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

We found 12 Reddit comments about Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
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12 Reddit comments about Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill:

u/harpyeaglelove · 15 pointsr/MGTOW

All of these psych drugs (stimulants like riddalin or adderall, antidepressants like effexor or prozac, antispycotics like seroquel and risperdol, mood stabilizers like lamictal, and benzos like klonopin or xanax) are addictive, and the body reacts to them exactly like it would any street drug. The brain is capable of recovering in some circumstances, but lingering effects can last for years or be permanent. Psych meds are incredibly powerful substances that in some cases can be more powerful than common "street drugs". These are not medications. Instead, pyscg meds are powerful neuroactive substances that are poorly understood. In US society, these drugs are heavily prescribed to all sectors of the population. Including children and pregnant mothers.

In a social sense, these drugs are convenient "control" mechanisms for prisons, psych wards schools. They are also heavily prescribed for depression, anxiety etc. Most of this occurs in the USA, in other countries (excluding the UK) prescription rates are fairly low. Women account for something 2/3 of all psych med drug use, and women are usually responsible for drugging their children.

Riddalin is a common "entry" drug for children. Adderall, vyvanse and provigil are also quite common now. It rarely ends with these stimulants and often progresses to the more powerful antidepressants, antianxity, and antipsycotic medications. That's when the long term and life altering damage can occur.

There's considerable evidence both in the scientific literature and NUMEROUS anecdotal stories on the internet for people who get severe withdrawal from the antianxiety, antidepressant, and antipsycotic drugs. As such, they are not treatment for a disorder, but cause their own dependency and addiction profiles. Psych meds are powerful substances that severely affect the body just like any drug or toxin. There's studies on the long term side effects, and how difficult it is to stop taking the drugs. Sexual side effects can be permanent. This condition is called post-SSRI sexual dysfunction and primarly affects those who take antidepressants.

Some people recover, others never recover. Children almost certainly get permanent damage as their brains are still in development. Lots of dumb ass women take these drugs during pregnancy, damaging their kids brains before they're even born. Then the dumb cunts take it after they give birth, so they are shit mothers doped out on drugs. These are the same dumb cunts who will quickly go to a doctor and start poisoning their kids once the PTA meeting goes badly. Then they'll bitch and moan like the cunts they are about why the kid isn't getting better. Eventually, the poor kid will probably fail to do well in school because the drugs cause brain damage, and the dumb bitch will make his life even more difficult until he escapes at the age of 16 or 18. With brain damage and a dumb bitch as a mother, his life is going to be very difficult. Life is hard enough, life with withdrawal or brain damage can lead to homelessness, jail, lifetime of addiction, and worse. Homelessness due to psych med withdrawal and long term side effects is extremely common for men.

Women have it easy. Even if a young girl gets brain damage, no one will care - standards are so low, and any guy will fuck a girl if she's wet between the legs (or use lube if she can't get wet). If she's got a pulse, she'll never be homeless. Even a heavily brain damaged girl will get a job and a college degree no matter how badly damaged they seem to the world. IF that doesn't work out, she'll just find some dude to take care of her. These drugs primarily affect men, because society puts so much pressure on them. Even small amounts of brain damage, or withdrawal can fuck their careers and futures up permanently.

Scary shit, good reason to never ever send your child into a public school system if it can be helped. Public schools have gotten worse since I was a child. Pyschiatrists and other such doctors"child psychiatrists" are all greedy cunts who want to poison your kid so that they can make some extra money. Most psychiatrists are too brainwashed to understand how the drugs really work, and believe everything the pharmaceutical company tells them like idiots.

Most parents are blue pilled faggots who will listen to the female's desire to do the "right thing". Doing the "right thing" is brain damage to young children with fragile brains. If your child survives the brain damage, he will be prone to addiction and other emotional issues for a very long time. These drugs affect every single part of the brain and especially affect the emotional and sexual portions of the brain.

