Many people here have read Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (New York: Crown Publishers). And some of these people will likely claim that the book changed their lives or, at the very least, their view of psychiatry and psychiatric medication.
Well. Ho there. You would think with such a ground-breaking book I would be all over it.
I refuse to read Anatomy of an Epidemic. And yes, some people will fault me for this. But I have a good reason. I refuse to read Anatomy of an Epidemic as I have no desire to be outraged at a misunderstanding of science for 416 pages.
The Poster Child: Robert Whitaker
Robert Whitaker is the poster-child for antipsychiatry, which is his prerogative. If he enjoys talking to throngs of antipsychiatrists then I say, better him than me.
And part of his criticism of psychiatry is well-deserved. I would say that being concerned with the use, and possibly overuse, of some medications and the prescribing of heavy psychotropic medications to children is quite warranted. I take no issue with the fact that debate and concern is appropriate here.
What I do take concern with is his contention that psychiatric medication actually worsens treatment outcomes and causes disability. This is the reason why antipsychiatrits love him and it’s the reason I probably couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him.