The world of pharmaceuticals is a deceiving one. While it might be easy to trust that any drug on the market today has been rigorously tested for efficacy and safety, that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to psychiatric drugs.
We’ve all heard the term “chemical imbalance,” and many people struggling with depression or other mood disorders have had this narrative hammered into them. They’re told that elevated or inadequate levels of neurotransmitters are to blame, but this theory is being increasingly questioned.
Today on The Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru digs into the questions surrounding psychiatric drugs with Robert Whitaker.
Robert Whitaker is the author of four books and coauthor of a fifth, three of which tell of the history of psychiatry. In 2010, his Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness won the US Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for best investigative journalism.
Prior to writing books, he worked as a science reporter at the Albany Times Union newspaper in New York, for a number of years. He is the founder of madinamerica.com, a website that features research news and blogs by an international group of writers interested in “rethinking psychiatry.”
In this episode, we dive into:
- Does long-term use of psychiatric drugs do more harm than good? (0:24)
- How short-term clinical trials are built to market drugs by pharmaceutical companies (14:29)
- The chemical imbalance theory (22:48)
- The long-term effects of psychiatric drugs (31:20)
- Psychiatry’s disease model (41:02)
- Rethinking the use of antipsychotics (41:54)
- The importance of creating a new environment when it comes to treating mental illness (56:02)
Also mentioned in this episode:
- Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It
- The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care
- A Debate Between Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker
For more on Robert Whitaker, follow him on Instagram @madinamerica, Facebook @madinamerica, Twitter @mad_in_america, and through his website, madinamerica.com. Get his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, here.
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