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Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm…
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Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good (edição 2013)

por James Davies

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In an effort to enlighten a new generation about its growing reliance on psychiatry, this illuminating volume investigates why psychiatry has become the fastest-growing medical field in history; why psychiatric drugs are now more widely prescribed than ever before; and why psychiatry, without solid scientific justification, keeps expanding the number of mental disorders it believes to exist. This revealing volume shows that these issues can be explained by one startling fact: in recent decades psychiatry has become so motivated by power that it has put the pursuit of pharmaceutical riches above its patients' well being. Readers will be shocked and dismayed to discover that psychiatry, in the name of helping others, has actually been helping itself. In a style reminiscent of Ben Goldacre's Bad Science and investigative in tone, James Davies reveals psychiatry's hidden failings and how the field of study must change if it is to ever win back its patients' trust.… (mais)
Membro:vrullan
Título:Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good
Autores:James Davies
Informação:Icon Books Ltd (2013), Kindle Edition, 339 pages
Colecções:Importats
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Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good por James Davies

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Interesting (worrying) reading about how they came up with disorders for the DSM. Plenty he says is obvious (social/cultural factors in mental illness), but not a bad book. ( )
  RFellows | Apr 29, 2020 |
It has taken me a while to get around to writing this review because I felt that I needed time to do it justice. In many ways this is a scary book and I feel that I might need to read something that puts the other side of the story to really feel that I have a reasonable grasp of the issues.
Essentially, my take on this book is that the author points a dammning finger at the psychiatric profession and the drug companies that support them. James Davies is a qualified psychotherapist and has worked with the British NHS. He has a Phd in medical and social anthropology (whatever that actually is). Well I actually googled his thesis and found an interesting interview with him (see: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/201604/james-da....) and this is what he has to say about his thesis:
"In other words, trainings are places where persons are socialised to uphold the values and beliefs of the particular tradition into which they are being initiated. What is good for the ‘patient’ is often less important than what will ensure the longevity of the therapeutic tribe upon which one’s status and livelihood will come to depend. So I tried to expose anthropologically the tacit institutional devices used in training to transform persons into celebrants and defenders of the tradition (often in ways, and unbeknown to practitioners themselves, that are at the expense of the ‘patient’)".
In this book "Cracked", Davies argues along the following lines:
1. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the book listing all the psychiatric disorders that psychiatrists believe to exist. It began as a modest 130 page version in 1952 and is now 886 pages long. It is, effectively, the bible of psychiatrists.
2. However, Davies investigated how the disorders found their way into the DSM and it seems that they are there because of a vote by a committee (and not necessarily a unanimous vote). There appears to be no (or almost no) objective biological tests that can be used to identify any particular mental illness.
3. The DSM has gone through a number of editions and each time numbers of "new" mental illnesses have been added to the book (82 new illnesses from DSM3 to DSM4). So what are all these "new" mental illnesses.
4. One has to question the validity of the DSM when (by a relatively close vote of the US Psychiatric Society) homosexuality was removed from the DSM as a psychiatric illness. And one must also question the validity of ADHD diagnostics when in Canada there was an explosion of diagnosis of kids with ADHD and it was found that it was highly correlated with the month of the year. What had happened was the kids in the one class could be over a year different in actual age and the younger kids had lower attention spans.
5. So the illnesses defined in the DSM are deeply suspect and the criteria used to define them are deeply suspect but worse, the DSM has led to a situation where the drug companies have medicalised the illnesses and produced drugs to treat these "illnesses".
6. The theory is that the psychiatric illness is caused by some sort of imbalance in brain chemistry and the drugs will correct this imbalance. However, the imbalance has never been shown to exist. Even in the case of depression the evidence is pretty clear ...as the following citation indicates:
"Patients have been diagnosed with chemical imbalances, despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and that there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like ". Dr David Kaiser, Psychiatric Times). So, according to Davies, after nearly 50 years of investigation into the chemical imbalance theory, there is not one piece of convincing evidence that the theory is correct.
7. However, that has not stopped the prescription of drugs to "correct" these imbalance.
8. Davies shows that there is an unholy alliance between the drug companies and the psychiatric industry. Drug companies have cherry picked their results (only publishing the favourable results). They have ignored the placebo effect which seems to show that there is no real benefit from most of the drugs over a placebo. They have compromised academic researchers by funding psychiatric departments, research, publications, conferences etc and withholding funds from non-conformers. They have marketed the same drug for different psychiatric illnesses...Prozac for example packaged-up for treating a pre-mestrual "Illness". (Which other societies regard as just a normal condition). And they have marketed various drugs with all the skills and techniques of modern consumer marketing without regard to either effectiveness (especially over the long term) or side effects.
9. The drug revolution saved psychiatry from the legacy of embarassing failures: shock therapy, lobotomies, putting patients into comas etc. After all Psychiatrists in the 70's -90's were now the only professionals who had legal authority to assign psychiatric diagnoses and prescribe psychiatric drugs. So long as these remained in their hands, their authority and distinctiveness was assured. Furthermore they now had a powerful new ally in the drug companies.
10. Davies seems to side with the view that some form of suffering is natural for humans and the best way to treat it is through social measures or simply managing it. He suggests a path forward for the profession which has four steps:
a). Psychiatry needs to develop greater modesty about what it can actually hope to achieve
b) there needs to be more thorough regulation and transparency regarding psychiatry's financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry
c) The training of future psychiatrists must install greater awareness of psychiatry's scientific failings and current excesses as well as how to manage patients outside the medical model.
d). The public needs to become better informed about the current crisis in psychiatry.
I think this is a really important book. As Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday) put it...this "Should be read by every doctor....by everyone in politics and the media, not to mention any concerned citizen".
And as Will Self (The Guardian) put it....it is "Chilling reading".
I give it 5 stars and hope that it does get a much wider reading. Since writing the review I started searching out a bit more information on the author and found that he was one of the founders of the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry and their web site....particularly the section on little known facts..... is really worth some attention. See: http://cepuk.org/ I also read some of the other reviews of the book and it is interesting how polarised the views are. Clearly Davies has touched a raw nerve with some people. I tend to agree that his "solution" for psychiatric problems seems to be a bit weak ....kind of "tough it out' or get some friends sort of solutions. But maybe the people who are so opposed to his views are the prescribers of the drugs that Davies says do not cure. Still see no reason to alter my rating. ( )
  booktsunami | Aug 16, 2019 |
I enjoyed the book, but it did seem like the author was leading his interviewees a bit. This seems like it was more for mass consumption by the everyman rather than a scholastic work. Still, I enjoyed it enough that I finished it. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
This book reveals some shocking info about mental health services in Western countries. I'm sure that some of the revelations could be applied across the board of health services and not just to mental health.

