If Not Meds, Then WHAT?

Bonnie Kaplan, PhDJulia Rucklidge, PhD
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We took a break of several months to attend to a variety of other tasks/deadlines.  Now we are delighted to return to some of the other topics we promised you in the past.

But first, let’s recap some of the major points from our first dozen blog posts:

  • The brain consumes – disproportionately – the most energy of any organ in our body. So when we eat, we need to be thinking about what our brain needs for optimal function.
  • The importance of nutrition for brain function has been recognized for millennia. The first ‘clinical trial’ of the mental effects of diet was reported ~3500 years ago, in the Book of Daniel.
  • By the early 20th century, it was accepted wisdom that mental illness was caused by suboptimal nutrition — knowledge that was swept away by the development of psychopharmacology halfway through that century. In fact, when the Minnesota Starvation Experiment showed in the 1950s that suboptimal nutrient intake caused severe psychiatric symptoms, those findings were ignored.
  • Scientists wanting to study the impact of nutrients on mental health were stonewalled by ‘magic bullet thinking,’ as well as the Scientific Method as it was interpreted in the 20th century. As we wrote previously, in The Inane Search for Magic Bullets to Treat Mental Illness: “What’s wrong with this single-nutrient literature? With precious few exceptions, all of it — hundreds of studies and millions of research dollars — has been wrongly based on the idea that a treatment must consist of just one nutrient at a time.” The minimal benefits demonstrable from a single nutrient (outside frank deficiency syndromes like pellagra) led people to dismiss the overall idea that minerals and vitamins were important candidate treatments.
  • We wrote about a child in Calgary whose severe psychosis was successfully treated with broad spectrum minerals and vitamins, at <1% of the cost of his unsuccessful inpatient treatment (Rodway et al., 2012). The cost savings of nutrient treatment alone makes it imperative that our society pay attention to this topic.
  • We wrote about Julia’s amazing research that demonstrated that micronutrient treatment helped ordinary citizens (a nonclinical sample) cope better with the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010-11 (Rucklidge et al., 2012). The message is clear: an excellent, inexpensive public health intervention to protect the mental health of a populace dealing with an environmental catastrophe would be to hand out minerals and vitamins.
  • We reviewed the field of Nutritional Epidemiology, only about 10 years old, that shows that patterns of food intake in populations are associated with mental symptoms.
  • We analyzed and dispensed with the accusations that taking nutrient supplements only creates expensive urine (at best) and might be harmful to our health (at worst).
  • We introduced our readers to the work of Paul Amminger, who has shown that nutrient supplementation (omega-3s in his work) at the time of a first episode of psychosis can provide long-term resistance to further episodes (Amminger et al., 2010).
  • And since both of us are totally convinced of the importance of treating with broad spectrum formulas, we were delighted to describe to you Julia’s randomized, placebo-controlled trial that showed significant benefit from a multinutrient mineral/vitamin formulation in adults with ADHD and mood dysregulation (Rucklidge et al., 2014).

So we covered a lot of ground, but the list of topics we hope to cover in the near future is even longer.  Today, we want to discuss this one: IF NOT MEDS, THEN WHAT? Of course, a great deal of the information published on MadInAmerica is devoted to this very important question, so many constructive ideas are often presented. We think that nutrition and diet should always be part of the conversation, as both moderator variables and mediator variables. You may have heard these terms before. Let’s get academic for just a moment and look at the formal definitions:

  • A moderator variable is one that affects the direction and/or strength of the relation between an independent variable and a dependent variable.
  • A variable is a mediator to the extent that it actually accounts for the relation between the independent and dependent variables.

Another way to say this:  a moderator variable is one that influences the strength of a relationship between two other variables, and a mediator variable is one that explains the actual relationship between the two other variables. Perhaps the best illustration of this issue relates to the issue of predictors of mental illness. The most consistent predictors over decades of research have included poverty and family dysfunction. Family dysfunction can of course be a significant moderator variable: if a family models violent or aggressive behaviour, then that is what children learn. But it is also true that poverty and family dysfunction can be mediators, in that they can account for mental problems because they result in suboptimal nutrition.

Is poverty an important mediator in the relationship between nutrition and mental health? Obviously it is. And here is a disturbing statistic: an astounding 16% of Americans now report running out of food sometimes. This report really illustrates this problem.  Processed foods that are nutrient-poor are less expensive to buy. People who are impoverished are also sometimes in circumstances where they cannot access whole foods or have no facility for storing them (as in the linked report). How can they possibly consume an optimal diet? The challenges are enormous.

In our next blog, we’ll tell you about one of the amazing programs addressing these challenges, called Wholesome Wave.

* * * * *

References

Amminger GP, et al., Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for indicated prevention of psychotic disorders: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2010;67(2):146-154.

Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.

Rodway M, Vance A, Watters A, Lee H, Bos E, Kaplan BJ (2012 Nov 9), Efficacy and cost of micronutrient treatment of childhood psychosis. BMJ Case Reports. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-007213

Rucklidge, J. J., Frampton, C., Gorman, B., & Boggis, A. (2014). Vitamin-mineral treatment of ADHD in adults:  A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry. 204:306-15

Rucklidge JJ, Andridge R, Gorman B, Blampied N, Gordon H, Boggis A. Shaken but unstirred? Effects of micronutrients on stress and trauma after an earthquake: RCT evidence comparing formulas and doses. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Sep;27(5):440-54.

188 COMMENTS

  1. I am sorry, but to say you have evaluated and “dispensed with” the widely scientifically accepted evaluation that taking supplements simply creates “expensive urine”, without delineating exactly how you accomplished that, is nothing more than propagating “woo”. As a case manager, an agency I worked for had a very impaired resident who’s parents took him off all medications and paid out of pocket to take him to a prominent “Wholistic” psychiatrist who put him on $300/month of supplements (10 years ago) along with a special diet that these loving parents cooked and delivered to their son daily. His psychosis worsened to the point that he left the group home, became homeless and went who knows were and I never heard what eventually happened to him.

    Does severe poor nutrition impact mental health? I totally believe that. Does my own depression improve when I keep out the junk food and get some exercise? Absolutely. What happens if I stop taking my medication? Time after time, I end up in the hospital.

    Please come back when you have significantly more evidence than what you have linked to above.

  2. I am sure it was simply that he stopped taking his psych meds too fast and his MD didn’t know what he was doing, and not the lack of evidence for the efficacy of the supplements that had anything to do with his relapse.

    Sorry, I have seen too many people risk their health by taking supplements of various kinds and end up poorer and wiser. Show me some decent evidence, of course, and I could change my mind.

    • Oh, because this makes him smarter and more ethical than everyone here. I’m not sure ou’ve realised but most bloggers here also have committed some books and attended meetings and conferences and stuff. That’s not the point.
      I’d suggest you look up what a withdrawal syndrome is. And yes, most MDs don’t know about it or downplay/underestimate the severity and duration of symptoms.
      When it comes to supplements I am personally skeptical how much they help and whom but that of course depends on a specific supplement and a specific person. Personal example: I got horrible restless leg syndrome due to Zypexa and Seroquel which persisted for about a year after I stopped the drugs. I first managed it with magnesium supplements but it only helped to manage symptoms (I’d take it when the cramps and restless feeling start and it’d help me to control it so I could fall asleep) but I basically cured it (I occasionally have a remission but it’s nothing like before) with iron supplement. The most likely interepretation is that iron is important for dopamine signalling which gets screwed up by the drugs. So yeah, supplements can help in a lot of things.

  3. One very important thing to remember about nutrition and especially about recommendations to take Omega-3 fatty acids is that fish oil is highly contaminated with heavy metals, but even when “purified” people need to keep in mind that the health of the planet matters and we are killing the oceans with our greed and our “mad” need to consume and consume and consume, including all the fish we can eat, There are other good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, including flaxseed meal, which ought to be recommended before fish oils. NO ONE should eat or recommend eating fish — for health reasons and especially for moral and ecological reasons…I feel this very very strongly.

  4. To those looking for alternatives that work MIA is the place to look just put the curser on someones comment or post and a whole new world of ideas and experiences could open up for you. It may not be what you expected and it may not be MD ,Big Pharma , or Nami or psychiatry approved and it might not have been tested by double blind studies . As for me I’ll derive more comfort from the lived experience and conclusions of a survivor of psychiatry over any torture techniques ever devised by the “educated”, greedy, psychopathic ,psychiatric , electric , pharmaceutical brainwashed nami establishment .

  5. “By the early 20th century, it was accepted wisdom that mental illness was caused by suboptimal nutrition.” Um, what? That’s a mighty broad statement, is this what you believe too?

    I bet that if you study it for long enough you will actually discover that food and nutrition are *not* the answers to all of life’s problems. There are other things going on in life, some of which are more important for our functioning than attaining 100% perfect, *optimal* nutrition, if you can believe that.

    This seems to be along the lines of the kind of nutritional religious fundamentalism/myopia that rubs me completely the wrong way. Because our society really needs more encouragement to keep ignoring all of the trauma, abuse, neglect and stress reported by the majority if not all of its mental patients – doesn’t it? Let’s just keep ignoring all of that (as usual), act like it’s not as important or harmful as it really is, not address unhealthy family systems and oppressive social conditions, & boil it all down to food instead. How neat (& blame-free).

    I’m sorry, I guess I’ve known too many people who were ignorant of/desiring to hide or ignore what should be glaring social/power/family systems problems (particularly those they were perpetrating) and, instead, put their faith in nutrition – obsessing over it as if it’s the holy grail that will right all of life’s major wrongs. I think that’s utter folly and worse, it helps us continue to ignore, miss, and misunderstand what really are the drivers of so much mental/emotional distress.

    • I agree. Indeed the epidemiological evidence support your argument. Studies of people diagnosed with all those serious mental health diagnosis show high rates of experiences of family violence and child sexual assault, along with higher rates in ethnic minorities, the poor and the queer community. All of which indicates it is the abuse of power that causes mental distress (bit obvious really).

      However there was a study that showed basic supplement of prisoners diets improved behavior and it is harder to get a decent diet if you are poor – the food industry likes to sell cheap fat and sugar at high profit. There is plenty of research on the ravages of the big agriculture, the fast food industry and supermarkets and the effect they have on the environment and people’s diets.

      So my guess is that bad diet, often caused by inequality and the power of corporations in the food production and distribution indsutries, makes it harder to deal with trauma and inequality.

      But in goring inequality and trauma is stupid and dangerous.

  6. I would agree with the above 2 comments .What you’re saying is well understood by many survivors and others. To me the relatively ignored factor “the hardly mentioned elephant in the room” is purposeful heavy metal and chemical and biological poisoning by the” food industry”,the AMA medical profession.APA psychiatry,ADA dentistry especially the various forms of mercury poisoning. This I believe is driven by the Rockefeller and Carnegie collaborative effort that first funded eugenics in America and later funded in Germany and beyond. These families are like a dog with a bone. They never give up on their beliefs ,any defeat is looked upon as a temporary setback and given their huge war chests and other robber baron allies ,and bought and paid for Harvard and other ivy league round table think tanks ,they are the scum that have risen to the top and present their challenge to life on this planet.

  7. “Purposeful heavy metal and chemical and biological poisoning”. Do you have a credible evidence for that whatsoever…other than rants from conspiracy theory websites? There has been evidence of mental illness since long before industrial times.

    Look, people do develop mental illness as a result of trauma, etc. They also develop it out of no known etiology. Young people who had great childhoods, on the cusp of their adult lives, about to go to college – have psychotic breaks. Kids are born into loving families who take good care of them, however it is clear from an early age that their brains just aren’t wired properly. If any of you think that simply dispensing with the biological causes of mental illness is a step forward, you might want to pull back and get a wider view.

    The brain can get sick like any other organ. Often there is a genetic predisposition + an environmental stressor that precipitates the illness. I have seen abused kids who develop mental illnesses that very much do appear to be a result of their experiences. I have also seen abused kids who have some blessed source of resilience that protects them. Please do not reject science just because you are unhappy with the provision of services in this country. Demand change, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    • I must say, Vegwellian, that you are quick to conflate current science with truth. Oddly enough, just before you ask your reader not to “reject science,”as though it were synonymous with rejecting truth, you mention that there are those who have “some blessed source of resilience.” Where does your faith lie? I don’t think you have really looked at your own thoughts.

      • Much of the latest scientific research seems to indicate that brain inflammation is involved in anxiety and depression. Brain inflammation can be caused by stress, infection, viruses, poor diet and other causes. Not everyone diagnosed with a mental illness has been traumatized. Since many people today eat extremely poor diets which are very high in inflammatory foods I believe that poor diet is definitely a factor in some people’s mental illness. The stress caused by trauma seems to be a factor as well.

        I find it hard to understand why some people on this website become so angry when someone suggests that something other than trauma and abuse could be causing mental illness in some people.

        Thank you Bonnie and Julia for your work. I hope you will ignore the rude comments from some of the posters on this site and realize that some of your readers do appreciate your research.

        • I also agree. And I know personally, that antidepressants (even when given as smoking cessation meds, rather than for depression) can cause odd side effects that are then misdiagnosed as “bipolar.”

          Absolutely, things other than trauma and abuse can cause the so called “life long, incurable, genetic mental illnesses” – the psychiatric drugs cause the DSM symptoms. Although I was also misdiagnosed as bipolar because I thought 9.11.2001 was disgusting, and I was dealing with a cover up of the sexual abuse of my small child, so I was dealing with some societal trauma and bullying.

    • Vegwellian, ” Do you have credible evidence for that whatsoever….other than rants from conspiracy theory websites?”
      Edwin Black’s impeccably documented book “War Against the Weak” also Robert Young’s must read book “Sick And Tired” also Greg Palast’s book “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” also Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr.Chris Shade at Mercola.com (check archives) see mercury in food at DemocracyNow.org (check archives) also google Paracelsus Klinic in Switzerland (Dr. Rau) check out their modalities and track record. Find Pat Riser’s list of possible causes for troubling mental emotional problems( Goggle it .) Look at Dr. Russell Blaylock’s ( retired Neuro-Surgeon and his numerous video interviews on U-Tube). This is just for starters. Take Care,
      Fred

      • First of all, regarding my use of the word “blessed” I guess I assumed given my Avatar (The Atheist symbol with the letter “A” front and center, also a symbol for Atheism) it would be obvious that I meant “blessed” in the most secular of way…as in a synonym for “good fortune or good luck”. Some of us are just lucky or unlucky in the genetic makeup we inherited as well as in the environment we grew up in. I do not conflate Science with ultimate truth at all. But I do require evidence for belief…especially when claims are made that seem to contradict the existing evidence but are not well supported with their own evidence.

        In the realm of “alternative medicine” (ie treatments for illness that have not been proven to work) “inflammation” is give an a possible cause for a lot of different diseases. This unmeasurable, invisible, undetectable, inflammation is supposedly able to be eased through everything from homeopathy to reiki. Meanwhile diseases such as arthritis, which demonstrably either cause or are caused by observable inflammation, have had numerous dietary treatments proposed – from avoiding night shade plant foods, to tumeric and every supplement you can buy on line or in a health food store, but those have not managed to make significant differences in pain when studied in a controlled manner and on a consistent basis. So if observable inflammation is not significantly improved by diet (in controlled studies, not anecdotal testimonies, and so far there is no evidence to show that mental illness is caused by inflammation, any claim of cure through reducing inflammation has a pretty steep hill to climb.

        @Fred Abbe, no offense, (but people always do get offended) however the sources you site do not constitute a casual relation between any of the environmental factors mentioned, and mental illness. As far I can see, non of it is actual scientific evidence. When I talk about scientific evidence, I mean controlled studies that have been peer reviewed and published in credible journals. Joseph Mercola is nothing but an internet quack who is against vaccination and most other evidence based medical treatments, and has been cited numerous times by the FDA for making unproven claims for unapproved medical devices. He makes millions hawking supplements on the internet on his wacky website which contains every bit of urban legend and conspiratorial anti-medicine lore known to mankind. And just because someone is or was a neurosurgeon or a any other professional discipline, does not necessarily mean that their ideas, promoted in books or on websites, are scientifically sound. Science means studies…as in experimental or analysis of data. Think of all the useless weight loss books written by doctors over the years.

        Why are people with mental illness so unwilling to accept that they have an illness? It seems to me this is just the old stigma in a new disguise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having any kind of illness. It is not anyone’s fault to be sick, even if they have something like Diabetes to which their lifestyle has contributed. It seems to me that people who are so keen to reject the medical model for explaining mental illness (not necessarily the medical treatment model, but the etiological model) simply do not want to accept that some part of their body doesn’t work right. That, in my opinion, is the same as buying into the old beliefs that mental illness is “all in your head” and blaming people, or their mother’s, etc., for their illnesses.

        My anger comes when people pushing completely unproven products or treatments present those products or treatments as though they are proven, to vulnerable people, while denigrating those treatments which, though far from perfect, at least have some evidence behind them. To me, this is both dangerous and cruel. The supplement industry is a $60 BILLION dollar industry and most of what it peddles has no solid evidence behind it, unless some has a testable deficiency. The idea the small amounts of micro-nutrients can mitigate serious mental illness, is such a long way from being proven that it simply should not be presented in such a way that people who are desperate for relief from any physical or mental health problem believe that there is more behind it than there actually is. ESPECIALLY when those suffering people eschew medication that may be working for them, in favor of something they see as more “natural.” That’s how people end up suicidal, sometimes, or so sick they have to be hospitalized. And yes, that makes me angry.

          • I hate to tell you Mr. Abbe but all of the paranoid nonsense you described in your earlier comment sounds far more pseudoscientific that any psychiatry. You are, obviously, a conspiracy theorist. Own it proudly, but don’t try to present it as something other than what it is.

        • Vegwellian,

          As someone who ended up being railroaded by psychiatry so my PCP could cover up her husband’s “bad fix” on my broken bone, and an ex-pastor could to try to cover up the medical evidence of the sexual abuse of my three year old child, but thankfully, ran into some decent medical practitioners who handed over my family’s medical records, too.

          And was also told by some decent subsequent pastors, who were kind enough to read my chronologically typed up medical records with my medical research neatly typed alongside, that I’d dealt with the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” In other words, shipping people off to psychiatric practitioners to be defamed, discredited, and tranquilized has historically been known as the best way for incompetent doctors and unethical pastors to cover up their easily recognized iatrogenesis and sins. And not much has changed.

          Also as a person who’s supposed to be a “judge,” according to 40 hours of unbiased psychological career testing I’d like to say, I have looked into some of Fred’s concerns. I agree they are considered “conspiracy theories,” however there is definitely reason to be concerned about what Fred researches.

          I don’t know all the answers, but neither do you. Perhaps claiming he’s nothing more than a conspiracy theorist, since of course you aren’t an expert in what he researches, is impolite?

          • It is one thing to be concerned about some of the problems that anyone might observe in the world and quite another to become convinced that a huge group of people are in cahoots to do everybody else in. Do you not agree? Any thinking person has concerns about many of the things he mentioned. Only conspiracy theorists think they are all somehow related. It is not impolite to call a conspiracy theory a conspiracy theory. It is only a bad thing if you think conspiracy theories are bad. The people who believe them do not think they are bad, however they also hold absolutely no room for the possibility that they are wrong. Conspiracy theories also, while sometimes containing a grain of truth, are usually indiscriminate about facts. How can that framework ever yield anything truly useful if it doesn’t weed out fact from conjecture?

            I thought I was coming to like this group but there is too much group think. If I get one thing across, let it be this: Googling is not research. Research involves an objective weighing of evidence.

        • Well, type in omega 3 fatty acids and say depression in pubmed. Or try the same with iron or magnesium. Or any other nutrient. There are studies, feel free to read and try to make sense of them. they are not a little bit more messy than data on drugs.
          “Why are people with mental illness so unwilling to accept that they have an illness?”
          Because it negates and trivializes their problems. Most people have reasons to feel and act out a certain way but none of these reasons are dealt with, taken seriously, acknowledged or even asked about. It’s all about “take your pills and shut up, you’re crazy, your problems don’t matter”. Btw, everything you wrote about supplements can be written about psych drugs.

    • As I recall John Read found about 80% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia had easily identifiable traumas.

      One explanation for resilience to childhood trauma is that the child didn’t take it personally and that this is much more likely if someone, somewhere, was sympathetic and understanding to the child. A brutal childhood is vastly softened by a nice kindly uncle, grandmother or youth worker.

      Psychosis and other forms of extreme mental distress often comes on as adult hood approaches. Some people just need more help in making that transition from child to adult.

      So I think there are viable non-biological explanations to most forms of mental distress. This does not mean that food, diet, and some kind of malnutrition is not relevant, but more that it is one factor in a complicated web of courses.

      • Also, I am not aware of any genetic link to any kind of mental distress that has been proved. So this remains at the level of speculation. Where as the trauma explanation is reliable and gives successful ways of treating distress: Just don’t do what the traumatizes did for a start!

        • @John Hogget, there have, indeed, been twin studies that show much higher incidence of schizophrenia in people who are genetically linked but were raised separately. Also between blood relatives. I am pretty sure that pretty significant evidence also exist for a genetic link with depression and bi-polar disorder too. In fact, there is even a small amount of evidence that personality disorders, once thought to have no genetic causation, may actually be genetic, too.

          Resilience is a major area of study in the social sciences. Yes, protective factors such as a supportive figure, or many other variables do play into it. Understanding why some people experience horrible trauma and come out of it relatively well adjusted, and others may experience lesser trauma and suffer enormously, is an important realm of study in terms of prevention and treatment.

          Everybody experiences some degree of trauma. You will get no argument from me that our society as a whole is pretty abusive and exploitative and oppressive. That is a meta issue that needs to be addressed on a meta level to bring about change.

          You make it sound like people who experience psychosis in young adult hood and are never able to fully recover are somehow at fault. Perhaps you have never been exposed to some of the more seriously impaired people that I have. I know that victim blaming is not intended here, but in the end, that’s how it comes across to me. Those of us who can regain or simply develop better functionality over time can pat ourselves on the back for our recovery, but what happens to the millions of people for whom that is simply not a reality? Who speaks for them? The idea that everyone can recover could be used to undermine funding for housing, disability payments, things that effect the lives of real human beings.

          Last I knew, the predominant medical theories for mental illness involve the “double blow” hypothesis. That is, a genetic predisposition may exist, but something enviromental, be it exposure to a virus, or child abuse or growing up in a war zone, also has to happen in order tfor that potential to be fully expressed. I don’t think any serious researcher think that trauma plays no part in the development of mental illness. This insistence using the term “mental distress” seems absurd to me. If someone has irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, they could also say that they have digestive distress. The distress is a sign or a symptom of the disease. Again, no one should ever be blamed for having a disease. There is no need to assign fault. What matters is that quality treatment options, including peer support, housing, vocational rehabilitation, all of that, must be made available. Minimizing the serious nature of these illnesses by implying that the are all temporary or don’t really exist, is not going to lead to a good place, policy wise.

          • Your arguments are meaningless since they start with the assumption that there is something called schizophrenia, which you haven’t come close to demonstrating.

          • There is as little evidence that schizophrenia is genetic as there is that poverty is.

            The twin studies have been largely exposed as relying on corrupt methods of counting. If a pair of twins contain two that are schizophrenic, the pair is counted as two pairs, if only one is schizophrenic there’s then only one pair; and this is with concordance. This is corrupt. Either pair in a pair where only one is schizophrenic still are BOTH non-concordant in having a twin with the same condition. The same as when there is concordance, to count the concordant pair twice is corrupt. Pure and simple. And if there really were true evidence that schizophrenia is genetic, we would have heard about it all over the place. But on the contrary, even the most pro-drugging, biological model sites still all say the same thing, that it “seems” to be both genetic and environment related. And that it “seems” to come from a group of genes, which could be said of any perceived condition.

            Further more, to dismiss Doctor Mercola, or anyone else’s contribution, simply because the FDA has a problem with him, or that he speaks against vaccinations, ignores how many corrupt drugs were approved the the FDA, their suppression (sometimes violent) of many treatments which HAVE been shown to work in scientific studies, while allowing those that haven’t (psychiatric drugs for example) but are promoted by big drug companies (see 5 billion dollars of fines paid by drug companies for bi-polar drugs that were FDA approved). Or you can look at the recent whistle blower that evidence vaccines cause autism was suppressed for ten years, and a host of other evidence. Or you can look at how many countries have made GMOs illegal, which the FDA approved. Simply calling someone a conspiracy theorist in order to dismiss the evidence they present is name calling rather than science. Although tagging someone as a conspiracy theorist excuses you from actually looking at the evidence, this doesn’t change the evidence.

            The supplement industry does NOT peddle medications proven to cause a chemical imbalance, while stating that they are addressing one. Even if they are doing nothing, even if they are placebo, they would be causing less scientifically attributable cause towards mental illness (a chemical imbalance, which psychiatric drugs HAVE BEEN proven to cause, while the diseases they are said to address have NOT BEEN). Neither do they have black warning labels that state they can cause suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts, neither do they correlate with causing violence, nor are their numerous court cases where it was determined they changed a person’s personality and behavior so dramatically that it was attributed to the drugs, and when the person stopped taking the drugs became themselves again. And yet you say someone simply promoting them causes suicide because they would need treatment from methods that HAVE been shown to correlate with causing suicide. And this is statistically, in regards what kind of treatment someone gets, regardless of whether they live in an environment of a time where there’s an increase in mental illness.

            That psychiatric medications help certain people is wonderful for them. This does NOT change the statistics that their implementation in general correlates with more relapsing, less recovery, more disability, loss of life and more violence. Waving the Stigma flag doesn’t change any of that either, nor does force drugging anyone who isn’t taking their “meds” magically change the statistics either.

          • Vegwellian,

            Thanks for posting the total junk science of the fraudulent genes claims by psychiatry or AKA, the mental death profession with the pretense they are FACT. This is the type of thing posted on NAMI and other BIG PHARMA funded webs sites or parroted by others under their control. These bogus genes claims have been debunked as have the absurd gene studies supposedly proving genes for invented, voted in bogus stigmas like the latest bipolar fad fraud created to push the latest lethal drugs on patent. The twin and other studies used were laughable. See Dr. Peter Breggin’s Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Jay Joseph’s The Gene Illusion and The Missing Gene, Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of NIMH, blog, “Transforming Diagnosis,” whereby he admits this past year there are no genes or any other evidence for DSM voted in stigmas forcing him to admit they are INVALID!! But, bogus genes claims for bogus, voted in DSM stigmas keep coming with no letup!

            Thus, I find your posting such garbage as the bogus gene claims of biopschiatry while trying to intimidate others based on their supposed pseudoscience or “conspiracy theories” (typical attack used by main stream psychiatry; when will you call us Scientologists, psychiatry’s greatest smear campaign for any real experts that dare challenge/expose them).

            Thank you for showing the quality of your own great expertise by repeating the fraudulent gene claims of biopsychiatry they have been making for the last hundred years with no results.

          • Now Veg – that is a very interesting reply to my comment. I didn’t provide links to where I get my views from however there is an article on this very website by Joanna Moncrieff, a UK research psychiatrist who has published in peer review journals and published books on psychiatry. Her most recent article on this site roughly says the research into the genetics of schizophrenia has prooved – nothing. A detailed rebutal of her research would be a useful way of forwarding the debate.

            The research on trauma that I know about is by John Read and Richard Bentall. I saw Richard Bental talk at a confernece. They have both published in peer reviewed journals and are on youtube talking at conferences about the research on the link to trauma and psychosis. A detailed rebutal of thier research would be a useful way of forwarding the debate.

          • Vegwellian, “Last I knew, the predominant medical theories for mental illness involve the “double blow” hypothesis. That is, a genetic predisposition may exist, but something enviromental, be it exposure to a virus, or child abuse or growing up in a war zone, also has to happen in order tfor that potential to be fully expressed.”

            What you don’t know is that this “theory,” which in reality is actually only an unproven hypothesis, has no replicable science backing it up. Are you familiar with Jay Joseph’s critiques of genetic research in psychology & psychiatry? http://www.jayjoseph.net/publications I have not read his work, but it is extensive. He talks specifically about the twin studies. I also encourage you to read the work of Dr. Faye Snyder, who explains the flaws in these genetics studies and, again, the lack of consistent, significant, replicable results in ANY of the psychiatric genetic research to date. Additionally, she explains human psychological development thoroughly, from birth through to adulthood, including what creates resiliency (unbroken, quality attachment in at least the first year of life) and the ins and outs of what creates personality. It’s a fascinating read and, imo, extremely important for our currently socially/psychologically ignorant society to understand – we have so little understanding of the extreme importance of attachment in human development, and of all the various ramifications of broken or insecure attachments as well as disciplining problems in the second year on. (I noted her book, “The Manual,” in another comment, but she has written another one which discusses the genetic research, “The Predictor Scale: Predicting and Understanding Behaviors According to Critical Childhood Experiences.”) A person doesn’t have to have had an overtly (to the naked eye) abusive or what we think of as “traumatic” childhood to nevertheless have gone with certain key needs unmet, which create ramifications for their resiliency and success vs. floundering later in life.

            Also, I’m pretty surprised that you are even on this site if you don’t understand why many of us speak of “mental distress” and if you believe only in “mental illness/disease.”

          • A few points there:

            – genetics of schizophrenia or other mental illness:
            Too bad that a few recent studies suing high throughput analysis of genomic data have brought up a handful of marginally significant genes which at best contribute to a miniscule percentage of risk (I don’t have time to look for the studies but if you browse through MIA’s articles you’re surely going to find references). And that are correlative studies by the way. Moreover, I don’t think anyone is disputing that genes and brain development contribute to how you react to trauma or stress (that includes how much trauma you can take and what the reaction is going to be). That is called personality. But to say that if someone reacts badly to abuse that means they have a bad/defective personality is a bit offensive. It’s in fact victim blaming – it’s not the abuser who is the problem, it’s you for not being “resilient” enough. Honestly, I’d consider someone who gets so-called PTSD from war experience more “normal” human being that a guy who comes out of it psychologically unscratched. Psychiatry these days is in the business of pathologising more and more of normal human behaviour and it seems like the ideal human would be a highly functioning psychopath.

            – “Those of us who can regain or simply develop better functionality over time can pat ourselves on the back for our recovery, but what happens to the millions of people for whom that is simply not a reality? Who speaks for them?”
            Many people here were written down as such hopeless cases by psychiatrists and we for most part recovered. And we do speak from experience about the “more harm than good” that current psychiatric treatment does. Which is getting to be more and more evident from actual scientific studies which show that drugs have miserable efficacy compared to placebo, that they long-term effects are abysmal, that people are worse of when they get labelled and treated. There is a lot of these studies, many of them have been discussed on MIA – feel free to look them up. And yeah, I’m talking peer reviewed scientific studies here, just to make clear. In fact people here are concerned with developing alternatives to the current model which would target the underlying causes of psychiatric symptoms and help people either recover from or control them.

            – “The distress is a sign or a symptom of the disease.”
            Not necessarily. When I put you in a very stressful situation you’ll be in distress and that will be a normal physiological reaction which was conserved by evolution. Now I can do it for a very long time or make a situation super severe or both. You will adjust somehow. Some people adjust by suppressing distress some by lowering the threshold. There is nothing wrong with a person having a overkill response to stressful situations – it’s a coping mechanism that went awry. The idea is to remove the source of the problems and then, if needed (and very often it’s not needed) help him/her develop different coping skills or recover.

          • Responding to B’s comment which begins: “A few points there.”

            Re: “I don’t think anyone is disputing that genes…contribute to how you react to trauma or stress (that includes how much trauma you can take and what the reaction is going to be). That is called personality.”

            Well, I for one have reason to doubt that genes are responsible for individual personality differences and resiliency. The alleged science backing up that assertion seems to be about as strong as that which claims that “mental illnesses” are genetically determined, biological brain diseases. For a full discussion on the creation of personality and a refutation of the idea that it is caused by individual genetic instruction, see “The Manual: The Definitive Book on Parenting and The Causal Theory” by Faye Snyder, PsyD.

          • Or perhaps her book “The Predictor Scale: Predicting and Understanding Behaviors according to Critical Childhood Experiences” might be another good reference on this topic, I can’t remember as I’ve lost my copy and am too poor to buy another at the moment.

    • An exercise in logic.

      Let A represent all undesirable/irrational thought and behavior.

      Let C represent undesirable/irrational behavior caused by brain pathology.

      Some A is C. To say that all A is C does not follow. Get it?

      (Actually the vast majority of A is not C.)

    • “”Look, people do develop mental illness as a result of trauma, etc. They also develop it out of no known etiology. Young people who had great childhoods, on the cusp of their adult lives, about to go to college – have psychotic breaks. Kids are born into loving families who take good care of them, however it is clear from an early age that their brains just aren’t wired properly. If any of you think that simply dispensing with the biological causes of mental illness is a step forward, you might want to pull back and get a wider view.””

      Just because a kid doesn’t have a “normal wired brain” doesn’t mean he is mentally ill. For example, many kids with Asperger Syndrome, LD, ADHD, etc. do great if they are put in environments that maximize their strengths while teaching them compensatory mechanisms for dealing with their weaknesses. Works alot better than being provided psych meds that make things worse on a brain that is already compromised.

