Antidepressants and the National Suicide Epidemic

Patrick Hahn
33
3006

Two recent news items highlight the role of so-called “antidepressants” in our national epidemic of suicide.

On July 24, a meta-analysis of randomized control trial (RCT) data for fourteen antidepressants showed that these drugs caused a near-tripling of completed suicides compared to placebo.1 In the world of clinical medicine, an odds ratio of almost three hundred percent normally would be considered huge. If, for some perverse reason, the drug companies wanted to tout their wares as suicide enhancers, these data would be considered overwhelming evidence that these nostrums are effective at doing just that.

The other item, just nine days later, was the death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, twenty-two years of age, who was pronounced dead of an apparent drug overdose after being found unresponsive at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.2 A headline noted that she had “battled depression.”3

Indeed. Three years earlier, Hill authored an essay about her struggle with “mental illness” at the posh Deerfield Academy,4 where tuition and fees can run in excess of sixty thousand dollars a year.5

What are we to make of all this? I’ve been to Africa. I’ve met people who live in mud huts and don’t always get enough to eat. I’ve met girls who don’t go to school at all because their parents can’t afford school fees. What do you think they might have to say about this affluent young woman’s obsessive concern with her own internal emotional state?

But this commentary is not an attack on a young woman whose life ended far too soon — although no doubt it will be received by some as such. It’s an attack on the garbage pit our culture has descended into.

I have listened to people who began taking psychiatric drugs, often for the most banal reasons you could imagine — their girlfriend broke up with them, they were worried about their upcoming exams — and who had bad reactions which were well-known toxic effects of those drugs. Instead of taking them off the drugs, their doctors responded with new diagnoses, more drugs, stronger drugs, and higher doses, until someone who started out with nothing more than the everyday problems of living ended up with a crippling disability. Is that what happened here?

The problems Hill described in her essay sound like nothing more than standard-issue teenage angst — at least before she came under the care of the psychiatric profession. And, just as appalling as the death of a young woman at the very beginning of her adult life is the media’s stunning lack of curiosity regarding the kind of treatment she received — even though psychiatric “treatment” for depression these days almost always means “drugging.”6

We no longer teach young people wisdom, temperance, fortitude, and justice. Instead we encourage them to see themselves as fragile creatures whose brains can go haywire for any reason, or no reason at all. Then we tell them they have the “disease” of depression and ply them with drugs with a known link to worsening depression and suicidality going back for decades.7

One out of eight Americans aged twelve or older have taken antidepressants within the last twelve months, including a staggering one out of four prime-age women.8 Sixty-eight percent of those consuming antidepressants had been taking them for two years or more.9 Worldwide spending on these drugs topped $14 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach nearly $17 billion by 2020.10 Our rivers contain not just measurable amounts of Prozac but enough to alter the behavior of fish living in these waters.11

And where is all this relentless drugging getting us? As prescriptions for antidepressants have skyrocketed, outcomes have gotten worse. What was once a rare and usually self-limiting condition has become chronic, debilitating, and frighteningly common.12 Depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.13

In the United States alone, the economic cost of depression rose from $83 billion in 2000 to $173 billion in 2005 to $210 billion in 2010. That figure includes $27 billion in direct medical costs, $53 billion in workplace costs, and $5.4 billion in suicide-related costs.14 The suicide rate has also soared, and by 2017 was higher than it had been at any time since the Second World War.15

This is not what happens when treatments work. And yet, no doubt Hill’s death will be held up as evidence for the need for even more “mental health awareness.” How many more will have to die before this changes?

