Answers to these questions are more ambiguous than we might think, Maris explains, because drug manufacturers tend to minimize the adverse effects of their products. Furthermore, the underlying neurobiological theories of how psychiatric drugs work are complex, poorly understood, and often conflicting. Still Americans spend tens of billions of dollars a year on antidepressants and antipsychotics alone.
While Maris questions the rampant prescribing of psychiatric medications especially in young people, Pillaged does not suggest that anyone cavalierly discontinue potentially beneficial psychiatric medications without the advice of a qualified mental health professional. The book acknowledges that psychiatric medications are often necessary in treating some psychiatric conditions, but it reminds readers of medication's potential for degrading one's quality of life, contributing to self-destructive behaviors, and even leading to death in a vulnerable minority of patients. Maris advocates an open and honest discussion of data on psychiatric drugs, their effects, and their dangers, and he reminds readers of available alternative, nondrug treatments for psychiatric disorders. By reviewing the history and effects of medications for mental disorders, Maris hopes to educate health care consumers and prescribers to make careful, informed decisions about the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"Despite the dramatic increase in the number of Americans taking antidepressants since 1950, the suicide rate has actually increased. A highly experienced expert witness in drug litigation, Maris provides enormous insight into the medicalization of suicide, which he argues is partly driven by carefully guarded economic interests, not entirely as a cure for the suicidal population. Billions in profits have been made, while the suicide rate has increased. Can the social roots of suicide be cured by pills or are we being pillaged?-- Steven Stack, professor, Department of Criminology, Department of Psychiatry, Wayne State University
"In pillaged, premier suicidologist Ron Maris mounts the most reasoned and thoroughly researched assault yet mounted against the psychopharmaceutical industry and the sometimes shabby prescribing practices of psychiatrists and primary care providers. This book is a significant contribution to the public debate on these issues, but those who truly need these medications should be aware that a strong relationship with a caring physician may be the best protection against staying too long on a medication that aggravates rather than relieves distress."--Park Dietz, President, Park Dietz & Associates, Inc., and clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
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