Voices for Choices (8 of 13) – Alternatives to psychiatric drugs

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Psychiatric drugs are controversial. Some people take the drugs and find a benefit, some people take the drugs and are harmed, and some people avoid them altogether.

Medical journalist and author Bob Whitaker has uncovered a deception in psychiatry’s claim of scientific progress. It sounds counterintuitive: Shouldn’t taking psychiatric drugs fix the problem? In fact, we see that psychiatric drugs create a problem.

In 2017, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel, confessed to the public, “I spent 13 years at NIMH really pushing on the neuroscience and genetics of mental disorders, and when I look back on that, I realize that while I think I succeeded at getting lots of really cool papers published by cool scientists at fairly large costs — I think $20 billion — I don’t think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness … I hold myself accountable for that.”

In addition to poor recovery, the harmful side effects of psychiatric drugs have been well documented. Individuals can develop akathisia (a movement disorder characterized by a feeling of restlessness) or tardive dyskinesia (which causes stiff, jerky movements of the face and body).

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