Sunday, October 24, 2021

Comments by soulful sepulcher

Showing 66 of 66 comments.

  • The fact is, that mainstream America will never stop the pharmaceutical company-driven prescribing of blockbuster drugs at the expense of the most vulnerable citizens. Most people, will listen to the physicians, the teachers, the people who influence them directly according to their life situation. In the quest to do what is right for their loved ones, being children, siblings,spouses or other– they follow the herd, the money-driven campaigns– only with the education of “buyer beware” will the general public ever get that they– THEY– are a marketing target– and then, I say with much reality infused commentary– they will not think for themselves, as this is a society that does not think for themselves, they follow. Keep on truckin’ Bob.

  • I must say, with all due respect:

    This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. A moderator of comments at a large public blog leave so many long commentaries deciphering and analyzing the readers comments. I am certain NYT or other news blogs don’t do that, and frankly it’s just mind blowing to me. This isn’t moderating comments, it’s nearly theological discussions ran by a moderator of why certain POV won’t get published here!

  • Hi Kermit–the bottom line here is “Mad In America” same as “MindFreedom” for an example, at first, (I think)appealed to those who were/are part of that “movement”, possibly harmed by doctors, meds or the basic med-based paradigm for psych care. What a relief, an oasis! many I presume thought! a place where voices can be heard and not shot down like a B-52 forced injection in a psych ward! No more gurneys, no more oppression–a place of safety to share.

    I know I am not the only one who was shocked Whitaker brought in the very doctor(s)who promote that paradigm via their own practices to write here. I know I am not alone in that. I have heard from other mental health advocates who no longer comment here because of the doctor Moffic continuation, and I thought I should toss that in here for consideration. (I’ve heard from some of the more outspoken commenters that make me look like milk toast)I think I came here to hear them, not docs where I can read what they really think at places like Psychiatric Times.

  • Kermit, you said, “And I am talking about people whose positions would likely be embraced here, were they to be heard.”

    If that’s the case, then if they wanted to write here they would, without the dramatics of a pre-complaint about the comment section. People write at HuffPo, Slate and other places and can take the public heat that goes with being outspoken, so in my opinion, those complaints are meaningless—and their opinions remain to themselves. Game playing.

    There’s been other health blogs (one in particular) where the comment section was lively (more than ever seen here), full of diverse convo that allowed discussion; the ones who complained the most to the author via email were doctors.

    Not saying you’ve heard from doctors, just saying.

    I also wanted to say that the comment Moffic complained about in this thread at the beginning is not in anyway bothersome to me, or probably to anyone else. If I didn’t read that comment, how would I know what “Anonymous” felt? I appreciate hearing from all people, and the inter-discussion started by Moffic in this thread about the comments, in my opinion ruin the discussion and that was totally unnecessary. This is my opinion, but these types of comments by doctors attempting to control and say how ppl here should write, think and feel is exactly why I don’t comment. I only signed up to discuss the NAMI posts, because I have an opinion that is so long running abt that group that I have written about it for years. I bring a transparency accountability discussion to the table based on my years and years of observations in the system as a parent and watching the dysfunctional system not work. There is a lot of red tape none of us can control, which is why posts like Corinna’s are important, for her ideas to be able to be written down without the flack from ppl in the system like doctors. I have noticed there really has not been an engaging convo here about her post, and I do think it’s because Moffic chimed in w negative tones and shut everyone up. That is my opinion.

  • Psychiatric Times

    Occupy Medicine: Reclaiming Our Lost Leadership

    By Steve Moffic

    “Psychiatry is a strange kind of business. We’ve given out our products for free, then watched as other businesses—whether they be other types of clinicians or insurance companies—take over what we do.
    Care to try to reclaim more of that 99%? Let us try to reclaim some of our lost leadership. Let us reclaim the upcoming DSM-5 as ours. Let us reclaim the subtle complexity of psychopharmacology and draw the line that other prescribers should have just one strike until we are called in for relief. Let us make clear that combined medication and psychotherapy in one clinician, that is, the psychiatrist, is usually cheaper and more effective for many patients.
    However, there is a big obstacle. Psychiatrists, with our Freudian history of being introverted listeners, tend to caring and compassion, but passively. Maybe even at times and places, passive-aggressively. So, we’ve tended to go our own way, adapted to changes in our field, and complained to one another.

    Thankfully, the anti-psychiatry movement has died down.

    In an unexpected way, there’s more of a pro-psychiatry movement becoming embedded in our systems. These are our patient consumers and peer specialists. Could they be recruited as our advance force for Occupy Medicine? Who knows better? Most naturally our patients and their families know what the illnesses have caused them to lose and what they need to recover.

    Fittingly, this year’s APA meeting will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where our country’s Declaration of Independence from Britain was developed and signed. Maybe we psychiatrists should resolve in this New Year to develop a new declaration of our land.”

    He says thankfully the anti-psychiatry movement has died down….

  • Again, what happened to the discussion at hand which would be discussing Corinna’s post? Dr.Moffic’s rant over who should say what in the Mad In America comment section took it off course. In the comment above this one, Moffic singles out Duane Sherry, an advocate parent of a son harmed by psych meds, he never recommends anyone withdraws from meds!!

    Not one person I have read recommends removing meds. Moffic’s accussations are abt Duane Sherry are defamatory.

    Allostrata who comments here and runs the support group Surviving ADs doesn’t say go off meds either. Moffic, you are off base. Do you have a comment about Corinna’s post? and is this what you meant by enjoying retirement? attacking the vulnerable people at Mad In America?

  • Hi Ted, you’re right on target with that question. Under Whitaker’s policy for comments post, you’ll read many questions like yours in the comment section.

