Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Comments by AA

Showing 975 of 975 comments.

  • Michael,

    You make some good points but your explanations wouldn’t cover kids who are misdiagnosed with ADHD due to other conditions like sleep apnea which leads back to this blog.

    When Julia and Bonnie have done their studies, have participants been screened for medical conditions that could look like “ADHD” but aren’t? Sorry if this information was included and I missed it.

  • Sheesh, is MIA on an anti-technology crusade? Obviously, anything is bad when done to an excess but to crucify it as the culprit for all of society’s ills seems quite extreme in my opinion.

    I hardly text due to being very slow in typing on a cellphone:) so for me, the issue is emailing someone vs. speaking to them. Regarding one person about whom I want to discuss some issues with, I intend to call him when I am ready because I think he responds better by phone. But with another person whom I, fortunately, don’t have problems with right now, I think emailing her is better.

    I just don’t think you can make generalizations regarding how to best communicate with people and I am disheartened that various MIA writers are trying to do this.

  • I just posted the link to the relevant facebook groups I belong to warn people to be careful who may post about suicidal ideation. And for all you readers who think I am preventing people from accessing help, forcing people to be hospitalized against their will does not solve the problem and in fact, makes them more suicidal.

  • Hi Julie,

    Hmm, I am wondering if people don’t want to scare folks into believing that psych meds cause permanent damage. That is a debate that constantly comes up in the psych withdrawal community.

    Good luck with the light box. Unfortunately, it has not kept me awake during the day and too much use causes agitation.

    That is great you don’t need a cpap machine. Unfortunately, I do as confirmed by a home and two full-scale studies.

  • Julie,

    Thank you for precisely nailing the issues. It greatly made my day that someone like you understands what is going on.

    I know what you mean about backing out of commitments. Fortunately, when I do it with a friend, she is very understanding.

    I am not surprised at all that sleep centers don’t acknowledge damage by drugs. Heck, I have had sleep docs recommend drugs that were related to the ones that I feel destroyed my sleep system.

  • Fiachra,

    I complained to a former sleep doc about listing my sleep issue, including sleep apnea, as a psychiatric diagnosis, and her response was that the medical records software program gave her no choice but to designate it that way. And on other medical history forms, I have seen sleep issues listed under the psychiatric category. It galls me big time.

  • I will never be able to prove it but I feel that being on psych meds long term destroyed my sleep cycle which lowered my immune system which caused lymphoma. Obviously, I am alive 🙂 but I don’t believe for a minute that people can’t die from lack of sleep since when that situation occurs, it destroys people’s health.

    As far as online CBT-i, that seems to be the non-drug one size fits all solution. Not saying it doesn’t help people but unfortunately, sleep professionals seem to wrongly think it is the solution for all sleep problems when it isn’t.

  • Wow Uprising, as one who feels being on psych meds destroyed my life, I feel your remarks are extremely unfair. If my comment is pure speculation, why is this headline on this blog and other FB lists that are critical of psychiatry?

    People such as the LV shooter can be evil and capable of committing atrocities without being on psych meds. He definitely did not sound like a nice guy. So maybe I feel blaming psych meds is letting an evil person off the hook, especially one who went to the lengths he did to kill all those people.

    If we start automatically blaming psych meds on every mass shooting without carefully analyzing whether that is accurate or not, then I fear the folks who have a legitimate case about meds affecting their actions, will not be listened to. Not everyone can afford to have Peter Breggin testify for them, right?

  • There is no doubt in my mind that meds can cause people to commit crimes who might not have done so otherwise. But I don’t think this is the case with this shooter due to the very elaborate planning and the fact that he didn’t seem to be a very nice guy. If the meds had any effect, perhaps they pushed him to do what he had always planned on doing with his mass shootings.

    I also think we have to very careful about blaming every mass shooting on meds as by doing that, we’re no better than the mental health professionals who think psych meds are harmless.

  • I totally support people’s rights to chose psych meds as long as they are making a fully informed choice. Unfortunately, that rarely happens with any med that is prescribed.

    My former psychiatrist was very well-intentioned and caring. But the issue is meds were prescribed that destroyed my life and caused permanent damage. Going on psych meds was the worst decision I made in my life.

  • Oldhead,

    As disgusted as I am with the comment by Stevie, I don’t think it should be reported to moderators since he didn’t attack anyone. We don’t want to become like pro drug sites that delete posts they don’t like.

    Instead, show him why his comment is totally off base as Bradford and Paris did. That is more powerful in my opinion than deleting unwelcome comments.

  • Many years ago, I worked in special ed and noticed that many students were wrongly diagnosed with autism. As a result, I question the claim that for the kids that taking the screen away allegedly help, really had an accurate diagnosis.

    And before anyone flames me for doubting the validity of autism, I don’t. I am friends with many people on the autistic spectrum and definitely understand the issues. I also have similar type issues.

    Anyway, I will stop here since Daniel has done a great job in summarizing the issues. By the way, I find it ironic that if biological psychiatry had posted an article like this, everyone would be all over it. But yet, when a non psychiatrist like Marilyn does, it is accepted at face value without critical analysis.

  • JC,

    On the statin note, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/deadly-internet-driven-cult-drives-statin-denialism-says-clev-clinic-dr.

    On a positive note, last year, my cholesterol was very high. But my PCP did not automatically jump to wanting to prescribe meds.

    He said one data piece was telling him I needed a statin while another said that due to my less than then average chance of getting a heart attack (excellent cholesterol ratios), I did not need one. So he left it up to me and obviously, you all know the route I chose.

    I feel lucky to have him.

  • Jan Carol,

    I am not sure where you are getting the information that pressures need to be constantly adjusted upward on the pap machine. Many people have been on the same settings for years with a well controlled AHI.

    Regarding Stasha Gominak and vitamin D and sleep apnea, I found her videos very interesting. But she acknowledged she had not done any clinical trials to prove her theories that the right levels will cure it.

    Obviously, everyone’s level should be as optimized as possible. But don’t depend on it curing sleep apnea for now.

  • Wow Julie, I never said you were responsible for my friend’s death. My point was that just because you have been poisoned by psych drugs doesn’t mean you can’t have sleep apnea. I was using her as a dramatic example.

    How is the cpap machine more addictive than wearing glasses?

    And where is your proof that apnea is over diagnosed since it can only be done through objective scoring measures? It is not like being diagnosed by a psychiatrist who uses BS criteria to diagnose a fake illness.

    It is true that some people on psych meds do develop apnea that goes away once they are off the drugs. But that needs to be confirmed by a sleep study.

  • Julie, please be very careful about discouraging people from getting tested for sleep apnea. I had drug damage from long-term use of the meds and still have sleep apnea.

    A long term friend who was on antipsychotics for years tragically died on Sunday. She also had sleep apnea and apparently didn’t always use her machine. Of course, there could have been many causes of her death but I am sure not using the machine didn’t help.

    Yes, the sleep medicine industry is big business but the testing is legitimate. A sleep center found to be falsely scoring apneas/hypopneas would be quickly exposed and put out of business quickly. Unlike with psychiatry diagnosis’s, the sleep apnea diagnosis is made on objective data that has been established according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

  • Jeff,

    As one of the few people on this site who feels there has been an unfair crusade against people on pain medications, I mostly agree with your post.
    However, I do need you to clarify this statement:

    “”Some people can’t use benzo’s because they become addicted, but you can’t write a blanket law based on the minority of people who abuse their medications and are drug addicts. “”

    If you are talking about people who took benzos, many folks take them as prescribed and still become addicted and have a horrible time getting off the meds. They were not given fully informed consent and that is what the above bill is about.

    I am so sorry about your situation. After experiencing pain from a dental extraction and not taking my meds quickly enough, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like like to live with it 24 hours a day.

  • Dickson,



    “”Most clients experience a sense of relief, they relish the “powerlessness” to which you refer.”

    And you are basing that on what? How many people did you talk to? And how many people expressed a negative opinion about their hospitalization?

    Or did you just discount that as symptoms of mental illness like most mental health professionals do?

  • “”From ABC News: According to the Transport Workers’ Union, one in five truck drivers report having experienced mental health issues due to the economic pressures and dangerousness of the industry.””

    How the f–k is this a mental health when they are reacting normally to an abnormal situation? And why does MIA continue to publish articles like this?

  • National Psychiatric Radio strikes again. And this exert from the article says everything.

    “”Whenever I see something that looks and smells and walks like an ad, I look at who’s paying. Much to my surprise and chagrin, I found that even NPR takes funding from drug companies. (Their list of supporters includes the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.)””

  • “”One of the signs “They’re sleeping too much or too little.”
    This is a joke right? Tell me this is a joke.””

    Sadly, it is not a joke. The issue of depression disgustingly comes up frequently regarding sleep issues. Easier to blame that than to search for the real cause.

  • Oldhead, that is an insane comment. The co-worker was not getting better which was due to having torn meniscus.

    Too bad someone else I know whose ankle was permanently damaged by a chiropractor didn’t have the same judgment. Thank to her going to this quack, she now has to take “evil meds” for pain.

  • Julie,

    Regarding your situation, it sounded definitely like you don’t have sleep apnea. But you keep making the claims it is due to weight and when someone does that, I have to correct the person even if someone may think that is too overbearing.

    Also, if someone has an anatomical throat structure that contributes to their sleep apnea, changing the pillow position is not going to solve the problem. And just because someone doesn’t snore does not mean they don’t have sleep apnea.

    I haven’t seen the statistics but many people who lose weight still have sleep apnea probably due to their anatomical structure. So obviously, losing weight is a good thing but don’t expect it to cure your apnea.

  • JC,

    As I mentioned before, would you consider being dependent on eyeglasses and hearing aids bad? What about someone who needs a wheelchair? Why would using a cpap machine be different?

    You might want to google batteries and pap therapy in case the electricity goes out.

  • LOL!

    All jokes aside, I would hope that he would know when to suggest to clients that they need to see doctors for certain issues.

    Several years ago, a former co-worker had great success with a chiropractor for back issues. But this professional knew her limits and told her she needed to see a doctor to get a knee evaluated. My co-worker had surgery on it and had a complete recovery.

  • Julie,

    It is actually a myth that only overweight people have sleep apnea. I am thin and have it. You may very well not have it based on what you are saying but please don’t think that being thin prevents you from being a candidate for sleep apnea. It doesn’t and I would hate to discourage thin people on this board from getting an evaluation for sleep apnea if they thought they needed one.

    As far as the machine being addicting, hmm, is wearing glasses addictive? What about wearing hearing aids?

    Ah, “bad sleep hygiene”, the boilerplate response for blaming the patient for their sleep issues. On a related note, a former sleep doctor thought that sleep restriction therapy was the answer to my problems.

    I responded by asking how that was going to happen if I fell asleep standing up against a wall trying to stay awake. She had no response.

    I hear your frustrations in dealing with sleep docs and the lung docs and am sorry you are experiencing that.


    Where are you getting the information that people need higher pressures the longer they are on pap therapy? Many people on the apnea boards have slept with one continuous pressure through the years and haven’t had to change anything.

    To make sure your husband’s therapy is completely optimized, he might want to download sleepyhead software which is free.


    Hopefully, he has a machine that is compatible with it.

    If you have any questions, there are software experts on these boards that can help:


    By the way, I would be very careful about raising the pressure without looking at data as that could cause central sleep apneas which you definitely don’t want.

    What is wrong with this model if it is improving his life? Just because it is a conventional medical treatment doesn’t mean it is evil particularly since it doesn’t involve a drug.

  • Oldhead,

    It is not overdiagnosed because there is data recorded under strict criteria for every time you have an apnea or a hypopnea. The reason why you may think it is overdiagnosed is that most people who are sent to a sleep center to be tested for sleep apnea do end up with the diagnosis. But again, there is recorded data that provides proof.

    No, apnea is not a psychological issue although as I mentioned before, it can turn into one if not treated such as causing depression. It can also cause anxiety because if you are gasping for breath with, of course, you are going to be anxious. But once treated, that usually goes away.

    Your right, the body does want to live and will start breathing again. But constantly doing that will destroy a person’s quality of sleep.

  • Oldhead,

    As someone with sleep apnea, I have to respectfully disagree that sleep apnea is a bogus diagnosis. See this link:


    The only thing they are wrong about is your O2 level doesn’t have to seriously drop to have sleep apnea.

    And you do know that many people who turn out to have sleep apnea are misdiagnosed with the depression, right? If you stop breathing several times when you are sleeping, your quality of sleep is going to suck leading to being depressed.

    Untreated apnea can also cause many other conditions like vehicle motor accidents. Would you want your loved one or you to be the victim of a driver with untreated apnea?

    The skepticism you and Julie have is understandable though regarding many sleep doctors caring more about making a quick buck vs. helping their patients adjust to pap therapy. It doesn’t mean the diagnosis isn’t legitimate but the practices are pretty disgraceful.

    Many people have found help on the apnea boards optimizing their therapy and no longer rely on their doctors. I am sure that doesn’t surprise you.

    Finally, just you know, I have had a home study and two full-scale ones and they all came up with the diagnosis of moderate apnea. Pretty good odds this isn’t bogus.

  • Actually Julie, I do sleep but at the wrong times and it ends up very fragmented. My sleeping pattern resembles irregular sleep wake disorder although it isn’t quite the same thing.

    Instead of one block of sleep time, I have several. The hours of sleep are normal but the patterns are definitely not.

    Can you tell me more about your sleep issues? I am very curious.

    Hmm, I have never had any problem getting a direct appointment with a sleep doc. Unfortunately, the ones I have seen haven’t been helpful but that is another discussion.

    How do you encounter a shrink when trying to make an appointment with sleep specialist? Again, I am curious.

  • Thanks AntiP,

    Regarding sleep, it is not an issue of not sleeping. I have mysterious narcoleptic like sleep issues that I have been unable to resolve in spite of trying everything under the sun. Seeing a sleep doc out of my area in a few weeks who hopefully can help.

    I feel like I am not getting any type of restorative sleep on my bipap machine. I feel this is a crucial part of the problem that needs to be resolved because without good sleep, healing can’t take place.

    I am working on eliminating all sugar. I still have a weakness for low fat hot chocolate but use coconut oil in it to maintain some type of ketogenic effect. Otherwise, I don’t eat any carbs.

    Thanks for the examine.com site as that is very informative.

  • Thanks FD.

    I find your statement about many psych survivors getting cancer interesting. I will never be able to prove anything but I feel being on psych meds long caused mysterious sleep issues that never gave me a feeling of restorative sleep. That couldn’t have helped my immune system. So I do feel there was an indirect correlation but again, who knows?

  • AntiP,

    As one who has unfortunately recently received the “C” diagnosis, I greatly appreciate this post. Even though I normally have good BS radar detectors, I still know I need to be extremely cautious during an extremely vulnerable time.

    So I thank you for writing this and I thank Oldhead for his post about the cancer care center ads.

  • Fiachra,

    I am so sorry about your horrific experiences with neuroleptics.

    Regarding doctors accepting the fact that psych meds cause horrific side effects, heck, alot of them can’t accept the fact that nonpsych meds do. It is like they take it personally if their treatment doesn’t work and causes harm. Easier to blame the patient instead of empathizing with their situation.

  • And JanCarol, thank you for your great analysis of EmpowerPlus. Speaking of individual supplement plans, I need at least 2200IU of D to feel somewhat decent. I probably need more but am having an issue of tolerance.

    This particular supplement only has 384IU of D which for most people would be a horribly deficient amount. Of course, folks could supplement with D but for the price they charge, I would expect it to have alot more of the vitamin in it.

  • Wow Dr. Rodrigues,

    You sound like the conventional doctors who think their treatments never cause any harm. So if one your patients ends up complaining about a problem, you just blow them off and say it can’t happen? Wow!

    What happened to that person I mentioned is real and she has suffered a permanent injury. That doesn’t mind I think all chiropractors are bad as I had a former co-worker who greatly benefitted from one. And obviously, people on this site have also.

    But this attitude of thinking that all alternative remedies are harmless is just as bad as doctors who think depression is responsible for everything known to human kind.


  • Stephen,

    On a related note, this big local healthcare system keeps sending advertisements for expensive testing for strokes and related issues. So one day, I asked if it had ever occurred to them to promote screening for sleep apnea since studies have shown that the condition can lead to strokes. And if people were treated, it would be alot cheaper.

    It was like I was speaking a foreign language. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow up with the name of a person I was given for some reason.

  • Suzanne,

    I know someone whose baby was born with haemophilia who will be royally screwed if he loses his Obama Care Coverage. Please explain how your advice would be applicable to his situation. And by the way, he and his wife eat a great diet that is strictly organic in case you wanted to claim their lifestyle had something to do with his condition.

    There are also people who do everything right and still get sick. A perfect example are skinny type 2 diabetics who keep their blood sugar under control for years thanks to diet but still find it isn’t enough.

    People with type 1 diabetes can greatly lessen their need for insulin with a high fat, low carb diet. See, http://www.lowcarbrn.com. But unfortunately, they still need it and if they didn’t have insurance, they would be up shits creek with the skyrocketing causes of insulin.

    Suzanne, I understand your anger towards “conventional” medicine due to your father being killed. But is it really fair to make broad generalizations about people and their health that you would resent if the tables were reversed?

  • Suzanne,

    If my medical situation requires surgery or expensive tests, having Obamacare will be a big time life saver. I understand where you are coming from regarding your father but for people like me who are in similar situations, I would be up shits creek without it.

    I am actually more scared of losing my coverage or seeing it turn into something alot worse vs. the possibility of experiencing the worst possible outcome of my situation.

  • Oldhead,

    I thought the question was important because it seems that anyone who goes into a hospital who can’t advocate for themselves is vulnerable. I saw how that could happen when I was hospitalised after surgery in 2015.

    I am not sure what you mean about hospital care sucking under capitalism. All health care whether it be mainstream or alternative is practiced under it.

    The issue is that many conventional doctors think that drugs are the answer to everything and are incapable of thinking outside the box. The horrendous nightmare with Suzanne’s father started with a blood pressure med because of that attitude.

    Several years ago, when my mother was alive, she picked up a C-difficule infection and kept getting antibiotics that weren’t helping. No one thought to do some serious analysis of the situation a forward thinking infection disease specialist added probiotics to her regime. She finally recovered.

  • HB,

    I totally agree with you that Single Payer is the best option which unfortunately, is never going to see the light of day. But having Obama Care is better than not having any insurance at all.

    Well, saying the Government is conspiring with medicare to kill seniors is definitely a right wing talking point.

    Fortunately, my medical issue turned out not to be a crisis and it looks like I can wait until Tuesday to see my PCP. But if I had needed emergency care, as I said previously, I would have been in big trouble without health insurance.

  • Oldhead,

    Your right wing rhetoric is total bullshit and extremely harmful.

    Right now, I have a medical issue that is going to require seeing a doctor today. Without Obamacare, I would be up shit’s creek. God help me and everyone else who depends on this insurance if it is taken away by the Republicans whose solution to health care is that people die off quickly.

  • Sa,

    You nailed it precisely regarding Mickey regarding fighting for truth in psychiatry. Sadly, if I had had access to someone like him, I wouldn’t have wasted so many years of life taking useless psych meds.

    I also greatly appreciate the fact how much Mickey cared about the patients he was serving and how he wanted to do right by them. He greatly rebelled at anything that forced him away from his values.

    Abby, my deepest sympathy to you, your family, and all of Mickey’s loved ones for your loss. He will be greatly missed.


  • Liz,

    You sure you aren’t thinking of oral steroids? I haven’t seen anything that says steroid cream suppresses immune function.

    On a related note, my PCP gave me some steroid cream for a rash on my leg which did absolutely nothing. Increasing my vitamin C dose got rid of it which was totally unexpected. 🙂

  • Elsie,

    I definitely share your concerns about the alternative mental health movement. Pushing someone to take a “million” supplements seems no different than pushing meds.

    But having said that, I know when I don’t take enough vitamin D, I feel more depressed than usual. However, taking the right amount isn’t going to going to magically make all my problems disappear.

    I am also concerned that these authors promoted the Standard American diet of high carb, low fat that has not worked for many people, including folks with metabolic issues who have said this type of diet worsens their condition. They also don’t seem to realize that studies have shown that good fats like the ones Liz Sydney mentioned should not be avoided.

  • As an FYI, since many people develop metabolic issues from being on psych meds, eating grains (5–8 servings per day); and fruit (3 per day) would substantially spike blood sugar in alot of people even though it is considered to be “healthy” food. See http://www.lowcarbrn.com.

    Since extreme blood sugar spikes can cause depression, I would urge anyone who is concerned about metabolic issues to buy a glucometer and testing strips and take extensive measurements to see what foods affect you.

  • shaun,

    Once again, you are missing the point about psychiatry being demonized. The difference is with other medical professions, concerns are usually treated seriously although sadly, there are exceptions.

    But many people who complain to their psychiatrists about drug effects and other issues are treated as if all their complaints are due to mental illness. Many times, they increase the dose which makes things worse.

    And god help the person with a psych med history who goes to regular doctors for treatment. Many of us have found that we had to lie to doctors about our psych med history to make sure we received optimal care. Unfortunately, that is getting harder to do with electronic medical records.

  • Shaun,

    A common tactic you and mental health professionals deliberately engage in is to detract from psych meds having side effects by claiming others do also.

    Speaking for myself and no one else on this board, I have never doubted that people benefit from psych meds. I just think the percentage is significantly less than folks who have been harmed.

  • Shaun,

    Please stick to the topic as we are talking about whether taking psych meds long term are responsible for the increased disability rate.

    And thousands of people would say differently regarding their effectiveness and side effects. You don’t have a monopoly on the truth just because you are a mental health professional. In fact, I find that every condescending.

  • shaun f,

    You are right, causation doesn’t equal correlation. But if this situation was occurring with any other medical issue, it would be investigated pronto. Unfortunately, every adverse effect regarding psych meds is always blown off. I am really getting tired of this BS and seeing people’s lives destroyed.

    Funny you mentioned unhealthy diet since many people on psych meds have reported intense food cravings and the lack of motivation to engage in exercise. And of course, “lovely” antipsychotics like Zyprexa have cause diabetes.

  • AntiP,

    I already have a sleep apnea diagnosis. Unfortunately, it isn’t curable with the exception of some folks who lose weight and get rid of it. But I am already thin. Wish it were.:)

    No, I can’t guarantee I won’t have health troubles in 10 years taking sleep medications. But not sleeping will also lead to them. Kind of like picking gasoline or the fire.

    Unfortunately, melatonin has not worked but thanks for the suggestion.

    Oh, people definitely choose the easy way. But not always. And we have to remember that we don’t always know the whole story.

    No, your experience with Haldol doesn’t sound silly. I will bet psych meds cause sleep apnea although again, I admit I don’t have proof. And to be honest, in my case, I feel there were other issues that also may have led to it, including family history.

  • AntiP,

    Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I have some very complex sleep issues that need professional help.

    I know in Ms. Steven’s book, she criticises that line of thinking and says no one is special. But that is arrogant in my opinion when she doesn’t know the situation as I also have had difficulty with my pap therapy for my sleep apnea.

    That is why I am a nut about making sure people get diagnosed correctly with sleep apnea vs. being put on psych meds as I have a suspicion (can’t prove it) that being on psych meds causes an extreme hypersensitivity that makes tolerating a pap machine extremely difficult. Unfortunately, I found tolerating a dental device even worse.

    It is very judgmental to say people are taking the easy way by going back to sleeping pills. My life has been hell with sleep issues and to be honest, if I had found a med that worked, I would be on it. Unfortunately, I have had a hard time finding anything that works, whether it is prescription or a supplement.

  • Dr. Wood,

    As one who is going through horrific sleep issues thanks to being on psych meds long term and who knows alot of people in similar situations, you might want to consider setting up a practice to help folks like us who have these and other issues. I will bet there would be a huge demand for your services as long as you didn’t engage in price gouging which sadly, many alternative folks seem to do.

    Kudos to you for realising psychiatry as it is currently practiced, is mostly a big time disaster. Good luck to you.

  • OMG BL, what a horrific situation regarding your elderly relative. I am glad she was able to discontinue Atenolol after going through a hellish experience with it.

    I was on the generic form of Coreg. I had no idea about beta blocker syndrome until I started this med and was reading about side effects. If god forbid, I need a high blood pressure med in the future, I will refuse any BB’s.

  • Great point Randall. They also cause diabetes which will cause most physicians to direct patients to certified diabetic educators who advise patients to go on a high carb diet that the American Diabetes Association supports because meds will cover it. Since diabetes is an issue of carbohydrate intolerance, it is like telling people with a gluten intolerance to eat alot of gluten.

    My guess is that people try to diligently follow this advice only to see themselves getting worse which can be quite depressing. And the extreme highs and lows this diet causes can also result in depression.

  • So Alex, what your professional qualifications regarding sleep disorders? Do you have experience working with people with these issues and if so, what did you do to get them to heal? Not just talking about garden variety insomnia.

    Serious questions since you claim anyone can heal.

  • Alex,

    I appreciate your response but unfortunately, as I have learned with my mysterious narcoleptic/circadian rhythm like sleep disorders, not everything is resolved with self-healing attempts. Believe me, I have tried many things.

    Unfortunately, I have to wait to see a doctor in the US who has been highly recommended as someone who can help with my issues. Hopefully, it will be worth it.

