• Mad in America

  • Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
  • By: Robert Whitaker
  • Narrated by: Chris Kayser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 audiobook 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.

©2002 Robert Whitaker (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Mad in America

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Essential Reading to Understand Modern Psychiatry

How have the mentally ill been historically treated (and mistreated) by those who claimed to help? What has gone wrong with our current paradigm of care? Why are outcomes for the mentally ill worsening as psychiatric drug treatment is increasing? These critically important questions are answered by investigating the history of psychiatric treatment throughout America's past and then examining psychiatric and government literature to determine what has happened and why. A fascinating work of investigative research as well as essential reading/listening for anyone personally or professionally impacted by mental illness.

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A Real Life Horror Story

This book is used as our text in my vocational rehabilitation masters program. It's such a minblowingly revelational read, I understand why it was chosen.

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  • CH
  • 05-29-17

Eye opener

So reveling
Every body that have a lpve one who suffers from mental illnesses MUST read this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Crucial Reading, even now

Even though this book was written a while ago, all the information is still valid and relevant. I read his more recent book before this and they are both gems. Anyone who is on or has ever been offered mental health drugs should consider this required reading.

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing read

I had to read this novel for my neuroscience course. It was a very intriguing and educational read. It was hard to set the book down. The audible option was enjoyable and made listening in the car (or anywhere) easy and enjoyable!

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#MyNonFictionAddiction

A consice and well articulated volume. The material is enlightening; well arranged & organized as well. Some very difficult truths here. 😎

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Interesting, Entertaining, Mortifying

I learned so much from this audiobook, and it really affected my worldview. It struck the perfect balance of drawing me into the story and presenting scientific studies and "hard facts". Learning about how our society has treated the mentally ill and about the lies that are still being told about mental illness has taken away a little bit more of my faith in humanity. This is truly a grim tale.

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Masterpiece for understanding mental health ✨️ 👏

OMG! The hardest book ever to listen to being an empath and learning this history was gut wrenching yet most informative.

Well done. I have been MAD IN AMERICA for 14 years. Since the botched surgery accident that put me in the ' difficult patient ' bucket.

Worst part 'they' <doctors > the pain is all in my head.

I've just been denied HOSPICE care due to my Holistic approach to surviving breast cancer.

'they' gave me 1 year, two at the most. I have survived 5 yrs 9 months. However it's been in horrible pain. 'they' refuse pain management because I refused chemotherapy. 🤬

I know God has a plan for my journey to help change the way the world fears cancer and cannabis.

Just watch.😇🙏

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Interesting, but full of half truths and distorted information

This book presents some very interesting history about the treatment of serious mental illness in the U.S. However, it gradually becomes clear as the book progresses that the author has little true understanding of the treatment of serious mental illness today. If he had, he would know that electroconvulsive therapy is actually the most effective treatment for severe depression that we have and does not “destroy the brain” as he suggests. Also, antipsychotics do work to treat psychosis. I have personally seen numerous patients transformed by antipsychotics.

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An anti-psychiatry rant

A thorougly biased anti-psychiatry rant, disguised as as a scholarly study. Has quite interesting tidbits but the authors agenda is all encompassing.

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  • Rowan
  • 06-19-22

A must read

What a fascinating book to listen to. Love the investigative depth and the way it is shared.

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  • Jamie
  • 06-08-22

Food for thought

A really interesting, clear, and well-narrated book, albeit definitely not impartial. A very worthy listen for anyone working with or interested in mental illness. Really highlights the importance of the historical context to our current state of mental healthcare.

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  • A.L. M.
  • 07-28-21

An Eye Opener

Extremely informative. Enjoyed it.
The narrator was very clear and very easy to listen to.