Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Adolescent Suicide and The Black Box Warning: STAT Gets It All Wrong

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STAT recently published an opinion piece arguing that the black box warning on antidepressants has led to an increase in adolescent suicide. It is easily debunked, and reveals once again how our society is regularly misled about research findings related to psychiatric drugs. STAT has lent its good name to a false story that, unfortunately, will resonate loudly with the public.

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.
risk versus reward

Randomized Controlled Trials of Psychiatric Drugs Tell of Harm Done

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The most important data in an RCT is not whether the drug provides a statistically significant benefit over placebo. The most important data is the “number needed to treat” calculation (NNT). For the person considering taking an antidepressant or an antipsychotic, the NNT data provides the “math” needed to weigh the potential benefit of taking the drug against the potential harm of doing so.

The Door to a Revolution in Psychiatry Cracks Open

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The Ministry of Health in Norway has ordered its four regional health authorities to offer medicine-free treatment in psychiatric hospitals. A six-bed ward in Tromso, which is in the far north of Norway, is now providing such care.

Psychiatrists Must Face Possibility That Medications Harm

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From Scientific American: Recent studies confirm the thesis of Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic - although prescriptions for psychiatric drugs continue to increase, mental health...

Confessions of a Trespasser

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In a recently published commentary in Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies and Joseph Pierre made this assertion: Only clinicians, with an expertise in assessing the research literature, should be weighing in on the topic of the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They wrote their commentary shortly after I had published on madinamerica “The Case Against Antipsychotics,” and it was clear they had me in their crosshairs.

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.

Major Review Finds Antidepressants Ineffective, Potentially Harmful for Children and Teens

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In a large review study published this week in The Lancet, researchers assessed the effectiveness and potential harms of fourteen different antidepressants for their use in children and adolescents. The negative results, familiar to MIA readers, are now making major headlines.

The Evidence-Based Mind of Psychiatry on Display

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The writings of Pies and his colleagues, I believe, provide a compelling case study of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance arises when people are presented with information that creates conflicted psychological states, challenging some belief they hold dear, and people typically resolve dissonant states by sifting through information in ways that protect their self-esteem and their financial interests. It is easy to see that process operating here.

“My Response to Responses to My Critique of ‘Skepticism’”

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Following up on the responses to his talk criticizing “skeptics,” science journalist John Horgan defends the work of Robert Whitaker and Anatomy of an...

Report from the Parliament: Can Psychiatry At Least Be Curious?

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In the past six years, I have had the opportunity to speak at several conferences or meetings that I felt had particular potential to stir some political activity that would challenge current psychiatric practices, and one of those events was the meeting convened in the U.K.’s Parliament on May 11th, which had this title for the day: Rising Prescriptions, Rising Mental Health Disability: Is There a Link?

Editorial Takes On Conflicts of Interest and Propaganda in Psychiatry

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In a scathing editorial in this month’s Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Dr. Giovanni Fava takes aim at prominent medical experts who have downplayed the role...

“Financial Conflicts of Interest in Medicine”

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Citing the work of Lisa Cosgrove and Robert Whitaker in Psychiatry Under the Influence, Giovanni A. Fava, MD, provides an analysis of some subtle...

Timberrr! Psychiatry’s Evidence Base For Antipsychotics Comes Crashing to the Ground

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When I wrote Anatomy of an Epidemic, one of my foremost hopes was that it would prompt mainstream researchers to revisit the scientific literature. Was there evidence that any class of psychiatric medications—antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and so forth—provided a long-term benefit? Now epidemiologists at Columbia University and City College of New York have reported that they have done such an investigation about antipsychotics, and their bottom-line finding can be summed up in this way: Psychiatry’s “evidence base” for long-term use of these drugs does not exist.

Researchers Test Harms and Benefits of Long Term Antipsychotic Use

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Researchers from the City College of New York and Columbia University published a study this month testing the hypothesis that people diagnosed with schizophrenia treated long-term with antipsychotic drugs have worse outcomes than patients with no exposure to these drugs. They concluded that there is not a sufficient evidence base for the standard practice of long-term use of antipsychotic medications.

Mental Health Professionals Critique the Biomedical Model of Psychological Problems

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While a great deal of the excitement about advances in psychological treatments comes from the potential for research in neuroscience to unlock the secrets of the brain, many mental health experts would like to temper this enthusiasm. A special issue of the Behavior Therapist released this month calls into question the predominant conception of mental illnesses as brain disorders.

Transforming Mad Science and Re-Imagining Mental Health Care Videos Released

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This morning, TransformingMadScience.com released thirteen 20-30 minute video presentations from the 2014 International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) conference at UCLA. The videos include presentations by Bonnie Burstow, Laura Delano, Allen Frances , David Healy, Peter Gøtzsche, Pascal-Henri Keller, John Read, Tomi Gomory, Shannon Hughes, Jeffrey Lacasse, David Cohen, François Gonon, Jonathan Leo, Peter Whitehouse, Robert Whitaker, and Keith Hoeller.

Video: More Harm than Good Conference on Psychiatric Drugs

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On September 18th the one day "More Harm than Good Conference" brought together many of the leaders of the critical psychiatry movement. While the event has passed, the video and slides from the conference have been made available on the council for evidence-based psychiatry website.

 The “Institutional Corruption” of Psychiatry: A Conversation With Authors of “Psychiatry Under...

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Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove discuss their new book Psychiatry Under the Influence in an interview with psychologist and social critic Bruce Levine for Truthout. In the book, Whitaker and Cosgrove apply the institutional corruption framework, developed by Larry Lessig, to psychiatry and determine that “just as elected officials develop dependency on special interests and become beholden to these funders instead of the citizenry,” psychiatry has “had its social mission subverted by drug companies as well as by the psychiatry guild's self-preservation and expansionism needs.”

A Research Timeline for Antipsychotic Drugs

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1883     Phenothiazines developed as synthetic dyes 1934     USDA develops phenothiazines as insecticides 1938     Phenothiazines used to kill swine parasites 1949  ...