After having it recommended to me by two different fellow counselors, I finally read the new book by journalist Robert Whitaker entitled, Anatomy of an Epidemic.
I think it should be required reading for anyone who ever has been on an antidepressant, or anyone who knows anyone who has ever been on an antidepressant. So, in short, almost the entire population of the United States. Or there about.
If you, like me, have wondered out loud and often why people are so likely to request a pill to solve the problems that ail them, this book goes through the history of psychiatry, magic solutions, and the marketing of “good” drugs like Thorazine, Prozac and the whole wave of SSRI anti depressants, with disturbing results.
But surely we shouldn’t even be trusting big pharma at this point, right? Sadly, the lack of general understanding about these drugs and the lack of reporting on the evidence of the actual effectiveness of drugs like Prozac and other antidepressants, gets lost among headlines about philandering Congressmen, celebrity marriages, and the usual bipartisan bickering about minutia. The truth about all these psychiatric medications and what they can do to us long term is the story no one wants you paying attention to.
The bottom line is that you should do some research and think twice before accepting the next happy pill your doctor tries to pass off to you as a remedy. It may in fact make you feel worse. I also want to suggest that talk therapy can and will be effective for addressing current stress related concerns, and deeper core emotional issues. Without causing unknown damage to your brain.
When living in a culture that rewards unscrupulous doctors and other providers with millions of dollars for promoting psychiatric med use on children (it’s in the book), the plight of the ordinary person becomes one of finding an advocate who truly supports them, not the newest drug, not the newest heath insurance quota, and not the almighty dollar.
I listened to a story recently about someone who had their dog put on Prozac. Think about that for a minute. Which is worse, do you think? That someone actually is forcing a beloved pet to take an antidepressant designed for humans, or that to the doctor in charge, and to the pharmaceutical company that sells the drugs, we are all one of the same–human, dog or just plain guinea pig.
My practice is called Therapy is Dandy and if you know someone who has been thinking about counseling, I would love to meet with them.