“Why ARE so Many People Being Labelled Bipolar?”

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“For drugs designed for a relatively small number of very disturbed patients, antipsychotics are now among the most profitable drugs in the world, just behind statins and on a par with diabetes medications… But only a minority of these prescriptions will have been for  schizophrenia, suggests the evidence – antipsychotics are no longer used only to treat severe mental disturbance, but have broken into the mainstream” writes Joanna Moncrieff for the Daily Mail. “Other senior psychiatrists share my reservations about the value of expanding the definition of bipolar disorder so widely. The editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry has described it as ‘bipolar imperialism’, while journalist Robert Whitaker sums up the recent history of antipsychotics like this: ‘Behind the public façade of medical achievement is a story of science marred by greed, death and the deliberate deception of the American public.'”

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This got Rethink (UK Mental Health Charity) up in arms.

    They think it trivialises Bipolar but raises important questions about medication. They think we need better, less damaging medication, as well as better use of what medication we have.

    As far as I can see all mind altering medication has proved to be damaging, so what they are looking for seems unlikely.

    They definitely did not comment on the marketing power of Big Pharma. Hm..

  2. If psychiatry were a *real* medical profession, we would see them lined up, warning people of the dangers of these drugs.

    Instead, the overwhelming majority of shrinks have remained silent, while this epidemic has taken hold, profiting from the harm.

    Good for Dr. Moncrieff for taking a stand, speaking out.

    Duane

  3. Great article. Good to see a psychiatrist debunking the latest bipolar fad fraud invented by malignant narcissists like Robert Spitzer to push the latest lethal drugs on patent also exposed by David Healy in Mania and many other sources.

    I guess I need to read this book because based on some of Dr. Moncrieff’s public and other statements she made possibly out of context, this post gives the impression she is denouncing the lethal neuroleptics as she should for bogus bipolar stigmas that have destroyed countless lives.

    She should be more careful about saying/implying that people with so called psychosis all need these lethal drugs so their toxic effects are justified when such alternative methods like Open Dialogue, the Hearing Voices Network, empathic therapy and other far less harmful treatments are available that have demonstrated much greater efficacy rather than the demolition enterprise of biopsychiatry’s bogus degradation stigma rituals and brain damaging, life shortening abuses like neuroleptics, ECT, lobotomy, etc.

    I’m still not sure where she stands on the use of these poison drugs for the “scientific delusion” called schizophrenia per Dr. Mary Boyle. Can anyone enlighten me and others here?

    • Hi, Donna,
      The Hearing Voices network encourages people to learn to manage their voices whether they are on medications or not. It is not a no medication alternative, and neither is empathic therapy. The Open Dialogue program also uses drugs, when necessary. From the MindFreedom website:
      “Journalist Robert Whitaker describes the Finnish “Open Dialogue” process in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. He visits the program, and gives his impression of why this program is helping people diagnosed ‘schizophrenic’ and other ‘psychoses,’ while minimizing prescriptions of psychiatric medications.” So, yes, even Open Dialogue sees them as sometimes necessary. Dr. Abram Hoffer also said, that he uses them on occasion because they are necessary. Why are they necessary? To calm someone down quickly. I’d like a better alternative to medications, but Open Dialogue, HVN, and empathetic therapy are not quick interventions. In the meantime, much damage can be done, relationships can be destroyed, self-esteem plummets, personal safety at risk, if there is no access to a tranquillizer. These drugs are awful, there is no doubt about it, and much of the criticism is about how they are prescribed, but the no drug alternatives are not short term fixes when the situation may be getting rapidly out of hand.

  4. The issue I have is this: if it’s horrendous treatment for the “wrongly diagnosed”, then why is it fine and dandy for the correctly diagnosed… assuming, of course, that there is ever a scientifically verifiable, correct diagnosis?

