We think this is an important question. Over the past 20 years the answer to that question has increasingly become: drugs. In 2010 Americans spent over $34 billion on psychotropic drugs, more than the gross national product of Yemen, a nation of 24 million people. Americans spend more money on antipsychotic drugs than on any other class of drugs. Yet, during that same period of time the number of Americans diagnosed with mental disorders has increased dramatically. The cure rate for schizophrenia has dropped back to what it was in 1900. The number of Americans on Social Security Disability due to a mental illness has increased from 1 in every 184 Americans to 1 in every 76. The number of children under 18 years old on Social Security Disability has risen from 16,200 to 562,000, an increase of 3,500 percent.
The recovery rate from schizophrenia is twice as high in Nigeria, Colombia and India, countries in which drugs are not used, as it is in the United States. The recovery rate from early psychosis is 80 percent in Finland, where drugs are not used as the primary modality of treatment.
We’re going backwards in our ability to treat people diagnosed with mental disorders. This is a national crisis that is flying under the radar.
At our conference, we will be finding, exploring, studying and understanding safe, humane and life-enhancing ways of treating persons diagnosed with mental disorders. And we will be working together on building a strategy to increase the availability of, and access to such approaches.
Our main speakers are Irving Kirsch, author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth; James Gordon, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression; Gary Greenberg, author of Manufacturing Depression, and: Grace Jackson, author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide to Informed Consent and Drug Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime.
The conference is scheduled for November 2 and 3 at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott Hotel. For more information and to register please go to www.psychintegrity.org or call Al Galves at 575-522-8371