    If there isn’t a place at Mad In America for ppl to let their hair down about the ills and harms of psychiatry then where? I was also shocked when Whitaker had Dr Moffic blog here, after all he writes for Psychiatric Times where he warned its readers (doctors) of the Occupy the APA protest you spoke at…

  • NAMI California at least shows some transparency on their site:

    It’s on the side bar, thanking the list of pharma companies for their $$$$$$$$$

    NAMI National Recognizes NAMI California as one of the 2012 Outstanding State Organizations

    NAMI CA will be recognized at the NAMI national convention June 30, 2012.

    The medication based treatment model for care will never leave with this kind of “support”–thank NAMI for that! Good luck finding that “individual med cocktail” that never works for a reason!

  • I need to clarify my stance on NAMI re: pharma funding. NAMI is the topic here, thus my comments re NAMI; but this goes for ANY mental health agency. I do not tolerate or condone any conflict of interest across the board–which means Mental Health America, (not to single them out either, just as another example)DBSA, CABF, any org that claims to be in support of mental health initiatives or support that also take/receive funding from pharmaceutical companies are not ones I will promote or affiliate with. Yes, I am willing to stand alone rather than ever have a conflict of interest like that.

    Mental Health America, 2007 Annual Report for example:

    (You know, the one that uses the “bell” of freedom as a logo? shackles be gone? )

    Pharma funding:

    $1,000,000 and Above

    Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    Eli Lilly and Company
    Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

    $500,000 to $999,999

    Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc.
    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
    Pfizer Inc.
    $100,000 to $499,999


    Simon P. Blustone Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust
    Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
    Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Angelina Vecchiolla Trust
    Leonard Vecchiolla Trust

    $50,000 to $99,999

    American Institute of Research
    Estate of John Elling
    GlaxoSmithKline, P.L.C.
    Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

    So, we have makers of Abilify, Zyprexa, Prozac, Paxil et al funding yet another mental health agency–when will we stop tolerating this massive conflict of interest? when WILL consumers and their families walk away from this pharma-funded, all for profit, medication based “treatment” paradigm?

    When? It is not rocket science to understand why I am against conflict of interest; this goes for doctors who are psychiatrists who do this for a living and take pharma money (think Daniel Carlat who admitted to “selling” Effexor to other docs by speaking abt it and being paid by Wyeth–another $1million dollar sponsor of Mental Health America!

    These “support” agencies have power and it’s the power to promote a message I won’t support. Pills are NOT the only answer, and remember, pharma sees a profit opp when they see one! Cash cow!!

    Yes, this is important, and if no one else understands this stance, so be it.

  • Thanks for telling your story, and specifically how Seroquel was given to you for life situations, sleep problems, what an atrocity that you had to suffer that way from a marketing campaign and watered down information masking the antipsychotic as a simple sleep aid.

    Here’s an article of interest re: your eyesight problems that might be useful:

    AstraZeneca trialed Seroquel on beagle puppies: cataracts occurred at 4 times the human dose

  • Well of course de-escalation is better than shooting or arresting. The point was to continue the pharma funded NAMI paying for the CIT when it can be done (training) w/out NAMI involved at all.

    This is also not a fool-proof system, because police are taught to shoot. Period. Risky behavior on anyone’s part, approaching the officers, reaching for an object in pocket, can result in tragic consequences.

    I have first hand experience with police gone bad.

    My then mute and vulnerable daughter was missing and the police were searching for her. There is NO reason for the female cop with a bad attitude to have thrown her face down into gravel and handcuff her. It was atrocious and my daughter had bruises all over her arms. I was on the phone to 911 at the same time, and when I reached the squad car the cop unrelented when I asked to open the back door to let my “found” daughter out. She had done nothing wrong and the cop was screaming she was going to take her to a ER for psych eval.

    Good, they get trained. Don’t count on it for a fool proof system, because they discriminate too!

    NAMI$ and pharma and the cops, great trio.

  • David,

    Fred Frese
    NAMI National Board of Directors

    http ://

    Fred Frese and Fuller Torrey

    After Tucson: Mainstream Media Pushes Forced Psychiatric Drugging, Ignores Consumer/Survivor Perspective

    http ://

    Also, the presenting panel are on TAC’s Board of Directors:

    Honorable James Cayce, Judge – Vice President
    King County Superior Court Justice
    Former Presiding Judge, King County Mental Health Court

    Frederick J. Frese, PhD – Secretary
    Former NAMI board member
    Hudson, Ohio

    So, heavily conflicted workshop is what I see NAMI presenting to its members at the conference. Talk about a one-sided agenda push!

    This is why, everyone should be concerned! This can affect everyone, who is a “mental health consumer”, frankly with all due respect to anyone who is involved w NAMI– sleeping with the enemy can get you locked up, watch your back!

  • Considering this topic is about NAMI and next week the big 2012 conference is being held I thought I’d leave a little snippet from the program I found online:Workshop on Sat June 30 (by the way attending the NAMI national conference is not free)This workshop it touting the use of AOT (out patient court ordered medication compliance “treatment”)and the session is moderated by a representative from Fuller Torrey’s TAC (treatment and advocacy center)I think this represents the reason why I do not support NAMI pretty clearly. They call that approach “civil”.


