Before Prozac by Edward Shorter
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About Before Prozac by Edward Shorter
Before Prozac by Edward Shorter: Shorter’s critique is complicated and multifactorial (and he frequently gets distracted by historical curiosities), but lives may depend on it. The main thrust of his argument is that Psychiatry has not progressed as other medical specialties have, because the classification of illnesses and the medications used to treat them are inferior to the state of the art 40 years ago.
This came about because 1. Major Depression was so broadly defined as to be a meaningless diagnosis, 2. The FDA decreed that drugs had to be indicated specifically for a particular use (antidepressant, antipsychotic, anxiolytic) 3. The early FDA arbitrarily wiped out or vilified whole classes of drugs as an exercise of power, and 4. the later FDA adopted a standard for the efficacy of double-blind trials against placebo, without regard for the relative effectiveness of other drugs.
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