I can't believe that drug companies can have this type of relationship with health professionals--effectively paying them to use and aggressively promote their products to patients. Of course, the professionals are then going to prescribe these drugs, no one is immune to this kind of monetary temptation.

The author claims that doctors and professionals are over-worked and don't have the time to effectively invest in patient care, that it is much easier and quicker to prescribe a drug whether or not that will be effective. He claims that this is what patients have learned to expect--that it is the placebo effect of the drug and not the drug itself that has the positive impact, at least in the short term. He goes into extensive detail about anti-depressants and how they suppress the natural emotions whether positive or negative. He claims this basically does long term damage to the brain and body, damage that cannot be reversed.

Reading this book was eye-opening and pretty scary. If taken literally I can imagine that no one would be able to trust any health professional at all. He uses sensationalism in places that I felt was unnecessary to get the point across. His main point is that the health profession is turning the stresses and strains of everyday life into treatable illnesses for monetary gain. His focus is on mental health which cannot be measured biologically in the same way that physical/visible illness can. He has a valid point with 48 million anti-depressant prescriptions in England in just one year!

Everytime we take a pill for something there will be consequences of some sort as it is not a natural way to treat our bodies. Our job is to determine whether the consequence of the drug is worse than the initial problem. The scandal is that we are often not informed about the potential consequence or alternative approaches which may be more effective and less harmful.

I would recommend this book as it gives some useful info that patients should be aware of when receiving treatment. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
"One can read this as a (skewed) overview of the debate since I could not think of a stone Davies left unturned...I have two points of contention.."
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.gr/2014/06/cracked-james-davies.html ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Jul 8, 2014 |
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In an effort to enlighten a new generation about its growing reliance on psychiatry, this illuminating volume investigates why psychiatry has become the fastest-growing medical field in history; why psychiatric drugs are now more widely prescribed than ever before; and why psychiatry, without solid scientific justification, keeps expanding the number of mental disorders it believes to exist. This revealing volume shows that these issues can be explained by one startling fact: in recent decades psychiatry has become so motivated by power that it has put the pursuit of pharmaceutical riches above its patients' well being. Readers will be shocked and dismayed to discover that psychiatry, in the name of helping others, has actually been helping itself. In a style reminiscent of Ben Goldacre's Bad Science and investigative in tone, James Davies reveals psychiatry's hidden failings and how the field of study must change if it is to ever win back its patients' trust.

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