Psyched Out

How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills That Kill
Kelly Patricia O'Meara

Reviewed by Mira de Vries

Since the turn of the millennium there’s been a veritable flood of books questioning the role of medicine in our lives in general, and psychiatry in particular. O’Meara’s contribution adds nothing new, whether information or perspective. Nor is her book particularly well written. It contains a great deal of repetition. More disturbingly, she repeatedly inserts colloquial, epithetical interjections which detract from the professional presentation and render the otherwise simple English unsuitable for readers who are unfamiliar with U.S. slang. Like so many self-published books, this one cries out to be edited.

On the other hand, the points O’Meara makes are clear and correct: not only the pharmaceutical manufacturers are to blame for today’s mass drugging of the human population, including children. Ineffective and corrupt government watchdog agencies, psychiatrists who dole out the unscientific “diagnoses,” and family physicians must share that blame, not to mention a gullible public that is all too eager to believe in the ability of a pill to remedy complex social problems. O’Meara further commendably avoids the pitfall of making useless recommendations, such as that the state stop being corrupt. Involuntary treatment is not an issue handled by O’Meara.

The main merit of this book is that it helps swell the stream of books on this subject. Perhaps the quantity of the argument, if not the quality, will persuade people to heed the warning.

Many thanks to Mr. Martin Hirschfeld for donating the book to our library.

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