Marianne Williamson has a point about psychiatric medication
Added 08-23-19 08:13:02am EST - “Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson might be best known for her debate-stage denunciation of the "dark psychic force" allegedly underlying Donald Trump's presidency, but her comments on related psychotropic matters also merit…” - Nydailynews.com
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Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson might be best known for her debate-stage denunciation of the “dark psychic force” allegedly underlying Donald Trump’s presidency, but her comments on related psychotropic matters also merit serious consideration. Given Williamson’s slightly otherworldly demeanor, it can be tempting to dismiss all her prescriptions about contemporary society as crankish proselytization — a ruse to sell self-help books and juice attendance numbers at the weird conferences she’ll inevitably headline in the near future.
And some of her zanier proclamations — such as “cancer and AIDS and other physical illnesses are physical manifestations of a psychic scream” — might reasonably lead one to conclude that she’s not a reliable narrator.
Still, Williamson has brought attention to a genuine political and social conundrum which if not for her would go almost entirely ignored in the 2020 campaign cycle: Why, in the most prosperous country in the world, are enormous numbers of people using psychiatric drugs?
Roughly one in six Americans currently takes such a drug, and at least 40 million are on antidepressant medication alone. Rates of consumption have been climbing steadily for three decades. According to the American Psychological Association, the number of Americans on anti-depressants ballooned by 64% between 1999 and 2014.
But this hasn’t coincided with any discernible reduction in societal despair; if anything, the result appears to be the opposite. A report published last year in the medical journal The Lancet found that the massive increase in anti-depressant consumption over the past quarter-century has not produced any decline in the prevalence of mood disorders. (It has, however, produced huge profits for pharmaceutical companies.) Meanwhile, the U.S. suicide rate is at its highest level since World War II.
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