A review of The Myth of the Chemical Cure

by Dr Joanna MonCrieff
(Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 978-0-230-57431-1),

Student massacres in the US since Columbine, are invariably heart-wrenching – last month there were four such multiple killings in a single week – what's happening and where will it end? There is one obvious explanation – but so far, it’s proved too hot to handle. Perhaps now that Prozac and other psychiatric drugs are unravelling, an even harsher medical truth can emerge.

First let’s get a grip on what goes on. Suppose all these student killers were drunk – that would make immediate sense. Alcohol is well known to confuse the mind, stifle normal rules of behaviour and thereby unleash violence. This would explain it all – acting, violently, while not in full control of their faculties – this is entirely characteristic of intoxication – and it closely resembles what all the perpetrators did. And the connection is closer than you think.

Alcohol itself does not feature in these massacres – but Dr Joanna MonCrieff’s book makes the link painfully obvious, concluding (p224). ". . . exposing our miracle cures as psychoactive chemicals, which distort normal brain function by producing a state of intoxication." [my emphasis]. This is a tightly argued book providing irrefutable evidence that no psychiatric drug is superior to alcohol. Worse – whatever effects they produce arise through varying degrees of confusion or sedation – the ominously termed drug-induced ‘frontal lobe syndrome’. This is the awful psychiatric truth that dares not speak its name.

The myth she so punctiliously punctures has a long history of obfuscation. Fifty-five years ago the ‘Nine Hospital Study’, which started the whole thing off, did not prove that the new ‘tranquilisers’ cured schizophrenia. What they showed was that after 6 weeks there were fewer symptoms – the sedative effect, but that after 12 months the drugged patients were worse – the zombie effect. Psychiatrists and legislators have shamefully ignored this ever since.

Dr MonCrieff leaves no wriggle room for purblind psychiatrists or legislators. In my 45 years as a psychiatrist, I’ve never seen a clearer condemnation of today’s psychiatry. The book’s target audience is academic, and sadly its tone and price reflect this – but the last chapter says it all, and should be compulsory reading for every psychiatrist, every politician and every consumer of these increasingly potent drugs. Dangerous mandatory and toxic medical practices will otherwise continue unabated – until others match Dr MonCrieff’s courage, and publicise this devastating message.

Dr Bob Johnson
Consultant Psychiatrist,

Dr Johnson’s book Unsafe at any dose ISBN 0-9551985-1-8,
is published by Trust Consent Publishing, P O Box 49, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 9AA UK


GMC speciality register for psychiatry reg. num. 0400150
formerly Head of Therapy, Ashworth Maximum Security Hospital, Liverpool
Consultant Psychiatrist, Special Unit, C-Wing, Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight.
MRCPsych (Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists),
MRCGP (Member of Royal College of General Practitioners).
Diploma in Psychotherapy Neurology & Psychiatry (Psychiatric Inst New York),
MA (Psychol), PhD(med computing), MBCS, DPM, MRCS.

Emotional Health ISBN 0-9551985-0-X
Unsafe at any dose ISBN 0-9551985-1-8
author of" curing mental pain 1" at --