    I just think we have to be careful about assuming that if we were able to heal with self-help methods, that everyone should be able to. And if they don’t, it is because their attitude is poor. I am not saying you are doing this Alex but it is a vibe I am kind of picking up on when similar type issues are discussed.

  • I have very mixed emotions about this thread. I don’t want to say I have permanent damage but am still struggling with some issues nearly 7 years after taking my last pill. And just like several people struggling with damage have worked very hard to try to overcome their issues, so have I.

    So when I hear the message that everyone can recover from years of psych meds, there is a part of me that goes, “yeah but”. On the other hand, Breggin’s message sounds very hopeless and doesn’t seem like the solution either.

    Maybe if we had reputable medical providers to go to who could diagnose our issues and give us support with holistic measures to get ourselves in the best shape possible whatever that turned out to be. Unfortunately, many alternative folks are rip off artists also which I know will not be a popular statement on this board but to quote Alex, that is my truth.

    Meanwhile, we struggle on our own and do the best we can.

  • Before I went on psych meds, I had some horrible experiences with therapists. But the two I had when I suffered through horrible side effects were life savers.

    Another psychologist I saw for career counseling was very supportive regarding my tapering off of psych meds. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had seen her for counseling, I would have been happy with the match. Unfortunately, I quit seeing her because her office wasn’t convenient to get to.

    I just think we have to be careful about making generalizations although I do understand the concerns expressed in the thread.

  • Well, if people want to throw their money down the drain, by all means, do the testing, like the neurotransmitter test which is a total ripoff because it is based on the assumption that someone has a chemical imbalance. But yet, because the alternative folks are doing this, we accept what they say without question.

    By the way, one of the testing authorities listed wanted to charge me $4000 for an initial consultation when I was going through withdrawal issues. I didn’t accept the offer.

    And instead of spending $219 for a food sensitivities test, for free, one can eliminate foods for 30 days and then slowly introduce them to see if there is a problem.

  • What I was responding to was that you had provided a June 2016 link claiming there was a move to make buying OTC supplements illegal. I was wondering if there was a current article about that because I haven’t heard that there was.

    Even though there might not have been any deaths from supplements, people still need to be careful when taking them. They are not harmless and can cause adverse reactions, particularly in folks tapering off of psych meds who have very sensitive nervous systems.

    Even vitamin D isn’t harmless and if one is taking it, be sure to test your levels to make sure you are not above the optimum level.

  • Rebel, you said, “obesity” (another made up disorder)”

    I know you understandably distrust the medical system but this is simply inaccurate and in fact, is a dangerous claim. By the way, do you seriously think that my friend who is morbidly obese (thanks to long term psych med use) has a made up disorder, particularly when she needs a cane to walk due to the extreme excess weight on her body?

  • You and Oldhead are right, I made a mistake about threads. My apologies.

    Human Being, you made a few off topic remarks which I don’t have an objection to. But if you’re going to insist that comments stay on topic, you have to practice what you preach.

    Oldhead, ideally threads should be on topic 100% of the time. But that isn’t reality. It just seems that instead of acting as a de facto moderator, if you want to get something back on topic to simply post a new comment and ask for follow-up remarks to it.

  • Hmm, next thing you know, professionals will be making the claim that depression causes a hangnail. I am so bleeping tired of it being blamed for everything under the sun.

    Regarding integrative care that brings in psychiatry to a PCP’s office, it will mean more prescriptions for psych meds being written and less investigating by primary care doctors regarding the complaints of the patients. Why do any work when you can write a prescription for a psych med and send the patient on their merry way?

  • Oldhead,

    I greatly resent you trying to play moderator on this thread. If Noel hasn’t said anything about the comments, I am not sure why you feel the need to.

    And even if the comments weren’t even intrinsically related, there was still alot of valuable discussions such as deeeoo42 doing an excellent job of refuting Shook’s contentions that ECT has minimal risk. No, his/her mind isn’t going to be changed but it might save someone who is considering it from going down the tragic path which you should be applauding based on your previous statements about protecting people from misinformation.

  • Hi deeeo42,

    Thanks for letting me use your post. You are really killing it with all your points in refuting Shook’s claims about ECT.

    I am so sorry that you experienced the loss of your skills as an artist and writer and the loss of your memories and children. I can’t imagine what that must be like.

    Great examples of people in which ECT was a total disaster. Very tragic.

  • Stephen,

    Excellent response to Princess Aurora by the way. You nailed it precisely about these meds being motivation depleters. After I had been on them long term, that was a side effect I definitely noticed.

    On a related note, several years ago, I had a chance to interview for a peer support position working in a group home. When I asked what would happen if someone didn’t want to take meds, I got the strangest look from the person who told me about the job. That told me everything I needed to know and I never followed through with interviewing.

    I really admire your ability to work in the hospital. I would have such a hard time keeping my mouth shut.

  • Deeeo42,

    Great response to Shook. I was horrified at his/her posts claiming that ECT was safer than childbirth but just didn’t know how to respond.

    Can I share your post in the future on other internet boards if I run across similar posters to this person? If you don’t want me to, I will understand.

    I am so sorry for all your suffering, particularly in suffering a stroke as the result of ECT and not having it recognized by doctors until years later.

    Thanks again for this post.

  • Sean F,

    The chemical imbalance theory will never be supported by science. It was a big pharma creation.


    I am not going to argue with people who claim that meds are beneficial. I was also one of those folks who made the same claim while they were destroying my life. My mother begged me to get off of them as she could see I was deteriorating. I blew her off as clueless about mental health issues.

    I cringe big time when I think of that conversation. The only consolation is if I had tried to get off of them at the time, I would have been tapered too quickly which would have been a disaster. I didn’t yet have internet access so I wasn’t aware of slow tapers.

    So how do you determine if meds are benefitting your clients like they claim they are? Do you do functional life assessments or how do you measure the progress?

    What about neuropsych testing?

    What if your clients feel the meds aren’t effective? What do you advise them to do.?

    I don’t doubt that meds can benefit people but just like folks like you tell us that anecdotal experiences don’t prove anything, the same applies to your experiences.

  • Shook, you might have missed my previous post on this. You mentioned patients are screened for sleep apnea prior to ECT. In response, I asked if there are positive indications that they have it, do you suggest they hold off having shock therapy and get a sleep study to see if perhaps sleep apnea is an issue. My reasoning is that frequently when people don’t respond to depression treatments, it is because they have sleep apnea. Obviously, when one stops breathing several times while sleeping, that degrades the quality of sleep and can cause depression.

    Here are two links by a psychiatrist on this issue as an FYI.

    Sean F, I would also be interested in knowing if you take sleep histories of clients and refer them to sleep specialists when indicated.

  • Interestingly Shaun F, I think alot of pro psychiatry folks are quite arrogant. I guess it is all perspective, right?

    What really irked me is on another board, several of them thought it was wrong to speculate on Carrie Fisher’s death and actually took great offense to this. But these are the same folks who don’t have any problems speculating that someone killed in a shootout with police had untreated mental illness.

  • shaun,

    That is simply not true that people are not forced to take meds on an outpatient basis. Even ECT is forced.

    You might want to contact Sera Davidow, an MIA blogger, who has worked in alternative mental health in Massachusetts. I am sure she would be happy to give you the facts of what goes on.

    You also might want to contact Mind Freedom who has worked with people in this situation. And just you know, they are pro choice medication wise.

    With all due respect, I am finding that many mental health professionals like yourself are sadly misinformed about this issue and really need to educate yourself. And I fear with the Murphy bill that passed, that things will only get worse.

  • When I walk and start thinking out loud, I appear to be talking to myself. But that doesn’t make me mentally ill:) even though I think it looks that way to people walking by. They always say good morning:).

    All jokes aside, how you decide if someone is mentally ill? If you think it is because they are dressed poorly, there was a story about someone who assumed someone was homeless based on that premise and it turned out he wasn’t.

  • Princess Aurora,

    I am curious why you are expressing doubt when the psychiatrist admitted the drugs caused the seizures? Usually, they don’t admit anything about drugs causing horrific side effects.

    On a related note, when I told a nurse I was seeing that Wellbutrin had caused tinnitus, she had the arrogance to say it was completely harmless and that it couldn’t have been the cause. Even my then psychiatrist agreed it was the culprit.

    I just don’t understand why it is so hard for people to believe that drugs can cause side effects, even horrific ones. Obviously, causation doesn’t always equal correlation but prior to my going on Wellbutrin, I hadn’t experienced any tinnitus. Now, it is permanent which I realize doesn’t qualify as horrific by the way. But just trying to make a point.

    I can’t remember if I mentioned this here but several years ago, when I started using Listerine, it caused a loss of my sense of taste. As soon as I stopped using it, it returned.

    Interestingly, the dentist took my report very seriously even though according to dental literature, this was a rare occurrence. I have never understood why if the dentist could take my complaint seriously even though there was a financial connection since it had been given as a sample, why doctors react completely different when patients report adverse effects.

  • Not be sarcastic Sean but my friend and I joking call your reply, the I have ever seen it response.

    How do you know that what your clients may be attributing to stress may not be the result of the med? Maybe your clients aren’t telling you their feelings out of fear you will think they are crazy

    By the way, I would have never believed drugs could do this until I took Celexa several years ago and became severely agitated. I was filled with rage which is totally unlike me. I also had no reason to be since I had a good paying job that I liked.

    Even though my psychiatrist advised staying on the med, I disregarded his advice which was one of the smartest things I have ever done.

  • Oldhead,

    Anyone who surfs the Internet is responsible for their own actions and for deciphering what information is valid and what isn’t. That is just common sense.

    Human Being, I have read Anatomy of an Epidemic. I haven’t seen Peter Goetze’s video.

    Actually, I question when there is truly informed consent in any med being prescribed. When my former PCP insisted I needed blood pressure meds, she never mentioned that white coat hypertention can provide false readings. Thankfully, I asked for a 24-hour blood pressure test and realized I didn’t need the meds.

  • Princess Aurora,

    This is OT but I am wondering if you were a night owl growing up. As a result, if you have been allowed to go to sleep when your body preferred, you wouldn’t have had insomnia.

    In another post, you asked about my quality of life. Unfortunately, while tapering off my cocktail of meds, I developed narcoleptic like issues that have still not abated. When I described this as pseudo narcolepsy on David Healey’s forum, he didn’t disagree with my description.

    Anyway, I can’t give you pub med citations but I suspect psych meds severely disrupt sleep cycles and that is what happened to me. I never had these problems prior to going on psych meds.

    So far, the doctors I have seen have no clue as to how to help me. So I am working on arrangments to see someone who supposedly has had experience with complex sleep issues. Hopefully, he will provide the answers.

  • Why the sarcasm as it was a serious question? I feel that if someone is recommending something they claim has zero side effects, they should be willing to have it themselves or subject their family members to it.

    By the way, have you ever suggested sleep studies to people whose depression doesn’t seem to be remitting before recommending ECT? You do know that there is a certain percentage of people diagnosed with depression who turned out to have sleep apnea, right?

  • Aurora,

    I will never argue with someone like yourself who claims meds have helped. But you don’t seem to understand that being on them for many people has caused their lives to be hell. I am not sure why that is so hard to understand.

    One of the worst decisions I ever made in my life was to go on psych meds. When I think of all the money I wasted on psych meds when it could have been going for more productive things, I want to cry. So I try not to go down that road. But it is tough at times.

  • Very interesting amnesia.

    On a related note, many people with narcolepsy have found that their condition greatly improves with a gluten free, low carb/ketogenic diet. Even if they can’t get off of the meds, they find their dosage decreases.

    Actually, doctors generally know zilch about nutrition. So I would be shocked if psychiatrists did.

  • Oldhead,

    I have to vehemently disagree with you that Matt’s statement was irresponsible because you think it could encourage people to take psych meds. The free will you talked about in another post applies here. If someone decides to take a psych med based on someone’s positive review, that is on them.

    Look, if I can help it, I will never take another one as long as I live. And personally, I think they cause more harm than benefits. But I also have friends who seem to be doing very well taking them. It would be quite arrogant me to tell them otherwise.

    I am just baffled by comments like yours. We don’t like it when people question our disasters with meds but yet we feel free to do the same when folks post a different perspective.

    Shaking my head.

  • Not sure I understand your point.

    Comparing harmful effects of foods to antipsychotics is a horrible comparison. And side effects of prescription meds can be worse than ones from illegal drugs.

    The issue again is that when doctors are prescribing psych meds, they are neglecting their ethics in not providing a fully informed choice.

  • Rebel,

    If people develop diabetes from these drugs as many sadly do, sugar is extremely harmful. Even “good” carbs like oatmeal can spike blood sugars very high. No sugar isn’t the direct cause of heart disease but uncontrolled diabetes can definite result in heart issues.

    Sadly, the American Diabetes Association, instead of advising people with diabetes, to eat a high fat, low carb diet that normalizes blood sugars, believe in eating lots of carbs because they can be covered with drugs. Sound familiar?

    Anyway, this is relevant to the psych med issue because not only are people’s health’s in jeopardy taking these meds, if god forbid anyone develops diabetes, the diabetic educator that the person will be assigned to will most likely add gasoline to the fire by promoting a diet that will make things alot worse along with the meds they are told to take to cover the toxic high carb diet.

  • Shaun F,

    I am glad you see this as a serious issue.

    By the way, if god forbid your clients develop metabolic syndrome, can you refer them to this site?


    Unfortunately, the American Diabetes Association seems to think there is nothing wrong with eating carbohydrates even though they drastically shoot up the blood sugar. And yes, this includes the “good” carbohydrates like oatmeal. They claim that it can be covered with meds even though the extreme blood sugar fluctuations will eventually cause organs to wear out whereas going on a high fat, low carb diet keeps blood sugar extremely stable.

    Even type ones who needs medication, find they need alot less with this type of diet.

    And contrary to popular belief, this type of diet does not promote heart attacks or increase blood pressure. It actually usually normalizes everything.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent but I feel passionate about this issue. I have been pretty negative towards psychiatry but have almost as much contempt for the ADA because of what I feel are extremely harmful practices that hurt people with diabetes.

  • Hi Stephen,

    I think psychiatrists do know what they are doing but most engage in what I call deliberate ignorance.

    Jarett, I was completely speechless after reading your story. I swear, everytime I think things can’t be any worse, someone like you sadly proves how wrong I am.

    Kudos to you for what you have accomplished in spite of going through hell.

  • BetterLife,

    I was on a moderate dose of Coreg for just a few days for what turned out to be white coat hypertension. Even getting off the drug after not being on it for too long was not easy. I can’t imagine someone getting off it after being on the medication long term.

    And by the way, it was the drug from h-ll. My exercise stamina was reduced by 50% and I definitely had depression that disappeared once I was off the drug.

  • If you think cold turkeying is so easy Nomadic and just takes alot of willpower, you should go to http://survivingantidepressants.org/ and tell the administrator, Altostrata, that you will take over the board and be the source of support to all the folks who have cold turkeyed. You need to put your money where your mouth is.

    All sarcasm aside, your comment is extremely irresponsible and could cause great harm to people who decide to cold turkey due to thinking it just takes alot of effort. Yeah, some people might do ok but the problem is you won’t know if you are one of the lucky ones until it is too late.

  • Human Being,

    As one of those “evil” liberals, this is not a conservative vs. liberal issue. Our country has been stolen by a foreign government which even Republicans like Lindsey Graham realize.

    Anyway, I would be very happy if a sane Republican like Mitt Romney got chosen even if I disagreed with all his policies. But at least I would be able to sleep at night.

    You think this is a big fat joke but if Trump gets into office, all of us on this site will have alot greater concerns than the future of the Murphy bill.

  • Julie,

    You are lucky nothing happened by cold turkeying your meds. But many people are not that fortunate and suffer horribly for years doing this.

    And by the way, this is how many people end back in psych hospitals or end up getting shot by the police. They cold turkey their meds which then result in horrific withdrawal issues that clueless professionals deem as a relapse which either results in the tragedy of being shot or back into psych med hell.

  • Hi Hopeful,

    I would strongly advise you to go to http://survivingantidepressants.org/ and get support regarding reinstating your dose (as low as possible) and tapering very very slowly. Standard recommendation is 10% of current dose every 4 to 6 weeks but you may need to go more slowly.

    Please don’t be fooled by the title as this site supports people coming off of all types of psych and sleep meds. It is not beholden to any commercial interests and is totally dependent on financial donations.

  • No, he didn’t miss your point Oldhead. If access is cut off to healthcare, people can’t get the drugs they need to continue their psych med taper or stay on the med which would result in horrific withdrawal issues.

    Some drug companies will provide free meds to people but not all of them do. Found this out first hand when I was on psych meds and hit my yearly meds deductible that precluded any more coverage.

  • You’re dreaming TRM. Even most regular doctors don’t think meds have side effects. And Dr. Farrell called the new psychiatric ones benign.

    Just so you know, I am ranting against psychiatry and not you. 🙂

    All rants aside, your posts make perfect sense. But then there is reality.

  • The disappearance of psychiatry sounds nice BL but 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non-psychiatrists. Because it seems that people end up in psych meds h-ll due to an initial psych med prescription by a nonpsychiatrist, we need to teach people how to avoid getting into that trap.

    Example – A few years ago, I told a nurse at a specialist’s office that I was depressed. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I clarified that to say I was not clinically depressed but was upset about my sleep issues as anyone would be in my situation. Fortunately, she understood.

    Anyway, my point is you have to watch the language you use in giving a medical history so as not to be pointed towards psych med h-ll and psychiatry. And avoid filling out any questionnaires that look like they would lead to a suggested prescription for a SSRI if a wrong answer is provided.

  • If Dr. Gold thinks psychiatric hospitals are so wonderful, she should be required to spend two weeks on a locked ward without going outside. She should also agree to take an antidepressant, benzo, antipsychotic, and sleep med, and then be required to cold turkey off of them once her time in the psych ward is up.

    She should then write a follow-up blog entry in the Huffington Post stating her conclusions.

  • Marie,

    That is absolutely not true that life-style changes won’t help.

    I would strongly urge you to visit this site which is run by an RN who believe in as little drugs as possible for diabetic issues. As her blog indicates, she strongly favors a high fat, low carb diet.


    See her figures on what she feels constitutes normal blood sugars that are lower than what was quoted in the article you posted a link to.


    Why pre diabetes should be taken seriously befoe damage is done to major organs


    And by the way, spiking blood sugars are the cause of hypertension.

  • Hi Marie,

    Actually, pre diabetes and pre hypertension are legitimate diagnosis’ but giving drugs as the first option is a horrible strategy. Regarding pre diabetes, sadly, many people who end up with diabetes aren’t diagnosed for several years until the damage is quite extensive. If the doctors had taken their pre diabetes seriously and told them to go on a high fat, low carb diet to keep their blood sugars stable, chances are they would do quite well.

    I definitely agree about the push of statins on healthy adults. That needs to stop.

  • Sorry Victoria, I wasn’t clear. In spite of the title of the site, it helps people get off of all types of meds including Benzos, Antipsychotics and hypnotics.

    I can understand your reluctance in not wanting to try again but you might find if you really went slow with your taper such as 2.5% to 5% of current dose every 4 to 6 weeks (perhaps even slower), you might find more success. Obviously, your mileage will vary.

  • Well, if you had said this initially, there wouldn’t have been any misunderstanding. You were the one who wasn’t clear in what you said.

    And when I tried to clarify by asking questions, all that resulted was a response that came across as very condescending even if that wasn’t your intention.

  • Victoria,

    If you decided to secretly go off of your meds, a good site for support is http://survivingantidepressants.org/. Sadly, many people have had to lie to their psychiatrists that they were taking the meds and then used the specific advice from this board to very slowly taper.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not endorsing lying or doing this secretly. Unfortunately, sometimes, there isn’t a choice.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Iden,

    To be honest, I feel very angry at your response and perhaps it is due to my severe sleep issues.

    You said, “”My personal agenda is to ensure I speak for myself first and foremost. I don’t have the power to threaten any anti-Murphy struggle and even if I did that wouldn’t be where I would place my energy. “”

    In response, I said, “”Why wouldn’t you fight against the Murphy bill if you had the power to do so””

    Your response was “That’s not what I said.”

    I am angry because I feel your last response was a gotcha moment. If that isn’t what you said, why not clarify since my intentions were good in asking you a question instead of making assumptions. It just seems like you are assuming the worst about people instead of trying to have a dialogue with them.

    Anyway, why wouldn’t you put your efforts towards fighting the Murphy bill? An honest question.

  • Unfortunately, I have a very negative opinion of Holistic Psychiatrists which may or may not be fair. One nearly killed someone I know. Ironically, it was a conventional psychiatrist that saved her life.

    When I was tapering off of psych meds and having a horrible time, I called one out of desperation. He told me his consultation fees might reach $4000.00. I said no thank you.

    Someone else, related to your point, a psychiatrist near me said he was an expert in movement disorders. So thinking maybe he could help me with withdrawal issues, I called him only to find out that the only thing in his toolbox were more drugs.

  • Matt,

    I don’t know the percentages but not all African Americans shot to death by police had criminal histories. I don’t disagree that economic issues aren’t important but the issue is that many police forces are extremely racist and wlll shoot to kill and ask questions later, particularly if the folks involved are minorities.

    Ok, not the link I had in mind but here is one about police confrontations with white people being settled peacefully.


  • Sera,

    I think you’re misunderstanding my point regarding the issue of not seeing color vs. seeing it. When I have dealt with anyone of color, of course, I don’t ignore what they are. But again, when there are issues that threaten someone’s life, like involuntary commitment and forced drugging, whether that person is white or of color, it doesn’t matter as I am concerned about the oppression.

    At the same, as I have mentioned before, I definitely understand that people of color are greatly affected a lot more by forced outpatient AOT and that needs to definitely be addressed. And I realize there are plenty of other issues in psychiatry that effect minorities than white people.

    I mean no disrespect but you seem to making the issue of racism an either or situation. I find it interesting that you criticize my “not seeing color” comment but don’t give me credit for understanding that police brutality greatly and forced outpatient AOT greatly affects minorities a lot more than white people.

  • Matt,

    The issue is that whether you use the term, “BLM” or all lives matter is that a huge disproportionate number of people of color are getting shot dead by police. Meanwhile, as demonstrated by I believe a 16 part series on the Democratic Underground website, confrontations with white people are solved peacefully. Sorry, I tried to find the links but couldn’t.

    Anyway, I feel we get so hung up on language that we lose track of the main issues. And before anyone criticizes me, I definitely understand why using the term, “BLM” is important. But if Martin O’Malley has spoken out against people of color being shot to death by cops in huge number (I don’t know if he has or hasn’t), isn’t that what is important?


  • Iden,

    You said, “”The question to Oldhead was serious…why should a group of marginalized folks stand on the frontlines for another group of marginalized folks that have systemically oppressed them?””

    You are asking a good question but why are you making this an either or situation. The problem with doing that is why the democracy of the US is now at great peril thanks to the election of Trump. People hated Hillary so much that they couldn’t see that Trump was alot worse alternative in my opinion.

    It seems like you are doing this with the issue of racism which I am not minimizing by the way. You find it so abysmal in the “white” movements that are fighting Murphy that you seem to be forgetting that the Murphy bill is the ultimate in racism in which the policies will affect people of color extremely disproportionately.

    Again, I am not minimizing your concerns but hopefully, you understand the points I am trying to make.

  • Sera,

    I was the one who mentioned the friend. I used her example because the blog essentially said this statement, “I don’t see color” is wrong. And I was trying to point out that when people are oppressed by psychiatry, it isn’t wrong to say that.

    And this was after I had recognized that persons of color with psych labels are shot dead alot more often than white people are. In fact, on the Democratic Underground website, they had about a 16 part thread about how escalations with white people are peacefully brought to a conclusion by police while folks of color are usually shot dead.

  • Human Being,

    Thank you for saying what I have been trying to say but was unable to. I try very hard to be sensitive to minority issues as a white person. I posted on a facebook group about how minorities with psych labels were killed a lot more by the police than white people which wasn’t very popular.

    At the same time, I don’t see color when people are brutalized by psychiatry. Yes, more people of color are committed against their will but if I told that to my white friend who was the victim of an involuntary commitment thanks to a medication dispute with her psychiatrist, I don’t think that fact would make her feel any better and actually would be condescending.

    But like you, I am willing to listen and learn.

  • “”Psychiatry does not have legal ownership of a human being for her/his entire life. “”

    Hi Darby,

    What about outpatient involuntary commitment orders that never seem to expire? If Mind Freedom hadn’t gotten involved in the Ray Stanford case, it sounds like this would have happened to him.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I am still not comfortable with comparing psychiatric oppression to slavery. But I can see why people do feel it is appropriate.

  • I agree there is room to talk about your blog Sera and the Murphy bill. Sorry for this off topic post but until we build a big enough network and align ourselves with other organizations who would be most affected by the Murphy bill and thus put ourselves in a better position to complete with TAC and company, we’ll keep getting the same crazy results that Sharon talks about.

  • I am inferring the House vote is a done deal. According to this Daily Kos Blog entry which is referring to the general provisions of the Cures Act:


    The Cures Act passed easily, 392 to 26—with most of the opposition coming from the right-wing of the Republican Party.

    But six progressives voted against it, and deserve to be commended for doing so:

    Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)

    Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

    Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)

    Barbara Lee (CA-13)

    Jim McDermott (WA-07)

    Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

    I am really dumbfounded as even without the mental health legislation in there, this is a horrible bill as the patient protections will go right down the drain.

