Duty to Warn – 14 Lies That Our Psychiatry Professors in Medical School Taught Us

Gary Kohls, MD
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Myth # 1:
“The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) tests all new psychiatric drugs”

False. Actually the FDA only reviews studies that were designed, administered, secretly performed and paid for by the multinational profit-driven drug companies. The studies are frequently farmed out by the pharmaceutical companies by well-paid research firms, in whose interest it is to find positive results for their corporate employers. Unsurprisingly, such research policies virtually guarantee fraudulent results.

Myth # 2:
“FDA approval means that a psychotropic drug is effective long-term”

False. Actually, FDA approval doesn’t even mean that psychiatric drugs have been proven to be safe – either short-term or long-term! The notion that FDA approval means that a psych drug has been proven to be effective is also a false one, for most such drugs are never tested – prior to marketing – for longer than a few months (and most psych patients take their drugs for years). The pharmaceutical industry pays many psychiatric “researchers” – often academic psychiatrists (with east access to compliant, chronic, already drugged-up patients) who have financial or professional conflicts of interest – some of them even sitting on FDA advisory committees who attempt to “fast track” psych drugs through the approval process. For each new drug application, the FDA only receives 1 or 2 of the “best” studies (out of many) that purport to show short-term effectiveness. The negative studies are shelved and not revealed to the FDA. In the case of the SSRI drugs, animal lab studies typically lasted only hours, days or weeks and the human clinical studies only lasted, on average, 4- 6 weeks, far too short to draw any valid conclusions about long-term effectiveness or safety!

Hence the FDA, prescribing physicians and patient-victims should not have been “surprised” by the resulting epidemic of SSRI drug-induced adverse reactions that are silently plaguing the nation. Indeed, many SSRI trials have shown that those drugs are barely more effective than placebo (albeit statistically significant!) with unaffordable economic costs and serious health risks, some of which are life-threatening and known to be capable of causing brain damage.

Myth # 3:
 “FDA approval means that a psychotropic drug is safe long-term”

False. Actually, the SSRIs and the “anti-psychotic” drugs are usually tested in human trials for only a couple of months before being granted marketing approval by the FDA. And the drug companies are only required to report 1 or 2 studies (even if many other studies on the same drug showed negative, even disastrous,  results). Drug companies obviously prefer that the black box and fine print warnings associated with their drugs are ignored by both consumers and prescribers. One only has to note how small the print is on the commercials.

In our fast-paced shop-until-you-drop consumer society, we super-busy prescribing physicians and physician assistants have never been fully aware of the multitude of dangerous, potentially fatal adverse psych drug effects that include addiction, mania, psychosis, suicidality, worsening depression, worsening anxiety, insomnia, akathisia, brain damage, dementia, homicidality, violence, etc, etc.

But when was the last time anybody heard the FDA or Big Pharma apologize for the damage they did in the past? And when was the last time there were significant punishments (other than writs slaps and “chump change” multimillion dollar fines) or prison time for the CEOs of the guilty multibillion dollar drug companies?

Myth # 4:
 “Mental ‘illnesses’ are caused by ‘brain chemistry imbalances’”

False. In actuality, brain chemical/neurotransmitter imbalances have never been proven to exist (except for cases of neurotransmitter depletions caused by psych drugs) despite vigorous examinations of lab animal or autopsied human brains and brain slices by neuroscientist s who were employed by well-funded drug companies. Knowing that there are over 100 known neurotransmitter systems in the human brain, proposing a theoretical chemical ”imbalance” is laughable and flies in the face of science. Not only that, but if there was an imbalance between any two of the 100 potential systems (impossible to prove), a drug – that has never been tested on more than a handful of them – could never be expected to re-balance it!

Such simplistic theories have been perpetrated by Big Pharma upon a gullible public and a gullible psychiatric industry because corporations that want to sell the public on their unnecessary products know that they have to resort to 20 second sound bite-type propaganda to convince patients and prescribing practitioners why they should be taking or prescribing synthetic, brain-altering drugs that haven’t been adequately tested.

Myth # 5:
“Antidepressant drugs work like insulin for diabetics”

False. This laughingly simplistic – and very anti-scientific – explanation for the use of dangerous and addictive synthetic drugs is patently absurd and physicians and patients who believe it should be ashamed of themselves for falling for it. There is such a thing as an insulin deficiency (but only in type 1 diabetes) but there is no such thing as a Prozac deficiency. SSRIs (so-called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – an intentional mis-representation because those drugs are NOT selective!) do not raise total brain serotonin. Rather, SSRIs actually deplete serotonin long-term while only “goosing” serotonin release at the synapse level while at the same time interfere with the storage, reuse and re-cycling of serotonin (by its “serotonin reuptake inhibition” function).

(Parenthetically, the distorted “illogic” of the insulin/diabetes comparison above could legitimately be made in the case of the amino acid brain nutrient tryptophan, which is the precursor molecule of the important natural neurotransmitter serotonin.  If a serotonin deficiency or “imbalance” could be proven, the only logical treatment approach would be to supplement the diet with the serotonin precursor tryptophan rather than inflict upon the brain a brain-altering synthetic chemical that actually depletes serotonin long-term!

Myth # 6:  
“SSRI ‘discontinuation syndromes’ are different than ‘withdrawal syndromes’”

False. The SSRI “antidepressant” drugs are indeed dependency-inducing/addictive and the neurological and psychological symptoms that occur when these drugs are stopped or tapered down are not “relapses” into a previous ”mental disorder” – as has been commonly asserted – but are actually new drug withdrawal symptoms that are different from those that prompted the original diagnosis

The term “discontinuation syndrome” is part of a cunningly-designed conspiracy that was plotted in secret by members of the psychopharmaceutical industry  in order to deceive physicians into thinking that these drugs are not addictive.  The deception has been shamelessly promoted to distract attention from the proven fact that most psych drugs are dependency-inducing and are therefore likely to cause “discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms” when they are stopped. The drug industry knows that most people do not want to swallow dependency-inducing drugs that are likely to cause painful, even lethal withdrawal symptoms when they cut down the dose of the drug.

Myth # 7:
“Ritalin is safe for children (or adults)”

False. In actuality, methylphenidate (= Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate and Methylin; aka “kiddie cocaine”), a dopamine reuptake inhibitor drug, works exactly like cocaine on dopamine synapses, except that orally-dosed methylphenidate reaches the brain more slowly than snortable or smoked cocaine does. Therefore the oral form has less of an orgasmic “high” than cocaine. Cocaine addicts actually prefer Ritalin if they can get it in a relatively pure powder form. When snorted, the synthetic Ritalin (as opposed to the naturally-occurring, and therefore more easily metabolically-degraded cocaine) has the same onset of action but, predictably, has a longer lasting “high” and is thus preferred among addicted individuals. The molecular structures of Ritalin and cocaine both have amphetamine base structures with ring-shaped side chains which, when examined side by side, are remarkably similar. The dopamine synaptic organelles in the brain (and heart, blood vessels, lungs and guts) are unlikely to sense any difference between the two drugs.

Myth # 8:
“Psychoactive drugs are totally safe for humans”

False. See Myth # 3 above. Actually all five classes of psychotropic drugs have, with long-term use, been found to be neurotoxic (ie, known to destroy or otherwise alter the physiology, chemistry, anatomy and viability of vital energy-producing mitochondria in every brain cell and nerve). They are therefore all capable of contributing to dementia when used long-term.

Any synthetic chemical that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier into the brain can alter and disable the brain. Synthetic chemical drugs are NOT capable of healing brain dysfunction, curing malnutrition or reversing brain damage. Rather than curing anything, psychiatric drugs are only capable of masking symptoms while the abnormal emotional, neurological or malnutritional processes that mimic “mental illnesses” continue unabated.

Myth # 9:
“Mental ‘illnesses’ have no known cause”

False. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is pejoratively called “the psychiatric bible and billing book” for psychiatrists. Despite its name, it actually has no statistics in it, and, of the 374 psychiatric diagnoses in the DSM-IV (there is now a 5th edition) there seem to be only two that emphasize known root causes. Those two diagnoses are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder. The DSM-V has been roundly condemned as being just another book that laughingly pathologizes a few more normal human emotions and behaviors.

