The problem with psychiatric drugs

How Little We Really Know About Psychiatric Drugs

Joanna Moncrieff reflects on what has and has not changed in the field of psychiatric drug treatment in the years between the first and newly published second edition of the Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.

Joanna MoncrieffBy

Joanna Moncrieff, MD

October 6, 2020

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I am not opposed, in principle, to the use of psychiatric drugs. I believe, as I say in the book, that “some psychiatric drugs do help some people in some situations.” Having said this, I think it is likely that the vast majority of people who take psychiatric drugs derive little or no benefit from them, and yet are susceptible to all the harms they can induce.

Psychiatric drugs, the bookIt is people’s right to know how little we really know about these drugs. People should be informed that the story they have been told, implicitly or explicitly, about having an underlying chemical imbalance that drugs can correct is just that—a story—with very little evidence to back it up.

They need to know that these drugs are doing things to the brain that we do not understand properly, and people should be aware of how little research there has been into the long-term effects of the drugs and the difficulties of coming off them. I hope the second edition of A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs will enable people to make better-informed decisions about whether to start or continue these sorts of drugs.

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For more, please click this link: https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/10/how-little-we-really-know/?mc_cid=96593ebe8d&mc_eid=eeb578926d

Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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