Study329.org: The Panorama Files

Study 329 is probably the most famous clinical trial ever. It is one of the few to attract a Fraud action and is certainly the only one with a $3 Billion fine linked to it. The study began recruiting adolescents to Paxil, imipramine or placebo in 1994 and finished up in 1998. Later in 1998, SmithKline Beecham, the marketers of Paxil (they hadn’t discovered it), acknowledged in an internal document that the study had shown that Paxil didn’t work for Children. This lack of benefit was something they were not inclined to share with the outside world. Instead they decided then they would pick the good bits out of the study and publish these.
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Cannabis for Treating Psychiatric Problems? A Clear Yes, Maybe.

Marijuana is now legal in two states, and legal for medical use in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Polls show the majority of Americans support cannabis legalization, and more and more of the country is joining the legalization trend. As a counselor working with people diagnosed with psychosis and mental illness I am often asked about my opinion and clinical experience — as well as my personal experience — with medical cannabis.
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What if ACEs (Adverse Childhood Events) Were the Basis of Mental Health Treatment? 

What would happen if the mental health system fully recognized the pervasive and profound impacts of trauma on their clients? How might a deeper appreciation of the multi-faceted sequelae of childhood maltreatment and toxic stressors reshape mental health services? While the implementation of trauma-informed care in mental health programs has made significant inroads, the dominant bio-reductionist model continues to constrain and undermine progress.
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New Documentary, “Creatively Maladjusted”: Diagnosed-Psychotic Quad Activist Goes Global Revolutionary!

Today a 10½ minute long documentary airs on Oregon TV. You can see me tearing up my psychiatric label, “psychotic,” Martin Luther King calling for us all to be “creatively maladjusted,” a re-creation of my big fall that broke my neck, what screwing up your vocal chords can sound like, and us protesting for global revolution. Yes, making revolution visible now all over Earth is a great way to be creatively maladjusted to global warming, and this documentary shows that if I can do it, then so can you!
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Incarcerated, “Delusional,” and Sentenced to Abuse  

One cannot be with other individuals without encountering their belief systems at some point. My work with individuals in locked in patient units, mental health clinics and the Los Angeles Jails has brought me into close contact with people who had diverse belief systems, some of which were cultural and life-long, others were trauma-induced or influenced by drugs and alcohol. These experiences taught me to approach belief systems without prejudice and with open receptivity to their meaning and importance to the person.
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How Following the Trail of “Cutting Edge” and “Convenient” Can Distort Reality

In the late 1990’s, the NIMH set out to provide the most extensive review ever conducted of the effectiveness of ADHD medications in children. It was known as the Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA study). In 1999, NIMH announced that after 14 months, well-constructed medication management programs provided better results than other treatments, including behavioral therapy. But the study was not over, and the tables started to turn. By the end of three years, medication not only provided no more benefits over other options, it actually predicted greater deterioration of symptoms.
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A Network Meeting in North America

On a beautiful Vermont summer week-end, about 40 people – social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, administrators, and people with lived experience among us – gathered together. Our purpose: To come together and model what many of us had experienced in Europe at the International Meetings for the Treatment of Psychosis.
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Compassion and the Voice of the Tormentor

I’d like to share some personal thoughts on the nature of the Hearing Voices group method, and the insights that this kind of support generates. Through these groups, a tradition of mutual healing is being created that honors subjective experiences, and sharing our stories with each other in this way propels this exciting movement forward.
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A Response to the Hyper-focus on Brain-based Research and “Disease”

The past several years have born exciting developments for those critical of the current psychiatric paradigm. We have witnessed outright criticism of the DSM by prominent psychiatrists (i.e., Thomas Insel, Allen Frances) while others have admitted that no “biological markers” exist for any DSM-defined disorder. Amazingly, however, the suggested response to these problems is to continue pursuing the search for the biological underpinnings of so-called “mental illness” through an almost evangelical hyper-focus on brain research.
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Delusions

DSM-5 defines delusions as “…fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in the light of conflicting evidence.” The manual lists six kinds of delusions: persecutory; referential; grandiose; erotomanic; nihilistic; and somatic. The APA provides another definition of delusions that is substantially the same as the one above, but offers additional varieties; Interestingly, nihilistic delusions are omitted from the second list. It is clear that the APA’s definition of a delusion is not specific enough for consistent application.
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Is Mandatory Trial Registration Decontaminating the Psychiatric Literature?

There has been a lot of attention on clinical trial registration over the last decade. Essentially, because of some very clever and courageous researchers and clinicians the public have increasingly become aware that the literature base to support medications, including psychiatric medications, is tainted and biased at best and fraudulent at worst. What has been exposed is that medications, that we have been led to believe are evidenced based, are not as good as we thought they were. Negative trials haven’t been published, and researchers have been changing primary outcome measures.
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A Milestone in the Battle for Truth in Drug Safety: Study 329’s Final Chapter Coming soon

Arguably the most controversial drug study ever, Study 329, concluded that paroxetine was a safe and effective medication for treating major depression in adolescents. It concluded that paroxetine was a safe and effective medication for treating major depression in adolescents, and it is still widely cited in the medical literature. Though GlaxoSmithKline’s promotion based on Study 329 resulted in the biggest fine in corporate history, the study remains unretracted.
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A Debate on Twin Research Has Broken Out in American Criminology

The long-running debate on the validity of twin research recently resurfaced in American criminology, and has major implications for behavioral and medical twin research. Most twin researchers and their critics agree that reared-together monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs experience more similar environments than experienced by same-sex dizygotic (DZ) pairs, and we argue that the twin method is therefore unable to disentangle the potential influences of genes and environment on human behavioral differences, a conclusion supported by the failures of molecular genetic research.
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Flibanserin: The Female Viagra is a Failed Me-too Antidepressant

