Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker's most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects.A haunting, deeply compassionate book-now revised with a new introduction-Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of "insanity," and what we value most about the human mind.
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.58(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.95(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
Table of Contents
Preface to the Revised Edition xiii
Part 1 The Original Bedlam (1750-1900)
1 Bedlam in Medicine 3
2 The Healing Hand of Kindness 19
Part 2 The Darkest Era (1900-1950)
3 Unfit to Breed 41
4 Too Much Intelligence 73
5 Brain Damage as Miracle Therapy 107
Part 3 Back to Bedlam (1950-1990s)
6 Modern-Day Alchemy 141
7 The Patients' Reality 161
8 The Story We Told Ourselves 195
9 Shame of a Nation 211
10 The Nuremberg Code Doesn't Apply Here 233
Part 4 Mad Medicine Today (1990s-Present)
11 Not So Atypical 253
Afterword to the Revised Edition 293
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven't finished the book took a break. I hope it speeds up a little and is not so repiticious. There are some good facts however.
Saudi Arabia is Free of Mental Illness Because There are Nomad People There. Recently I checked this book out of the library for research into the ethnography my partners and I are conducting on the non-family caretakers of mentally ill and/or disabled minors in our area, and it was surprisingly relevant to our decidedly narrow topic. We decided to focus on two people in specific; a psychotherapist at Children’s Hospital and a special education teacher at our school. They spoke at length of the benefits to both themselves and the children with whom they work, but we didn’t obtain any background information on the treatment of the mentally ill/disabled. This book was a rather dry read, and I had to force myself to read through a few sections. However, it was very informative and I learned about a distinctly unmentioned chapter in history. The dry descriptions of the devices, medicines and management of the mentally ill in this book were handled with the utmost professionalism and not once did I feel as though the author was trying to illicit a negative reaction towards either the patients or the doctors. Mad in America’s entire purpose was to enlighten the reader on the situations of the mentally ill over the span of three centuries. The statistics the author provided only solidified his points and kept the book from sounding bigoted and one-sided. I would give this book 4 stars because even though it was a dry read, once it fully had my attention I was engrossed in learning all the details about a rare topic in today’s society.
This book was required reading for my master's level class on mental health. I found the book very easy to read and very factual. I have done a lot of reading my own about the history of psychiarty, asylums and various treatment practices. If you are interested on the subject I sugest reading up on Walter Freeman and Benjamin Rush. Two very facinating individuals.