Monday, March 27, 2023

Comments by BetterLife

Showing 100 of 399 comments. Show all.

  • I forgot to mention that studies exist that support my hunch.

    “The Association between Low Blood Pressure and
    Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Observed in
    Children/Adolescents Does Not Persist into Young Adulthood.
    A Population-Based Ten-Year Follow-Up Study”


  • I had a hunch that children who have trouble paying attention suffer from hypotension, probably exacerbated by sitting for more then a few minutes at a time. For somne children, intrinsic obedience has them remaining seated even as they are losing focus and even losing consciousness. For others, an attempt at self-remedy is probably beneficial: getting up and moving around (“hyperactive” type).

    The two types of drugs prescribed for ADHD (that must help some patients) have a prominent adverse effect in common: they raise blood pressure. So do some supposedly helpful supplements.

    1. Atomoxetine (STRATTERA) – risk of increased blood pressure and/or heart rate
    Safety advisory – Published 2 November 2011 (Australian Governmnent)
    2. Psychostimulants – Cardiovascular effect of stimulant medications. Stimulant medications can be associated with an increase in heart rate (1-2 beats per minute), systolic blood pressure (1-4 mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure (1-2 mmHg). Rarely, the increase in heart rate and blood pressure may reach above the 95th percentile (see Cortese, 2013).

    J Hypertens
    . 2004 Mar;22(3):543-50. doi: 10.1097/00004872-200403000-00017.
    Excessive zinc intake elevates systemic blood pressure levels in normotensive rats–potential role of superoxide-induced oxidative stress

    Increased serum ferritin predicts the development of hypertension among middle-aged men
    Mee Kyoung Kim, Ki Hyun Baek, Ki-Ho Song, Moo Il Kang, Ji Hoon Choi, Ji Cheol Bae, Cheol Young Park, Won Young Lee, Ki Won Oh
    American Journal of Hypertension, Volume 25, Issue 4, April 2012, Pages 492–497,

  • FDA’s Decision to Approve New Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
    By Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, Director, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
    “The late-stage development program for Aduhelm consisted of two phase 3 clinical trials. One study met the primary endpoint, showing reduction in clinical decline. The second trial did not meet the primary endpoint. ”

    One study was a fluke? Studies were badly run? Either way, toss them both and send drugmakers back to the drawing board.

    In all studies in which it was evaluated, however, Aduhelm consistently and very convincingly reduced the level of amyloid plaques in the brain in a dose- and time-dependent fashion.”

    So what.
    “There’s not an awful lot more to be added to the amyloid hypothesis,” he says. “The time to cast a wider net is now — we need a bigger base of ideas.”

    “It is expected that the reduction in amyloid plaque will result in a reduction in clinical decline.”

    No it isn’t. Amyloid isn’t even a reliable marker of disease presence or severity.

    “18F-FDG [measuring glucose use] Is a Superior Indicator of Cognitive Performance Compared to 18F-Florbetapir [beta-amyloid plaque detection] in Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Evaluation: A Global Quantitative Analysis”

    Low glucose consumption in certain brain areas would explain why increasing ketones by diet or direct supplementation is better than risking brain bleeding with this stupid drug.

    Glucose hypometabolism(1) leads to oxidative stress which might explain promising results seen in super-antioxidant glutathione enhancement therapies(2).

    1. “Effects of ketone bodies in Alzheimer’s disease in relation to neural hypometabolism, β-amyloid toxicity, and astrocyte function”
    2. “Cognitive Improvement with Glutathione Supplement in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Way Forward”

    “hippocampal GSH robustly discriminates between Mild Cognitive Impairment and healthy controls with 87.5% sensitivity, 100% specificity”

  • There was a drug being tested for tardive dyskinesia called Kinecta a couple of years ago. Psychiatry web sites were flooded with patient-recruitment ads. I remember some fancy foot work involving changing end points in mid-trial to create the impression that it worked. As I recall, the ads didn’t mention TD. They just wanted people on antipsychotics.

    The atypical and abnormally awful Ability is a champion at causing akathisia, which is also classed When test as an add-on to antidepressant treatment in depression, 25% of subjects were afflicted. FDA said that was just fine and approved extra-pyramidal, like TD. Agitation or maybe Akathisa is mentioned on the patient insert as a possible side effect, but if at least 25% of those who use it are going to experience hell, a box warning is required in my opinion.

  • I thought this would be about helping one’s parents get off over-prescribed drugs, too. The topic merits coverage. A related topic is the medical kidnapping of the elderly. It’s as devastating to victims and families as the child version, but more rapidly lethal because the immediate victims, those kidnapped, are frail.

    City paramedics (EMTs), summoned by a third party for various misguided reasons, arrive in groups of 4 to 8 burly individuals and will not leave, citing threats of legal consequences to those opposing transport. They summon the private ambulance company that contracts with the city to perform transportation after EMTs determine it is necessary.

    Private ambulance companies bill Medicare for sums like $2000. No medical care is provided en route. A call-out costs the private company two hourly wages for all of two hours, gasoline, and overhead. The private company actually pays the city for the right to answer these calls. They earn the fee back, plus profit, by performing as many transports as they can. There lies a motive for unwanted, unnecessary transport. Such a juicy racket could not continue without the participation of the city paramedics/EMTs. (For all the lionizing of “first responders” they as a group are troubled by, among other things, high divorce rates. Divorce is expensive.) Almost certainly there are kickbacks to the government EMTs.

    Every premature death of an elderly person is years’ worth of Medicare expenses that won’t be incurred and social security checks that won’t be issued. And, in some states, we cannot sue the city for unwarranted transport requests to private ambulance companies that result in harmful outcomes to the transported. It’s a win/lose from the gate.

  • No effect, even when using MADRS?

    “The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) is a 10-item clinician-administered scale, designed to be particularly sensitive to antidepressant treatment effects in patients with major depression.”

    From this: “Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale”
    …which contains an excerpt from this paywalled chapter:
    “Diagnostic Rating Scales and Laboratory Tests”
    By Joshua L. RoffmanM.D., Benjamin C. Silverman M.D., Theodore A.Stern M.D.

    …which cites a study in support of the original claim. The study is the one that the creators of the MADRS wrote to introduce it to the world:

    Montgomery SA, Asherg M: “A new depression scale designed to be sensitive to change” Br J Psychiatry 134:382-389, 1979.

    That article is available for free, courtesy of one of the authors, on research gate. If don’t know if you have to join research gate to get it. It’s free.

  • I’ve wondered about that too. There’s money to be made, for one thing. CDC once offered a grant to whoever submitted the best community-basedproposalm for getting so-called schizophrenics to quit smoking. I went to the web site of the organization that won the grant and tried to figure out what they hd done with their $90,000. It was quite a while until I realized that Web site was their entire work product. As a group they didn’t “do” anything. They “did” a WordPress-template-based brochure-ware site that listed “community resources” and a bunch of incorrect, self-contradictory dogma about smoking and schizophrenia.

    The 15-year director of their parent org is resigning (to become a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, naturally (Jeffrey Lieberman, Andrew Solomon). She mused over the accomplishments of her career:

    “And, committed to improving care, we championed Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). Like Federally Qualified Health Centers, CCBHCs get cost-based reimbursement that goes up as more patients are welcomed, staff is added and technology adopted. ”
    Irony at work: Slowly kill people with antipsychotics. Take away their one pleasure because it might kill them sooner than your method will.

  • I don’t doubt the TBI could have a direct effect on suicide. The context of a TBI includes before and after factors.

    Before: Ideally, a child does not experience TBI. What went wrong in the lives of children whose brains are injured? Any relation to suicide rates? (Was the child on drugs for ADHD, ‘bipolar disorder’, etc, which affect blood pressure, sleep and alertness, and have their own separate roles in suicide rates?)

    After: What happens when a child has a TBI? Is treatment uniformly helpful? Are the parents adversely affected by financial or legal problems in the aftermath?

  • Ask first: why are these old people taking drugs? Are they sick? Or are these drugs all supposed to prevent something? If they do prevent something, how likely was it in the first place and by how much do they reduce the risk? What are their side effects? What drugs are added to lessen the side effects? Yes, old people are being destroyed by pills.

