NY Times: “A Call for Caution in the Use of Antipsychotic Drugs”


Professor of psychiatry Richard Friedman traces the history of antipsychotics in the New York Times Health section yesterday, finding that the promise of atypical antipsychotics – that they were more effective with less side-effects – has not panned out. Their use, however, has been successfully promoted for conditions far beyond their originally stated purpose, and for which there is little or no evidence of efficacy – such as insomnia, anxiety, and simple unhappiness.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. The twisted nature of psychiatry is summed up by this shrink.

    He has no problems forcing these drugs on people who’ve had the “serious” DSM labels slapped on them.

    He has decided to warn the “normals” of the harms of the drugs.

    He has a no questions asked bully pulpit at the New York Times with which to do it.

    And someone wrote an article on MIA about how we should interact with the press?

    Ha. Don’t make me laugh.

    They can just make claims too:

    “Thorazine, the first real antipsychotic, was synthesized in the 1950s; not just sedating, it also targeted the core symptoms of schizophrenia, like hallucinations and delusions.”

    OH REALLY? these drugs “target” specific thoughts do they? That’s a lie.

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    • The New York Times, like most establishment liberal institutions, is a shill for the drug companies. Strangely enough, though, some of their business reporters sometimes do truthful stories, like the ones that appeared when Jim Gottstein released the Zyprexa papers some years ago.

      It is very difficult to demonstrate against media outlets and get anywhere, as other media won’t report on it. At least this used to be true some years back. But given the increase in media outlets of many political orientations, that may no longer be true.

      Weirdly enough, it is the more conservative and even right-wing outlets like Fox News who run stories favorable to us. I think we should give this situation a lot of thought. While definitely we should try to cultivate good relationships with the press, if they persist in treating us like non-persons, we should take some action. Properly conceived, I think we can figure out ways to embarrass these people and pressure them to report objectively on our issues.

      Other movements have done this. We can do it too.

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  2. “Atypical antipsychotics can be lifesaving for people who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression”. How about premature death, 25 years earlier, due to metabolic syndrome. How about a 10 fold increase in suicide in schizophrenics after the socalled antipsychotics came on the market. Maybe they should be called antipsychotics for a new reason: they get rid of the psychotics!

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