In my decade of work as an independent holistic mental health care practitioner, I was virtually always able to detect many of the multiple root causes and contributing factors that easily explained the signs, symptoms and behaviors that had resulted in a perplexing number of false diagnoses of “mental illness of unknown origin”. Many of my patients had been made worse by being hastily diagnosed, hastily drugged, bullied, demeaned, malnourished, incarcerated, electroshocked (often against their wills and/or without fully informed consent). My patients had been frequently rendered unemployable or even permanently disabled as a result – all because temporary, potentially reversible, and therefore emotional stressors had not been recognized at the onset. Because of the reliance on drugs, many of my patients had been made incurable by not having been referred to compassionate practitioners who practiced high quality, non-drug-based, potentially curable psychotherapy.

The root causes of my patient’s understandable emotional distress were typically multiple, although sometimes a single trauma, such as a rape, violent assault or a psychological trauma in the military would cause an otherwise normally-developing individual to decompensate. But the vast majority of my patients had experienced easily identifiable chronic sexual, physical, psychological, emotional and/or spiritual traumas as root causes – often accompanied by hopelessness, sleep deprivation, serious emotional or physical neglect and brain nutrient deficiencies as well. The only way that I could obtain this critically important information was through the use of thorough, compassionate (and, unfortunately, time-consuming) investigation into the patient’s complete history, starting with prenatal, maternal, infant and childhood exposures to toxins (including vaccines) and continuing into the vitally important adolescent medical history (all periods when the patient’s brain was rapidly developing).

My clinical experience proved to me that if enough high quality time was spent with the patient and if enough hard work was exerted looking for root causes, the patient’s predicament could usually be clarified and the erroneous past labels (of “mental illnesses of unknown origin”) could be thrown out. Such efforts were often tremendously therapeutic for my patients, who up to that time had been made to feel guilty, ashamed or hopeless by previous therapists. In my experience, most mental ill health syndromes represented identifiable, albeit serious emotional de-compensation due to temporarily overwhelming crisis situations linked to traumatic, frightening, torturous, neglectful and soul-destroying life experiences.

My practice consisted mostly of patients who knew for certain that they were being sickened by months or years of swallowing one or more brain-altering, addictive prescription drugs that they couldn’t get off of by themselves. I discovered that many of them could have been cured early on in their lives if they only had access – and could afford – compassionate psychoeducational psychotherapy, proper brain nutrition and help with addressing issues of deprivation, parental neglect/abuse, poverty and other destructive psychosocial situations. I came to the sobering realization that many of my patients could have been cured years earlier if it hadn’t been for the disabling effects of psychiatric drug regimens, isolation, loneliness, punitive incarcerations, solitary confinement, discrimination, malnutrition, and/or electroshock. The neurotoxic and brain-disabling drugs, vaccines and frankenfoods that most of my patients had been given early on had started them on the road to chronicity and disability.

Myth # 10:
“Psychotropic drugs have nothing to do with the huge increase in disabled and unemployable American psychiatric patients”

False. See Myths # 2 and # 3 above. In actuality recent studies have shown that the major cause of permanent disability in the “mentally ill” is the long-term, high dosage and/or use of multiple neurotoxic psych drugs – any combination of which, as noted above, has never been adequately tested for safety even in animal labs. Many commonly-prescribed drugs are fully capable of causing brain-damage long-term, especially the anti-psychotics (aka, “major tranquilizers”) like Thorazine, Haldol, Prolixin, Clozapine, Abilify, Clozapine, Fanapt, Geodon, Invega, Risperdal, Saphris, Seroquel and Zyprexa, all of which can cause brain shrinkage that is commonly seen on the MRI scans of anti-psychotic drug-treated, so-called schizophrenics – commonly pointed out as “proof” that schizophrenia is an anatomic brain disorder that causes the brain to shrink! (Incidentally, patients who had been on antipsychotic drugs – for whatever reason – have been known to experience withdrawal hallucinations and acute psychotic symptoms even if they had never experienced such symptoms previously.)

Of course, highly addictive “minor” tranquilizers like the benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Tranxene, Xanax) can cause the same withdrawal syndromes. They are all dangerous and very difficult to withdraw from (withdrawal results in difficult-to-treat rebound insomnia, panic attacks, and seriously increased anxiety), and, when used long-term, they can all cause memory loss/dementia, the loss of IQ points and the high likelihood of being mis-diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease (of unknown etiology).

Myth # 11:
“So-called bipolar disorder can mysteriously ‘emerge’ in patients who have been taking stimulating antidepressants like the SSRIs”

False. In actuality, crazy-making behaviors like mania, agitation and aggression are commonly caused by the SSRIs. That list includes a syndrome called akathisia, a severe, sometimes suicide-inducing internal restlessness – like having restless legs syndrome over one’s entire body and brain. Akathisia was once understood to only occur as a long-term adverse effect of antipsychotic drugs (See Myth # 10). So it was a shock to many psychiatrists (after Prozac came to market in 1987) to have to admit that SSRIs could also cause that deadly problem. It has long been my considered opinion that SSRIs should more accurately be called “agitation-inducing” drugs rather than “anti-depressant” drugs. The important point to make is that SSRI-induced psychosis, mania, agitation, aggression and akathisia is NOT bipolar disorder nor is it schizophrenia!

Myth # 12:
“Antidepressant drugs can prevent suicides”

False. In actuality, there is no psychiatric drug that is FDA-approved for the treatment of suicidality because these drugs, especially the so-called antidepressants, actually INCREASE the incidence of suicidal thinking, suicide attempts and completed suicides. Drug companies have spent billions of dollars futilely trying to prove the effectiveness of various psychiatric drugs in suicide prevention. Even the most corrupted drug company trials have failed! Indeed what has been discovered is that all the so-called “antidepressants” actually increase the incidence of suicidality.

The FDA has required black box warning labels about drug-induced suicidality on all SSRI marketing materials, but that was only accomplished after over-coming vigorous opposition from the drug-makers and marketers of the offending drugs, who feared that such truth-telling would hurt their profits (it hasn’t). What can and does avert suicidality, of course, are not drugs, but rather interventions by caring, compassionate and thorough teams of care-givers that include family, faith communities and friends as well as psychologists, counselors, social workers, relatives (especially wise grandmas!), and, obviously, the limited involvement of drug prescribers.

Myth # 13:
“America’s school shooters and other mass shooters are ‘untreated’ schizophrenics who should have been taking psych drugs”

False. In actuality, 90% or more of the infamous homicidal –  and usually suicidal – school shooters have already been under the “care” of psychiatrists (or other psych drug prescribers) and therefore have typically been taking (or withdrawing from) one or more psychiatric drugs.  SSRIs (such as Prozac) and psychostimulants (such as Ritalin) have been the most common classes of drugs involved. Antipsychotics are too sedating, although an angry teen who is withdrawing from antipsychotics could easily become a school shooter if given access to lethal weapons. (See www.ssristudies.net).

The 10% of school shooters whose drug history is not known, have typically had their medical files sealed by the authorities – probably to protect authorities such as the drug companies and/or the medical professionals who supplied the drugs from suffering liability or embarrassment. The powerful drug industry and psychiatry lobby, with the willing help of the media that profits from being their handmaidens, repeatedly show us the photos of the shooters that look like zombies. They have successfully gotten the viewing public to buy the notion that these  adolescent, white male school shooters were mentally ill rather than under the influence of their crazy-making, brain-altering drugs or going through withdrawal.

Contrary to the claims of a recent 60 Minutes program segment about “untreated schizophrenics” being responsible for half of the mass shootings in America, the four mentioned in the segment were, in fact, almost certainly being already under the treatment with psych drugs – prior to the massacres – by psychiatrists who obviously are being protected from public identification and/or interrogation by the authorities as accomplices to the crimes or witnesses.

Because of this secrecy, the public is being kept in the dark about exactly what crazy-making, homicidality-inducing psychotropic drugs could have been involved. The names of the drugs and the multinational corporations that have falsely marketed them as safe drugs are also being actively protected from scrutiny, and thus the chance of prevention of future drug-related shootings or suicides is being squandered. Such decisions by America’s ruling elites represent public health policy at its worst and is a disservice to past and future shooting victims and their loved ones.