Show 15 footnotes

  1. Michael P. Hengartner and Martin Plöderl, “Newer-Generation Antidepressants and Suicide Risk in Randomized Controlled Trials: A Re-analysis of the FDA Database,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, July 24, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1159/000501215.
  2. Kathryne Q. Seeley and Jonathan Martin, “Granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy Dies After Overdose at Family’s Compound,” New York Times, August 1, 2019.
  3. Corky Siemaszko, “Saoirse Kennedy Hill, Found Dead at Her Family’s Cape Cod Compound, Battled Depression,” NBC News, August 2, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/saoirse-kennedy-hill-found-dead-her-family-s-cape-cod-n1038716.
  4. Saoirse Kennedy Hill, “Mental Illness at Deerfield,” Deerfield Scroll, February 3, 2016, http://deerfieldscroll.com/2016/02/mental-illness-at-deerfield/?fbclid=IwAR3MCKhSTxY–vcPjVVfuUUhyxf-iz0DrQn8MdzY3VvYaV1mnY1HHPdksyk.
  5. Deerfield Academy, “Fast Facts,” retrieved August 3, 2019, https://deerfield.edu/apply/fast-facts/.
  6. Mark Olfson et al., “Treatment of Adult Depression in the United States,” JAMA Internal Medicine 176, No. 10 (August 29, 2016): 1482-1491, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5057.
  7. David Healy, Let Them Eat Prozac, (New York: New York University Press, 2004).
  8. CDC, “Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2011-2014,” August 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db283.pdf.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Market Research Store, “Global Depression Drug Market Poised to Surge from USD $14.51 Billion in 2014 to USD $16.80 Billion by 2020,” May 10, 2016, https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/05/10/838292/0/en/Global-Depression-Drug-Market-Poised-to-Surge-from-USD-14-51-Billion-in-2014-to-USD-16-80-Billion-by-2020-MarketResearchStore-Com.html.
  11. M.M. Painter et al., “Antidepressants at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Affect Predator Avoidance Behavior of Larval Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas),” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28, no. 12 (December 2009): 2677-2684. https://www.doi.org10.1897/08-556.1.
  12. Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (New York: Broadway Books, 2010).
  13. World Health Organization, “Depression,” March 22, 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression.
  14. Paul E. Greenberg et al., “The Economic Burden of Adults With Major Depressive Disorder in the United States (2005 and 2010),” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 76, no. 2 (February 2015): 155-162, https://doi.org/10.4088//JCP.14m09298.
  15. Chelsea Whyte, “US Suicide Rate at its Highest Since the End of the Second World War,” New Scientist, June 19, 2019, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2207007-us-suicide-rate-at-its-highest-since-the-end-of-the-second-world-war/.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you very much for this Article, the message really needs to be driven home.

    “….I have listened to people who began taking psychiatric drugs, often for the most banal reasons you could imagine …”: – everybody knows somebody who had very little wrong with them (originally), that have now become a long term Mental Health Patient on Disability Benefit.

  2. The author was absolutely correct in his prediction that there would be new calls for more and better “treatment” for people suffering from depression after the death of the young woman from the Kennedy family. I was watching coverage about her death on the PBS Newshour and sure enough, they were saying how important it is for more people to get the help that they needed for their terrible depression. And of course by “help” they mean drugs.

    Depression is not an illness but an awareness that something in one’s life needs changing. Is the experience a lot of fun? Absolutely not, but one can get through it. What psychiatry has done is to take something that was episodic and self-limiting and have turned it into a chronic problem with their wonderful “antidepressants”, which often cause the thing they’re supposed to treat, as well as often making one suicidal. It’s disgusting.

  3. I would say that anyone who is caught in any of the tentacles of the mental health system, is at n increased risk of suicide.

    They are having their experiences of in justice turned into a medical problem, and into a self-improvement project.

    And this applies just as well to the no diagnosis, no labels, school of psychotherapy and recovery, because the victim there is still being invited to talk themselves out, but they are not shown any path of restoring their social and civil standing. So it will be a life without honor, barely worth calling life, which awaits them.

    I point out Matthew Warren, youngest son of Saddle Back Church founders Rick and Kay Warren. Rick said that he had had the best Psychiatrists, best Psychotherapists, and best Prayer Warriors in the entire world. As I see it, very few could have survived that.

    And then Kay was all upset saying that a Psychiatrist abandoned Matthew in the hospital. Seems like that was probably the best thing which could have happened to him, other than his mother also abandoning him.

    I say that that suicide should be investigated as a suspected 1st Degree Murder.

  4. “… Instead of taking them off the drugs, their doctors responded with new diagnoses, more drugs, stronger drugs, and higher doses, until someone who started out with nothing more than the everyday problems of living ended up with a crippling disability.”

    Distress caused by 9/11/2001 is a “lifelong, incurable, genetic mental illness,” caused by a “chemical imbalance” in my brain alone, according to today’s, child rape covering up, “mental health” workers.

    It’s all about the doctors destroying the lives of the young, healthy, and well insured people of America, for profit.

