Psychiatrists say two recent book reviews by Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a Harvard lecturer, are inaccurate and misinformed.
The debate was set off when Angell, whose training is in internal medicine and pathology, wrote two book reviews in the New York Review of Books on June 23 and July 14. She reviewed several books that are critical of various aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment and also evaluated work on the rewriting of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that is schedule for publication in 2013.
Angell's review supports the charges in several of the books that psychiatry is too reliant on medication, too wedded to the pharmaceutical industry and often over-diagnoses people and even mistreats young children diagnosed with mental disorders.
"In view of the risks and questionable long-term effectiveness of drugs, we need to do better," Angell admonishes in the July 14 essay.