top of page

Joanna Moncrieff – Rethinking the Drug Treatment of Psychosis


THE LETTER 55 & 56 Spring/Summer 2014, pages 13-25.


This talk challenges the current assumption that psychiatric drugs work by correcting an underlying ‘chemical imbalance,’ or any other brain-based abnormality. An alternative, ‘drug-centred’ model of drug action will be out-lined that proposes that psychiatric drugs induce altered mental and physical states, and that these states may sometimes be ‘therapeutic’ by helping to sup-press the manifestations of mental distress and disturbance. A drug-centred account of antipsychotic action will be presented that stresses the cognitive and emotional suppression produced by the drugs and how the desired and adverse effects of the drugs cannot be neatly distinguished. The impact of these effects on the symptoms of severe mental disorders will be discussed along with the practical and ethical implications of this sort of approach.

Rethinking the Drug Treatment of Psychosis

  • After completing your purchase, you will receive a link to download your digital product(s) as a PDF, along with an emailed link that will last for 30 days. The PDF is for individual use only. 

Recent Articles