of this book say, " Oh, of course antipsychotics help people, " and they cite a few studies. But when you look at those studies, it's where people have already been dropped cold turkey off meds they had used long term. Well, chilly turkey withdrawal of psych meds is a hard and nasty process. Therefore of course leaving people on drugs works better than dropping them abruptly into cold turkey disengagement. But gradual withdrawal really does work, and many people have gotten their lives again by learning how to use psych drugs correctly as a device instead of as the whole solution.
Whitaker is not anti-medication, many of his supporters still use medications. Whitaker is not anti-psychiatry. He is anti-bullshit. Many psychiatrists support him or her, and are referenced in this book. But only the ones who have actually taken the time to learn the academic research in their own field. Don't believe the critics who cite 2-3 studies and think they have discredited this book without looking into details. This book cites like 400 studies, works together all the best patient advocates in the industry, and is the best science has to offer to make clear both problems and solutions.
If you want to know the real deal, this is the book to read. Many critiques of this book are incredibly shallow, and possess already already been readily and easily disproven., Anyone who has actually been diagnosed with a mental illness, loved someone with such problems or works with psychiatric patients should be aware of this book. As a professional in the healthcare industry, I believe is actually important to educate yourself on all sides of the problem. This is the one that is never mentioned because big Pharma owns our legislature. Please read and make your own selections about what is happening to our region., I purchased this guide included in a personal job and, the further I actually get in it, the more interested I feel. Robert Whitaker does a great job of the facts to show his point and pointing away flaws numerous medications and tehniques that are still used today. The fabric is shocking and displayed in an entertaining way. I would recommend this book to anyone enthusiastic about medication, psychology, psychiatry, or some kind of related fields. This does get somewhat thick with numbers and studies at times, but as long as you can understand it all, it's no problem., A must read for anyone considering taking or prescribing psychoactive medication., The info in this book has helped me accept, and be grateful for, the decision a loved-one has made to quit pyschiatric medications. The final results over the last 3 months have been wonderful; after several years on medications, the changes give me hope and optimism for the future. Exactly what an important book this is! Thanks to the author for the huge amount of work this book represents; it is a gift to all of us., I'm surprised more no drug treatment strategies have not emerged. I'm just reading about a few successful ones in Massachusetts. I actually know this book created a lot of controversy but it deserves the attention. Drug companies wield too much power over prescribing practices. I've treated many of these kind of patients in my career. It can feel like a lot of them are stuck in the medication cycles. Way too many benzos have been recommended over the years. It's very difficult to convince patients to heurter off and they become very hazardous to the elderly., this is a book everyone who will be on or about to continue any medications for mental health
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