    If you can imagine, I recently asked a pediatrician if she was aware of the antidepressant and ADHD drug induced childhood bipolar epidemic, she conceded she was. I pointed out that some of the treatments for bipolar, specifically the antipsychotics/neuroleptics, can create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. And the antipsychotics can create the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via antipsychotic induced anticholinergic toxidrome. She agreed, she was aware of this. I pointed out that the head of the National Institute of Mental Health had conceded to the scientific “invalidity” of all the DSM disorders in 2013. She admitted she was aware of this.

    So I asked her if she could speak with her fellow pediatricians, and they could stop DSM defaming and drugging the children. This encounter occurred in a church. She said “No … it’s just too profitable.” “For the love of money ….”

    Psychiatry’s iatrogenic illness creation system needs to be put to an end. But our doctors and religious institutions, whose hospitals profit from it, go to great lengths to try to maintain their satanic, primarily child abuse covering up, “mental health” system.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    And, unfortunately, since pedophiles apparently are in charge of the American “empire,” despite the fact I’m unaware of any American ever voting for America to be an “empire.”

    https://www.amazon.com/Pedophilia-Empire-Chapter-Introduction-Disorder-ebook/dp/B0773QHGPT

    Our government officials, who should be in charge of preventing such a scientific fraud based, primarily child abuse covering up system, and ending it, don’t want to end it either. Since, apparently, a lot of them are being blackmailed with pedophilia. I don’t know how to end this mess, except by exposing it.

    Yours is “an attack on the garbage pit our culture has descended into.” I agree, our society has bad systems, that are destroying our society from within, definitely including our “mental health” system. But this, of course, means we’ve had the wrong ‘monied powers that be,’ war mongering and profiteering, fiscally irresponsible, bailout needing, “banks steal $trillions worth of houses,” banksters in charge of America for way too long.

  5. A well-stated and telling narrative Patrick. How unethical and irresponsible of the media to never question the psychiatric “care” the deceased person was receiving that clearly did NOT help but instead make a push for more of the same. The fallacies and biased reporting by the media is certainly contributing to more people dying.

  6. Please, oh please, can we bring this discussion into mainstream media outlets? I know there were the landmark articles in the NY Times and other outlets in the past few years, but this information needs to be shouted from the rooftops. I am convinced of the direct connection between antidepressant drug prescription and suicide, violence, and yes, mass shootings. This is from direct experience with withdrawal and the dark, inhuman places it brought my mind, and it is detailed in sites like RxISK and Mad In America. These resources provide important and fearless work, but the message that has yet to reach the ether of general public awareness.

    How and when can we start discussing the co-occurring issues of gun violence and antidepressant use in rational and concrete ways? Interestingly enough, presidential candidate Marianne Williamson has shed light on the alarming overprescription of antidepressants (and withdrawal!) to some backlash. I’m sure as a community adversely affected by antidepressants, we stand with her comments. And no, the comments do NOT stigmatize mental illness, in fact they advocate for safer and less damaging treatment.

    Read interview with Williamson: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/us/politics/marianne-williamson-mental-health.html
    Read about the backlash/response she received: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/marianne-williamson-wrong-about-antidepressants-866807/

    • I would say that defending SSRI drugs and then blaming the patients for not being able to think straight of feel better causes stigma. Pretending these drugs are magic bullets (denying any painful effects they produce) that would make “crazies” normal if they weren’t refusing to take them is as stigmatizing as it gets!

    • It’s pretty sad that those of us who point out that antidepressants can cause harm, including mind altering adverse effects, which get misdiagnosed as “bipolar.” We are all defamed by the mainstream media, which is apparently our real “fake news.”

      Since the reality is the antidepressants do help some people, but they do absolutely harm others. Both sides of the conversation need to be heard. How sick that our mainstream media wants to silence all harmed by the psych drugs. But who is funding their paycheck? Direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising needs to end.

      • My sister has a really bad reaction to penicillin, but no one punished her for that. Probably because real doctors prescribe it.

        Psychiatry refuses to admit their drugs ever hurt anyone. They are above the law. Better to brand everyone they make deathly sick as hopelessly insane and punish them by tripling the drugs. And upping the dose of the drug that drove them bonkers. That’ll learn ’em.

    • So help me understand how someone learns to face what happened to them as Alice assures us we must do? It’s easy to say that, but as Alice would explain, our defensive symptoms make it very difficult for us to face our pain and instead we tend to pass it on to the next generation. So how does one get through this defensive system so one can feel these undesired feelings?

