About Mad In America

A few minutes with Robert Whitaker in a video about the purpose, history, achievements, community, and future plans of Mad In America.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


  1. Bob thanks for sharing your thoughts about the Mad in America community, its development, purpose and plans for the future.

    Being invited by you back in January 2012 to join the MIA bloggers as a “foreign correspondent” was a real privilege and opportunity to speak out more strongly about personal issues and experiences. It gave me power when I felt powerless. It made all the difference to my situation.

    Thanks again, Chrys

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  2. Robert your work is ground-breaking because it is good! It focusses on facts and outcomes and the major destructive flaws in institutionalised care that is able (like all institutions: sport, religion, business, unions etc.)to be corrupted for financial gain. Would like to see immense focus on the great leaps forward Finland has made in their ‘Open-Dialogue’ system that delivers MASSIVE LONG TERM RESULTS without coercion, forced treatments, toxic medications AT ALL!
    Love and Peace

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  3. I, too, have found this website to be invaluable. I’ve sent it to numerous psychotherapists and ‘advocates,’ to show them all the different realities that never would even occur to them to consider, so I’m grateful to everyone who shares their truth with such heart and courage. One cannot deny the plethora of experiences talked about on this site, all so unique, perhaps with the common theme of ‘please stop the lying and oppression!!’ At least, that’s my core desire for the system and psychiatry. Often, reading here has been a true eye-opener for these folks.

    I also share this site and specific articles with clients with whom I work. It is very freeing to see that others have experienced such insidious mal-treatment. Once validated like this, on such a large scale, they’re more easily able to work through their own specific traumas, without questioning their reality. Instead, they are able to own it, and move on.

    Before I found MIA, I had not been aware that there existed support for the idea that medication is a toxic big business, causing way more harm than good, which I felt was the case as I was transitioning from having been medicated long term to living life healthy, whole, and medication-free, about 9 years ago. My choices were resisted by my mental health community because they literally thought I was crazy for believing such things. They thought my belief in my healing was actually delusional, as in ‘grandiose.’ How can anyone heal with *that* perspective hovering everywhere?! Maddening. Had I continued to listen to them…well, I shudder to think. I knew what was right for me, based on how I felt, but I still very anxiously questioned my sanity, to the point of daily distress, because I felt alone in my quest for healing by tapering off meds after so long.

    I know MIA helps a lot of people feel not alone, and from my perspective, that would be its greatest value. In that sense, I’d call it ‘sanity-making.’ Also inspires confidence and certainty. Thank you.

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  4. As a clinical child psychologist in private practice for the past 15 years and adjunct psychology instructor, I am thrilled to have found your website tonight as I am researching websites for my child psychopathology students. For years I have advocated for less medicine and more cognitive/behavioral, psycho-social interventions as treatments for children with psychiatric diagnoses, but have felt mostly isolated in this quest. In the past it seemed that the proponents for changes to psychiatry were considered extremists who were not taken seriously by mainstream professionals. After reviewing your site, I am glad to see the support of so many professionals with diverse interests and backgrounds. I plan to be a frequent visitor and to refer colleagues and students who are interested in learning about alternative perspectives to the “diagnose and medicate” philosophy.

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  5. A little late for this comment, but I am feeling so powerfully validated, and recognized, and Thankful for finding Anatomy of an Epidemic (I read a review in the NYRB and began my efforts to get off the meds…) and this site. The messed up context of our lives and the injustices…how could we not be ‘crazy’? I am inspired and wish I could help somehow, someday. Thank you Robert. You’ve changed my life.

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  6. I am a clinical psychologist who saw my first client, as a trainee in a state psychiatric hospital, in 1968. I’ve worked in five inpatient setting, counting that one, but for the last several years have worked in an outpatient mental health center. I have been part of starting a local network we call Holistic Mental Health Network to link people looking for alternatives to mainstream psychiatric, “brain disease” approaches to treatment, especially for serious breakdown.

    I recently read Psychiatry Under the Influence. It is so well argued, full of non-sensationalized description of research and other evidence as it describes the last 35 years of institutional psychiatry attempting to carve out their niche. I’ve recommended it to everyone where I now work, but only one person even gave it a cursory look. (I bought an extra copy to have available for borrowing). I haven’t seen it around at the big local bookstore,and therapists I’ve mentioned it to have not heard of it.

    What can you say, Bob, about the extent this potentially revolutionary book of yours (and Lisa Cosgrove)– going further than your previous books– is or is not receiving the publicity and distribution it deserves? I think it may be creating so much cognitive dissonance in many professionals and others that they just turn away from even giving it a good look.

    Bill Cahalan
    Cincinnati, OH

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  7. Bill,

    My friend, a clinical psychologist, and I, a mental health counselor, have our hunches about why mental health professionals might be reacting in that way. We have been trying to receive support for the research we would like to do to see if our hunch is correct, hoping we would be able to facilitate some changes. We have been invited to submit proposals but have not received funding. We have more recently been given some suggestions about where else to look for funding and have been told by more professionals–two more psychologists–that they think our project is worthwhile and they hope we are able to undertake it and get it published. We’re hanging in there. The project is simple but getting funding for what we need has not been.

    Good for you for trying to share your knowledge with your colleagues who have not shown receptivity.


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