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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

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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: 13.7 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,566,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description



“The timing of Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” a comprehensive and highly readable history of psychiatry in the United States, couldn’t be better.”

“Anatomy of an Epidemic offers some answers, charting controversial ground with mystery-novel pacing.” TIME.com

“Lucid, pointed and important, Anatomy of an Epidemic should be required reading for anyone considering extended use of psychiatric medicine. Whitaker is at the height of his powers.” —Greg Critser, author of Generation Rx

“Why are so many more people disabled by mental illness than ever before?  Why are those so diagnosed dying 10-25 years earlier than others?  In Anatomy of an Epidemic investigative reporter Robert Whitaker cuts through flawed science, greed and outright lies to reveal that the drugs hailed as the cure for mental disorders instead worsen them over the long term.  But Whitaker’s investigation also offers hope for the future: solid science backs nature’s way of healing our mental ills through time and human relationships.  Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found “aliveness” when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs.” —Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Dante’s Cure: A Journey Out of Madness
“This is the most alarming book I’ve read in years.  The approach is neither polemical nor ideologically slanted. Relying on medical evidence and historical documentation, Whitaker builds his case like a prosecuting attorney.” —Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota and author of Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
Anatomy of an Epidemic investigates a profoundly troubling question: do psychiatric medications increase the likelihood that people taking them, far from being helped, are more likely to become chronically ill? In making a compelling case that our current psychotropic drugs are causing as much—if not more—harm than good, Robert Whitaker reviews the scientific literature thoroughly, demonstrating how much of the evidence is on his side. There is nothing unorthodox here—this case is solid and evidence-backed. If psychiatry wants to retain its credibility with the public, it will now have to engage with the scientific argument at the core of this cogently and elegantly written book.” —David Healy, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Cardiff University and author of The Antidepressant Era and Let Them Eat Prozac
“Anatomy of an Epidemic is a splendidly informed, wonderfully readable corrective to the conventional wisdom about the biological bases—and biological cures—for mental illness. This is itself a wise and necessary book—essential reading for all those who have experienced, or care for those who have experienced, mental illness—which means all of us! Robert Whitaker is a reliable, sensible, and persuasive, guide to the paradoxes and complexities of what we know about mental illness, and what we might be able to do to lessen the suffering it brings.” —Jay Neugeboren, author of Imagining Robert and Transforming Madness

“Every so often a book comes along that exposes a vast deceit. Robert Whitaker has written that sort of book. Drawing on a prodigious quantity of psychiatric literature as well as heart-rending stories of individual patients, he exposes a deeply disturbing fraud perpetrated by the drug industry and much of modern psychiatry—at horrendous human and financial cost to patients, their families, and society as a whole. Scrupulously reported and written in compelling but unemotional style, this book shreds the myth woven around today’s psychiatric drugs.” —Nils Bruzelius, former science editor for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post
“A devastating critique. . . . One day, we will look back at the way we think about and treat mental illness and wonder if we were all mad. Anatomy of an Epidemic should be required reading for both patients and physicians.” —Shannon Brownlee, senior research fellow, New America Foundation and author of Overtreated

  --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Whitaker is the author of Mad in America, The Mapmaker's Wife, and On the Laps of Gods, all of which won recognition as "notable books" of the year. His newspaper and magazine articles on the mentally ill and the pharmaceutical industry have garnered several national awards, including a George Polk Award for medical writing and a National Association of Science Writers Award for best magazine article. A series he cowrote for the Boston Globe on the abuse of mental patients in research settings was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
George Lucas' very first feature film, before Star Wars, was "THX 1138", about a future where every person was on a custom blend of drugs. You'd open the medicine cabinet in the morning and hear a voice 'how are you feeling today' and subsequently be given direction how many sedatives etc to take. All children had an intravenous drug mix attached to them.
Aldous Huxley's 1962 speech described his desirable future where citizens were controlled by injections and injunctions. His companions were the public relations and freudian experts hell bent on treating human beings as soulless products of evolution only meant to be exploited as workers and consumers.

I'm waiting for "Anatomy of an Epidemic" on order and in the meantime reading thru the 350 reviews (amazon.com) - a book in itself - and it's just too incredible to read without commenting. What is striking me most is the passion and empathy that has driven all the reviewers giving the mostly 5 star ratings; thank you so much for taking the time and care to encourage folks to read this work.
As for the low rating reviewers, what is striking is the puny minded brattiness in throwing monkey poo at the high rating reviewers - whose high rankings are smeared with contempt as though 'who gave them the right' to speak their minds, that the reasons for their good opinions of this work by Whitaker are 'all in their heads'.

Wow. Thank you Human Beings.
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Format: 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.
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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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