    Anyway, call your Senators tomorrow to vote against this bill.

  • Julie,

    I haven’t seen great evidence that petitions are effective.

    Anyway, people need to call their representatives regarding this horrific legislation before they do anything else. If after they call and want to sign a petition, by all means so do. But calling your Reps should be the number one priority.

  • Julie, I really think people need to focus on calling their Representatives about this horrible legislation. I fear if they get side tracked signing a petition, they will think their job is done when it isn’t.

    However, I do think there are great talking points from this petition that can be used when calling your Representative, particularly, the patient safety issue.

    Anyway, please call your Representative to oppose this bill as soon as you can.


  • Maybe you have never heard stories like this because your patients realize you won’t believe them and attribute everything to anxiety and making things up. Has that ever occurred to you?

    By the way, doc, there aren’t any drugs that are 100% safe, even ones with the best track records. So even if you think the dangers of Benzos are being over exaggerated on this site, to call a drug 100% safe is a very reckless statement, particularly when you might have a patient who experiences a dangerous side effect.

  • madmaster76,

    Many people develop diabetes from being on psychiatric meds, particularly antipsychotics, long term. Anyway if you want to reduce or eliminate the diabetes meds your mom is taking, take a look at this site.


    It is about how eating a high fat, low carb diet stabilizes blood sugar where the BS readings are consistent throughout the day. Unfortunately, you will not learn about this diet through the American Diabetes Association and many medical professionals who sadly think that diabetics can eat anything they want as long as they cover it with diabetic meds.

    Unfortunately, with their shoot em up with meds philosophy can go from having extreme highs to lows in BS which definitely isn’t good for someone’s cognition. And if they are already taking meds as I assume your mother is, this could be extremely devastating.

    At one point, the blog author was offering free online CDE courses. Not sure she is still doing it but it is definitely something to look into.

    Regarding mental health statistics, anyone who sees a mental health professional or doctor life issues will get falsely pegged as having a “mental illness.” So please keep that in mind.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Jeffrey, you also might want to look at this article that proves that Trump is exactly who he says he is regarding hate issues.


    And for you folks who hate liberals, yes, this is from a liberal site but has been posted on other newsites. And there is this quote from Republican strategist John Weaver:

    “”Just to be clear news media, the next president named a racist, anti-semite as the co-equal of the chief of staff” This is referring to Steve Bannon.

  • JeffreyC, I agree with you that Pence would be alot worse but please don’t be fooled by Trump.


    “”Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Back in the 1930s, The New York Times assured its readers that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all posture.””

  • Thanks for your response.

    You know that a manic reaction to Prozac is a side effect and not necessarily an indication of having bipolar disorder? Was that ever considered?

    I certainly am not doubting your story but I wish I had a nickel for the folks who were given iron clad BP diagnoses only to find out they weren’t valid.

  • Hi Oldhead,

    I will have to go back and reread the thread which I may not be able to do for a few days.

    Frankly, whether the term psych drug or psych med is used, it is still disempowering if someone is given the message they are diseased.

    By the way, I went back to the Surviving Antidepressants website to see if a particular term (drug vs. medication) is favored and they seem to be used interchangeably. I mean, when you are suffering horribly from withdrawals symptoms, I think it really doesn’t matter but that is my opinion.

    Yeah, my point is that physical conditions many times are treated with medications that don’t cure the problem.

  • Hi Richard,

    You said, “”I think the major point here is not whether or not the author “agrees with a good portion of our issues” but rather how does his writings influence the broader public? That is, how are we educating the masses about the critical difference between what has been advertised (with billion dollar PR campaigns over 4 decades) as “medications” but are, in fact, mind altering psychiatric drugs that overall cause great harm to people?””

    Why does this have to be an either or situation? In my opinion, whether you say psychiatric drugs or psychiatric medications, the issue is they cause great harm. That is what the focus on the message needs to be.

    And again, what about my point that most drugs are really symptom suppressors that can cause great harm to people. Are we going to insist that all medical specialties make the necessary distinction?

    You are right, Tim was defensive with you at some points. So thank you for pointing that out.

    Yup, your analysis of various points definitely needs to be discussed.

  • Elaine, congratulations on your success but unfortunately, the site you have suggested is nothing but an infomercial.

    As an alternative, I would suggest people google ketogenic or high fat, low carb diet in which there is plenty of free information. Many people have had great success using this diet to get the same results as you did.

    I would also suggest that people go to https://lowcarbrn.wordpress.com/ to educate yourself on the issues of metabolic problems and why this type of diet works very well for alot of people.

    Do agree that ADA diet is a disaster. They remind me of psychiatry because of their continuing to push high carb diets that are destroying diabetics’ health. Their attitude is it can be covered my medications which makes it all the more disgusting.

  • Hi Oldhead,

    I couldn’t directly reply to your comment so I am doing it here. Your logic is great as always.

    Your right, my position isn’t incompatible with being anti psychiatry. I think because I feel there is a lot wrong with conventional medicine in general, it is hard for me to be specifically against one particular branch of medicine. But that may just be an issue of semantics.

    I need to think more about what you said which is a good thing.

  • Hi Oldhead,

    Because I feel the problems of psych meds and “mental health” transcends psychiatry. First of all, 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrists. Anecdotal evidence of this is many of the patients ends up on the surviving antidepressant website because they were prescribed meds by non psychiatrists for simply stresses in day to day loving. So even if psychiatry was wiped out from the face of this earth which I doubt will ever happen, it is not going to solve the problem of these drugs being way overprescribed.

    I also know a few people in which a psychiatrist was very helpful regarding their withdrawal issues. On another health board, I belong to, someone had been pawned off to a psychiatrist who finally directed this person to a helpful doctor. Another time, I read a story about a psychiatrist who correctly diagnosed someone as having a stroke after the previous doctors they saw misdiagnosed the person as having depression.

    Now granted, these are anecdotal experiences and perhaps they rarely occur but because of knowing about these, I am not comfortable being anti psychiatry. And it still doesn’t prevent me from calling foul on the profession when they provide alot of reasons for me to do so.

  • Kal,

    Unlike many people on this site, I am not antipsychiatry but am anti BS in which most of psychiatry is. Examples:

    1. Continuing to perpetuate chemical imbalance hoax which is used to justify keep people on meds for life at great harm.
    2. Denying that withdrawal symptoms from psych meds exists and instead falsely claiming that is a return of the illness which is used as an excuse to pile more psych meds on someone causing horrific results.
    3. Denying that side effects from psych meds occur and falsely claiming that they are an indication of an untreated mental illness that needs more drugs which results in a horrific situation.
    4. Power tripping patients into forced commitment when they disagree with you about a med prescription. Yes, I know someone that happened to.
    5. Refusing to take someone off of a psych med when the situation is screaming for it and starts playing what I call the game of find the perfect med to lessen the side effects. I know someone who has been on antipsychotics for years who is now suffering horrific side effects. Instead of helping this person either reduce to a much lower dose or get her off of the meds, she switched her to an antipsychotic that supposedly doesn’t cause the poisonous side effects. We have all heard that song and dance.

    I hope you now understand why people are so angry and antipsychiatry. My advice to you if you really want to have a dialogue is to come across as listening to what people said and asking more questions if necessary that show you are really hearing us. Unfortunately, I fear you will be defensive and give the same song and dance that most pro psychiatry folks give that we can’t generalize all of of psychiatry as bad and there are some good ones like yourself. If you do that, then you wasting our time and might as well not post on this blog.

  • Amber, the video you linked to seems like an infomercial. Care to summarize the strategy?

    Anyway, I have pre diabetes which I indirectly blame on being on psych meds for years. I have found the best strategy which unfortunately, I haven’t been sticking to is to eat to my meter which means constant testing of my blood sugar levels to see which foods spike it. Usually, that will mean a high fat, low carb diet.

    There is plenty of free information on this. Also google ketogenic diet as that can be helpful with metabolic issues.

    The sad thing about being diagnosed with diabetes is just like with psychiatry, the only solution that doctors will offer you usually are meds. The diabetic educator that you are referred to will most likely suggest a healthy diet with lots of carbohydrates that will slowly cause your condition to deteriorate.

    As I keep saying, psych meds are the gifts that keep on giving. And yes, I am being sarcastic.

  • Hi PaisleyToes,

    Were you reacting to this?

    “”The findings on the tablet’s effect on anxiety could have further implications for potential non-pharmacological treatments for anxiety in children both in and out of a surgical context.””

    If I am right, then personally, I don’t think they are conflating regular with pre surgical anxiety. It makes sense that they want to see if using an IPAD to relieve anxiety in a pre surgical setting would relieve it in a day to day setting. Any investigation of non med remedies is a win-win in my opinion.

  • Amazed that would seems like common sense requires a study.

    On a related note, prior to minor surgery last year, I skipped taking Versed as a preop med and listened to guided imagery sessions on my Kindle. Worked great and had a fantastic recovery.

    By the way, one of the arguments for using Versed as a preop med is it makes you forget unpleasant things. Uh, all I remember was being wheeled to the operating room and positioned on the table correctly and then waking up in the recovery room feeling relieved everything was done. No unpleasantness whatsoever.

  • madmother13,

    If you have a problem with what someone wrote, click on the “Report Comment” at the end of the post and it will definitely be reviewed. Yes, as one who has had posts deleted, I can assure you this site is moderated.

    Not sure what the rest of your post is referring to but I can give you my take on things. I don’t see meds as either or situation as long as the person taking them is given a fully informed choice which is a whole other discussion.

    To be honest, when I first got off of psych meds, I was a black and white thinker regarding the issues. But when I developed sleep issues, to be honest, if I could have found a med that worked (I didn’t), I would have taken it in a heartbeat. It made me realize the issues aren’t always that simple.

    Hope this helps.

  • mommd,

    I agree that PCPs are responsible for alot of patients being placed on antidepressants for normal life stresses. But psychiatrists are definitely not blameless in this situation.

    Many times, patients in this situation are referred to one of your colleagues because of medication “failures”. Unfortunately, there isn’t any revaluation of the situation that led to the meds and drugs continue to be piled on to the patient leading to what I call psych med roller coaster h-ll.

    I am also very tired of the insurance companies being blamed as one who has a very negative opinion of them. If doctors know that drugs aren’t appropriate to be prescribed, the prescription shouldn’t be written.

    And if doctor’s offices have the time and money to prescreen patients for depression, they can definitely find the same ability to come up with counseling resources. It is simply a matter of attitude which is easier said than done in this “drug is the answer to everything” practice by many medical practices.

  • Message from the Jaffe group. Please contact your senators to thwart their efforts.

    “”TODAYS THE DAY! The Senate is back in session today. We are close to getting mental illness reform put on their (short) calendar! Please call your Senator TODAY at 202-224-3121 (or the direct number at the link http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/) and ask him or her to pass Mental Illness Reform Act (S. 2680) and include the provisions that are missing from it that are included in the bipartisan bill that passed the House 422-2 (Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, HR 2646). Those provisions create more hospital beds, establish Assisted Outpatient Treatment, and reform SAMHSA so it focuses on evidence based practices that really help the seriously mentally ill. Those must be part of mental health reform or the seriously ill will be left out. Thank you. WE CAN DO THIS!!!””

  • A quote from a Jaffe facebook group:

    “”Having said that, the antipsych community seems to be a heavy concentration of personality disordered people whom do not acknowledge the mutual responsibility in relation to meds. They do make clear, the lack of quality of life they live as they go untreated.””

    More motivation to contact your Senators regarding everything Oldhead has mentioned.

  • j123,

    You might want to check outhttp://survivingantidepressants.org/ . Once you register as a member, you will have access to the members only benzo forum which you might find to be very helpful.

    They have found that an extremely slow taper increases the chances of success. Even if you feel you have already tapered slowly, you might find you need to go even more slowly.

    Lots of luck to you.

  • Richard,

    With all due respect, you and many in this community are making the mistake thinking that if there was a transition to neurology, things would be better. But none of you seem to realize that 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrists.

    Additionally, neurologists are just as capable of haphazard prescribing of psych meds. Can’t find the link but one of them prescribed a toddler Risperdal due to reaction to an epileptic drug.

    I do agree the good psychiatrists don’t do enough to expose the BS in their fields. But regular doctors don’t either as I think the fear exists that if they do, their careers will be destroyed.

  • My mistake lovebug as it was the cannibis he was on that caused the psychosis. Thanks for the link to the newspaper article.

    However, even though I was in error blaming the med, I still hope that people will look at the link I provided regarding meds causing homicidal ideation because too often, that gets overlooked.

  • Actually, calling someone who makes an assassination threat crazy is too nice of a word. Sorry, I know I will be flamed for this but I have bitten my tongue one too many times on this board regarding Trump.

    But getting back to the topic, it isn’t the language that matters but the actions. You can be politically correct all you want but if the actions tell a different story, language means zilch.

  • caitrin176,

    I am glad antidepressants work for you but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they have been a miserable experience for many people.

    As far as how often they cause homicidal ideation, neither you or I have a monopoly on the truth as to how often it occurs. But consider the fact that only 2 to 10% of all med side effects are ever reported to the FDA, I think it is safe to assume that these particular side effects are greatly under reported since psychiatry has a history of minimizing serious ones.

    And just so you know, I don’t automatically blame the meds for all shootings. I haven’t looked carefully at this latest article by Dr. Breggin but when someone doesn’t have a criminal history and then takes a psych med and goes on a criminal spree, which may tragically involve homicide, I think that calls for a closer look at the role of the psych med.

    You might want to read Dr. Breggin’s book, Medication Madness which is about cases he consulted on regarding people whom he felt the drug played a role in regarding committing crimes. He specifically excluded cases that in which he couldn’t make a direct correlation.

    Regarding you feeling stigma when reading articles like this and blaming Dr Breggin, I feel that is totally unfair. It is actually more stigmatizing to not talk about these side effects.

    Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatrist, says when he prescribes psych med, he alerts his patients to the adverse effects so if god forbid, they get one of them, they don’t think it is their “illness” and know to contact him immediately. Too bad, most of his colleagues aren’t like him.

    Anyway, I wish you well.

  • anothervoice,

    As I like to remind people, as evidenced by the 422-2 Murphy vote in favor of its passing, neither political side is a friend of ours. And even before this dreaded legislation passed, mental health abuses have taken place in both liberal and conservative states.

    That aside, Liberal Minority’s only intent seems to be to troll this site and not engage in a serious discussion with posters. At least in the past, when people have posted differing opinion, they made some attempt to respond to what people comment on. Not LM.

    I also thank Robert for this article.

  • Shellyum,

    I certainly respect your opinion but calling this article as shaming current treatments is totally unfair. I mean, if an article appeared questioning the efficiency of any other med, would you call that shaming? I doubt it so why is it ok regarding the issue of psych meds?

    And just because you felt you needed to take meds to recover from depression doesn’t mean that is true for everyone which this article was trying to point out. My life would have been greatly improved if I had been treated with non med remedies vs. a cocktail of 4 meds that I feel wrecked my health big time.

  • Hi Stephen,

    Your excellent advice regarding listening to kids would also apply to adults being listened to instead of drugging them at every opportunity. You said:

    “When are adults going to stand up and say no in protection of their own kids?”

    Unfortunately, they usually feel the medical experts know best and wouldn’t be doing this screening if there wasn’t a good reason for it. Or is they question it, they get alot of pushback that is hard to resist.

  • I wish I had a nickel for how many times doctors blow off the side effects of meds. Alot of psychiatrists are big time offenders but sadly, many regular doctors are also part of the “It can’t be the drug” club.

  • Steve,

    Several years ago, I worked with someone who was the victim of domestic violence. She was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. (: but hadn’t filled the med prescriptions.

    I successfully discouraged her from filling the prescriptions but to be honest, I don’t know if she remained drug free or not.

    I know I sound like a broken record but it isn’t just psychiatrists who are prescribing psych meds for relationship issues. Many people end up on AD withdrawal boards because that PCP in which they described these issues to ends up giving then an SSRI.

    So while your advice to stay away from psychiatrists is excellent, you also need to add be wary of drug happy PCPs.

  • Alex,

    Sadly, your post is quite timely:


    Hmm, maybe we need to start medicating police officers against their will to call them down. Of course, I am being sarcastic but it was ok to use the same logic to pass the Murphy bill.

  • During my long taper from psych meds that was nearing an end, I respectfully told my psychiatrist that I wish I had never set foot in the arena of psychiatry. His next question was to ask about my mood which made me realize the mistake I had made in starting this conversation.

    It was a real eye opener to me how protests against psychiatry were seen as a mental illness. Needless to say, I kept my mouth during future visits which were quite minimal near the end of my taper as I had less need to see the psychiatrist for any medication refills.

  • Hi Stephen,

    I switched PCPs this year and had a physical with the new doctor. When he told my cholesterol was way over the ideal 200 level, I cringed as I feared hearing the “S” word.

    Much to my pleasant surprise, the guy said that because of my otherwise ideal ratios, the research he consulted was conflicted on whether I needed to be on stains or not. So he left it up to me and obviously, you all know what I decided. 🙂

    There is no doubt in my mind that my previous PCP would have wanted me on them yesterday. Obviously, I am quite happy with the switch.

  • How are you going to determine if drugs have medical validity or not? Even the drugs that I think are evil seem to benefit a small minority of people. I don’t think they should be prevented from taking them as long as there is fully informed consent.

  • I definitely understand the anger towards psychiatry but again, 80% of all psych prescriptions are prescribed by non psychiatrists. And many people end up on AD withdrawal boards thanks to their PCP prescribing psych meds for normal responses to stressful events in a person’s life. Even if psychiatry was banned which is never going to happen (another discussion), it wouldn’t solve the problem of the gross over prescription of these meds.

  • Actually, if someone stops Prozac, that is no guarantee they will become less violent as cold turkeying a med or tapering too quickly can cause homicidal ideation.

    Sera, after I read the article on the Boston Globe website, I wrote to the email address at the bottom and provided the link to this blog entry. I also told them that as one who used to defend the media against multiple critics, I felt this article was a low point in journalism with its extreme sensationalism in demonizing people with the “MI” label.

    Thank you for writing this.


  • Alex,

    I am very confused by your posts. In my opinion, Uprising made some excellent points regarding your posts on abuse and then you claimed that you were only talking about your own experience.

    However, using “we” language in my opinion is not doing that. If that is what you are truly doing, you might want to say, “it has been my experience” — and then at the end of the post, say that your milage will vary. Just a suggestion.

    Finally, I am absolutely stunned that you would claim that Uprising was being abusive towards you when nothing was done of the kind. He/she simply was pointing out some legitimate issues regarding the subject of abuse which for some reason you took unfair exception to in my opinion.

    Anyway, I agree with Uprising and anyone else who feels that forgiveness is not mandatory to heal from from horrific abuses and that forcing someone to forgive when they don’t want to is adding to that person’s trauma.


  • Alex,

    No one is arguing against independence and I am not sure how you could conclude otherwise.

    Of course, people need to move forward but when assistance is not available in spite of their best efforts, it is kind of insulting to tell someone to pull themselves up by their boot. One of my favorite disability activist many years ago refused to use herself as a role model because her standard response was that she realized people didn’t have the advantages she had growing up in overcoming her issues. Don’t get me wrong, she still was a great person for brainstorming things but the fact that she recognized that everyone’s situation was different spoke well for her.

  • Stephen,

    I don’t disagree that there should be choice in people’s lives. But the point that Elsie is trying to make which I agree with by the way is this site doesn’t seem to apply the same critical analysis to alternative programs as we do to psychiatry.

    If a psychiatrist posted a study on this site about the effectiveness of psych meds with a sample size of 17 and then told us to go back and review the other studies, we would be outraged. And if he/she said there weren’t any side effects, we would cry foul. But for some reason, we don’t apply the same scrutiny to alternative folks.

  • Where would I find information on what product was used in the study?

    Additionally, what evidence do you have that side effects are rare from micronutrients? The reason I am asking is I am very sensitive to even small doses of many supplements. Also, many people who are withdrawing from psych meds or who have completed the process find they are quite sensitive to so called harmless supplements.



  • Ysbeth,

    This question may sound strange but by any chance, could you have sleep apnea? Many people wrongly diagnosed as ADHD turn out to have it.

    Another reason I am asking is you mentioned having cognitive problems which is quite common with sleep apnea. Of course, there could be several other reasons why you are having trouble and I am wondering if you were given any other possibilities besides ADHD?

    No matter what, your situation sounds so frustrating and I wish all the luck in the world in getting it resolved.

  • Hi Philip,

    As an FYI, several people with diabetes have found that by going on high fat, low carb diet, it greatly stabilizes their condition and as a result, doesn’t become progressive. Unfortunately, most medical professionals are still clinging to old style beliefs that the condition only gets worse over time.

    By the way, I am not claiming that diet will help all people with diabetes as that is quite obvious from visiting diabetes boards. But many people have had great recoveries after trying to follow the outdated advice of eating a low fat diet with lots of carbs only to get progressively worse.

    By the way, I see similarities to the issue of psych meds. Someone gets worse on a psych med and is given more of what is harming them.

    Since diabetes is a problem with carbohydrate metabolism, a diabetic is told to take more of what is harming them on the theory that some type of diabetic drug will cover it.

    Great column as always.

  • As an FYI, I don’t have pain issues but am interested in this issue knowing that one unfortunately life circumstance could change everything.

    Richard, I am not sure I understand your points. Yeah, I don’t doubt that long term use of Opoids could be bad news.

    But are you honestly going to tell patients who feel being on these meds is their only option and are not experiencing side effects that the studies show they are wrong? Kind of reminds me of psychiatrists telling folks the studies show they aren’t experience side effects or withdrawal symptoms when we knew better.

    Recently, I read alot of comments when there was an article in the New York Times about this issue. It broke my heart when so many people feared their lives would be destroyed if their pain meds got reduced, particularly when they mentioned they had tried alternative means.

    It just seems to me that Richard Lawhern is right. Pain patients are being unfairly punished for this opioid crisis and that is so wrong. But no one seems to care.

  • JoanM,

    You might want to visit this site,http://survivingantidepressants.org/ for help in getting your relative off of the meds. Don’t let the title throw you off as they provide support in tapering other meds besides anti depressants.

    Support is free and they aren’t beholden to any commercial interests.

    Very sad what happened to your loved one but it is sadly quite common to mistake AD withdrawal issues as Bipolar. Criminal actually.

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

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

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

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

  • I don’t watch cable either BPDT but these ads are sadly still in many magazines as I have discovered while waiting in doctor’s offices. They are even in Prevention Magazine, which is the last place I would have expected to see them.

  • A great decision emmaelizabeth. As one who feels I paid a big time heavy price from being on psych meds for 15 years, reading a post like yours is very encouraging as I don’t want anyone to suffer like I and others on this site have done.

    And by the way, it angers me greatly that your doctor treated normal stressors with a med. Why didn’t he refer you for counseling?

    It sounds like you will do great and I wish you all the luck in the world.

  • Great article Dr. Stolorow. The way you helped your dad deal with his upcoming eye surgery by acknowledging his painful feelings should be a sticky for all medical professional when dealing with patients in similar situations.

    On similar note, there have been alot of comments on this blog entry by Dr. Pamela Wible, http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/03/medical-school-has-killed-my-soul-what-can-i-do.html. Comments have come up suggesting that medical students experiencing this were already depressed and maybe need to be treated for clinical depression. Fortunately, Dr. Wible and other commentators realize that what that student and others in his situation are experiencing is strictly situational induced depression.

  • Essentially, their attitude is that not all psychiatrists are bad and if we point to examples like Luise’s, we are bunch of radical antipsychiatry nuts. We are supposed to be moderates.

    But as I keep stating on this site, women who were raped aren’t asked to moderate their views towards men. Yet, people who feel like they were chemically raped by psychiatry are. Makes alot of sense says me sarcastically.

  • I have been watching a documentary on my Kindle about obesity being out of control that is about 5 years old. I wondered about this connection too.

    Yeah, diets are horrible but since so many psych meds cause weight gain, it certainly can’t help that so many people are on them.

    Finally, on a personal note, I had not had a weight problem for years until going on SSRis when I felt the weight gain would never stop. When I stopped taking them, it came off without any problem. Obviously, this doesn’t prove anything but I do feel the issue of psych meds cause weight gain is vastly ignored. Not a surprise to anyone on this site.

  • So Stevie, what is your ideal way of coming together so that this mom’s experience doesn’t keep reoccurring?


    In case you didn’t read the column, her daughter died due to severe overdrugging in a psych hospital. And by the way, this is not an isolated incident.

    Actually, this would be a good question for any psychiatrist visiting this blog who thinks we all ought to moderate our views.

    And by the way Stevie, maybe if you and your colleagues would express your outrage at the abuses instead of just continuing to defend psychiatry, you would get more respect. But you keep ignoring this and acting like it doesn’t happen.

    Finally, I am going to repeat a point that I have made previously on this blog that may sound extreme but I think is appropriate. Since commentators on this blog had horrific experiences with psychiatry, asking them to moderate their views is like asking rape victims not to be so angry. They have ever right to feel the way they do and to be heard.

  • Jeffrey,

    My former PCP worked for a healthcare organization and as a result, before any routine visit, I was always asked to fill out a mysterious functional living questionnaire in which it seemed a wrong answer could lead to a a prescription for an SSRI. I refused to do it but found this very creepy. And a few times, got asked about suicidal ideation by the nurse when it had nothing to do with my visit.

