There is a new film out, available for free on Youtube, entitled The Marketing of Madness that you really should see. It covers the entire history of psychiatric drugs and the manner in which they have been marketed. The most startling thing is that the foundation of modern psychiatry- that mental illness centers around chemical imbalances in the brain- has never been proven. And all attempts to prove it have led to strikingly inconsistent results. For instance, attempts to induce depression by deliberately depleting serotonin have failed miserably. And despite all the fanfare, Prozac and its pharmaceutical cousins have not been shown to work any better than placebos. It's very unsettling to consider this vast area of health care because it's so widespread and pervasive in our lives (10% of Americans are on anti-depressant drugs), and yet, there is so little science behind it. It's one thing to talk about a chemical imbalance, but once you start treating people for it with potent pharmaceuticals, you had better have a way to measure what you are doing. But no such measurements exist. It's all theoretical. They are treating what they purport to be a physical, organic problem but on the basis of a purely conceptual model that cannot be substantiated- certainly not at the level of the individual patient. And if patients can be forgiven for participating in this scam, can doctors? How many doctors who prescribe Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. have really studied the data on these drugs? Most of them have not studied them at all. In a way, doctors are just like patients: they are cogs in the wheel that keeps the whole psycho-pharmaceutical carousel turning.
Here is the link to The Marketing of Madness. Please watch it.