Psych related news for the day…(updated)

UPDATE The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America — By BRUCE E. LEVINE Brilliant review of Robert Whitaker’s book

Borderline Gifted, ADHD, or Both (and, Well, Something about Dandelions) | Every Day Life Are we treating our gifted, creative kids like dandelions? When they pop-up in our lawns (classrooms) with their bright faces and tenacious will to fulfill their natures, are we branding them as weeds (ADHD) and treating them with weedkillers (Ritalin)?

Cross a Line, Pay a Toll — Spit, Bristle and Fury — Commentary on the AstraZeneca settlement — If companies’ sidestepping safety measures and paying doctors to disregard patient safety is going to continue to be treated not as a crime but an indiscretion, there is little hope for a turnaround in any foreseeable future. It’s a bad step made worse by the fact that they’ve targeted some of the most at-risk and vulnerable among us. Children, elderly, veterans and prisoners are all left with little choice but to take the drugs they’re given whether the perceived need is determined by medical inquiry or financial gain on the part of the doctor.

The hidden damage of psychiatric drugs –  — Review/interview of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker — 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. An acclaimed mental health journalist and winner of a George Polk Award for his reporting on the psychiatric field, Whitaker draws on 50 years of literature and in-person interviews with patients to answer a simple question: If “wonder drugs” like Prozac are really helping people, why has the number of Americans on government disability due to mental illness skyrocketed from 1.25 million in 1987 to over 4 million today? — “Anatomy of an Epidemic” is the first book to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients treated with psychiatric drugs, and Whitaker finds that, overall, the drugs may be doing more harm than good. Adhering to studies published in prominent medical journals, he argues that, over time, patients with schizophrenia do better off medication than on it. Children who take stimulants for ADHD, he writes, are more likely to suffer from mania and bipolar disorder than those who go unmedicated. Intended to challenge the conventional wisdom about psychiatric drugs, “Anatomy” is sure to provoke a hot-tempered response, especially from those inside the psychiatric community.

Mind over Meds | Psychology Today — Much needed response by Christopher Lane to Daniel Carlat’s piece in the New York Times.

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