The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Keywords

Citation

(2008), "The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2008.06221dae.005

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment

The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment

Article Type: Recent publications From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 21, Issue 4

Joanna MoncrieffPalgrave Macmillan2008ISBN 13: 9780230574311

Keywords: Effective therapy, Healthcare interventions, Disease management

This book exposes the traditional view that psychiatric drugs correct chemical imbalances as a dangerous fraud. It traces the emergence of this view and the way it supported the vested interests of the psychiatric profession, the pharmaceutical industry and the modern state. Instead, it is proposed that psychiatric drugs “work” by creating abnormal brain states, which are often unpleasant and impair normal intellectual and emotional functions along with other harmful consequences. Research on antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers is examined to demonstrate this thesis and it is suggested that acknowledging the real nature of psychiatric drugs would lead to a more democratic practice of psychiatry.

Contents include:

  • The disease centred model of drug action in psychiatry.

  • An alternative drug centred model of drug action.

  • Physical treatments and the disease centred model.

  • The arrival of the new drugs and the influence of interest groups.

  • The birth of the idea of an “antipsychotic”.

  • Are neuroleptics effective and specific? A review of the evidence.

  • What do neuroleptics really do? A drug centred approach.

  • The construction of the “antidepressant”.

  • Is there such a thing as an antidepressant? A review of the evidence.

  • What do antidepressants really do?

  • The idea of special drugs for manic depression.

  • Evidence on the action of lithium and mood stabilisers.

  • Democratic drug treatment: implications of the drug centred model.

  • The myth of the chemical cure.