Law Project for Psychiatric Rights

Psychiatric Myths

One of the more intriguing aspects of the "schizophrenia" literature is the discrepancy between the strength of the belief that "schizophrenia is a brain disease" and the availability of direct supporting evidence; even those who hold the belief admit that there is no direct evidence for it
Clinical Psychology Issue 12. April 2002

There is a growing chorus from principled psychiatrists and other researchers that the underpinnings of mainstream psychiatric diagnosis and treatment are not only fundamentally flawed, but incredibly harmful.  The Boston Globe's Robert Whitaker has written a scrupulously researched, but at the same time gripping account in Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill. This very readable book is an absolutely must read for those interested in the truth about what has gone on up to this very day.  Mr. Whitaker has also written an academically formatted paper, The case against antipsychotic drugs: a 50-year record of doing more harm than good, which is also very good.  The books by Peter Breggin, M.D., are also meticulously researched and present the scientific evidence quite clearly.  Dr. Breggin's seminal work "Toxic Psychiatry" can give one an understanding of the scope and breadth of the damage being done.   Mad in America is particularly instructive in showing that severe mistreatment of people diagnosed with mental illness, with the exception of the "moral treatment" era of the mid 1800's, is an American tradition continuing unabated to this day.  In Empirical Correction of Seven Myths About Schizophrenia with Implications for Treatment,  Courtenay M. Harding, Ph.D., debunks the myths that people don't recover from mental illness and must take medications for the rest of their lives.  And, of course, there are the works of Dr. Thomas Szasz, who has been making compelling arguments against the way psychiatry is being practiced for over forty years through  his prolific writings.  We are not going to even try to present the information here, nor try and convince anyone; instead simply pointing to the resources for people to make up their own minds.  However, in Scientific Research By Topic  we have compiled some of the research that demonstrates the point.

Places on the web to learn about the growing revolt against psychiatric abuses are: