Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of Epidemic: magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I am new to this forum and I want to start a conversation about negative long-term (and short-term) effects of psychiatric drugs (mood stabilizers, stimulants, anti-anti-depressants, atypical psychotics and etc.).Great place to start would be discuss the Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of Epidemic. He is a science historian who unearthed enormous body of research done by the scientists on the mechanism and effects of psychiatric drugs.


I would like to hear from the people who:

  • Read the book and wanted to share their opinions.
  • Are thinking of taking psychiatric drugs but are concerned with side-effects.
  • Suffered from physical and mental side-effects of the drugs. Or knew somebody who was negatively affected by the drugs.
  • Are using alternative ways to treat mental disorders.
  • Withdrew from the drugs. How and why?


I would like to ask the people who believe in absolute necessity, efficacy and safety of psychiatric drugs, to NOT POST on this thread. You can open your own thread for that. Please let us have a peaceful and safe place to talk about these tough issues. If I see people attacking and criticizing me and other posters for having this conversation, I will report you to Moderator, and/or remove this thread from the forum. Thank you!


Few points from the book:

  1.  There is no scientific evidence to the concept of “chemical imbalance”. Try as they might, pharmaceutical companies and independent researchers did not find any evidence that people with mental issues have “chemical imbalance”. In many cases biochemistry of the brain cannot explain mental illness. The myth of “chemical imbalance” was created and marketed by Nancy Andreason (The Broken Brain author) and other psychiatrists to increase sales of anti-depressants.
  2. Psychiatric drugs create chemical imbalance in the brain over the long-term, and as one researcher put it, “brain starts to function in abnormal way”. The damage to the brain could be in some cases irreversible and some drugs are highly addictive.
  3. Psychiatric drugs are effective in short-term relief of symptoms but are found to have negative effects on physical and mental well-being of patients if taken long-term. The list of negative effects is long and frightening. Most people taking drugs long-term do not experience positive benefits; rather they develop new health symptoms, which in turn have to be treated with additional drugs.
  4. Psychiatric drugs help some people to get well and stay well but researchers cannot explain how and why that happens (they are shooting in the dark by endlessly switching medical combos until they find something that works).
  5. Bipolar epidemic among American adults and children is iatrogenic in nature.
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#2 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought I would share my own experience to get the conversation started. I suffered from PPD and my baby was colicky at the time. I could not even put her down for more than ten minutes during the day. She cried all the time. Her difficult infancy worsened my condition. I finally broke down and went to my family doctor to ask for drugs. She knows me and my culture really well, and instead of prescribing me Prozac she told me to get my mother to come. I was planing on her coming three months later but she convinced me to invite her earlier. So, I switched tickets and asked my mom to come STAT. Thank God she was already retired at that point. She hopped on the plane and flew halfway across the world and she saved me! I was able to relax, do things outside of house, do house work and cook  (that seemed to help me with mood), while my mom stayed with the baby. Her moral support and empathy made huge difference in the way I felt.

The symptoms of my depression began to slowly lift and by the end of my mom's stay I felt much BETTER!. Then I hired nanny and got back to work and after a year I was back to normal. I know that my mother and my doctor will not read this thread, but I want to publicly thank them for their compassion, wisdom and kindness.

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#3 of 5 Old 01-14-2013, 04:47 PM
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Had a son hang himself 3 years ago on these poisons, he was put on 8 different one's starting on Dec. 18., 2009, Jan 18, 2010 he hung himself was revived (so called) pronounced brain dead on Jan 22, 2010, we removed him from machines were told it would be a half hour to an hour, it took 6 hours and 11 min. During the month before he took his life he started saying he wanted to get a gun, this from a very peaceful soul!


I've talked with other parents who have been through this and we are all miserable, something needs to be done!


We are all told it's o.k. the FDA approved it!


We have woken up and will stop the witch doctor drug dealers and their suppliers, big pharma!



The Drugging Of Our Children (Full Length)


Call for Federal Investigation of Psychiatric Drugs, School Shootings & Senseless Violence

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#4 of 5 Old 01-14-2013, 08:18 PM
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Intangible, so sorry to hear of your devastating loss. I agree, these drugs are to blame! It is so hard to be in that imbalanced mental state (or have a loved one who is) and not get the whole story from the mainstream professionals.

