The article tells where psychiatry is at. The psychiatrist referred to, Patrick McGorry, was awarded the title Australian of the Year this year!
Experiments, by definition, are a voyage into the unknown. But Melbourne psychiatrist Patrick McGorry conducted one on young people in the late 1990s that was more daring than most. McGorry was tantalized by the idea that psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia have a pre-onset phase, or prodrome, during which careful intervention could prevent them from emerging—and wrecking the lives of sufferers and their loved ones. The theory wasn’t McGorry’s alone, but he decided to test it in a world-first trial that had psychiatry’s skeptics aghast.
The point of contention was that some 30 subjects in McGorry’s trial received as part of their treatment regular doses of risperidone, one of a class of drugs known as antipsychotics or neuroleptics, which have been linked to a host of harmful side effects, including movement disorders. Critics were indignant that a potentially dangerous drug was being used on a hunch, and suspected the influence of big pharma and its drive to expand its markets. “This,” American mental health lobbyist David Oaks told Time in 2001, “is one of the most bizarre and counterproductive human experiments on young people I know about.”
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