      And even if the kid may not have anything obvious that explains the abnormally wired brain, many times, it ends up being due to horrific family dynamics. Google Claudia
      Gold, a pediatrician, who has written about this and is definitely not in the outside fringes of medicine.

      I am sure there are rare cases in which mental illness is the only explanation. But even it is, according to citation by folks like Dr. Sandy Steingard, who is as mainstream as they come, it is still questionable that drugs like antipsychotics work long term.

      Finally, you keep stating to not reject science but what citations in your opinion define it? Speaking of kids, the Paxil 329 was supposed to be very credible when it was done at the time regarding it being effective for depression with this population group. Guess what, it turned out to be fraudulent.

      • AA,

        What has happened in many cases is when so called experts claimed those stigmatized with schizophrenia or ADHD claimed MRI’s found shrunken, faulty brains, it became apparent that the differences/changes were a result of the toxic drugs forced on the unfortunate victims and had nothing to do with any faulty brains. Again, like the bogus genes claims I cited above, psychiatry is so vicious it longs for the day it can prove their neverending predatory eugenics claims to justify their assaults on their many victims that often destroy their brains and lives.

        Dr. Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist, and called “the conscience of psychiatry” along with others like Dr. Fred Baughman exposed this heinous assault on humanity and on children in particular.

        • Hi Donna,

          Let me clarify my position as I didn’t mean to imply that folks with ADHD, LD, and AS have faulty brains. They definitely don’t and the fact that any of these conditions are in the DSM is very offensive to me.

          Having said that and knowing folks with these issues, they definitely have challenges in this society in which people with differently wired brains are not easily accepted. By the way, as much as I greatly respect Dr. Breggin, I disagree vehemently with him that something like AS doesn’t exist. It definitely does.

          But we do agree that labeling these issues as psychiatric is criminal and to drug them is even worse.

    • Vegwellian,

      I’ve been reading some of your comments and I’m reminded of a bully on the playground bossing everyone around as to the proper way to think and play.

      What you are pushing is the mainstream junk science of the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma/bought out NAMI, corrupt government hacks psychopathic cartel that has been debunked a zillion times in a zillion sources including this web site and the books by the creator of this web site, Robert Whitaker.

      There are also a ton of so called “survivors” of this evil, intraspecies psychopathic predation on humanity using the same old bogus eugenics theories used to create the Nazi Holocaust by the robber barons of that time; now, the only difference is that everyone but the 1% psychopathic malignant narcissists and their enablers/henchmen like psychiatry at the top are targets.

      I suggest you read the great book, Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry, by Dr. Alvin Pam and Dr. Colin Ross that expose the many, many false claims you are making about the latest bogus, evil eugenics claims of psychiatry for their junk science voted in DSM stigmas that even Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of the NIMH, has declared invalid since they lack any science or medical evidence whatever.

      You’ve attacked everybody and everything on this post and elsewhere as if you are some great expert when you are merely parroting mainstream psychobabble used to stigmatize and destroy people to push the latest lethal drugs on patent and target the less powerful for pernicious social control.

      So, though you are right that everyone has been pretty tolerant of your pretending you know better than anyone else here, I have to tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about in much of what you say. Therefore, it may prove helpful if you read a great deal on MIA and many expert books like Mad Science, Toxic Psychiatry, Your Drug May Be Your Problem, 2nd ed., Pharmageddon, Rethinking Psychiatry, The Myth of the Chemical Cure and countless others exposing the deadly fraud and menace of biopsychiatry. You don’t even seem to be aware of all the controversy surrounding neuroleptics, SSRI’s and other toxic psych drugs. Did you know that many school/public shooters have been on these toxic drugs?

      I’m just posting this for any poor person that visits this web site and happens upon this post and thinks that your views represent the views of MIA or those posting here when the opposite is true for the most part.

      And where is your credible evidence? Many of us have been researching this topic for many years that had to be done outside the mainstream because psychiatry is so corrupt with its selling out to Big Pharma, participating in ghost written, fraudulent studies, promoting heinous lies about the useless, toxic drugs they dole out, its pretense of fraudulent chemical imbalances and bad genes to justify their life destroying stigmas and lethal “treatments,” having huge conflicts of interest and on and on. Yet, it would take tons of space and time to produce all of this information that is all over MIA when just calling your bluff of pretending to have the most expertise here is all that is necessary, so I call your bluff. Those at MIA are sadder but wiser, so most of us are not too impressed with Big Pharma funded NAMI/biopsychiatry diatribes that you have inflicted on us while attacking everyone else’s opinions here including the authors of this post.

      I’ll take the advice of the experts who wrote this post before your NAMI agenda any day of the week.

      Just for the record, I greatly disagree with just about everything you have written!

    • “Young people who had great childhoods, on the cusp of their adult lives, about to go to college – have psychotic breaks. Kids are born into loving families who take good care of them, however it is clear from an early age that their brains just aren’t wired properly.”
      Sure, there are people who smoke u to 90yrs of age and never get cancer. Doesn’t change the fact that statistically speaking smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung and some other forms of cancer and cutting down smoking alone is getting rid of a huge chuck of a problem. Similarly, some people can eat junk food and sit on their asses all day long and are skinny like a skeleton but that does not change the fact that most people will get obese with such a lifestyle. Sure, there are people whom you can abuse to no end and they will come out on the other side. Most people will break down.

    • Btw, I’m one of these who had a perfect family and childhood and got “mental illness” god knows how. At least that’s how it looks to most people. It’s very easy to judge if someone had a perfect life when you’re not that person and you don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff happening behind closed doors, a lot of ways to put pressure at people, a lot of reasons why the “perfect” people so often break down. You just don’t know about it and instead of trying to figure it out or at least ask you want to drug and label.

  8. Sorry I didn’t recognize you as an atheist from your symbol. Of course, no religious superstition here. By “blessed” you meant just plain old luck.

    But re-reading one of your posts, I do understand a little of your anger. You say, “What happens if I stop taking my medication? Time after time, I end up in the hospital.” This must be discouraging for you. I think, however, that other approaches to the psychological problems can be beneficial.

    Actually, almost all nutritional problems have psychological consequences. Studies do show this. Also, mainstream medicine IS accepting the inflammation theory for many conditions. I don’t find this last fact particularly reassuring since medicine often embraces unproven theories whole cloth for periods of time. No doctor worth his salt would ever recommend drugs in pregnancy, but who could forget thalidomide? It was supported by a whole generation of doctors forgetful of the best in medical training. And, on a smaller scale, it’s happening again with pregnant women being given anti-depressants and flu vaccines with mercury.

    Doctors who are honest will also admit that they are woefully uninformed about nutrition. It has simply not been a real part of medicine except for a brief introduction to the medical extremities of nutrient starvation. Wise doctors, however, don’t rule out the potential benefits of supplements and vitamins.

    Anyway, “good luck” with your situation.

    • First of all, though I use my personal experience because I am very open about my status as someone with lived experience, please do not assume that is the only experience I have. I have worked in the field for many years, and in a number of different settings. I have walked along beside a lot of people on their journey, heard their stories and observed what has happened to them.

      I am also the parent of someone who is now an adult, but who exhibited very difficult behavior and emotional problems from a very early age and I have also walked along with many others who have had the same experience. Strangely enough, they don’t like being blamed for their children’s condition, which is what it ultimately comes down to if you completely reject the genetic and biological basis of mental/behavioral problems.

      I had two first cousins with very severe and persistent mental illness, and having grown up with them, I know they were not subjected to any untoward trauma. Both of them had multiple siblings who exhibit no mental health diagnoses at all. They came from particularly loving and supportive families. Both of them were unable to work, unable to live independently, suffered greatly, and died at a relatively early age.

      Please give me a link to any credible research that supports the inflammation hypothesis. You’re just saying that doctors are accepting it, or studies are showing it is not enough because it counters what I know to be true. Many people read alternative medicine publications and hear that “studies have shown”, but more often or not, the actual studies are not cited.

      Wise doctors base their treatments on evidence. I have heard that old canard about doctors not knowing much about nutrition. However, doctor do not exist in a vacuum, they have access to all the information you do, plus some. I don’t know any doctors, in person or online, who think themselves particularly ignorant on nutrition.

      However, good doctors demand evidence. Please provide some evidence for your claims. Furthermore, there is a massive difference between measure nutritional deficiencies and supposed deficiencies which do not show up under testing. Most of the claims being made regarding nutritional treatments for most things (not all, there are definitely diseases that are caused by nutritional deficiencies) are based on the latter, not the former.

      • You have yet to cite any credible evidence of your own spurious and questionable claims, so when you provide evidence maybe we will provide more than all the evidence cited already.

        And the bogus gene theories of bogus DSM stigmas came about because parents didn’t want to be blamed for their bad parenting, so you have that wrong too, but you are trying to vilify anyone who disagrees with your eugenics claims even if you have to invent a “theory.”

    • Well, I’d start with something else. First of all stopping drugs cold turkey will make anyone sick so no wonder he ends up in a hospital. Classic withdrawal syndrome. I had a friend who was “chronically depressed” and could not stop drugs without getting suicidal. Then his psychologist weaned him of drugs slowly over a year (and he got a GF in the meantime) and he’s fine drug-free.

  9. I think it’s possible that there’s problems that just aren’t being identified. Don’t you think it’s ironic that there is a belief “schizophrenia” is genetic but there is no actual proof that it is ?

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/09/critique-genetic-research-schizophrenia-expensive-castles-air/

    Is psychiatry, the diagnosis of schizophrenia a catchall ? Sorry to be blunt but is someone severely impaired simply brain damaged ? What caused that damage ? Is it really an illness known as schizophrenia ?

  10. Science can illuminate but it can also blind…….while the technological approach born in the enlightenment has brought benefits to society in places it also brought us industrial killing in two world wars. The technological approach has worked out quite well in physical medicine…. in the affairs of humans subject to psychiatry not so much….. any realistic assessment is that its been nothing short of a disaster….. the science is suspect and psychiatrists know it….. its a profession in crisis….

    Human problems need human solutions….. not technical ones…..

    • Regardless of the relative crudeness of today’s psychiatric treatments (medication, basically) that is not a reason to completely discard the notion of a genetic or biological basis to mental illness, or to claim that mental illness does not exist, which I see a lot of here. There is a difference between etiology and treatment. I completely agree that psychiatry is in crisis because is it dependent upon medication, which is simply not enough for most people. Most people need support that is there for them in all areas of their lives. That is why peer support is so important. Plus, there is no question in my mind that when medications work, which is by no means always, they really make a a difference in people’s lives. So I simply caution against throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      • You keep cautioning against “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” How many decades should our society place faith in a DSM stigmatization system, which is being used for unethical reasons, and has no scientific validity? Except it appears to be a medicalization of all normal human emotions and mental states, which it claims are “mental illnesses.” And the DSM gives a good description of the “serious mental illnesses” symptoms the psychiatric drugs cause.

        The reality is the psychiatrists spent 60 years creating a “bible” of “mental illnesses” by categorizing all human behaviors they personally wanted eliminated (like ADHD “symptoms”), and the adverse reactions to their drugs as “mental illnesses,” rather than adverse effects to their drugs.

        Is that a “baby” we should keep?

      • There is every reason to throw out the evil eugenics theories that have allowed psychopathic predators to prey on others who are less powerful and wealthy with the pretense that they have inferior genes or biology.

        This is exactly what the robber barons like Carnegie and Rockefeller did with psychiatry to prey on less fortunate people and condone the Nazi Holocaust. Many similar prejudiced people have tried to do the same with black people to justify racism.

        So, I find it odd that you would wish to uphold this monstrous agenda of the never ending waste of billions of dollars to keep searching for the nonexistent genes when it is well known that oppression, abuse of power, poverty, abuse, bullying, trauma and other negative social/environmental conditions cause great psychological distress.

        • Of course they do, Donna. I was misdiagnosed by a “holistic, Christian” psychologist, based upon lies and gossip from an ELCA pastor who wanted to cover up the sexual abuse of my child, for a more wealthy hopeful parishioner and possibly himself, than I. Despite the fact my father had made millions for my ex-religion as the head of the investment committee of the board of pensions for that religion.

          If one is called in life to be a poor starving artist, rather than manage money for a religion as my father did. Then the ELCA, at least, apparently believes it’s appropriate behavior to rape the child of, deny a baptism for (at, mind you, the exact moment the second plane hits the second World Trade Center building) a child, and then defame and try to murder a person with psychiatric stigmatization and major drug interaction poisoning.

          We definitely have a societal problem of corporations utilizing psychiatric stigmatization and poisoning to destroy those they can’t personally profit off of.

          • And, I should mention the corporate Catholic religion is covering up their child abuse problems in the same way. I know this because I went to a self help group for those recovering from sexual abuse by clergy, and had to explain to a couple who was trying to understand their drugged up daughter’s “depression,” turned “bipolar,” was a completely drug induced problem. They told me the Catholic religion is refusing to make proper amends to those dealing with child sexual abuse, other than treatment by psychiatrists.

  11. There may very well be problems that have not yet been identified. But don’t confuse the fact that the specific gene or genes that cause serious mental illness has not yet been identified with the idea that there is no evidence that mental illness is genetic. There is a well established statistical correlation of these illnesses within families. Even with children whose parents were seriously mentally ill, but who were given up for adoption. The exact mechanism of causation has not been found, however, the field of genetics is relatively young and frankly, there isn’t that much money going into research on mental illness. Most of the money that is going into brain science is going into Alzheimers.

    What difference does it make if the terminology used is later replaced with something more specific? Regardless of how well the concept of the disease “schizophrenia” describes the existence of a certain number of similar symptoms and behaviors that are common across the entire spectrum of human culture. And, people with these symptoms do, to a larger degree than do not, respond to medications that have been developed so far. And the medications we have now will probably turn out to be crude compared with medications that may eventually be developed. I have seen the difference these medications make in people’s functioning and in their lives. It is nothing short of amazing. There are outliers in every field who take a position contrary to the majority of their fellows and make a career out of defending and developing that position. There is nothing wrong with that. But the fact that they interpret research and evidence one way and can make a decent argument for their interpretation no more constitutes proof that they are right than does the correlation of mental illness symptoms among family members prove causation. It’s just a common framework, for now, that allows people to communicate in an understandable and define way.

    • You just cited the supposed evidence for the bogus mental illness genes and now when challenged, you invent another story or position about these false claims.

      I think you should follow your own advice about not pushing junk science and make sure the evidence is there before you try to force your opinions on others.

    • Again, Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of the NIMH, has had to admit that the voted in stigmas like schizophrenia and bipolar are INVALID since there is no evidence behind them. And you keep citing your junk science pretense of proof about family genetics, etc. There is the book, Schizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion? by Dr. Mary Boyle you may wish to check out since there are tons of so called symptoms for this garbage can stigma like bipolar with many variations since they are so lacking in science or medicine.

      And Dr. Insel has also admitted that treatment with psychiatric drugs leaves much to be desired based on studies Bob Whitaker and Dr. Sandy Steingard posted on this web site. In many cases people do much worse in the long run on psych drugs which is why it was found that people in third world countries with similar symptoms tended to fully recover and lead full, productive lives unlike those preyed on with stigma and drugs by mainstream psychiatry in the U.S. who tended to become permanently disabled and unable to work/function normally. You might try reading Bob Whitaker’s books, Mad in America, Anatomy of an Epidemic among many others cited on this site.

      To pretend anyone who disagrees with you is an outlier, conspiracy theorist or whatever other insult you throw out is not conducive to an intelligent conversation. It’s obvious you have not done the research on many of your bogus claims like mental illness genes, but rather, you are merely reciting the kool-aid doled out to you by mainstream psychiatry continuing to profit from this horror show while destroying countless lives. I have no doubt psychiatry will keep making its bogus gene and other claims that you can mimic, but kindly don’t turn the tables on us and pretend we are the ones lacking science or knowledge about the topic because it is very clear that any member of MIA having read lots of the articles here could easily challenge your spurious claims. Your claims sound like they just came off a Big Pharma funded web site and I resent your trying to mislead people here with such gross misinformation.

      • And that is the truth, many of us ended up being here, because we’d research a ton of medical journal articles, and patient complaints, first. Vegwellian’s deluded belief we don’t base our concerns on actual medical evidence, and real patient complaints of the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs, is absurd.

        • And, quite honestly, since defaming people with “mental illnesses” and force drugging them with drugs now known to cause the “mental illness” symptoms is apparently the “dirty little secret of the two “original educated professions.”

          And since “dirty little secrets” are called such, since they are, in fact known to be morally unacceptable human behavior. Perhaps the “mental health” industry should stop creating “mental illnesses” in people with their drugs to cover up legitimate and medically provable child abuse concerns?

