The Alarming Impact of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs on Mental Health | Lynn Cunningham

The Alarming Impact of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs on Mental Health

A conversation with the director and producer of the essential documentary, Medicating Normal. We talk a lot about mental health on this platform, so we have to discuss with Lynn Cunningham the medication side of mental health. It’s clear there is a need for more awareness of the potential effects of medications. It’s also necessary to continue to learn about other possible solutions — such as getting enough sleep and following a healthy diet.

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About our guest on the episode: The Alarming Impact of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs on Mental Health

Lynn Cunningham is an award-winning filmmaker, and co-director/producer of Medicating Normal, Lynn Cunningham produced, directed, and edited films/TV for PBS and the History Channel in the 1980s and 1990s. Twenty years ago, as Lynn was becoming a parent herself, she witnessed with crushing despair the dramatic transformation of a beloved family member. Once a bright, high-functioning student-athlete having graduated from an elite college, Lynn’s relative had become in a few short years– a terrified, suicidal shell of her former self— diagnosed with serious mental illness. Putting their faith in the best psychiatric standard of care in the late 90s, Lynn and her family were initially reassured by the relief and stability provided by medication and therapy. After a ten-year period, however, one medicine had become ten, and income from a vibrant, self-sufficient career was replaced with monthly disability payments. Unable to provide an answer to her relative’s persistent self-doubt, “Is everything going to be OK?” Lynn began searching for answers. She joined with her filmmaking partner Wendy Ractliffe, embarking on five years of research into the complex world of mental health treatment. After discovering Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, they interviewed 100s of psychiatric patients and consulted with scores of experts across the country about their experiences. A personal quest to help one suffering individual turned into a mission to tell an untold story. In Medicating Normal, Lynn and Wendy began to piece together a stunning new perspective on the safety and efficacy of psychiatric drugs and society’s overreliance on them to relieve pain and suffering. (source: Lynn Cunningham’s bio)