The four most notorious mass shooters that were highlighted in the aforementioned 60 Minutes segment included the Virginia Tech shooter, the Tucson shooter, the Aurora shooter and the Sandy Hook shooter whose wild-eyed (“drugged-up”) photos have been carefully chosen for their dramatic “zombie-look” effect, so that most frightened, paranoid Americans are convinced that it was a crazy “schizophrenic”, rather than a victim of psychoactive, brain-altering, crazy-making drugs that may have made him do it.

Parenthetically, it needs to be mentioned that many media outlets profit handsomely from the drug and medical industries. Therefore those media outlets have an incentive to protect the names of the drugs, the names of the drug companies, the names of the prescribing MDs and the names of the clinics and hospitals that could, in a truly just and democratic world, otherwise be linked to the crimes. Certainly if a methamphetamine-intoxicated person shot someone, the person who supplied the intoxicating drug would be considered an accomplice to the crime, just like the bartender who supplied the liquor to someone who later committed a violent crime would be held accountable. A double standard obviously exists when it comes to powerful, respected and highly profitable corporations.

A thorough study of the scores of American school shooters, starting with the University of Texas tower shooter in 1966 and (temporarily) stopping at Sandy Hook, reveals that the overwhelming majority of them (if not all of them) were taking brain-altering, mesmerizing, impulse-destroying, “don’t give a damn” drugs that had been prescribed to them by well-meaning but too-busy psychiatrists, family physicians or physician assistants who somehow were unaware of or were misinformed about the homicidal and suicidal risks to their equally unsuspecting patients (and therefore they had failed to warn the patient and/or the patient’s loved ones about the potentially dire consequences).

Most practitioners who wrote the prescriptions for the mass shooters or for a patient who later suicided while under the influence of the drug, will probably(and  legitimately so) defend themselves against the charge of being an accomplice to mass murder or suicide by saying that they were ignorant about the dangers of these cavalierly prescribed psych drugs because they had been deceived by the cunning drug companies that had convinced them of the benign nature of the drugs.

Myth # 14:
“If your patient hears voices it means he’s a schizophrenic”

False. Auditory hallucinations are known to occur in up to 10% of normal people; and up to 75% of normal people have had the experience of someone that isn’t there calling their name. (http://www.hearing-voices.org/voices-visions/).
Nighttime dreams, nightmares and flashbacks probably have similar origins to daytime visual, auditory and olfactory hallucinations, but even psychiatrists don’t think that they represent mental illnesses. Indeed, hallucinations are listed in the pharmaceutical literature as a potential side effect or withdrawal symptom of many drugs, especially psychiatric drugs. These syndromes are called substance-induced psychotic disorders which are, by definition, neither mental illnesses nor schizophrenia. Rather, substance-induced or withdrawal-induced psychotic disorders are temporary and directly caused by the intoxicating effects of malnutrition or brain-altering drugs such as alcohol, medications, hallucinogenic drugs and other toxins.
Psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions, can be caused by substances such as alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens, sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics, inhalants, opioids, PCP, and the many of the amphetamine-like drugs (like Phen-Fen, [fenfluramine]), cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy, and agitation-inducing, psycho-stimulating drugs like the SSRIs).
Psychotic symptoms can also result from sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation and the withdrawal from certain drugs like alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics and especially the many dopamine-suppressing, dependency-inducing, sedating, and zombifying anti-psychotic drugs.
Examples of other medications that may induce hallucinations and delusions include anesthetics, analgesics, anticholinergic agents, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antihypertensive and cardiovascular medications, some antimicrobial medications, anti-parkinsonian drugs, some chemotherapeutic agents, corticosteroids, some gastrointestinal medications, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and Antabuse.
The very sobering information revealed above should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda  have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
In my mental health care practice, I personally treated hundreds of patients who had been given a multitude of confusing and contradictory mental illness labels, many of which had been one of the new “diseases of the month” for which there was a new psych “drug of the month” that was being heavily marketed on TV.

Many of my patients had simply been victims of unpredictable drug-drug interactions (far too often drug-drug-drug-drug interactions) or simply adverse reactions to psych drugs which had been erroneously diagnosed as a new mental illness. Extrapolating my 1200 patient experience (in my little isolated section of the nation) to what surely must be happening in America boggles my mind. There has been a massive epidemic going on right under our noses that has affected millions of suffering victims who could have been cured if not for the drugs.

The time to act on this knowledge is long overdue.

*

Editors Note: This article originated on TRANSCEND Media Service (TMS) and has been reprinted with the author and editor’s approval.

References

Toxic Psychiatry; Your Drug May Be Your Problem; Talking Back to Prozac; Medication Madness: by Peter Breggin;
Prozac Backlash; and The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction”: by Joseph Glenmullen;
Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill; and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America:  by Robert Whitaker;
Soteria: Through Madness To Deliverance: by Loren Mosher and Voyce Hendrix; Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare: by Peter Goetzsche;
Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent; and Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime: by Grace Jackson;
The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It: by Marcia Angell;
Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical  Industry and Depression; and The Antidepressant Era: by David Healy;
Blaming the Brain: The TRUTH About Drugs and Mental Health; by Elliot Valenstein;
Selling Sickness; How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients: by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels;
Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs: by Melody Petersen;
Excitotoxins: by Russell Blaylock;
The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying our Brains and Harming our Children: Carol Simontacchi;

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Gary Kohls, MD
Dr. Kohls is a retired family physician who practiced holistic (non-drug) mental health care. His patients came to see him asking for help in getting off the psychotropic drugs to which they were addicted and which they knew were sickening and disabling them. He was successful in helping significant numbers of his patients get off or cut down their drugs using a thorough and therefore time-consuming program that was based on psychoeducational psychotherapy, brain nutrient therapy, plus a program of gradual, closely monitored drug withdrawal. Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal symptoms that can occur in patients who have been taking any psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. Close consultation with an aware, informed physician who is familiar with treating drug withdrawal syndromes is important.

77 COMMENTS

  1. Wonderful post and thanks to author and MIA for reprinting it here. The failures of modern psychiatry distilled down to an easy-to-read essay. I’m going to make my high-schooler read it (who has ‘mental health’ agencies trotting through his school occasionally spreading all these myths and grooming kids to be the next generation of druggies); and will read it with my middle-schooler as part of his homeschool science curriculum.

    Liz Sydney

  2. Here’s Myth #15: “The brain secretes the mind just like liver secretes bile.”
    False. The justification for treating the brain with chemicals is because it is assumed that the ‘mind’ is merely electrical activity in the brain. We all know this is not correct (read this article if you like some ‘wisdom’ answers: http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/5/2/2158244015583860 ).
    Further, a great deal of evidence indicates that the mind exerts a powerful influence on brain structure (through epigenetic and neuroplastic mechanisms).

    • permit me to quote from your link: “This article explains that methodologies in neuroscience increase our understanding of neurophysiological underpinnings of mental phenomena and also provide important evidence on the practical utility of meditation.”

      Re Epigenetics, you seem to agree with psychologists and biopsychologists on this point, thank you. http://nobaproject.com/modules/epigenetics-in-psychology
      ” the epigenome—a dynamic layer of information associated with DNA that differs between individuals and can be altered through various experiences and environments. The epigenome has been heralded as a key “missing piece” of the etiological puzzle for understanding how development of psychological disorders may be influenced by the surrounding environment, in concordance with the genome. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the initiation, maintenance, and heritability of epigenetic states is thus an important aspect of research in current biology, particularly in the study of learning and memory, emotion, and social behavior in humans. Moreover, epigenetics in psychology provides a framework for understanding how the expression of genes is influenced by experiences and the environment to produce individual differences in behavior, cognition, personality, and mental health. In this module, we survey recent developments revealing epigenetic aspects of mental health and review some of the challenges of epigenetic approaches in psychology to help explain how nurture shapes nature.”
      but please, do not get the independence of mind to realize that this is MAINSTREAM.

  3. Great article Gary.

    I encourage you if possible to get this article or a shorter version of this article published in additional news sources. Sharing this information is a valuable public service.

    I particularly agree with the part that both psychiatrists and patients who swallow the brain disease lie should be ashamed of their simplemindedness and naivete. The epidemic of pills is not going to abate until more of the ignorant sheep that are American psychiatric patients stop mindlessly swallowing the poison pills stuffed down their throat by the antidoctors. Accurate information is out there but far too few people go looking for it.

  4. Nothing new here, but it is good to at least see an MD standing up against corruption within his/her own peer group / system. In one breath you label these psychiatrists as accomplices to crimes and in the next as well-meaning but too busy. Most likely, as long as there’s a financial reward for psychiatrists to go along with an often corrupt system there’ll be no shortage of those who will — not much different than any other medical specialty or other business. Anyone who is working towards fixing these problems deserves all the credit in the world. Hopefully just exposing the truth and letting the buyer (or his/her family/guardian) beware can go a long way too.

  5. Myth. Psychiatry is a branch of medical science.

    Reality. Psychiatry is a religion.

    The “mental health” religion revolves around a cardinal belief in something called “mental illness.” Something that has not, in point of fact, been proven to have a tangible existence. Psychiatrists and psychoanalysts are the clergy of this “mental health” religion. The “mental health movement” is the evangelical wing of this religion. All converts outside of the clergy are the laity of this religion.

    Drugs are the way the “mental health” religion maintains its hold over the masses. You’ve perhaps heard religion referred to as the opium of the masses. When ritualistic drug taking accompanies religious ritual, addiction, or at least dependence, can have a further hold on certain adherents and zealots. This is certainly so in the case of the “mental health” religion.

    Talk therapy offers no real protections from the illusions and misinformation of the “mental health” religion, not unless that talk is had with a bona fide anti-psychiatrist. If you suspect you may be falling under the sway of “mental health” evangelicals, I advise you to see the nearest anti-psychiatrist professional residing near you ASAP.

      • As an atheist, seeing that etymologically psychiatry means “medical treatment of the soul”, I think psychiatry is already there. What do you call that for a definition anyway? Medical school meets divinity school. Given this definition, embodying a popular superstition, nobody should be surprised some of us would find an analogy between psychiatrists and witch doctors (head hunters).

        • Actually, what you call “witch doctors” might better be termed “shamans.”
          In many indigenous cultures, when a person starts acting out, or showing symptoms, for lack of a better word, she/he is brought to the shaman. The shaman then trains this person to be a healer. The “symptoms” are signs that this person has special healing abilities. Please see: Malidoma Some—What a Shaman Sees In a Mental Hospital. http://snip.ly/jrcqr

      • As a Christian I am justified by faith not works. Psychiatry is a works based religion. Salvation is found in taking your “meds” exactly as prescribed.

        A bit mystified by all the churches eager to incorporate the “psychiatric science” into their very worship programs. If psychiatric drugs are needed to prevent suicide, mass murder and other bad behavior, you’re saying the cross is not sufficient to save us from sin.

        Therefore Rick Warren has forsaken Christianity. As have all pastors who try to fuse psychiatry/psychotherapy with church beliefs. They are incompatible. I wonder why few Christians realize this.

    • Hello again Mr Blankenship. A refreshing improvement but as a stochastic shamanologist, I have to take offence at “witxch doctor/head hunter? before the term is even applied to AMA approved shrinks. I too happen to have AMA issues, reltubng on older traditions of integrative medicine. I find this article no better than AMA claptrap can also be.

      The religious trivialization you aroused is truly sad.

      • Christian or psychiatrian, I don’t care, they’re both pretty similar, aren’t they? One requires a belief in the “son of God”, and with the other it’s “mental illness”. As for the shaman thing, freelancing is fine, but scrapping the whole superstition business is finer still.

  6. Are the psychiatry professors actually teaching all these lies, like the “chemical imbalance” theory, to the medical students? Thank you for the list of myths. All information I learned the hard way, at the hands of well insured doctors, who still owe me for their malpractice, who had promised to “first and foremost do not harm” and claimed to “know everything about the meds.” But all they actually knew how to do was create “psychosis,” via anticholinergic toxidrome, in lots of different ways. And claim adverse drug reactions were a “lifelong, incurable, genetic mental illness.”

    And an ethical pastor of mine told me I’d dealt with “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions,” which implied to me the doctors and religious leaders have both known for decades that the psychiatrists actual function within society was to defame, discredit, and poison innocent people to cover up medical evidence of easily recognized iatrogenesis and child abuse for the incompetent doctors and child abusing pastors and their friends.

    It strikes me as disingenuous that the medical community is now claiming ignorance of their field of specialty, especially since the religious leaders have known all about the harms of the psychiatric drugs for decades. And what’s really appalling is all those religions / religious hospitals have been profiting off of all the, almost unfathomable in scope, iatrogenic illness creation that’s been going on for decades, too.

    It’s really rather a shame that neither the medical nor pastoral professions are worthy of trust or respect any longer, nor is the banking profession. And, of course, the lawyers and judges are aiding and abetting in all this iatrogenic harm and thievery, too. And even our government officials seemingly did not learn from WWII that making up “mental illnesses,” then torturing and murdering people based upon these scientifically invalid “mental illnesses,” is unacceptable human behavior.

    Thanks for trying to properly educate, seemingly, the dumbest and / or most unethical doctors the world has ever known.

    • For the record – from a recently trained psychiatrist – neither my medical school nor my psychiatry residency (both mainstream, well-known programs) would have said most of the misinformation that this article claims is taught in medical schools. I don’t know where this author went to medical school, but it certainly does not represent my experience.

      That said, there are definitely people that argue for some of the points who had a voice in our training – eg, in both contexts we read and debated the evidence for and against SSRIs being able to decrease the total suicide rate, or that having a manic response to an antidepressant predicts that on average that person is more likely to benefit from a mood stabilizer than someone who did not have such a response (the practical way to restate the idea that there is underlying bipolarity revealed). We are exposed to a broad range of opinions, however, and encouraged to recognize the conflicting opinions and the presence or absence of evidence for each of them, and to know we’re responsible for making informed decisions ourselves. Which is how I believe it should be.

      • You’d have a lot less excitement on the ward if you took the time to examine your patients’ perceptual stability beforehand. There are fairly simple tests to do this (the fastest takes about 20 min.), but alas, your colleagues will question your sanity if you use them.

        • Thank you! BC-
          Well said; you don’t buy a car w/out knowing how it runs; or let your daughter go on her first date without some Perception of her date.
          In the Air Force (travelling to other countries) we were taught how to communicate That what’s said is perceived properly.
          Any Therapy should start with how the patient perceives It/Life: given your entire life can contribute.
          Every Creation has a Creator.
          And (it seems) if a patient were intelligent/ insightful/etc.; well, We’re more aware than a “normal/usual” patient: you have to be prepared for such things.

      • Thanks for the response.

        “having a manic response to an antidepressant predicts that on average that person is more likely to benefit from a mood stabilizer than someone who did not have such a response (the practical way to restate the idea that there is underlying bipolarity revealed).”

        This was essentially the DSM-IV-TR malpractice that was perpetrated against me, and a million children. And it’s no longer malpractice, according to the DSM5, which is foolish; since creating iatrogenic illnesses, while lying and claiming they’re genetic, is morally reprehensible behavior.

        And, just an FYI, today’s “gold standard” treatment recommendations – including the antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzos – for “bipolar” are, in fact, a recipe for how to create anticholinergic toxidrome.

        And the central symptoms of anticholinergic intoxication syndrome are almost identical to the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia.” And since the psychiatrists can’t bill for creating “psychosis,” via anticholinergic toxidrome, this is always misdiagnosed as one of the made up DSM disorders.

        Plus, the neuroleptics can create the negative symptoms of symptoms of “schizophrenia,” as well – via neuroleptic induced deficit disorder.

        In other words, the DSM is basically nothing but a book that documents the iatrogenic illnesses created by the psychiatric drugs, not a book of “genetic mental illnesses.” And a book that medicalizes almost all human behavior.

      • I believe what you say. Yet I here these myths every week when I attend coerced workshops at my mental illness center known as adult day treatment.

        Some of the clients with a mean streak seem to like the idea that they have a chemical imbalance and go around proudly boasting of the fact. I guess it’s kind of an excuse for their nasty behaviors. A get out of jail free card.

        I believe mine stem from trauma, including the trauma of a medication reaction and subsequent toxic druggings that I was forced to undergo afterward. In a just world that doctor would have paid me $1,000,000 for ruining my life.

  7. This is a great summation of the scientific and social myths covering up Biological Psychiatry’s oppressive role in society. Definitely worthy of copying and disseminating broadly.

    One quibble I would make regarding Myth #4 talking about the “chemical imbalance” theory, Gary states : “Such simplistic theories have been perpetrated by Big Pharma upon a gullible public and a gullible psychiatric industry…”

    The entire fault here does not only lie with Big Pharma. The American Psychiatric Association and other key leaders in Psychiatry (promoting their own guild interests) have colluded at the highest levels to develop and promote this pseudoscience.

    It is the strategic alliance between these two institutions that has led us to the current crisis of the disease/drug based medical model dominating the “mental health” industry and modern medicine. It may represent the biggest and most damaging medical hoax over the past 100 years.

    Richard

  8. Yes! The gloves are off. It’s amazingly difficult to persuade people that what they have been told by their doctors are lies. No matter how many facts you present they truly believe they would be dead without these drugs. They vehemently defend the abusers who have stripped them of their intellectual abilities, physical health, dignity, and even freedom! It’s Stockholm Syndrome, and like so many other mental health problems, it was created by the industry that is meant to treat it.

    • Dr. Peter Breggin has another viewpoint on why so many people take psychiatric medications: Medication Spellbinding. http://snip.ly/rkqe7

      I have a friend who told me that he tried every alternative he could find to deal with depression, but only the anti-depressants helped. He claims that he’s been taking them for 30 years and now leads a normal and productive life.

      I provide information from experts, like Dr. Breggin, which to me represents the truth. Then, when people still insist on medications, I have to honor their experiences, like I do with my friend.

      I find this track very difficult.

  9. Good summary, thank you. I would like to see the author comment on the role of ECT in psychiatry. Another lie? Or something that helps a few and is catastrophic for others – catastrophic for at least all the people posting on Mad In America and on facebook groups. Too many to ignore.

  10. I call this entire process, benzos first, then stronger and stronger anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs given to counter act the negative side effects, “Choreographed Insanity” because that is exactly what it is.
    Once addicted to benzos and not thinking clearly, a person can become frightened into believing the story-line of these docs. After all, they are the “professionals” aren’t they?
    When a patient begins to display symptoms of ‘drug addiction’ the pDocs call it ‘mental illness’. I was told that my prescription to benzos “helped make manifest the underlying mental illness.” That’s when I knew, for sure, they were all a bunch of quacks.
    The benzos were making the problem they were prescribed for, migraines, much worse and with side effects. Then the additional drugs to calm those side effects … had their own set of side effects.
    How can this method of doing business NOT cause insanity?

  11. Great article! Thank you for publishing. I feel sane and validated but also again saddened and ashamed to be working in a field that I see so many clients dying now because of being prescribed medication that not only does not work effectively but is doing terrible harmful to their minds and bodies. What is making me furious is when psychiatrists, MDs, are obviously not reading their patient’s histories, not communicating with other providers and prescribing carelessly. I am only a LICSW and know that you do not prescribe antidepressants to someone with history of bipolar, depressive type. A psychiatrist and I just told a very sweet elderly woman that paxil should not have been diagnosed by her outpatient psychiatrist and was likely the precipitating factor in most recent manic episode and by the way the lithium you were prescribed for years caused you to have chronic kidney disease. Patients are being helplessly drawn into an abyss here toward their death. This is not treatment. CBT, psychotherapy, support group, a new outpatient psychiatrist and a lawyer is what I recommend. Where are the lawsuits?

  12. Where are the lawsuits?

    Good question. At least part of the answer lies in the fact that psychiatrists, like lawyers, are loathe to testify against one another even in cases of clear “malpractice.” Clear abuses are justified as “accepted” procedures, and often they are since what is “accepted” is rarely challenged.

    • medical malpractice (“A doctor’s failure to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician or surgeon of the same medical specialty would use under similar circumstances”)

      The lawyers are not taking the cases. Because the entire psychiatric industry has collectively decided that functioning as an iatrogenic illness creation industry, thus making people sick for profit, is what is acceptable behavior for that medical specialty today. Defaming people with made up diseases, tranquilizing, torturing, and poisoning people is what all psychiatrists do, “under similar circumstances.” Thus anyone who suffers iatrogenic harm at the hands of today’s psychiatric industry is screwed, since harming people for profit, is the actual purpose of today’s psychiatric industry.

    • indeed, oldhead. it is common in ALL high professions to cover the ass of fellows in the guild. Note that today it is not needed to prove a drug works, but only that it is no less effective than other drugs already allowed. That is not science, we have dismissed science for the gods of cash and efficiency to market and ccapture the market is the name of the game. All of which ios a far different tale than the basic anti-psy screed that there is no mental illness etc. They got the consequences of the fubar pretty well in some ways, but by getting the etiology wrong, are still on the periphery of a solution, which is slowly quietly occuring despite and without them.

  13. Great article- The problem in trying to convince people- is that- in a way when we tell people of the dangers of psychiatry- its tricks and its medications- harms- they start to freak out- not just because it naturally scares them- but because they- like the majority with insecurities- might feel they “might need” -some care- about their own minds- down track- most of them have insecurities– but today- with psychiatry selling(forcing) its mental illnesses to/on the planet- most of those– have been created by psychiatry– and again they don’t know that either-so in effect- they don’t even realise- is a mind state they have -due to all the insecurity created by psychiatry- with its 500 – most highly imaginative-illnesses- sold to- and brought-by the entire world- and that- we are all- effected by– no one more than the insecure to start with- the people who haven’t looked at psychology- or ever done some real self soul searching–or analysis’s- don’t know what therapy is about- and are scared of it anyway- because it puts them- under a microscope- and their insecure- so psychiatry shifts all the real need and care- that scares most- to something that excuses a need to look at them- and what they do or dont do that has caused their insecurities- not mental illnesses- and so look and think – the chemicals story- not themselves-or the work and talk needed -to make themselves strong and well again-chemicals and biology- when they’re- and what they do- or look like- are just the result of unhealthy thinking- behaving bad-or some other social factors- or just insecurity– and transient- in a life- or on a life’s road-along the way/road- to find out- pain -joy-sadness-happiness- all part of the journey- for all of us- shifting the care need- from real- and in the light- or the truth- to synthetic- false- like a blanket over reality- in the dark- so instead of turning the lights on- they’re actually turning the lights off to the world- and the world is pulling the blanket they’re using/offering/selling/forcing over their heads- and buying it– blind. and in the dark- dependant on them- and the story they’ve been tricked by- just the way- the cult wants them to be and behave. And im starting to be convinced- these drug dealing- abusive doctors- actually believe their OK about what they’re doing- forcefully/bully style– then knowingly- onto -“long term adversity”- like for real.-, like that’s OK. I mean “who’s” really sick – the doctors or their patients.

  14. I’m open minded on the subject, coming from the DO side of things, but I find much of these myths that seem to convince so many people to be either fair but obvious criticisms that are mainstream in psychiatry or poorly sourced novel ideas presented without evidence to refute claims supported by good medical studies.

    Furthermore, the comments section seems to be an echo chamber for people who believe in some giant conspiracy of guild protecting psychiatrists despite the inherent likelihood that US capitalist medicine will foster enough competition to publish scientific studies, and if such a minority had the preponderance of fact on their side, their studies would have greater and more readily reproducible effects. That would afford this minority much publicity and exposure beyond any guild protective privilege. So the incentive is very lacking in this theory that the entire field is colluding in some organized way. Then the theory could be afforded the benefit of the doubt that perhaps ample incentives could be provided by the pharm companies; to this i would say the pharm companies themselves compete enough to make a unilateral psychiatrist cabal very very unlikely. Not to mention the growing number of salaried physicians who can’t receive money in any way from pharm companies, even speaking fees or fancy meals.

    Some of your first myths seem to imply to a lay audience that the medical field does not regularly engage in chart review studies, retrospective cohort studies, and other ways that medication harm can be identified, and that help medicine of all forms constantly improve and respond to knew evidence.

    On the subject of neurotransmitter imballance, while the burden of proof required ‘proove’ the theory has yet to be met, that is a high burden to expect before a physician can administer treatment. We do not know the exact neurons that carry the mu opiod receptors that cause analgesia, yet opioids are a major and important treatment for acute and short term pain.

    As for antidepresants (SSRIs), you are shooting fast and loose with the facts here. Good, multicenter studies without financial ties to pharm have found that the suicide risk and medication relationship is dependent on age. The only group shown to have increased suicidality is that of youths (under 24 years old), with people over 30 showing a decrease in suicidality. You claim that all studies done have failed to show anything but an increase in suicide (not true) and that they have all been pharm industry funded (not true). Such allegations are interesting, rather interesting, in the setting of this article not citing a single piece of peer reviewed journal writing.

    More on SSRIs, the strawman that any professional claims that SSRIs are to depression what insulin is to diabetes…is truly juvenile. It may prove a clinically helpful way to describe the medication to someone without much medical knowledge, sophistication, or inclination to learn more detail. Do we have to start telling diabetics on pioglitazone about gene expression pathways that increase insulin receptor prevalence? I think not.

    Other myths revolve around the huge harm that medications can cause. That is empirically true. However, you seem to be encouraging a layperson audience to ignore the central role of a physician in weighing positives against negatives of any treatment. And if your intended point is that good treatment may be first attempting non-pharm interventions, then I would agree. However, you present a unilaterally negative view here, not allowing the reader into the realm of medicine where every choice will have both good and bad associated outcomes. It’s a hard job, and things don’t always go the way you want, but there are good psychiatrists out there and this page does a disservice to readers and medical professionals alike.

    • I am going to let others respond to most of the issues you raised but I did want to address this last point you made because this comes up frequently and is mentioned by many medical professionals who disagree with alot of what this site has to offer.

      “”It’s a hard job, and things don’t always go the way you want, but there are good psychiatrists out there and this page does a disservice to readers and medical professionals alike.””

      Let me ask you a question. If one of your loved ones suffered extremely abusive treatment at the hands of someone be it a doctor, lawyer, police officer, etc., would you tell them to stop complaining because there are good folks in these fields? I doubt you would but essentially that is what you are telling folks on this site to do.

      I am sure this wasn’t your intention but it comes across as patronizing and very insulting. And just you know, the psychiatrists who do have complete respect from commentators on this site, such as Dr. Steingard were folks who were willing to listen and didn’t get defensive of criticisms of psychiatry. You might want to go back and read her blog entries to see what I am talking about. And you actually might learn something.

      • I think your claim that I am defensive is entirely unfounded and projection on your part. Fact based criticism is always not only welcomed, but appreciated.
        And as for how I would feel if a loved one were subject to misconduct, id be truly furious, lacking objectivity.
        But I think this page strives to be more than an echochamber for grievances. I think this page is meant to provide objective critique. I think this post fell short in several ways, and may be capitalizing on the strong feelings of those who have factual grievances without being well rooted in objective analysis and without providing prudent incite necessary to bring about the remarkable improvements in psychiatry that we both would like to see.
        I’m from a school of medicine that from day one emphasizes a person as being comprised equally of mind, body and spirit, and that a body is only telly healed by itself. Treatment needs to focus on removing obstacles from the bodies innate self healing mechanisms, and must look at outcomes including mind and spirit. Psychiatry is too prescription heavy, I’m not getting to say anything contrary to that point.

        But fear tactics and one sided journalism won’t inform enough people on enough of the important truths such that they can enter into discourse with the establishment of psychiatry armed with enough information to achieve such zealous goals. Much the opposite,such journalism will convince you of the merits of your emotions, and determine that any discourse with establishment psychiatry would be one without common ground where people can engage and good intentions can topple mistaken paradigms. I encourage you to seek medical arguments steeped in medical journal peer reviewed literature rather than medical essays filed with opinion and published as books. If one is to look at financial disclosures, someone teeing to sell a book needs to have edgy controversy, while someone publishing a study needs to have good analytic method and logic.

        And if I offended you in my previous comment, it was not intended. I do apologize completely. I would never stand to defend a medical professional who committed injustice on anyone. Please believe me when I say I am 1000 times sorry.

        • I am afraid you may be having a somewhat rosy picture of medical training, slc8. Perhaps you were fortunate to attend a more holistic school. Or perhaps their training didn’t translate into appropriate behavior in the field, but the assertions in this piece are very much what I hear when my foster youth clients are sent to a psychiatrist. They are told they are upset because their “brain chemistry” is messed up (apparently nothing to do with being abused at home and then yanked into foster care), They are told that the drugs are safe, they are NOT told about side effects, the side effects they do have are seldom attributed to the drugs and more likely attributed to “their disorder”, they are frequently diagnosed with “bipolar disorder” which is “uncovered” when they have an aggressive reaction to stimulants or antidepressants, they are told they need to take these drugs for life because there is no cure… If these things aren’t taught in medical school, they certainly ARE taught in the culture these doctors emerge into after they graduate.

          The problem with identifying injustice from within is that there is always huge agreement within a profession that the standard protocols are basically sound and that bad results are anomalies and not a result of a malfunctioning paradigm. Look at a public school classroom as an example – the standard classroom has been critiqued as not meeting kids’ needs since the early 1900s, and yet it has changed remarkably little since then. Or look at obstetrics – we’re seeing 30%+ Caesarian rates nationally, and no one appears to be alarmed or wanting to do anything about it, despite the fact that the midwifery care model has as good or better outcomes with well under 15% Caesarian rates.

          The status quo isn’t always functional, and the peer-review process (which you seem to recognize is warped and corrupted by capitalism) does not guarantee that the correct data is what gets published, nor does it assure that the best results actually result in changed treatment protocols. I think the critique is quite legitimate, and you might do better to seek to understand where this critique is coming from rather than being upset by its direction.

          Just as a case in point, what about the increasing evidence that long-term antipsychotic use may worsen the course of “schizophrenia?” Have you ever heard that stated in your training or clinical staffings? Try bringing up the idea some time and listen to the reaction. Then you’ll have some idea of how open the medical culture in America is to data that don’t fit in with the dominant narrative of what is supposed to be “true.”

          —- Steve

          • Hi Steve-
            I agree: and watched my partner (over 10 years) go from a determined, full-of-life, truly caring soul to a crumpled mass.
            He’d had a Spinal Fusion in 2015 and was assigned a Pain Mgt. Doctor; Some think having a “listens to everything I say doctor”, but sometimes too-much-good can be bad.
            She’d had him on Fentanyl Patches/Oxycodone…then Clonazepam (Anxiety) and Trazadone (sleep): the Fentanyl was as-high as 200mcg/48hrs; Oxy 40mg/day. The Clonazepam and Trazadone Were never increased (over almost 10 years); and a year before he completed suicide in front of me, his doctor “moved away) mysteriously. (I’ve found no trace of Her); her replacement immediately wanted to drop the Doses for all her patients. (impression is, she had everyone on very high doses). And (in Florida), doctors/pharmacies were already uneasy because-of the Pill Mill Problem.
            She was a nice lady, but never offered Alternatives! Several months before he Completed, I noticed Symptoms similar to Benzo Withdrawal and told his doctor: nothing done about It.
            *Personally, I think if any doctor were to prescribe something as-nasty as Benzos, a mental evaluation/monitoring should be mandatory!
            I was his sole caregiver (no support), his family never bothered; he had fear/distrust issues from past experiences, so even suggesting Help w/out alarming him was tricky; and the few doctors he did see, well: they did more bad than good…
            The pain/stresses/etc. triggered PTSD from physical Child Abuse; though we could never get any diagnosis, in the final 8ish months he changed drastically/ quickly: similar to D.I.D. (long story).
            Honestly Steve; fighting along-side him so long (my mind not as “clouded”): I almost sympathized with his decision. I asked myself (in the brief moment before he pulled the trigger) “does he want me to stop him…should I?”
            I’ve lost everything Steve; he was my soulmate; we had noone: even his mom refused to help intervene; had called me her Adopted Son: now, After: noone has heard of me and thinks she’s the world’s greatest mom…if only they knew.
            Florida had just started recognizing Civil Unions, but he was too far along (him and covering both our jobs were my concerns): That Night, the police not only lied about doing Resuscitation, but treated me no better than a friend/roommate…left me there, alone, w/out mentioning I had to clean-up! They left a blood trail thru the house; (to me) let him bleed to death: the “stain” on the mattress bigger than his body. I was doing Resuscitation: I saw how much blood was coming from his mouth…had to clear-It: they just let him bleed!
            Then, stepping barefooted on a piece of his scalp? just as I got the “courage/insanity?” to start cleaning the bed.
            Harassment from our boss/job & home loss/relocating/ “fighting” the Demon House (bad anxiety) for three months (alone again) to clear-It…eventually having to abandon It: I’m normally a level-minded person; the house had me so ?? I felt as-though It were alive, trying to keep me there.
            Now…fifteen months later: no Social Support; have been fighting the VA for any help.
            Their psychiatrist has scorned-me for my ADHD Symptims (lost meds just-After); made biased HIV remarks when I mentioned his Hypervigilance/Startled Reactions…even told her about the Child Abuse. She said (loudly) “sounds like HIV! Did he have It…do you? (I’m sure most if the office heard her), I’d just had blood tests done @1 1/2 weeks before (VA), my Negative Results were in my notes she’d accessed I have never found anything saying Hypervigilance/Startled Reactions are symptoms of HIV
            They’ve told me “I can’t have PTSD unless the trauma happened directly to-me….
            In-response to my complaints about their inefficient procedures, and That I’d think the priority (even of the famed Crisis Line) would be to prevent a person from becoming suicidal, not wait until They are (if you say you’re not, your “priority” drops to the VA’s normal inefficient/22-a-day-saves-money procedures); “you could always say you’re suicidal if you want a faster response” Was their reply.
            I have never said I was, just making a point: but am told This! Unbelievable!
            So….no Steve, no help in 15 months. She tried to throw Zolift at me, but has offered No Other help.
            I agree with what was-said above Steve; I see all the (I call It) Socratic Smoke & Mirrors…
            All the garbage they’d had my partner on, never any Alternatives..?
            My Reply, Steve, was a sarcastic remark about the Comment above my Reply:
            – I encourage you to seek medical arguments steeped in medical journal peer reviewed literature rather than medical essays filed with opinion and published as books.-
            And, thanks for the compliment, Steve: I’m no professional; I have been trying to find the answers I can’t get from the VA.
            Surviving…..existing, 15 months (already an Overthinker/with ADHD/INTP/deep insight/empathy…..All subjective, but what isn’t?
            I agree Steve…just wording my thoughts is tricky.
            Take Care-

          • I did have a more holistic medical training than most, as I am a DO physician (Doctor of osteopathy, equal to but different from our allopathic MD colleagues in that we have a philosophy placing body mind and spirit as equally important components of a person, and putting it on our shoulders to treat all 3. Also, we learn physical manipulation medicine as well as the same rigorous pharm and procedural care as our allopathic colleagues. We have to be certified by our own medical associations as well as the allopathic ones. Many people have a DO as their physician and do not realize it. We make up a growing 15% of the physicians in the us and can practice in any specialty. We are uniquely capable of balancing allopathic, naturopathic, homeopathic and holistic medicines to create a personalized treatment plan).

            I want you and others to know that I hear you and am sorry to learn of such troubles. I could envision instances where the physicians were actually providing the best for their patients and still have these poor outcomes, but it is also possible that the physicians were burnt out and not doing their best. It’s impossible to know from this level of separation. Finding the right doctor for you is very important, and our system puts up roadblocks for many. I hope access and transparency improves.

            As for psyc meds and their adverse effects: the adverse effects of not treating someone should be worse than those likely to result from treatment, or the treatment is not clinically indicated. If the doctor is wrong, it could be a lack of knowledge or incompetence, but it could also be that an individual had a very unusual reaction. It’s really traffic the stories people on this page are telling, but I would urge people to keep faith that there are many good doctors that can provide the care that one might need. Please don’t give up on the medical profession, and don’t give up on psychiatry.

            Anecdotally, I can say that I’ve noticed different medical cultures with different agreed physicians. The typical Reagan era medical graduate were more business minded, looking to help themselves more than patients; this isn’t true for everybody and again is completely my experience. I’ve noticed younger doctors, especially those like me who were inspired to pursue medicine by the promises of health care reform in 08, are hungry to learn about what makes each patient unique, and creatively use that to tailor the best possible plan for each individual patient.

            I’ve seen bad doctors, even bad hospitals with nary a good doctor. But I’ve also seen good doctors. And I’d caution a layperson audience for assuming they can determine if a treatment given to a loved one was the cause of a downward spiral, because it may have put off a downward spiral bit couldn’t actually avoid it.

            As far as schizophrenics getting worse after long courses of therapy, without therapy they wouldn’t function as well for as long. I spend half my days on a ward. I see people brought in after stopping their meds or new diagnoses. Sometimes they’re violent, sometimes so confused they can’t feed themselves or find their homes, sometimes after not bathing for weeks. And then antipsychotic meds bring them to a place where they experience reality, they bathe, they can feed themselves and often even hold down a job. So no study about meds not working long term is going to convince any psych professionals that antipsychotic meds aren’t helpful. There is ongoing study to decrease glycoprotein 3 transporter activity to keep med concentrations in brain at higher levels, as research is beginning to show the reason some long term patients become refractory to therapy is increased transport that flushes the drugs from the brain.

            People that are more attentive to internal stimuli than external stimuli need help, urgently, or they will die. Before the meds, people would tie such patients up and forcefeed them. The meds have some major side effects, but they are worlds better than the alternative.

            And on depression being a chemical imbalance: this is not a scientific statement because it’s nearly impossible to ethically prove. Sometimes such oversimplification is necessary when explaining complex medical realities to patients. Sometimes it is just a lazy doctor. But we do have reason to believe that synaptic serotonin in certain neural pathways does play a role in depression. We do have reason to believe this is a major mechanism responsible for the effect seen in ssri meds. We do have reason to believe that ssri meds do work in most people, with a direct correlation between severity of depression and effect of ssri (or snri). So if someone heard that depression is a chemical imbalance from their doctor, that doesn’t necessarily mean that such doctor is misleading.

            But don’t think that I don’t blame the doctors who have hurt you. It is a doctor’s job to guide a team, including the patient and their loved ones. It seems these hard feelings are borne from a lack of necessary inclusion and education, and I’m sorry that do many bad doctors have touched the lives of people on this forum.

          • Such an excellent reply. I am one of those people who has been harmed by psychotropic prescription drugs to such a degree that even two years after going thru a horrific withdrawal that left me with a movement disorder and PTSD, I am still too traumatized to talk about it. I was lucky that I was able to stabilize on a low dose antidepressant, but I am stuck having to take it for the rest of my life. And who knows how long it’ll work for? I will never risk going through the kind of withdrawal hell that I went through – and I didn’t quit antidepressants cold turkey. It was a long slow taper.

        • As a person with “lived experience,” labeled “paranoid schizophrenic” and in and out of hospitals for 8 years, I feel that perhaps I have different credentials than you seem to posit.

          Instead of peer reviews, I suggest peer support as a way to transform.

      • I have indeed met sincere, well-meaning psychiatrists. No doubt, there are sincere, well-meaning iridologists and astrologers. Less than 200 years ago many doctors sincerely meant well when they bled anemic patients to death.

        Good intentions can still hurt if your method is fundamentally flawed. You can be sincerely wrong.

  15. So (as a patient) What’s our best treatment option(s)?
    I already deal with the VA (a mess in-itself); it seems if a person’s intelligent/insightful/etc., some providers aren’t prepared to deal with us. I see the Socratic Smoke & Mirror Tricks-used; from experience as a sole caregiver (and empathy) How long term use of meds can destroy a person. Now (for myself-wtnessing a suicide/multiple associated-losses and trauma) needing help to recover.
    Who do we turn to, what Therapy(ies) should we seek?
    It’s been 15 months now, most I can manage is numbing-myself; so discouraged/almost-afraid (the VA’s done more harm than good); no Social Support: I’d “cure” myself if I could, but there are so many discrepancies, who/how can a person know what’s right?

