An Evening with Robert Whitaker, Weds 19th Oct, London

oneday

oneday

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Unsure where to post this, but there's no general London forum...

An Evening with campaigning journalist Robert Whitaker

19th October, 2011, 6-8pm, MIC Conference Centre, 81-103 Euston Street, London, NW1 2EZ

Author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic - Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise in Mental Illness in America

An “enthralling and frighteningly persuasive book . . . one whose astonishing intellectual punch is delivered with the gripping vitality of a novel.” New Scientist

NB You can't book tickets, you just turn up and pay at the door £10 unwaged, £20 waged

Also see: http://www.madinamerica.com/madinamerica.com/Home.html
 
J

Jamster

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waged, unwaged? as I'm on JSA what would I do take along my letter? :(

on his website it says Hearing Voices Network, MIC Conference Centre, London, England, 6 p.m. Does this mean the talk is more specific to hearing voices or would it be covering the same ground as his books?
 
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oneday

oneday

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I think the it's being put on by the Hearing Voices Network as a fundraiser for them - and no it won't be specific to hearing voices. As far as I know it will be covering what he covers in Anatomy of an Epidemic etc.

And, yes I imagine a letter from the JSA people would be fine, or something similar like your signing on documents in the plastic wallet.
 
calypso

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I am interested, but there are all kinds of factors that people don't address and just jump on the bandwagon of anti psychiatry. I am not saying that I agree with psychiatric services at all, but has anyone addressed the question the an increase could be due to the correct diagnosis, which often was not given before. We know there are increases in many illnesses because they are being diagnosed better now. I know I know the raised voices saying, but Calypso there is not diagnostic accuracy in mental health conditions. I agree!! But I just want to play Devil's Advocate, because I am concerned that so often the arguments are only one sided and there is not the rigour there should be in the arguments on here. xx
 
oneday

oneday

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Hi, Calipso. I’m interested in hearing Robert Whitaker speak and thought other people might be too, hence the post. I don’t see Whitaker as “anti psychiatry” – or most people who raise questions about contemporary psychiatric practice who get cited on this forum – I do see them as pro a better kind of psychiatry. Having worked within the mental health system myself for the past 20 years or so, as well as having been on the receiving end, I too am for this better kind of psychiatry, which I see as sorely needed.

I was interested to read the following this morning by a US professor of psychiatry (in a letter to the New York Review of Books in support of psychiatric drug treatments), admitting that:

“Psychiatrists often overdiagnose disorders of questionable scientific validity, they have become overly fixated on medication solutions to life’s problems, and many have accepted a steady flow of drug industry money, creating so many conflicts of interest that it is impossible to know who we can trust.”

I like that Robert Whitaker has come to his questioning of psychiatric practice as an ‘outsider’ – an investigative journalist, and so with fresh eyes. In his book 'Anatomy of an Epidemic', Whitaker, concedes that many psychiatric drugs are effective in the short term (e.g. neuroleptics when people are in acute crisis)— it is the long-term adverse effects of these drugs he is concerned about. In a nutshell, Whitaker makes the argument that used long-term, psychiatric drugs are essentially damaging to the body and brain and themselves have led to an epidemic of “mental illness” in the US (and the West generally).

While I share his concerns, I agree with you, and others, that there are some weaknesses in the evidence Whitaker marshals to show that it is (only?) psychiatric drugs that have led directly to skyrocketing rates of psychiatric disability.

Anyway, I’m going along to the talk (though, as I’m working part-time currently, I hope I can get in at the lower £10 rate, which is still quite a lot). I’m with you about the necessity for rigour in our arguments, and this is one reason why I want to hear what Robert Whitaker says directly, including, no doubt, his answers to challenging questions from the audience.
 
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oneday

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Bumping this cos it's on tonight for anyone in London and interested.
 
M

muggle

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would have liked to go but could not get to London. How was it?
 
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Jamster

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I would also like to know. I was very short of money earlier this week and my friend who was also interested the same, shame we missed it.
 
oneday

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Hi Muggle, Jamster, all

Yes, I went along and recommend seeing him speak if you can bear some shocking truths about contemporary psychiatric treatments. He’s a reasoned, convincing, and entertaining (given the material), speaker. And seems a really nice guy. Lots of the stuff I’d heard/read before (though not all of course) but he brought it all together well.

I haven’t read his book Anatomy of an Epidemic yet – it’s still only in hardback at £16 or £17. Just a few of the facts from his talk that stick in my mind:

• Recovery outcomes for most (could be all?) so-called psychiatric disorders are far worse these days than 50 years ago (i.e. before the advent of modern psychiatric drugs) – particularly this is the case with those diagnosed with manic depression/bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.

• 50 years ago in the USA, only around one in 3,000 adults were diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder), today the figure has become one in every 40 (yes, that’s a 75-fold increase!)

• The research evidence that psychiatrists use in favour of the idea that the majority of people with a schizophrenia diagnosis should be put on ‘antipsychotic’ medication for the rest of their lives is flawed – such an idea is a myth.

• 30% of students starting college in the US have a psychiatric disorder diagnosis.

• Children are being put on psychiatric drugs and given a psychiatric diagnosis at ever earlier ages. 50 years ago manic depression and schizophrenia, for instance, were considered to affect only adults, and so-called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder did not exist or the ‘treatment’ of young kids so diagnosed with amphetamines (Ritalin).

I could go on… (You can find a summary of some more of his findings here: http://www.ncmhr.org/downloads/Anatomy-Of-An-Epidemic-Summary-Of-Findings-Whitaker.pdf)

By the way, on his website (Mad in America: http://www.madinamerica.com/madinamerica.com/Home.html) I noticed Robert Whitaker’s also speaking in the UK during November on/at...

November 19th
Peer Support Fife
Elmwood College
Cupar, Scotland
1pm-3pm

November 21st
Public Policy Network
Univeristy of Edinburgh
6th floor, Chrystal Macmillan Bldg.
15A George Square
Edinburgh, Scotland
5pm-6:30pm

November 23rd
Elemental Charity
Rodney House
4-6 Caning Street
Liverpool, England.
1pm-6pm

November 24th
Trident Reach Health and Wellbeing
Birmingham, England
1:30pm-4:30pm

November 26th
James Nayler Foundation
Friends House
London, UK
9:30am-5:30pm

I don’t know which of or if these dates are open to the public to attend. Anyone interested will need to look into that themselves.

:)
 
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F

firemonkee57

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Hi Muggle, Jamster, all

Yes, I went along and recommend seeing him speak if you can bear some shocking truths about contemporary psychiatric treatments. He’s a reasoned, convincing, and entertaining (given the material), speaker. And seems a really nice guy. Lots of the stuff I’d heard/read before (though not all of course) but he brought it all together well.

I haven’t read his book Anatomy of an Epidemic yet – it’s still only in hardback at £16 or £17. Just a few of the facts from his talk that stick in my mind:




:)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anatomy-Epidemic-Bullets-Psychiatric-Astonishing/dp/0307452425/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319363633&sr=8-1
 
oneday

oneday

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Thanks, firemonkee

£8.03 in paperback from Amazon - that's better - Thanks!
 
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