Worth a Look: Toxic Psychiatry — Fatal Drugs, Idiot & Corrupt “Doctors” and the Mental Illness Epidemic
2011: In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nation’s children. What is going on?
Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges readers to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them? Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find?
1994: Prozac, Xanax, Halcion, Haldol, Lithium. These psychiatric drugs–and dozens of other short-term “solutions”–are being prescribed by doctors across the country as a quick antidote to depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other psychiatric problems. But at what cost?
In this searing, myth-shattering exposé, psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, M.D., breaks through the hype and false promises surrounding the “New Psychiatry” and shows how dangerous, even potentially brain-damaging, many of its drugs and treatments are. He asserts that: psychiatric drugs are spreading an epidemic of long-term brain damage; mental “illnesses” like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorder have never been proven to be genetic or even physical in origin, but are under the jurisdiction of medical doctors; millions of schoolchildren, housewives, elderly people, and others are labeled with medical diagnoses and treated with authoritarian interventions, rather than being patiently listened to, understood, and helped.
Drawing upon 40 years’ experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices. Salatin’s expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.
From farmer Joel Salatin’s point of view, life in the 21st century just ain’t normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact. Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture” and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn’t stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller’s knack for the revealing anecdote.
April 2, 2013
Imperial Contagions argues that there was no straightforward shift from older, enclavist models of colonial medicine to a newer emphasis on prevention and treatment of disease among indigenous populations as well as European residents. It shows that colonial medicine was not at all homogeneous “on the ground” but was riven with tensions and contradictions. Indigenous elites contested and appropriated Western medical knowledge and practices for their own purposes. Colonial policies contained contradictory and cross-cutting impulses. This book challenges assumptions that colonial regimes were uniformly able to regulate indigenous bodies and that colonial medicine served as a “tool of empire.”
Europeans in Asia developed powerful anxieties about contagion and made many plans to keep it at a safe distance. Commercial ventures depended on mobility of people and goods, yet for the personal safety of their members, the Europeans in Asia wished to stabilize and control the spaces they inhabited and the behaviors of those around them. By exploring the tensions and contradictions that arose from these efforts to stay safe, the authors — among the best authorities now writing — offer not only fascinating accounts of historical events but fresh views of the processes often termed colonial or imperial.
(Harold J. Cook, author of Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age )
This substantial collection greatly enriches our understanding of medicine, disease, and policy in colonial Asia. The contributors, from a range of disciplines, grapple fruitfully with questions surrounding medical space and the shift from enclavism to public health. In doing so, they make important theoretical and empirical contributions to medical and imperial history.
(David Arnold, author of Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India )
About the Author
Robert Peckham is codirector of the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine and an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong.
David M. Pomfret is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong.