Friday, January 25, 2008

File 1.91

Talking back to Prozac:

The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder
by Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield, Oxford University Press, 287 pp.

Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness
by Christopher Lane, Yale University Press, 263 pp.

Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression
by David Healy, New York University Press, 351 pp.

"The corporate giants popularly known as Big Pharma spend annually, worldwide,some $25 billion on marketing, and they employ more Washington lobbyists than there are legislators. Their power, in relation to all of the forces that might oppose their will, is so disproportionately huge that they can dictate how they are to be (lightly) regulated, shape much of the medical research agenda, spin the findings in their favor, conceal incriminating data, co-opt their potential critics, and insidiously colonize both our doctors' minds and our own. [...]
As a psychopharmacologist, however, he saw from the outset that the drug firms were pushing a simplistic "biobabble" myth whereby depression supposedly results straightforwardly from a shortfall of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. No such causation has been established, and the proposal is no more reasonable than claiming that headaches arise from aspirin deprivation"



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