Also note: there's no such thing as a child dose for these drugs in the literature. They're designed for adults. It's literally GUESSWORK, and everyone reacts differently to different doses. It's a real fucking mess, but doctors pretend they know what they're doing, and are protected from legal repercussions from any consequences these drugs may have on children.

Very few if any studies have been done on children for more than 6 weeks. This is true for stimulants, antidepressants, antipsycotis, mood stabilizers and benzos. There's not much scientific understanding about how these drugs actually work, and there's even less understanding about their long term effects on adults. For children the knowledge is even less thorough.

There's a handful of studies that have been carried out on these drugs for more than 6 weeks in adults, and I don't believe there's ever been one carried out long term in children. The fact is that almost EVERYONE takes these drugs for more than 6 weeks, so there's very little knowledge about how these drugs actually work long term. There is also plenty of evidence that these drugs are no more effective for treating their make believe "diagnoses" than a placebo pill.

There's literally studies that have been carried out which demonstrate that placebo and antidepressants or ADHD meds are equally effective over the longer term. In some studies, patients actually do BETTER for more than 6 weeks on the placebo and those on the drugs do considerably worse. This also holds true for benzodiazepines, and antipsychotic medications as well.

A pulitzer prize finalist (male author) has published two very informative and scientifically based books on the subject of psychiatry and psychiatric medications. He's not a scientologist, just a concerned journalist.

Here's the links for those who are interested:

TLDR: All pysch meds are poorly understood in adults, and very few if any studies have ever been conducted in children. In adults, psych meds can cause severe withdrawal reactions, nerve damage, and permanent sexual dysfunction in both men and women. There's considerable documentation that placebo pills are more effective than psych meds for treating the "diagnosed condition". Robert Whitaker's two books are excellent, easy to read documents that can explain far more than I can on a reddit post.

u/IndependentRoad5 · 11 pointsr/CPTSD

A good book on this (at least that Ive read) is Mad in America by Robert Whitaker. The entire field is built on a house of cards

u/brainmindspirit · 5 pointsr/askscience

The term "addiction" is kind of loaded. Clearly the brain centers involved in addictions to heroin or cocaine are also involved in normal life. On a purely physiological basis, love is an addiction. So I'm with Seinfeld when he says, there's no such thing as sex addiction. We are all sex addicts, which generally bodes well for the survival of the species.

To take the 30,000 foot view, consider the possibility that addiction and depression share a common antecedent: that both are caused by a defect in the brain's reward system that manifests in adolescence. Causing the patient to have a blunted response to pleasurable things, to the point where it's even hard to imagine being happy. Depression is more complicated than addiction -- in depression you can have a disorder of energy regulation, and a disorder of cognition. But in both cases, the patient is incentivized to stimulate the reward center of the brain directly with drugs. Life itself isn't enough.

Unfortunately, antidepressants don't strike right at the heart of the matter. Typically they improve thinking, they don't directly affect the reward center. Any drug that does will eventually turn you into a rat pressing a bar; eventually the drug is enough; you choose to engage with the drug rather than life.

Well, it's enough until it isn't, which is another facet of addiction. Which is, that the brain resists the drug, does everything it can to resist its action. So in the case of opioids, which stimulate the reward center in the brain, and sedate the anxiety center, over time the reward center becomes even more numb and the anxiety center becomes even more over-activated. You wind up more depressed and anxious than you were to begin with, and plus you're hooked. Meaning, removing the drug at that point makes things unbearably bad.

This is true for cocaine, which stimulates the reward center directly, cutting out the middle-man so to speak. Also true for Xanax, which like heroin gets into both the reward center and the anxiety center, moreso the latter.

Emperor's New Drugs More about antidepressants than addiction but good discussion of the parallels between addiction and depression, and touches on spiritual issues like hope

Mad in America This guy is making hay discussing oppositional tolerance, and lambastes the pharmaceutical industry for putting profits first. The website is an iconoclast's dream.