      • Sick as it is to say, being handed over the medical evidence of the abuse of my child made getting through this “defensive system so one can feel these undesired feelings” much easier.

        But it hasn’t stopped my child rape covering up former religion, and their child rape profiteering “mental health” workers, from wanting to murder me, or attempting to steal all profits from my work, my work, and all my family’s money.

        Confessing to “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions” is hard for them to do, especially since it’s a multibillion dollar, primarily child abuse covering up, business today.

        But how sad our society has an unrepentant, multibillion dollar, scientific fraud based, “mental health” industry, that is refusing to get out of the child abuse covering up and profiteering business.

        No doubt, however, these “mental health” industry pedophile aiders, abetters, and empowerers are at least partially responsible for the current, sad state of our nation’s so called “pedophile empire.”

        Perhaps the DSM should make helping child abuse survivors be a billable job? Since having helping child abuse survivors NOT be a billable job, has resulted in massive misdiagnoses of child abuse survivors with the billable DSM disorders. Today, “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).”

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

      • ^^^^^ That is how I see it. More than anything, the premises of psychotherapy are that it is morally superior to go on with so called living, without honor.

        If someone accepts that, then they are already half way to suicide, as I see it.

        Nothing changes someone more than when they find out that they can be part of the fight for redress and justice.

        • “Nothing changes someone more than when they find out that they can be part of the fight for redress and justice.”
          To Hell and Back
          All your brave fighters
          gone to Hell and come back,
          from Valley Forge Winter
          to the heat of Iraq.
          Theirs is the prize meant for warriors alone.
          When they fought for your freedom,
          they won their own.

  7. A friend sent this to me recently–

    The Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community. “We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave. They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better, there was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again, there was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy, there was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again. Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.” ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

  8. When Alice Miller was at her greatest, she denounced every conceivable form of psychotherapy with zero exceptions. She resigned from all psychoanalytic associations, and she apologized for having led some of her readers into psychotherapy. She said that every form of psychotherapy was simply a denial system.

    So how then does one recover their lost feelings? Well what worked for her was water color painting. She writes about this very well, and shows her paintings, in “Pictures of a Childhood”.

    I would say that her paintings are a bit bleak, and fairly non-descript. But she was able to understand abuses she suffered from these.

    And I also point out two additional points she makes First, she insisted that her paintings only worked so well because she had never studied any technique for painting. If she had studied any technique, she insisted that her painting would have been worthless.

    Second, she explained that during her psychoanalytic training, she underwent two complete courses of psychoanalysis. She explained that this uncovered none of the abuses which she found by herself by doing water color paintings. Hence, those courses of psychoanalyses were worthless, mere denial systems.

    Now as I am describing, this was the early Alice Miller, the first 7 books.

    Then she went dark for a number of years, and when she came back she was only a pale reflection of what she had been. She had hooked up with this J. Conrad Stettbacher, a kind of a cult leader, and that cult based upon his own adaptation of Primal Therapy. Seems that she was really harmed by it. It is a very manipulative therapy, but all therapy is.

    From reading Stettbacher’s book, I would say that someone might want to do something like what Stettbacher suggests by themselves, like a kind of meditation. But I would never suggest that anyone ever let anyone else lead them in any kind of Regression Therapy, not Janov, not anyone.

    I have done what Stettbacher suggests, by myself for years and years, and in many variations, along with lots of journaling and various sorts of spiritual exercises. And I am always developing new approaches. It is a continual and life long project, to remember the parts of myself which have been cut off.

    Now returning to Miller, I have always said, she opened doors but she was not able to walk through them herself.

    She showed how the issue is not child abuse, rather it is what of The Family which is considered good and required, which is so harmful. And in this sense I would say that she is more like Foucault, than like a liberal pedagogue.

    She saw and showed how bogus psychotherapy was, but she still wanted to believe. So she went with a regression therapist and got badly harmed. Its just like R. D. Laing before her, getting swallowed up in regression therapy. And of course it gets into things which are prenatal and of past lives. Totally impossible to redress, and this is no accident.

    Miller reached the point where the way forward was clearly redress. But she never took any steps in that direction.

    She asked why in artistic works Isaac is always mute. She said that if he raised his hand against his father, “then that would start the war we all fear.”

