Robert Whitaker at MHC December 2

Author of Mad in America as well as Anatomy of an Epidemic Robert Whitaker is scheduled to speak at Mount Holyoke College on Thursday, December 2th at 7:30 at Cleveland Hall.

Mad in America
Mad in America
Robert Whitaker, an award-winning journalist and author best known for his work on mental illness, will speak at Mount Holyoke Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 pm in Cleveland L2. His lecture, titled “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Rise of Mental Illness in America,” is open to the public.

While on campus that day, Whitaker will also lead a discussion in psychology professor Gail Hornstein’s first-year seminar, Understanding Mental Health, at 1:15 pm in Reese 324.

In his newest book published this past spring, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, Whitaker confronts a startling statistic: In the past 20 years, the number of Americans disabled due to mental illness has more than doubled–despite spending $40 billion each year on psychiatric medications.

“In media reports, we constantly hear these drugs being hailed as magic bullets, offering effective treatments for depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar illness, and a host of psychiatric conditions,” says Hornstein. “But Whitaker’s exhaustive review of the scientific literature of the past 50 years raises a profoundly troubling question: Do psychiatric medications increase the likelihood that people taking them, rather than being helped, are at risk of becoming chronically ill?”

Hornstein says Whitaker’s book is “important and controversial” and has been called “the Silent Spring of the pharmaceutical industry.”

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