    Hopefully, those days are over with the new PCP who works independently and didn’t even use a computer while talking to me. His attention is on the patient. What a novel concept.

    Your experience sounds very upsetting.

  • Philip,

    Great article as always. What is bleeping scary is I would qualify for a depression diagnosis thanks to what I feel are years of being on psych meds messing up my sleep cycle big time. This has resulted in hypersomnia and insomnia issues which of course is depressing as h-ll since I feel like I am on my own regarding solving the problem.

    When I referred to this as pseudo narcolepsy on Dr. Healy’s blog, he said some of the meds have an effect on the orexin system which does influence the sleep wake cycle.

  • I definitely agree about the need for a crib sheet. Meanwhile, folks might want to go to this site, sponsored by Pfizer (I am shocked), to see what the various versions of these questionnaires look like in case they get hit with one unexpectedly at a PCP’s office.


    I am wondering if there is a way to refuse to take. For example, one time before a visit to my former PCP, I noticed a depression questionnaire was online and of course avoided it. But when she surprised me by giving it as part of their routine screening, I was caught off guard and didn’t know how to politely refuse it without coming across in a negative manner.

    I know some people would say just cooperate and answer no to the questions but for me, that solutions falls way short.

  • Actually Cat, as one who has messed up circadian rhythms, due to what I feel are due to being on psych meds for years, that word is not a fraud. And by the way, one of my problems is sleeping split shifts which causes me to feel horrible. Unfortunately, I have been unable to consolidate sleep which is a whole other post.

    But my issue aside, there are many people with that problem. Just because big pharma wants to drug it, doesn’t mean the issue isn’t legitimate. And many people suffer horribly from these issues, particularly when the standard advice of light therapy and melatonin doesn’t work.

  • “”I am curious how you got the information that valium is the “weakest” and easiest to taper of all the benzodiazapines””

    If you google Heather Ashton, an expert in Benzo withdrawal, she would advise people to cross taper to Valium and then withdraw from that. The theory was it would easier to taper from since it had a longer half life than other benzos.

    However, many people found that wasn’t the case in their situation felt it was easier to taper off of the benzo they were on.

    The issue though which I am not sure you understand Lucilda is that Benzos like all psych meds need to be tapered very very gradually to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Many people find they have to taper them at 5 to 10% of current dose every 4 to 8 weeks.

    And no, I don’t have any research links to give you since sadly psych med professionals are mostly clueless about tapering and blame all withdrawal symptoms on mental health issues as this column excellently points out.

  • “”Normal alcohol use and normal doses of benzodiazapines are not a problem except in people with addiction. “”

    Not correct. Many people have taken benzos as prescribed by their doctors and had a horrible time getting off of them.

    I hope to god Lucilda you aren’t a doctor or a health care professional because if you are, with all due respect, you shouldn’t practice another day until you seriously educate yourself on Benzo withdrawal. Otherwise, you are causing great harm to your patients.

  • Hi Steve,

    As one who has had bad experiences with alternative folks, I would caution people on this board to against thinking they are the answer to most medical problems. By the way, I say this as someone who greatly distrusts conventional medicine also.

    My frustration with both sides is they have made it an either or situation. The issue for the best care is what is the remedy that will help the patient that is proven to work with the least amount of side effects.

    And if a nasty med is needed like an antibiotic, any medical professional who is not recommending that folks take probiotics ahead of time should be treated with extreme distrust in my opinion.

    And if anyone thinks I am being extreme, several years ago, I had a relative who had a c difficile infection that didn’t resolve until she was finally put on probiotics.

  • kayla,

    I worked for a disability organization several years ago that confused the issue of LD with an intellectual disability but I have never heard of a psychiatrist doing what yours did. I am speechless.

    You do know that all the other cr-p you have been diagnosed with may be due to the LD and social skills issues you are dealing with right? I hope you are getting help for that and that you aren’t just being treated with meds which in my opinion are pretty worthless for most people with these issues although obviously,I don’t want to make generalizations.

  • Hi Julie,

    I have always been extremely upset about doctors like yours using the diabetic analogy like most folks on this board. Since I have joined the pre-diabetic club, I find it even more offensive.

    Yeah, it is amazing by taking extra care of yourself as you did can change your brain waves without needing therapy. Kind of like if I pay attention to my diet, my chances of joining the diabetic club will be greatly diminished which will greatly decrease the chances of my needing insulin.

    It just seems like healthcare professionals are incapable of coaching people to engage in self care methods that have a great chance of working. Not putting therapy down as some people need it but to say there weren’t any alternatives when you asked your doctor is beyond absurd.

  • Hi Ron,

    Unfortunately, my first sleep doctor turned out to be horrible several years ago and tried to bully me into seeing a psychiatrist as she blamed my pap therapy struggles on mental problems. Finally, to shut her up, I said I would see a counselor and actually, I wasn’t totally being disingenuous as I would have if I could have found someone worthwhile. Her response was I had to see a medical doctor meaning she decided my “alleged mental problems” were a medical illness not treatable by a counselor.

    Needless to say, I never returned and in retrospect, I should have walked out on her. Live and learn.

  • Since 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrists, avoiding one does not guarantee a patient will avoid the psych med trap. In fact, with the “coordinated care” movement in many PCP’s offices, my guess is the prescription of psych meds will increase.

    And even if there isn’t a coordinated care movement, many PCPs are doing routine screening for depression. Obviously, folks on this board are aware of these traps but many people, sadly are not.

  • Nancy99,

    I held off responding to your post because to be honest, I get very frustrated when I feel people are totally misinformed about a condition like autism. And by the way, it is not a mental illness so your logic in saying it isn’t legitimate doesn’t apply here.

    So better than my trying to argue why your position is wrong, I suggest strongly you read this site thoroughly which is run by people with autism.


    They describe it as a neurological variation that obviously can cause great difficulties in this world and need support in learning how to to cope depending on the situation.

    Now whether a diagnosis is beneficial is another issue for me as I feel self diagnosis and learning coping mechanisms may be the best choice. But many people I know on the ASD spectrum said it as it explained the difficulties they were having trouble with that so many people without ASD don’t give another thought to. So I am not going to discount their experiences any more than I would of people who had the experience from h-ll with psychiatry.

    Also, I know one person with autism who wouldn’t have gotten very far in school and in the work world without disclosing her autism and getting necessary accommodations. As always, nothing is ever a back and while situation.

  • One again, great post firewoman.

    I am not a doctor but it would seem the best thing a woman who is pregnant and on SSRIs could do would be a very slow taper to minimize withdrawal symptoms to her and the baby. That way, her chances of maintaining a good quality of life are alot greater which means she will be in a better position to all the necessary things to ensure a good outcome for her baby.

  • engineer,

    I am perplexed by your comment. It seems firewoman was just suggesting that if a woman is pregnant on an SSRI and experiences withdrawal issues from discontinuing the meds, that could cause harm to the baby then staying on the med.

    She raised an issue I certainly wondered about as I think folks on this board are overlooking the WD issues. Yeah, it is definitely better not to have been placed on the med but once someone is pregnant is on it, what is the best option to cause the least harm to the baby and the mother? It seems callous not to consider that.

  • Sera,

    Thank you so much for this response. Speaking of resisting acting on negative thoughts, when I saw that post by Margie, I wanted to flame her big time even though I knew it would be removed. I have felt extremely angry and frustrated in feeling that none of her remarks on this site or others are supportive of our cause.

    But I waited and hoped that someone with more sense than me would respond and you came through. Thanks again.

  • Katie,

    To be honest, I used to cringe when Dr. Healy’s name was mentioned because of his association with ECT. But as I have learned with my own medical situation , nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

    I went back to read his website and my gosh, the work he is doing to make the public aware of the risks of psych meds and withdrawal can’t be brushed aside. He is also bringing awareness of the bad effects of other meds such as statins.

    I just feel that if we keep waiting for the perfect professional who doesn’t have any warts, we’ll be waiting a long time. And no, contrary to popular believe on this site, Dr. Breggin is not perfect by a long shot.

    And your statistics on how involved he is with ECT really put things into perspective which I greatly appreciate. And since he doesn’t provide involuntary ECT, that makes the situation more palatable although I am not thrilled with it. But I am definitely not one who wants to throw him overboard.

  • BPD,

    Perhaps I am misinterpreting your post but even though autism doesn’t belong in the DSM, it is definitely a legitimate diagnosis based on my experience in working with students with the condition and also knowing many adults on the spectrum.

    Because the condition is greatly misunderstood generally in society, I can definitely see why psychiatry would be completely clueless about it and want to peg it as something else.

    As I keep saying, just because something is erroneously in the DSM, doesn’t mean it isn’t legitimate. Otherwise, sleep apnea which incredibly is in there, would be a bogus diagnosis. 🙂

  • HB,

    Agree the site is chilling but it doesn’t prove that the left has a monopoly on wanting to push aversive mental health treatment.

    On a related noted, everyone was bemoaning the fact that the Justina Pelletier case occurred in an “evil” liberal state. Then on this site, an article was posted about a similar type case occurring in Alaska in which last I checked was run by Republicans.

    Stephen Gilbert, as usual, nails the issue about neither the right or the left being our friends.

  • DaveC,

    Since when is the issue of guns a left vs. right wing issue since many responsible gun owners have mentioned that the laws need to be tightened regarding people being able to easily access guns. Really, it is a serious health and safety issue and I am disappointed that you would turn this into a political issue.

    You are also missing the point of the article that because of these shootings, people with alleged mental health issues are being rounded up for psych treatment as they are guilty until proven innocent instead of focusing on the real issue, which is the easy accessibility to guns. If you are as conservative you seem to be implying you are, that should greatly concern you since a group of people’s civil rights are in danger of being violated if they haven’t been already.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/adhd-sleep-disorders_b_3193570.html

    Dr. Breus unfortunately believes in ADHD but the rest of his points about how sleep disorders are commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD are excellent. So if a kid really has a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, the stimulants are like adding gasoline to the fire. And even if he/she doesn’t have a sleep disorder, sadly being on a stimulant will give him/her one.

  • With all due respect, I think it is a very reasonable question in light of the fact of what went on previously with exchanges between Kate and other commentators, including Leah Harris. Leah was very empathetic and tried to understand where Kate was coming from. In my opinion, she kept kept getting rebuffed by Kate to the point where Leah gave up trying . That is why I asked.

    Funny you demand empathy out of us but you don’t ask the same thing of Kate who keeps constantly demeaning various posters no matter how hard they try to be civil.

  • Kate,

    Why do you keep coming back to this site? When you previously were here, Leah Harris tried to have a civil dialogue with you to no avail and stopped engaging with you People responding to your posts might want to check the archives of these exchanges.

    You want us to understand your daughter’s experiences but yet you show no understanding or compassion of what people have been through on these sites.

  • Hi Saul,

    Thanks for the information. But just because the Cleveland Clinic has a functional medicine department doesn’t mean it is any more legitimate than their psychiatry department if you catch my drift.

    By the way, I say this as someone who did find the site interesting. I was also curious if they coordinate care with mainstream medical departments. When I looked into going to Cleveland Clinic for other issues, I didn’t sense that occurred so I tend to be skeptical. Of course, I could be wrong.

    Anyway, I haven’t changed my mind on Dr. Hyman.

  • Steve,

    Perhaps I am missing something but your post seems contradictory to me. You keep saying alot is known about Ketamine but admit on the other hand, it is hard to set up adequate trials to prove its efficiency.

    And interestingly, you haven’t addressed my concerns that your talk about Ketamine sounds so similar to how previous psych meds were praised as the latest and greatest drugs only to fall flat on their face.

    Regarding Ketamine for anesthesia, as one who had practically zero complications with Propofol, h-ll would freeze over before I allowed that drug to be used in surgery.

  • Exactly Steve. How many times have there been studies showing how various other non drug remedies seem to be very effective for ADHD only to hear that scientists are quite skeptical of anything being a viable alternative to their beloved stimulants?

    Heck, I will bet if anyone diagnosed with ADHD was able to show proof from their sleep study that they had a sleep disorder like apnea causing the problems, that we would still hear the skepticism BS.

  • Forgive my skepticism but these are the same arguments that have been made previously for the latest, greatest, psych med.

    And when you talk about long term results, what are you referring to? Any links to an unbiased study that could confirm your claims?

    By the way, Steve M, an MIA writer, has spoken about being able to end patient’s depression very quickly. His novel idea? Listen to the patient and ask them for the source of the distress. And not treating them as someone with a lifetime brain disease.

  • Hi Sarah,

    Your friend might want to visit http://survivingantidepressants.org/ for advice on tapering meds. Hopefully, they could advise him on how to reduce the meds without the help of his psychiatrist. I think it depends on the meds he is taking.

    Does he have the option of seeing someone else? The reason I am asking is there is a list of taper friendly psychiatrists in various areas that might be helpful.

    Good luck to him.

  • Saul,

    With all due respect, Dr. Hyman sounds alot like the one size fits all conventional practitioners. Just because someone is an alternative medicine provider doesn’t mean they should be trusted more than the conventional person especially when his operation is quite commercialized.

    I don’t disagree that people with “MH” issues should be automatically checked for various issues. But I am quite skeptical of metal toxicity claims. That sounds just as wild as the bipolar diagnosis’ due to med reactions.

  • Steve,

    The problem with banning off-label prescribing is that people who benefit greatly from that would suffer. For example, I know someone for whom amitriptyline (small dose) is the only thing that helps for pain and enables the person to sleep. I am sure she isn’t alone regarding this situation.

    Surely, there must be some type of accountability system that would stop this madness. I have no what it would look like unfortunately. But that would be great if someone could come up with something to stop these abuses while not penalizing folks who greatly benefit from off label prescribiing

  • Stephen,

    In this case, I would agree with you but many times, the issues aren’t always black and white. In the Justina Pelletier case, there were folks fighting for her freedom whose political values I despised. But if I had had the opportunity to march with them regarding demanding her freedom, I would have held my nose and done it.

  • That is exactly how I felt when I went to an Overeater’s Anonymous group several years ago. It made zero sense to me that I would be powerless over food the rest of my life. So I purchased an empowering book on the issue that taught me how to treat food as the friend and how to eat in response to hunger cues. Unfortunately, when I later went on psych meds, those cues got destroyed but that is another post.

    BPD, I wanted to shout the same thing at the OA meeting. LOL!

  • Hi Margie,

    You said,
    “OK I get it the issue is having been on or being on meds is the criteria for disability. I thought that the Soc Sec Disability folks needed a diagnosis with a doctor’s note or documentation. Now I know better, thanks””

    Actually, I am not sure and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Maybe people have found a way to get the documentation and or doctor’s note without having to take meds, I don’t know.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  • It is not hard to understand at all. Even if someone doesn’t consider themselves disabled, if being on psych meds caused impairments so severe that they can’t hold down any type of job, they may have no choice but to take SSDI. Sometimes we have to make decisions that are areas of gray and not always an either or type of black and white situation.

  • “”Sometimes I get angry with all the critics of psychiatry for they focus in matters that I think fancyful (antidepressants and all that) and neglect issues of informed consent in populations like our childern that are being tortured and further disabled by the thousands in our supposed civilized world.under presures like you describe. “”

    At the risk of getting this thread OT, I think you’re being unfair with all due respect. If you have read various articles on this site, it covers the issues you have spoken about such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and folks in foster care getting zapped with psych meds. People on this site have been horrified about that.

    And why is this an either or situation? I have the right to be very critical of how ADs have destroyed my life while at the same time being very upset that nothing has changed and that the vulnerable populations I have mentioned above are big prime time targets.

    Speaking of autism, I worked with autistic students many years ago in a special ed environment. And yes Steven, they were all forced into a one size fits all mentality.

  • Frank,

    You missed my points. I used the example of parallel parking as a light hearted example to show that having a positive attitude is not the issue to all problems.

    The person I talked about who is having difficulty recovering isn’t failing to do so because of lack of resiliency. She/he probably wishes that were the case because the problem would be solved.

    I think it is very insulting without knowing someone’s situation to infer negative connotations.

  • Alex,

    With all due respect, I have to agree with Frank and no, I am not a defeatist person. Because if I was, I wouldn’t have been able to be able to drive when someone with my deficits supposedly didn’t have the ability to do so.

    However, having a positive attitude has not enabled me to be able to parallel park. By the way, I had trouble explaining that to someone who annoyingly invoked the Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’ I wanted to slap her for that. 🙂

    All jokes aside, when I foolishly thought I could parallel park, I wasted alot of time and energy trying to park the car when I could have used it to simply find a better space and walk a few blocks. Just not worth the hassle.

    On a more serious note, psych med withdrawal has been very debilitating for many people. Kind of hard to be positive when you’re functioning at a very minimal level and wonder how the heck you are going to make it through a day.

    I know someone who is suffering with horrific withdrawal symptoms and it would be an extreme insult for me to tell this person that healing will happen if he/she lets it. Kind of like telling a blind person that they can read a book with a positive attitude.

  • In doing a search on antidepressant withdrawal, I came upon this webmd link.


    “”Antidepressants help restore the normal function of naturally occurring, mood-regulating substances in the brain, called neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine. “”

    I guess Dr. Pies thinks this information came out of thin air. And yes, I am being sarcastic.

  • I was very lucky that I had a psychiatrist who totally cooperated with my slow tapering plan even though initially, it was clear he thought it was the dumbest thing on earth. But to his credit, he did come around.

    However, I never did feel comfortable sharing with him about the wd issues I was having as I feared if I did, he would state I was having a relapse and would pressure me to go back on the meds. Until the end of the taper, I had the sense he was waiting for me to fail so I didn’t give him any ammunition.

    By the way, when I told other people in my area about my experience with this psychiatrist, they said I was very lucky and most psychiatrists would not have supported my withdrawal the way he did even though it was far from perfect. If that had been the case, I would liked to get the prescriptions I needed and simply continued the slow tapering method.

  • SE,

    Unfortunately, I have seen evidence of this in my PCPs office as I previously have posted about the situation. I would love to say my situation is an aberration but I greatly fear it isn’t particularly since 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrists. Needless to say, the situation is pretty disgusting.

  • Hi Tracey,

    Welcome to MIA. As an FYI, if your clients don’t have support from a psychiatrist, you might refer them to this site:


    There is a list of doctors who will support clients with a very slow tapering method which is what this site advocates which is 10% of current dose every 4 weeks. And many times, people are advised to go more slowly.

    Now granted, it is not run my medical professionals but then again, so many of them are clueless as to how to advise people to taper and many times, advocate way too fast taping methods which put people in danger.

    Welcome aboard.

  • Fred,

    With all due respect, you make the mistake of assuming that all alternative health practitioners are competent because you don’t trust conventional medicine.

    When I was tapering off of psych meds, out of desperation I went to two naturopaths that were worthless. One suggested homeopathic remedies that seemed to make the situation worse. Another one suggested taking 5HTP which would have increased my risk of serotonin syndrome due to the meds I was taking.

    Many alternative health folks also are drinking the koolaide regarding chemical imbalances. Yes, they don’t prescribe harmful psych meds but their actions can be harmful if they don’t understand the whole situation as has been the experience of folks who dealt with them who were not anti alternative health.

    My point is I understand the distrust of conventional medicine as I am very leery of it. But at the same, one needs to be just as critical of alternative medicine and not give them free passes just because they practice differently.

  • bpd,

    I think it just depends on each case of mass shooting as you can’t assume each case is the same. Just my opinion but it seems in the case of the guy who committed mass murders at an Illinois College, he seemed to be fine before going on psych meds. I remember reading his friend stating that he had gone off of them before the shooting which could have course been a factor.

    But in other cases, I would tend to agree with your points. In the case of Eric Harris, it seemed he had a long history of anger many years before the SSRI came into the picture. Those killings would have occurred come heck or high water sad to say.

    In the case of the VA tech shooter, he had a history of not getting his needs met in special ed which can definitely do a number on someone. As far as I know, he wasn’t put on an SSRI until he entered college so it is hard for me to claim that was the cause although it could have pushed him over the edge.

    I just feel as someone who has no doubt that psych drugs can cause someone to commit a crime who might not otherwise, that if we start automatically blaming the meds for every mass shooting, we are no better than the psychiatrists who automatically dismiss the drugs as the culprits causing homicidal ideation.

  • I agree that you can’t always blame the meds on the violence. From what I have read about Columbine, Eric Harris had problems with anger long before he started taking the med. It may have pushed him over the edge but it didn’t sound like that was the direct cause.

    In this case, it sure looks like the drugs are a possible cause, particularly if the shooter ended up in a psych hospital after stopping his medication. He probably went through multiple rapid changes of meds and we know how that movie usually turns out.

    Sadly, I fear this will not be the last time we will have this discussion.

  • On a related note, before a routine visit to my primary care physician, I was asked online to fill out a functional assessment questionnaire. I was outraged as it seemed very intrusive and a wrong answer could lead to a prescription for an SSRI.

    To make a long story short, I finally tracked down the person who was responsible for this and she of course blew off my concerns and said it helped physicians provide better care. Yeah right.

    Anyway, I told her that I didn’t ever want to see this questionaire online again . I am sure she thought I was a wacko patient but I didn’t care.

  • Margie,

    With all due respect, you’re missing the point as this isn’t about pro medication vs. anti medication. This is about giving the patient a fully informed choice and letting them make the decision as to how they want to proceed based on the available research that has been MIA regarding extreme states.

    And you seem to assume that emergency medication would work when that isn’t necessarily the case in various situations. Then what?

    As far as rage at providers, would you tell rape victims not to be so angry at men? I have never fortunately been committed against my will but reading the stories of commentators on this blog sure sound like chemical rape to me. Anyway, I get really tired of their situations being minimized.

    By the way, the mental health providers who acknowledge their anger and rage on this site end up getting the most respect. Just saying.

    You keep acting like responsible calm dialogue is the key to change. Been there done that on mainstream psych blogs and it isn’t worthy bleep as long as one questions any aspect of psychiatry.

    Anyway, this sounds like what 70s feminists were accuses of. Oh, stop being such angry women. Meanwhile, things happened like rape victims were treated like criminals by police which no one wanted to focus on. But no, anger was the problem that prevented dialogue. I say that is bunch of malarkey that once again, blames the victim and prevents any real significant change.

  • Alice,

    How do you know people have benefitted from medications? The reason I am asking is when I took several of them, I thought they were helping only to later realize they were destroying my life. Peter Breggin refers to that as being spell bound.

    So if your patients tell you that, do you ask them questions about various aspects of their life to make sure reality matches perception? Obviously, you can’t force them to say they don’t work if they feel they do but having this information might lead to better treatment.

    And what if your patients tell you the drugs don’t work and they want off of them? What do you do?

    Regarding stigma, what are you doing to prevent patients from getting substandard medical care due to physicians seeing a record of the psych med history? It seems this issue is greatly overlooked by psychiatry and the medical profession.

    Finally, you talk about change needing to happen slowly. Meanwhile, many people’s lives continue to be destroyed by psychiatry. And I don’t say that to be mean spirited by the way but I find this point interesting because in other areas of civil rights, I don’t recall leaders saying change needed to happen slowly.

    And by the way, Sandy Steingard, a wonderful psychiatrist, who posts on this blog, got creamed by another psychiatrist on the 1 boring old man blog even though she was quite reasonable. Her credentials meant zilch.

    My point is I don’t think the Jeffrey Liebermans of the world would give a hoot about the fact that you are a colleague. If you are perceived as antipsychiatry no matter how reasonable your position is, it doesn’t matter what credentials you have.

  • I am shaking my head big time at the criticisms of Monica who has given so much information out for free that would cost a fortune on other websites.

    And speaking of free vs. paid information, the site, http://www.survivingantidepressants.org is completely free in offering advice on getting off of psych meds. Yet, I know of at least one person connected to this site who offers consulting services for getting off of psych meds. Yet, there is no criticism of this person for offering a paid service that a website offers for free.

    By the way, I don’t think this person is in the wrong for her/his consulting services. Heck if someone is willing to pay money for what you offer, go for it.

    But I just wanted to point out that people are very inconsistent with the criticisms.

  • Saw that Oldhead.

    And this remark my Pies greatly angered me.

    “I am also not fond of the term, “psychiatric survivor”, which, in my view, is a misappropriation of a term normally applied to people who survive torture, concentration camps, or life-threatening diseases. Thus, despite the horrific side effects of cancer chemotherapy, we do not find cancer patients calling themselves “Oncology Survivors.” They are cancer survivors. Of course, there are “bad apple” doctors in all the medical specialties, alas, and I do recognize that some patients have received bad or inhumane care at the hands of some psychiatrists. But the entire profession is tarred with the same brush when people call themselves “psychiatric survivors”. If you and those you counsel are to work constructively with my colleagues and me, we need to find a vocabulary that is mutually respectful, as your note demonstrates. “”

    Uh, Dr. Pies, the treatment people have received from psychiatry in many cases does qualify as torture in spite of your denial. The comparison to people receiving treatment for cancer is absurd because those folks are doing it with fully informed consent and under a voluntary basis unlike many folks in psych hospitals who are forced to endure horrific side effects against their will.

    Furthermore, this comment is extremely insulting because when working with rape victims who are mostly women, professionals wouldn’t dare remind them that not all men are horrible. They would tread very carefully to work with their trauma and eventually get them to the point where they wouldn’t be afraid of me. But it would be done in a very sensitive manner.

  • sanderella,

    When my mother was alive, she tried to warn me in the manner that you attempted with your daughter and granddaughter. Sadly, I blew her off which is one of the biggest regrets of my life.

