The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment

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This controversial book overturbans the claim that psychiatric drugs work by correcting chemical imbalance, and analyzes the professional, commercial and political vested interests that have shaped this view. It provides a comprehensive critique of research on drugs including antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book is critically important and should be essential reading for all psychiatrists, politicians, service providers, and user groups. Why? Because Joanna Moncrieff's central tenet is right, and the implications for service delivery are profound. The book is closely argued and well referenced. Even if you disagree with some of its overall premises, it is not legitimate to dismiss it. I urge you to read it if only as a prompt to a critical evaluation of the status quo, never a bad thing, and almost always an illuminating exercise.' - Sarah Yates, Cambridge, UK

'This is a sober and thoughtful book. I found it very engaging and worth the effort to be better informed about a subject that affects many of our clients and impinges on our professional lives as therapists.' - Existential Analysis (Society for Existential Analysis)

'...Joanna Moncrieff, a practising psychiatrist and academic, has produced a devastating critique of the use of psychiatric drugs...This courageous book has the potential to revolutionise psychiatric practice and the care of people with many forms of mental distress. Many in the therapy professions will, I am sure, celebrate its message.' - Rachel Freeth, Therapy Today

'This book does what it says on the cover. It is a concise, powerful, well-referenced and well-constructed critique of psychiatric drug treatment...If I had the power to, I would make it essential reading on all counselling and psychotherapy trainings.' - Pete Sanders, Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Jourbanal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230574328
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 976,630
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

JOANNA MONCIREFF is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mental Health Sciences at University College London, UK. She is co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network and writes critically about the use and misuse of psychiatric drug treatments, their history, and the influences that have promoted them.

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Table of Contents

The Disease Centred Model of Drug Action in Psychiatry
• An Alternative Drug Centred Model of Drug Action
• Physical Treatments and the Disease Centred Model
• The Arrival of the New Drugs and the Influence of Interest Groups
• The Birth of the Idea of an 'Antipsychotic'
• Are Neuroleptics Effective and Specific? A Review of the Evidence
• What do Neuroleptics Really Do? A Drug Centred Approach
• The Construction of the 'Antidepressant'
• Is There Such a Thing as an Antidepressant? A Review of the Evidence
• What do Antidepressants Really Do?
• The Idea of Special Drugs for Manic Depression
• Evidence on the Action of Lithium and Mood Stabilisers

Democratic Drug Treatment: Implications of the Drug Centred Model
• The Myth of the Chemical Cure

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