    Eric C. Kutscher and Megan R. Leloux (2012) Psychopharmacology concerns in older individuals. Mental Health Clinician: May 2012, Vol. 1, No. 11, pp. 285-287.
    Reports indicate that 25% of elderly inpatients and 30% of elderly outpatients will experience an adverse [drug] event. Unfortunately, many of these events are attributed to the use of multiple medications (polypharmacy). Ten to seventeen percent of hospital admissions for the elderly are directly related to adverse drug events and roughly half of the deaths in elderly patients [after such admissions, I think. Or?] are related to an adverse drug event. It is estimated that for each dollar spent on a medication, $1.33 is spent on the treatment of drug-related consequences.”

  • Absurdity and evil often knock elbows. Thank you, Eric Coates, for writing about what you have endured so far. Your way of conveying your experiences and the actions and edifices of others is unique, refreshing, angering-causing, and sadness-causing. Most writings, no matter how heartfelt and truthful, could have been written by any number of authors. Not yours.

    Psychiatrists and their ilk are the perpetrators, but ultimately, we have laws in the US that allow it and guide them on what they can get away with. Law makers have to change before doctors will. FDA too. They’re behind every drug that’s ever harmed anyone. Every device, too.

    Which reminds me of three psychiatrists’ desperate bid to have the entire world submit to a definition of torture that doesn’t include the things they do for a living. Draw up a chair (or just read the letters I’ll try to briefly summarize, which are at this link, starting on page 141: ).

    When Jeffrey Lieberman was president of APA, he and two other highly placed psychiatrists wrote to the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a lawyer who’d been tortured while imprisoned in Argentina for the crime of providing legal assistance to activists (Juan Mendez). They’d read a sort of white paper he’d produced (with contributions from former “patients” who self-identify as psychiatric survivors, among others, which you can read here: ) and

    In the span of ten pages, they told him all about psychiatric practices and how they justify them and included the official positions of the APA on various controversies. They asked him if he could possibly omit from the list of practices that his paper classified as torture or inhumane certain practices that they regard as therapy. They tripped over themselves to communicate with courtesy and to demonstrate their magnanimous natures and love for humanity. That effort came across like Wayne and Garth or Beavis and Butthead, coached by Eddie Haskell, wrote it.

    Mr. Mendez wrote back to say that first of all, the paper they were responding to wasn’t a report on actual or pending UN policy. It was just a meant to represent his views, which are informed by his experience, the experiences of others, and his general knowledge, for the purpose of stimulating discussion. He too was very polite, praising them for the aspects of their 10-page letter (which included 5 pages of point-by-point critique (including helpful suggestions)) that suggested they might be capable of acting on urges that are non-control-freak/sadistic in nature, in some situations. I’m sure they were feeling like he was a bro, a guy they could work with, until they got to his punchline. He wrote: “It seems to me that, in general at least, your associations [APA and WPA] are comfortable with the existing normative framework; if so, yes there is a disagreement between us.”

    Psychiatry’s official organ published some commentary that was, predictably, indicative more of truculence than tractability. Brilliantly, they titled it “UN Report Says Common Psychiatric Practices Amount to ‘Torture’” which is like something out of the Onion, and which will forever show up in Google searches as an informative statement, scare-quotes not withstanding. I guess they didn’t have many options. “Here’s Proof Whole World is Against Us,” while true, sounds even worse. Here’s that:

    Please forgive any typos or other mistakes. I spent more time than I meant to on this and now I must get on with the day.

  • I knew there was something wrong with Cochrane when they gave a neutral to favorable assessment of Aricept/donepezil, a highly destructive drug given to old people with memory problems. I’d read enough and seen enough to know it is a terrible drug. Of course all the published trials show a moderate positive effect. But if you can find studies where it is used as an active placebo in the trial of a newer drug, or when subjects in new drug trials who were already taking it are allowed to continue taking it, you’ll see that they decline faster than people who don’t take it. A study supporting the above has just been published.

    Cochrane giving it a thumbs up was very, very wrong.

  • DOPAMINE AGONIST WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME caused Robin Williams’ death.

    Three people figured this out. One made a comment on an article that appeared on this web site. I can’t recall who it was. Please take credit, whoever you are.

    Another is me, but who cares.

    The third is the author of most of the research on DAWS, Melissa J Niremberg, who bravely commented on the essay by the actor’s widow (“The terrorist inside my husband’s brain”), which appeared in Neurology, a medical journal and which contained a single sentence that unlocked the cause of Williams’ death.

    Niremberg’s letter:

    Lewy Body disease and suicidality after dopamine agonist withdrawal
    Melissa J. Nirenberg [MD, PhD], Associate Professor of Neurology
    Published October 24, 2016

    “…In her editorial, Mrs. Williams made one comment of particular importance: “…his medication was switched from Mirapex to Sinemet…” near the end of July, just before his death on August 11th. This raises the possibility that his suicidality may have been a manifestation of dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS). DAWS is a stereotyped drug withdrawal syndrome that can cause a variety of nonmotor symptoms, including severe and medically-refractory anxiety, panic attacks, depression, dysphoria, fatigue, and suicidality. DAWS does not respond to carbidopa/levodopa or other medications and can be very difficult to recognize because the symptoms are not visible and closely mimic those of a primary psychiatric disorder…” [Exerpt]

    MIRAPEX is a dopamine agonist.
    SINAPEX would have done nothing to offset DAWS.

    DAWS is close to unbearable. Surviving it is more than any human being should have to bear. You will be diagnosed with depression and bipolar and nothing they give you will work. That is what medically-refractory means. You will also endure the scorn of doctors who are angry because you apparently refuse to get better. “I think you like feeling this way” comes to mind, for which I thank Dr. R. Davies. Your family will abandon you. In today’s pharmaco-political climate, you are unlikely to be prescribed morphine, though it might work. “They” say ADHD drugs can’t cause it, but at least one expert to whom I directed an inquiry on the topic said he didn’t see why not.

    I drank beer to put myself to sleep a few times a day. It was horrible, but it was all I had.

    I recovered from it accidentally, after a year and a half of praying to be killed, with a treatment that will call my credibility into question, but which I am compelled to report for the possible benefit of others currently enduring DAWS: medium-chain triglycerides, which I got from coconut oil when trying to improve my memory with a fad remedy (a home-made poor man’s version of Dave Asprey’s “Bulletproof Coffee”). Within about 8 days, I had spontaneously lost interest in drinking, resumed sleeping like a normal person (DAWS came with NO ABILITY TO SLEEP), and stopped awakening with a sense of dread and horror.

    Flowery musings like the essay on this page are harmful because they distract people from a very simple explanation for Williams’ suicide. If DAWS is what did him in, he wasn’t the last Parkinson’s/Lewy Bodies Dementia patient to suffer it, but he could have been the last suicide caused by dopamine agonists if more space were devoted to the possible explanation offered by Dr. Niremberg and less were devoted to fiction. People coming off a dopamine agonist should be warned of the possibility of experiencing devastating emotional states. People going on the drug should be warned.

    More on DAWS:

  • “Criteria included participants that were not taking medication for the two weeks prior, except for lorazepam and ADHD drugs…”

    The real name of this study:
    “A Role for Depakote in Emergent Bipolar Disorder in Children with Treated with Benzodiazepines and Amphetamines”

    “Treatment of Depakote-Induced, Amygdala-Mediated Anxiety and Inattention in Bipolar Children: Successful Interventions with Benzodiazepines and Amphetamines”

    Meanwhile, in adult psychiatry:

    Pharmacological Treatments for Stress and Work Performance Deficits in Parents of Bipolar Children

  • It’s the not-listening that makes it impossible for medical students to deliver therapy. They are told that their patients have brain disorders, so it makes no sense to listen to the output of a disordered brain. But it’s not as though, if psychiactric diagnoses really did describe brain disorders, no ability to perceive and report is preserved. Yet every diagnosis has the discrediting of the patient’s efforts to communicate built in. Just as the patient is labeled, so is their speech output. Got bipolar? Delusions of grandeur. Schizophrenia? Word salad. Borderline? Wild Exaggeration. Narcissistic? Manipulation. Anti-social? Lies. Paranoia? Fantasies. Histrionic? Histrionics. (Hey, that one’s pretty tidy.)