    Grand Ballroom A The groundbreaking video, Stopping the Revolving Door, reveals the inner working of assisted outpatient treatment. It shows, for the first time, the actual court process and shares the stories and perspectives of
    people living with mental illness, their families and judges. The panelists will be on hand to address questions
    and to clarify the nuts and bolts of the AOT (assisted outpatient treatment) process. This workshop will:
    • educate individuals on anosognosia (the lack of awareness of an illness);
    • show assisted treatment laws being used in courtrooms and implemented to save individual lives and
    families; and
    • describe the need for and the role of assisted treatment in recovery.
    ” James Cayce, King County Superior Court Justice, Washington Superior Court, King County, Wash.
    ” Frederick J. Frese, Ph.D., Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
    ” Michael Heggarty, Behavioral Health Department, Health and Human Services Agency, Nevada County,
    ” Moderator: Doris Fuller, Treatment Advocacy Center, Arlington Va.

    http ://

  • Jonah:I left a comment w a different link to an abstract–but then found this about CIT training for police:

    http ://

    “NAMI CIT Technical Assistance Resource Center. Our mission is to supply mental health care, law enforcement, advocacy workers and consumers with the latest information about Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs.”

    http ://

  • Ken said: “There is no defense for forced treatment and confinement, outpatient commitment, the chemical brain disease theory, or Big Pharma money. NAMI supports all that”

    This, means, that when you work for NAMI as their representative (paid to teach the police)you are not only misrepresenting yourself (which means a lot) you are misrepresenting the organization of NAMI as well. This is a conflict, a conflict of interest.

    I’m not sure you realize that when someone represents an entity by using funds and their name, they represent that entities agenda, or and policies.

    What would happen if you became unraveled and needed help, fell apart in front of them? do you want that kind of help? after all of the efforts to remove meds on your part? would you will be willing to accept their treatment?

  • To accentuate “birds of a feather” syndrome in business:

    Ark. judge fines Johnson & Johnson more than $1.1B in Risperdal case$1.1b-in-risperdal-case/

    How many mental health patients are Medicaid patients? think about it. Medicaid fraud hurt them, this drug maker hurt them by committing fraud. How much worse can it get? I have no idea why ANY business would do business with a company like this or others. NAMI chooses to do biz with companies that do crimes, get fined, over the pills their NAMI “kids” et al take. That makes it appear NAMI doesn’t give a *&% about the people, at any cost, sell the agenda!!


  • I left this in the other comment thread, but I want to repeat:

    “Here’s a pdf of NAMI NH for one year annual financial report. This depicts a fully funded by pharma NAMI, not just your small town casseroles-at-meeting-support group. This is BIG business.

    http :// copy and paste it into your browser.

    Grant Funders
    Dartmouth College
    Endowment for Health
    Lincoln Financial Foundation, Inc.
    NAMI National
    NH Charitable Foundation
    State of New Hampshire

    The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical companies, by funding NAMI keep the medication-based medical model thriving. They are in business to make millions and millions of dollars and invest with funding for a reason.”

    I read this apology a few times, and want to say something that might confuse people. The apology is not necessary, and I wish you had not felt the need to do it. Why? because it is imperative to be able to stand up for what you believe in and NOT be sorry for it. Be true to your own convictions. I AM glad to see a “clarification”, because the rant at the title of the previous article did appear to be a response to something that you had read. Finding here you were in fact responding to how you felt after your FaceBook issue, that explains it and probably should have been posted on the FB page not here.

    The mothers DO have to have accountability. Period. I am a mother and I have it. It’s buried in a layer of pain and guilt and no one wants to feel that so it remains buried. “All for the safety of the kids” the mothers no doubt say. Well, that doesn’t cut it. I’m not happy that I walked into a pit of a thing call the mental health system because it is so dysfunctional, so medication based, so entrenched that one cannot get out unless they go underground, they can’t go off of meds even if they are verbal and expressive, the families for the most part in NAMI push that treatment on their kids and they are adults! I’m glad the older mother w a 50 yr old daughter doesn’t want her to become unraveled or “different” but you know what? she can die young on psych meds, suffer lack of quality of life due to side effects and lose her spirit and soul. For who? mom? no thanks!

    I also would like to hear from the grown adult children of these NAMI moms, they surely must be appreciative? do they work in the NAMI business? are they happy? do they have a relationship with their mothers?

    We cannot, create locked birds in cages.

    There ARE ways to be proactive without NAMI. Ken, you honestly admit you cannot handle walking alone, but you look to the group who you say hurt you for support. You aren’t alone, look how many people leave comments on Mad In America. We are not alone, and I have walked alone, and I would rather walk alone rather than take support from a group that is conflicted with my own views, conflicted with blood money income from drug makers who have been fined millions of dollars for illegal marketing of the very drugs the NAMI kids take. Pharma knows a cash source when they see it! this is beyond Big Tabacco!

    I can NEVER imagine taking a penny from a group that takes that money, and it DOES. The illegal marketing of Zyprexa for kids is why it was readily rx’d to my own child because of the marketing my child’s doctor thought it was fine to give to kids off label, unapproved for use at that age back then. That is a CRIME.

    There’s a group called Pharmed Out in D.C. who does CME (continued medical education) WITHOUT pharma income. It IS possible to do!

    Ken, you and Corinna have muliple socia media accounts and blogs, your own space to advocate, there is a PAY PAL button there. Why not collect funds for your police training>? state NO pharma or corporate donations accepted. Period. Take the 100 bucks and go train! without NAMI. It IS possible. You are short changing yourself if you think you are incapable of doing things that are good advocacy work without NAMI. NAMI, I am afraid as made you feel that way, JUST like they make their kids feel, in fact, you are oppressed by NAMI. I would say that to a friend, if the friend was willing to hear open thinking, and by writing here on Mad in AMer you then say, you are open for comments…because here we are, again. It is not a bad thing to have the women at NAMI as your friends! I don’t think anyone is condemning people’s friendships. What I would say to a friend if they were part of NAMI and asked me to participate there? “No thanks.” and I was asked! I was ask to speak. No thanks. I told them they wouldn’t like what I had to say,, it wasn’t their formula being regurgitated, so I said, No thanks. Simple.