    Answer: it’s not. The treatment sucks, it’s ineffective at best, and toxic. But it’s not very revolutionary to say that people who aren’t “truly” Bipolar shouldn’t be given toxic drugs.

  5. Since I am coming from a place of people deliberately misdiagnosed with the fad fraud bipolar, delusional disorder, paranoia and related stigmas to blame, invalidate and vilify abuse/trauma victims to push these lethal drugs, I have little patience with the use of these toxic drugs. I think the perpetators should be tortured with these poisons and other psychiatric monstrosities to get a taste of their own “medicine.” And that includes the mental death profession.

    As far as I knew, Dr. Breggin does not use toxic psych drugs as the creator of empathic therapy, but perhaps others using his therapy defeat the purpose of it by subjecting their victims to these poisons after the degradation ritual of psychiatric stigma.

    Benzodiazopenes used briefly and judiciously can also calm people down temporarily without the lethal effects of neuroleptics if absolutely necessary.

    Finally, at the Vatican conference, I was disgusted to hear Joanna Moncrieff state something to the effect that of course, one had to use antipsychotics for psychosis without even any qualifications about very limited, judicious use of these lethal, life destroying drugs not to mention the killer stigma. I have observed her making similar blunt statements like that elsewhere. And as another commenter said here, if these drugs are considered toxic for those falsely accused of being bipolar, they are all the more deadly for those with so called psychosis who have been driven further over the edge by their tormentors. Since there has been so much brain washing done by the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel, I have no doubt many have been conned into believing they need these poisons to function/survive when the opposite is true especially if they have found alternatives like the Hearing Voices Movement and others. Dr. Loren Mosher’s web site explains his Soteria program and how devastating biopsychiatry’s stigma and lethal drugs are for those with so called psychosis and offers a different alternative. If we did not have the evil biopsychiatry paradigm that destroyed all the other alternatives which may have even been much improved by now, people wouldn’t be subjected to such abuses and torture by this fiendish, inhuman profession professing nothing but lies. Dr. Peter Breggin’s article on how psychiatry’s eugenics theories led to the Holocaust shows how such inhumane theories and practices led to the horrific rights violating “mental health” paradigm with which we are plagued today that society at large has been led to condone by being manipulated to see the “mentally ill” as subhuman.

    So, I have come to have severe doubts about Joanna Moncrieff’s place in the reform movement since she’s a bit too mainstream for me.

    While everybody is entitled to their opinion, I believe brain damaging, lethal neuroleptics should be banned along with ECT, lobotomy and other barbaric atrocities perpetrated by monstrous psychiatry once and for all. And I really don’t care who is promoting the use of these poisons, so I am not impressed when certain names are used to justify them. Rather, it makes me question their credibility too.

    • Donna,

      In fairness to Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, other *reformers* have suggested a place for “low use” or “minimal use” (oftening referring to this as “judicious use”)of psychiatric drugs and neuroleptics, including Dr. Loren Mosher. You can find reference to this in the pdf files linked on this page:

      http://www.moshersoteria.com/articles/

      Dr. Abram Hoffer appeared to have despised their use in the long-term, but used them as a short-term “crutch”, insisting that a crutch is sometimes necessary until a person heals to the level one is no longer needed.

      When it comes to psychiatrists, you would have a hard time finding one who has *never* / would *never* use psychiatric drugs, including neuroleptics.

      Please understand, I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it is what it is. And IMO, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff is certainly amongst some of the *true reformers*. I respect what she’s done, and am grateful for her stand, including her work at Vatican this summer to protect children, youth and expectant mothers.

      Duane

      • This is the conclusion of one of the research articles cited:

        “… In concert with the fuller presentation of Soteria results here, these studies suggest that specially designed psychosocial intervention combined with minimal medication use may be an effective treatment strategy for patients with early episode schizophrenia spectrum psychosis.”

        Full citation:

        http://www.moshersoteria.com/soteriawp/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/bola.pdf

        Donna, I’m not suggesting that “minimal use” is ideal. I am only saying that it is not a perfect world, and there are few (if *any*) psychiatrists who have *never* prescribed a drug.