    Well that is how she thought, that was as far as she could go. I say it was religion and experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto which weakened her.

    As she started to write again she doubled back on herself and re-endorsed psychotherapy, as a way to get that “enlightened witness”.

    But some observers have pointed out that “enlightened witness” is probably a bad translation of her German. Some say it should be “helping witness”, as it gets translated into Spanish. “Enlightenment” plays into the dissociation and detachment which you find in religion and psychotherapy.

    Helping Witness could mean different things, what age are they helping you at, and with what sorts of things?

    For myself I have stopped using these terms and instead introduced my own take, seeking “Comrades”. People think this is Russian, but it actually comes from French.

    People learn and grow when they place themselves at risk and enter into real conflict. And sorry to say, a psychotherapist is not going to be a comrade.

    On her web site they associate her with “Child Abuse”. I say this is totally inaccurate. Child abuse means that which is recognized as abuse and what the law might punish.

    What she wrote about in those first 7 books was that which is not seen at all, what is considered good and necessary.

    If you had to sum up what she was about at her best, I would say it would be:

    Anti-Pedagogy, all pedagogy, coercive and liberal
    Exposing the Middle-Class Family, because that is who reads and writes the pedagogy manuals
    Anti-Psychotherapy.

    But most of the people who say that they follow Alice Miller really understand very little of this. They want to make her into something of a liberal pedagogue.

    I will say that she found ways to sneak out and back in, at the Warsaw Ghetto. She made common cause with Polish Resistance, and she was able to bring in food.

    Also, Pictures of a Childhood was out of print for years and years. So finally I called the publisher in NYC and got someone who knew about it. He found one in a back room, it was dusty. And they let me have it at retail price without sales tax. This would have been around 1990. With her books say 6 and 7, I was reading them right as they came out onto the store shelves. But Pictures of a Childhood was the one I had such a hard time getting hold of, more pictures than words.

    When she went dark I was very disappointed. But then when she started to write again, post Stettbacher, it was nothing like she was before. I would not have read her early stuff if it was like that.

    Since Pictures of a Childhood has been reissued in paper back from.

  9. Edited Replacement Version of Above
    ********************

    When Alice Miller was at her greatest, she denounced every conceivable form of psychotherapy, with zero exceptions. She resigned from all psychoanalytic associations, and she apologized for having led some of her readers into psychotherapy. She said that every form of psychotherapy was simply a denial system.

    So how then does one recover their lost feelings? Well what worked for her was water color painting. She writes about this very well, and shows her paintings, in “Pictures of a Childhood”.

    I would say that her paintings are a bit bleak, and fairly non-descript. But she was able to understand abuses she suffered from these.

    And I also point out two additional points she makes First, she insisted that her paintings only worked so well because she had never studied any technique for painting. If she had studied any technique, she insisted that her painting would have been worthless.

    Second, she explained that during her psychoanalytic training, she underwent two complete courses of psychoanalysis. She explained that this uncovered none of the abuses which she found by herself by doing water color paintings. Hence, those courses of psychoanalyses were worthless, mere denial systems.

    Now as I am describing, this was the early Alice Miller, the first 7 books.

    Then she went dark for a number of years, and when she came back she was only a pale reflection of what she had been. She had hooked up with this J. Conrad Stettbacher, a kind of a cult leader, and that cult based upon his own adaptation of Primal Therapy. Seems that she was really harmed by it. It is a very manipulative therapy, but all therapy is.

    From reading Stettbacher’s book, I would say that someone might want to do something like what Stettbacher suggests by themselves, like a kind of meditation. But I would never suggest that anyone ever let anyone else lead them in any kind of Regression Therapy, not Janov, not anyone.

    I have done what Stettbacher suggests, by myself for years and years, and in many variations, along with lots of journaling and various sorts of spiritual exercises. And I am always developing new approaches. It is a continual and life long project, to remember the parts of myself which have been cut off.

    Now returning to Miller, I have always said, she opened doors but she was not able to walk through them herself.

    She showed how the issue is not child abuse, rather it is what of The Family which is considered good and required, which is so harmful. And in this sense I would say that she is more like Foucault, than like a liberal pedagogue.

    She saw and showed how bogus psychotherapy was, but she still wanted to believe. So she went with a regression therapist and got badly harmed. Its just like R. D. Laing before her, getting swallowed up in regression therapy. And of course it gets into things which are prenatal and of past lives. Totally impossible to redress, and this is no accident.

    Miller reached the point where the way forward was clearly redress. But she never took any steps in that direction.

    She asked why in artistic works Isaac is always mute. She said that if he raised his hand against his father, “then that would start the war we all fear.”

    Well that is how she thought, that was as far as she could go. I say it was religion and experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto which weakened her.

    As she started to write again she doubled back on herself and re-endorsed psychotherapy, as a way to get that “enlightened witness”.

    But some observers have pointed out that “enlightened witness” is probably a bad translation of her German. Some say it should be like “helping witness”, as it gets translated into Spanish. “Enlightenment” plays into the dissociation and detachment which you find in religion and psychotherapy.

    Helping Witness could mean different things, what age are they helping you at, and with what sorts of things?

    For myself I have stopped using these terms and instead introduced my own take, seeking “Comrades”. People think this is Russian, but it actually comes from French.

    People learn and grow when they place themselves at risk and enter into real conflict.

    And I know this myself, having entered into contentious matters and having seen how I was sold out as a child. No form of therapy could ever have exposed this, and really nothing other than intense consequential conflict could have.

    The physical pain is intense, like having your bones eating away from the inside by acid.

    People who have gone thru this will fight. They know that healing and recovery are scams. And they know that only by fighting do they have any chance of restoring their public honor. And when people fight well, they draw comrades. The rest of the people are just commiserators.

    And sorry to say, a psychotherapist is not going to be a comrade.

    On her web site they associate her with “Child Abuse”. I say this is totally inaccurate. Child abuse means that which is recognized as abuse and which the law might punish.

    What she wrote about in those first 7 books was that which is not seen at all, what is considered good and necessary.

    If you had to sum up what she was about at her best, I would say it would be:

    1. Anti-Pedagogy, all pedagogy, coercive and liberal

    2. Exposing the Middle-Class Family, because this is who reads and writes the pedagogy manuals

    3. Anti-Psychotherapy

    But most of the people who say that they follow Alice Miller really understand very little of this. They want to make her into something of a liberal pedagogue.

    I will say that she found ways to sneak out and back in, at the Warsaw Ghetto. She made common cause with Polish Resistance, and she was able to bring in food.

    Also, Pictures of a Childhood was out of print for years and years. So finally I called the publisher in NYC and got someone who knew about it. He found one in a back room, it was dusty. And they let me have it at retail price without sales tax. This would have been around 1990. With her books, say 6 and 7, I was reading them right as they came out onto the store shelves. But Pictures of a Childhood was the one I had such a hard time getting hold of, more pictures than words.

    When she went dark I was very disappointed. But then when she started to write again, post Stettbacher, it was nothing like she was before. I would not have read her early stuff if it was like that.

    Since, Pictures of a Childhood has been reissued in paper back from.

  10. I agree entirely that antidepressant drugs are absolutely bad news, but for some people, especially women, depression isn’t a minor problem. Check out my book “Beating Depression and Bipolar Disorder without Drugs: A Memoir of Survival in a Male Dominated World.” Julia A. Sherman, PhD

  11. How the awareness of injustice which Feminism brought us in the 1970’s, got turned into a Therapy and Recovery Project, in the 1980’s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIC4uKSFpL0

    And what Peter Breggin wrote in Toxic Psychiatry is, “People are depressed because they are leading depressing lives.” I don’t take this as a jab at those who are depressed, I take it as a recognition of the fact that people don’t see political activism as being available for them. They don’t see ways to change affairs. They are not finding Comrades, they are inundated with Commiserators.

    And where I am, local authorities keep most of the poor and homeless women drugged, because it makes it easier for cops and paramedics to deal with them.

  12. It has been reported that Epstein has been receiving regular psychotherapy since his first suicide attempt a few weeks ago. Today, “psychotherapy” invariably means drug treatment and antidepressants are indicated for suicidal depression. It will be sometime before we learn about any drugs given to Epstein, but when we do, that drug will likely be a factor in many suicides.

    • You know, I had not even thought of that until you just said it. I assumed that he realized he was busted and had no hope of preserving his self-absorbed and abusive lifestyle and therefore decided that death was better than living such an ignominious life. But it is quite possible this process was initiated or exacerbated by antidepressant drugs.