Fox News just informed viewers that 27 million Americans are being treated for depression. The Washington Times ran a three-part series this week on the tsunami of mental illness in New Orleans four years after Hurricane Katrina, mostly depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A rash of additional articles has appeared nationwide on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including one from last Sunday’s (August 2) Washington Times “Pure suffering for OCD Patients,” by Cheryl Weinstein. All news sources, regardless of political persuasion, lend the aura of medical legitimacy to these phenomena.
The new study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and released Monday in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, did not examine depression treatment, which is highly controversial among children so young. Some advocates say parents and doctors are too quick to give children powerful psychiatric drugs. Though sure to raise eyebrows among lay people, the notion that children so young can get depressed is increasingly accepted in psychiatry.
Antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between 1996 and 2005, along with a concurrent rise in the use of other psychotropic medications, a new report shows.
In 2012, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) will publish the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). In May 2008, the APA released the names of the work group members. Last April, the 13 work groups reported on their progress, revealing that organized psychiatry is on the verge of including several ancient vices and new time wasters in this Pandora’s Box. Advocates have lobbied to expand the universe of the mentally disturbed with philanderers (sex addicts), spend thrifts (compulsive shoppers), the gluttonous (binge eaters) and internet gamers.
This is part three of a four-part investigative article series by award-winning journalist Evelyn Pringle on The Mothers Act Disease Mongering Campaign.