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Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health Paperback – February 1, 2002
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Claiming that there are no widely accepted theories of mental illness and that therapies are guided more by marketing than lab work hasn't won Valenstein many friends in psychiatry, but his scientific credibility is impeccable, and, better for the reader, his explanations of his doubts are clear and sensible. Whether discussing the "good old days" of insulin coma and electroshock therapies (after which drugs seemed a humane godsend) or the modern prospects of scientific research and medical clinics owned and directed by pharmaceutical companies, he maintains a calm, measured style that seeks to clothe the emperor, not replace him. Blaming the Brain is a powerful, thoroughly enjoyable book that will provoke much-needed thought and discussion on all sides of this important topic. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Vallenstein demonstrates how drug companies and HMO's amongst other interest groups have both pushed biochemical theories for economic reasons: sales of drugs, and reduction of costly treatment time for drugs relative to other treatments.
As part of his analysis, Vallenstien also looks in detail and the consistancy of evidence behind biochemical theories and finds many flaws and shortcomings.
Now Vallenstein doesn't refute that drugs help. He does however challenge the PR regarding how effective these drugs are and how these drugs work. By looking at the complexity of the neurology, he demonstrates how dopamine and other neurotansmitter theories are too simplistic and that certain drugs seem to achieve the same goals but have completely different effects on these transmitters. Consequently, Vallenstein suggests that psychiatrists simply admit that they honestly don't know the drugs work for some people.
Vallenstein in challenging effectiveness claims and theory premises also states that the reasons for mental illness are also more complex. Physiological, behavioral and psychosocial factors should also be part of the mental health assessment.Read more ›
Elliot Valenstein's BLAMING THE BRAIN: THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS AND MENTAL HEALTH demonstrates why rationales for this paradigm ain't necessarily so.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After Great and Desperate Cures, the story of the rise and fall of psycho-surgery and various shock treatments, written earlier, in fact, the second part of the same story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Frank B.
AMAZING BOOK, VERY CLARIFYING, HARD TO FIND AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, IS A JEWELPublished 22 months ago by ally
This is a pioneer work. Today most of what Valenstein writes about the dubious empirical basis for most of medication-psychiatry, is widely known - and disputed only by those who... Read morePublished on March 27, 2014 by Nathan Shachar
I won't waste a lot of my time writing a review, as it looks like anyone with a 'negative' review gets voted down (i.e. Review Not Helpful) rather quickly. Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by TheDude73
I respectfully disagree with most of the posters who discredit the use of drugs for mental health disease. Read morePublished on March 13, 2008 by liberty lover
Valenstein, a well-recognized, erudite neuroscientists, does an excellent job of deconstructing the econonmic and scientific problematics in biological research and biological... Read morePublished on November 17, 2007 by Colin M. Burchfield, Ph.D.
If you believe that some mental disorders are caused by a "chemical imbalance" you need to read this book. Read morePublished on May 12, 2007 by Judith Lautner