    Why is it simple for me? because I don’t mind standing alone when I stand up for what I believe in, I never have and I will always be effective where I place my energy. I have to be true to myself and not go against my own beliefs to advocate, and to ignore where the money from NAMI comes from would be doing just that. That’s just me. No one has to be like me, nor do I have to be like anyone else.

    That’s the freedom we all have! and it is what is stripped of patients when they are rolled into locked psych hospitals involuntarily and given drugs against their will.

    NAMI promotes that medical model, and pharma pays them to do it. Until people REFUSE TO ACCEPT PHARMA’S HAND OUTS nothing will ever change in America for mental health. We are small voices, but:

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

  • Going green is good for your mental health
    By H. Steven Moffic, M.D

    “Given the strong scientific consensus that human behavior and lifestyle are a major cause of climate change, humankind is again failing to protect the earth. But we still have the opportunity to change.”

    At this point, I’d wonder about the water supply that has been found to have antidepressants like Prozac in it!

  • I think it’s imperative for doctors (psychiatrists, because they are the “specialty” of topic) to also understand that much angst and suffering when inside a locked psychiatric hospital has been felt by writers and readers, and by loved ones of those. When inside a psych hosp against your will, the pain begins.

    The only person who can sign out the patient for discharge is the doctor.

    That doctor is also the one who says comply with meds inside the psych hosp or no discharge.

    This is a precarious relationship based on trust, being forced to do something against a person’s wishes, lack of trust, etc. The patient learns (many do) quickly what it will take to “get out”. I can’t imagine a more frightening, degrading set of circumstances to happen to a human being. If the care FELT compassionate, patients might respond differently, and they might hold their doctor in high standards after they get out. The people I’ve witnessed over the years have suffered great emotional trauma just by that setting alone–how does one gain back their delicate spirit after that? after possibly being strapped to a gurney, or having a forced injection?

    How does a doctor/psychiatrist gain that trust back?

    This is why writing here as a doctor must also come with that in mind, to understand exactly what people have experienced, and when hearing some stories, one cannot help but shed tears for them.

    Trauma from care! do cardio patients have that to deal with? cancer patients?

  • From Moffic’s book review of Anatomy of an Epidemic:

    “If we ignore or dismiss our critics and they turn out to be right, we may inadvertently cause more (ethical) harm.”

    He is writing that to other psychiatrists. Sure makes it feel like the old “us and them”.

    And guess what? we ARE right. I would love to have never had horror stories to tell about a child whose life has been ruined and needs care for daily living! but I have them! learn from it!

  • RE: the Moffic book review excerpt from Psychiatric Times above of Whitaker’s ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’:

    It is amazing to me that the author of a blog at Mad In America (Moffic) wrote a review of the book on another site for psychiatrists to read. The tone of the writing in that review is directed toward those doctors.

    I would like to know what Whitaker has to say about this, because it’s got an edge to a double-edged sword, conflict of interest feel to it.

    Psychiatric Times is entrenched and fully loaded with scrolling psych med ads all around that book review.

    Why not write the review here?

    Why write here?

  • Duane–that’s what we need is accountability for actions and there won’t be. Doctor write suicidal behavior and actions off as “symptoms” of the “illness”.

    Also about medical advice? don’t worry, they don’t dispense it either! lol after all this is not a medical illness, it is about someone’s interpretation of how a human being is presenting with human emotions.

    Seriously, to all of the readers who have been injured, harmed or saw loved ones harmed or maimed or killed by psych meds, has ANYONE ever received an apology from that prescribing psychiatrist?

    THAT could be a start of something new, but I doubt it will happen. Same old tool kit, same old drugs, old drugs w new names and adverts, it just keeps spinning on and on.

  • Excerpt from Psychiatric Times

    How to End a Psychiatric Epidemic: The Redemption of Psychiatry
    By H. Steven Moffic, MD | June 11, 2012