    But even if I had listened to her, I wasn’t up to date on tapering and WD issues and probably would have not succeeded getting off of the meds. Still I wonder.

    Anyway, my point is don’t give up because I finally saw the light and hopefully, you daughter and granddaughter will also.

  • BetterLife,

    I haven’t had my cholesterol tested in years but every time I did, it would test higher than 200 with a superb HDL to LDL ratio. Fortunately, this was before the throw a statin at every patient type of situation but I remember when the nurse told me the results, she cautioned me that my cholesterol was too high. So I responded, uh, according to the lab interpretations, I have less than 1/2 the average chance of getting a heart attack so what is the problem? She had no answer and continued to insist I needed to watch my level.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if this happened today, I would be offered a statin which of course, I would decline. Even if I felt there was a problem with my cholesterol and I would do very careful research to make sure there was one, I would try a million things before thinking of resorting to statins and even then, I might still refuse them.

  • Philip,

    I can’t thank you enough for all your excellent columns. Unfortunately, I fear that in 10 years, we will be having the same discussions as nothing is going to change. All you have to do is read psychiatry and mental health boards to understand.

    My best advice to people is to not become a customer of psychiatry. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done because as I keep mentioning on this board, even the regular medical field is drinking the psychiatric cool aid. But at least if you are aware of the land mines that exist, you can learn how to avoid them.

    Thanks again for what you do.


  • The_cat,

    Neither side of the political aisle is our friend. It isn’t just the big bad liberals who are a threat.

    Government abuses occur in red states also.


    Also, in Alaska, a young adult was snatched from his parent’s custody because the medical mafia didn’t agree with their decisions about his care. Sorry, can’t find the link but it written about on this site.

  • “”My psychiatrist told me that if I complained one more time about side effects that he was going to start injecting them. “”

    If someone complained to the media about a regular hospital doing this regarding any non psych med, this would be front page news. But if you did this, it would be totally blown off because the drugs are for the “mental patient’s” own good since they don’t understand that. Never mind that when this has been done in Russia and China, it was seen as torture by the US.

  • We also need medical professionals who understand how to safely taper people off of psych meds so they don’t end up in the position that sanderella did. It is a bleeping disgrace that an internet board, http://www.survivingantidepressants.org is alot more knowledgeable than most medical professionals regarding this situation.

    Anyway, Margie, I was very disappointed that you didn’t seem to realize that was a main issue in this situation.

  • “I truly think that constantly re-opening wounds and persistently arguing over words that describe these wounds is not helpful. The mind gets stuck in one track and peripheral blindness occurs. Here is a quote that best sums it up for me.”

    What you perceive as wound opening is because various commentators feel you are not hearing them and instead keep offering excuses. As one who has never fortunately been in a psych hospital or had the experiences of Katie in working in one, I don’t have as much invested in this thread even though I too was outraged at your column. But I definitely agree with the extreme frustrations of the commentators.

  • Exactly SE. Saks could have had a relapse due to either cold turkeying the meds or withdrawing too quickly. Get so tired of this issue being overlooked but sadly, that is what psychiatry does.

    On a related note, if I remember correctly, Jonathan Keyes, who worked inside psych hospitals, posted about teh revolving door with homeless patients. They were involuntarily held but once they were released, they would CT their meds which of course led to symptoms looking like MI which got them back into the hospital again. It was a vicious revolving door.

  • J,

    You have precisely nailed the situation with meds as it pertains to Corrina.

    On a related note, I am choosing to take Provigil for various reasons which I obtained from a regular doctor. But in no way does this mean I have a bogus mental illness and it is on my terms as you excellently point out Corinna is doing.

    Corinna, thank you for a great post and much continued success in your recovery.

  • Len,

    That is no different than respecting a medical facility for one department but being concerned that another one is not up to par. This isn’t an either or situation.

    By the way, a specialist who as considered to be a top doc in my area nearly committed malpractice with a relative and me. He didn’t heed my warnings about having an adverse reaction to a med and while fortunately, no hard occurred, it could have been very serious.

    So I hope you can forgive me for my skepticism. On a more positive note, I have a great cardiologist who is not listed in any top doc list locally. But on all the patient rating lists, she received several great ratings. Normally I take these with a grain of salt also but just to confirm what I had read, I casually asked her nurse during the first visit about them. This woman’s expression said it all about this doc.

    Regarding psychiatrists, there is one who is a sleep specialist I would see in a heartbeat if he was in my area. He doesn’t just throw meds at a problem like most psychiatrists do and has a good understanding of non med remedies that are better than many alternative health practitioners.

    Again, this is not an either or situation as you have to look at the total picture and not make assumptions based on ratings that might not mean anything.

  • Len said,

    “”My 18 year old daughter has benefited from everything I have described here and now is doing quite well in first year at college. She continues to take medication and has good insight into her diagnosis.””

    So many parents claim their kids are doing well on meds but yet, we never hear anything from them as to whether that is true or not. So once again, I challenge you Len, as a parent, to let your daughter post honestly on this site how she is doing whether she agrees or disagrees with you.

  • Bonnie,

    I know someone who completely shares my concern about psych meds being way overprescribed. But in this person’s case, amitriptyline is the only med that has solved his problem with pain. I just don’t think that taking away someone’s right to choose meds is the solution and will only alienate them from supporting our cause.

  • Thanks GIR.

    As an FYI, what you are referring to was discussed on this site during an interview on NRP:


    Kind of scary that if the doctor is threatened by your knowledge of your medical condition, you will get a psych diagnosis. You can’t win for losing as doctors keep complaining that patients aren’t compliant and don’t care about their health. Yet, if someone takes control like the guy mentioned in the interview did, he gets tagged with a damming dx.

    Also, in the interview, the doctor said that being black can be bad for your health which I totally understand. But I also wanted to add that having a psych diagnosis in your medical records can be also bad for your health and perhaps more damaging than being black.

    Most doctors who see that will view any complaint you make through that lens. You will also be seen as a non credible member of your healthcare team because after all, people with a MI diagnosis can’t be trusted, right?

  • Bonnie,

    You said,

    “It is a question of what we mean by “abolish”. If we mean that they cannot call themselves medicine or function as a branch of medicine, this takes away the very plank on which they rest, and after that, they wither.”

    If that were to occur, how would this prevent the rest of medicine from drinking the psychiatric koolaid? I have given numerous examples of how I have encountered this in regular medicine and I just don’t see how banning psychiatry would prevent this.

    Sorry if I am belaboring the point but I honestly think this issue is getting overlooked.

  • Madmom,

    As an FYI, I know someone who got a diagnosis of a psych disorder from a regular doctor that is beyond absurd. People on this board don’t seem to understand that if non psychiatrists are drinking the psychiatric med koolaid, that striving to banish psychiatry will be an exercise in futility.

    I agree with you that the primary focus should be informed consent and the abolition of harmful treatments and ending involuntary commitment.

    I also think people need to be educated on dealing with regular doctors to avoid getting a diagnosis of a psych disorder as getting one could be very detrimental to future heath care needs.

  • “Second, I don’t know why people don’t get the “ADHD”-antipsychotic connection”

    I call this deliberate ignorance. Medical professionals just don’t want to believe their meds can cause harm. Easier to blame it on mental illness.

    “”Finally, it disturbs me that 5% of the GENERAL POPULATION of kids on Medicaid are on antipsychotics! That is a scary figure, especially when considering the extreme negative long-term health impacts of these drugs.””

    And people wonder why Medicaid is so costly. A big fat sigh!

  • As horrific as these drugs are, banning them is not the solution since cold turkeying people off of the meds would not be a good thing.

    Anyway, I can’t imagine a more cruel thing than to give someone who is already suffering cognitive impairment, an antipsychotic. Of course, giving someone who isn’t cognitively impaired one isn’t very nice but this practice of pushing them on folks with intellectual disabilities greatly bothers me.

  • Hi Philip,

    Everytime I think you have written your best column, you keep proving me wrong. They are all great but this one really is superb.

    Anyway, I am not sure why physicians would look down on psychiatry since so many of them have adapted their practices and subscribe to their BS. For example, when I saw my PCP a few weeks ago for prescribed blood work, the nurse in a routine screening asked if I had been depressed for the past two weeks and suicidal as part of the routine questions. I was really furious at this question but kept my cool.

    After I was bought to my hospital room post operatively, the admitting nurse asked about suicidal ideation as part of the routine questioning. Obviously, I can’t repeat what I wanted to say.

    Many sleep doctors incorrectly assume that sleep issues are due to depression which also pisses me off big time.

    By the way, I do have a question. When that nurse asked me the question, I was so angry I wanted to say something protesting it being asked but I kept my mouth shut because I feared it would come out wrong. What would be an assertive response?

    I am just tired of this BS and feel that patients need to start speaking up. Maybe it is an exercise in futility but I just feel we need to try and say something.

    And just so folks know, when I was twice asked to fill out a functional assessment questionnaire before a PCP visit that I felt was very intrusive, I finally found out where it was coming from and told the person in charge of the project that I didn’t ever want to see this again in my account when I made future appointments. Of course, she acted like I was making a mountain out of molehill but I didn’t care.

    Thanks again Phil for speaking out against psychiatry. You are so great at hitting the issues precisely.


  • Steve,

    I know we have discussed this before but autism when it is diagnosed correctly which is a big fat if, is definitely a legitimate diagnosis. Unfortunately, because professionals try to “beat the autism out of them” for lack of a better phrase, their answer is a an antipsychotic.

    Instead of teaching them how to cope with their hypersensitivities for example to loud noises, bright colors, etc., and other ways to adapt to their issues, they simply throw drugs at the problem in attempt to normalize their neurology. That works as well as trying to turn a cat into a dog.

  • “including the damage caused by telling people that they have a brain disease when they don’t have a brain disease.”

    Exactly Saul, as one who feels being on psych meds caused long term damage. And no JohnSmith, it is not due to normal aging which you used to blow off someone who made a similar type complaint.

    JohnSmith, you claim that anti psychiatry activists have agendas but you don’t come across on this forum as non biased either. You seem to think that psych drugs can never cause any harm.

    Anyway, if cardiologists had lied about blood pressure and statins for years, there would be a big time uproar. But for some reason, it is ok for psychiatry to lie about psych meds I guess because patients with “mental illness” don’t deserve the truth.

  • John,

    No one on this earth lives a bias free life and that includes you and Bob Whitaker. The difference is that neither one of you is treating me for a medical condition nor is Bob pushing his book on me to treat anything.

    Contrast that with a former sleep doctor who pushed a medication on me that was contraindicated according to the drug insert because this physician was probably visited by a drug rep before my visit. Or what about the physician who is pushing drugs on patients that he/she consults with drug companies on. Now that doesn’t mean the drug choice might not be inappropriate but as a relative said regarding ethics, it isn’t even good to give the appearance of being unethical even if you aren’t.

    By the way, I feel the same way about alternative healthcare professionals who sell products in their office just so you know.

  • I would hope a good doctor would inquire further about the person’s car accident as perhaps he received a concussion that wasn’t treated and is causing the depression. Of course, keeping him from psych meds would be an issue but that is another post.

    I would also hope the doctor would ask about potential sleep disorders since untreated ones like sleep breathing disorders can also contribute to the condition.

    The doctor should then systematically decide what issues may be causing the depression. If there aren’t any problems, then the patient should be referred for counseling.

    My point is I don’t see this as either or situation as a good doctor should be able tease out what the problem is. But you’re right, if he/she just automatically assumes that providing a fecal transplant as the solution to someone’s depression, that is no better than just providing antidepressants for all depressions.

  • wflewis,

    I don’t doubt your experiences but you have to understand that many people on this site have have been through horrific atrocities by psychiatry which your colleagues keep blowing off and minimizing. I think if you experienced a similar type situation, you would feel just the same way.

    Anyway, you might want to do a search for a search for Dr. Sandra Steingard, a psychiatrist who blogs on here and perhaps contact her. I think she could offer you some great advice.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Stephen,

    I had minor surgery a few months ago in which doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics prophalactically after the surgery in spite of the lack of supporting evidence. Fortunately, my surgeon agreed I didn’t have to take them and I never came close to developing any infections. In case people were wondering why I worried about his reaction, I just felt like if I couldn’t have an honest discussion about medications, then he was the wrong doctor for me.

    Anyway, this experience makes me wonder how many times antibiotics are prescribed prior to and after surgery when the evidence doesn’t support the practice and thus contributes to the problem of super antibiotics. I know many doctors would say a short time course doesn’t do this but I do wonder about that.

  • I am confused by your post. I thought the proposed theory of depression being caused by inflammation was questionable and not proven according to this article. If something isn’t proven, I thought it was up to scientists to come up with theories showing something is true vs. MIA having to show that the theory of inflammation is false.

    Additionally Oldhead makes a great point about the common practice of assuming all depression is either a physical or mental illness. I will bet if someone is depressed such as having a horrible boss who all of a sudden gets a new job with a great supervisor, my guess is the alleged inflammation immediately disappears.

  • Hi freeme,

    You might want to take a look at this site regarding tapering Seroquel:


    Even if you are tapering slowly, you may have to decrease your tapering speed even more since Seroquel is a powerful drug.

    Also, if you have had insomnia since 5, I am wondering if it might be useful to see a sleep specialist for evaluation of a sleep disorder, particularly sleep apnea. I wish I had a nickle for all the people diagnosed with mental disorders who turned out to have sleep breathing disorders. Google sleep disorders to see if anything applies or doesn’t.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Duane,

    You said,

    “”The drug reps, in their suits, or high heels and low-cut tops; the recent college grads with their marketing degrees visiting docs pose no immediate threat… The legislators who pass bills that force all of us to pay for these drugs – especially psychotropics children in Medicaid and foster care programs; they are the real threat.””

    Actually, the drug rep can pose an immediate threat if that causes your doctor to treat a condition with a med that this person was peddling which ends up possibly delaying the correct treatment since the physician was too lazy to do any detective work. Also, as one who ended up in an ER due to an adverse reaction to a med, how do I know that wasn’t prescribed as the result of a marketing rep since I was given a drug coupon to use?

    Agree about the legislators but you do realize this is a bipartisan effort right and not limited to those “evil” liberals?

  • Jill,

    On a related note regarding fish oil, I assume you have seen the studies that show they generally don’t work for a variety of conditions. Being skeptical of conventional medicine studies on supplements, I will bet they totally ignored mitigating factors such as whether people continued to eat a bad diet.


  • “”Every doctors claimed my prescriptions couldn’t be the problem.””

    SE, sadly that seems to be the mantra of most doctors and not just psychiatrists. Many years ago, there was no doubt in my mind that Allegra was causing insomnia. When I told the allergist, who had top credentials, his response was that wasn’t supposed to happen. I wanted to say, “you —–, I am telling you it occurred and I don’t appreciate you minimizing my experiences.” I bit my tongue.

  • Stephen,

    If I worked in your job, I would be fired and perhaps endure a worst fate because I would have such a hard time being civil in light of all that BS you have described.

    Your experience is why I think debating things on the evidence is hopeless as we could post scientific links or mention them until the cows come home and it wouldn’t matter. No one seems to give a damm.

    I think our best hope is to keep people from the system but how do to do that is another question. It just seems like once a person enters, they never leave.

  • Fair points about the meds and as I previously mentioned, am glad to hear that you minimize them in your practice. Unfortunately, most doctors do not give their patients a through analysis of the risk/benefits regarding medications and by the way, I am referring to all physicians.

    For example, I was given a medicine by a physician at the end of the appointment that I knew was contraindicated and the pharmacy printout confirmed I was right. In all fairness, she was desperate to help but she would have been better off not doing anything. Anyway, I am moving on from her but my guess is I am going to keep encountering similar type situations.

    You said,

    “”This paper, as I wrote is misleading and should not have been published as it serves as fodder for sensationalists trying to skewer the field of psychiatry.””

    Since non psychiatrists prescribe about 80% of psych meds, I find the above statement puzzling. Isn’t the issue no matter what is criticized whether it be benzos and Vitamin D to have a fully informed discussion about the risks/benefits and not worry about whom this might serve as a fodder for.

    Finally, thank you for your respectful replies as they are greatly appreciated. I also appreciate you disclosing your profession so we know exactly what perspective you bring to these issues.

  • Addressing your last point about claiming that people present baseless vitriol about medication is easy. What seems to be hard for folks like you to understand is many people don’t have psychiatrists who seem very thoughtful regarding treatment like you appear to be.

    They get subtly or forcibly coerced into taking meds come heck or high water. And if there are complaints about the lack of effectiveness, in response, they get more meds because it is their mental illness that is causing this.

    Instead of slamming people for what seems to be extreme positions, why not try to understand where they are coming from? By the way, many folks have rightfully equated their experiences with psychiatry to chemical rape so keep that in mind since I am sure you wouldn’t accuse rape victims of being vitriolic who may appear to hate men.

    Regarding fish oil and side effects, I have definitely experienced them such as high blood pressure and increased heart rate. I would would still take that over my best days on psych meds in which they were horrific. I just don’t think comparing side effect of fish oil to pysch meds is valid although you rightfully point out which I have done on this site that nothing is side effect free.

    Anyway, I am glad to hear about the approaches you take to minimize medication. Sadly, what you do is not common and is the reason people are so angry towards your profession.

  • Sorry one more thing – If depression is an issue of inflammation as psychiatry claims it is, why aren’t they starting with treatments with the least side effects just as fish oil capsules and an antiinflamatory diet?

    If meds are the choice, why not start with something like pain meds that are anti inflamatory? Not claiming they should be used for depression by the way but just pointing out the claim of depression being an inflammatory issue makes absolutely zero sense. It just seems like another way to justify depression as a biological illness that is only amenable to drugs.

  • I am curious, did you actually read the study? I mean no disrespect but your post sounds like a preconceived opinion as one of those professionals in the mental health field who thinks that psych meds never cause damage long term.

    Anyway, I thought this exert was interesting:
    “”The prevalence of psychotropic medication use among the elderly is high [34, 35], with a reported prevalence of up to 73% in subjects aged 65 years and over [34]. Use of psychotropic medications except benzodiazepines has been found to be associated with an increased risk of dementia [36, 37]. These facts provide a critical reminder that our findings might be biased by use of other psychotropic medication among included study population.””

    So another interpretation of your conclusion regarding depression is that the antidepressants that the elderly are most likely on could be causing the deterioration and not the condition itself. If it is just the depression, then that is a poor indictment of the efficiency of ADs.

    Anyway, I love articles like this in which everyone has full access to the study so that all issues can be fairly evaluated and hashed out.

  • Great, so add the recycling BS of “Growing evidence suggests that Ketamine corrects a chemical imbalance” to previous BS claim that it is completely safe. This recycled crap really gets old.

  • Hmm, I seem to recall the same promises being made regarding Prozac being completely safe when that wasn’t the case.

    Anyway, can you post the links claiming efficiency so people evaluate its merits? Hopefully, you can provide access to full texts and not just abstracts.

    By the way, I am not against people being given Ketamine as long as it is a fully informed choice. But when you claim a drug is completely safe, I start getting very suspicious but even the most benign med has side effects.

  • Duane,

    No argument about Breggin and Szasz.

    But with all due respect, living in a state governed by Republicans doesn’t protect someone from psychiatric and similar type abuses. Here is a perfect example:


    And as I previously mentioned, several years ago, when the legislature in my state voted to toughen the mental health commitment laws, the vote was unanimous.

    I just feel until everyone understands that the abuses aren’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue, that we will never make the progress we need to make. In my opinion, most politicians, no matter what side of the political aisle they are on, are not our friends.

  • Great post madmom,

    Personally, as much as I hate what psychiatry stands for, I have a hard time demonizing them, particularly when 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrists. Why isn’t anybody for example getting on PCPs who are responsible for this and sending folks into the horrific grasp of psychiatry because we all know what happens with this history of psych meds.

    The PCP prescribes a med that someone has a bad reaction to which is then blamed on some bogus mental illness which leads to a referral to a psychiatrist. And we know the rest of the story.

  • Hi John,

    Not to sound like a naysayer but I am not optimistic about the power of psychiatry and drug companies being undermined. In the US, they have infiltrated PCPs office with the “Health without Mental Health” campaign. So now when one goes to a PCP, the chances of being unknowingly screened for depression are high which we all know will result in an SSRI if someone provides a “wrong” answer. Sure, you can refuse to take the questionnaire if you know what is going on but someone told me she knew a person who did that and still ended up with an “MI” label in her chart. It is so disgusting.

  • John,

    Doctors (not all) seem to want it to have it both ways regarding evidence. They’ll either quote specific studies that many time are quite weak and biased.

    Or if they don’t exist, then they start claiming that based on their clinical experience, what they say is true. So in that sense, they are using stories to justify a treatment but yet when then they hear ones that are opposite from their clinical experience, that is considered to be anecdotal evidence.

    I don’t know, it seems like we could have a million success stories of being recovering without meds and ECT and it wouldn’t matter to psychiatry because they are so biased in favor of meds. But if someone is doing a google search and comes upon these success stories, that could be the best treatment of all the options.

  • Great point Elocin which means another option needs to be presented to pregnant women on antidepressants who are concerned about the drugs harming their baby but have suffered WD symptoms from tapering too quickly that greatly impacts the quality of their life. They should be given the option of going on a tapering plan that is slow enough to not cause WD and hopefully by lowering the dose will lessen the risk of harming the baby long term. Any research on situations like this?

  • Madmom,

    Great point. I would also add the issue of high blood pressure as that is way overdiagnosed in which there are connections to drug companies:


    By the way, when I erroneously thought I was going to have to take BP meds, these drug side effects scared me as much as the ones that psych meds cause which I never thought I would say in a million years.

    I totally agree with what you are proposing as I think alliances can be very effective.

  • Steve,

    Reading a comment on this site about how a person went through several psych meds to no avail before finally, an astute psychiatrist sent him for a sleep study that diagnosed him with sleep apnea is why I keep harping on this issue.


    As you can see, pap therapy doesn’t work for everyone but having untreated apnea is not an option either. One reason it doesn’t work for many people is that a machine is just thrown at folks many times without any education on how to read their data to make sure the therapy is being maximized and effective. Doing this would never be acceptable with patients with diabetes or high blood pressure but yet, the sleep industry seems to be the last bastion in which this is acceptable in many places.

    Other people do have trouble with pap therapy no matter what they do to maximize it and need alternatives like a dental device or surgery. Unlike pap machines in which you can monitor data on a daily basis, there is no way to objectively measure the effectiveness of dental devices and surgery other than having another sleep study. But as the above site indicates, many patients could tell immediately even after surgery how much better they felt and it sure didn’t sound like a placebo effect.

    Back to discussing nutrition.

  • Great post GIR. The only thing I wanted to stress was that pap machines (cpap, apap, bipap, vpap, etc.) are not oxygen machines. Being correctly diagnosed and at the correct setting and on the right machine will prevent O2 desaturations that commonly occur in people with sleep apnea to the point of extremely dangerous levels. Some people (not sure what percentage) will need O2 supplementation.

    Much to my horror, I found out sleep apnea was in the DSM. Now if this helped psychiatrists correctly refer people for sleep studies who were suspicious for sleep apnea, maybe I wouldn’t mind as much. But we all know that doesn’t usually happen.

  • Sorry if this post is off topic but was there any seminar discussing the possibility of psychiatrists screening for sleep disorder in patients who have treatment resistant depression? I wish I had a nickle for all the folks who have posted on apnea board in which their condition was blamed on depression which led to ineffective medications only to be correctly diagnosed with sleep apnea.

  • Hi Duane,

    How do we get any politician to support this since as many comments have rightfully shown, they aren’t motivated by facts? Perhaps showing that this this type of bill would be less costly in the long run? Or maybe focus on the issue of psych med abuse in kids since as Ted has rightfully said, the average public person relates to that? I think you have a good idea but I am trying to figure out the best way to make this a reality.

  • No argument whatsoever. And maybe if this person had had access to the hearing voices network, she wouldn’t have even needed psychotherapy in addition to hopefully avoiding medication. Of course, I don’t know for sure but it would have been nice to at least have seen if a med free life was possible.

  • Hmm, a person I know who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia heard voices and behaved irrationally long before she ever took her first dose of an anti-psychotic. I don’t doubt that there are people who never had this problem in which the medicine caused the symptoms. But again, I think we have to be careful not to make broad generalizations.

    Anyway, I sure wish she could get off of the meds because in my opinion, they are destroying her health. Unfortunately, in her area, there just isn’t any assistance that would help her do this, especially for someone who has been on them for many years. I thought her psychiatrist was at least helping her get to a lowest dose as possible but I am not sure how that is going which I will ask about.

  • Rebel,

    I agree with FeelinDiscouraged. Several years ago, I told my psychiatrist I was tapering off of the meds because otherwise, he would have never taken me off of them. And I did very slowly at the 10% rate.

    If you decide to go off of meds, obviously, you will have to decide if you can tell your psychiatrist or not. But definitely do not cold turkey and visit this site for support:


    Even though antidepressants is in the title, they have excellent information on how to slowly taper many other meds.

    Good luck to you.

  • I agree that caution is warranted but at the same time, several years ago, I had a great therapist who because she acted more like a life coach was very helpful. By the way, I feel she tried to tell me that perhaps antidepressants weren’t doing me any good but unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to hear the message. Anyway, my point is that your mileage will vary in situations like this.

