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Season 2010 Episode 06.15.10

The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in the US

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The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in the US
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Robert Whitaker shares the challenges he faced while writing his book emAnatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in Americaem, which looks at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Since 1987, when Prozac was introduced, the number of adults in the United States on government disability due to mental illness has risen from 1.25 million people to more than four million today. In his book, emAnatomy of an Epidemicem, journalist Robert Whitaker explores this epidemic, and in so doing, raises this controversial question: Could our drug-based paradigm of care be fueling this modern-day plague? To answer that question, Whitaker looks at how psychiatric medications affect the long-term course of mental disorders, and he does so by tracking outcome studies from the 1960s until today. Do psychiatric medications help people get better and stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or do they, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness? When researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Organization, and other government agencies studied these questions, what did they find?moreless
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