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The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs Paperback – September 15, 2013

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1137277435 ISBN-10: 1137277432 Edition: 1st

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The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs + The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment + Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book will make an enormous contribution towards a more rational, transparent and ethical approach to the use of neuroleptic drugs. By implication it also offers up a strong argument for much wider choice for people in crisis, particularly the provision of minimal drug/drug-free systems of help and support, such as Soteria-type facilities and Open Dialogue. It is a must-read for all psychiatrists and mental health professionals, and its accessibility means that many survivors/service users and carers will find it a valuable ally in their fight for more humane and less harmful alternatives to psychiatric drug treatment." - Philip Thomas, University of Bradford, UK

'a meticulous, balanced history of antipsychotic drugs' - Nature

'All in all, this is a brilliantly clear-eyed, informative, well-referenced and at times disturbing book which should be essential reading for clinicians, policy-makers and patients alike.' - Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches

'Joanna Moncrieff's courageous research continues to point out that the emperor, while dressed, is wearing the wrong clothes for the job.' - Therapy Today

About the Author

Joanna Moncrieff is a Senior Lecturer at University College London, UK and a practising consultant psychiatrist. She is co-chair person of the Critical Psychiatry Network and author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1 edition (September 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137277432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137277435
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, written by a well-trained British psychiatrist,Joanna Moncrieff, tells the true story of how anti-psychotic drugs were first developed and named "anti-psychotic" in the first place. She goes on to develop an argument about the drug-centered model of psychopharmceuticals and the disease-centered model, which is the one prevalent today that claims psycho-active drugs treat real symptoms and illnesses by actual drug mechanisms. Moncrieff disputes this, shows that the research has never borne this out as fact, and claims that many drugs were developed with very little oversight or research at all, and much more marketing than anything at all.

This is not to say that Moncrieff does not use anti-psychotic drugs in her practice. She says she does, when necessary. She is open-minded and doesn't want people with active psychosis to suffer. But she is dubious about the effects and the research and the longterm effects especially.

This is an eye-opening book, especially for anyone who has never read this sort of argument before.

I want to add that i have been diagnosed with schizophrenia for decades and have taken nearly every " anti-psychotic" drug on the market from massive "state hospital" doses of chlorpromazine and thioridazine (enough of the latter to induce chorioretinopathy later on) to weekly "depot" injections of fluphenazine, to clozapine, which induced terrible side effects including agranucytosis, and then to olanzapine and metabolic syndrome (though for years i tolerated it because i believed it to be a miracle drug...).

No longer. I still take '2 weight neutral AP drugs, which i do not want to take but seem to need to avoid descending into a drug-'induced psychosis...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rasputin on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very thorough and dispassionate look at the use and abuse of antipsychotics. The conclusion follows fairly from the data... antipsychotics are dangerous and should only be used as a last defense in the treatment of mental illness. One wonders how the "system" has been able to get away with this criminal behavior for so long. Money is indeed the root of all evil.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Juju on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Doctors need to know the effects of drugs they prescribe, people who take the drug need to know the effects of the drugs they take. Accurate information needs to be provided at a time when a distressed person is able to understand it, not when they are acutely distressed. Discussions about the effects of neuroleptic drugs need to occur in the wider community so that the pharmaceutical propaganda is not the only information that doctors and patients receive.
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