“Mad in America” author Robert Whitaker questions: Could our drug-based paradigm of care be fueling an epidemic of mental illness?

Uploaded by on May 11, 2010

Rethinking Psychiatric Care: If We Follow the Scientific Evidence, What Must We Do To Better Promote Long-term Recovery?

During the past 20 years, the number of adults in the United States on federal disability rolls due to mental illness has more than tripled, rising from 1.25 million people in 1987 to more than four million in 2007. The number of children receiving a federal disability check due to severe mental illness increased 35-fold during this period, rising from 16,200 to 561,569.
This disability data necessarily begs a question, one that our society desperately needs to investigate. Could our drug-based paradigm of care, in some unforeseen way, be fueling this epidemic of disabling illness? What does the scientific literature show? Do psychiatric medications improve or worsen long-term outcomes? Does their use decrease or increase the risk of long-term disability? And what is happening to children prescribed psychiatric medications over the long-term? Are they faring well?
The disability numbers also tell us that we need to look to develop new solutions. In Europe, there are providers of psychiatric services that have begun using psychiatric medications in a selective, limited manner and are now reporting very good outcomes. How can we adopt these methods here?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s