    In the memoir above, there was also a lot of not-listening. Not listening is the the central principle that allows the horrible, inhumane–no, sadistic–practices that might as well be called murderous, for the destruction of life they deliver.

    In the US, as outpatients, people don’t suffer the way those in the Nazi hospitals did, but they are still treated as non-persons whose purpose is to cause money to flow into a bank account or two, and and who fulfill their purpose best when disabled by the drugs they are told or made to take.

    Without the drugs, there wouldn’t be anyone sticking around and actually paying to be treated like an idiot (outpatient) or monster (inpatient). No, they’d walk away and even leave town if they had to, if their family were the kind that would force them back to psychiatry.

    So, medical students need only follow the cherished maxim, “First, do no listening,” and then embark upon the drugging they have been told by their professors constitutes therapy. Everything tumbles into place after that, and remains so tumbled as long as the doctor remembers the maxim.

  • Don’t forget that some portion of children prescribed stimulants never take a single dose. Mummy-daddy needs a little pick-me-up now and then, so why not trot the kid over to the pharma-crazed prescribers who themselves are probably jacked to the gills as they scribble out new guidelines for diagnosing ADHD in adults “in whom the symptoms can be subtle. In fact, we’re finding that we were quite wrong to say adult-onset ADHD does not exist.” Most pediatricians are women in Canada, which might be why there are so many articles about the atypical symptoms, including none, of ADHD in adult women.

    “it’s a condition that was traditionally thought to affect mostly males, but also because females tend to have a less obvious type than males…”

    “Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within …” or they might be on too many memory-impairing statins and brain-oxygen-depleting beta-blockers and halfway to chemical-caused dementia. (Refer to Dale Bredesen’s “The End of Alzheimer’s” for help with that.)

  • So called schizophrenia has been treated by empathic talk therapists successfully for a very long time. One need only look to Bert Karom for compelling accounts of people he has worked with.

    Bipolar is a tougher nut to crack because nearly all of the so-called bipolar people were unhinged by antidepressants or prescribed stimulants. The aversive states that are induced by chemicals don’t respond to talk/listen therapy the way a trauma-induced state of chronic terror can in a so-called schizophrenic. If the molecules are still in the body or the injury they caused hasn’t healed, you can no sooner banish it with psychology than you could banish arsenic poisoning.

    It’s a horrible bind for the person diagnosed as bipolar after taking antidepressanrs. If they say

    “I’m not bipolar. I’m 30 or 35 or 50 years old and I have never felt or behaved like this before. It’s the antidepressant. It even says so in the patient information insert,”

    they are told

    “You are mistaken. The antidepressant has uncovered an underlying condition; that is all, and now that you know you are bipolar, you must do the right thing and take drugs for the rest of your life.

    They might be so sophisticated as to point out that in DSM-IV,

    “there was such a thing as mania precipitated by antidepressant drugs, which was not to be confused with bipolar disorders.”

    “Shush, child. It’s different in DSM-5, because Chun and Dunner did an analysis of drug trials and found that switching to mania from depression while on an antidepressant occurred at about the same rate in people in drug trials taking antidepressants as it did in depressed people who were not in clinical trials and not on antidepressants.”

    “That’s very interesting, but the fact that the percentages are the same doesn’t mean that both groups’ “switchers” switched into mania for the same reasons.”

    “You mustn’t try to outthink the researchers. Did you study statistics?

    Plus,” asserts the patient, “there is a difference. In antidepressant trials, patients are carefully screened to omit any that might be bipolar. These are people who did not have any signs whatsoever of any underlying condition.”

    “Dear, dear patient, screening is imperfect.”

    It is very hard for them to recover because to recover requires a long period off all drugs. Few psychiatrists know that, I’d wager. They’ll start in with drugs called mood stabilizers that are anything but. Topamax makes you cry all day and reduces your IQ and memory so badly that you mess up half the things you try, which gives you some serious and lingering problems and more to cry about. Onto the beloved second-generation antipsychotics. Seroquel makes you drool and might even keep you from standing up at first. Long term you’re looking at diabetes and cataracts. Abilify=disabilify. For a nearly unbearable state of being, akathisia is amazingly common among Abilify-takers. As an add-on to an antidepressant. Abilify-taking caused akathisia in 25% of clinical trial subjects, but the FDA still approved it. In so-called bipolar patients’ trials, where it was meant as an anti-manic, “agitation” was reported but interestingly, akathisia was not, at least in the summary I read. Presumably people were told that their mania had worsened and given more drugs. In the Abilify-plus-antidepressant trials, some of the afflicted were still enduring akathisia when the trial they were in was over.

    No matter what drug an antidepressant-induced mania victim is given, it will create adverse mood and cognition effects, because they don’t need drugs mood-altering drugs. They need not-drugs. They aren’t psychotic and they aren’t manic. Also because that’s what psychiatric drugs do.

    If they decide that all these drugs are destroying them and stop taking them, they might be hit with withdrawal phenomena that might send them crawling back to the doctor for relief. Big mistake. The original prescriber will never cop to the drugs’ persistent long-term harm, which is what withdrawal is: suffering caused by a drug you are no longer taking. That’s when it’s time to find a real doctor who recognizes the suffering caused by psychiatric drugs. Do these exist? There are a few. Not that there is much that they can do, but if they can explain what’s happening and offer symptomatic relief it might keep despair at bay.

  • Why oh why are we supposed to care about any drug trial that uses the HAM-D as a measure of depression. It’s beyond elephant in the room. It’s a rampaging Mastodon with rabies and I have yet to see it discussed as the main reason to disregard the clinical trials that use it.

    CIpriani’s mega-analysis relied on it.

    Cipriani also included studies in which benzodiazepines were available to subjects who experienced insomnia, disclosing how many studies did that but not how many subjects participated in those studies.

    The HAM-D has one question about mood and three or four about sleep. Of course people on benzos will see their sleep improve.

    There’s even a question about anxiety, which is fine, I guess, but not if you give subjects antianxiety drugs (Not to mention the incredible harm that will come to some subjects once they’ve started on a benzo for sleep)..

    The HAM-D

  • Why oh why are we supposed to care about any drug trial that uses the HAM-D as a measure of depression. It’s beyond elephant in the room. It’s a rampaging Mastodon with rabies and I have yet to see it discussed as the main reason to disregard the clinical trials that use it.

    CIpriani’s mega-analysis relied on it. Cipriano included studies in benzodiazepines were available to subjects who experienced insomnia, disclosing how many studies did that but not how many subjects participated in such studies.

    The HAM-D has one question about mood and three or four about sleep. Of course people on bentos will see their sleep improve.

    There’s even a question about anxiety, which is fine, I guess, but not if you gave subjects a benzo.

    The HAM-D
    (To be completed by a clinician based on a structured interview)


    Depressed Mood (sadness, hopeless, helpless, worthless)
    0 Absent
    1 These feeling states indicated only on questioning
    2 These feeling states spontaneously reported verbally
    3 Communicates feeling states nonverbally, i.e., through facial
    expression, posture, voice and tendency to weep

    4 Patient reports VIRTUALLY ONLY these feeling states in his
    spontaneous verbal and nonverbal communication
    Feelings of Guilt
    0 Absent
    1 Self-reproach, feels he has let people down
    2 Ideas of guilt or rumination over past errors or sinful deeds
    3 Present illness is a punishment. Delusions of guilt
    4 Hears accusatory or denunciatory voices and/or experiences
    threatening visual hallucinations

    0 Absent
    1 Feels life is not worth living
    2 Wishes he were dead or any thoughts of possible death to sel’
    3 Suicide ideas or gesture
    4 Attempts at suicide (any serious attempt rates 4)

    Insomnia – Early
    0 No difficulty falling asleep
    1 Complains of occasional difficulty falling asleep i.e., more than an hour
    2 Complains of nightly difficulty falling asleep

    Insomnia – Middle
    0 No difficulty
    1 Patient complains of being restless and disturbed during the
    2 Waking during the night — any getting out of bed rates 2
    (except for purposes of voiding)

    Insomnia – Lat
    0 No difficulty
    1 Waking in early hours of the morning but goes back to sleep
    2 Unable to fall asleep again if gets out of bed

    Work and Activities
    0 No difficulty
    1 Thoughts and feelings of incapacity, fatigue or weakness
    related to activities; work or hobbies
    2 Loss of interest in activity; hobbies or work — either directly
    reported by patient, or indirect in listlessness, indecision and
    vacillation (feels he has to push self to work or activities)
    3 Decrease in actual time spent in activities or decrease in
    productivity. In hospital, rate 3 if patient does not spend at
    least three hours a day in activities (hospital job or hobbies)
    exclusive of ward chores.
    4 Stopped working because of present illness. In hospital, rate 1
    if patient engages in no activities except ward chores, or if
    patient fails to perform ward chores unassisted.