    “Not surprisingly, reactions have been emotional and mixed. There is room for concern, but most likely not as much as Mr Whitaker claims. Certainly, rising rates of disability may be caused by other factors: economic, social, cultural, and political issues and, most significantly, escalating alcohol(Drug information on alcohol) and drug abuse. Not only could most of Mr Whitaker’s concerns not be disproved by the studies he cites, but the necessary studies to disprove his theories may be almost impossible to do: a large naturalistic study would be needed to follow and compare a cohort of patients taking various psychiatric medications for many years.
    We are most influenced by our own practices. When we are asked about justification for treatment, invariably the answer is that it is based on our own experiences.1 In my practice, there are many patients who do well with a simple antidepressant, antipsychotic, or mood stabilizer for years and years, with or without psychotherapy. There is a smaller percentage for whom the medication seems to stop working well after years for no apparent reason. Other patients are treatment-resistant and we try a variety of medications, sometimes in combination, but the symptoms never fully remit. Some patients have very strong and unexpected withdrawal symptoms; others, don’t have any withdrawal symptoms, even though I expect them.
    At this point, I’m not sure that there really is an epidemic of psychiatric disorders. The unreliability of epidemiological studies and changing diagnostic categories necessitate uncertainty. What clearly seems more like an epidemic, other than the epidemic number of administrators now in our field, is the criticism, often vitriolic, toward psychiatry and psychiatrists. As Dr Pies quoted in his recent blog for Psychiatric Times, “I hate shrinks. Shrinks should die. Shrinks are evil.”8
    So, what then? We are still unsettled, what do we do? Somewhat tongue in cheek, I’d reframe the title of Mr. Whitaker’s book to something like “Whitaker’s Warning, Wallace’s Wisdom, and the Possible Redemption of Psychiatry in America,” and suggest that a confident humbleness may be the necessary antidote. We’ve been wrong many times in the past—this may be because of the state of the knowledge base or our desire, often desperate, to help in any way possible. Remember lobotomies, cold mothers blamed for autism in their children, or the broad application of psychoanalysis to societal problems? Even Robert Spitzer, MD, the chief developer of DSM-III and called by some the psychiatrist of our time, recommended reparative psychotherapy for homosexuality in 2003—he recently apologized and recanted his arguments.9 Before psychiatry, treatment consisted of blood-letting, exorcism, burning at the stake, and various snake oils (some harmless, some very harmful).
    Wallace’s wisdom
    Mike Wallace, the investigative journalist who died recently, had publicly talked about his periodic depressions and serious suicide attempt. Despite this suffering, he improved and went on reporting until very late in life. When asked what he would recommend to others who are depressed and suicidal, he unflinchingly said, “find a good psychiatrist.” He did not say find any psychiatrist, but rather a good one. I don’t know whether Mr Wallace ever read Mr Whitaker’s book. I wish he had and had reported on it. But Mr Wallace was not wrong about much once he completed his investigation, so I would conclude he was right about his recommendation for a good psychiatrist.
    But how do you become a good psychiatrist and how does a would-be patient find one?
    The redemption of psychiatry in America
    In light of our problems and uncertainties about the state of current psychiatry, or perhaps because of them, what might describe good psychiatry? Following are some suggestions for what we, as psychiatrists, can do:
    • Play a larger role in primary care clinics (eg, provide more accurate psychiatric diagnoses, optimize psychiatric treatment, address medication adverse effects, assess patients for suicide risk); conversely, make sure that patients in psychiatric care settings have good medical care10
    • Re-embrace the biopsychosocial model developed by the internist George Engle, and perhaps expand it to a biopsychosocial spiritual model, given that attention to the spiritual may improve outcomes, even in patients with Alzheimer disease11,12
    • Work to improve mental health and well-being to prevent psychiatric disorders, even if that makes some of us obsolete13,14
    • Create a practice in which health care and business coexist—the patient is always the first priority but cost-effectiveness needs to take second place15
    • Be vocal in your efforts to educate the public about the so-called epidemic and how they can contribute to improved mental health by politically advocating for adequate funding of mental health care
    I know that I’ve learned much from Mr Whitaker’s book. I hope you have, or will, too. Ignoring his findings may prolong whatever epidemics are occurring. It is constructive criticism that relates to other challenges that we also need to address. The stakes are very high. If we ignore or dismiss our critics and they turn out to be right, we may inadvertently cause more (ethical) harm. When the critics are wrong and we don’t challenge them, then patients will suffer by avoiding necessary, sometimes lifesaving treatment.
    Sleep on it. Sweet dreams.”–Moffic

    http ://

  • ha! Duane, I can tell a story of stomach issues and TUMS when I told my daughter to ask for a tums for her upset stomach inpatient at a psych ward the psychiatrist told me “If you want to be a psychiatrist, then go to school to become one”. Apparently sending my daughter to ask for TUMS was acting like a psychiatrist? That is the nasty tone so many arrogant doctors have had over the years it’s amazing I can write here with any restraint.

  • Well, so few psychiatrists participate here, because after all it is a site that questions the very core of the profession. As a disclaimer you should know that my daughter is disabled from over-medicating psychiatrists.

    I was also shocked when pro-med doctors began to post articles here, as I have posted in comment sections on this blog many times.

    I disagree that Duane Sherry gives out medical advice. Where do you find him doing that?

    I also do read your posts on the Psychiatric Times site, and wonder how writing here gives you any personal benefit or reward, because of entering into an arena with people like Duane Sherry, myself and many others here who have been directly negatively affected by the archaic medication-based psychiatric medical model in America.

    The book, ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’ is worth reading if you have not already.

  • I’m sorry Dr Moffic, but when you talk like that to him, you may as well be saying it to me and everyone else. Have you read Duane’s story? about his son? After over a decade in this with a child myself, who was harmed by psych meds and after being talked to (talked down to) by psychiatrists this way, your response gives me loss of hope that we are even being heard at all. The stories at SSRI stories in the link I left above, are countless stories of people injured or having bad reactions to psych meds that should not be ignored. ‘Boring Old Man’ blogger and retired psychiatrist has said on his blog he saw Paxil withdrawals himself–for him to become shockingly alarmed. Is this the case with you, Dr Moffic? a case of having to see it for yourself? because as parents we have seen horrible things, and am here to try as graciously as we can to tell the stories as cautionary tales, so others (esp kids!) don’t have to suffer, or at minimum, give pause for doctors to see their patients w a different view when they are actiing out while on meds, to question the meds, please.

    Thanks for listening.

  • The Traci Johnson story from Slate

    “Drug Secrets
    What the FDA isn’t telling.”

    “Traci Johnson’s body was discovered on Feb. 7, 2004, hanging by a scarf from a shower rod in an Indianapolis laboratory run by the drug company Eli Lilly. The 19-year-old college student had been serving as a test subject in a clinical trial of the experimental antidepressant duloxetine”….

    http ://

  • Here’s some info on Wellbutrin. You are wise to raise a red flag for that drug–

    “In other words, the number of violence cases was 3.9 times greater for bupropion than for all other drugs.”