I've approached the question in a bit of an unconventional manner, partially because addition, like depression, is multifactorial. The bio-psycho-social approach has merit. Clearly there are biological factors having to do with the brain's reward center, what's wrong with it to begin with, and what happens after prolonged drug exposure. I imagine most responses will take this tack. There's a psychology to addiction (which people don't talk about much these days). And there's a social component as well, note the parallel between the burgeoning number of people who have "given up" looking for work, and the addiction epidemic. I would submit that model, while valid up to a point, is incomplete. Both addiction and depression have a spiritual dimension, and we will never wrap our head around those things until we take that into account.

With that in mind, I'll say that Man's Search for Meaning is, by a wide margin, the most helpful book on mental health I've ever read.


That said, given an individual who is susceptible, what makes a chemical addictive is

- how much the drug stimulates the reward centers, and suppresses the anxiety centers

- how quickly it does so

- whether it induces tolerance

- how it induces tolerance (oppositional tolerance is worse than just not working anymore)

- whether the drug activates satiety centers, directly or indirectly (because of side effects).

So, cigarettes are more addictive than chewing tobacco, because one hits a lot faster than the other. Heroin more addictive than codeine, ditto. Prozac is less addictive than MDMA (what's usually in "ecstasy" or "molly") because antidepressants don't whack the reward center like MDMA does. MDMA is less addictive than amphetamine, because MDMA is more likely to just stop working, whereas amphetamines are more likely to induce oppositional tolerance. Alcohol is less addictive than Xanax, because most people get tired of all the puking. Buprenorphine less addictive than oxycodone; while both stimulate the reward center, the former directly stimulates satiety centers as well (leading to speculation that buprenorphine might turn out to be a great antidepressant)

Thought questions.


  1. Given this conceptual framework, is cannabis addictive? Don't give me a counter-example, like, "I had a buddy who was a total pot-head." I had one patient who was addicted to water, to the point where he had to be hospitalized, several times. What effect does cannabis have on the reward center over time? Do people become tolerant to cannabis over time? If so, to what effects? Do people "fiend" for it usually? Is it more addictive than cocaine or meth? (The DEA thinks so...)
  2. Are video games addictive? What about Facebook? The CTO of Facebook says it is addictive, intentionally so. How?
  3. Is porn addictive? Casual sex? Is love truly an addiction, as we have defined it? If not, why not? (Is sex always just a matter of just pressing the bar? Is it ever?)

u/apostrotastrophe · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

If you're a Nick Hornby fan, here's what you should do - he's got three books that are little collections of the column he writes for The Believer called "Stuff I've Been Reading". They're hilarious, and each one gives you 5 or 6 great suggestions from a guy whose taste is pretty solid.

Start with The Polysyllabic Spree and then go to Housekeeping vs. the Dirt and Shakespeare Wrote for Money.

He's always saying his favourite author is Anne Tyler - I can corroborate, she's pretty good.

This isn't really "literature" but you also might like Mil Millington. He's funny in the same way and even though as I'm reading I'm like "huh.. this isn't that great" his novels are the ones that I end up reading in one 8 hour sitting.

You might like David Sedaris - I'd start with Me Talk Pretty One Day

And someone else said John Irving - he's my very favourite.

A good psychology book (and I'm a major layperson, so it's definitely accessible) is The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks and Mad in America by Robert Whitaker.

u/rogue-seven · 4 pointsr/AvPD

You really should read Mad in America just so you learn that psychiatric scientific studies can also be biased and mistakes in psychiatric diagnoses are fairly common, and if you are going to think like this (and puncture others optimistic bubbles) at least I hope you got a second opinion other than the psychiatrist’s that gave you this diagnosis.

u/Pangyun · 3 pointsr/ptsd

> Peter Breggin has built a career on antipsychiatry. Yes, he's a psychiatrist; he's also a hired gun in legal cases as an expert witness blaming psychiatric medications and ECT. That doesn't mean he can't be right or can't have a point, but he has a definite objective and a lucrative six decade career on the line as a contrarian.

