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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking mental health around the world.

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Mar 31, 2017

This week, we interview Dr. David Healy, internationally respected psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist scientist and author. A professor of Psychiatry in Wales, David studied medicine in Dublin, and at Cambridge University. He is a former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and 20 books, including The Antidepressant Era and The Creation of Psychopharmacology. David’s latest book, Pharmageddon, documents the riveting and terrifying story of how pharmaceutical companies have hijacked healthcare in America and the life-threatening results. David’s main areas of research are clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture. We talk prescribing practice, medicine safety and regulation.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Healy became interested in drug adverse reactions and medicine safety.
  • How he came to see the harm that medications can cause and why treatment induced harm, mainly through medications is a major concern.
  • How he witnessed parents become more anxious when taking SSRI antidepressant drugs
  • How David established Data Based Medicine and the website to increase awareness of medication safety
  • How people can now inform themselves about the risks with medications much more easily now with access to the internet
  • That is a very important resource for people wanting to know more about their medications
  • That the number of antidepressants being used year on year is increasing because more people are unable to get off the drugs
  • How the regulation of Pharmaceutical manufacturers is ineffective because it is mainly a bureaucratic exercise
  • That it’s not just drugs used in the mental health field that are problematic
  • We need to better distinguish between distress and a disease
  • Why people differ when trying to withdraw from psychiatric drugs
  • That trials in the 1980s on healthy volunteers showed that ssri antidepressants made them anxious and exhibit depressive symptoms within two weeks
  • That there is nowhere near enough research on antidepressant dependance and withdrawal


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James Moore 2017