Mad in America

Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
Whitaker, Robert (Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Mad in America

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Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries. In Mad in America , medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker's most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects. A haunting, deeply compassionate book-now revised with a new introduction- Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of "insanity," and what we value most about the human mind.
Authors: Whitaker, Robert
Title: Mad in America
bad science, bad medicine, and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic Books, 2010
Edition: Rev. pbk
Characteristics: xviii, 348 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Robert Whitaker
Contents: Machine generated contents note: Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
Part One: The Original Bedlam (1750-1900)
1 Bedlam in Medicine 3
2 The Healing Hand of Kindness 19
Part Two: The Darkest Era (1900-1950)
3 Unfit to Breed 41
4 Too Much Intelligence 73
5 Brain Damage as Miracle Therapy 107
Part Three: Back to Bedlam (1950-1990s)
6 Modem-Day Alchemy 141
7 The Patients' Reality 161
8 The Story We Told Ourselves 195
9 Shame of a Nation 211
10 The Nuremberg Code Doesn't Apply Here 233
Part Four: Mad Medicine Today (1990s-Present)
11 Not So Atypical 253
Epilogue 287
Notes 293
Index 323
ISBN: 0465020143
Branch Call Number: 616.898009 W578m 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-336) and index
Subject Headings: Mentally ill Care United States History Schizophrenia Treatment United States History
Topical Term: Mentally ill
LCCN: 2010485122
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Sep 08, 2010
  • anominus rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book illuminated a whole world that most people might not think about. Mental institutions have terrified me for quite some time, as I think they might just drive people mad, and have no reason to encourage sanity. (Where would the money come from?) After reading this book, I feel that I have a lot more justification behind my mistrust, some understanding into the history of mental illness, how the "mentally ill" or socially different have been treated in the U.S, and perhaps a bit of motivation to help change things. I highly recommend this book. It's very accessible, and, I would say, enthralling.


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