The Surprising Truth About How Psych Drugs Come to Market

The following interview is part of a cutting-edge series of video interviews called Parenting Today: Raising Strong, Resilient Kids being aired exclusively on Mad in America.

This series has as its aim educating parents about the current mental disorder paradigm as it relates to children. It also offers many useful tips about how to raise more resilient children and how to become a more skilful parent. In this series of more than thirty interviews, we share information about the diverse resources available to parents, including alternative ones.

We hope that you’ll follow this important series. Mental health advocate Heather Juergensen hosts the interviews, each of which introduces you to an interesting guest speaking on a subject of importance to parents. We hope that you enjoy this series, benefit from it, and decide to alert other parents to its existence!

Today’s guest is Dr. David Healy, who is a Professor of Psychiatry at Bangor University in North Wales. Dr. Healy is a psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist and author. He studied medicine at University College Dublin, Ireland, and at Cambridge University. A former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, he’s the author of over 200 peer-reviewed articles and 24 books, including The Antidepressant Era, The Creation of Psychopharmacology, Let Them Eat Prozac and Pharmageddon.

His research interests include the structure of clinical trials, treatment-related adverse events, the exploration of individual experience, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both clinical trials and medication on our culture. He has been an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic drugs, and in bringing problems with these drugs to the attention of regulators. Dr. Healy holds that pharmaceutical companies sell drugs in part by marketing diseases and ghost-writing articles that appear in the medical journals. In 2012, along with colleagues, he was a founder of, an adverse event reporting website that aims to support the growth of Relationship-Based Medicine. You can visit him and see some of his writings on his blog,

Links of Interest

David’s website for medication safety (RxIsk)

David’s blog

David’s articles at Mad In America

Parenting Today is produced by Heather Juergensen and Eric Maisel. To learn more about our individual work, please visit Eric Maisel at and Heather Juergensen at If you’re enjoying this series and find it useful, please tell other parents about it. To learn more about the series please visit and join our community!

Click here for more Parenting Today videos.


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.


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  1. Great interview. There are so many good points discussed. I am drawn to comment on my experience twenty years ago when i was persuaded to take an antipsychotic for anxiety and followed by Paxil when not unnaturally i became depressed and could not function in my life any longer because of drug poisoning. The Psychiatrist was telling me in the lead up to prescribing to me that I could take a new drug called Viagra as well. The point i am making is that he failed to tell me why I may need Viagra once he prescribed me his cocktail. I was too immobilised by the effect of two drugs in my system to think about sex and by the time I had taken myself off these two drugs on my own without medical help which I don’t recommend, I was experiencing suicidal thinking and great discomfort so that the next step was taken by a GP to prescribe a new antidepressant, Celexa. On this drug i did experience the symptom of genital numbing and inability to achieve orgasm. I then took myself off this drug. Subsequently having failed to withdraw completely under medical supervision due mostly to GP ignorance and lack of information about tapering i was prescribed Zoloft for the unaddressed continuous withdrawal symptoms. On Zoloft the roller coaster ride began to find a correct dosage, to find a doctor who knew, this drug was very stimulating in too high a dosage and I could become uncharacteristically impulsively aggressive. I am usually a mild mannered man. The drug effect was obvious. At the moment I am tapering with help from as many sources as i can find. Consumer beware.

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