If that's the line of argument that is going to be pursued, ok, what was said is true. But you can also find psychiatrists with a lucrative career who at the time were pretty much in favor of the current treatments. If you go to the book "mad in america" on,

Then go to "look inside" , go to pg 265, starting with the heading "eye on the castle", you can see the example of a psychiatrist who made a lot of money working for the pharmaceutical industry and doing research that had some ethical problems and that helped the industry. The preview of this part of the book only shows up to pg. 268, but that at least shows some of the information in case someone is interested.

u/isopropyldreams · 2 pointsr/MorbidReality

A surprising number of these books were assigned reading from classes.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

And I'm currently reading a book recommended by an excellent redditor somewhere in this sub, Mad in America by Robert Whitaker

u/cat_turd_burglar · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Yeah, I get that. I think one of the major successes in the 20th Century was the movement toward medicalizing mental health issues so that they were given the credit they deserve. We know these experiences are a problem, and people having them are subject to many layers of oppression and human rights violations, and psychiatry has made a lot of strides towards these issues being taken far more seriously. I do also believe that psychiatry and pharmaceuticals do help some people. It is one option, and many people find their life more manageable because they have taken that route, and that's a beautiful thing and I'm very happy for anyone who has found solace there. But it is not universally true, and one of the reasons for that is how imprecise the science actually is on what is going on with the mind, and what the drugs are actually doing. The most famous example is the notion that depression is the result of lower than usual seratonin levels in the brain, which was actually the result of an ad that was using a study that had found that more people with depression in the study had higher levels of seratonin. But they had a drug that dealt with lower seratonin levels, so that's the narrative that was created (links below). Point being, (and see The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton on this), there is no chemical test for depression because there are many potential causes, and remedies. Psychiatry and the DSM have categorized these experiences, which I agree is a necessary thing to research them, but then got fully entwined with pharma. Now policies and laws impose that one narrative onto people who are going through these experiences, even though they often get it very wrong.

There are alternatives, and the Soteria house project by Lorne Mosher was one of the most interesting, where they took people with severe schizophrenia and had a virtually drug free approach, and their results were better than the alternatives. The problem for scaling up was that it did not put people on a lifelong hook for medication. So, I guess it's not about wanting to tear it all down, but I think people should know what's up, they should be informed about all the studies done on the chemicals they are taking, what all the side affects might be, and, ideally, alternative approaches that may benefit them in the long run. I think people going through these experiences should be given the rights and power to make decisions, including whether or not they will self-identify with the DSM categories at all.

I cannot stress the following enough, the result of extensive studies by the World Health Organization, as articulated by Robert Whitaker: "Most Americans are unaware that the World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly found that long-term schizophrenia outcomes are much worse in the USA and other developed countries than in poor ones such as India and Nigeria, where relatively few patients are on anti-psychotic medications. In undeveloped countries, nearly two-thirds of schizophrenia patients are doing fairly well five years after initial diagnosis; about 40% have basically recovered. But in the USA and other developed countries, most patients become chronically ill. The outcome differences are so marked that WHO concluded that living in a developed country is a strong predictor that a patient will never fully recover."


Lorne Mosher's resignation letter from the APA

The Icarus Project ( "We are a support network and media project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We envision a new culture that allows the space and freedom for exploring different states of being, and recognizes that breakdown can be the entrance to breakthrough. We aim to create a language that is so vast and rich that it expresses the infinite diversity of human experiences."

