A creative review of Anatomy of an Epidemic

An interesting and telling brief review of Robert Whitaker’s book on a blog called The Page 99 Test: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford

Much to my delight, I turned to page 99 of Anatomy of an Epidemic and discovered that it is here that one of the major themes in the book starts to take shape. The book investigates how psychiatric medications affect the long-term course of mental disorders (as opposed to their short-term effects), and page 99 tells of the results from the first long-term study of antipsychotics conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health. In that 1960s trial, at the end of six weeks the schizophrenia patients who had been treated with an antipsychotic were faring better than the placebo patients. However—and this information appears on page 99—during the following year, researchers “were startled to discover that ‘patients who received placebo treatment [in the six-week trial] were less likely to be rehospitalized than those who received any of the three active phenothiazines.’” read the whole review

I hope more like this continue to surface.

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