Anatomy of an Epidemic Selected at Saint Michael’s College for Abnormal Psychology course

June 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

In Anatomy of an Epidemic award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates, in the first book of its kind, the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results, asking the question: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades?

During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, studies on various psychiatric drugs—including those used to treat depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD—have consistently found 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.

Having given this shocking analysis of these findings, Whitaker then asks why the results from these long-term studies been kept from the public? He concludes with personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic, and reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes.

St. Michael’s College’s Psychology Dept. has chosen it for course use in Abnormal Psychology this Fall.

“Why are so many more people disabled by mental illness than ever before?  Why are those so diagnosed dying 10-25 years earlier than others?  In Anatomy of an Epidemic investigative reporter Robert Whitaker cuts through flawed science, greed and outright lies to reveal that the drugs hailed as the cure for mental disorders instead worsen them over the long term.  But Whitaker’s investigation also offers hope for the future: solid science backs nature’s way of healing our mental ills through time and human relationships.  Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found “aliveness” when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs.”—Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Dante’s Cure: A Journey Out of Madness

“This is the most alarming book I’ve read in years.  The approach is neither polemical nor ideologically slanted. Relying on medical evidence and historical documentation, Whitaker builds his case like a prosecuting attorney.”—Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota and author of Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream

To read an excerpt, click here.

To order an examination copy, click here.

 

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In Pursuit of Elegance is the Common Summer Reader at Columbus College of Art & Design University of North Texas and Duke University Choose The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton

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