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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and no cherry picking
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...
Published 22 months ago by Bradley F. Hagen

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Science Writing
I don't necessarily disagree with Whitaker's conclusions, but he engages in classic cherry-picking behaviour: picking only those facts that support his position and ignoring those that do not fit in. He does not know how to interpret clinical trial results and he does not understand clinical science, or if he does understand it he is choosing not to use it. He is taking...
Published on Nov. 12 2010 by C. Bauch


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and no cherry picking, June 18 2012
By 
Bradley F. Hagen (Lethbridge, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, May 16 2012
By 
A. Futo "911 coincidence analyst" (Vancouver B.C.) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Antidote to the "Mental Illness Epidemic": brilliant investigative reporting, May 13 2012
By 
Carol Read - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.

This book is a must-read for anyone on these drugs or contemplating taking them. Still unsure? Want the opinion of a real doctor? I recommend Marcia Angell's two-part essay, "The Epidemic of Mental Illness," published in the New York Review of Books in 2011. Marcia Angell is a distinguished doctor and critic of the pharmaceutical industry. Her essays are easily found on Google. Warning: she doesn't much respect psychiatry. And, like Whitaker, Angell doesn't flinch from describing the greatest tragedy of the so-called mental illness epidemic: the children prescribed these drugs who grow up with altered brain chemistry and little chance for a normal life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The high cost of mass drugging, Aug. 8 2011
By 
Mira de Vries - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (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. But the evidence he himself presents indicates that fewer drugs is not enough, only no drugs is enough, and the efficacy of psychobabble remains unpersuasive. The book would have been better without the last chapter, except for the well-deserved tribute to attorney Jim Gottstein.

Nevertheless, if you're thinking of taking a psychiatric drug or giving one to your child, please read this book first.

Copyright © MeTZelf
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, June 15 2013
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Anyone in the health care or mental health care professions, or any person who has ever taken or is considering taking psychiatric drugs absolutely needs to read this book. The entire public needs to know the truth as well. I am a health care professional and this book created an absolute paradigm shift in the way I view psychiatric drugs. I've never been this impacted by a book to this degree before. Stunning!
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4.0 out of 5 stars heavy, Jan. 12 2013
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The book is heavy reading, with a bit too much detail around the various experts quoted. I would have liked more down to earth, lay friendly detail, yet I believe this to be ground breaking information that may impact on the developments around mental health recovery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somes the cure is worse than the condition, Feb. 4 2011
This review is from: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (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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4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone considering psychiatric medications, June 17 2011
This review is from: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Hardcover)
I wish I had read this book before I agreed to go on the antidepressant medications prescribed by my doctor following my divorce and the natural grief and sadness associated with that profound loss. Maybe it would have saved me from ten years of physical and mental misery.

I am one of the many people who have suddenly found themselves saddled with a diagnosis of "Bipolar II" (and endless prescriptions for anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety and sleep medications) after my initial use of antidepressants triggered a hypomanic episode. It was the first, and only, episode I've EVER experienced in my more than 50 years on the planet. It was not caused by a "mental illness" or "chemical imbalance" in my brain, as my doctor told me. I now know that it is a relatively common side-effect of the anti-depressant prescribed by my doctor. And the drugs that were then prescribed to counteract this initial side-effect caused even more side-effects, each requiring yet another drug to address it.

Weaning myself off the medications was absolutely horrific, a hellish experience I would not wish on anyone. And even after getting off the meds I continued to experience bizarre symptoms for almost two years. Uncontrollable trembling, auditory hallucinations, extreme anxiety, insomnia that was off the charts, a little delight known as "brain zaps", sudden outbursts of rage, constant suicidal ideation, and an inability to focus on anything for longer than about five minutes were just some of my withdrawal and post-withdrawal symptoms. I was transformed from a high-performing and outgoing individual, who had recently graduated with an honours degree and numerous awards and scholarships, into a quivering invalid unable to work, socialize or look after my child properly.

As "Anatomy of an Epidemic" shows, I am by no means alone. I am personally in touch with hundreds of people in online communities who have been harmed in similar ways by psychiatric medications. Reading their stories is enough to make anyone weep, especially the stories of parents who have seen their children - some as young as two years of age - profoundly and irredeemably damaged by these drugs, all for the sake of pharmaceutical company profits. It is a travesty and one that we as a society should be aware of and concerned about.

If you are considering taking psychiatric medications for the first time, please read this book before making a final decision to do so. It presents clear, well-researched information that you will not get from your doctor, the pharmaceutical companies or the mainstream medical community. I have read literally hundreds of books, articles and research studies about this subject in the past several years in an effort to educate and help myself - Roger Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic" provides an excellent summary of the faulty science behind our medicated society. Highly recommended reading.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Science Writing, Nov. 12 2010
By 
C. Bauch - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Hardcover)
I don't necessarily disagree with Whitaker's conclusions, but he engages in classic cherry-picking behaviour: picking only those facts that support his position and ignoring those that do not fit in. He does not know how to interpret clinical trial results and he does not understand clinical science, or if he does understand it he is choosing not to use it. He is taking a very complex problem and distilling it to an overly simplistic message, probably in order to sell books.
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