          But the psycho / pharmaceutical industries did make billions off pulling off the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professionals” on the entire US population. But personally, I’m just heartbroken, by the millions who had iatrogenic bipolar created in them, completely with drugs,

          When will we as a society confess that creating “mental illnesses” in people for profit, with forced and coerced drugs, for unethical reasons; is inappropriate behavior?

  12. Veg. You are coming off as a bit patronising here….. my knowledge of neuroscience, pharmacology and epigenetics are quite up to date…. but thanks anyway.

    Genes code for structure, thats why they hold some but only a bit of promise for physical medicine.

    Genes code for structure not behaviour. End of story. These associations are mere sample size effects. Beliefs no matter how odd they might seem are the result of culture and environment…. no more no less….. psychiatry itself is merely an ideology….. an unprovable belief system….

    Anytime a direct genetic link is found that disorder disappears from the orbit of psychiatry, similarly if something is found that is really neurological it becomes neurology.

    Psychiatry is pure social control. I appreciate you might have some catching up to do but you are coming over a bit green….. no offence intended.

    • I am not green, I have been around the lived experience movement for years. Please provide some evidence for your claims. To say that psychiatry is pure social control is a mighty big and unprovable claim that betrays a lot of bias. Just so you know. You do not come across as objective either. Your beliefs about psychiatry are not new. Thomas Szasz was writing about this stuff back in the 60’s! At any rate, I will always go back to the fact that etiology and treatment are two different things and there is no question that treatment needs a massive upheaval and update. However, evidence is the only guiding light that we really have. And, while it may not answer enough questions, and be a painfully slow process, this angry rejection that is typical of people I have run into that espouse your views, is only constructive to the degree that it motivates them – which is no small thing, but it, by no means, defines reality. Sorry if I come across as condescending. I just like to stick with facts and I do not, as I have repeatedly said, appreciate people peddling any unproven treatments, for anything, presenting those treatments as more proven than they are, at the same time implying that those things that are at least partly evidence based are no good. It really does not matter if it is physical or mental illness because the same dismissive tone you are using is also constantly used by alternative med adherents who feel that every evidence based treatment is a conspiracy of Big Pharma.

      • @ Vegwellian, Many of the healing arts not accepted by AMA guild medicine , APA guild psychiatry and ADA dentistry are not accepted by them because it leaves them exposed naked as the emperors with no clothes that they are. Them being the actual quacks that they accuse other more useful modalities of being. Also they desire to maintain monopolistic control above all else to ensure increasing profits.Very much like the tobacco company model with serious disregard to the long term health of their customers. In fact they make more money by keeping them sick and making them sicker and managing their ailments to gain profits throughout their lives right to the end. Plus they demand to be respected to boot. Of course a relatively small percentage of what they do actually helps some people especially in physical trauma medicine some of which works only because they need to create confidence in the many young people they send to wars created by the members of the 1% for accelerated profits. To understand the jist of what psychiatry is capable of read Robert Whitaker’s books Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. Un green yourself. Don’t forget to read Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak ” and Robert Young’s ” Sick And Tired”.

        • It sounds like you are saying that alternative medicine is Ok because evidence based medicine doesn’t work. Alternative medicine does not work. Homeopathy is a crock. Reiki, Chiropracty, all of it. Evidence based medicine does work. Look at the life expectancy today now that people aren’t dying of so many treatable illnesses. I’ve heard the “wake up sheeple” spiel before. All doctors and scientists are in the pockets of Big Pharma or Big Ag, etc. They all obtained advanced education and immediately threw their integrity out the door in order to join the corporate conspiracy to make people sick and then sell them a temporary remedy that they have to keep buying, yada yada yada. That stuff only works if you don’t know any doctors or any scientists and you are able to put everyone one in a monolithic group called “other” and see them as nefarious and sinister. Instead, the world is a fascinating, complex place where every breakthrough has unintended consequences, where those things that work to keep the gears turning for the masses (and from which some people make money) also have drawbacks and need to be constantly evaluated and challenged. In the real world, there is power and there is lack of power. There is wealth and there is poverty. Rather than viewing it all as one big conspiracy, I find it much more interesting and intriguing to look at as a long, unfolding of human knowledge and human progress that is fraught will problems exactly because it is from humans and humans are complex creatures.

          • Vegwellian,

            Framing the issue as evidenced based vs. alternative medicine is not an accurate way of looking at things. There are many conventional medical practices that allegedly work according to evidenced based medicine but when the statistics are thoroughly reviewed, it turns out they don’t. This has been discussed on Kevin MD.

            And some alleged alternative practices like fish oil and vitamin D work great according to various citations.

            I do agree some alternative stuff doesn’t work. But ironically, you are doing exactly what you accuse MIA folks of doing which is to put everything in a one size fits all category as you have done with alternative medicine.

          • You don’t need a conspiracy theory. I happen to be a scientist and to have an insider view into the whole science business. And there are a lot of problems with incentives. You don’t need a room full of smoke and a guy with a big cat to explain reality – it’s enough that people have conscious and unconscious biases, that there are plenty of wrong incentives (publish or perish but only positive and original results – negative results get hidden, studies are not getting reproduced). And that’s basic science I’m talking about – applied science (I’m talking here medicine) is much worse.
            If you knew how it works from the inside, especially with drug approval process you’d have hair standing up on your neck from fear before you pop up any pharma wonder drug.
            And yeah, there has been progress and it’s not to deny everything – vaccines for most part are a great thing (though these days it starts to be a bit more of a mess – read recent science news section on a scandal with flu vaccine in Italy) and cancer drugs do wonders even if they’re not perfect and toxic. But these are things that are difficult to manipulate results for – usually when the drug does not work patient dies.

        • The 1st chiropractor I ever saw over 30 years ago told me that MD’s are totally first rate when it comes to 1st aid of all kinds, beyond that they’re basically in the business of suppressing symptoms and ignoring &/or exacerbating the root causes of disease. I see nothing to date that would compell me to refute this.

      • I suggest you read Dr. Marcia Angell’s The Truth About the Drug Companies to learn about all the corruption in so called evidence based medicine due to huge conflicts of interest.

        Also, see book, Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime, showing how medicine has gotten so corrupted by Big Pharma, it is even worse than the Mafia with psychiatry being the most corrupt due to lack of any real evidence for their DSM stigmas or bogus treatments. Much of their “evidence” is bogus studies with ghost written articles in journals while covering up all the life threatening side effects of their toxic treatments and refusing to publish negative studies. See the Paxil 329 study debacle.

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but the so called evidence base of psychiatry is total fraud, Big Pharma junk science!

        Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a mainstream psychiatrist who has a current article on this site, has exposed the great social control aspect of psychiatry in that it medicalizes normal human problems, crises and reactions so they can rob people of all human/civil rights in the guise of mental health. She wrote about this in an article, “Psychiatric Imperialism.”

        Szasz was 100% correct!

  13. veg. Patients have to pander to psychiatrists for obvious reasons when they have ultimate power over them….. the suspension of ones critical faculties when your being held hostage is certainly a survival strategy…. I can appreciate that. So to some people win the mentalhealth lottery and have a good experience of the system.

    Lots of patients consider thier psychiatrist in the absence of a belief in god consider them to be thier lord and saviour. Psychiatrists love love love that sort of patient. It feels good for both parties.

    Some psychiatrists actually think of them selves as priests and reckon that just being around them has a sort of magic fairy dust effect…. this they believe…… no study needed. Perhaps you believe that as well.

    I believe that people should be allowed to believe what they want…..good luck to you with your beliefs and if what you read makes your faith grow stronger so be it….. faith based medicine needs faith based mantras….. stories of people cured with miracle wonder drugs that no one can quite explain… that sort of thing….

    • Do you know many psychiatrists? My psychiatrist is just someone I see every 3 months. He is not a god or a savior, but I do look to him to have more expertise than I do. I present questions to him that occur to me between visits. The mind set you are describing is really outdated. It assumes that the “consumer” is helpless and not in charge of their own treatment.

      I have have also collaborated with psychiatrists alongside others “consumers” and seen the interactions and the nature of the relationships. I have never seen anything like you describe.

      Psychiatrists are just people who went into the field of medicine and then chose a speciality they were interested in. In my experience, they sincerely want to understand their field and to be helpful to those who come to them for treatment. They come in all shapes and sizes and with varying ideologies. Just like with physical health the patient needs to be as informed as possible, and, to the extent possible, choose a doctor that they find to reasonably accept their own ideas about treatment. However, it is not worth going to any doctor if they just let you run the show. They do know more than the patient about medicine, but not about the individual patient’s own experience.

      When all this anti-psychiatry stuff started, with Szasz in the late 50’s, psychiatrists did have a fair amount of power over people’s lives because there were still mass institutions where people were held indefinitely. A psychiatric diagnosis could ruin someone’s career. People viewed all doctors as gods and there was nowhere near the amount of information available about any illnesses and it was not considered the purview of patients to question doctors. All medicine was viewed as mysterious and unknowable by lay persons.

      The world changed, the field changed, but Szasz never updated his view. There is a shortage of psychiatrists today because people aren’t going into those residencies because of the lack of resources available to help people and the nebulous nature of the results. A psychiatrist today has very little power, which they are reminded of every time they are confronted with a seriously ill, seriously suffering person, but cannot get the insurance company to agree to admitting the person to a hospital, or cannot get them to cover the medication that works for that person, or having gotten insurance approval, cannot find a bed because the number of psychiatric beds has been reduced to the point that there simply are not enough.

      Whereas there were serious abuses in the past, in terms of people receiving treatment that was WAY more restrictive than necessary, in the 1980’s Reagan shut down the hospitals under the pretense of empowering patients, but it was really just to save money. Now those people make all their own decisions, and many of them are living on the streets and addicted to various substances in an attempt to self medicate.

      There is a lot or room in between the extremes of lifetime hospitalization and society having no way to force a sick person who doesn’t believe they are sick to accept treatment, even when they are a danger to others. The long string of mass murders in the past decade or more should indicate that something needs to give. Most of these killers were prescribed medications but refused to take them. If the anti-psychiatry movement has it’s way, the very restrictive involuntary treatment laws we have today would become even more restrictive….even non-existent. That simply does not make sense in light of what we know now and what we are seeing happening to people all over the country.

      Gods help the psychiatrist who tries to impose a treatment on me that I do not agree with. I was in that situation close to a year ago when my functioning deteriorated to the point that I wasn’t taking my anti-depressants and admitted myself to the hospital. Believe me, that place doesn’t want to see me coming again. But instead of rejecting all psychiatrists and all hospitals, I reject certain policies and certain approaches. And I work with others to do the same. Empowerment is the answer….not this extreme disgruntlement that pretends that brains do not get sick and that people with sick brains do not need help.

      • Like someone else said, hang around here & learn for awhile then reexamine your assumptions (and “learned” beliefs). We just discussed/debated Szasz for days here, some claim that the experience was useful in helping people understand Szasz (which you don’t), maybe you should check it out.

          • John,

            Thanks for pointing this out. And, yes, some children who suffer from child abuse at a young age can definitely recover. I hope and pray psychiatry does not convince themselves they have a right to psychiatrically stigmatize and drug all who have dealt with childhood trauma, although that does appear to be a huge portion of their business, and I understand historically it always has been.

            My child ended up suffering basically all the common symptoms of child abuse, starting with the medically provable refusal to defecate issue, due to an inflamed anus, and the resulting auto intoxication behavior issues. He went from a private school for gifted children into remedial reading in first grade.

            But with lots of love and care from supportive parents, who kept him away from psychiatric care, he ended up getting 100% on his state standardized tests by eighth grade (the school social worker was really confused, I had to explain he had the genetic “problem” of high IQs in all his relatives), and graduating as valedictorian of his high school class.

            Vegwellian, there is a much greater correlation between child abuse and schizophrenia, than genetics and schizophrenia.

            https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/09/critique-genetic-research-schizophrenia-expensive-castles-air/

            I’m quite certain the root of this problem is psychiatry’s “mindless” belief that all real life concerns are caused by “chemical imbalances” in people’s brains. Especially since the chemical imbalance theory of “mental illness” was proven incorrect decades ago.

            And since I had the adverse effects of a “safe smoking cessation med” / antidepressant misdiagnosed as “bipolar,” based upon a written list of lies and gossip from the people who raped my child in my psychologist’s medical records. I’m quite certain that lots of the supposed “bipolar” patients are also dealing with psychiatric industry cover ups of child abuse as well.

            As my subsequent pastors confessed, my family had dealt with the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” Shipping people off to psychiatrists to be defamed, discredited, and tranquilized by psychiatrists is the historic “dirty little secret” way of covering up easily recognized iatrogenesis and child abuse.

            Perhaps the psychiatric industry should get into the business of helping people deal with their real life stressful issues, instead of just creating iatrogenic “mental illnesses” in people with their drugs?

          • Oldhead,

            And thanks for acknowledging me as a human being that exists in real life, since the psychiatric industry claimed I’m “irrelevant to reality” and “w/o work, content, and talent” and my life is a “credible fictional story” to rationalize their massively drugging me to cover up prior malpractice and medical evidence of the sexual abuse of my child.

            But I don’t mean to make life difficult for others, however, due to my nickname.

        • What post did this debate take place on, I would be interested in reading it. Do not assume that just because I am new to this site that I am not aware of the views you are espousing. I am aware of them. I am saying they may have been useful at one time but that time has passed. There are other, more important considerations. One of those is that by insisting that mental illness does not exist, you are providing fodder for the very people who would like to cut all of the funding that helps people with brain illnesses. Debating about whether schizophrenia exists or not is pointless. There is a collection of symptoms that occur in about 1% of the population, across all cultures, that we call schizophrenia. To deny that is just mental masturbation. It’s just semantics. I may misunderstand Szasz, you may be an apologist and just think I d0n’t understand Szasz. But a world view, or hypothesis, that remains unchanged for 60 years despite all the change around it, sounds like rigid ideology to me, which is not surprising since Szasz was a Libertarian. Just like any ideology based group, if someone new comes in and disagrees you claim they just don’t know certain things…like conspiracy theorists call people sheeple. Wake up everyone! This is really an old fashioned ideology that is not the least bit useful in helping to advocate for better policies and services. Just curious, how many here do Peer Support work?

          • How many here actively advocate for changes in the system or the legislature, or help to develop policy? Just curious about what happens when you have to be constructive. What does that look like?

          • “but a world view, or hypothesis, that remains unchanged for 60 years despite all the change around it”

            What change? Both the NIMH and even the chairman of the DSM-5 task force agree with Szasz’s main point: none of the conditions listed in the DSM have scientific validity. In fact the latest crisis of psychiatry has served to rehabilitate his message, not to undermine it. Read this to educate yourself:

            https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/05/the-myth-of-mental-illness-revisited-nimh-style/

            The notion of giving a bunch of self appointed, unaccountable “mind guardians” the legal right to declare pathological patterns of behavior that they dislike not because they are the result of brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s or CDJ, but because of their subjective value judgement, the legal prerogative of abusing people’s civil liberties via a kangaroo court – which is what mental health courts are- is a direct violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment. Thomas Szasz was right 50 years ago on that regard, and he continues to be right today.

          • Vegwellian, your statement “Do not assume that just because I am new to this site that I am not aware of the views you are espousing” represents the essence of prejudice.

            Sorry.

          • When a whole “branch” of medicine calls something schizophrenia, says it comes from a chemical imbalance, proceeds to treat this chemical imbalance by causing a chemical imbalance that wasn’t there before; and then continues to say that they are treating a chemical imbalance without acknowledging that they are causing one, all the time having no real conclusive proof that there ever was any chemical imbalance to treat; then YES someone can say this disease, this alleged chemical imbalance doesn’t exist, and there’s no such thing as schizophrenia. On the other hand, since the treatment actually causes the phenomenon that the alleged disease is based on, and since the “treatment” also correlates with rising numbers, you could say “schizophrenia” exists, but it’s caused by the treatment, if one would look at the actual scientific evidence coming from said “branch” of medicine. I think the term is iatrogenic disease.

            People of course do suffer trauma, they do suffer malnutrition, they do suffer oppression because of war, minority status, abuse, poverty and many other things; this can result in the symptoms of schizophrenia, but the “treatment” of those defining the disease also correlates with more relapses, more disability, loss of life, loss of freedom, damage to their physical brain. To define a disease in way that can’t be proven, and cause how you defined the disease with the treatment is corrupt. That doesn’t mean what you were defining was ever there. And the people who do have the symptoms of “schizophrenia” whether it’s from iatrogenic disease or other causes do heal and recover when given alternative treatments.

          • Nancy Andreasen’s evidence that the neuroleptics cause the brain damage that the psychiatric community claims proves schizophrenia is a real disease, really should have been the nail in the coffin of belief in schizophrenia as a real disease entity.

      • Not sure at what point of your relationship with psychiatry you are but this much I can tell you. As soon as you venture outside the role psychiatry has for you based on the label it has bestowed onto you, you will learn that the following is still very true,

        ” A psychiatric diagnosis could ruin someone’s career”

        Professions that will be out of reach for you based solely on having a psychiatric past: anything that requires a security clearance, medicine, law (although a recent settlement by the DOJ might improve matters). Those are areas (there are others) in which the law allows for the LEGAL discrimination against people who have received a psychiatric label.

        Unofficially, the sigma associated with a psychiatric label is still very real and if affects professional and social lives,

        http://www.antipsychiatry.org/stigma.htm

        The 2002 update reads,

        “”The ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] was passed in 1990, prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of disability, including mental disability. Employers may no longer ask applicants about their mental health and hospitalization histories. … The best the ADA has been able to accomplish is to change the workplace from one where applicants had to affirmatively lie about their psychiatric histories and diagnoses to an environment of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ … when it comes to psychiatric disabilities, it would be fair to conclude that the ADA has failed to provide a remedy against employment discrimination.” ”

        Finally, if you haven’t followed legislative activity on the matter lately, there is right now a bill sitting in the US House of Representatives, the Murphy bill, which was designed on the assumption that those labelled as “mentally ill” are more prone to violence than “normal people” and therefore need to have their civil rights restricted.

      • BTW,

        I am reading your comment history and I have to ask: are you some sort of Murphy bill defender who thinks you can convince us of the virtues of involuntary treatment, including AOT?

        You sound extremely similar to DJ Jaffe. Since DJ Jaffe makes sure to purge his FB page of those who criticize his flawed arguments, you will soon learn that his arguments are based on distortions. You can get an appetizer here,

        http://www.peteearley.com/2014/05/23/reader-questions-facts-behind-jaffes-8-myths-serious-mental-illness/

        “In conclusion…

        I found it disconcerting that Mr. Jaffe tended to “cherry pick” data from studies to support his conclusions, even when the study itself did not support his views. Additionally, I noticed instances of tying together quotes from multiple studies, research papers, reports, and interviews to “prove” his conclusions (as shown in Myth #5).

        Just as troublesome is that Mr. Jaffe bases a lot of his conclusions on interviews with 76 AOT recipients in New York City. He references these often on his website, while giving the impression they are different sources. But an interview sample of 76 people in one city is not representative for use in drawing scientific conclusions that have ramifications across the entire country.

        Overall, I strongly suggest that a person read each citation Mr. Jaffe provided to see what they truly say. Mr. Jaffe does quote a variety of sources, but by using multiple studies, reports, and citations and cobbling them together, a person can “prove” just about anything.”

        Your arguments in favor of psychiatry and involuntary psychiatry are very weak and have been debunked in MIA by both bloggers and commenters several times.

      • “The long string of mass murders in the past decade or more should indicate that something needs to give. Most of these killers were prescribed medications but refused to take them.”
        Well, that’s just a lot of bs, and here’s why:
        – school shooters for the most part were either on drugs or withdrawing from them (and if you read a label that is a risk for aggression, especially for people below 25)
        – there were plenty of mass murderers who are not “mentally ill” – serial killers (the whole psychopathy is a disease is also bs and even if it were there’s nothing psychiatry can do about it) and people who kill for ideology (Brevik in Norway, Boston bombers, white supremacists)
        – pretty much everyone who commits an atrocious act is not, often posthumously labelled as mentally ill. I’d call that confirmation bias (often that goes back to the circularity of most psych diagnosis). And even if they were by a given definition mentally ill that does not immediately imply that they committed an act because of any illness.
        – even if some people commit acts of violence because of their extreme states of mind it is a very small population. In fact “mentally ill” are far more likely to be victims of crime than to be perpetrators. It simply does not justify forced psychiatry anymore than the fact that most rapes are committed by men does not justify forced castration or imprisonment of all men just in case just because someone can judge them as too horny or too promiscuous or what not.

  14. Nijinsky – for some reason I can’t reply to your comment.

    Mercola is a quack for much the same reasons that Mike Adams is a quack, only Mercola has a medical license. They both further every conspiracy story that comes along, and are general woo meisters. There are so many reasons that Mercola is a crank and a quack, that frankly, though I would like to learn from you about the things you are saying about the twin studies, when I see you defend Mercola my faith in your judgement goes underwater and starts holding up fingers.

    You are apparently into Alt Med, so you live in a world where nothing really ever has to be proven, and if it can’t be proven is someone else’s fault, and the damn FDA is just persecuting this saintly scam artist.

    Later you talk about GMOs and that is the foam on my latte of disappointment. I am a pro-science hobbyist, and my area of expertise is GMOs. I obviously love debating, and learning from debates, and GMOs are a subject I have debated pretty frequently. Let me know if you want to throw down. I am actually enjoying the debates over here. Rebecca

      • Absolutely, the “dirty little secret” “medical” / religious way of covering up abuse of children, has gone viral in the USA. Defaming people with unprovable “mental illnesses,” then creating “mental illnesses” in people with drugs, does not constitute “appropriate medical care.”

        The medical evidence now shows, 85% of schizophrenia patients actually were misdiagnosed , and dealing with a medical industry cover up of child abuse, and the psychiatric drugs cause the symptoms of the psychiatric illnesses. Perhaps some day, the medical industry will get out of the business of covering up sexual abuse of children?

    • Vegwellian,

      This is the pot calling the kettle black. I lost track of the many bogus claims you made about psychiatry and its bogus theories. Rather than showing a little humility when you were exposed, each time you just proceeded to a new version of the same lies and fraud.

      I have read many articles by Dr. Mercola and think he has a great deal of excellent health information on his site. But, he does expose junk science like the mental death profession stigmatizing children with bogus bipolar as the new targets for lethal neuroleptics in their never ending predation with Big Pharma on one and all.

      I really find it quite amazing how you can attack everyone else while totally lacking any recognition or admission of your total inconsistency, lack of any solid evidence for what you say and your demeans and demands for everyone else.

  15. I get the impression that Vegwellian benefits from system, so it’s not really a surprise that they look to justify its existence.

    That’s really the thing, just by saying (paraphrased) “you have no idea because you aren’t seeing what I see”, implies involvement in some way.

    Making the point that there’s something %1 of the population has, why not flip it around. Psychiatry wants to be ‘treating’ more than that %1. Why always attempt to shift focus to this %1 ? I mean it’s good to bring up and wonder about but how many severely impaired ‘schizophrenic’ patents are there compared to the multitude of people ‘diagnosed’ with depression, ADHD, anxiety ‘disorders’, bipolar etc ?!?!

    A lot right, and you say that these millions of people are apparently helped, well I say no they aren’t, they are conned and poisoned.

    • I have described my background elsewhere. I come from a family with much mental illness. Other than delving into covert family systems bullshit, the family was basically as healthy as any family…never terribly disadvantaged…by grandfather worked as an electrician throughout the depression so the family did OK. There are a few alcoholics sprinkled around but the most striking feature is that of the 4 children my grandparents had, two of those had one child, among many, who developed severe mental illness.

      I did have a trauma early in life. My father was killed in a car crash on his way to work one day when I was two and my mother was 8 months pregnant with my sister. I developed life long depression that has clear ties to that trauma. However, my grandmother had no serious trauma and had depression so severe in her later life that she had shock treatments. So it is fairly reasonable to conclude that something runs through my family that creates a vulnerability to persistent and disabling brain symptoms.

      My son’s father came from a family in which his paternal grandmother displayed symptoms of psychosis and committed suicide in his home when he was 15. Our son displayed serious problems from a very early age that have hindered him throughout life. It was because of him that I became involved in the “consumer” movement back in the 90’s, and advocated for improved services for children and an end to stigma towards families.

      At the same time I have worked in social work and mental health at the bachelor’s level, my entire career. I have worked in child abuse and neglect. I have worked with kids who had been adopted out of foster care and were now in residential treatment because their behaviors were too destructive to be dealt with at home. I agree that prescribing multiple anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers to these children is not really helping. However, I also know and have worked with foster parents and adoptive parents who have selectively found that some of the medications do help some of the children.

      I have worked as a case manager for adults with what is called, as shorthand, I guess, “mental illness”. I have had close working relationships over many years with some of the same people and advocated for them and supported them in advocating for themselves.

      I have dealt with my own illness throughout my life, which at time has become disabling. I love my Prozac and Wellbutrin combination. You could never pry my mouth open wide enough to shovel in SNRIs or antipsychotics ever again. I definitely advocate for healthy skepticism when it comes to medications. Don’t just take something because it is prescribed for you.

      You all keep stressing the fact that there is no objective testing for mental illness and so you say that is evidence that it doesn’t exist. Do you know what else there is no objective evidence for? Pain. For the past 14 years, I have also been living with moderate to severe chronic pain. Naysayers claim it’s all in people’s heads. That it is a form of malingering. Just like with brain diseases, it is implied that people continue to have pain because of secondary gain. I take pain medications. They mostly work to the point of allowing me to live a reasonably full life. Some people dismiss me as an addict, even though I have never displayed any of the typical signs of addictive behaviors. Pain is as stigmatized and as poorly understood as is “mental illness”. Perhaps my chronic pain is a result of the early trauma I experienced and the chronic stress of raising a seriously impaired child with inadequate resources and inadequate supports. It really doesn’t matter. It’s here. I have have tried all manner of things and, you know what, pain meds work. So does exercise, etc. It’s all a matter of discerning management of a condition. Try to tell me that chronic pain doesn’t exist because it can’t be objectively seen or measured, and I might punch you in the nose on a bad day.

      Now that I am in my 50’s and on disability, I have taken the combination of my professional experience and my lived experienced and put it to work in peer support. This is the most rewarding and the most useful thing I have ever done.

      I was also in the midst of earning a Master’s in Social Work when the combination of the physical and emotional symptoms just became too much and I had to withdraw from most of my activities for several years.

      BTW, 1% of 7 billion people is still a lot of people. But in addition to those symptoms that we call schizophrenia, for lack of a better word, there is also depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorder, ADHD….whatever you call those things, they are real, they cause distress, and psychiatrists are called upon to help. Part of the reason that psychiatric treatment has been so ineffective is that is is just not enough. People need considerably more support than that. Our health care system is inadequate..it only supplies funding for certain things, it only allows psychiatrists a few short minutes a month to work with people. It only pays for therapists and social workers who sit in offices and people come to see them once a week. There is public funding now for case management and peer support, mostly in the form of Medicaid. But as many of you know, peer support is also seem by some as a cheap treatment option. I am fortunate that I don’t have do depend of peer support work for a living, since I am on disability. I could, and would, do it for free. I barely get paid for it as it is.

      This is why I asked how many of you actually do peer support, are out there working with people other than yourselves, in the real world of people struggling to cope with ongoing problems?

        • Of course life is not easy for anybody. But if you are struggling to carry out everyday tasks while hearing voices, or if you suffer from delusions that prevent you from being able to act in the world to further your own interests, or you are prone to periods of such severe depression that you can not take care of the most basic chores of life, or make any decisions, or you are plagued by periods of mania in which you do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t do, that get you into legal trouble or devastating debt, life is much more difficult, don’t you agree?

          • I haven’t found drugs or psychiatrists helpful for such things. I do not believe in separating off one portion of society as sicker than the rest. In my experience, this is not so, not unless you count greed, fraud, sexual assault, murder, and theft to be normal activities.

      • Vegwellian, “However, my grandmother had no serious trauma and had depression so severe in her later life that she had shock treatments. So it is fairly reasonable to conclude that something runs through my family that creates a vulnerability to persistent and disabling brain symptoms.”

        Ok. Let’s look at that. First of all, as I mentioned in another comment, it is not only the outwardly “serious” and recognizable (to most people) traumas that create vulnerability to depression and other kinds of mental/emotional distress (what you call “brain symptoms”). Again, please refer to Dr. Faye Snyder, she is brilliant on this. Secondly, “something” could be “running through your family,” indeed, that is causing these sorts of psychological issues to develop, but you (as well as the field of psychiatric genetics and, now, almost our whole society) jump to the conclusion that this “something” is genetic rather than environmental/interpersonal (mainly the result of parenting) and passed down through generations and between family members the same way other family quirks and styles are shared/transmitted. The genetic assumption is just that – an *assumption.* It is not proven via any consistent, replicable research, while on the other hand the evidence in favor of the social/parenting/human development argument is *replicable* and *consistent.* It is simply not very visible or audible in the mainstream as of yet – can you guess why? Because it goes against gigantic and very vested interests (not only financial).

        Two excerpts from the sections, “Misrepresentation by the So-Called Experts” and “The War of the Researchers,” from Dr. Faye’s book, “The Manual: The Definitive Book on Parenting and the Causal Theory”:

        “MISREPRESENTATION BY THE SO-CALLED EXPERTS

        There is an ongoing debate as to whether personality stems from ‘nature vs. nurture.’ We have good reason to believe there are no genes for personality, both from experience and scientific research. Alan Zametkin asked whether there is a gene linked to ADHD in his 1995 JAMA article, ‘Attention Deficit Disorder: Born to be Hyperactive?’ In his article in 2000, Jonathan Leo answered, “to even seriously consider that ADHD is due to a single gene goes against everything that science knows about genes and behavior.” Leo pointed out that Cal Tech geneticist Seymour Benzer has shown that even in fruit flies, a behavior as simple as moving toward a light involves hundreds of genes.

        Any genetic predisposition for temperament is just as unlikely. I cannot assume it like many of my colleagues. Temperament appears to be the result of an unconscious process between parent and child. Temperament is simply an extended and unmitigated mood that ultimately creates a parent’s projected expectation of that mood. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and finally some harder wiring results as the child experiences the same treatment again and again…

        …This section on Misrepresentation of the Experts has been included because so many of our students, the general public and even honest scientists have been led to believe that their genetic makeup has a determining role in their mental health, their pathology or their ability to heal. This section briefly shows you reasons to question what you have been hearing regarding the validity of genetic influence on personality traits.

        For my entire career as a psychotherapist, clients who come to heal want to know how much of their problems are genetic, asking, “How can you argue the research?” Here is my response: There are two opposing camps of research and only the one with the funds reaches you. Follow their motives. Question the research you hear about and find the other research that’s not publicized.

        The research that promotes the notion that pathology originates in our genes is predominately generated by the pharmaceutical industry, which uses its false results to convince the public that psychological symptoms of all degrees are genetic and thereby treatable with drugs rather than healable with guided work. Some give lip service to parenting, but in the final analysis, we are led to believe that the symptoms we treat are genetic.”


        THE WAR OF THE RESEARCHERS

        “I have been observing a war of the researchers over the causes of pathology. Anyone who looks closely into the issue of nature vs. nurture will see this battle. Some of the contenders are misinformed yet sincere. Others are very proper yet dishonest. Others are so angry they sling mud as if they are defending their own parents to the end. All of them appear to represent the voice of authority. It is our job to identify researchers’ agendas as they oppose one another and to identify which research is credible, not which research gets the most press.

        The clinical field is represented by multiple theories designed to either protect the parent at the expense of the child (pro-parent) or protect the child at the possible cost of the parent’s ego (pro-child). While a pro-parent theory may explain behavior in terms of the child’s responsibility by blaming his genes, another pro-child theory will explain the very same behavior in terms of the parenting.

        Researchers may approach this primary issue using the terms “nature vs. nurture.” Ultimately, the compromise of the open-minded seems to be a combination of both. However, in practice, the nature-and-nurture-together theory ends up simply being pro-nature. I say this because it seems that under this model we assume whatever we don’t’ understand in behavior must be inborn, and we choose to understand so little. In effect, espousing nature *and* nurture is essentially espousing nature. If it leads us to assume the parents were not essentially the cause, the assumption in nature. I assume nurture because parents must be ultimately responsible for whatever happened. [? poorly-written sentence]. I have clients who reveal a trauma they have been keeping secret for their entire lives in order to protect their parents. Even in this case, I hold the parents responsible for not teaching their children that they can handle the truth and to always bring their problems to them.

        Behind every theory there are motives and ramifications. This field, as I have said, has been divided between pro-parent thinking and pro-child thinking since Freud. Research has been produced to prove that genes cause traits, and research has been produced to prove that parenting causes traits. Both findings cannot be true. It cannot be true that genes create personality and pathology if parenting creates it. It’s as if one child is saying “She did it,” and the other child is saying, “He did it.” Who’s telling the truth? How do you figure out which one is lying?

