If you thought Americans were crazy then the US Government’s own data provides powerful evidence that they are getting there. But they are not the only ones – the story is increasingly similar in many western nations that have adopted medical understanding, DSM-type diagnostic criteria and pharmaceuticals as the only readily available treatment. More people are being diagnosed, more people are joining disability rolls.
A New York Review of Books article on three great books examining what’s happened during the decades when modern medicine and pharmacology applied the power of “science” and the might of marketing to the diagnosis and treatment of human distress.
The number of Americans considered disabled by mental illnesses increased almost two and a half times between 1987 and 2007.
[as measured by those who qualifying for disability payments from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)]
- In 1987, one in 184 Americans were disabled by mental illness.
- by 2007 that had risen to one in 76 Americans being disabled by mental illness.
In children it’s even more scary – a 3,500% increase.
By these measures Mental Illness is now the leading cause of disability in children in America.
This looks like an epidemic of mental illness: where is it coming from?
NY review of three books that examine this from different perspectives:
- The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth by Irving Kirsch
- Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker
- Unhinged: The Trouble With Psychiatry—A Doctor’s Revelations About a Profession in Crisis by Daniel Carlat