Chapter 4:
Disease Mongering

SELLING SICKNESS TO THE WORRIED WELL

Disease Mongering (noun): “The act of convincing essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.”

Psychiatrists know about it. Drug companies know about it. Advertising executives throughout the world do, too.

Disease Mongering is a highly successful strategy that turns common life situations into psychiatric disease states, getting people of every walk of life to worry about the latest “mental illness”—and to demand a pill.

And according to one marketing guru, “No therapeutic category is more accepting of condition branding than the field of anxiety and depression, where illness is rarely based on measurable physical symptoms and therefore, open to conceptual definition.”

And it works. Psychiatrists and drug companies have carved out a lucrative market niche grossing over $150,000 every minute.

But with disease mongering campaigns creating the illusion of widespread mental illness, how safe are the drugs psychiatrists are prescribing to treat it?

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