If it wasn’t so serious, it’d be funny. “The Illusions of Psychiatry” is is the second part of a 2-part article in the New York Review of Books (I commented on the first one, which questioned the effectiveness of antidepressants and the quality of the associated drugs research) here.
Now we find out that psychiatrists raised the status within the medical profession by exploiting their license to prescribe drugs – and thus an unholy (and highly profitable) alliance was forged between shrinks and pharma companies. Out with Freudian talk therapy at $100/hour, in with 3 short diagnosis/prescription psych/patient meetings at $180/hour.
And then there’s the children, and the families that farm them:
As low-income families experience growing economic hardship, many are finding that applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on the basis of mental disability is the only way to survive. It is more generous than welfare, and it virtually ensures that the family will also qualify for Medicaid.
One four-year-old died in 2006 from a cocktail of prescribed psychoactive medications (her family was getting $30,000 p.a. from SSI benefits relating to their 3 children), and five companies have faced federal charges for illegal marketing, but so what?:
Despite having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle the charges, the companies have probably come out well ahead.