    (slowness of thought and speech; impaired ability to concentrate;
    decreased motor activity)
    0 Normal speech and thought
    1 Slight retardation at interview
    2 Obvious retardation at interview
    3 Interview difficult
    4 Complete stupor

    9. Agitation
    0 None
    1 “Playing with” hand, hair, etc.
    2 Hand-wringing, nail-biting, biting of lips

    Anxiety – Psychic
    0 No difficulty
    1 Subjective tension and irritability
    2 Worrying about minor matters
    3 Apprehensive attitude apparent in face or speech
    4 Fears expressed without questioning

    Anxiety – Somatic
    Absent Physiological concomitants of anxiety such as:
    Mild Gastrointestinal – dry mouth, wind, indigestion,
    Moderate diarrhea, cramps, belching
    Severe Cardiovascular — palpitations, headaches
    Incapacitating Respiratory – hyperventilation, sighing
    Urinary frequency
    0 None
    1 mild
    2 moderate
    3 severe
    4 incapacitating

    Somatic Symptoms – Gastrointestinal

    1 Loss of appetite but eating without staff encouragement. Heavy feelings in abdomen.
    3 Difficulty eating without staff urging. Requests or requires
    laxatives or medications for bowels or medication for G.l.

    Somatic Symptoms – General
    0 None
    1 Heaviness in limbs, back or head, backaches, headache,
    muscle aches, loss of energy and fatigability
    2 Any clear-cut symptom rates

    Genital Symptoms
    0 Absent 0 Not ascertained
    1 Mild Symptoms such as: loss of libido,
    2 Severe menstrual disturbances

    0 Not present
    1 Self-absorption (bodily)
    2 Preoccupation with health
    3 Frequent complaints, requests for help, etc.
    4 Hypochondriacal delusions

    Loss of Weight
    A. When Rating by History:
    0 No weight loss
    1 Probable weight loss associated with present illness
    2 Definite (according to patient) weight loss

    B. On Weekly Ratings by Ward Psychiatrist, When Actual Changes are Measured:
    0 Less than 1 lb. weight loss in week
    1 Greater than 1 lb. weight loss in week
    2 Greater than 2 lb. weight loss in week

    17. Insight
    0 Acknowledges being depressed and ill
    1 Acknowledges illness but attributes cause to bad food,
    climate, overwork, virus, need for rest, etc.
    2 Denies being ill at all

    Total Score:

  • I’m glad to see this here, because it can’t be said often enough. Some other authors had already figured it out, though I can’t remember exactly what they said…it had to with problem that arises when success is measured by the distance between response to placebo and response to the drug. In very severe cases, there is not the typical placebo response. This alone caused a wider distance between placebo response and response to drug, which was misinterpreted or misrepresented as being caused by greater drug effect in that group.

    Despite that debunking, trusted experts continue to rattle off the cherished “but they do work in the most severe cases.”

    But that is just STUPID. What other drug exists that only works in severe cases?
    What acid dissolves diamonds but not chalk?
    What steamroller crushes Samsonite suitcases but not paper bags?

  • The story of Scott Stapp, lead singer, long ago of a popular (long ago) rock band, Creed is a story of Adderral withdrawal psychosis. He was feeling low one day so he went to a doctor and started taking Prozac. Then he mentions that his life was “up and down” ever after. I get it.

    One day he gets the wild idea of getting a doctor to prescribe Adderal, which took a a child for He knows he is kidding self about the wisdom of that move. So, he falls apart but he does stop taking it. It got worse. He holes up in motels ands puts cringe-videos on YouTube, ruins his reputation, calls the White House MORE THAN ONCE…and to get his wife back, he cops to having underlying bipolar and promises to take drugs for it. I’m wonder how well this might go, life wise. A creative passionate performer on Seroquel. That’s a no-go.

    He went on tour with a band, quits halfway through and is now being sued. And that is all we have heard of him. So goes another fellow human being. I am picturing Gulliver lashed securely to the earth by little people.

  • Of all the categories of persons that declare themselves oppressed or are recognized as such by others, there is only one category that others are allowed, or even required, to deprive of liberty and batter with their bodies, chemicals, and electrical currents, among other things, until they stop seeming to belong to that category.

    It is not illegal to be gay or black in the US, although it does inspire others to cause one problems beyond the usual problems of living experienced by all people, just because they’re people.

    It is effectively illegal to fit the arbitrary diagnostic criteria of a psychiatric diagnoses, at least in the sense that laws allow or require others to try to beat it out of you.

  • The author is too generous in ascribing the false statement about “only ever” prescribing after a suitable discussion with the patient to something unconscious like self-deceit. To make a statement about the circumstances of every psychiatric drug prescription ever written, without having been present on all prescribing occasions, is to claim knowledge that one knows one does not have. It is an assumption or a hope stated as a fact, a case of “should” represented as “is” or “does.”

    The person who says or writes that kind thing knows damned well how sloppy doctors are iun prescribing psychiatric drugs, but they don’t believe we should know; it would just upset us. They don’t want us upset because they don’t think there’s anything to be upset about. At the core of it is that doctors who say such things do not believe the there is anything terribly wrong with sloppy prescribing of psych drugs. They don’t believe that drugs that have been tested an approved could have terrible effects in real life. We know that the drugs have made us miserable, changed our brains, bodies and personalities, or caused us to lose touch with reality and ruin us. The person who glosses over the reality of how this all comes to be doesn’t believe the drugs cause such craziness. We are psychiatric patients. Exhibiting symptoms is our job, in the way that stepping onto little platforms is the job of circus elephants. Like so:

  • A bigot number of SSRI clinical trials use the first 17 items of the HAM-D. One of those pertains to mood. A whole bunch pertain to sleep. People who stop losing weight are coded as getting better, while losing weight counts as a sign of depression. Perfect.

    The HAM-D was created before hating yourself for being such a fat pig had emerged as the leading cause of declaring oneself yourself depressed and heading off to the shrinkie. (In such cases one should mention Wellbutrin off-handedly, then hazard a sidelong glance at the Drug God to see if it’s going to require more effort than one off-hand mention. Wellbutrin is the short-term ticket if you’re willing to risk seizures and rage attacks. (I mean irrational blow-outs directed at strangers in public-the kind you get arrested for.)

    So many drug trials offer sleeping pills to patients that improved HAM-D scores could easily be explained by the sleeping pills.

  • She has hit the nail on the head once again, and unfortunately the nail was taken to the emergency room where staff will administer a brain MRI, an EEG, and an EKG and ask it to count down from 100 by sevens. If it was never the sharpest of nails and flubs it after a hearty opening “93!” things will get very difficult for the nail in the next few days as a parade of specialists is trotted in until one who will order more testing is identified. Then, more testing. Good luck, nail.

  • Good for you. Maybe to put things in front of your fucking face and swing them is your art form. Maybe it makes you feel good. I don’t see how that could be considered a disease any more than closing one’s jaws repeatedly on a wad of something mint-flavored and rubbery, except one is done inside the head and the other is outside it.

