Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants

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In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

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During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

A Veteran’s Letter to Congress

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I am a former Lieutenant in the US Navy, and on August 30, I sent a letter to the US Senate and House Committees on Armed Services, and their respective committees on Veterans' Affairs. I titled the letter "Concerning Mental Health Treatment and Suicide in the United States Armed Forces and the Veteran Community." Here is what I wrote:

New Research Suggests Brain Abnormalities in ‘Schizophrenia’ May Result From Antipsychotics

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Study finds that reduced cortical thickness and brain surface area associated with 'schizophrenia' may result from antipsychotic drug use.

The Case Against Antipsychotics

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This review of the scientific literature, stretching across six decades, makes the case that antipsychotics, over the long-term, do more harm than good. The drugs lower recovery rates and worsen functional outcomes over longer periods of time.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation No Better Than Placebo for Treatment-Resistant Depression

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A new study in JAMA Psychiatry found that transcranial magnetic stimulation was no better than placebo for treatment-resistant depression.

Largest Survey of Antidepressants Finds High Rates of Adverse Emotional and Interpersonal Effects

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I thought I would make a small contribution to the discussion about how coverage of the recent airline tragedy focuses so much on the supposed ‘mental illness’ of the pilot and not so much on the possible role of antidepressants. Of course we will never know the answer to these questions but it is important, I think, to combat the simplistic nonsense wheeled out after most such tragedies, the nonsense that says the person had an illness that made them do awful things. So, just to confirm what many recipients of antidepressants, clinicians and researchers have been saying for a long time, here are some findings from our recent New Zealand survey of over 1,800 people taking anti-depressants, which we think is the largest survey to date.

Disability and Mood Disorders in the Age of Prozac

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When I was researching Anatomy of an Epidemic and sought to track the number of people receiving a disability payment between 1987 and 2007 due to “mental illness,” I was frustrated by the lack of diagnostic clarity in the data. The Social Security Administration would list, in its annual reports on the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, the number of people receiving payment for “mental disorders,” which in turn was broken down into just two subcategories: “retardation,” and “other mental disorders.” Unfortunately, the “other mental disorders,” which was the category for those with psychiatric disorders, was not broken down into its diagnostic parts.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Halves the Risk of Repeated Suicide Attempts

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A new study suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may halve the likelihood of re-attempting suicide, for those who have attempted in the past.

Suicide Rates Rise While Antidepressant Use Climbs

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Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999...

Researcher Acknowledges His Mistakes in Understanding Schizophrenia

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Sir Robin Murray, a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London, states that he ignored social factors that contribute to ‘schizophrenia’ for too long. He also reports that he neglected the negative effects antipsychotic medication has on the brain.

Antidepressants Do Not Prevent Suicides, May Increase Risk

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When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...

The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides

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In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined being drawn into a story of intrigue involving my own government’s efforts to hide, from the public, reports of psychiatric drugs associated with cases of murder, including homicides committed by youth on the drugs. But that is precisely the intrigue I now find myself enmeshed in.

Depression: It’s Not Your Serotonin

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What if I told you that, in 6 decades of research, the serotonin (or norepinephrine, or dopamine) theory of depression and anxiety - the claim that “Depression is a serious medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and Zoloft works to correct this imbalance” - has not achieved scientific credibility? You’d want some supporting arguments for this shocking claim. So, here you go:

Reasons Not to Believe in Lithium

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I Don’t Believe in God, But I Believe in Lithium’ is the title of Jamie Lowe’s moving account of her manic depression in the New York Times. The piece reminds us how devastating and frightening this condition can be, so it is understandable that the author put her faith in the miracle cure psychiatrists have been recommending since the 1950s: lithium. The main problem is that there is no study in which people who have been started on lithium have been compared with people who haven’t.

Benzodiazepines: Miracle Drugs?

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The first benzodiazepine – chlordiazepoxide – became available, from Hoffman-La Roche, in 1960. Benzodiazepines largely replaced the earlier barbiturates, which had received a great deal of negative publicity because of their much-publicized role in lethal overdoses, both accidental and intentional. Initially, there was a good measure of skepticism among the general public with regards to benzos, and indeed, with regards to psychotropic drugs generally. The dominant philosophy in those days was that transient, drug-induced states of consciousness were not only ineffective in addressing human problems, but were also dangerous. But pharma-psychiatry systematically, deliberately, and self-servingly undermined this skepticism.

Dr. Pies and Dr. Frances Make a Compelling Case that Their Profession is Doing...

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Over the past two months, Ronald Pies and Allen Frances, in response to a post I had written, wrote several blogs that were meant to serve as an “evidence-based” defense of the long-term use of antipsychotics. As I read their pieces, I initially focused on that core argument they were presenting, but second time through, the aha moment arrived for me. Their blogs, when carefully parsed, make a compelling case that their profession, in their use of antipsychotics as a treatment for multiple psychotic disorders, has done great harm, and continues to do so today.
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Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

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After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

Always a Mystery: Why do Drugs Come and Go?

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I’ve been teaching a course on substance abuse for about 30 years now. In this course, I cover a new drug class each week and always review the history of the drug. All of the drugs of abuse, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, opiates are not new on the human scene. They date back to the Sumerians and the Greeks. The question for me is what accounts for epidemics? I have come to believe that epidemics are supplier driven rather than a function of consumer demand. For the current opiate epidemic, the suppliers were the pharmaceutical houses.

Antidepressant Use Leads to Worse Long Term Outcomes, Study Finds

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Results from a 30-year prospective study demonstrated worse outcomes for people who took antidepressants, even after controlling for gender, education level, marriage, baseline severity, other affective disorders, suicidality, and family history of depression.
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Thou Shall Not Criticize Our Drugs

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A medical journal is expected to promote an open-minded discussion of treatments, even if findings—or criticisms—threaten conventional beliefs. But the American Journal of Psychiatry will not find space for criticism even if it comes from one of the best-known psychiatrists in the world.

Study Identifies Link Between Antidepressants and Newborn Hypertension

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A new study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, investigates how the use of antidepressants during pregnancy can lead to a life-threatening lung...

The Inherent Unreliability of the ADHD Label

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I imagine that everybody on this side of the issue knows by now that the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Columbia, and past President of the APA, called Robert Whitaker "a menace to society." The grounds for Dr. Lieberman's vituperation were that Robert had dared to challenge some of psychiatry's most sacred tenets! But in all the furor, it was largely ignored that in the same interview Dr. Lieberman had said something else that warrants additional discussion.

Psychiatrists View Drug-Free Programs for Psychosis as “Unscientific,” Study Finds

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A new study provides an insider’s look into how psychiatrists view the establishment of drug-free programs in Norway.

Study Finds ADHD Drugs Alter Developing Brain

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A new study, published in the JAMA Psychiatry, investigates the effect of stimulant ‘ADHD’ drugs on the brains of children and young adults. The...

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