    That is from PLoS open access;

    Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others

    http ://

    Chantix is in there too…

  • Yes, Dr Moffic, to make it to the NYT it has to be bad (lol) good example is Zyprexa and the internal documents exposed by Jim Gottstein, and the NYT articles on Grassley investigating Joe Biederman for non disclosure of pharmaceutical income. Though the NYT is not the only source for info, many times they print news many of us bloggers have known for years re mental health and meds.

  • Medicalizing the human condition, has been increased due to the increase of pharmaceuticals availability brought to us by pharma’s heavy hitting marketing of psych meds in magazines (even Abilify was advert in the Rolling Stone,and on the side of a public phone booth)Americans in general want easy fixes for life problems and situations, and your example of the woman in the ER seeking help for her life situation and calling it “depressed” is my example of who buys into this entire marketing scheme and doctors beyond psychiatrists (PCPs) offering people anything from antidepressants, to benzos and antipsychotics such as Seroquel for off label sleep aid use. I feel it’s out of control, and now kids who are just toddlers are being medicated, our country has lost its way. It’s time to take it back and embrace the human condition for what it is, full of emotions that are and can be varied. Life happens, people grieve, and many suffer hardships. This is not new! many people have parents or grandparents that can describe living in the Great Depression. There weren’t Abilify ads offering them treatment as an add-on depression treatment! there weren’t ads with sad blobs offering them Zoloft!

    There is NOT a mental health epidemic in America, instead America’s lifestyle and culture exhibit what we are: greed, gluttons, wanting east answers, promoting use of stims to get good grades, drugging children younger and younger, drugging the elderly in nursing homes with antipsychotics….. the alarming increase in childhood diabetes comes as no surprise to me, if the statistics were to include whether or not the child was on a prescription med, an antipsychotic at any time, I think we would see a pattern. What are we teaching our children? to take meds for any medical or emotional issue that comes up? there will be no baseline for that child any longer once on psych meds, no doctor will be able to tease out the child’s personality vs medication side effects which can be agitation and aggression.

  • You’re welcome for the Cymbalta info Dr Moffic. When you say you haven’t read much about Cymbalta, my first reaction was ” I hope he has never prescribed it then”. I think the readers here can definitely fill you in on many meds of all categories of meds with stories like Traci Johnson’s or similar.

  • Here’s a pdf of NAMI NH for one year annual financial report. This depicts a fully funded by pharma NAMI, not just your small town casseroles-at-meeting-support group. This is BIG business.

    http :// copy and paste it into your browser.

    Grant Funders
    Dartmouth College 
    Endowment for Health 
    Lincoln Financial Foundation, Inc. 
    NAMI National 
    NH Charitable Foundation 
    State of New Hampshire

    The bottom line is that the pharmaceutical companies, by funding NAMI keep the medication-based medical model thriving. They are in business to make millions and millions of dollars and invest with funding for a reason!

    Cash cows!

  • Cymbalta has been called out for about as long as I’ve been blogging and reading Internet mental health sites: 6 years. Cymbalta is an antidepressant that was trialed by Lilly for incontinence. A healthy college student named Traci Johnson entered the study labs in Indiana to earn money for college–trialing Cymbalta for incontinence. She hung herself inside the Lilly drug trial site. The drug has been re-purposed by marketing as a pain relief drug. ALL meds are big business! the pharma companies promote and market illegally–to sell. The Dept of Justice fines those companies and they still do it. Most all psych meds will eventually reinvent themselves to milk the patents, and many people suffer at the hands of that business practice. Abilify, Seroquel are antipsychotics and those are being touted as add-on depression drugs, some for insomnia off-label. Once a patient understands they are a cash cow and a victim of an industry selling pills, they can understand more about their meds and why they at times don’t work!

  • I agree Darby. I also would like to know why this post was allowed to be published with such an inflammatory title and sub-title. The tone set in the “author’s warning” was just as inflammatory as comments that I could leave can get and be censored for doing so. The platform given here as an author, in my opinion should reflect the highest standards that Mad In America condones, as well as the posts should reflect the comment policy. The “author’s warning” was a cheap shot that the author got away with, by using it in a title of his post and that is not right.

    As Darby stated, what does the author gain by labeling legitimate NAMI critics as “haters”?

    That right there could have shut down the conversation, but myself and others chose to respond, and for me the reason was to educate whomever needed it on the internal fine print of just what NAMI is all about. I’ve given enough info in my comments including links that can define what they are about, the group was investigated by Senator Charles Grassley for funding questioning–the pharma companies they take money from to pay for Ken’s police training is money the companies earned on the backs of innocent victims. The illegal marketing of Zyprexa, Risperdal and more to teens and kids and elderly now holds a hand-slap by the DoJ fining those companies–and it’s too late the damage is done. Teens who may not have otherwise been placed on some psych meds were placed on them because of this illegal marketing. How does blood money sound? this is why I will never accept one penny from a pharma company for any reason, because, the industry continues to pay the doctors, to fund the advocacy groups, and I have a child injured by that business model.

    I want to be able to write here what I’ve held back this entire time, and feel I should be able to respond to the author’s title here; after all he was looking for commentary as a result.

    Well, honestly I find his title and subtitle insulting and rude.

    This is all my opinion.

  • I’ve followed Rossa’s writing for years via her blog, and the first thing I thought when I saw this was how great it is to have a photo–a face–to see! nice to see you Rossa.

    I think it’s a great thing for mothers to share success stories like hers that have an open-minded view of the alternative ideas for care instead of the main stream meds only approach of the treatment of “schizophrenia”; as I learned from the head honcho of NAMI herself,at a lecture- the main stream ideas are pills and Fuller Torrey! for treatment(lol)

    Good luck with your book, and I’ve just noticed that the side bar at MIA finally has moved the Op-Ed links higher up, honestly I was wondering why the section was so far down and buried on the side bar!