  • Very similar to what was done to me. A couple of things:
    That Trileptal stood out to be. There has never been an iota of evidence that it helps in bipolar. Anyone who prescribed it would have had to pull the idea out of thin air or have been influenced or bribed by Novartis, which was penalized to the tune of $435,000,000 in 2010 for off-label promotion of Trilpetal for mania and for bribing some doctors to prescribe it. The justice department hasn’t been kind enough to tell us which doctors, however.

    Also, Pristiq is just Effexor in a hot pink miniskirt:

    “9. Pristiq | FiercePharma
    Feb 21, 2017 – Pfizer’s antidepressant Pristiq hit the market in 2008, just as its predecessor, Effexor, was nearing the end of its branded life. As a “new-and-improved” version of Effexor’s active ingredient, venlafaxine, Pristiq was the hoped-for successor to that blockbuster brand, but it never cracked $1 billion in the U.S..”

    “Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine Extended-Release Tablets): Side Effects …
    PRISTIQ is an extended-release tablet for oral administration that contains desvenlafaxine succinate, a structurally novel SNRI for the treatment of MDD. Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of the antidepressant venlafaxine, a medication used to treat major depressive disorder.”

  • Thank you for saying what must be said. The suffering it causes, the deaths, and the additional suffering for you and me when our elders are tortured and killed is so vast that it beggars the imagination. One case at a time, no one cares, no one can help you, no agency responds to complaints, no lawyer is interested, and the effect it has on the system is measured at “zero.”

    Zero times a billion is zero.

  • Sandra, I’m in a similar position but my parents have been involuntarily destroyed, one at a time and very quickly, by drugs that had side effects that led to hospitals where abuse, neglect and malpractice converted both of them, within days, to 25% of their mental and physical selves. That this would happen to MY PARENTS after my life was ruined in the same way is so bitterly painful that I despair at times like you do. I’ll stick around til the bitter end to defend my parents and stay involved with the desperate push to educate the blinkered sheep in media and at large about the harm psych drugs cause every day. Billions spent, immeasurable suffering and loss, and only us “crazy” people see it. It’s hard to keep the faith but for me, it’s obligatory. I nearly passed out or died of dehydration in the last throes of my Pharma ordeal and I did “hear” from the other side, where nice spirits were communicating that it was okay to stop and come on over to their neck of the metaphysical woods. I “told” them that I had work to do and that I would not accept their offer of relief. I then crawled about 50 feet to the kitchen sink and arduously concocted an electrolyte solution of sugar, salt and water, drank it and presumably stopped a slide toward death. My dad had told me that lives could be saved with such a beverage; I don’t know if water alone would have done much good. ANYWAY, I hope your loved ones will fall away from the drug dealers yet remain standing and regain their health. Where there is life there is hope.

  • “Children from high conflict homes were able to identify happy and angry emotions with accuracy, but less accurate in recognizing neutral expressions, labeling them as either happy, angry, or saying they did not know which category they fit into.”

    Okay. Not surprising.

    “…this study provides a significant contribution to the field by demonstrating that even low levels of conflict in the home can have lasting effects on children’s ability to interpret and identify emotions…”

    It demonstrated nothing. It observed that children with poor emotion-reading ability were found in homes with low levels of conflict and in homes with high levels of conflict.

    God forbid the children in low- and high-conflict homes might have inherited an emotion-reading deficit, the cause of the constant parental conflict, which in the worst cases causes apparent shyness, a label applied to their aversion to social situations they find confusing and fraught with opportunities for embarrassment, ridicule, and censure.

  • “Particularly surprising is that, despite most participants being on antidepressant medications, only one-fifth of those who did not receive the light therapy experienced remission of their depression.”
    “Only one-fifth of those who did not receive the light therapy, most of whom were on drugs called “antidepressants,” experienced remission of their depression.”

    “As noted by the researchers themselves, the antidepressant medications did not seem particularly effective in this case.”
    “Antidepressant drugs were not effective for 80% of those using them.”

    “They further write that antidepressant medication is often not recommended for this particular population, as it could trigger manic symptoms.”
    “Beating around the bush, they submit that putative antidepressant drugs are not recommended for people diagnosed with bipolar depression because they reliably cause first-episode mania (occasioning the “bipolar” embellishment upon many patients’ depression diagnoses). This has no bearing on the matter at hand, which is that, as usual, the drugs didn’t relieve symptoms diagnosed as depression any better than countless time-honored therapies including placebo, distraction, the passage of time, dumb luck, a real problem, new shoes, a roll in the hay, and voodoo.”

  • Amie disagrees with her PROFESSOR [a tenured layabout]. She is told she is ARROGANT.

    Bella disagrees with her LAWYER [a self-serving manipulator]. She is told she is ARGUMENTATIVE.

    Caprice disagrees with her BOSS [a run-of-the-mill paper-pusher]. She is told she is a WHISTLEBLOWER.

    Dolores disagrees with her CITY COUNCIL [six well-intended civic-boosters]. She is told she is an COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.

    Evangeline disagrees with her FEDERAL GOVERNMENT [400-600 educated and accomplished legislators]. She is told she is a POLITICAL ACTIVIST.

    Felicity disagrees with her DOCTOR [a socially-elevated drug-dealing barber]. She is told she is MENTALLY ILL.

  • It’s often because of extraordinary or extraordinarily bad situations that people end up telling their history to a so-called “mental health” “professional.” It’s wicked of them not to believe that they are told.

    Lack of credibility, which I guess is an aspect of epistemic injustice, extends outside the therapeutic dyad. A psychiatric diagnosis gives one’s family and their associates license to ignore or discount the diagnosed person’s opinions, wishes, and complaints. This is especially nasty because, in so many families, it’s the honest (and hopelessly naïve) one who is scapegoated, driven to emotional despair and ultimately into psychiatry by a pack of cooperating sociopaths, and possibly some mentally-deficient dupes under their control, known as their family.

  • Regarding Holmes in Colorado, a timeline created by journalism students at the Boulder campus of University of Colorado states that he was prescribed 45 tablets of sertraline (Zoloft) on May 27. If started that day and taken daily, they would have lasted until July 9. He killed 12 and injured dozens more in the wee hours of July 20. If a few days passed before he filled the prescription, had some pills on hand from previous prescriptions or if he missed a day or two of doses after filling it, his last dose could have been much closer to the crimes.

    He apparently told the arresting officers that he had taken 100 mg Vicodin. (Telegraph, in a 2012 article)

  • The elderly are abused in regular hospitals, too. They fall down at home and some idiot thinks they need stitches. Some idiot calls an ambulance. They go to ER, get or don’t get stitches, and are mercenarily admitted for a 3 day observation period during which countless tests and scans are done to determine why they fell. Ignored are the 5 to 12 drugs they are taking to reduce their 5% odds of a heart attack to 4.79%, etc. This doesn’t happen to younger adults. They did not want to be admitted and when they say they want to go home, they are commonly lied to with the assertion “Medicare won’t cover this visit if you leave “against medical advice.” ” If they try to walk out they are tackled, deemed combative, injected with haloperidol (which interferes with recovery from any brain injury they might have sustained) and restrained. If haloperidol works, why the dehumanizing, humiliating, rage-provoking restraints? After three days of that, they can’t walk properly (“ataxia” ha ha ha) and are sent to a skilled nursing / rehab facility for four or five weeks, during which they must not arise from bed without supervision, which means once a day if they’re lucky. Their muscles atrophy and their brains are damaged by the continued drugging in the skilled nursing place. Medicare has to pay out $30,000 or more for this BS. They leave in a wheelchair and require round the clock care, whereas they lived independently until the fall. The victim foots the bill for the round the clock care until they are forced to sell their home, spend the proceeds down and then enter whatever “home” Medicaid will pay for. Or, the victim’s adult offspring take on caregiver duty at the expense of careers and salaries (neither of which are likely to be restored after a multi-year stint as a caregiver in one’s 50s).