Since a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee, on June 4, recommended approval of flibanserin (AddyiTM) in June, there have been numerous editorials and news stories about the controversies surrounding the first “pink Viagra” to hit the market. We have sought to understand the process and financial incentives that led the advisory committee to recommend its approval, with Sprout Pharmaceuticals prepared to market it as a treatment for a new disorder in DSM 5: Female sexual interest/arousal disorder.
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My Father-in-law on Risperdal — A Case Study Gets Personal

Risperdal is increasingly used in nursing homes for “agitation,” especially on those suffering from some form of dementia, even when no hallucinations or delusions are observed. Risperdal has quite a long list of side effects including heart problems, metabolic difficulties, diabetes, involuntary movements, agitation, flat affect and sedation. Risperdal has earned a “black box” warning that its use in those with Alzheimer’s increases the risk of earlier death. Yet its use in Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes is extremely common.
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The Murphys Have Their Way With Words

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut released a new ‘Murphy Bill’ this past week. It’s called the ‘Mental Health Reform Act of 2015,’ though it has yet to be assigned an official number. While many words appear in its more than 100 pages, it’s worth noting that the term ‘evidence’ (most often paired with ‘based’ to form the familiar and supposedly scientific phrase, ‘evidence-based’) appears 27 times. Never to be outdone, the almost 200-page House version (‘Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis,’ H.R. 2646) from Representative Tim Murphy uses the same word 38 times. This makes sense. Why wouldn’t anyone want anything to do with… well… just about anything…
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The Boy in the Closet — How I Lost my Best Friend to a Label

Lables such as schizophrenia mask all of the strengths, feelings and talents that individuals possess, The labels can make people’s behavior appear aggressive, when in fact they are terrified. On the other hand, people in extreme states respond as all humans do to an approach that is calm, supportive, and allows them the space that they need at critical times. Individuals who have been abused, neglected, or suffered from traumatic experiences communicate these fears to those who have the patience and willingness to listen to them.
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My Successful Campaign for Dedicated Benzo Withdrawal Services

The story starts on 19th of March, 1986, when I withdrew myself from 30 mgs of Ativan daily and 360 mgs of Opiate painkillers daily—all doctor-prescribed—with no support or assistance, other than the love and full support of my lovely wife Sue. It took me 15 months of hell on earth to withdraw.  So afterwards I researched the issues involved (after my brain had started to function again) and started on the long road of campaigning for dedicated withdrawal services by contacting our local newspaper and telling them my story. Horrifying as the facts read, not only was it a release for me to express my emotions and observations, but it slowly informed the general public of the dangers of long-term prescribed addiction.
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Psychiatry’s “Institutional Corruption”—A Chat with Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove

Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove’s new book Psychiatry Under the Influence investigates how drug company money and psychiatry’s own guild interests have corrupted psychiatry during the past 35 years. I had some questions for them about: (1) guild interest corruption; (2) psychiatry’s evasion of responsibility and “cognitive dissonance theory”; (3) the “social injury” caused by psychiatry, especially to children; (4)whether they are being “too easy” on psychiatry; and (5) if it is possible to reform American psychiatry.
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On Relaxing Off-Label Meds: Do the Opposite. Especially for Children. Especially Antipsychotics

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that there will soon be a public meeting to explore providing drug companies with greater flexibility in promoting off-label indications to doctors. When it comes to prescribing medications to children, and particularly psychiatric medications, this is a bad idea. I write both as a former consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, and as a father who lost a son to the toxic effects of antipsychotics prescribed off-label.
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Senate Bill 1945: The New Fraud – Getting into the “Mental Health Reform Act of 2015”

On August 4, 2015, Senator Bill Cassidy, M. D. (R-LA), on behalf of himself and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), announced the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 (S. 1945). The Cassidy bill has now been referred to the Senate, read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. According to the Library of Congress, S. 1945’s purpose is “to make available needed psychiatric, psychological, and supportive services for individuals with mental illness and families in mental health crisis, and for other purposes.”
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#1 Wacko Memo: Disability & Mental Health Revolution to Stop Global Warming!

I often hear some of these metaphors used about humanity today: Our combined ability to think and act are paralyzed, we the public seem suicidal, we are addicted to oil and consumerism, we are blind to alternatives, we are deaf to the cries of the poor and planet, we hallucinate, such as believing that money and technology are more important than our values. Sure sounds like a disability to me. So maybe the social change movement led by people considered disabled have something to offer now?
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What Do We Owe When a Shock Survivor Dies? – On the Death of Sue Clark-Wittenberg

What do we owe to shock survivors when they die? We owe them what we owe everyone who underwent an atrocity that is ongoing, that is being visited on others daily—doing something about that atrocity. Given that shock is anything but a legitimate medical procedure, it is minimally a moment to renew our commitment and our pledge to both bring an end to this treatment and to build a world where brain-damaging people in the name of help would be unthinkable.
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Do We Need to Medicate More Children? – A Response to Calls to Remove Black-box Warnings

Psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman’s attempt, in his New York Times opinion piece (“Teenagers, Medication and Suicide,” August 3, 2015), to minimize the dangers of antidepressant drugs in causing suicidal thoughts and behavior is wrong on the facts. Friedman is wrong – even according to Friedman – when his argument and numbers are examined. 
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Why was James Holmes, the Movie Theater Killer, Spared the Death Penalty?

Why was the insanity plea nullified in the movie theater killings in Aurora, Colorado? The answer is simple – because the carnage was so horrendous that there was too much public pressure in favor of the death penalty. There was no way the insanity plea would be allowed. Nonetheless, Holmes was clearly and incontrovertibly psychotic and delusional. It was the only reason for the horrendous murders.
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