Uploaded by ubsswmediaon 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?