    Exploited and damaged by our wonderful healthsnare establishment: the victim, the taxpayer, the victim’s family and heirs.
    Enriched: Hospital execs, nursing home execs

  • Isn’t 9/10s of it just a money thing? To whit:
    There is really only one symptom of “mental illness.” That symptom is not earning a living, if your life is such that no one supports you. Instead of the simple solution of giving money to people who don’t earn a living, the government lets them choose among this delectable set of offerings: crime, begging, inpatient human rights revocation and all the suffering that affords, and suicide. Well, maybe asceticism is a fifth choice. If there were one more choice: a decent room in a hotel-like place and a budget for food and books, there wouldn’t be much of a mental health crisis.

  • A close look at the widely used HAM-D explains a lot. You can complete it in such a way as to score high enough to qualify as moderately depressed and get into a drug trial, without having indicated to any normal person who reads your answers that you have any problems of import other than insomnia. Then you can show some changes during the course of the trial that cut your HAM-D depression score in half, especially if they put you on benzos or sleeping pills, ruining your life, but actually look sicker than you did when you started the trial, based once again on a read of the 17 questions and your new answers. That reduction by 50% was what Cirpriani used as a marker of successful treatment.

    I’m afraid to post a link to the graphic lest my comment be censored.

  • My first comment didn’t pass moderation. It was disallowed because I included the same descriptor of persons wishing to take up lives in the US that you used. It refers to an aspect of the anatomy, namely the shade of the dermis which, in humans, depends upon the density of melanin, a pigment produced by cells called melanocytes, in the outer one-tenth of a millimeter of human bodies, the epidermis.
    In this revision of my comment, I swapped in a wordier, more general descriptor that should cause no offense. The impact was greater when it included the wording copied from your comment, which should not have caused any offense, but the meaning I intended is still conveyed.

    I’ll take this opportunity to spell out my point, lest anything think it was to disparage any kind of immigrants. I’m all for immigration. My county is 29% non-hispanic white and you won’t hear me beefing about it. I’m an immigrant, as are my parents and as were their parents, to Canada.

    My point is that for every problem one might face in the US under President Trump, there was a problem faced by someone else under President Obama. The bases for the problems are deep. To make that point, I changed a few of your words to their opposites. I omitted the words “dark-skinned immigrants” in this revision because the policy here is that they may be used in presenting President Trump as a racist, but they may not be used in presenting President Obama as a non-racist. Go figure.

    “The challenge here is that many of his supporters don’t recognize even his bald-faced manipulations and support for the corporate-capitalist status quo. This hard core of supporters genuinely believe he will change things for the better by EMBRACING “controversial immigration philosophies” and magically ERADICATING anachronistic industries like coal, as well as somehow increasing TAXATION while he does all he can do [to] make sure workers MAY organize and that employers DO NOT get to set the standard for what they feel like paying. I could go on, but the point is, OBAMA supporters (the poor and working class type) don’t appear to understand that he is completely antithetical to their interests, even though it is “out of the closet,” as you say. It’s a conundrum!”

  • It Dr. Tom Insel’s RDC, decades earlier.

    ““Citing the German philosopher Kant, Jaspers insisted that disease entities were not attainable goals but rather regulative ideas that served to orient scholarly research. He gave Kraepelin credit for recognizing that the idea of disease entities helped spawn productive lines of psychiatric research, but he warned of the danger of assuming that nosologic categories such as dementia praecox or manic-depressive insanity represented objectively true, natural entities.””

  • Ronald Pies, as quoted in Phil Hickey’s piece:
    “In short, the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ was never a real theory, nor was it widely propounded by responsible practitioners in the field of psychiatry.”

    Then Phil Hickey:
    “In reality, the vast majority of psychiatrists promoted the chemical imbalance theory, as I demonstrated clearly in an earlier post.”

    The vast majority of psychiatrists are not responsible practitioners of anything.

  • “I had to decrease the lithium dosage and eventually the doctor switched me to Trileptal, beginning with a low dose. I was instructed to increase that amount gradually, but the Trileptal brought back vertigo symptoms and dizziness, so I never increased it to the full amount.”

    Good job!

    “I was put on a new regimen of even more medications: Abilify, Zyprexa, Trileptal, and Seroquel.”

    Me too, minus the Zyprexa.

    “When I complained about the disabling feeling of agitation that the Abilify caused, the psychiatrist wanted to add another drug to the cocktail.”

    Mine said to stick with it, but the “agitation” Abilify so ably causes is actually a disorder of the “extrapyramidal” nervous system called akathisia, and it’s very close to intolerable.

    “That was the last straw! I dropped the psychiatrist, decided to go off the medications permanently -”

    Me too, more or less. Took me longer. Abilify can at least be created with causing many people to get off psych drugs forever.

    This is huge, to my mind at least:
    There is ONE reason a doctor would prescribe Trileptal for supposed ‘bipolar disorder” at that time in history, which is the manufacturer’s promotion of the drug, with no evidence whatsoever of any effectiveness, as a treatment for “bipolar disorder.” Without that, choosing Trileptal would only have been done by drawing its name out of a hat.

    Novartis was fined $423,000,000 in 2010 for promotion of Trileptal for “bipolar disorder,” and litigation/investigation regarding the bribes they paid doctors to prescribe it was still going on as late as 2017.

    Your story puts you in the middle of a crime scene, in other words, beyond the usual general criminality in psychiatry. I wonder how much the doctor who prescribed that Trileptal was paid.

  • Thanks for letting people know about your childhood experience. There is something called mild akathisia that is sometimes experienced as remaining motionless. (Not saying yours was mild, by the way.) I had some kind of hellish neurotoxicity that meant the most miserable two years imaginable, or worse, and towards the end spent a great deal of time sitting motionless. My mind would be running at full tilt but I couldn’t conjure up a will to move. Heartbeat and breathing, probably some blinking, were the extent of my physical activity, and only because they have wills of their own.

  • A research at a big university in NYC got a huge grant to study Effexor as an aid to quitting marijuana in so-called marijuana addicts. I’m sure it was a little unsettling when she found that subjects who took Effexor smoked more marijuana during their effort to stop smoking pot than did those who did not take it.

    I’ve never met a marijuana addict, so I wonder about the people who volunteer for the studies. Are they addicted to pot, or something else?

    Nonetheless, just as you found in your own experience, marijuana seemed to help people cope with the unpleasantness that is Effexor. I hope they continued to use pot after the study ended. Some of them will have experienced withdrawal symptoms…from Effexor.

  • This thing about antidepressants being effective in severe depression is bogus but it’s trotted out time amd again. It was a mistaken interprtion of data that led to it. Because effectiveness is measured by the difference between placebo and treatment group, much depends on the patients’ response to placebo. In the most severe depression cases, placebo barely has an effect, but in mild to moderate cases, placebo takers report or potray a mood boost. Thereforestation the gap between drug and placebo effectiveness is greatest for severe cases, even if the drug effect per se is nil.other se just that the reduced placebo effect in severe cases increases the drug/placebo effect gap.

  • One of the worst things that derives from psychiatrists’ believing they are medical doctors of the brain is that it opened the door for all doctors to think they are medical doctors of the brain. Patients who didn’t believe the pros outweighed the cons of remaining in any ward of a hospital, who stated a desire to go home, which is their human and legal right, and attempted to leave, have been tied up and drugged and kept for days, to be stabilized, when doctor and some authoritarian-minded nurses considered them irrational and therefore incapable of knowing what was best for them. Doctors know that it means staying in their control at any cost. They call this “beneficience,” misusing the word when they really mean false imprisonment, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and a few other felonies, depending on how far they take things.

    They decide someone is irrational if they don’t share the doctor’s view of what’s best for them. Considering the many thousands of us killed by medical mistakes (as opposed to failure of an appropriate, properly administered therapeutic intervention) and how few of them we kill by mistake, I’ll put my money on patients’ judgement when lives are on the line.

  • “However, many other factors could be contributing to poor cognitive functioning, including side effects of antipsychotics and tranquilizers often prescribed for schizophrenia, or environmental factors.”

    It’s the effects, not any supposed “side” effects, of so-called “antipsychotics” (a marketing term) that impair performance in many domains. The drugs are technically tranquilizers and major ones at that, but their effects range from movement disorders to death, so the only descriptive name for them that is accurate is neurotoxins.

