From Dr. Caroline Leaf: “In this podcast I speak with best-selling author, journalist and mental health advocate Robert Whitaker about the myth of the chemical imbalance, the politics of psychiatry and Big Pharma, and why we need to change the way we think and talk about mental health. Whitaker sees his role as a science journalist as someone who is an honest communicator. Science journalism is a public service — it involves presenting real, evidence-based science to the public, not marketing. This role as an honest communicator shaped Whitaker’s work as director of public relations at Harvard Medical School, and eventually led him to investigate how medical professionals can delude themselves, how money and business can corrupt medical practice, including psychiatry, and the myth of the chemical imbalance.


  • Why Robert Whitaker is so passionate about mental health
  • The need for real mental health science, not marketing
  • The myth of the chemical imbalance
  • Whitaker’s amazing book Mad in America & psychiatry’s many delusions
  • How psychiatric drugs can affect people in the long term
  • The recent scientific article that everyone is talking about
  • We have all been lied to & it is time to take action
  • Debunking the myth of progress: the WHO study
  • There is hope!
  • Why Whitaker started his organization Mad in America
  • The pathologization of childhood
  • The disease model has made things worse
  • Drug outcomes in real world patients & how psychiatric drugs can impact the brain
  • How our experiences can affect us mentally & physically
  • What is wrong with the DSM

RW: The message I’d like to give to people is that if we can actually have an honest paradigm, we can hope again. And we can find solutions again. And we can build better environments. So this is not a pessimistic story, this is an optimistic story. And it’s one that celebrates within us, within human beings, these extraordinary capacities we have to overcome horrible setbacks. But also to understand the obligation we have to build societies that are more nurturing of us all. So that’s, I think, the final message — is that when you critique this you say, well, what are you offering — in return to that critique, well, what’s out there, in nature, is an unbelievably optimistic story — if we can just grab it — about how extraordinarily resilient and adaptive human beings are and how responsive to the environment.”


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