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

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Basic Books, Dec 14, 2001 - Psychology - 368 pages
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—now revised with a new introduction—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

The Healing Hand of Kindness
19
The Darkest Era 19001950
39
Too Much Intelligence
73
Brain Damage as Miracle Therapy
107
Back to Bedlam 19501990s
139
The Patients Reality
161
The Story We Told Ourselves
195
Shame of a Nation
211
The Nuremberg Code Doesnt Apply Here
233
Mad Medicine Today 1990sPresent
251
Epilogue
287
Afterword to the Revised Edition
293
Notes
305
Index
337
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About the author (2001)

Robert Whitaker's articles on the mentally ill and the drug industry have won several awards, including the George Polk Award for medical writing and the National Association of Science Writers' Award for best magazine article. He is also the author of The Mapmaker's Wife and The Lap of the Gods. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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