Warning, psychiatry can be hazardous to your mental health

William Glasser, 1925-

Book - 2003

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2nd Floor 616.89/Glasser Checked In
New York : HarperCollins 2003.
1st ed
Physical Description
244 p.
Includes index.
Main Author
William Glasser, 1925- (-)
Other Authors
Terry Lynch (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Psychiatrist Glasser, a much published critic of what he calls the psychiatric establishment, uses his latest book to decry the use of neurochemicals to treat patients with psychiatric complaints. He claims the practice is becoming so widespread that psychiatrists are all but abandoning old-fashioned therapy for the quick fix drugs offer. In addition, everyone from pediatricians to general practitioners is diagnosing mental illness and prescribing mind-altering drugs. These medications have not been proven effective, he says; moreover, they do great harm. He contends that most patients diagnosed as mentally ill are simply unhappy or, as he puts it, out of shape psychologically. He believes that, just as someone who is physically out of shape but not ill can train to become fit, a person who is depressed or compulsive can train to become mentally fit. What's more, he outlines clear measures anyone can learn and practice to stay off drugs and be free of psychiatric complaints ranging from mild depression to paranoid schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis. ((Reviewed May 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Psychiatrist Glasser (Reality Therapy; Choice Theory) condemns psychiatry as a profession dominated by pharmaceutical money and managed-care values. He considers mental illness to be a fiction (after Thomas Szasz), attributing conditions from depression to schizophrenia to unhappiness and the choices people make. Drugs mostly do harm and should be avoided. Psychiatrists often lock people up and medicate them by force if they resist. This is a cuckoo's nest treatment of issues much better handled in other recent books, notably Out of Its Mind by J.A. Hobson and J. Leonard. Glasser's self-assurance and self-promotion are of a piece: this reads like a long commercial for his Choice Theory Focus Sessions. Some of it is commonsensical and even creative, but it reads like a watered-down version of Otto Rank's will therapy. Libraries meeting demands for popular self-help books will need a copy, though.-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Swimming against what he sees as the tide of prescriptions written for antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac, psychiatrist Glasser (Choice Theory) argues that these drugs can do more harm than good. He asserts that there has been some scientifically sound psychiatric research that suggests the drugs can damage mental health and even the brain itself. Through selective case studies and extrapolation of evidence, the author urges readers to think twice before accepting "brain drugs"; he states that the effectiveness of certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors has been exaggerated by the drug companies. To his credit, Glasser does offer several practical alternatives for patients. But he seems to cherish his outsider status and questions the way psychiatry is practiced today. Group therapy transcripts and case studies constitute the bulk of his case, and chapters like "Luck, Intimacy, and Our Quality World" and "We Have Learned to Destroy Our Own Happiness" are designed to help the reader understand symptoms. Some of the anecdotes are compelling, and individuals seeking alternatives to drug treatments may benefit. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Outlines changes that have taken place in the mental health industry in recent years, noting how doctors are more likely to prescribe potentially harmful antidepressants, and expressing concern about what such practices can mean to psychiatric patients. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

How psychopharmacology has usurped the role of psychotherapy in our society, to the great detriment of the patients involved. William Glasser describes in Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health the sea change that has taken place in the treatment of mental health in the last few years. Millions of patients are now routinely being given prescriptions for a wide range of drugs including Ritalin, Prosac, Zoloft and related drugs which can be harmful to the brain. A previous generation of patients would have had a course of psychotherapy without brain–damaging chemicals. Glasser explains the wide implications of this radical change in treatment and what can be done to counter it.