        My field, from the bottom to the very top, has accepted that both sides are telling the truth and it is not the job of our leadership to get to the bottom of the conflicting information, even though deception is unethical, something a clinician would lose her license for, and so much is at stake. Inaccuracy leads to unnecessary suffering. The scientists and their sponsors are expected to be self-regulating but they aren’t.

        One side has been consistently more truthful and more rigorous in their research. The other side has a history of rigging results. My field sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil. They don’t look at the two children blaming one another with any parental responsibility for getting to the truth. This, in my opinion, is malpractice at the top.

        Pro-parent research has to falsify the truth in order to contend. It is my intention to clarify what tricks geneticists usually use. I want my students to know what questions to ask of studies to see if the ‘evidence’ they’ve been presented measures up. Unfortunately, more and more recently the studies are written in such code that even other scientists cannot follow a study well enough to question it. I would like my field to call for transparency in research. I would like us to insist that any study that cannot be scrutinized should be discarded and that our field will take no study seriously until it has been replicated.

        Even pro-child researchers get timid under the pressure to ‘believe in genes.’ They sneak their theories and observations past the pro-parent gatekeepers by agreeing with the premise that human personalities are made of nature and nurture. Then when you read what constitutes nature and what constitutes nurture, they actually represent that personality adaptations come from experience. The genes provide for the body-self and experiences provide the personality adaptations. By nurture they do mean experience and only experience. By nature, they mean the genetic instructions given to all humans across the board and not uniquely variable from person to person, so as to constitute personality or temperament.

        None of us are born speaking Chinese. Only those of us exposed to Chinese speak Chinese. Yet all of us are designed to learn to understand and ultimately speak to one another in shared verbal symbols that convey information regarding the interactions of matter and energy. A linguist would say that Chinese is learned, but could say that speaking Chinese by a Chinese-born person is genetic and environmental. We must assume that the actual specific Chinese version of language rather than any other language is the environmental part.

        However, when it comes to personality, a great leap is regularly taken in assuming that the personality of any given person could possibly be genetic. In the most serous cases, we assume that the Psychopath, Sociopath or Antisocial personality is the result of bad genes, at least in large part. If we assumed all the behaviors of serial killers were created by their parents, then we would be seeking interviews with these parents and we would want to hear the hard questions and the hard answers. Brutal parents might begin to fear the repercussions of their parenting and get help if enough of these parents were interviewed.

        Even one of my all-time favorite skeptics, neurobiologist Sam Harris, makes the tragic assumption that, “The men and women on death row have some combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad ideas, and bad luck–which of these qualities, exactly were they responsible for (p. 109)?” In another reveal of the genetic orthodoxy of this thinking, he writes, “While it may be difficult to accept, the research strongly suggests that some people cannot learn to care about others (p. 99).” It’s hard to imagine someone as skeptical as Harris being so blind, or perhaps sheltered, to evidence to the contrary. I wish he would become as skeptical of the myth of genes as the origin of personality as he is of religion. The truth is, if an infant is not protected and shown empathy, he cannot give it later on. Good science would rule out the acute neglect during infancy and/or the terrible abuse that happens to all violent predators during their youngest years before assuming any of their traits are due to their genes. Just find one predator who wasn’t violently abused or severely unattached or both, and then we can discuss genes as the origin of personality (Lewis, 1998).

        The problem is that where Harris works and studies, everyone assumes the source is genes. He may even be a bit of a renegade for factoring in parenting as much as he does. The rigorous studies that account for all pathological behavior by environment or parenting are strategically ignored in his environment ,just as evolution is ignored by the very religious. Children will continue to turn out violent as long as they are treated in the cruelest of ways. As long as we make allowances that these symptoms may be the result of bad genes, suffering children will continue to slip through the widely woven net of science and we will be pawns of deception on the moral landscape.

        If pro-child scientists were braver or more suspicious of the pro-parent research results, they would report unequivocally that genes provide the blueprint for the body while experience creates the individual personality. They could clearly educate us that there is not yet any scientific evidence that nature designs personality or even temperament. None. Those who believe otherwise are operating on faith and mutually reinforced assumptions (Ross & Pam, 1995); Valenstein, 1998; Leo, 2000; Lewontin, 2000; Whitaker, 2002; Galves, 2002; Joseph, 2004; Scott, 2006; Wilbur, 2008).”

        If you are confused by the pro-child/pro-parent language, here is a quick snapshot of what she’s talking about ~ http://www.thecausaltheory.com/war-of-the-researchers-and-theoreticians.html

        She then goes on to discuss the “Business of Science” and lists out the various forms of “Research Fraud” used, under the following categories: Standard Practices; Adoption Studies; Identical Twins Separated at Birth; All in the Family; Statistical Problems; Chemistry and DNA; Interpretation of the Data; Chemical Imbalance and Brain Abnormalities; and Politics.

        I’m not sure if those two quoted passages were the absolute most fitting/apropos for the discussion, but you get the idea.

  16. Vegwellian,

    You say above that you are an atheist and a lot of what you say sounds DJ Jaffe-ish to me. I hypothesize that you are one of those Steven Novella types who are harder to reason with on matters regarding the mind than people who have religious beliefs. I say “harder” because while any reasonable person sees that defining the mind as “what the brain does” is a circular argument, people who have a vested interest in promoting atheism and so called “skepticism” seem to have a harder time admitting the obvious.

    So, in the spirit of “enlightening” you, I suggest you watch these two talks by self professed atheists who explain the matter in a way that perhaps you find more convincing. Both are a bit technical but should be accessible to anybody with a general general high school education (although the second probably requires a bit more):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnu0vE2E4-M , Robert Burton: “A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind” . Robert is both an skeptic and a neuroscientist . Through particular examples he shows why the mind is something not quite the brain.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f477FnTe1M0 , Roger Pernrose, who is a respected mathematician/physicist who has claimed for a long time that the mind, particularly consciousness, is not algorithmic (meaning, it cannot be described merely as a result of a powerful computers doing number crunching even if you had unlimited computer resources available to you). This talk, and others he has given on the topic, is a bit technical and you are likely to be lost if you don’t have a college level understanding of basic mathematics, but this goes to say that an atheist mathematician not only understands that the mind is not what the brain does, he has very strong arguments as to why that is the case.

    So while people like you preach that ALL people’s problems of living can be understood with simplistic notions of “chemical imbalances that can be corrected with drugs”, the fact of the matter is that at a more basic level, there are very strong arguments that can be made to debunk the notion that the mind is what the brain does.

    Thomas Szasz understood that very clearly at a time when the medical establishment was promoting smoke and mirrors. He wrote very precise books to make the message accessible to a large portion of the general population. In a way, that “the mind is not the brain” is something that a lot of people understand intuitively, particularly people who have experienced things like happiness, love, betrayal, deep sadness as a result of a loved one, etc -which is most of us (with the probable exception of the APA quacks who write the DSM). Still, for different reasons, there are those who insist that nothing of that is “real”, it is all “chemical imbalances”. Well, if you lack the intuitive understanding as to why psychiatry is fraudulent, I hope that the two talks above help you get that understanding :).

    • CannotSay, “particularly people who have experienced things like happiness, love, betrayal, deep sadness as a result of a loved one, etc -which is most of us (with the probable exception of the APA quacks who write the DSM),” heh, good one. No joke, it’s as if they don’t understand human feelings and have never experienced real, colorful, human life, judging by how blind they are to what’s in front of their eyes. It’s as if they are a set of androids with a very underdeveloped social sense and capacity for empathy.

  17. AA – I don’t know why some comments allow direct replies and other’s don’t. Yours didn’t.

    Fish oil and Vitamin D are not alternative treatments. There is a lot of evidence for fish oil and it is used in evidence based medicine. Vitamin D deficiency is easily measured. I have Vitamin D deficiency and have been prescribed high doses of Vitamin D by my gp several times.

    Your statement about sometimes evidence based practices are later disproved, if I am paraphrasing correctly, may be true, I don’t know without seeing specific examples. But that’s the thing about evidence based practice. If it turns out that the studies providing the evidence were faulty and new research contradicts it, evidence based practice changes to accommodate that. It’s not static.

    Since alternative med relies entirely on subjective results that cannot ever be duplicated in controlled settings there is no standardization, there is no proof that it actually does anything at all, that if it appears to work for one person it will work for another. With herbal remedies, yes, it is recognized that some herbs do have definite effects on the human body. However, each batch of herbs that is grown has a different strength. Herbs are not without side effects. There are numerous chinese herbs that have been found to cause serious liver damage. People depended on herbs for thousands of years because that is all they had. When it comes to something like homeopathy…that is just absurd. In homeopathy, certain substances are identified that would be seen to cause symptoms similar to what the ill person is reporting. Then those substances are diluted and shaken, and diluted again, and shaken some more, and diluted again, until there is no microscopic presence of the substance left in the water. Even more ridiculous, the more diluted something is, the stronger it is purported to be. The explanation for how a remedy that has no physical presence of the original substance could possibly work is that the water molecules retain a vibrational memory of the substance. It’s utter and complete nonsense.

    As Tim Minchin says, there is no such thing as “alternative medicine.” If it worked, they’d call it medicine.
    Thank you for your suggestion of KevinMD. I will check that out. In turn, I recommend sciencebasedmedicine.org.

    • Vegwellian,

      Re: “As Tim Minchin says, there is no such thing as “alternative medicine.” If it worked, they’d call it medicine.”

      They do call it ‘medicine’:

      Functional Medicine
      Holistic Medicine
      Integrative Medicine
      Osteopathic Medicine
      Environmental Medicine

      These practitioners all go to medical school, in fact osteopaths complete an extra year beyond conventional medical doctors (MD’s).

      As far as nutrition, I recommend Andrew Saul, PhD’s site, ‘Doctor Yourself”.

      Be well,

      Duane Sherry, M.S., Retired Counselor
      http://discoverandrecover.wordpress.com/a-z-health-conditions/

        • Duane, Vitasearch seems to be a much more science based source. Most of those studies appear, superficially, to be legitimate. Thanks for that link. But that site is not making wild claims, either. Things like Vitamin D deficiency are very well established. I never said that nutrition has nothing to do with mental or physical health but you have to admit that nutrition is an area in which many extravagant claims are made and a lot of dubious practitioners reside. Literally anybody can hang up a shingle and call themselves a nutritionist. Chiropractors famously present themselves as experts on nutrition when they actually simply supplement their income by selling supplements. I don’t know about you, but I am constantly seeing Facebook memes about all of the things that can be cured with some herb or another that have no basis in reality. The organic food industry is an excellent example of exploiting people’s fears to sell them things that evidence shows is not significantly better than conventionally grown food. The organic food industry is not satisfied to simply market products and let the public decide. They are behind a flood of crappy accusations about the danger of the food supply that just are not based in reality. This makes me highly skeptical of any nutritional claims about treating disease, especially when they include negative messages about proven treatments and statements like “The secret cure for cancer THEY don’t want you to know.

          • Duane, looking at your blog, which is very nicely put together, even if i don’t agree with all of it, I have a question about one of the entries. “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Psychiatry – Chapter Two – Addressing Head Injuries, Thyroid Issues, Sleep Disorders and Other Medical Conditions” Since when are head injuries, thyroid issues, and sleep disorders alternative or complementary medicine? Those are pretty standard medical issues as far as I know.

          • Actually there are real problems with the factory farming and high use of pesticides, herbicides and so on in farming. So if you can prove the food really comes from an organic source it’s likely to be better for you. There’s nothing good about say eating meat of animals treated with hormones and antibiotics.

      • “Holistic medicine” when involves useless and unproven treatment is not really medicine, regardless of what their practitioners call it. You may be aware that the alt med department at NIH has found absolutely nothing of value despite all of the money that has been spent over the years of it’s existence. Andrew Weill first conceived of his brand of integrated medicine whilst on hallucinogenic drugs. He has become rich off of supplements and other crap, but there is no evidence that the things he spouts are really effective.

        I have never, personally, run across a D.O. that actually practices osteopathy. I once saw an orthopedic surgeon that was a D.O. and had to beg him to do some of what he learned in Osteopathic school on my neck, because I was at the beginning of my experience with chronic pain and there was nothing surgical that could be done to help me. He did so reluctantly, and only once. Every D.O. I have ever met attended Osteopathy school because they couldn’t get into med school and discarded the Osteopathy as soon as they graduated. Which is not to say that they aren’t fine doctors. The medical training they get is fine, the added stuff is crap. The fact that they couldn’t get into medical school is only a reflection on the ridiculously competitive nature of med school.

        Again, holistic and integrative medicine really has no evidence behind it. Environmental “medicine” is bogus also. These people are not years beyond conventional doctors…they simply cater to people who read about SCAM (supplements, complementary and alternative medicine) and are attached to the naturalistic fallacy. And naturalism IS a fallacy. Nothing is inherently benign or helpful because it is natural and the fact that something is synthetic does not mean that it is in any way inferior or harmful.

        I went to Andrew Saul’s site and it is about as impressive as Mercola’s. It is hucksterism of the lowest order. Vitamin C works better than chemo, my ass.

          • Duane – if evidence isn’t that important to you, and you have some other criteria on which you decide what to believe and what not to believe, then more power to you. But, can you identify that criteria? Or it is just a “gut feeling.” In many cases, what you or or believe doesn’t really matter. But claiming, for example, that vitamin C works better than chemo, is an outrageous and false claim that could convince someone to forgo appropriate treatment for cancer (a la Steve Jobs) and delay treatment long enough to kill them. That sh*t makes me angry. I am not arguing with anyone, we are debating. If you don’t feel like debating, that’s fine. But I suspect, as it often is with other alt med people I run into, as well as anti-vaxxers or anti-GMOer, you simply do not have anything of substance to say to defend the illogical.

          • Vegwellian,

            You know *nothing* about me… *nothing* about the thousands of hours of researched I’ve done… you *suspect* far too much.

            I’m having a pretty nice Sunday; not in the mood to argue (don’t find much substance in your side debate”… mostly blind hostility), and it’s exhausting.

            If you find yourself in the position of being in an emotional crisis, facing forced outpatient “treatment” – you may want to refer the judge to this site, specifically, the work of Jim Gottstein, JD of PsychRights.

            Back to today. Please respond to other readers. I’m out.

            Duane

  18. Vegwellian,

    That simply is not true that medicine changes its practices regarding evidenced based medicine or practices according to EBM. See this link:

    http://www.badscience.net/2014/06/what-statins-tell-us-about-the-mess-in-evidence-based-medicine/

    I quickly glanced at the sciencebasedmedicne.org link and they seem to be sensationalizing stuff as in the case of chiropractors by implying it doesn’t work because they are doing well woman exams and similar type activities. Uh, reputable folks in this profession stick to what they know which is treating back problems and similar type issues. Did they do a scientific study on that or not?

    You seem to think modern medicine can do no wrong and that simply isn’t the case. And many time, their results aren’t even subjective as they are fraudulent due to the influence of the drug companies.

    • I never said that it can do no wrong. Nowhere did I ever say that. I said evidence is the best thing we have.

      The evidence on statins is still inconclusive. I, personally, refuse to take them. But, I am glad I can go to my doctor and get a cholesterol test so that I know I have high cholesterol and can attempt to modify it through diet and exercise. I have never seen a conventional MD or PA or CRNP who did not first suggest diet and exercise. Statins are considered by some to be a better alternative to nothing at all, when patients do not seem to be able to lower their cholesterol on their own. Just because a medication is offered to you, does not mean you have to take it. There is plenty of evidence that still compelling enough that statins are worthwhile. When and if the preponderance of the evidence says otherwise, they will fall out of use.

      If you really read SBM you would see that one of their criticisms of EBM is an over-reliance on random controlled trials.

      Also, if you read further on SBM you would see that there is much in depth information on why Chiropractic is a useless hoax. It is a blog, so the latest articles are not meant to be all inclusive. Chiropractic is based on the fraudulent notion that all disease is caused by subluxation. There is nothing to support that belief. Historically, the profession has claimed to be able to treat virtually anything through manipulation. Not only does chiropractic not cure anything, it can kill people. The subluxation cranks that are referred to in that SBM blog post are actually being true to the teachings of Chiropractic. As of late, some chiropractors have been backing off the subluxation theory because they know that rational people know it is a scam. But in the end, they have less training than most physical therapists, many of them sell supplements for which there is no evidence, they rely on “practice building techniques” that keep patients coming back and back and back. They may help some people with back pain, but then, most people get better with no treatment at all. Any profession that includes people who would perform spinal manipulation on babies is suspect. Any profession of which at least half of which reject vaccination is suspect. There is no underlying thread of anything in Chiropractic that is based on fact. Whatever people start doing when they practice, such as incorporating physical therapy techniques or TENS or whatever is another story and none of that is even derived from Chiropractic.

