Monday, May 25, 2015

A narrative that is regularly filled with distortions and misinformation

Robert Whitaker writes about how John Nash’s story has been dishonestly and disrespectfully hijacked in “Reflections on a Beautiful Mind:
…[A]s our country mourns Nash’s death, I think the story of the movie serves as a reminder of how our societal thinking about psychiatric drugs arises from a narrative that is regularly filled with distortions and misinformation. Think of “drugs that fix chemical imbalances like insulin for diabetes,” and of studies that appeared in the scientific literature during the 1990s that told of how the atypicals were so much better than the first generation of psychiatric drugs, and of Russell Crowe in the movie A Beautiful Mind, and you can see a script that tells of a medical breakthrough and, if truth be told, it is that script that has governed our society’s “treatment” of those diagnosed with schizophrenia for the past 20 years.
I wrote in 2013 about the film’s false claim, its likely consequences, and the responsibility of writers and artists to speak the truth and expose lies.

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