  • I still have a problem with this:

    “Author’s Warning: If the word NAMI sends you into uncontrollable rage, spare yourself. This is about NAMI people who are open to our movement. It’s not intended for readers who already hate them.”

    Frankly that was offensive, condescending and feels like a bait line to invite a heated discussion, all of the things we are supposed to be monitoring ourselves for per the new policy guidelines. It’s snarky and uncalled for, and after reading so many comments here that are eloquent and spot on, I see that bait failed.

    I have a problem with the “our movement” part.

    Who is “our movement?”

    Because if that movement is entangled with using NAMI to do police training, or any other educational program I personally would not want to be and am not associated with that group.

    As a mother in the system for over a decade, the most telling thing I can share here is how I needed support and did NOT take it from NAMI because I did not want to be associated with that group, their belief system based on meds as “help” is why, and it has not changed. Then over the years I find out about the pharma funding of NAMI and my personal feelings were again, no association with that group. Just because the people who started it decades ago wanted support does not mean their group (NAMI)is worth supporting, in all reality NAMI promotes the very thing many people are against–forced medications, compliance for “treatment” as a way to gain housing, all of it. There is no reason to say things like “support NAMI, let’s help them change”. Walk away from a group instead that has no problem being in bed with pharma, walk away from a group that condones Fuller Torrey and his pro forced out patient drugs as treatment ideals–all of the big PR machine groups that are pro med are connected to NAMI–sometimes it takes guts to stand alone up against all of that. I have done it and am glad I have.

    This could be compared to people not wanting to be associated with Scientology. Isn’t that what comes up time and time again, when people are outspoken, they get called Scientologists? would Ken, for example have no problem taking funding from that group to pay for the training of police?

    I’d train them for free myself. If that was my gig, it would be out of my own pocket before I ever took pharma conflicted NAMI money. I don’t run with packs like that.

    This is all my opinion.

  • Ken said:

    “It’s just a bureaucratic arrangement between NAMI and the Academy.”

    That IS the problem; it’s that convenient ignoring of the truth, that pharma uses to do :

    Sell medications via illegal marketing tactics

    Pay psychiatrists such as Melissa Delbello, KOL 250,000 in ONE quarter–to promote their psychiatric drug they make (Check Dollars for Docs)

    Just to name a couple of reasons why that sentence is all the reason why this fuel to the fire of corruption will never stop.

    Fined MILLIONS of dollars by the Dept of Justice! Medicaid fraud! those things HURT the very people we are all writing about!

    It is guilt by association, when we work for pharma that way. People can talk to others without taking pharma money or be associated with what Pat Risser eloquently wrote as example above in comment—birds of a feather–it all comes to mind.

    I have LOTS of conversations with pharma people and do not work for them. It IS possible, holy cow Democrats and Republicans talk, right? 🙂

    There is NO reason, in my opinion that a real support group can grow into a large mass like NAMI has and never take pharma money to do it–how about Mind Freedom? there’s a start! no reason why NAMI can’t be left alone, walk away from it and it’s 75% funding from pharma and their conflict of interest and support Mind Freedom (example of one choice)instead.

    I wouldn’t want someone like Charles Nemeroff for an associate either would you? Investigated by Grassley for non disclosure of pharma money and more! Same thing!

    NAMI=conflict of interest.

    This is all my opinion.

  • Exactly Duane– freedom to choose and definitely not be locked into the old school method of drug em up and shut em up; I just re-read David Oaks personal bio page at the Mind Freedom site, noted his mom supported him going off of meds and wanting freedom, and he has lived successfully off of meds, and I was re-inspired by his post there.

    Until patients can go to a psych hosp and have the method of treatment of their choice INSIDE the psych ward–this won’t change, and the drugs are less than efficacious as proof that system doesn’t work because otherwise the hospitals would be empty!

    We need funding for Soteria Houses in ALL states, and people need a place they can go BE in the midst of a psychotic episode (for example), stay off meds if that is their choice and ride it out. People think I am wacky for saying that, but I have seen psychosis come and go, in people off and on meds, it seems to “run its course”.

    I’m preaching to the choir though!

    This is the end of the road for everyone it seems we get this far in convos and then it leaves us with the same old big “need a solution-how-to-do-it” part of the equation. I think it will be hard to create a new medical model of treatment, frankly, because the current med-based one is so entrenched in our society. When we leave this website, we stand alone in a huge world.

    How to make a difference with all of this?

  • That was just a couple of years ago and no the system has not changed. In fact, residential board and cares ran by the state also require medication compliance.(and many only get into the housing via a court-ordered medication compliance “deal”).

  • Exactly, if you (or any one) can navigate in this world without toxic drugs flowing through your body, that’s the person who people SHOULD WANT TO TALK TO, find out how they did it, do it, and what works for them. People call us all at times “anti-psychiatry” or anti-med…I’m anti-toxic aren’t we all? less is best! I think the control issue is the $cash cow$ syndrome! pharma sure has figured it out…donating $28 million in 3 years to NAMI proves they are fueling the forever ill, permanently on meds paradigm!

  • Here’s a sample of what many people are talking about re NAMI and it’s funding: $28 million in 3 years is a LOT of $$ from companies that make the drugs that are the main treatment paradigm NAMI promotes! this is from the 112th Congress report for 2011-2012. I have the link if any one wants me to leave it later–but not wanting to bog down the posting of the comment with it.

    “Reports in the New York Times claim that money from the pharmaceutical industry shapes the practices of non-profit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions. It is alleged that pharmaceutical companies give money to non-profits in an attempt to garner favor in ways that increase sales of their products. Senator Grassley wanted to know if the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) accepted pharmaceutical funding and what kind of influence this funding had on its operations.

