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"Mental illness" is described as bio-psycho-social, but in practice psychiatry has been driven by research paid for by pharmaceutical corporations. Thus, we hear a lot about "chemical imbalances" and "brain disorders" for which no scientific evidence exists. On July 14 we looked at the social factors contributing to the epidemic of psychiatric disorders in the US. This followed our popular May episode on the contribution of psychiatric drugs to the crisis. Our guest was dissident psychiatrist Dr. Malika Burman. Dr Burman is an American born and educated but spent much of her early life in India, giving her a unique cross-cultural perspective on the insanity pervading society in the US. She runs a holistic psychiatric practice in Portland, Oregon that is a radical departure from the medical model of psychiatric practice she was taught. In the 70s there was a surge of interest in exploring the social determinants of psychiatric conditions. What was learned was quickly forgotten by most psychiatrists and much of the public when Prozac burst on the scene. That and other "newer-generation" drugs reignited hopes for magic bullets that would somehow correct chemical imbalances that were postulated to cause depression, anxiety, mania and psychosis. We picked up where the mainstream media left off and focused on the solutions to be found within us and in our collective power. SFPI Radio is the international talk show designed to allow those struggling for social justice around the world to talk to each other about how we can support efforts to promote justice, democracy and peace in every nation.
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