Action Alert!
Catholic World News

Vatican paper explores US overuse of psychiatric drugs

July 19, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano gives prominent attention to arguments by Marcia Angell, a Harvard professor and director of the New England Journal of Medicine, that American psychiatrists are too quick to turn to pharmaceutical answers for personal problems.

American psychiatry has changed since the 1950s: in the certainty that mental illness is reducible to chemical reasons, it has ceased to listen to patients’ stories and is only concerned with eliminating the symptoms presented through the use of drugs.


Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: stpetric - Jul. 27, 2011 4:18 PM ET USA

    I disagree with josephrwilson8374. Dr Angell identifies not only an important clinical issue (overuse of prescription meds), but she also points to a deeper problem when she refers to "the certainty that mental illness is reducible to chemical reasons." This view reflects a materialist metaphysic which denies any spiritual notion of personhood. There is a place for meds, but also an essential place for the human spirit, especially in the suffering.

  • Posted by: josephrwilson8374 - Jul. 20, 2011 6:14 AM ET USA

    This is nonsense. It deserves extended critique, but I am too busy trying to help people manage medical illness affecting their brains to do that now.

  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Jul. 19, 2011 10:30 PM ET USA

    We used to line up for the Confessional ready to admit our own faults. Now we blame others and are given pills and therapy in place of Penance and Reparation.