    Senator Grassley received a response from NAMI National, which reported that it received $28,659,300 from pharmaceutical companies from 2005 to 2008. It also stated that there are approximately 1,000 NAMI affiliates throughout the country. NAMI National stated it could not detail the financial relationships affiliates may have with pharmaceutical companies. Senator Grassley then sent letters to 51 various NAMI affiliates requesting financial records on monies received from pharmaceutical companies and from NAMI National.

    All but three (Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut) of the NAMI affiliates responded. All stated they accept unrestricted contributions from pharmaceutical companies.”

    So the affiliates accept unrestricted contributions from pharma too it appears for the most part. Call me a purist, but this is what I personally will never take: money from pharma to fund ANYTHING I do–that’s just the way I am.

    When we take into consideration this big picture of what NAMI has become….then we can stop and say, hey did those moms of yesterday want that to end up that way? being heavily funded by the very companies that sell these drugs? and often illegal marketing? ZYprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal–think about it. Those companies were fined MILLIONS of dollars by the DoJ for medicaid fraud and illegal marketing tactics of these mental health drugs. How can NAMI take money from companies that DIRECTLY harmed there clients????

    NAMI dot org website has some financial disclosures that are current for the 1st Q of 2012 its lists donors of AstraZeneca (Seroquel maker) Bristol Myer Squibb (Abilify)Forest, Novartis, and Sunovian (Latuda)…so they are STILL taking money, nothing changes.

    Nothing changes.

    That’s the problem.

  • Thanks for your response, Ken. I would imagine that writing that you don’t support NAMI yet they pay you to train police must feel conflicting in a way.

    Considering no one here (so far) has said they are NAMI haters, but instead opened a good dialogue with their views of NAMI, I am wondering who exactly you were worried might comment with the “uncontrollable rage” you suggested at the opener?

    What program do you teach the police? out of curiosity. I hope it’s to train them to talk people down, and refrain from approaching people with violence and handcuffs–as happened to my adult child (just for being found after being lost!)

  • As a matter of fact, NAMI started with a “W” so you just had it transposed 🙂 It began as WAMI and was started by the co founder of NAMI, mother Eleanor Owen, who according to one article written about her still drives a car with that acronym on the license plate

    http ://

  • The head NAMI mother: She co-founded NAMI, and wrote this which is used to hold people against their will (in Seattle area):

    “Drafted current language in RCW 71.05 to include “grave disability due to mental illness” as criteria for a 72 hour evaluation for Involuntary Treatment.”

    http ://

    Perhaps this is why there are such strong feelings about “NAMI mothers”.

  • As Duane Sherry wrote above, I have one more comment to share about my experience …

    Years ago I was taking a look at what kind of housing was available for mental health clients in my area. I came across a house where several people could reside. This looked promising and it was written up in local papers as well, because the woman who was hand sewing curtains to make it look all cheerful was an elderly NAMI mother, not just any NAMI mother she was head honcho of the large city NAMI group.

    I looked up the stats on the house and clients had to apply which made sense. The fine print on the application had 2 questions:

    1. How do you feel about medications?

    2. Will you remain medication compliant while there?

    It was mandatory to be on medications to live there. THAT is the problem that needs addressing with re to NAMI ‘s agenda.

    NAMI, is not *for* patients, it is *for* the families and loved ones of those patients/clients, and with a pro-med agenda backing them, what do you think those NAMI members promote to their grown children?

    That elderly NAMI director also was delighted and proud to introduce her great friend and “expert on Schizophrenia” at the lecture I attended where Fuller Torrey was the only speaker, of which she also charged 50.00 a person for a private dinner held at her home to meet Torrey.

    I think that says it all.

  • I’ve met quite a few of this elderly group of NAMI mothers myself over the last decade +, and the ones I met droned on and on about how they wished their grown children would stay on the medications, which seems to be the only way they know how to “help” their children. Many of the adult children of these women would not allow them back to see them while in mental health court–in fact the parents became the “other side” and would testify to have their grown child committed. This is when I first became aware of NAMI. I saw one-sided treatment thinkers, and pro-med mothers. I saw the mother’s wear the and I quote ” I’ve been doing this for 30 years” badge proudly as they sat there knitting to pass time. I got up and moved away from the group, thinking how can you sit there so complacently after 30 years?! I thought, omg I hope this isn’t me in 30 years! What have they done to change things for ME and the next generation of mothers in that situation? meaning: what have they done to prevent mothers from having this situation? where are the “treatments” that work? is it only pills? well, yes! that is the bottom line–science? for what? what’s new? new antipsychotics?

    Those women weren’t for change, they were there for making sure their child was committed.

    And by the way, I finally signed up to log in to comment here to leave this comment. It’s based on my own experience and opinion.

    I also want to say that having the anti-hatred disclaimer from the author at the top feels just as hateful–why single people out, GOOD people, people who care about their loved ones who happen to not agree with NAMI? because that is me.

    NAMI national is funded by pharma and that is a conflict of interest because of the drugs sold by the various companies are the ones that are the main treatment paradigm for mental health in America. I wouldn’t want to be affiliated with ANY support group with that funding, that’s my choice. If the groups who are not so “part of NAMI” then why are they still called NAMI? change the name then, otherwise they are connected and under the big umbrella of what NAMI stands for….

    I agree with whoever said the older NAMI moms need to write letters, call, campaign …they need to pave the way, and yet they (not all!) have not, so it leaves me or Rossa Forbes or Mark PS or Duane Sherry to continue to say, hey something’s not right here, and hey, something hasn’t worked so let’s figure out what does!