Last night at a dinner club, I brought up the conversation of psychiatric drugs causing a rise in disability rates.
I suggested Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker to a man who was talking about how he works for Social Security disability to determine whether people are eligible for disability.
He asked what it was about and I told him it was research about the effect of the increase in mental health diagnoses and psych drugging on disability rates.
This was a mainstream group and I wasn’t even sure how to bring up the topic at first, wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down that route because I figured everyone would disagree with me and it would be a frustrating, triggering, upsetting conversation.
And, in fact, it seemed like it would be when I first mentioned that more people are on disability with the rise in mental health diagnoses since anyone can get a mental health diagnosis and a woman immediately said “NO!” in disagreement.
I’m not sure what she was disagreeing with because there were 9 people at the table and conversations were starting and stopping and being intercepted quickly, but when the topic came up again and everyone else spoke up in agreement, she didn’t say anything.
Everyone (almost) spoke up right away in agreement with me and one young woman brought up a book about how psych drugs have caused all of the school shootings.
The man who works for Social Security said at one point, “It’s not easy talking to schizophrenics all day,” but no one seemed to hear him or respond since there were a few conversations going on at once.
I’m glad I was asking to the woman across the table for the name of the book on school shootings at that point and didn’t know what he was referring to.
Despite his comment and the one woman’s initial disagreement, there was a ton of agreement that people, especially kids, are being excessively drugged, this is causing a rise in disability, that the drugs have caused all of the school shootings, and that pharmaceutical money profits are the motivator for the over-drugging.
Critical perspectives on psychiatry are definitely making their way to the mainstream. This crowd was not full of hippies, not alternative folk, not all intellectuals, not young rebels to name a few stereotypes of “types” who might think this way; no one there was even gluten free or on a restricted diet of any sort, if that indicates anything about how mainstream a group is.
They were somewhat “average” (liberal leaning perhaps) Americans at an ethnic dinner for their dinner club meetup. They believe Americans have a higher growing rate of chronic disability than the rest of the world because our medical system dispenses more drugs.