• Anatomy of an Epidemic

  • Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
  • By: Robert Whitaker
  • Narrated by: Ken Kliban
  • Length: 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (582 ratings)

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Anatomy of an Epidemic

By: Robert Whitaker
Narrated by: Ken Kliban
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Publisher's summary

In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nations children. What is going on?

Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges listeners to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix chemical imbalances in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them? Researchers spent decades studying that question, and by the late 1980s, they had their answer. Listeners will be startled - and dismayed - to discover what was reported in the scientific journals.

Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past 50 years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness?

This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, listeners are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies - all of which point to the same startling conclusion - been kept from the public?

©2010 Robert Whitaker (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"The timing of Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, a comprehensive and highly readable history of psychiatry in the United States, couldn’t be better." (Salon.com)
"Anatomy of an Epidemic offers some answers, charting controversial ground with mystery-novel pacing." (TIME.com)
"Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found 'aliveness' when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs." (Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine)