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Anatomy of a Non-Epidemic

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Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey has this review of Robert Whitaker's popular book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, which begins:

In 2010 Robert Whitaker published Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (New York: Crown Publishers). The book has circulated widely, in large measure due to Marcia Angell's surprisingly uncritical review of it in the New York Review of Books (Angell, 2011). In its 396 pages Whitaker got many things right, including criticism of the broad DSM diagnostic criteria for mental illnesses; the reckless prescribing of psychiatric drugs for children; and the prostitution of many psychiatric leaders for the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, regarding the last, Whitaker may have understated the problem, based on recently released court documents detailing how the pharmaceutical industry secretly controlled the Texas Medication Algorithm Project. 

When it came to schizophrenia and antipsychotic drugs, however, Whitaker got it mostly wrong.

The review is well worth reading for those interested in the topic of schizophrenia, psychopharmacology and outcomes. 

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