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Treating schizophrenia has come a long way

April 7, 2012
The Marietta Times

In the fall of 2012, I heard Robert Whitaker speak at a mental health recovery conference. Whitaker received several national awards and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for articles he wrote about the pharmaceutical industry and problems in psychiatric research. Before writing his first book, "Mad in America," he believed in the conventional treatment of schizophrenia and the need for a lifetime regimen of antipsychotic medications (also called neuroleptics) for those so diagnosed; the psychiatric experts he interviewed described these medications as necessary to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically, an oversupply of dopamine. However, while writing a series of articles for the Boston Globe in 1998, he found two studies that raised serious questions about the treatment of schizophrenia in the United States and other developed nations:



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