Soteria: From Madness to Deliverance, by Lorne Mosher

Mad in America by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker

The Anti-Depressant Era by David Healy

The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching by Terence McKenna

The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History by Terence McKenna

The point is to try and empower people to improve their lives, and since we don't know how to do that universally, giving people the power and options to be able to choose methods that work for them is a vital part of maintaining their autonomy and preserving their fundamental human rights. I find this subject is very difficult to discuss without it getting heated. Please understand I have so much sympathy for your experiences. I have tried to take care of people while they were in the midst of full psychotic breaks, I have had to call the police, I have had to participate in the forced hospitalization of people I have known, I have lost too many people to suicide. I know these things and they still hurt and I am welling up thinking about all of them. And I care about you too, and you're not alone.

Sorry re length.

u/laurenshapiro · 1 pointr/mentalhealth

> And I don't think I'm being particularly rude but I just don't get why all the people disagreeing with me keep BOLDING EVERYTHING. I think that's pretty rude.

Because in a forum like /r/mentalhealth people tend to gloss over things and get a really bad impression. People are lazy and the stigma of mental illness is so high that they don't like to get into particulars but want the gist of something. Our bolding is to ensure that THESE folks get the right info. Reddit is a public community, there are legitimate mental health professionals answering, folks with some diagnoses, relatives of individuals with MI, laypersons, psychology fans, trolls, etc. Those of us who are passionate about our work/the field take it seriously enough that we need people to get the right/accurate info.

> Anyway, my view is that her guardians letting her run amok on the streets, letting her have access to the media, and generally all the destructive behaviour she is exhibiting (lighting animals on fire?) seem to suggest she is not getting the best possible care.

I don't necessarily agree with your view. It works both ways though. For example, I often have clients who are actively ruining their lives by showing up to work/school drunk/high, who have anger management problems and blow up at their friends and family for no reason, etc. Each MI and even those without have "symptoms" that can ruin their lives. It's unfortunate but it's their reality and that's what we work on in session. That being said, it's not my job, their family's job or their friend's job or whoever's job to prevent them from ruining their lives in this way. Ultimately, they have the right to freedom, which includes the right to be self-destructive to a point.

Laws have been put in place to draw a line. That line is homicide, suicide, child abuse and elder abuse. Everything else is pretty much fair game. Some here would argue that 3 strike laws for drugs is an effort to add that to the mix and prevent people from ruining their lives from drugs/alcohol but it's not worded as such, so I'll leave it out of this discussion.

If you're very interested in this subject, I highly recommend The Insanity Offense and Mad in America for some really insightful history, opinion, etc on the subject.

> If she is getting the best possible care and is not responding to it, then clearly more serious steps should be taken rather than letting her run about.

She has the right to run about though.

> I believe legally you aren't allowed to "deny treatment" when you have progressed to this stage.

Not true. You can deny treatment. But short of suicidal or homicidal ideation, you can't get a 5150 hold for "being crazy", "acting crazy", or "denying treatment". It all comes back to freedom.

> So just because the time limit on the hold runs up, that means she should be allowed to be free and cause harm to herself and others?

I am not sure if you're using the lay or professional definitions here but just to clarify, in most cases she can self-mutilate/harm but if she doesn't present as high suicidal risk (thoughts, intent, plan, means, etc) then that isn't "harming oneself" from a professional point of view. As far as homicidal ideation, in most cases, you need to know exactly who they are intending to hurt and it cannot be a by-product situation - it's a planned, methodical intention to injure or murder someone else.

I'm not sure if that changes your thoughts but I am happy to elaborate further if you want more clarification.

u/tazias04 · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

>If you dont have a comeback attack the language

hurts your feelings?

Before pulling out of your ass that you believe I know nothing about the subject, do a little search and get informed

I found another source that claims 2/3.

Another good thing to read about this subject is:

Oh and hey look from the American Psychological association.

I'm so full of shit. I am sorry for spewing bs. I will leave your voodoo doctor's alone.

u/mikemaca · -1 pointsr/AskReddit

Western mental health services are far more pseudoscience than psychics. Western mental health has little scientific basis. It is also used as a tool of both church and state to punish dissidents.

Read the following before commenting further.