Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

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Basic Books, Sep 10, 2019 - Psychology - 384 pages
An updated edition of the classic history of schizophrenia in America, which gives voice to generations of patients who suffered through "cures" that only deepened their suffering and impaired their hope of recovery

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 -- updated with a new introduction and prologue bringing in the latest medical treatments and trends -- 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.
 

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User Review  - sergerca - LibraryThing

This was a very interesting book that I found after seeing the movie "Shutter Island" and became interested in the history of mental health treatments in America. The unimaginable pain described here ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eenerd - LibraryThing

Well written and a nice read, which I found unusual for a book like this. Eye-opening and informative history of the treatment of the mentally ill in England and America; very interesting if you would ... Read full review

Contents

Cover
Acknowledgments
The Healing Hand of Kindness
The Darkest Era 19001950
Too Much Intelligence
Brain Damage as Miracle Therapy
Back to Bedlam 19501990s
The Patients Reality
The Story We Told Ourselves
The Nuremberg Code Doesnt Apply Here
Mad Medicine Today 1990sPresent
Epilogue
Discover More
Praise for Mad in America
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Robert Whitaker is an American journalist and author, writing primarily about medicine, science, and history. He has written on and off for the Boston Globe and in 2001, he wrote his first book Mad in America about psychiatric research and medications, the domains of some of his earlier journalism. Articles that Whitaker co-wrote won the 1998 George Polk Award for Medical Writing and the 1998 National Association of Science Writers┐ Science in Society Journalism Award for best magazine article. A 1998 Boston Globe article series he co-wrote on psychiatric research was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In April 2011, IRE announced that his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, had won its award as the best investigative journalism book of 2010. In 2015 it became a New York Times bestseller.

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