Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the
Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
Robert Whitaker is an American journalist and author who has won numerous awards as a journalist covering medicine and science, including the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association for Science Writers’ Award for best magazine article.
In 1998, he co-wrote a series on psychiatric research for the Boston Globe that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. His first book, Mad in America, was named by Discover magazine as one of the best science books of 2002. Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness won the 2010 Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for best investigative journalism. He is the publisher of madinamerica.com.
Prior to writing books, Robert Whitaker worked as a science reporter at the Albany Times Union newspaper in New York for a number of years. He is the founder and publisher of madinamerica.com, a website that features research news and blogs by an international group of writers interested in “rethinking psychiatry.”
About Robert Whitaker’s award-winning books
Mad in America
Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world’s poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy.
The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker’s most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects.
A haunting, deeply compassionate audiobook now revised with a new introduction. Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.
You can purchase or listen to a sample of the Audiobook HERE.
Anatomy Of An Epidemic
Psychiatry Under The Influence
Updated with bonus material, including a new foreword and afterword with new research, this New York Times bestseller is essential reading for a time when mental health is constantly in the news.
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?
Interwoven with Whitaker’s groundbreaking analysis of the merits of psychiatric medications are the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. As Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, other societies have begun to alter their use of psychiatric medications and are now reporting much-improved outcomes . . . so why can’t such change happen in the United States? Why have the results from these long-term studies—all of which point to the same startling conclusion—been kept from the public?
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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Psychiatry Under the Influence investigates how the influence of pharmaceutical money and guild interests has corrupted the behavior of the American Psychiatric Association and academic psychiatry during the past 35 years.
The book documents how the psychiatric establishment regularly misled the American public about what was known about the biology of mental disorders, the validity of psychiatric diagnoses, and the safety and efficacy of its drugs.
It also looks at how these two corrupting influences encouraged the expansion of diagnostic boundaries and the creation of biased clinical practice guidelines. This corruption has led to significant social injury, and in particular, a societal lack of informed consent regarding the use of psychiatric drugs, and the pathologizing of normal behaviors in children and adults.
The authors argue that reforming psychiatry will require the neutralization of these two corrupting influences—pharmaceutical money and guild interests—and the establishment of multidisciplinary authority over the field of mental health.
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