Summary and Info
Cultural forces shape much of medicine including psychiatry, and medicine shapes much of our culture. Medicine provides us with beneficial treatments of disease, but it also causes harm, increasingly so in the form of overmedication enhanced by the pharmaceutical industry. The book explores boundaries of medicine and psychiatry in a cultural setting by building bridges between unconnected literatures. Boundaries have to be redrawn since effects of the environment, biological, social and political, on health and disease are undervalued. Potential beneficial effects of diet therapies are a recurrent theme throughout the text, with particular emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids. Deficiencies of these acids in common diets may contribute to many chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. The book uncovers limitations of evidence-based medicine, which fosters a restrictive view of health and disease. Case studies include: the biology of migraine; limitations of biological psychiatry; conventional versus alternative medicine; science, religion and near-death experiences.