Chemical Culprit, Chemical Cure? Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Mental Illness

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For almost 40 years, conventional wisdom has been that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. "Serotonin" is a household word, along with Prozac, Zyprexa, and Zoloft.  But recently, there's been a vigorous debate within the medical community over whether that line of thinking is accurate. This summer Marcia Angell, a physician, senior lecturer at Harvard, and former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, wrote in the New York Review of Books that the chemical-imbalance model of mental illness may be ineffective at best — and harmful, at worst.

In her article, Angell talked about medical journalist Robert Whitaker's book "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America." Whitaker researched years of drug trials and determined that pharmaceutical companies play an enormous role in deciding what causes mental illness, who qualifies as mentally ill, and how those illnesses should be treated.

Comments [2]

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Jul. 23 2011 08:56 AM

Zyprexa,as well as the other atypical antipsychotics, are being prescribed for children, even though this is an unapproved, off-label use. Eli Lilly has been charged in allegedly pushing the drug for children in more than one state.
A report by Dr. Cooper at Vanderbilt University states that 2.5 million children are now taking atypical antipsychotics. Over half are being given them for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Perhaps it is statistics like these that caused the FDA to finally require warnings on the labels of the ADHD drugs.
The use of atypical antipsychotics for children should be banned.
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Daniel Haszard Zyprexa Whistle blower
www.zyprexa-victims.com/
Support site for Eli Lilly Zyprexa users who developed diabetes.

Jul. 19 2011 04:41 AM

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