Stanton Peele has written an amazing article, "Nervous Breakdown: Remember When People Used to Overcome Mental Illness?" His point? Our treatment of mental illness may have been better in the past, before modern psychiatry and Big Pharma.
Granted, our treatment of mental illness in the past included lobotomies and Thorazine. Still, Peele makes an interesting point - that people do have some ability to recoup from a "nervous breakdown" if given the time and support. Putting people on medications for the rest of their lives may be a benefit for the pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatrists paid to administer and monitor these medications, but are they the panacea they promise? And what is the cost? The antipsychotics, in particular, are heavy duty tranquilizers which numb a person's emotions and dull their thoughts. The chances of a person returning to a fully functioning life on these medications is slim. What if clients were provided more support and therapy instead of making medication the first line of treatment?
It's an interesting read.