T Nation

Hidden Damage of Psychiatric Drugs




a new controversial book written by award-winning journalist Robert Whittaker questions the use of psychiatric drugs.

" 'Anatomy of an Epidemic' is the first book to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients treated with psychiatric drugs, and Whitaker finds that, overall, the drugs may be doing more harm than good. Adhering to studies published in prominent medical journals, he argues that, over time, patients with schizophrenia do better off medication than on it."

"A January study showed a negligible difference between antidepressants and placebos in treating all but the severest cases of depression. The study became the subject of a Newsweek cover story, and the value of psychiatric drugs has recently been debated in the pages of the New Yorker, the New York Times and Salon."

i just heard about this book today and haven't read it yet. has anyone read this, or have any experience with psychiatric drugs in their families?


Check that out if you ever get a chance.


Trying to figure out why I'm the ONLY person in my extended family who hasn't asked a doc to throw a pill or three in my direction for depression, etc. Docs are all too willing to throw them too.


I'm currently on antidepressants, and I can see both sides of the argument. I take them now because I know my personality/nature well enough to know that they are beneficial while I am still in uniform. I have a plan developed to start coming off of them upon my return from downrange. That way, I'm drug free when I get out of the military in a couple of years. I'll probably read the book for fun, though.


Hidden dangers? Psychiatric drugs are the single greatest evil that have ever been promoted in the name of health improvement. Anti-depressants are dangeous for precisely the reason they're thought to be theraputic; because they elevate the patient's mood artificially, diminishing his awareness of his problems. It's all based on the utterly fraudulent idea that a human being is a helpless chemical automaton at the mercy of the neurotransmitters in his brain, which spontaneously decide to go haywire and can only be brought back into balance by the graces of an enlightened psychiatrist.

The result being that every human thought, emotion and behavior under the sun has been pathologized, labeled and added to the DSM-IV as a mental illness. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, purely and simply.


Yeah, the effect of some of the drugs are terrible. Yet, some of the problems they are trying to fix are even more terrible. I wish we one day find a better cure for the problems.


i didnt read it yet, but does this include SSRI's and SNRI's?


I wondered the same thing.

I've taken paxil for a long time now and I can say without doubt that they help me TREMENDOUSLY. Whether the benefits are worth the (still unknown) long-term risks remains to be seen I guess--but that's a personal decision.

I gaurantee there are people with mental/emotional problems who would GLADLY trade a few years of their lives for a better QUALITY of life.

That said, I'm almost finished with my book so maybe I'll pick up this one and see what the fuss is about.


ive been on 3 Psychiatric Drugs (effexor,Alprazolam and Olanzapine) over the last few years and it has not caused me any harm.


The trem 'mental ilness' is FAR too great a, encompassing term for there to be one soultion.

But for the mild to moderate conditions associated with mental illness, such as anxiety, stress, deprerssion, I would say that an elimonation diet and regular activity and socialising should be a priority, nor prozac, etc.

Just my opinion.



That you know of.

Elevated estrogen is almost a given though. Which will reduce tesosterone. How do you feel about that?



personally i think the benefits outweighed the side effects, FTR am not on Alprazolam or Olanzapine anymore and my dosage of effexor is half what it was.


I've been on Prozac for 11 years now and I would never go back to the way I was.


I think there is truth there. My undergrad degree is in Psychology, and I'd say that the only thing I learned after 4 years was that it's almost entirely bullshit. Certainly there are cases that require treatment, and that probably includes people in this thread. But my problem with the entire system is that it seems to promote the idea that every normal person with normal thoughts has a mental illness. Certainly the flippant prescriptions of anti-depressants by doctors is evidence of this. This is a necessary industry that needs to be reigned in.


I work in an ER and we have a lot of psych patients come through as we're a funneling center prior to their admission.

First hand experience: there are a lot of people who need their goddamn meds.





Yes, I agree with author.

Having battled suicidal depression and chronic anxiety for a long time, and after a number of different drug treatments and endless therapy sessions; I always suspected from the beginning that something in my body was royally fucked, and it wasn't what any GP, MD, psychiatrsit or other 'professional' told me was wrong.

The traditional monamine hypothesis of mental illnes, the touted singular biological abnormality causing the distress, is even if it ever proven (unlikely), a terribly small part of the picture and more than likely a RESULT OF mental illness rather than A CAUSE.

Mental illnes is likely to be a combination of the following:

-Excesive inflammation (triggered by food allergens, franken foods, pesticides, other chemicals)
-Poor methylation (from lack of omega 3, shoody insulin response etc)
-Hormonal imbalances (Chronically elevated cortisol, low t)
-Heavy metal posiinig (Lead/mercury intoxication)
-Gut abnormality (damaged lining preventing absorbtion of amino acids such as tryptophan, the serotonin precursor)
-Thyroid irregularity (hyper/hypo
-Damaged mitochondria (from excessive cortisol damaging hippocampi and amyglada brain cells)

The above can very verified pathologically and empirically, what real science does; a "neuro-transmitter imbalance cannot.

The above will if not treated, essentaly keep the brain in a constant stress state, no wonder you'll have no energy, wont be able to concentrate, sleep poorly, suffer memory problems think negatively all the time (if you remove the thousands upon thousands of different contexts of negative thinking, it all boils down to a brain idnetifiying a threat and using the fight/flight response, but on a less visceral manner, eg "this is a threat, this will not be a postive/pro-survival outcome", have intrusive thoughts (your stressed brain running excessive battle/threat simulations, and generally feel god awful about life

Hey?! Wait a minute! The above sounds like depression, anxiety, ADD, OCD anddementia. Many names, many classifications (I believe the DSM-IV has 'identified' over 400 'disorders' now). Seems to me like they all exist on the same spectrtum, a result of the body's various stress responses gone fucking ballistic. But no, by correctly identified your particular disorder they can give you the correect drug treatment. Fantastic stuff! And what a track record for effective treatment!

Problem is, convincing your healthcare practioner (read legal drug dealer for big pharma companies) to look into the aforementioned, underlying causes; is akin to trying to get a rocking horse to shit itself.


How long were you battling depression/anxiety? And did changing your diet, etc. "fix" it?

Edit: Another question (not necessarily to you): How can one get big on such a diet? Obviously there are plenty of protein sources still available, but 1) fruits, veggies, and nuts are very filling and 2) there doesn't seem to be many good carb options except maybe brown rice?


I've been on olanzapine an antiphyscotic medication for about 7 years now. Problems are i sleep around 12 hours a night still, weight gain around belly and chest, general sedation which i don't even notice in myself now as i am used to it.

Good things are i can live a semi normal life, the extended rest i get means i recover exceptionally well from workouts meaning my strength can skyrocket from high frequency workouts if i remain consistent eg: i have curled 52.5kg or 118lb dumbells for five reps. Only stopped progressing because i couldn't increase the dumbell weight.

Downside i'm probably dependant for life. My physique sucks despite strength gains. A week off the gym with my shitty diet means my belly etc can baloon up rapidly. Years back i used to be so lean but weaker, now i can bulk and get stronger easier but i need to train really hard, intensive and long to keep off the inevitable fat gain.

Can't blame it all on the drugs but if you looked at me pre meds to anytime after and you'd know my struggle.

Oh well play to my strengths and get strong i doubt i'll ever see a six pack again.


lol! thank you for that, best laugh I've had in a few days. I wonder how many here will get it (without having to look it up, of course. that ruins it)