Before Prozac: the troubled history of mood disorders in psychiatry

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Oxford University Press,
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Psychiatry today is a barren tundra, writes medical historian Edward Shorter, where drugs that don't work are used to treat diseases that don't exist. In this provocative volume, Shorter illuminates this dismal landscape, in a revealing account of why psychiatry is "losing ground" in the struggle to treat depression. Naturally, the book looks at such culprits as the pharmaceutical industry, which is not inclined to market drugs once the patent expires, leading to the endless introduction of new--but not necessarily better--drugs. But the heart of the book focuses on an unexpected villain: the FDA, the very agency charged with ensuring drug safety and effectiveness. Shorter describes how the FDA permits companies to test new products only against placebo. If you can beat sugar pills, you get your drug licensed, whether or not it is actually better than (or even as good as) current medications, thus sweeping from the shelves drugs that may be superior but have lost patent protection. The book also examines the FDA's early power struggles against the drug industry, an influence-grab that had little to do with science, and which left barbiturates, opiates, and amphetamines all underprescribed, despite the fact that under careful supervision they are better at treating depression, with fewer side effects, than the newer drugs in the Prozac family. Shorter also castigates academia, showing how two forms of depression, melancholia and nonmelancholia--"as different from each other as chalk and cheese"--became squeezed into one dubious classification, major depression, which was essentially a political artifact born of academic infighting. An astonishing and troubling look at modern psychiatry, Losing Ground is a book that is sure to spark controversy for years to come.
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Grouped Work ID d1dfc3f2-784e-090a-6995-905c71b40d9a
Grouping Title before prozac the troubled history of mood disorders in psychiatry
Grouping Author shorter edward
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-14 04:49:09AM
Last Indexed 2019-03-25 04:52:39AM

Solr Details

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author Shorter, Edward.
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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 616.8527 SHORT
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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primary_isbn 9780195368741
publishDate 2009
record_details ils:.b12938701|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|2009.|xvi, 304 pages ; 25.
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subject_facet Affective disorders -- Chemotherapy -- United States -- History, Pharmaceutical policy -- United States -- History, Psychopharmacology -- United States -- History, Psychotropic drugs -- United States -- History, Psychotropic drugs industry -- United States -- History, Serotonin uptake inhibitors -- Therapeutic use -- History
title_display Before Prozac : the troubled history of mood disorders in psychiatry
title_full Before Prozac : the troubled history of mood disorders in psychiatry / Edward Shorter
title_short Before Prozac :
title_sub the troubled history of mood disorders in psychiatry