MHD541 – Mental Health and Society

Visit these sites related to recent controversy on the use of medication to treat depression and the question of whether we are now using medication to treat not only clinically severe depression but all manner of normal sadness and grieving:

Goldacre, B. (2008) A quick fix would stop drug companies’ bending the truth. Retrieved May 21, 2011 from

Kirsch, I. et al (2008) Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved May 2011 from PLOS Medicine at:

Read these articles and do your own research using TUI’s library and the Internet (judiciously).

rationally evaluate the claims made by both sides in this controversy regarding the overuse of anti-depressant medications. Feel free to use other web-based or library resources to support your argument in both of these endeavors. You may choose to support one side or the other in your concluding statements, but your position must rely on facts and careful analysis and not be primarily founded on rhetoric and emotional arguments.


1) Objectively discuss the benefits of modern psychiatric practice to society, and its possible weaknesses or abuses. How do you address thoughtful criticisms from within and without the mental health professions?

2) Application of modular readings when appropriate (APA formatting not required).

The following components should guide your work and will be the criteria by which I will be grading:

Clearly demonstrates an understanding of the relevant concepts.

Clearly exhibits the ability to effectively apply relevant concepts from readings to the case presented.

Uses a logical structure appropriate to paper’s subject and purpose.

Includes a well-developed introduction, summative conclusion, and section headings or clear transition statements.

Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to support ideas, convey understanding of the topic, and shape the whole work.

Paper shows a high level of analysis and evaluation of the data and resources, as well as recognition of differences, contradictions, and biases. Compelling discussion.

Uses words with precise meaning and an appropriate level of specificity. Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused, not long and rambling.

Almost entirely free of errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Correct in-text referencing. Complete, accurate reference list in consistent standard format

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