In a new article in the journal BMJ, an expert argues that the benefits of psychiatric drugs have been exaggerated and the negatives downplayed due to poor trial design, while another expert and psychiatric patient defend the use of these drugs.

Every year in the West, more than half a million people over age 65 die from the use of psychiatric drugs and the benefits would need to be “colossal” to justify these “immensely harmful” treatments, said Peter Gøtzsche, MD, professor and director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Denmark.

But Dr. Allan H. Young, a professor of mood disorders at King’s College London, and John Crace, a psychiatric patient, contend with Gøtzsche’s stance, arguing that research supports the use of psychiatric drugs. They believe that these drugs are just as beneficial and effective as the drugs used to treat other common, complex conditions.

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