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Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD Lib Ed; Library edition (July 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145588457X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455884575
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,438,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Curious Disseminator on Feb. 4 2011
Format: Hardcover
I casually put this book on a list of books to read a while back and got a hold of it just a week after having a "bad" reaction to an anti-depressant, and wish I had read this book much earlier. There is significant evidence, as detailed in the book, that many common anti-depressants, psychotics, anxiety, bi-bolor have poor long term outcomes vs. nonmedicated sufferers, which is surprising. I had bought somewhat into the chemical imbalance theory of these disorders, but this books indicates that there is little evidence for this. In fact, a prime criticism of this book is that it doesn't mount much of a defence for the other side, doesn't overview the evidence as to why people believed that these medicines worked. Partly that's because this evidence comes in the form of people do worse when taken off the medication, which can be easily explained given how the brain adapts. Perhaps it's also because the evidence doesn't exist. It'd be interesting to see some rebuttals along more concrete lines, with references, etc., rather than vague allusions to "the complexity" of the problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bradley F. Hagen on June 18 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book, and incredibly well researched. The person who claims that Whittaker "cherry picks" cannot and does not substantiate their claim. In fact, Whittaker does an incredibly thorough job of reviewing an incredibly wide array of research findings, and is to be commended for presenting the research in an objective as way possible. The facts simply speak for themselves.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Futo on May 16 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book exposes the shocking misuse of faulty diagnosis and bad science by Big Pharma to create both a crisis and also, sell us a whole raft of very expensive, very harmful, useless pharmaceuticals.

Strong words, I know, but it is clear that our system of managing mental illness is broken and in need of repair.

Why is it that people in less developed countries have a lower incidence of mental illness, and a higher degree of success? Is it true, as the author indicates, that vested interests are not working for effective treatment, but only opearting with a view to the bottom line of their financial statements?

A must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol Read TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13 2012
Format: Paperback
Did you know that there's no scientific evidence that a schizophrenic's brain, untreated by psychiatric drugs, electrocution (ECT), or psychosurgery (such as the now-banned lobotomy) is different than the brain of a "normal person"? That 60% of people with schizophrenia, when NOT treated with so-called antipsychotics, get better and stay better? That antipsychotics aren't drugs specially formulated to combat psychosis the way antibiotics zap dangerous bacteria? That the brain of a depressed person, untreated by psychotropic drugs, is also "normal"? That the vast array of psychotropic drugs--from antidepressants to anti-anxiety pills to antipsychotics--actually change brain chemistry, often causing more harm than good, and sometimes irreparable damage? That, rather than fixing mental health problems, psychotropic drugs create them? That there is NO test for any "mental illness"? That the diagnoses in the psychiatric bible, the DSM, are arbitrary, not scientific?

"Anatomy of an Epidemic" concerns the bad science and outright fibs behind much psychotropic drug testing. It describes the devastating long-term effects of these drugs--all chronicled in literature available to psychiatrists. It exposes the greed of the pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatrists who collude with them. I trust Whitaker because I came to his conclusions on my own. I've witnessed the effects of brain-disabling drugs, the ruined lives. I've seen up close the subculture of chronic disability that we all pay for. And I've listened to the psychiatrists who talk as if their profession is now the equivalent of any other branch of medicine, treating physical illnesses with precise drugs. As Whitaker reports, those psychiatrists who don't toe the party line (biological psychiatry) find themselves on the outside.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mira de Vries TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 8 2011
Format: Hardcover
Finally someone is speaking out about the consequences of massive psychiatric drugging. Ever more people are being lured into the drug trap. Once started, very few people ever succeed at quitting them. Those who stay on the drugs suffer irreversible, disabling damage to their central nervous systems. With one in eight people on these drugs, the word "epidemic" in this respect is an understatement.

Not only is psychiatric meddling catastrophic for its victims, but it takes a terrible economic toll on all of society which is first forced to fund disabling so many people, and subsequently continues to be forced to fund the lifelong support and care of the so disabled.

Whitaker has done his homework well. He presents his case by confronting medical science with its own research results, which can lead to no other conclusion than that psychiatry's bag of chemical tricks is only endlessly harmful.

Unfortunately, in the final chapter he makes the two mistakes that he avoided so well in his book Mad in America. The first is that he tries to sound moderate by claiming that "there is a place for drugs in psychiatry's toolbox" thereby invalidating everything he wrote in all the previous chapters. The only possible valid use of psychiatric drugs is in tempering a withdrawal delirium, which would not be necessary if the drugs had never been administered in the first place. His second mistake is that he tries to propose an alternative in the example of psychiatric practice in Lapland, where, according to his description, the approach is more psychosocial with fewer drugs.
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