Robert Whitaker, in a posting on his Mad in America blog, writes about how he sometimes loses the hope that "our society will ever be able to have a thoughtful, honest discussion about what is truly known about mental disorders, and about the merits of psychiatric medications". I understand the sentiment. However, we do need to remind ourselves that biomedical psychiatry is a cultural system. Like a religion, it expresses a view about the nature of the world that provides what Clifford Geertz called an 'aura of factuality'. This feeling of realness is not easy to upset. People don't want to have their worldview turned upside down.
Whitaker's books The Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in America are well worth reading. One of their main themes is the vulnerability created by taking psychotropic medication. Relapse rates when people stop medication are very high. There is also evidence of a loss of benefit emerging with long-term treatment and also on retreatment after discontinuation of treatment. People may actually do better over the long-term if they work through their problems without medication. This is a legitimate scientific hypothesis (eg. Can long-term treatment with antidepressant drugs worsen the course of depression?).
(with thanks to News and Alerts from Mind Freedom International)