Home / Books / Healthy Body & Mind / Psychology & Counseling / Psychopharmacology / The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs ID: B25093
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The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs

Author: Joanna Moncrieff
ISBN: 9781137277428
Original Region: United Kingdom
Original Language: English
Publication Date: 2013
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Antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs have become some of the biggest blockbusters of the early 21st century, increasingly prescribed not just to people with 'schizophrenia' or other severe forms of mental disturbance but for a range of more common psychological complaints. This book challenges the accepted account that portrays antipsychotics as specific treatments that target an underlying brain disease and explores early views that suggested, in contrast, that antipsychotics achieve their effects by inducing a state of neurological suppression. Professional enthusiasm for antipsychotics eclipsed this understanding, exaggerated the benefits of antipsychotics and minimized or ignored evidence of their toxic effects. The pharmaceutical industry has been involved in expanding the use of antipsychotics into territory where it is likely that their dangers far outweigh their advantages.

About the Author:

Joanna Moncrieff is a Senior Lecturer at University College London, UK and a practising consultant psychiatrist. She is co-chair person of the Critical Psychiatry Network and author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure.


"This book will make an enormous contribution towards a more rational, transparent and ethical approach to the use of neuroleptic drugs. By implication it also offers up a strong argument for much wider choice for people in crisis, particularly the provision of minimal drug/drug-free systems of help and support, such as Soteria-type facilities and Open Dialogue. It is a must-read for all psychiatrists and mental health professionals, and its accessibility means that many survivors/service users and carers will find it a valuable ally in their fight for more humane and less harmful alternatives to psychiatric drug treatment."

— Philip Thomas, University of Bradford, UK

Hardcover:296 pages

Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 2 cm

Excerpt from the origin:



1. Cure or Curse?

2. Chlorpromazine

3. Magic Bullets

4. Building a House of Cards

5. The Phoenix Rises

6. Looking Where the Light is

7. The Patient's Dilemma

8. Antipsychotics as Chemical Cosh

9. Old and New Drug-Induced Problems

10. The First Tentacles

11. The Antipsychotic Epidemic

12. All is Not as it Seems

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