In his C-SPAN public discussion author Robert Whitaker points out Acute Encephalitis Lethargica was misdiagnosed as schizophrenia and schizophrenia has flu-like characteristics

Uploaded by on Feb 23, 2009

A case demonstration showing loss of equilibrium at an early stage and somnolence at a later stage due to encephalitis lethargica, also known as ‘sleepy sickness’ or ‘sleeping sickness’. Find out more:

Posted by Maria Mangicaro

Click here to view Robert Whitaker discuss Anatomy of an Epidemic on C-SPAN

The 1998 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of Mad in America discussed the rise in diagnosis of mental illness in the U.S. and the proliferation of drugs to medicate various conditions. Mr. Whitaker contended that drugs do little to balance imbalanced brain chemistry. The event was held by Community Access, Inc. at the National Arts Club in New York City.

Mr. Whitaker makes his C-SPAN concluding statements very clear.

My interpretation (summarized) of Mr. Whitaker’s beliefs regarding the treatment of psychosis are:

– the research supports short-term efficacy of antipsychotics and long-term chronicity

– the comparison research from 1945-55 involved treating psychotic episodes with hospitalizations that lasted between 12 months and five years.

– his book is not a medical advice book and does not encourage patients to go off of medications (although some psychiatric patients have gone off medications after reading Anatomy)

– he believes psychiatric medications have a place in mental health care

– Anatomy of an Epidemic does not take an anti-medication position and is in fact a “pro-med”, best use practice

– when considering psychotic patients, some will do better off meds, while others do better on meds

– he believes the psychophramacology paradigm is a failed revolution

– psychotic episodes have flu-like characteristics of coming and going on their own, treatment with medication is the best approach to quickly stabilize

– his appeal is to create a national discussion that incorporates the long-term data


“Mad in America” author Robert Whitaker speaking on the need for revolution in the mental health system

Uploaded by on Feb 14, 2011

Hearts and Minds United – Revolutionizing Mental Health Care: As a part of International’s 25th Anniversary, MindFreedom  International, in conjunction with the University of Oregon School of  Law, is proud to host nationally acclaimed writer, Robert Whitaker,  author of ‘Mad in America’ and ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic.’
Bob tells us what the research really has to say about the best mental  health treatment options for individuals who have been labeled with  severe mental health disorders.

Award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker asks tough  questions:
Why has the number of people diagnosed disabled by a psychiatric  disorder in the United States tripled over the past two decades?
Whitaker asks:
“During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how  psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did  they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better?  Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications,  for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will  become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to  physical illness?”
Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept  up in this epidemic.
Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in  Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes.
If you missed his last appearance in Eugene, take this valuable  opportunity to meet him in person and hear what his years of  methodical investigation into the mental health industry tells us  about where we need to go from here.

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