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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
Print
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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic Books, 2010
Edition: Rev. pbk
ISBN: 0465020143
9780465020140
Branch Call Number: 616.898009 W578m 2010
Characteristics: xviii, 348 p. ;,24 cm

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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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