3.2 Mental health as business: the profit motive
There is little question that the use of drugs to treat mental distress has become the dominant strategy. The historian Edward Shorter puts it graphically:
If there is one central intellectual reality at the end of the twentieth century, it is that the biological approach to psychiatry – treating mental illness as a genetically influenced disorder of brain chemistry – has been a smashing success.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of mental health services and their relationship to business is the role of major companies which manufacture and market drugs.