According to conventional histories of psychiatry, the arrival of Thorazine in asylum medicine in 1955 kicked off a psychopharmacological revolution. Yet, since 1955, the disability rate due to mental illness in the United States has risen more than six-fold. Moreover, this epidemic of disabling mental illness has accelerated since 1987, when Prozac, the first of the second-generation drugs arrived on the market. A review of the long-term outcomes literature for psychiatric medications reveals why this is so. The medical model paradigm of care, which emphasizes continual use of psychiatric medications, is a failed paradigm, and needs to be dramatically rethought.
Review Robert Whitaker’s biographical statement.