        Duane

          • Duane, I appreciate your thoughtful posts, but I also abhor the current biopsychiatry brain damaging paradigm invented for the interests of biopsychiatry/Big Pharma and corrupt government hacks alone at the cost of countless destroyed lives of the most vulnerable members of society.

            Due to their ongoing evil eugenics paradigm, we find ourselves collectively lowering the ethical standards for the mental death profession with all making their living off this cannibalistic predatory, vulture like bogus paradigm that includes those like Joanna Moncrieff. Obviously, if they don’t push the toxic drugs like others even if more “judiciously,” they’ll have to find another line of work, more difficult for older people like Moncrieff. So, though they pretend to be reformers, it’s the same old, same old…..

            But, just think of all the people these frauds have destroyed including their careers, lives, health, relationships, human/civil/democratic and other rights, shortened lives, loss of marriage and child custody….the list of crimes against the victims of the mental death profession goes on and on with their degrading, fraud stigmas and brain damage in the guise of treatment. Dr. Paula Caplan exposes these many crimes on her blogs and in her books and has been doing so throughout her career.

            When you say Mosher and other highly regarded experts resorted to these toxic drugs in difficult cases, that’s not a compliment, but rather, shows their own clay feet. But, I do believe Mosher really did use these toxic drugs only as a last resort and he was against using the schizophrenia stigma, the worst part of this demolition enterprise.

            Anyway, I’d love to see your articles about constitutional rights any day of the week rather than apologetics for those who insist in using toxic, brain damaging drugs that should be outlawed along with all the barbaric treatments of Nazi eugenics psychiatry invented to treat the so called “mentally ill” as subhuman.

  6. P.S. Many toxic relationships should be destroyed or eliminated from one’s life since they are the cause of much trauma and illness and often the sufferer’s main problem/crisis. There are now tons of great web sites on malignant narcissists, psychopaths and other evil people destroying countless people at work, in homes, schools and at large with impunity. See Bullyonline by Dr. Tim Fields and one of many web sites exposing this psychological terror. Of course, biopsychiatry ignores this growing menace since it hits too close too home, so they let the victims fend for themselves and then help the perpetrators to further scapegoat, vilify, rob and destroy their targets with their evil bipolar and other stigmas and lethal drugs. What better way to torture the victims further than subject them to lethal neuroleptics as in the infamous school mobbing/bullying case of Phoebe Prince.

    See web sites of Dr. Robert Hare, world authority on psychopaths; Narcissists Suck; Lovefraud and countless others about what Dr. M. Scott Peck calls The People of the Lie all about the every day garden variety of evil people we encounter daily in all areas of our lives.

    If you check out Narcissists Suck, there is an explanation by a psychiatrist on the front page of how the bogus victim blaming DSM III to 5 came about; thanks to a few malignant narcissists like Robert Spitzer who managed to hijack the process and impose their inhuman will on one and all. You have to scroll down to find it with the article on the proposed elimination of NPD in the DSM 5 that was/is very controversial. The psychiatrist also blows the whistle on the fact that so called personality (character) disorders are not covered by insurance, so no wonder the DSM 5 crowd pushed to eliminate them. Plus, as this whistle blower also points out, psychiatrists don’t want to deal with such nasty people.

    Thus, biopsychiatry preys on the victims of other predators like themselves at great profit to add insult to injury in maximum betrayal given their so called medical status. I don’t think weapons of mass destruction like neuroleptic drugs should be placed in the hands of such menaces to society.

    • Duane,

      Thanks for your kind response. I have to post here since there is no reply button under your latest post.

      You and I are old timers who both tend to be very passionate about human rights abuses that others might consider too much at times. But, you and I were born in a time when this horrific, evil, predatory biopsychiatry paradigm didn’t exist. This paradigm was invented by the APA and Big Pharma to give them a fraudulent appearance of being medical doctors when they were/are anything but that, but rather mere drug pushers using their junk science voted in stigmas now exposed as totally invalid and unscientific by all.

