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Robert Whitaker: Antidepressants create "chronic depression"


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Following up on Marcia Angell's articles in the NY Review of Books, PRI and WNYC radio interviewed Robert Whitaker. Again, he points out antidepressants have increased the chronicity of depression.

 

Big pharma's role in mental illness

 

From PRI and WNYC's The Takeaway 19 July, 2011

 

Listen to audio here for full report.

 

For almost 40 years, conventional wisdom has been that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. "Serotonin" is a household word, along with Prozac, Zyprexa and Zoloft. But recently, there's been a vigorous debate within the medical community over whether that line of thinking is accurate.

 

This summer Marcia Angell, a physician, senior lecturer at Harvard, and former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, wrote in the New York Review of Books that the chemical imbalance model of mental illness may be ineffective at best, and harmful at worst. In her article, Angell talked about medical journalist Robert Whitaker's book "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America."

 

Whitaker researched years of drug trials and determined that pharmaceutical companies play an enormous role in deciding what causes mental illness, who qualifies as mentally ill, and how those illnesses should be treated. "In 1987, which is when Prozac comes to market, there were 1.25 million people on disability in the United State due to mental illness," he told The Takeaway. "Today, there's 4 million."

 

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This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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