Between the miserable heat and a couple of nice vacations, this summer has given me a chance to get caught up on some reading. Recently I read Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic:Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. I’d read some interesting interviews that had referenced the book (http://bit.ly/n6WKZk,http://bit.ly/o39y3V) and followed the controversy around Whitaker’s invitation to speak at the Alternatives conference last year and wanted to learn more about his thinking.
I found the book compelling and disturbing. Whitaker writes with an investigative journalist’s flair and reviews the research base for key psychiatric drugs. He argues that while many psychotropic medications have good outcomes in the short term, their long-term efficacy is questionable and can jeopardize recovery and wellness. At some point I’d like to review the research he cites to support his analysis. If his arguments hold, they have huge implications for how we address initial episodes of depression, anxiety and psychosis.
For those of you in the Austin area, USPRA Texas and La Via Sana will host a free book study and dialogue about the book from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on August 30 at the Lance Armstrong Foundation. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.