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.

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2 Responses

  1. 26.2%, sheesh… 80million nutjobs. You suggest that 33.3% might be a critical figure. They will possibly be satisfied for a time at least, when they get to 50%.

    USA’s having “health care reform” at the moment. I’m guessing that the reform is not likely to include increasing the right of a person to question a psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

    • No doubt the figures are excessive, who needs to have everybody counted who passes through a shrink’s office, but they keep going up. When the % of people on antidepressant drugs in the USA must be about 10% you know you’ve got a real problem. These figures arising from media stories (antistigma campaigning), mental health screening, and direct to consumer advertisements, are going to be used primarily to ask for more mental health funding. This funding is going to mean more media stories, more mh screening, and more advertising. Dear me, I wonder what the problem could be?

      As for “health care reform”, the pricetag is going to be very high. Here’s a stat I picked up from the NAMI website…

      •The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.

      The system is broken, and people aren’t recovering. More and more of them in fact. This is going to mean a big tab. How is our “new and improved” health care system that would be treating people with physical problems going to cover this dilemma? Why, of course, by listing “mental illness” among those problems characterized as “medical”. Sooner or later, the taxpayer is going to be noticing an ache is his wallet or her pocketbook.

      I was among the organizers of a public forum on health care in Virginia. One of the things that surprized me about this forum was that the majority of people there seemed to be there over strictly ‘mental health’ concerns. “Medicalizing” irresponsibility and self-control issues, and then putting them on the tax payers bill, is going to lead to some kind of reassessment down the line anyway. The bill is just going to eventually be too high. People could get a grip on this type of thing before it happened but, no, they’ve blindsided themselves in the frenzy to adopt some kind of embracive health care package. Throw your man-made artificial invalids in there with your very real physically injured invalids, and you’ve got an economic catastrophy in the making.

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