Journal of Intensive and Critical Care Nursing

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Opinion Article - Journal of Intensive and Critical Care Nursing (2023) Volume 6, Issue 2

Anatomy of an epidemic: magic bullets, psychiatric drugs, and the astonishing rise of mental illness in america

Anatomy of an Epidemic is a book written by journalist Robert Whitaker, published in 2010. The book investigates the rising rates of mental illness in the United States and the role that psychiatric drugs play in the phenomenon. Whitaker argues that the prevailing medical model of mental illness, which suggests that disorders like depression and schizophrenia are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, is flawed. He contends that psychiatric drugs, which are designed to correct these chemical imbalances, may actually worsen the conditions they are intended to treat and create long-term, chronic disability. Whitaker traces the history of psychiatric drugs, from the introduction of Thorazine in the 1950s to the widespread use of antidepressants and antipsychotics in the present day. He argues that these drugs are not the "magic bullets" they are often portrayed to be, and that their effectiveness has been exaggerated by pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatric establishment.

Author(s): Nelson Serkan

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