Joanna Moncrieff and the anti-psychiatry movement

Recently I visited the Mad in America website and commented on an article and video by Joanna Moncrieff. Moncrieff is a downloadpsychiatrist in the UK who has written a number of books against the use of drugs and the idea of a bipolar spectrum. Since we both appeared to have the same opinion regarding the efficacy of antidepressants I thought some exchange might be interesting. In a comment, I wrote that I wish I had taken medication sooner than I had and that anti-psychiatrists appear to be  in a hurry to normalize mental disorders despite the lack of evidence for many of them one way or the other. In response a man replied that I hadn’t paid attention to the previous discussion and how disastrous all psychiatric drugs/labels are. Here is an excerpt from her article.

Professional interests drove the transformation of antipsychotics from special sorts of tranquilisers into so-called ‘magic bullets’ back in the 1960s. It was this idea that antipsychotics constituted a sophisticated and targeted treatment, rather than a chemical suppressant, that obscured their unpleasant, mind-altering effects, thus enabling the pharmaceutical industry to expand their use over recent years

Now, I can see pluses and minuses to psychiatry however the people on this site are quite black and white. I am willing to bet for every story of someone harmed by psychiatry there is at least one who feels like he/she was saved by it. It is true that many people are being treated with drugs they don’t need and perhaps mislabeled but there certainly are people who desparately need drugs and some name to describe their problem. For some reason we expect psychiatry to perform on par with other medical specialties even though we still know very little about the brain.

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