      Our youth was a great time in comparison in that our class mates weren’t stigmatized with bogus labels and forced on lethal drugs for the crime of being a child/teen. There were no school shooters and maybe one or two public shooters if I recall. Huge numbers of people weren’t taking toxic psych drugs that destroyed their health and lives for normal human suffering and grief that today is seen as a thought crime to be stigmatized and drugged subject to horrific human rights violations. The list goes on and on. Can you recall those idyllic times though far from perfect?

      Those as old as Joanna Moncrieff and her colleagues can recall those times too, so it is all the more criminal in my opinion that those like her sold out to this vile paradigm unlike Dr. Peter Breggin and certain others. Yes, she may be somewhat less harmful than the worst of these predators, but again, that’s due to our gross lowering of standards thanks to the atrocities routinely committed by the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel. If they just tell the truth, we are amazed and infinitely grateful. Something is very wrong with that in my opinion when they are worshipped for merely practicing any slight human decency that pales in comparison to their many human abuses including silence regarding their their crimes against humanity for their own profit and status while destroying countless lives.

      The fact that Moncrieff has written articles and books about the immense harm done by toxic neuroleptics shows that she sees those she stigmatizes as psychotic or schizophrenic or even having real bipolar as subhumans who should be forced on these brain damaging poisons. So called real and fake bipolars are treated exactly the same by force! Even so called judicious use of these lethal drugs is like saying giving someone a lower dose of arsenic is an improvement rather than a bigger dose that would kill them immediately. It’s slow death either way with 25 years lost on average due to neuroleptics.

      I think Moncrieff should reread her own articles and books and those by many others so that she can see her actions speak far louder than her words and those of many others. In fact, her actions shout so loudly at me, I can’t hear her words as Emerson would say.

      I agree with those who cited the insulting implication that those with the bogus “sacred symbol” stigmas like bipolar and schizophrenia should not be subjected to these lethal drugs any more than those without these stigmas or defamation/degradation rituals.

      Also, let’s recall that Dr. Loren Mosher was given very little money or support for his Soteria project because the Big Pharma pushers were out to get him and sidetrack him the whole time as they ultimately did to the great harm of many people who got caught up in “toxic psychiatry” as a result as described by Dr. Breggin.

      As you have constantly said, we need to take back human, constitutional, democratic rights for one and all because the is the law of the land.

      • Donna,

        After having more time to think about some of my earlier responses, I’d like to clarify:

        First of all, as you probably know I’m hardly a fan of bio-psychiatry. My comments on this site for the past couple of years speak for themselves.

        I suppose there are times when I struggle to find some sanity with all of this. And when I read the words of people like Dr. Sandra Steinberg on this site; when I read of the great work of Dr. Loren Mosher and Dr. Abram Hoffer I cannot help but come to the conclusion that not all psychiatrists are bad.

        I have to believe that they are trying to do their best. From what I’ve read of Dr. Joanna Moncrieff and some of the videos I’ve seen as well, she seems to fall into the same camp – someone who cares, and is trying to do the right thing.

        I hate antipsychotics as much as anyone. I wish there was a way to turn back the hands of time, to wake up into a world where they would have never been developed. Our son was injured by them, gravely, as were many people I know. So, there is anger, rage about what we’ve allowed to take place in our society.

        I think we could deal with “psychosis” in an entirely different way – with safe havens, places where people could allow a psychotic break to pass, time to heal, deeply, without neuroleptics. But the reality is we have so few of them. We need more.

