James Davies’ new book Sedated has just been released with Atlantic Books.
In Britain alone, more than 20% of the adult population take a psychiatric drug in any one year. This is an increase of over 500% since 1980 and the numbers continue to grow. Yet, despite this prescription epidemic, levels of mental illness of all types have actually increased in number and severity.
Using a wealth of studies, interviews with experts, and detailed analysis, Dr James Davies argues that this is because we have fundamentally mischaracterised the problem. Rather than viewing most mental distress as an understandable reaction to wider societal problems, we have embraced a medical model which situates the problem solely within the sufferer and their brain.
Urgent and persuasive, Sedated systematically examines why this individualistic view of mental illness has been promoted by successive governments and big business – and why it is so misplaced and dangerous.
‘James Davies is one of the most important voices on mental health in the world. This is a beautiful and deeply sane book. Everyone who’s suffering – and wants to know how to make it stop – should read it right away.’ Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections
‘A wonderful, moving and truly life-changing book. Sedated is an urgent intervention for post-pandemic society, written with expertise and clarity. Warning: it will cause irritation to powerful interests who fear us all becoming better informed about the root causes of so much human suffering.’ Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, former Director of Liberty
An adapted excerpt of the book is available here.