    “Twenty-eight studies reporting the various destructive effects of older antipsychotics (especially haloperidol) on brain tissue have been published in prominent neuroscience journals, based on work in animal models, cell culture, and post-mortem human tissue. Multiple molecular mechanisms, pathways, and cascades are involved, eventuating in neuronal death.”
    -Henry A. Nasrallah, MD, then editor in chief, Current Psychiatry

  • Francesca, I think you’re fabulous. As truth says, the shame is for those who compel innocent people into an injurious, demoralizing system for no real reason other than to keep their paychecks coming. It might be a while before you’re free of whatever seeped into you during your involvement with those voracious parasites and can feel yourself as the whole, independent being you entered life as, but that is what you are and always will be.

  • Murphy promoted that bill with false written statements about the life circumstances of four mass shooters, all of whom had psychiatrists and psych drugs in their lives when they committed senseless mass shootings. He offered no references for the claim, which he made at the top of a document stored on his official government Web site, which he called a “One-pager.” This is it in its entirety, augmented by common sense [contained in square brackets]:

    Filename: MHOnePager2.18.15.pdf

    (Fancy Governmental Seal)
    Tim Murphy
    [FORMER] US Congressman for the 18th District of Pennsylvania

    The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
    [The Helping Families that Cruelly Effed Up their Most Vulnerable Member (the Kind, Smart, Honest One) Have that Person Discredited and Drugged into Demoralized Silence Act”]

    Untreated serious mental illness in recent acts of mass violence – Adam Lanza (Newtown, CT), James Holmes (Aurora, CO), Jared Loughner (Tucson, AZ), Aaron Alexis (Washington, DC), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara, CA) – demands action.

    [It is absolutely false to call four of those cases untreated. (The exception, Loughner, was made visible to the system but ignored by it. He’s the system’s failure, not his or his parents’, and he was a drug users, just not a prescription drug user like the others. And there’s this: “Agents pursued tips that Loughner had undergone mental-health treatment. While those leads were not substantiated…” which is not the same as proven false. See Where did he get that so-called information? One has to wonder, but more to the point, how many votes in the House and the Senate were influenced by this false propaganda? Why is there not one single human being in the federal government who could identify this as false and have Murphy charged with fraud? I’ll write a few letters and update this page if anything comes of it. Now that he’s lost his luster, there might be some open minds.]

    The federal government spends $130 billion annually on mental health. Yet, over the last 20 years the rates of violence, suicide, homelessness, victimization, and incarceration among the mentally have increased.

    [Among the “mentally”? Who are they? That’s a forgot-to-finish typo, which is always suggestive of BS. The author struggled to say something technically true that would advance a BS position. Nothing comes to mind. He eventually wanders off in search of something of that nature in pubmed, fails to find it, and forgets to come back and sew up the sentence with something suitably vague. In this unusual case, the statement under construction happens to go against what Murphy is promoting, but he’s too stupid to realize it. Just substitute “and” for “yet.” Like so:

    “The federal government spends $130 billion annually on mental health and over the last 20 years the rates of violence, suicide, homelessness, victimization, and incarceration among the mentally have increased.”

    Yes, they have increased. So has “mental illness” per se, in particular that “serious mental illness” you call “bipolar disorder,” which I call “exposure to psychiatry syndrome.” So have the incomes of those employed in attempts to prevent and deal with violence, suicide, homelessness, victimization, and incarceration. Shares in CXW, the ticker symbol for Corrections Corporation of America, recently rebranded as “CoreCivic,” have risen from a low of $1.25 in October 2000 to their current price of $23, an 18-fold increase. Indexes like the Dow Industrials, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have not made such gains, merely lolling around in the doubling to 5-fold zone if you generously track them from their lowest points around 20 years ago]

    The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations revealed that those who need help the most have been getting it the least. An astounding forty percent of Americans with a serious mental illness (SMI) are not receiving treatment. [So what? What percent of that 40 percent wants it? What harm does non-treatment do compared to the harm to those you cal seriously mentally ill and others when your brand of “treatment is forced on them?]

    Despite this record of failure, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has not been reauthorized since the Clinton Administration. More than half of the programs for those with serious mental illness at SAMHSA have never been evaluated for effectiveness or quality. [You should thank your lucky stars because your profession would be dead if they were.]

    That is why I will reintroduce the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717, 113th) to refocus programs and resources to families and patients with the most challenging cases of serious mental illnesses and bring accountability to federal programs.

    The legislation:

    Reforms the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    –For the first time, brings accountability to how mental health dollars are spent.
    –Requires grant recipients to follow evidence-based standards, eliminates unauthorized programs, and mandates congressional oversight of all federal behavioral health grants.
    –Prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to legal advocates and antipsychiatry activists working to stop medical care.

    [Hang on just a minute.”Prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to legal advocates…” Good gracious! Did that remain in the bill?]

    [“…antipsychiatry activists working to stop medical care.” That’s fraudulent, too, implying that that is what antipsychiatry activism is all about. There are antipsychiatry positions that do not exclude “medical care” or would not exclude it if it were voluntary and if there were evidence that it helped and caused no harm.

    • Empowers Parents and Caregivers
    Breaks down barriers to allow families to work with doctors and mental health professionals to be part of the front-line care delivery team
    [Violates the privacy, civil rights and human rights of adults and children]

    • Fixes Shortage of Inpatient Beds
    Provides more psychiatric hospital beds, instead of expensive emergency rooms, for those experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of immediate inpatient care. [Whether they want it or not. Includes physical restraints, injected Haldol, and video-monitoring. What better way to improve one’s emotional well-being and ability to think?]

    • Reaching Underserved and Rural Populations
    Advances tele-psychiatry to link pediatricians and primary care doctors with psychiatrists and psychologists in areas where patients don’t have access to mental health professionals. [Maybe we can treat their conservatism, too. These lunatics voted for Trump.]

    • High Quality Behavioral Health Clinics
    Improves quality, accountability, and access to integrated medical and mental healthcare at community mental health providers.
    [I hope this improves accountability. However, the measure of success will be drug and “treatment” compliance, not health and happiness.]

    •Alternatives to Institutionalization
    Helps those with serious mental illness get into treatment when they are unable to understand the gravity of their condition and cannot voluntarily seek out care, thereby reducing rates of imprisonment, homelessness, substance abuse, and costly ER visits.

    •Advances Critical Medical Research
    Increases funding for brain research to better understand the underlying causes of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Advances successful NIMH early intervention programs like Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE), which reduces suicide rates & helps patients recover through a combination of low-dose medication and support services.

    [Hey, You said “brain.” BAD BOY! In any case, the RAISE Web site lists THIRTY publications based on the study. Here:

    The most recent was published September, 2017. There are no mentions of suicide in any of the titles. Even those that that look promising in terms of covering suicide outcomes do not mention suicide in their abstracts. This, the most recent, is typical:

    “In the present study, the authors compared NAVIGATE [which is the RAISE protocol] and community care [which is?] on the psychotropic medications prescribed, side effects experienced, metabolic outcomes, and scores on the Adherence Estimator scale, which assesses beliefs related to nonadherence.”

    That’s not a study of outcomes for the so-called patients…

    •Criminal Justice Reforms
    Expands Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement, so patients are treated in the healthcare system and not warehoused in the criminal justice system.

    [More cops = more getting shot. This training lacks one thing: A real, intelligent, unpredictable person, terrified already, more so by the presence of armed brutes with a reputation for murder, who does something that doesn’t fit the training protocol. They encounter one of those in real life and the bullets fly, training notwithstanding.]

