Within the last two decades the field of psychiatry has mushroomed from a fringe body of Sigmund Freud admirers to a mainstream player in the field of medical pharmacology, largely because of an unseemly union between that profession and the drug industry, leading to the creation of many never before known disease states and profitable ways to exploit those alleged diseases with psychiatric services and drugs.
The field of psychiatry has persistent and well-informed critics who point to the excessive drugging of institutionalized patients, of children commonly misdiagnosed as suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and of the elderly misdiagnosed with treatable dementia, among others. The drugs given these patients have their own side-effects, including increased risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, birth defects, and even death. Because of the movement of psychiatry from the fringe of medicine to its heart, a majority of Americans are likely to come into contact with psychiatric drugs, either recommended for use by their children or for use by them at some point in their lives. Indeed, presently some 1 in 5 adults take anti-depressants, anti-psychotic, or anti-anxiety drugs.
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