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Is America Driving You Crazy?

Program #BEZS004. Recorded in Seattle, WA on October 16, 2006.

The number of Americans suffering from mental illness has nearly doubled since 1987. That's when Prozac, the first of the "wonder drugs" was introduced. Mental disorders are reported in more than 25% of returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. And more than 1 in 4 college students are now on anti-depressants. With all the new drugs available for treatment, depression and anxiety disorders continue to rise. Is our drug-based system of care fueling this epidemic? With an unstable future and fewer family and community ties to help deal with problems, anxiety is also heightened by other factors related to modern society, such as war, global warming, advanced technology and globalization. What can we do to create a healthier society and treat those afflicted with mental illness in a more effective way?


Stephen Bezruchka

Stephen Bezruchka is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. He worked for many years as an emergency physician in Seattle. His particular areas of research are population health and societal hierarchy. He spent over 10 years in Nepal working in various health programs, and teaching in remote regions. He is author of numerous articles and essays. He is a contributor to Sickness and Wealth, a book on the effects of global corporatization on health.

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