Dr James Davies writes:
For the last 30 years those of us critical of the overprescribing and harms of psychiatric medications have been on the losing side, in the face of a powerful industry-backed medical model that has crowded out alternative voices and visions. The real importance of Wednesday’s Maudsley Debate is that it symbolised what the critical community has been sensing for some time now – that the tide is finally turning. The people and institutions who were once isolated, unconnected and struggling against an evidence base favouring the status quo, can now, at a click, possess the evidence revealing that what we were sold as solid and beyond dispute is nothing of the sort.
Last night the Maudsley Debate brought into the heart of establishment psychiatry powerful evidence and arguments that the long-term use of psychiatric medications is causing more harm than good – and that evidence clearly won on the night. This is a cause for hope and optimism. But of course we must remain cautious, a single debate won’t change the world, but what it has done is put the issue squarely on the map – it has finally been legitimised as a valid debate by a leading psychiatric institution, something that has not happened before.