    • “flyboykjc”: Sorry it took me so long to reply – the Public Access computers I use aren’t available Friday nights…. This is a reply to all your comments here, above. Wow. That sucks, to put it mildly. Your pain won’t go away quickly, or easily. But healing *IS**POSSIBLE*. I believe that, and I want you to believe it, too, even when that seems very difficult, or even impossible. So, here’s a couple of lame suggestions. First, you’ve come to a good place. Mad In America has a LOT of material, and not all of it will be easily helpful to you in your situation, but it WILL help educate, and EMPOWER you, and yes, “knowledge is power”. So is teamwork. Try: >beyondmeds.com<, for a good website that can help you move into healing. (Most of the best help I've gotten came through A.A., and working the 12 Steps.) You can "work" the 12 Steps on your own, with or without going to A.A. meetings. Look for the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" in any library, and skip to Chapter 5, "How It Works". I'm not trying to push A.A., but only offering a way forward, and something positive. I'd suggest reading a lot of A.A. literature, over meetings, unless you're fortunate enough to live where there are good meetings. There are some. Also, although it's not a lot of immediate help – DO YOGA! And/or Tai Chi, but really, both are better. There's lots of good books and videos. I'm damn glad I been doing Yoga/Tai Chi for over 20 years, & wish I'd started as a KID! /LOL/ It doesn't sound like there's much "funny" in your life right now – I get that. But you reached out here, and told (some of) your story. Just don't pull a muscle patting yourself on the back. But give yourself a pat on the back. As for the trauma – that's not easy. But that's for another essay. And, several MadInAmerica authors do have books you might want to look in to. I'm glad you're here. Thanks for giving me a chance to try to help. I hope it does. Yur typin' iz FINE! ("FINE" = F'ed-up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional) I gotta go for a walk…. Thanks again, "flyboykjc" ~B./

      • Thanks Bradford-
        No Input’s lame, I appreciate hearing Others’ experiences/ opinions!
        Still working through some misconceptions of my own, and making a few friends along the way: one guy (suffering from Depression) was near-seperating from his wife (She was having trouble/frustrated not being-able to help/ understand His issues), I told him to “help her understand You/Your Expectations and Perceptions”; then to understand Hers. Don’t lose a priceless source of Support (and of-course his wife) over Poor Communication: he said he’d not thought of-It That way.
        So, everything in Baby Steps and helping others too, It’s coming together slowly.
        From the PTSD Group I’ve joined, I’m working on some ideas to help both Military and Civillian Sufferers; and from a show about Guam/ALS/Blue-Green Algae, I’m looking into some theories That may help.
        Thanks again Bradford: keeping giving your Input (not lame): if It helps only One, it’s worth it.

        • “PTSD” = People That Suffer Distress
          “PTSD”= Personal Touch Sensory Deprivation 😉
          Thanks, Fly-Boy! Been thinking about what I wrote, & glad I logged back in!
          It’s not easy to come on to a website like this, and tell your story, but I believe it’s at least a small part of healing. It can be scary, but it does get easier. So these are some things I’ve learned, and also to “pass them on”, to help others. What happened to us is what happened to us. We can’t go back in a time machine, and change what happened in the past. *BUT*, we CAN change, in the here-and-now, how we think, feel, and understand what happened in the past. That’s the work that Life has given us. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Also, I want to add to try Vipassana, or Mindfulness meditation. All these little things add up to our “tool kit”, that we can use to help ourselves, and others, too. It does sound like you’re on the right track. And it never hurts to have that affirmed by others! There ARE good folks out there, and they love to be found, so keep looking for them, and finding them. You know how the VA is, but also look into some other FedGov, and DoD websites. The Military is doing leaps and bounds getting up to speed on some of these so-called “alternative therapies”. Sometimes they call them “complementary medicine”, and that’s a better label, at least!. And, I can’t recommend this, you understand, but I do know that SOME folks have gotten a lot of help with careful use of medical cannabis. Especially in those damn “cocktails” the shrinks love so much – too much pills are usually NOT a good thing! But you know yourself better than me, or the Docs do! Thanks for the reply. It’s fitting on Memorial Day weekend. One of the best ways to honor those who GAVE ALL, is to keep helping those who “only” GAVE SOME. I think you Roger That!…. 😉 ~B./

  16. I believe this article. This belief saddens and angers me. I never should have taken that anafranil. That’s what sent me over the edge into the Mental Illness System.

    Unfortunately I have no one to discuss my pain with who will believe me. The only reason most people associate with me is because they imagine I’m med compliant.

    I need to quit dwelling on this or I may become truly depressed. Last time I was planning suicide till a friend found out and talked me out of that destructive act. That was what saved me–not Zoloft!

      • I’m confused by the controversy surrounding peer support. I have looked at Intentional Peer Support before thinking I could actually help people and perhaps get some support myself, but there are a lot of people saying peer support programs contribute to forced treatment. I don’t know who to believe. Is IPS different?

        • When peer support happens at a walk-in community center like RLC, there is no danger of forced treatment. Although government funded, there is no roll taken and no accountability as such to the state. Everyone is anonymous. RLC: http://www.westernmassrlc.org/ There are some others that operate the same way, but, unfortunately, there is what’s called peer support happening in more coercive environments, like prisons, mental hospitals, and community mental health centers. You might contact RLC to find one like them nearest to you. Or start one.

          • We do have one of these peer support organizations in my community with half a dozen drop-in centers throughout my state but the one time I decided to drop in and check the local center out, I was severely disappointed. While I sympathize with the needs of families, it was clear the place was being used to dump mentally challenged geriatric people during the work day. Not my scene.

          • No such places in Hoosier-Land, alas! I’m afraid of being locked up if anyone discovers I’m no longer drugging myself “as prescribed.” Sadly, I can’t even trust the family members I live with. Mom watches too much TV and is happy to get her education on “mental illnesses” from the programs and Zoloft commercials. 🙁

          • Feeling, you need to discover the magic of placebos! Just put some Niacin or something in one of your old pill bottles and make sure to pop one in front of your mom and you’re home free!

          • Regarding “the magic of placebos…”
            Thanks for the suggestion, Steve. I already confuse Mom by popping fish oil, magnesium, and zinc in front of her in addition to my 40% full effexor capsule and thyroxine. I use the latter to treat a chemical imbalance that actually exists and is checked with blood tests.

            The problem is horrible physical problems related to withdrawal. I keep coughing my head off and catch nose or throat infections very easily. Tired all the time and itch so badly everyone around me complains that I scratch too much.
            Mom keeps nagging me to see my doctor, but he’s an ignoramus who pushes pills of every sort (esp. psych drugs) for the tiniest aches. I doubt he’ll help me or even acknowledge the iatrogenic damage I’m suffering.
            I take a grim satisfaction in the fact that he’s dumb enough to believe I need “mood stabilizers” and “anti-psychotics” in order to prevent mania since he’s sure I must be bipolar or I wouldn’t have hallucinated on Anafranil 23 years ago. According to Doc Dummy I should be manic taking nothing but effexor–running around, gambling, drinking like a fish, and going through multiple sex partners.

            Ha ha! Right now I am very sick and feel like I have a bad case of the flu 24/7. Along with dry, itchy skin and a cough nothing can help. Definitely not a manic party animal.

    • This is really bad advice: Steve McCrea April 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm
      Feeling, you need to discover the magic of placebos! Just put some Niacin or something in one of your old pill bottles and make sure to pop one in front of your mom and you’re home free!
      NEVER QUIT A PSYCHIATRIC DRUG COLD TURKEY! EVER! Even with a slow tapered withdrawal using liquid medication with the supervision of a knowledgeable physician, you can still experience a complete dysregulation of your nervous system. Your original disorder will seem like a walk in the park. For me, even after 8 years on antidepressants, a year-long taper, from a very low dose, completely destroyed me. Placebos work when a person doesn’t know it’s a placebo, and before the brain has been damaged by antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.
      See http://www.survivingantidepressants.org for guidance and support. Also see Dr.Shipko’s articles on this site.

      • In defense of Steve, Lilu, he meant the placebo effect would work on Mom. Not me. I know better than to cold turkey–so please don’t worry. I am still taking 60 mgs of effexor every day. I tapered down from 150 mgs at the beginning of July, 2016. It’s a bear to come off! Lamictal gave me no trouble and after 7 years I came off 20 mgs of abilify in 10 weeks by dry cutting with only a few bad headaches.
        Effexor is truly nasty. From what I hear, it’s more addictive than heroine.

  17. This was a very helpful article. Thanks.

    One short-fall, that would be a good follow up article, comes from the last sentence:
    “The time to act on this knowledge is long overdue.”
    What are the actions, please?

    Also not included is the idea of the genetic link to “mental illness.”

    And chemicals in the environment as causal. I’ve heard of people who are diagnosed as “schizophrenic” who are “cured” when they discover a gas leak and fix it.