      Just because modern medicine is flawed and we have all come to realize that doctors are not gods and are not omniscient does not mean that the next logical step is to embrace unproven baloney. What it means is that each individual needs to adopt critical thinking skills, learn as much as they can about science and medicine, evaluate treatments for themselves to the extent that they are able, and make informed choices based on cost/benefit (as in will this help more than it hurts, not actual $$).

  19. How about if people stopped falling for the insomnia scam and sleep when tired and wake when not ?

    “History yields valuable insights regarding sleep. According to some recent research, until the age of electricity many people slept in two segments. They would wake up in the night for an hour or two, then return to sleep for another block of time. “The dominant pattern of sleep, arguably since time immemorial, was biphasic,” says Roger Ekirch, a sleep historian at Virginia Tech University and author of At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past”

    http://www.amazon.com/At-Days-Close-Night-Times/dp/ 0393329011

    One of the biggest “problems” people get drugged for is they can’t sleep “on time”.

    Just hang around any inpatient setting, there is always a large percentage of people who have so called “insomnia” locked into that never ending battle to get it right with the sleep lining up for pills every night, pills that usually don’t hardly work with nasty ‘side’ effects.

    I hate the insomnia scam, if you can’t do the sleep 11-7 eight hour thing your broken and need dangerous pills… The insomnia scam leads millions of people to the world of psychiatric labels and drugs every year.

    Check out this http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/02/two-diseases-big-pharma-hopes-you-get-in-2014/ one is insomnia.

    insomnia is a symptom of depression bipolar…. to bad insomnia and the idea that sleeping the same time every day is a scam in the first place because humans never did that before in history. Humans have been on this planet long before electricity and cheap quartz crystal clocks bedtimes and wake times.

    • First of all, are you then admitting that depression and/or bipolar exists in order to be a symptom of it?

      It is interesting you should bring this up because I have suffered from chronic insomnia for about 15 years after a stint of working overnights. I do not sleep more than a couple of hours a night unless I take 20 mg of Ambien, which is a high dose.

      Contrary to what you describe, most doctors are loathe to prescribe sleep meds, and when they do it’s usually only for a short time. Insomnia is not a scam. People get have trouble sleeping because there are sleeping pills available. Sleeping pills, from barbiturates on, were developed because so many people complained of not being able to sleep.

      The FDA put a black box warning on Ambien that makes it hard for me to find a doctor that will prescribe it in the doses I need. I have tried every sleep hygiene program known to man. Ambien works and helps me keep my life on track. When my sleep goes haywire, everything goes down the toilet.

      Insomnia is caused by a lot of things, including depression and mania, and anxiety,as well as overnight shifts over a period of time, age, stress, noise, even circadian rhythm disturbances. It is all very well and good to say that people should be able sleep when it is natural for them to sleep (which for me is between 5 am and 12 pm) and be awake when it’s natural for them to be awake. However, you might have noticed that the world decidedly does not work that way. Being unable to conform to the sleep schedule that is kept by the majority of the people can be incredibly impairing to someone’s work and social life. I vehemently believe that taking medication should be an option for anyone who absolutely needs it. All controlled substances are getting to be harder and harder to get. Docs don’t want to prescribe any of them because they are afraid of the DEA or because of the stigma those medications have, and unrealistic fears about addiction (and the fact that a certain number of the people who ask for them abuse them). That is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The whole “Big Pharma” thing is conspiracy thinking. Sure, those companies need reining in at times, and because we live in a capitalistic economy, money is the driving factor behind any corporation. But to dismiss all pharmaceuticals because of some belief that they are nothing but a plot by Big Pharma to make you sick or get you hooked is simply irrational. Again, be an informed consumer. Be in charge of your own treatment. Look at doctors as people you consult with because they have an expertise that you don’t have.

      • I meant to say people do *not* have trouble sleeping because there are drugs available.

        And what do you mean by the idea that people didn’t sleep according to a uniform schedule ever before in history. That’s patently absurd. People have been mostly working during the day and sleeping at night throughout recorded history. Not everyone, but most people. That is why businesses where traditionally only open during the day. It’s only been in recent times that social and community and businesses have started being open very late, or all night.

        • “circadian rhythm disturbances”

          You are kidding me right ?

          For the vast majority of human history people didn’t have jobs and businesses and clocks and all this crap we have now, the built shelter and did the hunter gather thing and made more people. When they got tired they slept and when they weren’t anymore they got up.

          Where is the science that says humans must sleep wake on time daily ?

          Patently absurd is first inventing clocks and then second using the clocks to call people that can’t sleep “on time” by them broken .

  20. CC,

    I know we have discussed this issue before but as one who is severely deprived, insomnia is definitely a valid diagnosis. It is how the medical community deals with it that is the issue.

    And as I mentioned in the forums on this same issue, many people like me can’t sleep whenever we want and get up whenever we want. I feel horrible with that type of schedule and it doesn’t work for me.

    Actually, if I was inpatient in a psych hospital, I would want an insomnia pill as it would be depressing as heck lying awake in that type of facility without anything to do. At least, if I was in a regular hospital, I could listen to something with headphones but I am assuming that wouldn’t be allowed in a psych hospital.

    AA

    • AA – I completely agree. Insomnia sucks and I am glad there are dependable medications that work for it. One of the worst nights I had in recent memory was in a psych ward when the doctor cut my sleep meds on admission, without even ever talking to me, and I was awake all night. And the (imho) outdated notion of not allowing people to have TVs in their rooms or some way of listening to radio or music, to me is demeaning and insulting. I try to stay out of those places.

  21. Cannotsay-

    Yes, I am a defender of the Murphy bill. Absolutely. I agree with Gabe Howard that it is hard to determine which people are potentially dangerous, but that is not a reason to make it all but impossible to involuntarily commit people. That Elliot whatshisname kid that killed those 7 people (and himself) in Santa Barbara is a good example. He refused medication. His parents thought he was dangerous and tried to alert authorities. But existing criteria for involuntary admission, based on his statements to the police officers who talked to hm, there was nothing there to hold him on. Because our mental health system is full of holes big enough to drive a hole through, there was no way to put that kid somewhere where he couldn’t hurt anybody. I would prefer that he, and the people he killed, still be alive today.

    Gabe Howard’s make a decent argument, and I would love to meet him and have a discussion face to face because it sounds like he and I have some very similar experiences. But many of his points strike me as distinctions with out differences. For example, he talks about the inadequacy of the term “serious mental illness.” Serious mental illness has long been used by treatment providers to refer to the major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar and major depression. But that doesn’t mean that someone presenting with a different diagnosis, who nonetheless is in serious trouble, is not seen as needing help. True, when people with dysthymia become suicidal, it is very serious. However, at that point, they have probably moved out of dysthymia and into a major depressive episode. In general, besides providing for involuntary treatment, the Murphy bill also expands services. Of course people need more that to be stuck in a hospital during crises. Of course they need housing and peer support and transportation and all of those things. To the best of my understanding, the Murphy bill does not argue against those things.

    Far too often, family members know that a loved one is in serious danger of hurting themselves or others. Aging parents of adults with mental illness end up dead, as happened in a notable case in Missouri. On the other side of the coin, because our mental health system is so broken, when people call the police because a friend or family member is in crisis, they get untrained officers who sometimes kill the person unnecessarily. That is tragic. Police aren’t social workers. They shouldn’t have to handle those kinds of emergencies. Look at Jared Laughner..there were plenty of reasons to know that young man needed help and some people noticed, but did nothing. If he had been able to be hospitalized in time, all those people would still be alive and he wouldn’t be spending his life in prison.

    AOT is favored because it is less restrictive than hospitalization. If a person does not recognize they are ill, and they refuse treatment, you can either court order outpatient treatment, or put them in the hospital. Assisted treatment keeps some people out of the hospital and out of jail. But that should also include all of the supportive services which the same people also tend to reject. Most of these horrible incidents do not involve informed mental health consumers who consciously choose to treat their illness without medication. In fact, I have never heard of one that did. Maybe others have. They are almost entirely people who will not accept that they are sick.

    • “AOT is favored because it is less restrictive than hospitalization. If a person does not recognize they are ill, and they refuse treatment, you can either court order outpatient treatment, or put them in the hospital”

      This is the lamest excuse there is to justify AOT or forced treatment. Before you throw at me one of the lies that Murphy/Jaffe use to justify their position, anosognosia, you are advised to read this piece by one of MIA’s bloggers who is also a psychiatrist, Sandra Steingard:

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bipolar-advantage/201208/anosognosia-how-conjecture-becomes-medical-fact

      You are welcome to read my first comment in my comment history to have the background of where I am coming from.

      I have suffered great harm at the hands of coercive psychiatry, precisely because in most European countries the standard for civil commitment is “need for treatment”. Not “need for treatment to prevent the guy from becoming a danger to self or others” -which is “need for treatment” as understood in some US states today – but “need for treatment”, period. It boils down to “whenever some psychiatrist thinks you need to be locked up and forcibly drugged”, or, the standard that existed in the US prior to the 1970s.

      The current statutory and judicial limits that exist for psychiatry’s agenda of social control exist for a reason. You can be sure many of us are going to fight so that those limits are either the way they are now or greater (such as in the case of psychiatry’s ability to drug children and seniors).

      The issue of fighting the Murphy bill is deeply personal to me. As a conservative, it pains me that some in the Republican party have a knack for coming across as the most bigoted people in America. The Murphy bill is pure bigotry. Spare me from a “read the bill” attack. I have read the bill, and I think that the criteria it asks states to adopt for both AOT and involuntary treatment are pure bigotry, so are the changes he seeks to the HIPAA privacy rule.

      Thankfully, the leadership of the GOP see the poisonous nature of the Murphy bill and the chairman of the committee, Fred Upton, has refused to bring the bill “as is” to a committee vote due to the controversy it triggered. This means that the Murphy bill will likely die in committee and we will never hear about it again.

      As a conservative I want the GOP to be in the position of making policy again at the federal level. However, this election cycle I support the efforts of the Stop the Murphy bill PAC that is targeting supporters of the Murphy bill in districts/states where it can make a difference. So I hope the GOP does not get back the US Senate and that Murphy gives up his bigoted agenda.

    • Yes like the woman played by Ingrid Bergman in the movie Gas Light when her new psychoapthic husband was out to make her appear crazy so he could find/steal the jewels her aunt left behind when this monster played by Charles Boyer killer the aunt.

      Sadly, psychiatry continues this evil, sick game by colluding with their fellow abusers to torture their victims with crazy making gas lighting and toxic drugs so both can profit at the victims’ expense.

      Sounds to me that Vegwellian is making quite a sales pitch for main stream psychiatry and the neoliberal agenda of GMO’s, toxic vaccines and all the other schemes of the current robber barons or 1% at the cost of countless lives that are not so privileged.

      At the same time, anyone not willing to be cheerleaders for this predatory agenda is vilified including those doctors seeking alternate means to avoid toxic main stream medicine with its selling sickness agenda to push statins, diabetes and other drugs.

      Vegwellian could even be a psychiatrist in disguise since the mantra pushed by her/him is the typical shallow kool-aid touted by psychiatry while smear campaigning anyone who differs from them.

    • It makes me angry when people bring up the blonde girl shooter to justify forced drugging. First of all, whatever he was or was not diagnosed with the drugs would have done absolutely nothing unless you’d drug him to unconsciousness/drooling in the corner of a room. Secondly, there were plenty of psychological reasons why he did what he did which may be bad, disgusting, immoral what not but are totally rational. I have not heard about a pill to growth some empathy neither about one that gets you a girlfriend.
      In my encounters with police vs mental health “professionals” policemen are much better suited to deal with “mentally ill”.

      • I agree 100%. The problem with that guy was that he was a mysogynistic abusive creep. He may or may not have had a diagnosable “mental illness,” but that could not be the cause of his obsessive and disrespectful treatment of women, which started long before that event, because there are tons of obsessive and disrespectful men who treat women that way, but are fine with everyone else, and the vast majority of people who have any diagnosed mental illness would never behave in the way he did.

        Additionally, you (Vegwellian) are assuming that some kind of “treatment” with a drug would stop him from this kind of violent act. There is no evidence that any drug treatment consistently stops violence, and plenty of evidence that any number of them make violence more likely in a small but significant number of cases. Read ssristories.org for a LOT of examples. Even if not all of them show causal connections, it should be clear to even a pretty pro-drug reader after reading the 40th entry or so that taking psychiatric drugs does not appear to have any limiting effect on the likelihood of serious violence.

        There are a number of studies showing that AOT doesn’t even improve compliance significantly, and that it is the provision of additional supportive services, like housing, employment, etc., that actually reduces the likelihood of serious adverse consequences. The thought of demolishing millions of people’s civil rights in order to somehow stop the one in ten million who may engage in a mass shooting, using drugs that aren’t even shown to reduce such behaviors, but in fact, may very well increase them, is nothing short of abject stupidity. It is only promoted by those who either stand to profit from the endeavor, or who feel a need to control the ‘mentally ill’ for reasons that relate to their own personal issues. A rational person looking at the real data would easily conclude that this is absolute idiocy.

        —- Steve

        • Steve,
          But *why* was he a misogynistic abusive creep? Why do some people turn out that way, while others turn out with healthier and happier tendencies? Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaV9uha0lK0 for a discussion of Elliot’s upbringing and the factors which more than likely led to his ending up in the position and with the feelings and drives that he did. These things happen for distinct reasons, and we need to be much better at understanding the causes and effects…

          • I agree absolutely. What I object to his characterizing him as “mentally ill” and assuming that some kind of medical intervention would magically make him not be an abusive creep. I know I’m preaching to the choir on that one. I work with foster kids and am very well aware of the impact of early life experience on everything that one thinks, says and does as an adult. I think that’s where most of the answers to “mental health problems” lie.

            —- Steve

  22. Vegwellian,

    According to studies, sleep meds only increase sleep by about 35 to 40 minutes and do not increase the quality of sleep. Actually, long term, they are very ineffective.

    That is horrible that you were cold turkeyed off of sleep meds. That is a perfect example of so called mainstream doctors being quacks.

    • They work for me. That’s all I can say. Most doctors would give the same argument that you do when refusing to prescribe them. However, I’ve taken that dose for years, and haven’t developed tolerance.

      The doctor wasn’t a quack. 20 mg of Ambien is quite high, and without talking to me and knowing my history, it would alarm most doctors. They might think it was a mistake that I was prescribed that in the first place. They might think I hadn’t been tried on anything else.

      Many people cannot communicate their history effectively. I can. He didn’t take me off the meds entirely, he just reduced it to the standard dosage of 10 mg. I attribute the problem to the fact that I was in the ER all day waiting for a bed and so he wrote those orders without talking to me. If he had spoken to me first, I would have explained to him why I was on that dose. He also cut back my pain meds. I was furious. The answer to the problem is not to change people’s med without talking to them. He also added Abilfy, which I refused to take. If he had talked to me first, he would have known that too. Part of the problem was that I was new to them, new to the area, and my providers were some distance away, because I lived in a very rural community.

      By all means, people need to be very vocal and empowered in dealing with professionals. Like I said before, they probably don’t ever want to see me coming again, though I didn’t rant and rave or throw a fit. But I gave them a very hard time.

      • Hmm, if I said that chiropractic care worked for a former coworker, you would say that proves nothing and isn’t supported by the evidence. I would turn the tables on you regarding sleep medications although I am glad it works for you.

        Doctor was still a quack in my opinion, as he cut your medicines too quickly.

  23. Chiropractic works for some people, for back and neck or other similar issues, in the same way that physical therapy works. In that respect it is fine, but the profession does not limit itself to that.

    But, if you said that a chiropractor cured someone or pneumonia, I would say that there is no possible mechanism that chiropractic could ever, possibly, cure someone of pneumonia.

    Ambien is a drug. It is a hypnotic medication. It has the chemical properties that could be predicted to make someone sleep. While it is true that trials have not supported ongoing use as effective, every “body” is different. Many people have horrible next day drowsiness with Ambien, but I don’t.

    I agree that on the face of it, my statement seems contradictory, but I think we’re talking about apples and oranges here.

    • “While it is true that trials have not supported ongoing use as effective, every “body” is different.” you’re applying a different standards to the “real drugs” than to alternative treatments. I’m not here to defend the latter but if you want to stay scientific you may want to admit that many things docs do and how they treat people is in fact quackery, even if some percentage of a time they get it right.

  24. Anothervoice, you have an excellent point about not segregating people. Unfortunately, human kind has yet to develop a society where people’s individual needs are assessed and they are provided with the exact supports and degree of supports, that they need. Pragmatically, and I am a pragmatist, in order to provide services to people, including peer support, housing, medical care, etc., you have to have funding. To get funding you have to identify a problem. I’d love to see that change but things seem to be getting worse and not better in that department.

