Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good

Cracked-James-DaviesWhy is psychiatry such big business? Why are so many psychiatric drugs prescribed – 47 million antidepressant prescriptions in the UK alone last year – and why, without solid scientific justification, has the number of mental disorders risen from 106 in 1952 to 374 today?

The everyday sufferings and setbacks of life are now ‘medicalised’ into illnesses that require treatment – usually with highly profitable drugs.

Psychological therapist James Davies uses his insider knowledge to illustrate for a general readership how psychiatry has put riches and medical status above patients’ well-being.

The charge sheet is damning: negative drug trials routinely buried; antidepressants that work no better than placebos; research regularly manipulated to produce positive results; doctors, seduced by huge pharmaceutical rewards, creating more disorders and prescribing more pills; and ethical, scientific and treatment flaws unscrupulously concealed by mass-marketing.

Cracked reveals for the first time the true human cost of an industry that, in the name of helping others, has actually been helping itself.


‘[Cracked] should be read by every doctor … by everyone in politics and the media, not to mention any concerned citizen.’ – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

‘Chilling reading’ – Will Self, The Guardian

‘Fascinating and thought-provoking reading’ – (Top Ten Books of 2013 – NetGalley)

‘An eye-opening and persuasive work’ – Publishers Weekly

‘Davies book is a potent polemic’ – Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

‘[An] excellent new attack on psychiatry’ – Tom Hodgkinson The Independent

‘[A] diligent study’ – Talitha Stevenson, The Financial Times

‘Disturbing and uncompromising’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘If, in the world of psychiatry, the DSM is Holy Scripture, Cracked is set to become
a heretical text.’ – Robert Crampton The Times

‘Dr Davies has written an engrossing book, full of interviews with patients and professionals’ – Dr Jeremy Philips, GP Magazine

‘Builds a disturbing picture of a profession that is in thrall to pharmaceutical companies’ Michael Mosley, BBC Focus

‘This is a profoundly disturbing look at the world of Big Pharma and shadowy truth’ Sally Morris, Daily Mail

‘I couldn’t put the book down. It is totally engaging, as controversial as it is compelling, and as erudite as it is enjoyable…The book deserves to be a bestseller and should be read by every mental health professional’ – Dr Stephen J. Costello, International Review of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis

‘[Cracked] is a very controversial, fascinating and powerful read that is full of balanced and reasonable arguments. I would strongly urge all mental health professionals, those in the caring professions as well anybody interested in mental health to read this book’ – Amy Broadbent, The Psychologist

‘informed, incisive and highly readable…. I would encourage everyone to read it’ – David Lorimer, Network Review

‘This is a book written with humanity and genuine concern for the most vulnerable members of society and it makes it abundantly clear that increased numbers of diagnoses are reductive and do little to expand our understanding of suffering. I, personally, applaud a work that can shine a light into the murky corners of dubious practice’ – Alan Pope, Sitegeist

‘This is an excellent book….[it] careens, almost literally, from one psychiatric outrage to the next, and the arguments are supported by appropriate citations….I strongly recommend this book – Dr Phil Hickey, Behaviourism and Mental Health

‘This book is outstanding for its exposé of deceptive research and opportunistic marketing practices deployed by the major pharmaceutical companies…No one should discount the evidence provided by Davies. This book, because of its journalistic tone, is an arresting experience to read. It is indispensable for anyone considering whether to accept a psychiatric diagnosis or prescription’ – Professor Kate Mehuron, Metapsychology

‘This thought-provoking book will make people think twice before sitting on a psychiatrist’s couch or filling a prescription’ – Karen Springen, Booklist

‘A chilling and thought-provoking read’ – Patricia Phillips, The Lady

‘This is a very well-written book – intellectually sound, but written in an accessible way…. His rigorous approach contrasts strongly with the highly dubious arguments and unsound research underpinning the medical model that he exposes so effectively. It should be read by all mental health professionals, by all politicians and policy makers charged with shaping future mental health provision’ – Dr Neil Thompson, Social Justice Solutions

‘concise, accessible and engagingly written’ – Marion Brown, Human Givens

‘Whatever your point of view when you start to read, you will be illuminated and often shocked and certainly made to think more about how you view the children in your care. Every teacher should read it’ – Caroline Ellwood, International School Magazine

‘This is a well-written book..that makes a positive contribution to the debate about whether psychiatry can become a more open practice. In time I hope the views it expresses will no longer be seen as heresy’ – Dr Duncan Double, Therapy Today

‘An eye-opening look into the world of psychiatry and its relationship with the pharmaceutical industry; recommended for all readers who want to learn about the mental health field as well as for students, scholars, and researchers studying medicine, psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, or sociology’ – Tina Chan, Library Journal Review

‘Davies shares a unique and illuminating perspective on the realities of psychiatric medicine and it’s place within the scientific community. Through interviews with leading professionals in the field, including the author of the psychiatrists handbook (DSM III) Robert Spitzer, Davies penetrates the mysterious world of psychiatry only to unveil some home truths that most will find shocking and some will find deeply disturbing’ – Mist Magazine

‘Davies’s book will likely influence at least a few people away from [pharmaceutical] treatment that could save them. Some of these people may commit suicide and others will live in dire pain’ – Andrew Solomon, son of the CEO & President of Forest Laboratories (psychiatric drug manufacturer).