Drug Orgy

Everyone should read Robert Whitaker’s new book, ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’.  Why? For greater insight into the brief history of psychiatry, the process and methods of treating mental illness, and the important question: are the drugs really working or simply causing greater traumatic health problems?

Whitaker provides stats on thousands of adults and children in the U.S. left disable due to severe side effects from antidepressants and antipsychotics.  And his “case studies” or interviews with people  on SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibators) shed light on the emotional struggles many individuals and their families encounter for years.  Including the rising financial cost of treating mental illnesses.

There’s more to the book than stats and stories.  The rise of ADHD, and the drugging of children nationwide is steadily increasing at an alarming rate; especially children in the foster care system.  Furthermore, Whitaker outlines the need to embrace other models of care “to help people get better and stay well.”

Yet, as I read on, I couldn’t forget a story of a vibrant and happy little girl who was wetting her bed.  The mother didn’t allow the child to naturally out-grow the bed wetting process that many of us went through.  Instead, she took the child to the doctor, who prescribed medication, which caused severe mental side affects, that led to more doctors, more drugs, hospitalization, more drugs, and a decade later the child is a permanent resident in a State mental health institution, numbly pacing the hallways.

I agree with Whitaker, society should keep an open mind, and explore other “methods of care.”  Afterall, there is no harm in trying to sustain a healthier populus.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Drug Orgy

  1. Erica

    While I agree with you re: over drugging and MH diagnoses, I do strongly favor the opposite for ADHD cases. Albeit medicating in a responsibly monitored and conservatively dosed manner while at the same time the person with ADHD receives additional non-drug related supports…..and only after the ADHD diagnosis is accurately diagnosed by the appropriate professional.
    Granted many so-called ” ADD ” kids suffer from a lack of proper parental supervision and indulge is diets that are atrocious, but for the kids and adults who genuinely have ADHD,undiagnosed or not, to go without the support of medication, in addition to the aforementioned theraputic supports, is negligent.
    I have heard many a parent of a child with ADHD argue that it can be overcome by a matter of willpower on the part of the ADHD person.
    If this were the case then there would be legions of people who self cured themselves of this disorder.
    However ADHD is, for all intents and purposes,
    ” invisible “.
    Would one ask someone who clearly has a broken leg to get up and walk ?

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