The Daily Beast-By Jesse Singal-June 21, 2013
Frances, like psychiatrist Edward Shorter, the author of How Everyone Became Depressed: The Rise and Fall of the Nervous Breakdown, believes in psychiatry when it is done correctly. The right medication prescribed in the right dosage at the right time can save a life. But we've convinced ourselves that a variety of merely human experience—temporary bouts of sadness or excitement or distraction—are in fact pathologies that need to be blasted at with drugs. The companies that make these drugs are all too happy to help agitate us into a state of hypochondria, and more or less make up certain "diseases" by dint of their influence within the medical establishment. The media, meanwhile, eagerly laps up new and exciting mental afflictions, reporting on them credulously. Two quirks often convince people that drugs work when they do not. The first is that most people naturally return to their baseline state after experiencing a short period of, say, depression or mania. The second is the placebo effect, which will often cause anything presented as medication to "work." If I visit a psychiatrist because I've been feeling pretty sad for a week, and I'm prescribed an antidepressant, I may decide that the medication "works" because I soon return to my standard level of happiness. In this case psychiatry has taken a normal part of the human experience—feeling crappy for a little while—and pathologized it, potentially leading me to become dependent on a drug that may have dangerous side effects.
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The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a nonprofit mental health watchdog, Inspired from the Works of L. Ron Hubbard, responsible for helping to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive practices. See http://www.cchr.org/cchr-reports/child-drugging/introduction.html