Do Psychiatric Drugs Make Mental Illnesses Worse?

by Joanne

in Mental Disorders

Are we being lied to about the efficacy of pharmacology in treating mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, and ADHD? Are these conditions true chemical imbalances, and do psychotropic drugs help people long-term?

Not according to science writer Robert Whitaker. After researching the evidence of trials on psychiatric medications for treating the mentally ill, he found that long-term use worsened these conditions. Episodic, environmental depression turns into a “chemical imbalance” in need of pharmacological manipulation. Schizophrenia is no longer a short-term illness that for many people resolves itself, but a disease requiring a lifetime of drugging that causes increased debility.

And children are being treated for ADHD in record numbers. Young children with behavioral problems are drugged and, in time, many of them develop bipolar disorder–because of the drugs!–and are permanently branded as mentally ill and reliant on medications for the rest of their lives.

While these drugs do help some people–for reasons we don’t fully comprehend–this interview discusses the evidence that drugs prescribed for mental illness cause even greater problems over the long-term for most people. But they do fill the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies. The psychiatric institutions know it and are trying to make sure you don’t!

Total time: 38 minutes.


Click to listen to interview or right-click to download MP3 file


Robert WhitakerRobert Whitaker is the author of four books, two of which tell of the history of psychiatry. His first, Mad in America, was named by Discover magazine as one of the best science books of 2002, while the American Library Association named it one of the best history books of that year. His newest book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, investigates the astonishing rise in the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States. Prior to writing books, Robert Whitaker worked for a number of years as the science and medical reporter at the Albany Times Union newspaper in New York. His journalism articles won several national awards including a George Polk award for medical writing and a National Association of Science Writers’ award for best magazine article. A series he co-wrote for The Boston Globe was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.

Books by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon On the Laps of Gods: The Red Summer of 1919 and the Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation


Click to view transcript

Links in Interview

William Pelham
Big Pharma, Bad Medicine–Marcia Angell, Boston Review
Loren Mosher
The Soteria Project
The David Healy Affair
Is Academic Medicine for Sale?–Marcia Angell

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