Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs is currently considered the standard treatment for patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’ A new study challenges this practice, however. The results, published this month in Psychological Medicine, reveal that patients who were not taking antipsychotic drugs had significantly higher levels of functioning than medicated patients.
At times, I think that I must seem like a dog with a bone, and that I just can’t let this one particular subject—the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs—go. I wrote about this in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and since then I have given many talks and written many blogs on the topic, and more recently, I engaged in a back-and-forth of sorts with Ronald Pies and Allen Frances about this. But I do think it is important that the relevant science is known, and with that thought in mind, I decided to write a paper that, in as succinct a manner as possible, would make the “case against antipsychotics.”
Drug Watch releases an in-depth investigation into the marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies in the United States. “Companies spend billions advertising to doctors to get them to prescribe their brand-name drugs and devices. They also spend billions paying criminal and civil settlements resulting from fraudulent marketing. Do these practices empower patients or expose them to newer, riskier and more expensive drugs and devices?”
In partnership with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn, Inc. conducted a survey on the impact of stakeholder advocacy on decisions affecting public mental health systems in California. The California Mental Health Stakeholder Advocacy Survey was designed by people with personal experience of the mental health system and related advocacy work. The objective was to pilot an approach to help CAMHPRO evaluate the impact of consumer advocacy in the state and to document the activities that advocates engage in (e.g., legislative testimony, demonstrations, campaigns). We asked advocates and decision-makers how these groups engage in advocacy, what their roles are, the goals of advocacy, and its perceived effectiveness in fostering change.
The media is now reporting details about the 18-year-old who shot and killed nine and wounded many others before killing himself on July 22 in Munich. My clinical and forensic experience leads to a distinction among people who murder under the influence of psychiatric drugs. Those who kill only one or two people, or close family members, often have little or no history of mental disturbance and violent tendencies. The drug itself seems like the sole cause of the violent outburst. On the other hand, most of those who commit mass violence while taking psychiatric drugs often have a long history of mental disturbance and sometimes violence. For these people, the mental health system seems to have provoked increasing violence without recognizing the danger.
Copyright © 2016 Mad in America Foundation.