Critical Psychiatry Textbook, Chapter 1: Why a Critical Textbook of Psychiatry?—Peter Gøtzsche MD

Professor Peter Gøtzsche is someone I hold in the highest regard. He is a Danish physician, a medical researcher, and co-founder of the Cochrane Foundation, a ‘British international charitable organisation formed to organise medical research findings to facilitate evidence-based choices about health interventions involving health professionals, patients and policy makers.’ (Wikipedia)

Peter has written extensively about mental health, the harms of psychiatric drugs, and the corrupting influence of the pharmaceutical industry. He has written a new book, Critical Psychiatry Textbook, which is being serialised by the excellent Mad in America website. A new chapter will be published on the website each Monday and an archive is maintained here.

For those of you interested in this area, the book will be well worth a read. Here is the first chapter below, original posted on the Mad in America website here:

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‘Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good’ by Peter Gøtzsche

'More than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone.'This excellent blog appeared in The Guardian recently. 

‘As with benzodiazepines in the 1980s, the UK is prescribing SSRI antidepressants at a staggering rate – and to no good effect

We appear to be in the midst of a psychiatric drug epidemic, just as we were when benzodiazepines (tranquilisers) were at their height in the late 1980s. The decline in their use after warnings about addiction led to a big increase in the use of the newer antidepressants, the SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors).

Figures released by the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which was set up to challenge many of the assumptions commonly made about modern psychiatry, show that more than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone. This is almost the equivalent of one for every man, woman and child and constitutes a 92% increase since 2003.

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‘On Pharma, Corruption, and Psychiatric Drugs’ by Peter Gøtzsche

“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.” Peter Gøtzsche, MD;  Co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration

As shown on Mad in America.