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More Psychiatric Drugs On The Way

I found a scary article in yesterday’s New York Times with a headline that says it all, A Record Number of Drugs Are Being Tested to Treat Mental Illness. In my mind’s eye I envision a grinning drug company executive hissing, “Buy our anti-stigma bait hook, line, and sinker, and we’ve got you by the gills. You, too, can become a drug dependent treatment junky!”

There are a record 313 drugs under research and development to treat mental illness, the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ association says in a new report.

They want you to step forward, and confess to being a space alien.

The National Institute of Mental Health said in a 2010 report: “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”

Just in case you didn’t notice, 26.2% is a little better than 1/4th, or 25% of the entire population. I imagine this rate of people sold on the idea that there is something wrong with them has gone up with the selling of the idea. This is a slightly higher rate than other rates I’ve seen bandied about in recent history.

Keep your eyes on that figure, folks, and let me know when that other milestone is reached, 33.3% of the people. One third of the nation nuts, and truly, we will have turned a major bend in that road that leads inevitably enough to a mad majority.

Recovering the nation from the mental distress epidemic that is breaking out with such rapidity is going to prove somewhat more than problematic. If our mental health system these days is very adept at absorbing patients, it is also very bad at restoring them to acceptability.