  • B,

    As an FYI, neuro testing consists of personality and skills testing. You are referring to the multiphasic personality test which I agree is totally stupid and very insulting. I will never take it again after taking it that one time.

    What I am referring to are specific neuro psych tests for example that might measure particular skills that would be applicable to what pilots use in their training. Maybe it wouldn’t even require a visit to a neuropsych as perhaps there are various flight simulator tests that pilots could take to prove that they are not being affected by the med they are taking.

  • B,

    With all due respect, I have to disagree with you about neuropsych tests being stupid. They actually gave me excellent information regarding problem areas I was having. I didn’t particularly like the interpretation by the neuropsych that I was doomed for life but that doesn’t mean the tests themselves are stupid.

    And I am not sure what you are talking about when you say it depends on people being honest. On many of them, they are based on skills which means you can’t BS them.

  • Then you might as well ban pilots who are on any kind of meds from flying since many of them can also have adverse side effects affecting cognition.

    I think it needs to be done on a case by case basis perhaps using neuropsych tests that are applicable to judge someone’s fitness to fly a plane. Being on multiple meds, I would have been a lousy candidate to fly one. But someone who has been stable one med for years might be fine.

    Same for withdrawal issues. I know it is hard to believe but many people don’t have problems getting off of psych meds. As one who did, I am not minimizing withdrawal issues by a long shot. I am just not comfortable making generalizations based on my experience to everyone else just like I don’t want folks doing it to me.

  • Carina,

    Not to take away from the wonderful work Laura has done but again, I wanted to urge anyone who is looking for an excellent resources on tapering off of psych meds to please visit http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index. Don’t be fooled by the title as there is information on tapering other psych meds besides antidepressants.

    By the way, just so folks know, I don’t make any money from recommending this site. 🙂 But because for some reason, it was not listed as a direct link in the resource section, I wanted to make sure folks were aware of it because in my opinion, it is excellent.

  • Thanks for your courage in taking on Dr. Lieberman. What an arrogant SOB. If all clinicians who prescribed fish oil capsules said they worked based on their clinical experience, there is no way they would get away with making those types of proclamations and nor should they. But yet, it is ok for psychiatrists to do this without vigorous scientific studies?

    If psychiatry wanted to, they would find ways to compare the effectiveness of being medicated vs. being off meds without doing anything unethical. They just chose not to do so for obvious reasons.

    Other folks don’t speak up because they fear reprisals.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  • Sadly Walter, I am not surprised at your story. That is the reason I never disclose my past psych med history to any physician whatsoever.

    I stupidly did to one specialist and now have a permanent diagnosis of depression and ADHD in my records. It is the reason why I won’t see any doctor connected with that hospital system unless I am completely out of options.

  • Hi Walter,

    Sadly, you have learned that you can’t say a word to any doctor about any psych meds you have taken in the past because any miscommunication that happens as what you experienced with pain medications will be attributed to your psych problems. I am so sorry about your difficulties.

  • Kmac said, “The medical community is often attacked for prescribing antibiotics when they aren’t needed… so why isn’t there a movement to be anti-medicine?”

    B said, “Because antibiotics when prescribed properly actually help against the real disease states with known etiology and have relatively few rare side effects? None of which can be said about psychiatric drugs.”

    It is absolutely not true that antibiotics have rare side effects. Google cipro side effects.

    Additionally, I had symptoms of a yeast infection which was very painful and vomiting when I was given one as a prophylactic measure before minor surgery.

    Kmac, you make a good point but the reason there isn’t an anti medicine movement is that antibiotics aren’t forced against your will. Most doctors will not do surgery if you decline an antibiotic when they are typically given before an operation although mine gave me the option to which I didn’t do since I hadn’t researched the issue thoroughly. So I guess one could argue that is a type of coercion but still not the same thing as forcing you to outright take a medicine against your will.

    Finally, I don’t have a link but I read somewhere that only 2 to 10 per cent of all drug side effects are ever reported to the FDA. As a result, I don’t thing anyone, including physicians, truly knows how often drug side effects truly occur.

  • Nancy,

    Great post and one that definitely echos my feelings. As I keep stating on this board, 80% of all psych meds are prescribed by non psychiatrist but people seem to want to conveniently forget that. Non psychiatrists who prescribe these meds for frivolous reasons can cause just as much damage as the psychiatrist who prescribed the meds.

    And I am curious why people on this board want to let alternative folks off of the hook who while they don’t prescribe SSRIs continue to spread the false BS that depression is a chemical imbalance which can lead to the prescription of supplements that can be harmful. Just because something isn’t a medicine doesn’t mean it is harmless.

    Finally, Ted, thank you for your post about there being too much focus on who is antipsychiatry and who isn’t and that it is more important to focus on actions. Wonderfully said.

  • Typical response when someone can’t argue the facts and instead resorts to name calling.

    And Dr. Lieberman, here is another challenge for you. If you and your colleagues are going to continue to insist that taking antidepressants is like taking insulin for diabetes, please explain what medical tests can measure the right neurotransmitter levels in the body since there are hundreds of them and they constantly fluctuate.

    Bob, thank you again for what you do.

  • Actually Bonnie, I saw examples where this was done thanks to the author’s influence. Maybe it wasn’t going to work in your case but at the same time, based on my experiences, it is incorrect to say the author doesn’t ever have any influence. You never know unless you try is my opinion.

    And speaking of accessibility issues, I would also see about doing whatever is possible to make these books part of the National Library of Congress books on tape program for people who have print disabilities. Again, the issue is expanding the audience as much as possible.

  • It also might help to enable the text to speech software for all Kindle versions of Bob’s books. Mad in America had it but not Anatomy of an Epidemic which I found very disappointing. I am also disappointed that the most recent book doesn’t even have a Kindle version and I fear it may be priced too high for alot of people.

    It just seems to me that the more accessible you make activist books with as many formats as possible, the better chance you have of spreading the message.

    I do like the idea of the Cliff Notes version.

  • Tim,

    Actually as Stephen Gilbert pointed out regarding the young patient who had a hip tumor? which was overlooked by several doctors and got him a referral to a psychiatrist who made things worse, you can’t assume anything about referrals being adequately screened by doctors. Obviously, you are not trained to diagnose hip issues but it seems with careful questioning, you might be able to realize if a patient has been badly treated or not by doctors and perhaps refer them to someone who could help.

    Additionally, screening for sleep disorders is definitely not out of your territory as you can ask questions that may suggest someone should see a sleep specialist. Look at the Epworth screening tool for more information.

  • Totally agree Bonnie since about 80% of psych meds are now prescribed by non psychiatrists because they are now drinking the mental illness cool-aid. In all types of medical settings, including some that you would least expect, one is asked typical mental health screening questions that could easily lead to meds if you didn’t answer “correctly.”

    Additionally, in our current health care system where meds are the answer to everything come heck or high water, I definitely don’t see getting rid of psychiatry as leading to health blossoming. I agree it takes a much greater overhaul.

  • Unfortunately, I don’t have a supporting link but I read somewhere one time that about only 2 to 10% adverse side effects for all meds are ever reported to the FDA. So if a physicians gives you that look when you report one, that could be the reason why.

    I also think they just don’t want to believe that a treatment they advocated can be harmful. As a result, it is easier to just discredit the patient even if it is in a subtle manner such as stating that you never heard of the drug reaction.

  • Stephen,

    An excellent post. Psychiatrists generally don’t care about human interest stories because it threatens everything they have learned. As a result, they claim this is only anecdotal evidence and that most patients needs meds come heck or high water even though they have never presented any credible non biased studies that show they even work.

  • “”We know anti-depressants can have nasty effects on behaviour. However we have little data on how often or how much they increase violence, suicide or other unwanted behavriour. Clearly there is some risk to people and the public by people taking SSRI’s but we do not know how big a risk. It needs investigating.””

    Exactly John. I definitely agree that no one should be automatically assuming that this pilot committed the horrific atrocities due to being on SSRIs since there are still alot of unknown facts. But based on past history of some horrific events that definitely had a link to these meds in my opinion, this definitely needs to be looked into along with the other suspected reasons for this atrocity.

    And by the way, for outsiders reading my post who think I blame SSRIs for every horrific event that occurs, I definitely do not so please don’t even go there. But to keep denying they have any possible role in tragedies like this is also not a good thing either.

    A thorough unbiased investigation should occur to see exactly what happened. Many people doubt that will happen which is sadly not surprising.

  • Regarding Pies comments about the MIA site, translation – Any criticism of psychiatry is abusive. I am basing this opinion on when he has written previously opinion columns and was hit with what I felt like were reasonable criticisms and not anything that was inflammatory, he reacted in the same manner.

    I do agree with him though that there are regular medical diagnosis’ that don’t have a well known etiology. High blood pressure is a perfect example as if you get a high reading in a doctor’s office, you’re going to usually be offered BP meds no matter what. But at least usually, the amount of coercion in refusing a BP med would be alot less than if you refused a psych med.

  • Katie,

    I was quite surprised and disappointed that after your post on the 1Boring Old Man Discussion on the plane crash that Dr. Nardo shut down discussion since it was still reasonably civil at that point. Obviously, it is his blog and he can do whatever he wants but still, I found the situation very disappointing.

  • Steve,

    As one who had minor surgery last week, that would have been very interesting to experience acupuncture instead of anesthesia. Fortunately, thanks to my concerns about med sensitivities being taken very seriously, I came through it very well with the exception of experiencing PONV (in spite of a prophylactic medicine) which I will settle for any day in light of all the risks.

    I am curious, are there any hospitals in the US who use acupuncture for anesthesia? If there were, that would be a great option for people who fear surgery but desperately need it to improve their health.

  • Mike, I wish you could be cloned several times over. My god, if all the mental health professionals were like you and Joanne, the psych med pharmaceutical industry would be put out of business.

    Joanne, unfortunately, it seems even when one experiences grief like issues that don’t involve death, many people don’t want to listen and expect you to move on and focus on the positive. I finally had to stop responding to one friend’s email because I feared I was about to say something I might regret.

    Thank you for the great work you are doing.

  • My former psychiatrist for some reason offered me either lithium or a stimulant several years ago. I was so zoned out on the meds, I never asked his reasoning since he hadn’t diagnosed me with BP. Fortunately, I chose the stimulant although I realize I am using the word loosely since stimulants obviously aren’t side effect free.

    Anyway, my heart breaks for people who have suffered kidney damage from being on this med. I can’t imagine going through that.

  • First of all, I apologize for my previous comment which I expect will be rightfully removed. Anyway, again addressing Dr. Hassman’s point about moderation, let me relay my experience.

    Thanks to feeling like 15 years of my life were wasted taking psych meds, not only did I develop a big distrust of psychiatry, it transferred over to other doctors for good reason. Not to justify that but I think Dr. Hassman, that is called being human.

    Anyway, last year that distrust led to cancel a minor surgery and it wasn’t until I found a great surgeon this year that I greatly trusted who listened to my concerns and treated me like an individual and not a robot patient who must obey all doctor orders, that I am decided to ahead with it. To make a long story short, I am having a fantastic recovery.

    Because of this experience, I now have more faith in medicine because I now know there are doctors out there who do listen to patients. But if someone like you Dr. Hassman, had told me that I have to be moderate in my position when all my experiences indicated differently, I would have rebelled big time. As they say, actions speak louder than words.

    Regarding psychiatry, unlike many people on this board, I don’t consider myself anti psychiatry. Well maybe anti biological psychiatry. Anyway, because I know people who had a great experience with one when they were suffering big time withdrawal symptoms which you have disregarded, my opinion isn’t as negative about psychiatry although it admittedly isn’t still that positive. Again, I think they call that being human.

    By the way Dr. Hassman, since you are about brutal candor, let me ask you this question. If you had a female rape victim who hated men, would you insist that she moderate her position because not all men are rapists? I hope that would gently try to make her realize that not all men are evil but I sure hope you would show alot more sensitivity that you have shown to people on this board who feel they have been brutalized my psychiatry.

  • To all the commentators who were diagnosed with ADHD or have kids diagnosed with it, I am curious about something? Was anyone ever tested for sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, since apparently folks who turn out to have it were misdiagnosed with ADHD? One sleep doctor estimates the percentage is 35% although I admit I don’t know where he got those figures from.

    Not asking to be judgmental by the way but just wondering. So I thank you in advance for your responses.

    By the way as an FYI, I was diagnosed with ADHD and later turned out to have sleep apnea. I don’t feel the misdiagnosis of ADHD prevented me from correctly getting diagnosed with sleep apnea as there were many other issues going on. But I just wanted to let you all know why I was curious about your experiences.

  • Stephen,

    If there was a rating system for posts on this site, I would give you an A+ for your remarks. You nailed the situation precisely with Dinah.

    What happens consistently is people (I am guilty too) fall for her plea for honest feedback about hospitalizations. But when it isn’t what she wants to hear, then she accuses folks of vitriol and being evil antispsychiatrists and then starts moderating comments. This pattern has constantly repeated itself on her blog.

    Pretty sad.

  • Duane,

    I have extremely mixed views on this issue. On a related note to your post, I was extremely angry and frustrated when the media made such a big deal about the bogus herbal supplements that were being sold when I feel they look the other way regarding horrific adverse reactions to meds.

    On the other hand, as I keep saying on this site, supplements are definitely not harmless as I have had adverse effects from taking things that definitely were not high doses. Just because something is not a drug doesn’t mean it is harmless.

    I wish to god it was possible to find a true integrative doctor who would start a patient with the treatment that was least harmful but proven by the evidence to be the most effective. The dose would be carefully titrated to the most beneficial effect. If several non drug remedies backed by scientific evidence didn’t work, then the next step would be a careful prescription of meds.

    Unfortunately, what exists are alternative professionals including alleged integrative doctors who want to clobber a system with a “million” supplements vs. the conventional doctor who equates the use of supplements to a foreign language and thanks that drugs are the answer to everything. Oh and by the way, even if drugs are the best option, there isn’t any advice on replenishing the nutrients that drugs deplete.

    Once again, the patient is forced to be her/his own healthcare professional which obviously, is not the best position for someone to be in. It truly stinks.

  • TIP,

    I can’t remember if we had this discussion previously due to my bad memory but I also loved Carol Munter and Jane Hirshmann’s book. Many years, I went to one of their retreats and it was one of the highlights of my life which definitely helped cure my binge eating.

    Sadly, you don’t hear much about them or Geneen Roth, whom I am also liked, these days in the era of “drugs being the answer for everything.”

  • Sandra, you said, “I do not understand why they seem loathe to question our basic paradigms or why they consider those who do question them to be suspect”

    Actually, as I keep saying on this blog, many problems transcend psychiatry and are entrenched in medicine in general. As one who has been questioning doctors about suspect paradigms, I feel I am looked at with great suspicion. It is extremely frustrating but I can’t give up because my health depends on my being able to do this successfully.

    Back to the topic – I have been sharing my experiences with various people about how twenty years ago, I read a book my Carol Munter and Jane Hirshman, called “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies. ” Basically, their philosophy was that binge eaters should stock up their favorite foods with more than than they could ever hope to eat in one week. The theory was knowing you would never be deprived of your favorite food again would greatly decrease the binging. It seemed radical but it cured my binge eating problem.

    Quite a contrast to using stimulants as the solution. A big fat sigh.

    Anyway Sandra, I thank you profusely for having the courage to practice in the manner that you do even though it doesn’t make you the most popular person in your profession. It is greatly appreciated.

  • Jeremy,

    I really applaud you for facing up to the BS in psychiatry. As one who is completely frustrated with the medical system in general for various reasons, I can’t thank you enough for doing this.

    Speaking of political will, I noticed that in medicine general, practices occur because of this even when it is dangerous to the patient. Very frightening and frustrating.

  • Steve M,

    Regarding ADHD and sleep issues, one sleep doctor has said that 35% of kids diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep apnea. Not sure where he got the statistics from but that makes sense since obviously, if your quality of sleep is horrible due to sleep apnea, you aren’t going to be able to concentrate worth a darn.

    Anyway, as one dealing with that issue, I shudder at the thought of all these misdiagnoses and the effect stimulants have on untreated apnea. Kind of like adding gasoline to the fire.

  • Excederin,

    I have always acknowledged that people have neurological differences and that brains don’t always fire on all cylinders. I just don’t think they should be drugged with stimulants, particularly when the research shows they aren’t effective, particularly long term.

    And comparing stimulants to aspirin is beyond absurd. Aspiring may cause rare side effects but it doesn’t cause suicidal ideation like stimulants do.


  • “”How are kids who are hyper going to avoid mental labels?””

    The question you should be asking is how do we avoid giving anyone who has neurological differences a mental disorder that stigmatizes them for life in horrendous ways while making sure their needs are addressed.

    “”If a person doesn’t have ADHD and he’s given an RX of stimulants to last 3 days because of a misdiagnosis, generally speaking, how much damage to the person can be done? Most people do not have severe reactions. “”

    There is absolutely no good data on how many people have severe reactions because for all meds, only 1 to 10 % of all adverse reactions are ever reported to the FDA. So you can’t make that assumption that most people don’t have severe reactions to meds.

    “”If the diagnosis is accurate and the person responds like most do, and he can fulfill his potential now that he can direct his attention, do you think it is appropriate, as a physician, to try him on an RX for 3 days, Dr. C?””

    You’re forgetting that many people without ADHD respond very positively to stimulants. A positive reaction is not evidence of ADHD.

  • B,

    I have to respectfully disagree with you about gluten just being a fad. For many people, even though they don’t have celiac disease, cutting it out does make a big difference in their health. I just think that if we don’t want people to minimize our experiences, we have to be careful we don’t do it to other groups of people.

    Regarding improving sleep, CBTI seems to be the preferred non drug choice for insomnia. Even though it allegedly is the gold standard non drug approach, I am still skeptical that it is a one size fits all type of treatment and that it is thrown at people without investigating underlying issues.

    Agree with you about sleeping pills with this one exception. If someone feels extremely suicidal from severe insomnia, better to take something like on a PRN basis vs. ending up dead or in a psych hospital on a “million” drugs.

  • wordtrix,

    On what basis were you diagnosed bipolar?

    Also, not saying this is true in your case but many people who go off their meds too quickly or cold turkey them suffer withdrawal symptoms that look like a return of the illness but aren’t. As a result, they wrongly think that they need their meds when tapering them very slowly stands a good chance (not always) of preventing the withdrawal symptoms.

  • I greatly hesitate in using the “T” word and that is why I responded to him against my better judgement. No matter what you call him, I get the sense there is no intention to have any type of discussion with posters on this board as blakacake keeps moving the goalposts and also minimizes people’s experience while wanting us to respect his. It isn’t a fair debate.

    He also claims we use anecdotal evidence that isn’t valid while doing the same to prove his point. For example, he used a quote by Edward Hallowell to claim that essentially stimulants were safer than aspirin and could be used long term. Hmm, I don’t even think doctors would make that claim.

    I agree that Dr. Berezin should not take the bait. I also apologize to him for letting myself get drawn into debating blakeacake which I feel has distracted from the points in his thread.

    Anyway, I do need to start biting my tongue in a figurative manner.

  • blakeacake,

    You don’t seem to understand that this is not a pro psych drug site. If you want psych med success stories, I would suggest you find another site to visit.

    I think you know that already by the way but for various reasons, continue to post here. I have my suspicions about why you do but because I don’t want this comment to be deleted, I will keep them to myself.

    Since you keep pushing folks here for statistics, I am going to make the same request. How many of those folks that you call a success story continue to succeed with meds long term which I will define as 5 years? Can you produce studies not written by drug companies or medical professionals connected to drug companies that prove your point?

    By the way, when I asked you a similar type question before, you ignored me. So I am hoping you don’t do it again.

  • There is no way of knowing the exact figure since many psychiatrists and doctors still think withdrawal ends after two weeks. They also taper patients way too quickly so as a result, they falsely blame withdrawal symptoms on a return of the illness.

    For anecdotal evidence about withdrawal issues, you might want to visit http://www.survivingantidepressants.org. Also, if you are good at searching the web archives, please search for http://www.paxilprogress.org as unfortunately, it was taken down by the site owner last year. But it started in 2004/2005 and had thousands of folks who were suffering from withdrawal and came to this site for advice on tapering slowly.

    Surviving antidepressants.org has been in existence since 2o11 so there aren’t as many cases. Hopefully, there won’t be but I can’t say I am optimistic.

    By the way, blakeacake, there were many people given horrible tapering advice by their doctors who found their way to these sites and were successful in doing it slowly. But many folks learned too late about these programs. Additionally, many people never learn that withdrawal symptoms are keeping them on the psych meds and that is why they stay on them.

    One more source – Read the antidepressant solution by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen who describes a case history with a patient who didn’t need the med any more but was staying on it due to horrific side effects. I know one case history is not proof of anything but it will give an idea of what the issues are in getting off of psych meds.

    Finally, let me give my own experience. Many years ago, I cold turkeyed off of Prozac due to horrific side effects.

    The next day, I came down with horrible depression when there was no reason for me to be depressed. Everything was going great at work and in my life. I didn’t realize until I started tapering off of psych meds that it was the CTing of the med that caused this reaction and not a relapse of my depression.

    Anyway, I hope you will keep an open mind about this issue.

  • blakeacake,

    Has it ever occurred to you that if someone has difficulties with reading due to dyslexia, comprehension, visual perceptual problems, auditory processing, that they are going to have trouble attending to what they are reading without appropriate instruction that addresses their reading weaknesses? This research you mentioned doesn’t seem to address that. I would appreciate if you would address my concern and not just deliberately ignore me as you have chosen to do in the past.

    So far, it seems your only agenda here is to spread your agenda without seriously listening to what people on this site are telling you. You talk over us and around us and it is coming across as very insulting even though I am sure that wasn’t your intention. It is getting very hard to take anything you say seriously because of this issue.

  • blakeacake,

    You took my quote totally out of context when I mentioned that a parent you had quote about his son being treated for ADHD and bipolar might have had a manic reaction to stimulants since they are known to cause mania.

    Please stop doing that and respond to what commentators said which you never did with my post. That is great you haven’t had side effects but many people who take stimulants do, including me who had severe adverse affects many years ago that set me on path of what I call psych med hell.

    Anyway, I probably need to stop responding to your posts because you seem to not want to have any type of discussion.

  • Alex,

    As someone who is a non religious Jewish person, I take issue with your posts claiming that someone who is atheist can’t see beyond themselves. I have been accused of alot of things but definitely isn’t one of them.

    The issue with psychiatry has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with whether they can see something from another person’s perspective and not crush them because of their “MI”. All this other talk simply is not helpful to our cause.

  • SE,

    Wow, I can’t imagine being exposed to forced treatment. I had a doctor who tried to bully me into seeing a psychiatrist and I found that very intimidating and traumatizing.

    Additionally, the issue isn’t just about meds. Many doctors don’t like fully informed patients as they feel because they have MD by their name, you shouldn’t question anything they say. I am finding this out as one who is considering minor surgery and am still looking for the right surgeon.

  • “These findings highlight that when using recovery principles, such as an empathic engagement with the patients’ lived experience, forging partnerships with patients in treatment decision-making to enhance agency, an involuntary treatment order does not have to limit the ability to establish positive relationships,” concluded the researchers

    I think the researchers are delusional and need to be hospitalized against their will and forcibly treated with meds. All sarcasm aside, this is an admirable ideal but not very realistic. Kind of like saying one can form therapeutic relationships with jailors.

  • I also had trouble with eating many years ago and read the book by Geneen Roth. But the book that ultimately cured me was the one by Jane Hirshman and Carol Munter called “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies”. OMG, if this had happened recently, thought that I could have been given psych meds literally makes me sick.

    Glad you recovered TIP.

  • Blakeacake, you are aware that stimulants cause a manic reaction right and that a diagnosis can’t be made on the basis of a drug reaction? So I am very suspicious of the bipolar diagnosis that dad’s kid got at 4.

    And diagnosing someone at 4 with ADHD and putting them on stimulants? Are you bleeping kidding me? How we know there wasn’t a misdignosis when there are so many other conditions that resemble ADHD?

    Why are you taking Dad’s word as scientific proof?

    You’re wrong about drug companies and doctors. Many doctors simply refuse to believe that meds have side effects and will coerce patients into taking them come heck or high water. This is true with all med and not just ones that are psych. Drug companies will find ways to lie about their products so they get prescribed.

    With all due respect, you seem very naive and trusting of the medical profession. I just hope you don’t have a hard crash like many of us did when we woke up and realized how we were lied to.

  • I am not sure what you are trying to prove with this comment.

    And on a related note, many people are misdiagnosed has having ADHD when they have central auditory processing disorder, which somehow miraculously escaped the DSM. So I am wondering if folks in this study perhaps could have this condition instead because it mentions the slower processing speed this so common in folks with CAPD?

  • beckys11,

    With all due respect to discoverandrecover, I would be very careful about going to any residential treatment place that claims to offer psych med withdrawal programs inpatient. I know several people who have been burned badly going to places that allegedly had a good reputation only to be proven to not be the case. In fact, they turned out to be quite harmful.

    I don’t want to take away your hope but I know from personal experience when I am desperate, I do things that may not be wise. So that is why I am expressing caution because knowing people who were burned very badly in your situation.

    And not to sound like broken record, but I would be very careful about taking supplements in high does. Just because supplements aren’t drugs doesn’t mean they are harmless. And when you are in withdrawal, you might be even more sensitive than usual.

    becky, I would check out http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index who can offer you a very supportive way to slowly taper off of the meds. And it is free.

