Hollywood star Tom Cruise has come under attack from best-selling author PATRICIA CORNWELL - she believes his controversial stance on psychiatry is putting lives at risk.

The American crime novelist is convinced Cruise's outspoken support of Scientology could cause a catastrophe when one of his young fans decides to follow his advice and refuse to take their medication.

Scientology preaches mental illness is imaginary and psychiatric drugs are only prescribed to suppress people.

Cornwell says, "There are misconceptions about psychology, especially when people out there like Tom Cruise says there's no evidence of chemical imbalance and psychiatric disorders.

"There's going to be some girl or boy who worships this megastar, who decides, 'I'm not going to take my anti-depressants because Tom Cruise said I don't need drugs.'"

WAR OF THE WORLDS star Cruise became embroiled in a heated exchange with actress Brooke Shields earlier this year (06), after he criticised her for taking anti-depressants when she was diagnosed with post-partum depression.