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Mad in America

This book, about the treatment of the mentally ill in America, from the beginnings of this country, is well-researched, documented, thorough, readable, and frightening. Another one I wish were required reading in every high school, certainly in college. I haven't finished it yet but soon will.

In general, the medical view of mentally ill patients has been a discriminatory one, for various reasons, and the methods of diagnosis are inconsistent, resulting in meaningless diagnoses most of the time. And the drugs. The way drugs are developed, what the definition of a "good outcome" is, the long-term effects of these drugs, all are not what I had guessed.

I was brainwashed. I believed that those who were diagnosed "schizophrenic" were permanently ill and their illness could only be assisted by medication. We have all heard the horror stories, and I know of one personally, where the schizophrenic went off the drugs and committed some horrible act. Now the evidence is suggesting that the drugs themselves contributed to the illness and made these "relapses" more likely and more violent. I can hardly wait to get to the end of this book. What is more disturbing than the actual facts is that so few people know them.

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