  25. Thank G-D for energy healing , Naturopathy, Homeopathy,
    Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Natural Herbs,YuenMethod,Ayeurvedic, and the insights derived from them and so many other natural healing methods and natural healers from around the world that continue to heal people inspite of the onslaught and coercive methods so prevalent in western AMA medicine and especially in Psychiatry the modern day Spanish Inquisition.

  26. AGAIN, to go on and on and on stating that people’s brains can get sick, and then skip over the fact that where there’s a PROVEN chemical imbalance is when it’s caused by psychiatric medications, and where there’s a spike in the occurrence of mental illness (and violence, and disability) this is where these “medications” are prescribed and/or forced on people (and more relapses, loss of life the whole works which has been repeated numerous times: severe disabling withdrawal symptoms).
    THAT’S the statistical and scientific evidence from the very people trying to find this “disease” this chemical imbalance they have yet to prove exists (although their treatments HAVE BEEN SHOWN to cause chemical imbalance). Skipping all of that and going on about disabling symptoms caused by brain diseases (but skip the science and the statistics pointing out its caused by medications where it’s been proven, go on about unproven diseases and ignore the speak in occurrence of the “disease” caused by the treatment) this isn’t going to magically make sense by taking the “medications” to disable your mind and that nasty restlessness which points out there might be something deeper to look into.

    And to go on and on about those who point out this discrepancy not using evidence based methods because they aren’t maintaining this facade, this illusion, this fraud; this isn’t magically science either, nor is it evidence based. Not even when you take your meds or use hallucinogenics (which work the same as psychiatry medications by messing around with neurotransmitters). It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about FDA approved chemical imbalance caused by medications said to be treating them (“chemical imbalance”) or any other disease suppression of free choice correlates with (and thus you can blame on the alternative methods and continue to try to suppress free choice).

    Neither is this creating stigma to GIVE people free choice. This also isn’t lack of peer support when people have their own community to support each other rather than some propped up get together promoted by the drug companies causing the chemical imbalance they say comes from a source yet to be proven or found, and support people to believe what can’t be proven and discount what has.

    • And supporting a bill which forces more of the treatment which correlates with the spike in mental illness related violence won’t magically turn up evidence of a chemical imbalance which has yet to be proven to exist. Nor would it erase all the conclusive proof that the “medications,” correlates with the rise in violence and with a verifiable chemical imbalance, which DOES correlate with the symptoms of mental illness.

      Again, taking the “medications” to disable your mind won’t facilitate erasing such false logic either, you just won’t see it, and go on and on and on not seeing it.

      • Nijinky…there is no correlation between the spike in violence and medications. Most of the people claimed to have been on a psych meds when they committed the violent act, actually were not. Millions of people find relief from psychiatric medications. I am sorry you don’t. Stick with what works for you.

        • Vegwellian,

          I suggest you google SSRI’s and school shootings. As I said above, I think you know alot of this because you are trying to promote your agenda here. Many of the legal cases won when the drugged victim committed murder of family, fellow employees or students also died by suicide or cop. Your claim that there is no connection between psych drugs and violence is quite false to say the least when all you have to do is google it or check out SSRIstories.

          Any so called relief from psych meds is spurious and maybe a placebo effect but evidence shows they cause far more harm in the long run than the minor short term relief they might provide short term in the beginning. They are also very dangerous for suicide, violence, illness and early death by about 25 years on average.

          Thus, I find it odd that you are here touting main stream psychiatry as if you were/are a Big Pharma sales rep! Maybe you are!

    • Also Nijinsky, I am not at all sure you know what peer support is, as a concept. It’s not a self confirming feedback loop on the internet. It is trained people with lived experience providing unbiased support and assistance. You could not work in peer support if you dismiss nearly all of the options available to people and then somehow expect them to get better and if they don’t get better, assume it is their fault. This entire outlook you are propagating is built on the notion that brain disorders don’t exist, therefore, people who continue to have symptoms are choosing to do so. Maybe you aren’t aware of that. But if that’s not stigmatizing, I don’t know what is.

    • I did a major facepalm when I read that there are serious studies about ketamine as an anti-depressant. Ketamine (like a lot of psych drugs) is a psychoactive substance with sedative properties. And it’s very dangerous – I know people who use it for anesthesia when working with mice and it’s very easy to overdose or animals die just because – probably they are overly sensitive to the drug.
      I can’t stand when psychiatrists equal sedating someone with making them “better”. that’s maybe OK when the person feels better too but in involuntary “treatment” that’s simply not the case.

  27. Discover and Recover – I realize you are not going to respond but let me throw this out here…first of all Google isn’t research. That word gets used inaccurately all the time. No matter how often you look up something, unless you are seeking counter evidence, you are going to get a boatload of links confirming your own beliefs. So unless you have actually designed and carried out studies, please do not refer to reading alt med sites as research. I told you your site was nicely put together even if I don’t agree with it. Apparently you want me to fall at your feet and tell you’ve convinced me to stop being a skeptic. Not going to happen. Frankly, the hostility is coming from you. I have asked questions, politely, but instead of answering them rationally, you freak out. The most defensive and entrenched people on this site will never impact the system, or policy, because you are too darn angry and project that anger on to a relatively small group of people, psychiatrists, whom you demonize in a way that is going to put off anyone in the position of changing things.

  28. The spike in violence relating to people with a mental illness diagnosis DOES correspond with psychiatric drugs. That’s also why there is a black box warning label on anti-depressants. In many cases it’s known that these people were on anti-depressants or other psychiatric drugs, but quite often that information is withheld, which could point to the fact that they were, otherwise there’d be no reason to with hold that information. There’s also quite a bit of drug company pay-offs to withold that information.

    And this is quite a fabricated statement to make that most of the people claimed to be on psychiatric medications when they committed the violent act were not. Where’s your proof of this (or that psychiatric medications address a chemical imbalance)? Further more, it makes no difference how many people claim that they were on a psychiatric medications and then weren’t; there’s CLEARLY enough that the drug companies were FORCED against their will to put black warning labels on anti-depressants.

    And if it were the case that the black box warning labels are in place because of fraudulent claims where’s your proof of this? And why did this happen with the FDA, who you say adhere’s to evidence based proof when alternative medicine doesn’t?

    And further more Vegwellian, you’re not making any consistent sense with what you believe is a debate. You talk about brain diseases, and skip over where there’s actually concrete proof of a brain disease (psychiatric medications). People get what they believe is relief from all sorts of things (alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar) that doesn’t mean that any of these things are treating a brain disease, and it’s dishonest to make such claims, no matter how much you’d like to believe it. And you try to belittle alternative medications as being completely not evidence based: “You are apparently into Alt Med, so you live in a world where nothing really ever has to be proven, and if it can’t be proven is someone else’s fault, and the damn FDA is just persecuting this saintly scam artist.” It’s not even worth it to respond to such a ridiculous statement. There are tons of scientific studies done that point out the efficacy of herbal substances to help disease (and other alternative methods) despite the lack of funding in comparison to drug company money, in fact Nestles wants to have a copyright on the fennel flower http://www.globalresearch.ca/nestle-is-trying-to-patent-the-fennel-flower/5332329 THAT’S how little alternative medications aren’t based on evidence based proof.

    And I have better things to do that play catch with your “brain disease/diseases,” theology/fixation and inability to think through things, and all the loose ends splayed out all over the place you find it convenient to ignore (only the FDA is evidence based, but not in regards black warning labels for anti-depressants, and it’s a brain disease we’re talking about, which is OK even if this can’t be proven, but to actually have evidence the “treatment” causes a verifiable brain disease can be skipped over: this is only some of the inconsistencies in your “logic”). Don’t expect me to show interest in reading any more of your remarks.

    And then: “This entire outlook you are propagating is built on the notion that brain disorders don’t exist, therefore, people who continue to have symptoms are choosing to do so.” No, I’ve never said brain disorders don’t exist, it’s been proven the “treatment” for those who have alleged brain disorders that HAVEN’T been proven to exist CAUSES brain disorders. That the “medications” DO correlate with causing brain disorders in SCIENTIFIC investigation. And nowhere have I or anyone else contradicting you stated that people who have symptoms (whether they are caused from personal trauma or psychiatric abuse) come from people choosing to do so, as if they the ability to just stop it . We ALL here advocate alternative methods that correlate with higher rates of recovery than psychiatric drugs (psychiatric drugs correlate with more disability, and less recovery than when not prescribed, see Anatomy of an Epidemic).

    If you want to take psychiatric drugs that’s your choice. This doesn’t give you the freedom to change facts and scientific evidence. In fact, the way you go on about things, and can’t hold an evidence based argument expecting all the untenable and contradictory points you make to be excused (which I’m sorry to say might be aided by disabling “medications), you make a great advertisement to NOT get involved with what you maintain is a cure. No need for me to make ANY statement about what you say, I truly speaks for itself. If you would gain perspective and think about getting off of your “medications” you do need to do this carefully, doctors supervision is suggested, and there is material from others who have accomplished this difficult task available.

    https://archive.org/details/TheRoleOfSsriAnti-depressantsInTheColumbineShooting

    http://www.ssristories.org/

    Or you can simply to a search for anti-depressants and violence (or school shootings, or suicides) or psychiatric drugs and violence etc…

      • Not correct. James Holmes was taking psych meds and so was Adam Lanza. So were several others although I can’t remember exactly whom.

        Now I don’t assume that just because they were taking meds that there was a relationship to the crime. Even Peter Breggin doesn’t do that.

        Anyway, in some cases, I have no doubt and to deny these drugs can’t cause horrific side effect simply is being in denial big time.

  29. For those actually trying to follow what this thread has become about:

    To begin with, the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness remains that, a theory. However, psychiatric drugs which are said to treat this alleged chemical imbalance all under scientific scrutiny are determined to cause chemical imbalance.

    And so you get something which I think is comparable to Hitler and his Reichstag incident, or what the Romans did to Christianity when they inserted the idea of original sin. You make people think they are under attack, and then you can get them to do what you say will prevent this. There remains to this day no conclusive proof that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance. But when you “medicate” a person there is proof that they have a chemical imbalance from the medications, from the “treatment.” If they have emotional difficulties that weren’t attended to and suppressed by this chemical imbalance, by this turning off of natural brain functions, would a person try to get off of the medications and not have learned how to deal with the emotional difficulties that might emerge, the problem could be magnified. And a person that really had no emotional difficulties could STILL have difficulty trying to get off of the psychiatric medications. This problem doesn’t come from what was labeled as a disease, this comes from the treatment. This of course affords the drug companies the ability to start saying that the problems come from not taking your medications, rather than that there was a different way to help a person, in the beginning. These alternative methods (Soteria House, Healing Homes of Finland, Open Dialogue, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) all correlate with better outcomes. In fact, people that aren’t medicated at all have in general better outcomes, this occurs in various studies investigating the difference between schizophrenics which are medicated and those which aren’t or withdraw from their medications; and this also is shown in countries where psychiatric medications aren’t implemented. There is more recovery. That’s the plain and simple truth.

    No one is being un-supportive to tell another person the simple truth. That there is no proof that what they are going through is based on a chemical imbalance which psychiatric drugs treat. Certainly when the methods they share which aren’t based on the chemical imbalance theory have statistically better outcomes is this not un-supportive of the person looking for healing, but empowering. There’s also no proof that many things people resort to in search of respite from their thoughts treat a chemical imbalance, and this should remain their choice, but it needs to be given to them in accordance with the truth that’s known about those drugs or other substances.

    It isn’t true that a person who supports alternative methods such as Soteria House Healing Homes of Finland, Open Dialogue or other methods is endangering the person looking for healing, just because he shares a method which may be considered alternative rather than mainstream. In fact, there’s more proof that the chemical imbalance theory is endangering the person. Since the implementation of the chemical imbalance theory there is a spike in mental illness, and also in violence related to mental illness. This is only logical when the healing method causes what it says it is healing (a chemical imbalance). And it’s misrepresentation of what a chemical imbalance is to cause one when one is told that an alleged, yet to be proven chemical imbalance is being treated. It’s also a misrepresentation of such terms as brain disease or other clinical terms meant to represent a physical origin for the problem. It also isn’t true that anyone promoting an alternative method is paranoid against mainstream methods, or that they are conspiracy theories; and when they can back up their claims, this doesn’t mean that they are ranting. And when they share information that might make a person question the healing modality they are following to seek better outcomes, this doesn’t mean they are preventing peer support. Neither does it mean that there’s stigma created. There would have to be concrete proof that mental illness comes from a chemical imbalance in order for someone contradicting this to be promoting stigma. In fact, calling anyone promoting an alternative method paranoid, or full of conspiracy theories or ranting when they present concrete evidence and allow for free choice, THAT is creating stigma against anyone that thinks differently from the method that is being questioned. And people who promote alternative methods aren’t forcing people into asylums against their will and then forcing them to have to take treatment methods which statistically correlate with more of the disease they are said to cure, along with the actual phenomenon which is said to be cured (a chemical imbalance).

    • I saw the one from the criminals at Eli Lilly on that link.

      “You may have heard that some treatments for mental illness cause diabetes. Take a closer look at the facts. Fact: People with mental illness develop diabetes up to 4 times more often than people who don’t have a mental illness. Studies show that people with mental illness may be more likely to develop diabetes, regardless of whether or not they take medication. ”

      Wow ! That’s audacity .

  30. Yeah, no poster children for recovery here. Sad. It’s clear you reject everything that works for most people, and have huge anger towards that entire field, but embrace every bit of nuttery out there with no anger for the scam that most of it is. The proof should be in the pudding. If I was this evil transgressor come to force drugs down your throat and you were the people who had found recovery through other means, wouldn’t you be the calm ones, and I be the rant and raver spewing bile? What ever you think you have found that works for you…maybe you could think about what recovery looks like and if your behavior fits with that.

    • Vegwellian,

      People have every right to be angry. And maybe if more folks were taught how to express their emotions instead of feeling this article need to be happy all the time, there would be less need for psych meds.

      I am sure you will reject my point as you have done with everything else that has been written since you feel people develop mental illness for no reason. And by the way, you haven’t provided any scientific links for that.

      Anyway, I find this to be one of your most insulting posts as recovery is one of the more popular subjects on this site. But I guess it doesn’t fit your paradigm of recovery with psych meds.

      • I’ve just been going through the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Troll Association, and I’m having trouble between a diagnosis of Ringlefinch, Tosselad, and Rimetosser.

        Still, does it matter, the ‘medication’ is the same lol.

    • I realize that what constitutes “recovery” may be open to interpretation (some would say the concept has become so co-opted that it’s essentially meaningless now), but “absence of anger” is a new one for me!

      I don’t think that makes much sense, really. People who have experienced harm and trauma are likely to be angry — understandably so. Especially when they know that the harm was based on lies, as is generally the case with psychiatry. Also, people who aren’t taking drugs that induce artificial placidity and flattened emotions are probably more likely to let their anger show. While that may not be to your tastes, there’s nothing wrong with it.

    • Ooooh, nice “debate” tactic,” Vegwellian. When you find yourself trounced, attempt to discredit your opponent(s) by suggesting they are mentally ill. This is also a great illustration of just how “scientific” psychiatric diagnosis is. Simply label any strong emotion, especially anger, as a symptom of mental illness. Poof. No science needed when mental health “experts” can simply react to opposition with defamation and slander, and label a person as “abnormally” agitated, angry, sad, happy, manic, irritated, impaired, oppositional, defiant, etc., etc., etc..

    • OK, I’ll kidnap you from your home, strip you naked in front of a small crowd, restrain you by force causing you physical injuries and forcibly inject with drugs that will make you sick. And then tell everyone that was because you were dangerous even though you have never threatened anyone with violence. and then I’ll release you back to the society and observe how calm you’re discussing your abuse and how you just get over it and move on and never rant about it again.
      I’m sorry but you’ve just behaved like an arrogant asshole and you may want to re-think your perspective. A short lesson in empathy may be advisable.

  31. Well, improper nutrition can be a vicious cycle (the same as with sleep disturbances). Whether you start with the disturbance or the depressed mood is irrelevant: depressed mood causes people to have poor diet which exacerbates depressed mood and so on.

  32. I have been doing some reading up on the micronutrients Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Rucklidge have researched and found Hardy Nutritionals makes one called Daily Essential Nutrients which is research-backed and has shown to be effective in treating a myriad of mood and mental health concerns (probably because those individuals have nutrient deficiencies). When you treat the underlying nutritional issues, you can see huge benefits (like a reduction in symptoms) as well as preventative benefits for those predisposed to Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative diseases. I am not saying that pharmaceuticals don’t have their place, but it is nice to know there are research-backed alternatives to try before starting medications that may help (and seem to have helped) many people.