My family has a long pedigree rife with schizophrenia and other Schizo-affective disorders. I "only" have personally had to deal with depression. Many of my health/mental health issues (and my children's) inspired me to learn more about newer theories of mental illness. At present, I am joyfully taking high doses (3 grams) of niacin daily, and my depression is a memory. I take a lot of other supplements, too, but I can't live and be a good mom without niacin (vitamin b3). I recommend the book, Niacin: The Real Story, and I plan to read the book the OP wants to discuss, as this is a great area of interest to me.

Looking very forward to learning more on this thread.

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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#5 of 5 Old 01-19-2013, 07:35 PM
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I will preface this by saying that I have not read the book and I do suffer from a mental illness categorized by my behavioral health team as "severe."  In the interest of honesty I will say that I have been medicated through various drug cocktails for my condition for the last 18months.  I recently chose to discontinue all meds for several reasons.  I'm not convinced of the effectiveness of the meds but I do know that I was incapable of a normal life prior to medication as well.  So I'm sort of on the fence about the effectiveness of medication in general.  I don't believe they are true poison though.  There are, from my extensive reading on the subject of mental illness, conditions that are manageable through things other than  pharmaceutical means.  But there are other conditions(again, from my own personal opinion and research) that are unable to be well managed without pharmaceutical means.  Things like diet, exercise, supplements, cannabis, and behavior modification and cognitive behavior therapy approaches work to a certain degree but may never help the mentally ill person to have a quality of life that we/they hope for.  There are some degrees of severity in all mental health conditions that seem to require more than alternative therapies and some mental health conditions that nearly exclusively require pharmaceutical management regardless of severity.  I'm thinking in general here like schizoaffective disorders, bipolar 1, psychotic features of some illnesses.  While I agree with you that our mental health diagnosis and treatment system is broken, I don't believe we are completely off the rails.  I think  the trend towards cognitive behavioral and dialectical models instead of an exclusively  pharmaceutical approach is heading in the right direction.  But I'd be interested to see what people think about my opinions above that it's nothing short of impossible to manage some of the more reality-warping mental health conditions without pharmaceuticals, as dangerous as they can be(the drugs, not the people).


I also wanted to come back and address your post of your personal story.  I'm glad you were able to get support immediately when you needed it so you could overcome your depression.  Depression is no way to live.  And I hope you don't take offense to this because I mention it purely due to your desire for dialogue on this subject.  I think it has bearing.  You had the financial means for a nanny.  You had a person in your life who was capable of dropping everything in their life to assist you so you were fully supported in whatever you needed to do to recover while you knew your child was taken care of.  Not everyone is so lucky.  For me as an example:  I'm a single parent with 3 little girls who rely on me.  We are poor.  Big-time poor.  There's NO.WAY. I could afford a nanny or even a regular babysitter one day a week.  I don't have family capable of taking my children.  Due to the depression that accompanies my mental illness, I have isolated for YEARS and I do not have a single person in my life that I'm close enough to ask to assist me in caring for my children.  I have 1 friend I could call to even go out to a movie if I had the funds for a sitter but she has a child of her own and works full time.  I haven't dated since my marriage fell apart for many reasons so I don't even have a partner to rely on for help.  So while your story is a success in dealing with depression, I don't think your situation is comparable to someone like me who has had mental illness problems all of her life and doesn't have the means or support system to treat it like you were able to.  And I am "lucky" in that my issues with mental health still allow me to create a life that is livable for my children and I'm not inpatient very often despite my "severely mentally ill" status.  I can understand why some people who are afflicted with mental illness turn to pharmaceuticals to help mask their symptoms even though we KNOW that drugs don't "fix" mental illness.  We know pharmaceuticals are a finger in the cracked dam holding back the lake essentially.  When you are incapable of surviving day-to-day life and you are inpatient more than you are not and you have people relying on you(especially children) and a minimal support system, it seems a lot more feasible to use every option available to you even if the side effects from the drugs are undesirable.  There's not always a way to treat all mental illnesses effectively without pharmaceuticals in my opinion.

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