    They also have a list of taper friendly psychiatrists throughout the country so you might want to look and see if one is near you.

    Best of luck.

  • Or what if the child has sleep apnea since according to various statistics, about 35% of kids diagnosed with ADHD turn out to have sleep apnea. So if you put them on stimulants, you are compounding instead of solving the problem.

    Or the child could have learning disabilities that are commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD. Stimulants do nothing to solve reading problems that are commonly associated with LD. So maybe the kid who can’t read needs testing to find out why.

  • Behavioral Health is also used in the sleep medicine industry which drives me nuts.

    And speaking of the term, why isn’t it used in medical specialties like cardiology since many people (not all) and up with health problems due to their behaviors? I mean, if the Cardiology Department was called Cardiology Behavioral Health, people would be in an uproar. But I guess it is easier to get away with stigmatizing folks with alleged mental health issues. A big fat sigh.

  • blakeacake,

    I am glad you had a positive experience with doctors who were willing to discuss the relevant med issues but most people’s experience mirrors what Dr. Brogan has described. Our concerns were minimized and even when we had obvious side effects, they were seen as signs of our alleged label.

    By the way, Ritalin had a positive effect on my life as an adult very briefly until it caused severe adverse side effects. So not everyone’s experience with stimulants is as good as yours.

    Finally, don’t lose sight of Dr. Brogan’s main point. If god forbid, these meds turn on you and you are one of the folks who has difficulty getting off of them, your chances of finding a helpful doctor are slim and none. I had to use an internet board for crying out loud to get off of my 4 psych med cocktail safely.

    The administrator of the surviving antidepressants withdrawal board, Altostrata, has done a great job in finding tapering friendly doctors throughout the country who are very knowledgeable about the slow tapering method. But they are far, few and between.

    Anyway, no matter what your position is on meds, I am sure you will agree that a patient shouldn’t have to struggle so much to find a supportive practitioner who will help them get off of the meds if that is their desire.

  • I profusely thank Dr. Brogan for this blog entry since she acknowledges what patients who have suffered from withdrawing from psych meds already understand.

    By the way, this comment pretty much says it all and is pretty damming of psychiatrists.

    “”I was taught to dismiss patients concerned about becoming “addicted” to psych meds, and to deny the possibility of protracted withdrawal, describing it only as evidence of that patients clear “need” for permanent medication treatment.””

    Not to sound like a broken record but I urge anyone who is looking to get off psych meds to visit http://www.survivingantidepressants.org for support in tapering very slowly at 10% of current dose every 4 weeks. Sometimes, people are advised to go even more slowly.

    The support is free although the site does depend on individual donations. It is not beholden to any commercial interests.

    I would be very careful about regarding supplements since many people who are in withdrawal are quite sensitive to their effects. Just because they aren’t meds doesn’t mean they are harmless.

  • This is an OT response but I wanted to mention that were someone in the article who was hospitalized for severe depression who ended up committing suicide. I am not one who always blames the drugs but there is no doubt in my mind in reading the drug history of quick med changes that they were to blame.

  • Great points Hermes! Furthermore sleves, by perpetuating the stereotype that all folks with schizophrenia are axe murderers, you aren’t exactly encouraging people to seek treatment which seems to be your goal in posting here.

    And by the way, you seemed to ignore Nancy’s post that what looks like a relapse of symptoms is due to withdrawal symptoms from CT or tapering too quickly. My guess is your patients who keep ending up in hospitals keep continually cold turkeying their meds which starts a vicious cycle.

    By the way, good questions for you to answer is what do your med evaluations look like, how often are they done, and do you ever encourage people to taper off off meds? What do you do if someone wants to and you don’t think it is advisable?

  • Julie,

    I would love to find out more information about how you did it as one in a similar situation. I do feel my sleep apnea diagnosis is correct but I am sure there is still alot I could learn from you.

    Web site or cheap book would work for me particular since I wouldn’t have to give up naps or coffee. LOL!

  • Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Teaching is a tough profession so making mistakes is understandable. Still, tt is sad that these poor students suffered until 16 before being correctly diagnosed.

    Instead, they still got a label but not the one that was helpful. If they had been diagnosed correctly at a much younger age, their chances of being successfully re mediated with the right instruction would have greatly increased.

    I think you just proved my point about labels and why they aren’t always so bad. 🙂 and how not having the right one will lead to one that is alot more stigmatizing such as “not caring”.

  • “”I have more personal experiences with a variety of providers, nationwide, and have met thousands of patients being served in all fields of medicine””

    And so did the RN who started Paxil Progress which unfortunately doesn’t exist any more . The administrator of the antidepressant withdrawal board that I previously provided a link to has also corresponded with with a variety of providers. Sadly, I fear she will eventually correspond with thousands of patients because folks like you keep blowing us off and trumping your opinion over ours without any evidence whatsoever.

    By the way, did you look at the link I provided regarding tapering safely off of Seroquel?

  • Exactly John. I don’t doubt sleves when he says he has observed patients who benefit from treatment.

    But what I greatly resent is him claiming his truth prevails over ours and we are in the extreme minority. Essentially, because he is the mental health professional, he is right and we crazy antipsych folks are wrong.

  • Steve,

    An ADHD label is a different ballgame since that allegedly involves behavior and mental illness. Unfortunately, because dyslexia is linked to ADHD, it can cause problems in that sense.

    I don’t think we totally disagree about identifying the source of a problem. But if someone definitely has a pattern of dyslexia such as severe decoding issues and other strengths, it seems to refer to it in general terms is kind of splitting hairs in my opinion.

  • Actually B, there have been studies that show that dyslexia has a neurological basis and that with intense remediation, it disappears. I think this applies to younger students around 6 years old although I am not sure.

    Sheesh, not all labels are evil or should we just outlaw all of them? In other words, if some one has a gunshot wound, let’s not tell the doctor where the injury is in the name of not labeling someone?

    And as I said to John, what about changing the attitudes of teachers so that students do get the help they need no matter what label you want to use?

  • John,

    I started to read the material at the link you posted but many of the references don’t involve a straight link which made it hard to see what they were referring to. On one in which there was a straight link in which they essentially claimed special services were worthless, I got an invalid message. I did come upon one site in which it was suggested neurodevelopmental disorder be used but that seems alot less useful to me because it doesn’t tell anything about the person’s problems.

    I think you’re comparing apples to oranges since dyslexia has never been a psychological issue even though it is in the DSM. Well, not being able to read can be psychological but that is another discussion.

    The issue is in order to offer the most appropriate reading instruction, you have to know what the problem is. Just like regular doctors can’t offer a treatment without a diagnosis.

    If you want to call it something else besides dyslexia, be my guest but the issue unless you have an idea as to what the problems are with reading, then you could be offering the wrong remediation.

    By the way, as one who had discussions with you previously about changing how society reacts to things, I am surprised you wouldn’t agree with me that teachers need to change their attitudes no matter what label a person has.

  • As one with mild dyslexia, I find this article extremely baffling. Why is it being referred to as psychological when there are valid tests that can definitely can determine the nature of the problem? And if teachers feel the label dyslexia prevents them from helping students improve reading, they shouldn’t be in the field since there are specific instruction techniques that work.

    I realize many labels are harmful to people, particularly psych labels but refusing to label anyone when doing so can give people an idea of what their issues are seems to me to be beyond absurd.

  • sleves,

    With all due respect, while food allergies certainly are not trivial, to compare them to serious reactions to Seroquel that for many people are life destroying, comes across as very insulting even though I am sure that wasn’t your intention.

    And by the way, while I applaud your concern about the overprescription of benzos, I am curious why you aren’t as concerned that Seroquel is now being overprescribed for everything and is alot more harmful in many situations?

  • sleves,

    I give you credit for doing research on what side effects patients may experience when CTing Seroquel. But if you don’t know this as a physician ahead of time that no one should ever CT a psych med, I find that quite shocking to be blunt.

    By the way, this site may be too antipsychiatry for you but if you really want to help your patients and not cause them harm, you might want to look at this thread on tapering Seroquel.


    Regarding people being angry on this site, let me ask you this question. If you had a patient who was raped and expressed hatred of all males, would you condemn that person for being angry? Obviously, the answer would be no.

    Many people on this site have compared forced medication to chemical rape. Even if you think this has some benefit, can you at least see why people being forced to take meds have caused horrific side effects would be angry at doctors as their concerns were blown off?

    By the way, you unintentionally sound like a physician who never believes a patient about side effects and blows off their concerns. I hope I am wrong but that is something you might want to work on because all of us can’t begin to tell you how devastating that it is to not be believed by doctors.

  • Those of you extolling the virtues of SSRIs, can you provide links that aren’t supported by pharmacy that prove these work long term?

    By the way, I am not anti meds even though I feel taking psych meds was the one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I have taken sleep meds on a PRN basis. But as far as I know, there isn’t any evidence that says they work long term and I have to keep that in mind.

  • BAA,

    As an FYI, if you taper too quickly off of psych meds which could have been what happened to your husband, you will suffer rebound symptoms that look like a return of the condition but aren’t. Next time he decides to go off of his meds, he might want to visit http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index. It is a support site and helps people slowly get off of the meds at around 10% of current dose every 4 to 6 weeks. The site is supported by financial contributions and is not dependent on any commercial outfit.

  • James,

    Forgive me for my manners but I forgot to thank you for your reply to my question about mental health professionals doing to sleep evaluations.

    Regarding your above points about people fearing sleep evaluations, that is true but at the same time, many people on apnea boards spent years on psych meds only to find out they had sleep apnea. Additionally, many people stated that they constantly complained to their physician about sleep only to be blown off for years. So I think it may be a little unfair to blame the patient even though I am sure that wasn’t your intention.

  • “”that some of the “ADHD” behaviors that lead to labeling By biological Psychiatry certainly do exist, but more fundamentally arise out of a prolonged state of excessive or heightened anxiety.
    2) that there are multiple factors in one’s environment that better explain the behaviors (or so-called symptoms) such as a trauma history (either witnessed or directly experienced), oppressive and/or inconsistent confusing, or constantly changing boundaries (for children) maintained by dysfunctional parents, and/or allergic reactions to certain substances or toxins in the environment””

    I apologize for temporarily digressing but Richard, as a mental health professional, I strongly urge you to keep sleep apnea in mind when dealing with the possibility of clients being misdiagnosed with ADHD.


    Additionally, many people with learning disabilities and central auditory processing disorder are misdiagnosed with ADHD. One thing to watch out for though in getting diagnosed with LD by a psychologist/neuropsychologist is that many of the LDs are in the DSM so of course, they will think that taking a psych med will be very helpful when actually, it would greatly worsen the LDs. Probably better to self diagnose and research compensatory mechanisms if one strongly suspects having LD and doesn’t need an official diagnosis for other reasons.

    Speaking of sleep apnea, it has been shown that when the apnea is treated, the depression greatly improves. What a surprise says AA sarcastically.


  • Jill,

    I don’t have any good answers for you. But on a related note, I remember a young guy appearing on Breggin’s radio show who as a result of a plea bargain, spent nearly 10 years in jail for robberies committed while on Paxil. He mentioned that he used to think people had free will but after his horrific experiences, he realized how wrong he was.

    Many years ago, I became severe agitated on 5 mg. of Celexa. I remember scaring the sh-t out of a coworker because I was so angry about something he had done when the issue was so minor. Anyway, fortunately, I realized this drug was bad news and got off of it in spite of my psychiatrist’s recommendation to stay on it.

    So maybe someone reading about my experience would say well, if I knew to get off of the med, then people do have free will. My response would be that many people trust their doctors and if a drug they were advised to stay on was bad news, its effects would be so devastating that the free will would be completely gone.

    Those are my thoughts for now.

  • Hi Duane,

    I have learned more than I ever wanted to know:) Yeah, it definitely sounds like you could have apnea and I wish you good luck with the process.

    Here are various forums for you to check out so can educate yourself ahead of time in preparation for your visit.


    Is this for an initial visit with a sleep doctor or will this be for the initial sleep study?

    Thanks for the Hanukkhah well wishes.

  • James,

    As one who was diagnosed with sleep apnea a year after finishing my psych med taper, I am wondering how mental health professionals screen for sleep disorders? As you alluded to with the kids and ADHD, many adults were misdiagnosed with psych disorders when they turned out to have sleep apnea.

    To elaborate on Duane’s point regarding sleep clinics, before referring a patient for I-CBT with insomnia, they should be automatically screened for sleep breathing disorders and a sleep history should be taken. If someone is suffering from sleep apnea/UARS, doing CBT would be an exercise in extreme futility.

    Duane, dental devices work best for mild and moderate apnea and not as well for people in the severity range. So it is important for folks to be aware of that when choosing a treatment. Another disadvantage of dental devices is that the effectiveness can’t be consistently monitored as it can be with pap machines.

    They are certainly a useful part of treatment, particularly if someone can’t tolerate pap therapy. But at the same time, besides the difficulties in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment, they aren’t without other problems. As with sleep doctors, screen sleep medicine dentists very carefully because there is a difference in quality since so many of them get into the business to make a quick buck.

  • Hi Jeremy,

    For the same reasons that patients are given fish oil to supplement Prozac instead of starting with the supplements first. Unfortunately, your colleagues seem to like to start with the heavy hitters first although in all fairness, regular doctors are getting to be like that also.

    Too bad folks like you can’t be cloned to knock some common sense into your profession.


  • lem4,

    As an FYI, my rule is if I don’t understand the advice being provided such as telling someone to take a supplement or I don’t know what information to chose, I don’t do anything. I hear your desperation but unfortunately, as I have found through experience, that can lead to bad choices and make things worse.

    Again, you are 4 months out from your last dose of Prozac and are probably still dealing with withdrawal issues. You need to be patient and let your body heal.

    If you need support, I would go to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index

  • B,

    I am not so sure about that. I know someone who was in her 40s who went in for routine surgery and had never before had an operation. She suffered cognitive damage from the anesthesia because she was given too much.

    I think what is happening is that because of the bad publicity from people waking up prematurely during surgery, that anesthesiologists are overcompensating by giving people too much medication.

    I do understand that some hospitals use a BIS monitor to prevent under and over sedation but many do not. Personally, I wouldn’t have surgery at a hospital that didn’t but everyone has to make that decision for themselves.

  • When I explored having minor surgery earlier this year, due to my age, I was very concerned about experiencing cognitive difficulties since I already have them for various reasons. My experience was that anesthesiologists minimized this concern and in my research, I found the same situation.

    Interestingly, if someone experienced cognitive issues after surgery, they seemed to blame it in preexisting depression. Sound familiar?

    Anyway, I may not have any choice but to have it. I am going to make damm sure that my concerns are taken seriously and that all necessary precautions are taken. I even switched to a more expensive insurance plan so I could have more options in choosing providers and hospitals in case I felt my concerns weren’t being heeded.

    Anyway, point is I don’t think the neurological risks of anesthesia are limited to young children. I think anyone is a potential target, particularly older people.

  • lem4,

    Since you are only 4 months out from withdrawal, your body could still be in a state of chaos and not react too well to taking supplements. I might back down on the dose to see if you feel better. And if you still don’t feel better, I would come off of it slowly.

    That is why I said in my previous post that when starting any supplement, people need to start low and go slow. And just because a supplement isn’t a med doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated just as cautiously.

  • MikeyMike,

    Sorry, I didn’t see this post initially.

    I slowly tapered 4 meds over 4 years. Knowing what I now know, I wasted way too much money on supplements but like everyone else, I was desperate.

    Rebound depression occurs for reasons that have nothing to do with a chemical imbalance and many times are due to withdrawal symptoms. Taking an supplement other than perhaps fish oil which many people can’t even take is not going to solve the problem.

    They might want to try light therapy and gentle exercise in sunlight. As always, our mileage will vary.

    Also, someone can be depressed because life sucks and has nothing to do withdrawal.

  • Mikeymike,

    I have to agree with MarkPS although not for the same reasons. Many people in withdrawal have greatly found that taking 5HTP aggravates their symptoms and doesn’t help.

    If you are going to try it, my advice would be to start with 25mg and increase no faster than every 3 to 7 days. And pay careful attention to symptoms and don’t assume that because something isn’t a drug, that isn’t harmless.

    Regarding someone being suicidal if they don’t take 5htp, you’re succumbing to the same faulty arguments as psychiatry in assuming that there is a chemical imbalance with serotonin. And worsening someone’s withdrawal symptoms could also make someone suicidal.

  • I wanted to caution people that even though psychiatry deserves all the intense criticism directed towards it as the result of this article that Philip has referenced, it is important to not let primary care physicians off the hook since they prescribe 80% of psych medications.

    And in reading this article, many of the issues with somatic disorders have occurred due to primary care physicians pawning off their patients onto psychiatrists because they couldn’t be bothered to investigate why a complicated medical condition was causing a patient problems. Alot easier to blame it on psych issues.

    And as MIA author Richard Lawhern as commented on the Psychiatric Times Website, once a patient is referred by his/her PCP to a psychiatrist, he/she is no longer seen as a credible member of any experienced health conditions. The effect on the type of care this person receives is devastating.

  • Great question for which I don’t have an answer. But I will put this on my list of things to research to see if I can find out why.

    Truth, regarding your son’s situation, many psychiatrists have sadly decided that all severe conditions need meds and that simply is not the case. I would love to see a truly unbiased study that proves this is so but I suspect it doesn’t exist.

  • Jonathan,

    The problem is that if you ask doctors who want to prescribe meds yesterday for high cholesterol, depression, and high blood pressure yesterday about the possibility of trying non drug means to resolve the problem, they look at you like you are a space alien and start trying to make you feel guilty for not being a compliant patient. That is why I don’t feel it is fair to blame patients for wanting a quick fix. Some do but not everyone does and unfortunately, they get zero support from doctors who think drugs are the answer to everything.

  • Exactly Aria.

    My mother could see these drugs were causing bit time harm but the psychiatrist couldn’t? Unfortunately, I was too spellbound by the meds to believe her.

    By the way, when I told my former psychiatrist that I wished I had never set forth in a psychiatrist’s office, he started asking about my mood. I shut up pretty quickly and learned to give him minimal information during the rest of my visits.

    Dr. Frances, with all due respect, is in big time denile regarding the harm psychiatry has caused people.

  • Very interesting point regarding the anecdotal evidence that man compiled in that link which reminds me about wanting to elaborate on my point.

    Only psychiatrists it seems are allowed to claim that anecdotal evidence is valid while if “peons” like you and I attempt to do it, we are taken to task big time and accused of not being scientific. It seems like a very unfair double standard particularly when psychiatry refuses to provide the scientific evidence that Bob asked for regarding long term effectiveness of psych meds.

  • Question for Allen Frances. If the APA isn’t as influential as you claim regarding the DSM, why is a condition like sleep apnea in there when that has nothing at all to do with mental illness? Now if psychiatrists were routinely screening people who come to them with sleep problems for possible sleep disorders, that would be one thing but that definitely is not happening. If I am wrong, tell me what percentage of psychiatrists refer their patients for sleep studies. Anyway, as much as I hate pharma, they had nothing to do with this one.

    Regarding the long term effectiveness of psych meds, I agree with Bob Whitaker about showing us the evidence. And sorry, stating that because of a psychiatrists’ clinical experience with the meds being effective, this proves that it is. Uh no, that is what they call in scientific circles anecdotal evidence.

  • Kate, with all due respect, it is about your daughter speaking for herself vs. you or I speaking for her.

    Like Sera has mentioned, I am just wondering why when you have posted here several times on her behalf, that she hasn’t chimed in to say what she wants no matter what her position is. Just like if someone had posted on a board about my issues claiming to speak for me without my having said anything myself.

  • Excellent comment Truth In Psychiatry. I worked in special ed many years ago and many of the treatments (not drugs) felt very disrespectful to me and didn’t take into consideration the students’ needs. It was very frustrating.

    By the way, I love the way this report blamed the mom and Adam for not taking the meds when that is the worst thing for people who already have brains that are compromised as he appeared to have with AS and receptive and expressive language issues. Heck, psych meds are generallybad for people without any problems but when the brain is already neurologically compromised, they are even more deadly.

  • I am so sorry to hear that about your friend, Stephen. Disgraceful.

    Totally agree with you about doctors. What is sad is when people have great experiences as I did with my cardiologist, we’re so shocked because that is so uncommon when actually that is the treatment we should always receive.

    Everyone wants to blame the state of medical care on insurance and I can’t totally argue with that. But somehow, this cardiologist who I am sure deals with those issue, doesn’t let that affect her care of patients. Hopefully, I will never have any serious issues that need her attention but if I do, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be in good hands.

  • Hi Stephen,

    Is there any way your friend could meet with someone as high up as possible at the hospital to express concern about what has happened to him? And maybe say something like this (in a nice way of course) that the hospital doesn’t want to be responsible for misdiagnosing someone due to the bias of a physician.

    I know this is easy for me to say since this hasn’t happened to me but I just feel that when this occurs, we need to start speaking up and let hospital VIPs know that this is not acceptable and it is better they address this now vs. when a patient dies from this negligence.


  • B, in addition to your excellent point about the issue of exercise and “blaming the victim”, even if patients on psych meds were to exercise, it is my understanding that they mess up the metabolism so bad, that it would be an extreme exercise in frustration. By the way, this offends me even more than denying the side effects of a med (which is pretty bad) when you advise a patient to do something that is impossible to do because of the adverse results from the med.

    “”Another study reported that mental health patients often receive poor medical care and general health recommendations from their treatment providers, contributing further to their heart problems.””

    I want to say, “No sh-t Sherlock.” As one who will never disclose my past psych med history to any doctor come h-ll or high water because of cr-p like this, here is what happens for you researchers who seem to have trouble grasping to me what is an obvious concept.

    When you disclose psych med history, most doctors no longer consider you to be a reliable reporter of your condition and everything is now seen through the lens of the alleged “MI” label. So much for reducing stigma.

    Anyway, any report of a condition that can possibly linked to psych issues in any will be done so because of this stigma. H-ck, I wouldn’t be surprised if doctors found a way to link in grown toenails to schizophrenia.

    Yup, taking someone off of the drug is the best solution but then there is reality. A big fat sigh!

  • “You misinterpret me, AA. My statement has nothing at all to do with blame. My perspective is that our beliefs dictate our reality. It is something worth considering, when nothing else has worked””


    With all due respect, that is a form of blame because you are essentially saying that if someone hasn’t recovered, it is because of their beliefs.

    By the way, I am not arguing that having a positive attitude doesn’t help. But when you imply that this is the complete answer to all suffering, I have a problem with that.

    And I will leave you with this example. Many years ago, I had a relative who had a very positive attitude in dealing with cancer. She still died.

  • “”I do want to be clear that I do feel our bodies regenerate naturally, if we allow them to, so no damage is permanent””

    Alex, in some cases that is true but not always. There are many people who have been on psych meds long term who tried very hard to recover as much function as possible but are still suffering big time.

    I know this wasn’t your intention but statements like this come across as unfairly blaming the patient for not trying hard enough to get well. Please think about what you are saying before you post something like this.


  • Dr Breggin,

    I also wanted to thank you profusely for the outstanding work you have done to publicize the dangers of psych meds many years even when no one seemed to be listening.

    I was on a cocktail of psych meds for years until I finally realized they were destroying my life and slowly tapered off of them over 4 years. Unfortunately, I fear they have left permanent “gifts” such as a very fragile sleep cycle which has caused me great difficulties in adjusting to pap therapy which I need because of my sleep apnea. The problems resulting from chronic sleep deprivation are horrific.

    Of course, my chances of getting any doctor to blame psych meds are about as good as my winning the lottery. In fact, if I said anything about my past psych med history, I would be permanently labeled as one of those “MI” patients and would receive inferior care.

    Finally, regarding withdrawal, I agree that it is best for doctors to supervise everything. Unfortunately, finding a doctor who understands withdrawal issues from psych meds is slim and none.

    As a result, I highly urge you and Ginger to refer patients to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/index for assistance in safely tapering off of the meds. On the site, is a list of psych med friendly doctors by the way. But if one isn’t near a forum member, there is excellent advice on tapering very slowly which you seem to agree is best for the person.
    The site is not connected to any company or organization and depends on the financial contributions of members.

  • candreae,

    Many people way older than 24 have experienced suicidal ideation on psych meds and were fine once they got off of them.

    To be honest, I haven’t kept with with the Williams case to have an opinion one way or another as to whether meds were an issue or not so I will pass on commenting. But judging from your posts, you seem to think that meds never cause any horrific side effects and that just isn’t the case.

  • Candreae,

    I am glad medicines saved your life. But for many people, they have not helped and have caused horrific side effects. The literature on the effectiveness long term is quite questionable. The most glowing studies are usually financed by drug companies or professionals with connections to them.

    By the way, I am not anti meds and am looking into the possibility of taking something for a specific condition. But if I go this route, I will do it knowing that it works for about 24% of people who take it without horrific side effects.

  • John,

    I feel like we are going around in circles but let me take one more shot at this. I am not sure what you are talking about referring to how the old ways of behaving in a job were fine. Perhaps what you are talking about is when it wasn’t as tough to get a job, less emphasis was placed on social competence. But those days are gone, even in the IT field which was the most tolerable of eccentricities.

    So if someone didn’t learn these skills intuitively when most people learn social skills without thinking, it is more than just an issue of social competence. They have to be taught these skills explicitly in a step by step manner and even when that is done, it still hard for many people on the autistic spectrum.

