Implicit to the drug companies’ messianic promises of health, happiness and economic productivity is a spurious parable of linear scientific progress: in spite of consistently inconclusive clinical trials, new psychotropic drugs are regularly marketed as improvements on old ones, ever more specific in their targeting of neurotransmitters, ever less productive of pernicious side effects.
2012 is when the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected to be published. If previous revisions are anything to go by, then many more people will fall within the parameters required for a diagnosis of mental disorder.
We can hold the DSM, currently in its fourth edition, responsible for transforming everyday sadness into a medical condition. It now diagnoses human response to loss, save for the death of a loved one, as depression.
One of the most dangerous combinations I’m aware of is one institution that has become more and more creative, yet less and less scientific (psychiatry), combined with one of the most profitable, yet corrupt industries in the entire world (PhRMA)…