The paradigm for modern psychiatry is evidence-based medicine (EBM)—it represents proven treatments for defined diagnoses. But there are major problems with this position, starting with the fact that while they are superior to placebo, evidence-based treatments too often are ineffective.
Mood-stabilizing drugs slipped into the vocabulary of psychiatrists during the last 15 years without a proper discussion of their definition. Consequently, these medications have been used in ways that have no empirical justification.
It is now customary psychiatric practice to think of a patient's illness as primarily biological in origin-so much so that, for many illnesses, published practice guidelines almost exclusively describe medication strategies.
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