        I suppose I’ve been trying my best to grow lately; to see a few more shades of gray. And although I remain adamantly opposed to neuroleptics, personally, for me and anyone else in my circle of family and friends (whom I regularly tell about the dangers of these drugs), I’m trying my best to see things from the angle of others, who do not necessarily share my “black and white” view, including those who swear they were helped by the short-term use of these drugs, some of whom unfortunately are trying to withdraw and some who simply do not have the supports in place to do so.

        I respect Dr. Peter Breggin and all he’s done, including his resolve and efforts to inform people of the dangers of these drugs. But I cannot help but feel deep respect for the Sandra Steinberg’s and Joanna Moncrieff’s as well. They too are doing some good, IMHO.

        For me, there are a few non-negotiables:

        An end to their use by force; fully-informed consent; information on safe withdrawal when first prescribed; information on alternatives; an end to their use with children, people in nursing homes; as a first-line of treatment for war-traumatized veterans.

        I apologize for the number of comments.

        Duane

        • I respect both Sandra and Moncrieff greatly, yet I think there’s a slight difference between them. Sandy is maybe trying to find the “neutral” position. Moncrieff has been working and publishing actively against use of drugs for years from many different points of view. She’s not trying to create “treatment guidelines”, most of her work is critique of psychiatry. For instance, she can probably have much greater effect if she as a doctor won’t go out raving about banning all neuroleptics in all cases, etc. If she did that, a large number of people would not take her seriously.

          See, for instance, this older article:

          Myth of the antipsychotic
          http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/mar/02/mythoftheantipsychotic

          Other media had been talking about problems of SSRI use around 2008, but she got article in a popular newspaper where she criticises the use of neuroleptics as well. Etc. Etc. She has been actively campaigning against “chemical cures” for years, certainly not advocating their use. In a way, I don’t think she’s trying to build some kind of a general treatment guideline but is quite effectively criticising drugs and psychiatry with her articles and books. How is that bad?

  7. Highly recommended book:

    Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime by Dr. Grace Jackson showing how psych drugs not only damage and shrink the brain, but also cause dementia often way before old age.

    http://www.amazon.com/Drug-Induced-Dementia-MD-Grace-Jackson/dp/1438972318/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

    As others say in Amazon reviews, this is absolutely criminal to say the least.

    Dr. Grace Jackson also wrote another far more honest book than most psychiatrists including Joanna Moncrieff with the book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide to Informed Consent. She recommends against toxic psych drugs in both these books.

    http://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Psychiatric-Drugs-Informed-Consent/dp/1420867423/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

    Of course, Dr. Peter Breggin has been saying all this for decades starting with his great life saving books, Toxic Psychiatry and Your Drug May be Your Problem now in a second editon. Given that Moncrieff quotes Dr. Breggin I find it hard to imagine how she can recommend these poisons for so called “psychosis” with the many alternatives available past and present.

    Dr. Richard Bentall is another great expert exposing the sham of biopsychiatry’s many crimes against the so called mentally ill in Doctoring the Mind and Madness Explained whereby he exposes the useless toxic drugs and recommends getting to know the client and developing a therapeutic relationship for actual benefit and recovery unlike biopsychiatry’s toxic stigma and drugs only lethal paradigm.

    http://www.amazon.com/Doctoring-Mind-Current-Treatment-Illness/dp/0814791484/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380340837&sr=1-3&keywords=madness+explained

    • She’s not “recommending” neuroleptics for psychosis. She’s has been attacking the use of psychiatric drugs and psychiatry with her books and articles. I personally think the core thing is that people are given most neutral or objective information possible and then they have absolute *choice* to take or not to the drug. I’ve read some typical mental health boards and some people there like to eat their neuroleptics. i think they have right for that decision, and I think I should have the right to never have neuroleptics inserted in my body without my will. Some people may perceive neuroleptics as useful for them, and it’s their right to perceive so. In my opinion, Moncrieff certainly is not trying to promote the use of neuroleptics in any cases, she’s attacking their use. In some older slides she showed how in some old studies benzos and opium were about as effective in treatment of psychosis as were neuroleptics.

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