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Now with bonus material, including a new foreword and afterword with updated research 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 nation’s children. What is going on? Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges readers 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. Readers 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 fifty 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. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit? By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers 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? In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.
A reporter chases the biggest story of her life—her husband’s descent into mental illness. Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David’s mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant, intense, and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his nine-year-old daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions, a plan to help them recover from their profound grief, or a solution for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they would inherit from him. All the Things We Never Knew takes readers from David and Sheila’s romance through the last three months of their life together and into the year after his death. It details their unsettling descent from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, and examines the fragile line between reality and madness. Now, a decade after David’s death, Sheila and her daughter, Sophie, have learned the power of choosing life over retreat; let themselves love and trust again; and understand the importance of forgiveness. Their story will resonate with all those who have loved someone who suffers from mental illness.
The Cosmological Society is directed towards two things: (1) an understanding of the historical and cultural factors that furnish the context, the background, and the outlook of human beings that give rise to values and belief-systems--in essence, a vision of reality and a way of being-in-the-world--but a vision of reality that is grounded in illusion; and (2) how to liberate the mind from the illusions created by the cultural matrix--the social glue that binds people in a given culture of society--a web of symbolic relationships that shapes human experiences and events into some kind of meaningful order. How this arrangement occurs has to do with what we are taught both to see and to value. Thus to begin to understand culture is to understand how we think and act on our unquestioned assumptions about the nature of "reality." The ancient wisdom teachings, the ancient science of life had as its primary purpose to free individuals from the constraints of the cultural matrix. This book explores in depth how the cultural matrix has been created and the dynamics of the ancient science of life--the science of mind that enables us to possess the right forms in which to behold our human experience and to provide us with the right framework and perspective on reality--and ultimately to provide us with the right model for interaction with reality. It is the structural re-arrangement of the human psychical organization for the processing and creative utilization of bio-cosmic energy.
The Four Domains of Mental Illness presents an authentic and valid alternative to the DSM-5, which author René J. Muller argues has resulted in many patients being incorrectly diagnosed and wrongly medicated. Dr. Muller points out where the DSM-5 is mistaken and offers a guide to diagnosis based on the psychobiology of psychiatrist Adolf Meyer and the insights of existential philosophy and psychiatry. His model identifies the phenomena of the mental illnesses that clinicians most often see, which are characterized by identifying their structure, or partial structure. Using the FDMI approach, clinicians can grasp how each mental illness is an aberration of Martin Heidegger’s being-in-the-world.
Thirty years ago, it was estimated that less than five percent of the population had an anxiety disorder. Today, some estimates are over fifty percent, a tenfold increase. Is this dramatic rise evidence of a real medical epidemic? In All We Have to Fear, Allan Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield argue that psychiatry itself has largely generated this "epidemic" by inflating many natural fears into psychiatric disorders, leading to the over-diagnosis of anxiety disorders and the over-prescription of anxiety-reducing drugs. American psychiatry currently identifies disordered anxiety as irrational anxiety disproportionate to a real threat. Horwitz and Wakefield argue, to the contrary, that it can be a perfectly normal part of our nature to fear things that are not at all dangerous--from heights to negative judgments by others to scenes that remind us of past threats (as in some forms of PTSD). Indeed, this book argues strongly against the tendency to call any distressing condition a "mental disorder." To counter this trend, the authors provide an innovative and nuanced way to distinguish between anxiety conditions that are psychiatric disorders and likely require medical treatment and those that are not--the latter including anxieties that seem irrational but are the natural products of evolution. The authors show that many commonly diagnosed "irrational" fears--such as a fear of snakes, strangers, or social evaluation--have evolved over time in response to situations that posed serious risks to humans in the past, but are no longer dangerous today. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines including psychiatry, evolutionary psychology, sociology, anthropology, and history, the book illuminates the nature of anxiety in America, making a major contribution to our understanding of mental health.
"Schizophrenia" is by many accounts the most devastating illness of our time. In this book, Elahe Hessamfar uses her personal encounter with her daughter's illness to bring the reader to experience the pain and anguish of those who suffer so intensely. She candidly discusses the gripping and dark realities her family has faced in the midst of this journey and exposes that the ride isn't easy, but it can be fruitful and purposeful, and it can be a journey of joy and peace if understood from the intended perspective. This is a fascinating and deeply theological portrayal of madness under the mighty hand of God. It challenges and awakens the reader to a heightened awareness about self, community, pain, brokenness, sin, grace, and redemption. This is the first truly biblically based, theological interpretation of madness in conversation with psychiatry and social sciences. Hessamfar passionately discusses the shortcomings of our current medical model of mental illness and directs the reader's attention to the mistreatment of those the medical community labels with "schizophrenia." She argues that not only is "schizophrenia" not pathological but it touches on the most fundamental fragilities of the human soul, and hence, it is a critical pastoral issue. Hessamfar offers tangible, inspiring, and life-changing solutions for those dealing with this most elusive and mysterious phenomenon--solutions that would bring hope and healing to the hopeless people chained in the abyss of madness.
Unlike books focusing on a single crisis topic, Crisis helps recognize common signs of endangerment across a range of life challenges by showing the interconnections between various harmful events. Through media coverage of school shootings, suicides, domestic abuse, workplace violence, and more, we've become accustomed to hearing about violence and trauma-almost invariably followed by reports that show all of the warning signs that were missed. While it is impossible to predict when, where, and with whom a crisis will occur, we do have the means to be better equipped to intervene in stressful situations before they tip over into a crisis. Important preventative information is readily available, and this book better prepares us to take appropriate responsive action. Often a crisis is the result of a critical life event; whether or not a life-changing event turns into a crisis depends on the type, timing, and interpretation of the event, the person's life cycle development phase, history of healthy coping, and available timely support. In sum, Lee Ann Hoff illustrates how to recognize crisis as both danger and opportunity. The more we know about how to spot a potential crisis and what to do, the more likely distressed persons will get the help they need.

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