Answering the Critics of Anatomy of an Epidemic
The criticism of Anatomy of an Epidemic has mostly consisted of the following: I cherry-picked studies that fit my thesis that psychiatric drugs worsened long-term outcomes; I misrepresented Martin Harrow’s findings; I relied on older studies; I mistake correlation for causation; and I am biased in my reporting. Here are four such criticisms, with my replies to those critics.
I spoke at a psychiatric Grand Rounds at Massachusetts General Hospital on January 13, 2011. In response, Dr. Andrew Nierenberg then gave what he described as a presentation “refuting” the book. Given that Dr. Nierenberg’s presentation occurred within this Grand Rounds environment, it can be seen as an opportunity for academic psychiatry to have presented an “evidence-based” reply to Anatomy of an Epidemic.
Daniel Carlat, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University, wrote a two-part review of Anatomy of an Epidemic on January 21 and 24, 2011. He writes a popular blog, The Carlat Psychiatry Blog.
In its 2011 summer issues, Behavioral Healthcare ran a two-part interview with me about my book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. This stirred William Glazer, a well-known psychiatrist who has served as a consultant to Eli Lilly since 1992 (and to other pharmaceutical companies during that time as well), to pen a two-part “rebuttal” to Anatomy of an Epidemic.
E. Fuller Torrey, through his Treatment Advocacy Center, is the country’s most prominent advocate for outpatient commitment laws, which typically force people with a diagnosis of a severe mental illness to take antipsychotic medications. He posted a scathing review of Anatomy of an Epidemic on his TAC website, which became a review that was widely circulated. I am often told that this review is cited by psychiatrists that Torrey “discredited” the book. In my response, I focused on what his review–and whether it was honest–revealed about the Treatment Advocacy Center’s campaign for outpatient commitment laws.