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A Criticism of Drug Therapy in Psychiatry

ROBERT LIBERMAN, A.B.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(2):131-136. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710080027005.
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Pharmacological agents for the treatment of mental illness are coming into increasingly widespread use. Tranquilizers and psychic energizers have stimulated research into neurochemistry and have brought about the formulation of chemical hypotheses that attempts to explain the development of mental disease. The vast advertising campaigns undertaken by the drug companies in order to sell their psychotropic drugs, as well as the emergence of psychopharmacology as a subdiscipline in medical science, emphasize the attention being given currently to these agents.

At the same time that acceptance of these substances has become generalized, there has been little evaluation of their efficacy. It is as though these compounds have been established, a priori, as possessing therapeutic action. This paper will study the reported effects of the group of drugs classified as "psychic energizers" and will challenge the widely held notion that they are powerful therapeutic tools.

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