Why is psychiatry such big business? Why are so many psychiatric drugs prescribed – 47 million antidepressant prescriptions in the UK alone last year – and why, without solid scientific justification, has the number of mental disorders risen from 106 in 1952 to 374 today?
The everyday sufferings and setbacks of life are now ‘medicalised’ into illnesses that require treatment – usually with highly profitable drugs. Psychological therapist James Davies uses his insider knowledge to illustrate for a general readership how psychiatry has put riches and medical status above patients’ well-being. The charge sheet is damning: negative drug trials routinely buried; antidepressants that work no better than placebos; research regularly manipulated to produce positive results; doctors, seduced by huge pharmaceutical rewards, creating more disorders and prescribing more pills; and ethical, scientific and treatment flaws unscrupulously concealed by mass-marketing.
Cracked reveals for the first time the true human cost of an industry that, in the name of helping others, has actually been helping itself.
A practicing psychological therapist adds to the fusillade against contemporary psychiatry with this multipronged attack. Relying on numerous studies and interviews with American and British leaders in the field including Dr. Robert Spitzer, the primary editor of the DSM-III Davies (The Importance of Suffering) lambasts the nonexistence of empirical biological evidence behind modern nosology, explaining that in lieu of hard data, "professional agreement, consensus, and, in the event of continued disagreement, majority opinion" ends up defining the disorders with which people are diagnosed and then for which they are medicated. On the pharmaceutical front, Davies takes aim at Big Pharma's tendency to "cherry pick" positive clinical trial data to suit its needs. The results are drugs whose curative efficacy is questionable and which sometimes come with serious side effects (such as the "emotional blunting" that occurs in about half of all Prozac users). Further undermining the integrity of the psychiatric profession is the fact that many doctors, having received grants and/or speaking and consulting fees from Big Pharma companies, are essentially prescribing from within the deep pockets of their benefactors. The consequences for patients and the profession are obvious. An eye-opening and persuasive work.
Very informative compelling read, great book for sceptics like me. Whilst the medical profession has been great for me, personally improving quality of life for many years, I've always thought the mental side of it to be like trying to imagine where the universe ends. Your piece about turning natural human emotion, ( grieving for a lost loved one)' into a 'disorder' says all we need to know that those who control the mental health industry, don't really know where to go next, apart from accruing more money. My own personal experience is of growing up in the 60s&70s with a father who was prescribed Valium, as were many people back then, and being addicted to them for the next 20 years, I truly believe these caused the aortic aneurism that ended his life at 63 yrs, I trust you, 'James Davies' will make many enemies within the psychiatric community, but don't let them stop you from speaking out, and in some instances exposing the blatant commercialism & medicalisation of a great many people's misery. Good luck.