    Again, I agree this should not be medicalized but that doesn’t take away from the fact that people with this conditions have great challenges. And in spite my not wanting the condition medicalized, if calling it a disability gets people necessary assistance without being placed on psych meds, that is a compromise I could live with. Unfortunately, state voc rehab departments are usually useless and most other voc rehab agencies don’t seem to be helpful either.

  • Crux,

    I know people on the autistic spectrum who never took psych meds and have the issues that are reported in autism literature such as problems with non verbal language (social dyslexia), etc. I can see a situation where psych meds definitely worsen autism issues but for some people, I don’t feel they are the direct cause.

    If we don’t like it when psychiatry makes point blank generalizations, in my opinion, we have to be careful not to do the same thing.

  • John,

    I couldn’t respond directly to your post so I am doing it here. I definitely agree autism shouldn’t be called a disease. No argument there.

    I just googled Timimi on this site, http://penumbrage.com/2012/02/05/the-myth-of-autism-part-3/ and wanted to discuss this exert:

    “”The authors are not saying that the children are not emotionally and socially troubled. What they are saying is – and I concur with them – that focus needs to be on the relationship contexts of these children’s lives, and to take each child for the individual he or she is and to examine closely the family and community narratives and discover creative possibilities for change and for more dynamic and hopeful stories to emerge for both the children and their carers.””

    It sounds good on paper but I am a little leery. One of the main characteristics of people who are on the autistic spectrum is difficulty reading non verbal language and understanding unwritten social rules. Most people learn this without a thought at a very young age but people with autism usually do not.

    If you don’t teach them how to navigate the social rules, all the other stuff is going to be an exercise in frustration. Unless you understand specific social rules, you’re not going to understand why someone might be irritated with you. Now of course, that other person could also be at fault but without having a firm understanding of what these rules, you’re not going to be in position to understand if that is the case or not.
    Not to compare people with autism to animals but it will be like trying to turn a cat into a dog.

    I do agree that the stories of autism are way too negative and the more emphasis needs to be placed on their strengths and what they can do vs. what they can’t do. For example, many of them (not all) have outstanding computer skills and would probably be very helpful in preventing computer systems from being hacked.

  • Jonah,

    I wanted to chime in as someone who has worked with students with autism in special ed and who also has friends on the autistic spectrum. I guess that makes me a wanne be professional:)

    No matter what the latest article says, there are definite characteristics of the condition that have nothing to with being pro psychiatry vs antispychiatry.

    For example, I worked with one student with autism whom if his routine was thrown off, that spelled big time trouble. It wasn’t the normal case of someone being eccentric as rigid adherence to routine is quite common with this population group.

    I had another student that if this person was in my group that I was taking to a work site, I had to preview everything with her in routine so there would be no surprises. Otherwise, anything that was different would completely throw her off and lead to major meltdowns.

    Of course, psychiatry would think all my students needed was antipsychotic to fix this which of course is beyond this. But just because psychiatry is evil and drugs everything under the sun, it doesn’t mean that conditions listed in the DSM aren’t legitimate.

    For example, did you all know that dyslexia is listed in the DSM? But I highly doubt that anyone on this list would argue that it wasn’t legitimate.

    Jonah, addressing the party line comment from Tusu about autism, I don’t think anyone specifically has said it isn’t legitimate. But what does seem to happen in my opinion that anything that is in the DSM is considered suspect due to “evil” psychiatry and therefore can’t be legitimate. And mostly that is true but as with everything else in life, there are exceptions to the rule.

  • Personally, as one who is pretty disillusioned with medicine in general, I prefer the term, “anti bullshit advocate” which of course has about as much chance of succeeding in being in used as my winning the lottery. 🙂 And for you outsiders who would accuse me of being anti science with this view, I am sick of the BS that medicine passes off as science.

  • When I was tapering off of my psych meds, I had these feelings regarding my psychiatrist. I feared if I said anything negative regarding withdrawal symptoms, that he would try to coerce me into going back on meds. So every time, I said I was fine even if I felt like sh-t. It shouldn’t be that way but then again, there is reality with what we call psychiatry.

    Wasn’t in therapy during withdrawal, but the therapist I had previously seen was great. No doubt in my mind that if I had still been seeing her during this time, she would have been totally supportive. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the cognitive brainpower to start up with her again and just figured it was easier with the support of online AD withdrawal support groups to get through this process.

  • Duane,

    A great post on ideally what a lawyer should do in this case. But unfortunately, these folks rarely exist and pretty much rubber stamp what psychiatry has decided.

    I knew someone who was involuntarily committed several years ago because she had nerve to be understandably belligerent when the idiot psychiatrist refused to take her complaints seriously about a side effect of a med she was on. The lawyer she had was totally useless.

    How do we find lawyers who give a darn about this situation? It seems to me that involuntary commitment abuse issues seem to be a low priority with alot of lawyers.

  • Richard, you said:

    “”A person labeled as “mentally ill” needs to learn how to negotiate the world when they are not forced inside the psych wards; this is an important matter of present day survival. And that means learning how to avoid the police, and learning how to deal with them when confronted by them. If they are breaking the law they need to know that they will have to contend with the police. “”

    Uh, many of them have gotten killed in that situation. Richard, as one who has had a lot of respect for you even though I didn’t always agree with everything you have said, I am absolutely stunned at how unfair I feel you have been to Jonathan and can’t understand that there are issues of gray in these various issues.

    And even if they don’t get killed and are taken to jail, which in case you haven’t heard, does alot of forced drugging also, how is that better for them vs. the situation than what Jonathan describes?

  • Hi Stephen,

    In all fairness, none of the sleep doctors tell you the side effects of the meds they prescribe. And really, since I can easily access the information on the net, since time is so limited, I would rather focus on other issues. As long as they don’t blow me off if I complain about a side effect which hasn’t happened since none of them work which is probably a good thing.

    I am curious, why did you need two sleep aids? Of course, I am asking that in a facetious manner.

  • And how does that work when you go get medical care with a psych diagnosis in your file that you have been unable to hide thanks to medical electronic records and don’t get taken seriously? Go to another doctor you say? What if you are already medically compromised and don’t have the strength to go to a “million” doctors to find the one who will listen? Then what?

    My point is I agree it is good not internalize stigma. But not doing so doesn’t protect you against medical providers whose care you desperately need who continue to do it on a wide scale basis.

  • Hi Stephen,

    Unfortunately, people fear if they argue with their doctor, they will be seen as a “bad” patient. I know that was my thought process when I was given this questionnaire. But in retrospect, that really hasn’t gotten me anywhere so as a result, I am changing my approach.

    And then there are people who think well, if the doctor is administering the questionnaire, they must know what they are doing since doctors can’t do no wrong, right?

    Finally, I also think people get worn down. I had disagreed with my doctor about the way she categorized a diagnosis and in response, blamed it on the medical records electronic template saying she couldn’t do anything about it. In my opinion, that was BS but I was just too tired to argue with her and worried that it would take up my whole appointment when I had pressing issues to discuss. I may write another letter although I am not really sure it will matter.

  • My PCP gave me one of these questionnaires after I had avoided answering it online. I was furious but of course feared if I had expressed anger, that would be a sign of depression (rolling my eyes) so I played the good cooperative patient and answered the questions correctly.

    My question to the good folks on this site is god forbid if I encounter this situation again, what would be a good way of refusing this and getting my point across? Yes, I now realize I could outright refuse it but I guess what I am asking is what would be a good boiler plate 2 minute speech to educate docs that this is the wrong move.


  • A “regular” doctor I was considering going to was one of these folks as according to her background, she had consulted with several drug companies. I found that very offensive.

    Now if I had felt she might be the best option in spite of these connections, I would have overlooked it. But ultimately, I decided to look elsewhere.

  • Richard,

    As one diagnosed with sleep apnea, I wanted to thank you for mentioning that kids with the same condition can be misdiagnosed as having ADHD. I have read the figure is about 35%, which is definitely not insignificant.

    Unfortunately, even regular medical professionals still have many misconceptions about sleep apnea so I am guessing it isn’t much better with the mental health folks. One of the worst ones is if you are thin, you can’t have the condition.

    I am very heartened that you as a mental health professional understand that sleep apnea can definitely be an issue and result people being misdiagnosed with mental health issues.

  • A sleep doctor has a much better idea regarding PTSD:


    By the way, this solution reminds of the early days of the crude remedies for mental illness such as insulin coma therapy and lobotomy. At least if you’re going to defend those therapies and I used that term extremely loosely, there weren’t any other options but with PTSD, there are several that can be tried that don’t have side effects.

    Additionally, what never ceases to amaze me is all of alternative medicine is pegged as quackery while this is supposed to be conventional medicine we can trust. I am speechless once again.

  • SingingMom,

    I am also glad that meds helped your daughter. But the issue is that for many people on this site, they have destroyed our lives and doctors don’t seem to care that this is our experience. Our voices should not be silenced.

    I hope that if your daughter changes her mind and decides she doesn’t want to take the meds, that you will be fully supportive of that decision. And by the way, if she decides to get off of meds, make sure she tapers very slowly to prevent withdrawal symptoms that look like a return of the illness but aren’t.

  • Great, so you’re going to tell people like one of my good friends who has used on successfully for years without raising the dose that she needs to CT it or anyone else in her position? I don’t think that will exactly convert people to our cause.

    And you do know that severe sleep deprivation which many people use benzos for can also cause dementia like symptoms, right?

    Instead of banning meds which is as extreme a position as prescribing them willy nilly, what about providing fully informed consent to people so they can make the best decision for their situation? For example, if temazepam had worked to enable me to sleep a full night on the pap machine which it didn’t do, why not provide me all my options in this situation?

    For example, tell me what the risks are long term for the med vs. not doing at all and risk seeing my current symptoms of sleep deprivation worsen? Discuss the possibility of OTC remedies or non OTC/med remedies which so far haven’t worked. Or discuss a plan to get my sleep stabilized and then come up with a plan to get off of the med in a safe manner while hopefully not losing any gains I have made in sleep.

    I don’t know, that just seems alot more reasonable to me than extremism either way regarding the issue of meds.

  • gardenlisa,

    Unless you’re near a facility your son can go to that doesn’t use meds (see Steve’s post), you have no choice unfortunately but to put him in him a hospital if he is threatening your family and won’t follow your advice regarding not to CT meds. It pains me to say that but your family’s health and well being is also important. You also can’t risk him hurting someone outside the family either.

    Maybe eventually, he will learn that his way isn’t work. Hopefully.

    I am sorry about your struggles.

  • gardenlisa,

    I greatly empathize with your situation.

    Your son needs to be educated that if he wants to go off of meds, because antipsychotics are very powerful meds, it needs to be done very slowly. Cold turkeying them leads to experiencing the rebound symptoms which looks like what happened to him although of course, I can’t say for sure.

    Ideally, his current psychiatrist would help with that but sadly, many of them think that folks on antipsychotics need to be on meds for life. If that is the attitude, you might want to look at this
    list of psychiatrists that will help patients get off their meds slowly. Hopefully, you are near one of them who can help:


    If help still is not available, you might want to look at this thread on tapering zyprexa to see if it would be helpful:


    Hope this helps.

  • Vegwellian,

    People have every right to be angry. And maybe if more folks were taught how to express their emotions instead of feeling this article need to be happy all the time, there would be less need for psych meds.

    I am sure you will reject my point as you have done with everything else that has been written since you feel people develop mental illness for no reason. And by the way, you haven’t provided any scientific links for that.

    Anyway, I find this to be one of your most insulting posts as recovery is one of the more popular subjects on this site. But I guess it doesn’t fit your paradigm of recovery with psych meds.

  • Not correct. James Holmes was taking psych meds and so was Adam Lanza. So were several others although I can’t remember exactly whom.

    Now I don’t assume that just because they were taking meds that there was a relationship to the crime. Even Peter Breggin doesn’t do that.

    Anyway, in some cases, I have no doubt and to deny these drugs can’t cause horrific side effect simply is being in denial big time.

  • Hi Donna,

    Let me clarify my position as I didn’t mean to imply that folks with ADHD, LD, and AS have faulty brains. They definitely don’t and the fact that any of these conditions are in the DSM is very offensive to me.

    Having said that and knowing folks with these issues, they definitely have challenges in this society in which people with differently wired brains are not easily accepted. By the way, as much as I greatly respect Dr. Breggin, I disagree vehemently with him that something like AS doesn’t exist. It definitely does.

    But we do agree that labeling these issues as psychiatric is criminal and to drug them is even worse.

  • Hmm, if I said that chiropractic care worked for a former coworker, you would say that proves nothing and isn’t supported by the evidence. I would turn the tables on you regarding sleep medications although I am glad it works for you.

    Doctor was still a quack in my opinion, as he cut your medicines too quickly.

  • Vegwellian,

    According to studies, sleep meds only increase sleep by about 35 to 40 minutes and do not increase the quality of sleep. Actually, long term, they are very ineffective.

    That is horrible that you were cold turkeyed off of sleep meds. That is a perfect example of so called mainstream doctors being quacks.

  • CC,

    I know we have discussed this issue before but as one who is severely deprived, insomnia is definitely a valid diagnosis. It is how the medical community deals with it that is the issue.

    And as I mentioned in the forums on this same issue, many people like me can’t sleep whenever we want and get up whenever we want. I feel horrible with that type of schedule and it doesn’t work for me.

    Actually, if I was inpatient in a psych hospital, I would want an insomnia pill as it would be depressing as heck lying awake in that type of facility without anything to do. At least, if I was in a regular hospital, I could listen to something with headphones but I am assuming that wouldn’t be allowed in a psych hospital.


  • Vegwellian,

    That simply is not true that medicine changes its practices regarding evidenced based medicine or practices according to EBM. See this link:


    I quickly glanced at the sciencebasedmedicne.org link and they seem to be sensationalizing stuff as in the case of chiropractors by implying it doesn’t work because they are doing well woman exams and similar type activities. Uh, reputable folks in this profession stick to what they know which is treating back problems and similar type issues. Did they do a scientific study on that or not?

    You seem to think modern medicine can do no wrong and that simply isn’t the case. And many time, their results aren’t even subjective as they are fraudulent due to the influence of the drug companies.

  • Vegwellian,

    Framing the issue as evidenced based vs. alternative medicine is not an accurate way of looking at things. There are many conventional medical practices that allegedly work according to evidenced based medicine but when the statistics are thoroughly reviewed, it turns out they don’t. This has been discussed on Kevin MD.

    And some alleged alternative practices like fish oil and vitamin D work great according to various citations.

    I do agree some alternative stuff doesn’t work. But ironically, you are doing exactly what you accuse MIA folks of doing which is to put everything in a one size fits all category as you have done with alternative medicine.

  • Quackery is not limited to the alternative field. The psychiatrist who prescribes 5 meds to a foster home kid who doesn’t have a diagnosable mental illness is just as much of a quack as some folks in the alternative field.

  • “”Look, people do develop mental illness as a result of trauma, etc. They also develop it out of no known etiology. Young people who had great childhoods, on the cusp of their adult lives, about to go to college – have psychotic breaks. Kids are born into loving families who take good care of them, however it is clear from an early age that their brains just aren’t wired properly. If any of you think that simply dispensing with the biological causes of mental illness is a step forward, you might want to pull back and get a wider view.””

    Just because a kid doesn’t have a “normal wired brain” doesn’t mean he is mentally ill. For example, many kids with Asperger Syndrome, LD, ADHD, etc. do great if they are put in environments that maximize their strengths while teaching them compensatory mechanisms for dealing with their weaknesses. Works alot better than being provided psych meds that make things worse on a brain that is already compromised.

    And even if the kid may not have anything obvious that explains the abnormally wired brain, many times, it ends up being due to horrific family dynamics. Google Claudia
    Gold, a pediatrician, who has written about this and is definitely not in the outside fringes of medicine.

    I am sure there are rare cases in which mental illness is the only explanation. But even it is, according to citation by folks like Dr. Sandy Steingard, who is as mainstream as they come, it is still questionable that drugs like antipsychotics work long term.

    Finally, you keep stating to not reject science but what citations in your opinion define it? Speaking of kids, the Paxil 329 was supposed to be very credible when it was done at the time regarding it being effective for depression with this population group. Guess what, it turned out to be fraudulent.

  • Generally, if you stop taking the medication by either cold turkeying or tapering too quickly, you will have rebound symptoms that look like a relapse but aren’t. I am guessing that is what happened with the young man and in your situation although of course, I don’t know for sure.

    And by the way, many people who go off psych meds find that supplments make things worse so that also could have been an issue with that resident. No matter what, I am sorry that happened.

  • Jonah, great post. To take your point one step further, what about the fact that primary care doctors are prescribing 70% of psychotropic meds. But not one on this list would dare say they were anti primary care doctors. And in case you don’t think they can’t be coercive, think again.

    And speaking of primary care doctors, I know of one who was essentially going to cold turkey someone off of a psych med. It was an “evil” psychiatrist who was willing to provide this person a reasonable tapering schedule.

    I agree about focusing on the coercive nature of psychiatry or any medical practice. Anything else simply is a diversion and not productive in my opinion.

  • Sorry, I misread your post. But it is still my understanding that after you take your last dose of the SSRI, you need to wait a certain amount of time before taking the 5HTP.

    Also, many people have found that taking 5HTP aggravates their withdrawal symptoms instead of lessening it. Just saying.

    Tapering slowly doesn’t guarantee you won’t have depression as it can also result for reasons having nothing to do with withdrawal. But even if it does have something do with withdrawal, my guess is it would have been alot worse if you had tapered quickly.

  • Mikeymike,

    Telling someone to take 5HTP while they are on an SSRI/SSNI stands a great chance of leading to Serotonin Syndrome.


    The only way to get off of antidepressants safely is to taper very slowly. Personally, I think tapering 10% of current dose every 3 to 4 weeks is the best way to go. For more information, go to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

  • Hi Stephen,

    I vaguely remember my psychiatrist saying that the long term effects of the meds were unknown which was a bunch of BS. I definitely recall him advising me to get blood work to make sure nothing unusual was happening. But all that would have done would be a switch to another med which would have eventually also caused damage.

    Yup, informed consent has disappeared big time.

  • OMG B, this never ends. The reason people get depressed from having epilepsy is because of the negative ramifications from having the condition. It is not clinical depression but of course, big pharma doesn’t care as long as they can make money off of a population.

    So essentially, if you have any medical condition, look for your primary care physician to test you for depression and offer you an SSRI. Welcome to the new practice of medical care.

  • Anon,

    H-ll would freeze over because I ever tried sleep restriction therapy. Kudos to you for lasting as long as you did.

    I have been to alot of sleep doctors and they all have asked the same question regarding hours of sleep. But they have also asked the questions you are talking about but that also doesn’t necessarily indicate accurately if someone has apnea or not.

    Unfortunately, the nasal pillows are worst for me due to my sinus congestion. Anyway, I am glad it sounds like you are being adequately treated. Am I right?

    B, I stand corrected about Xrem. I still think it is used off label for insomnia but what you described is exactly right.

  • —“We have to very careful not to sound like psychiatry with our one size fits all solutions.”
    Well, I said 90%… Maybe an overestimation given how many people take drugs or therapies nowadays which are known to screw up sleeping patterns. Of course, stress can do the same thing as well but for some forms of stress taking 2 weeks off and sleeping in a mountain hut could also help.—

    B, my point is to say that 90% of all sleep problems can be solved by what you propose is still pretty much a one size fits all solution. You wouldn’t like it if professionals did that so why is it acceptable when we make the same assumptions.?

  • B,

    I have replied to your post above because there isn’t a reply button under your post.

    Xrem does not prevent sleep as far as i know. I would be surprised if it did since it is commonly prescribed as a sleep aid for people with narcolepsy to get a good nights sleep.

    As with any drug, it is an issue of benefits vs. risks. Personally, I don’t think I am going to find any med or not OTC remedy to help with pap therapy tolerance. But others have found relief for their sleep issues uand I am not going to be the one to say they can’t use drugs. That would be as bad as them telling me I need to use drugs.

  • One of the best nights of sleep I ever had nearly three years ago was 5 hours. Too bad I couldn’t get a genie to replicate those conditions.

    Anyway, I get so tired of sleep doctors asking how many hours of sleep I get on patient intake forms as it is the quality that counts, not the number of hours. Why this concept keeps eluding them is beyond me.

    Regarding sleep meds doing anything for the quality of sleep, the only one I am aware of that does this is Xrem, which is commonly prescribed for narcolepsy. Unfortunately, it is very expensive and many insurance companies will not pay for it.

    I haven’t seen any indication this med would do anything for sleep quality but who knows.

  • Madmom,

    The issue is if the delayed speech issue isn’t addressed, your grandson will get a label that is alot worse than having LD or something similar. If you haven’t done so, you might want to consider taking him for a private evaluation by a speech pathologist who won’t label him as having a mental illness and will offer suggestions for remedies that can get him caught up and able to use the wonderful gifts you have mentioned.

  • CC,

    Don’t assume that what works for you, works for everyone. Sleeping in split shifts causes me to feel horrible. I need to be able to sleep all the way through.

    No, insomnia has nothing to do with how many hours or how you slept. The only question that should be asked is do you feel energized enough to get through the day performing necessary tasks without a million stimulants and rest breaks.

    For each person, that will be different. One of my best nights of sleep in 2011 was 5 hours straight. Other times I have slept 8 hours and felt like I didn’t sleep at all.

  • Sera,

    You don’t know how much I needed to read your post after dealing with someone who had no problem with a suicidal person being drugged to the gills if it meant keeping him/her alive. I just dropped the subject because I felt it was pointless to continue the discussion. I wish I could have hung in there but it was the best I could do at the time.

    Anyway, I had made the point to this person that being suicidal didn’t equate to mental illness which unfortunately didn’t make an impression. So seeing you verify my thoughts about this really did alot of good along with the rest of your post.

    Thanks again.

  • Anon,

    I am very sorry for your loss.

    I don’t think any of us on this board are advocating no treatment for suicidal ideation. But it seems the drug them to the gills kind of treatment is not working and no, I am not commenting specifically about whether Mr. Williams too meds or not. But with the suicidal rate increasing along with the consumption of meds, something is rotten in Denmark.

    We need a system that stigmitizing people who are are suicidal and listens to them without judgment. Maybe it wouldn’t have saved your friend but I will bet alot of people would have been. But sadly, we live in a society that doesn’t want to take the time to listen to people and thinks it easier to drug them. A big fat sight.

  • B,

    Of course, in many cases they should have never have been put on the drugs to begin with but the issue is, you have to deal with the current situation no matter how irresponsible providers were in the past. And the person who is taking the meds should be given a fully informed choice as to what the best option is whether it is stay on the meds or get off of them. It should be their choice and not the one of the healthcare provider just like when we want our choices respected to not take meds.

  • As one who has suffered severe sleep deprivation for various reasons, I have a different take on the New York Time articles.

    Having gone through h–ll from this, if I had found a med that worked which I haven’t and it gave me substantial relief, I would have not been any more happy with professionals with anti med biases than I was with ones who wanted to medicate me to the gills. Either way, the issue is providing fully informed consent and letting the patient make the decision as to what works best for him/her.

    Additionally, if you take people off of a sleep meds who have been on them for a very long time, you risk substantial adverse affects that may be worse than if you had left them on the drugs. The could also impact sleep which then would leave the elderly with a lot of hurt.

    Maybe B, that is why doctors and pharmacists discouraged them from tapering. I know it is easy to think the worse about their motives as I definitely am prone to do that. But I think we have to try not to do that even though it is easier said than done.

  • Anon,

    There was no reply button to your post so I had to respond at the bottom of the page. I think you missed my point.

    In your initial post, you said that people needed to stop going to PCPs for emotional reasons and I was trying to point out that people get psych meds even though they didn’t visit for those reasons. I do agree with you that people still have to learn to say no and while I think more folks are learning to do that, obviously, way too many are not and that needs to change.

  • Anon,

    It isn’t that simple. Many people get prescribed psych drugs by primary care physicians for complaints that obviously had nothing to do with psych issues. Unfortunately, this was an easy way way for doctors to solve the case without having to do investigate further the physical causes of the complaint.

    Additionally, many PCPs are now doing routine screening for psych issues. So if the patient isn’t savvy to avoid answering in a way that will get him/her labeled, that would be another way for someone to get prescribed a psych med.

  • That is exactly what I was wondering Michael. Particularly, if people go on and off their meds very quickly which we all know generally leads to horrific problems that look like a return of the illness but aren’t.

    Sadly, that will never be addressed in the media because it is too convenient to place blame on the stereotypical violent mental patient.

  • Doctors also don’t speak out against their colleagues out of fear of being ostracized and having their careers ruined. Even though I agree with you that they are complicit in the malpractice/crime, until that culture is completely changed, this will continue to be a big time problem.

  • chrisreed,

    I decided to reply above you because the only other option was to go to the bottom. I sure wish this site would add more “reply” buttons. But meanwhile-

    I am glad you found another job but still intend to protest about this situation. Punishing kids for falling asleep would be like punishing someone for having a diabetic coma or epilepsy.

  • chrisreed,

    As a person who has sleep apnea, I find that policy horrifying. And I have read that about 30% of kids diagnosed with ADHD turn out to have the condition.

    Is there anyway to educate the powers to be that students following asleep in class might need to be evaluated to find out why this is occurring?