    Integrates Primary & Behavioral Care
    Extends health IT laws, so mental health providers can coordinate care with primary care doctors using electronic medical records.
    [Violates privacy]

    [The End. Followed by:]

    Organizations & Media Outlets Supporting the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

    Organizations American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
    American Academy of Emergency Medicine
    American Academy of Forensic Sciences
    American College of Emergency Physicians
    American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
    American Psychiatric Association
    American Psychological Association
    California Psychiatric Association
    Center for Substance Abuse Research
    College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists
    Developmental Disabilities Area Board 10
    LA Mental Health Association of Essex County, NJ
    Mental Illness FACTS
    Mental Illness Policy Organization
    Nat. Assoc. for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis
    Nat. Assoc. of Psychiatric Health Systems
    National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)NAMI Kentucky NAMI Los Angeles County NAMI New York State NAMI Ohio NAMI San Francisco NAMI West Side Los Angeles
    Nat. Council for Behavioral Health
    National Sheriffs’ Association
    No Health Without Mental Health
    Pennsylvania Medical Society
    St. Paulus Lutheran Church (San Francisco)
    Sheppard Pratt Hospital
    Treatment Advocacy Center
    Treatment Before Tragedy
    U. of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychiatry
    Washington Psychiatric Society
    NY State Assoc. of Chiefs of Police
    Media The Wall Street Journal
    The Washington Post
    National Review Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    The Sacramento Bee
    The Arizona Republic
    The Orange County Register
    The Toledo Blade
    Houston Chronicle
    Raleigh News & Observer
    Bradenton Herald
    The Cecil Whig (MD)
    Express-Times (Lehigh Valley, PA)
    Fresno Bee
    Mansfield News Journal
    Ocala Star-Banner (FL)
    San Mateo Journal (CA)
    Sarasota Herald-Tribune
    Seattle Times
    Washington Observer-Reporter (PA)
    Tampa Tribune

  • You were free to discontinue Abilify. People taking this? Someone will wake up one day and decide the last few days on the drug were just too terrible to repeat. If they don’t take it, what happens? Paramedics? Cops Scolding? Incarceration? No fruit cup? [refers to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.]

    I’m glad you were able to stop Abilify. When it’s bad, it’s very very bad.

  • Not long ago I saw that there is a body of work concerning “BPD.” I had always read that it was untreatable and that doctors dreaded those they inflicted the label upon. But, it turns out that the so-called symptoms will remit when the labeled person receives therapy appropriate for PTSD. In essence, it is PTSD.

    Furthermore, it is not a lifelong disorder. It probably got that reputation because no psychiatrist was able to improve a person’s condition after telling them they were messed-up whiners for whom nothing could be done.

    It’s hard to say which of bipolar, bpd, or schizophrenia is the most damning and discouraging psychiatric label. There mere fact that are three to utterly destructive things that can be done to one who seeks the help of a psychiatrist is an indication that no one should. Step one is the damning “diagnosis.” Step two is the drugs.

    By the way, Kat’s story exposes the dreadful, worst-case outcome of single payer health insurance. You can’t get a second opinion inside an echo chamber.

    It’s great to learn that Kat broke away from the system that thrived on her unhappiness and made it worse. It’s the beginning of a new life, made somewhat difficult because the body can be affected long after the mind is clear. It’s unfair and inexcusable, what was done to KAT, and very similar to what another British woman, whom I met on Twitter and corresponded with for a while, endured. She needed quiet, empathic companionship more than anything. When despair drove her to try for inpatient care, she was told she would not be admitted because she wasn’t saying she was suicidal.

    I’ll tell you something you might not know: at the worst of times, being suicidal is preferable to not being suicidal. The suicidal individual has something to look forward to.

    All the attention directed at suicide prevention is at the expense of those enduring living hell coming off psychiatric drugs. It seems to be assumed that suicidal people represent the most miserable people on earth. Not by a long chalk.

  • Thank you, Simon. After reading your absurd response to a BMJ article that asserted the serotonin hypothesis of depression is bunk and was known to be bunk even before it launched the and sustained an appalling attack on the brains of physically healthy people, I don’t take anything you say as certain.

    Thank you, TRM123 for quoting the dear lad in his candid moment.

  • Dr. Warme was very kind to share his time for the worthy cause of reforming or eliminating the medical specialization he trained in. So few of his colleagues were immune to indoctrination in medical school or willing to eschew the benefits of adhering to the way things are that we must appreciate to the point of cherishing those who are sufficiently intelligent, magnanimous and self-assured to recognize and publicise the reality-based, scientifically-proven position.

  • At the very least, know the difference between signs and symptoms. Symptoms are what a person feels and might describe to others, well or poorly. Signs are what others observe. Psychiatry probably boasts the widest and most problematic gap between symptoms and signs.

    It’s where
    “I am experiencing my surroundings in a profoundly fascinating way and I wish you people would just go away. I absolutely do not want to go with you to get check out. I’d rather die.”


    “Unarmed female on the south bench in Library Park, suicidal. She was talking crazy, said she saw God multiplying in a ‘fractile’ or something. Alternates between laughing and crying. She’s resisting transport, definitely combative at this point after Jones offered to help her into his vehicle.”

  • Someone Else’s comment makes me wonder why we can’t sue doctors for fraud instead of malpractice. The fraud is easy to prove, and normally, there’s no defense. In real life, if someone sells a gasoline additive by claiming it is safe and effective, but knows it will destroy a certain percent of car engines and not do much good in the rest, that’s fraud.

    Doctors promote antidepressants with the same kinds of statements about safety and effectiveness. When they are defending a malpractice lawsuit, they claim they adhered to “best practices.” All that means is “Everyone else does it too.” It would fall flat in reality-land.

  • What an ordeal. You will be a blessing to many as a lawyer and the worst thing that ever happens to jerks like that sexist jerk of a doctor you had to endure.

    Depakote, which kicked off your story, strikes me as a terrible drug. It messes up people with epilepsy, and they don’t even know it’s the drug a lot of the time. (Or so I gather from epilepsy forums.)

  • I agree with Dragon Slayer here. The section accusing the intended audience of “privilege” is classist and seemed like an attack for attacking’s sake.

    First, I should state that I do agree with the author on the root issue she was addressing. Whether you think of the divide in the populace as:

    “privileged”/”everyone else”
    “poor and ill-served by government agencies”/”everyone else,”

    ….earning a degree is more taxing and takes much longer when you don’t have a car, can’t afford class materials, and have to work two part-time jobs, take care of a family, or both while attending school. To the extent that a) non-white, non-Asian, non-Jewish, non-Persian ethnicity, b) being something other than a heterosexual or a well-behaved gay man or lesbian woman, and c) trauma contribute to poverty, they constitute obstacles too.

    In other words, labeling psychiatrists “privileged” is probably reasonable.

    It’s just that the “privilege” section didn’t make any points. There was no connection made between the fact that many psychiatrists come from financially competent households and the lousy ways they ruin people’s lives. Those lousy ways are taught in medical school and would be taught to anyone of any background.

    The effort to dismiss the equalizing potential of student loans didn’t fly. I can’t think of any belief that would qualify as an “entitled.” The only thing that matters regarding beliefs about paying back student loans is whether they are right or wrong. If someone gets through medical school and launches a career and doesn’t mess up, they will pay off their student loans. Not believing that obvious fact can’t be blamed on an inability to engage in “entitled believing.” In fact, I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t believe it.

    The tuition at medical schools isn’t the reason the APA isn’t brimming over with people who are poor, of a racial minority other than Asian, of a sexual or gender minority, and/or severely traumatized. The accusation of entitled believing seems like an attempt to avoid acknowledging that it isn’t only rich kids who get to go to medical school. Student loans go to those who qualify for them based on their college transcripts and standardized test results. The thing to do when you realize you’re wrong about something is delete everything you’d written about it before you had to admit it doesn’t support your argument and move on to stronger points.

    This is in defense of only part of what DS wrote. I also agree with what s/he wrote about indoctrination to rigid political beliefs [of any kind, in my opinion], but that didn’t help make the case against the privilege section. It was a counter-attack, just as off-topic and alienating (to some) as the attack on privilege was.

  • BMI takes height into account. If they’re fed a diet suitable for a child of average height, it’s more food than they need. And do they not take the drugs to limit physical activity, the H, for Hyperactivity, in ADHD.

    But I do believe weight gain is a known thing in meth users. Meth causes users to remain fixed in one place, typically in front of a computer these days, burning calories only in their brains.

    Plus, a few years ago, I thought I noticed that the women in methie social sets are built like boys with beer bellies. I even asked an endocrinologist if meth affects sex hormones. For what it’s worth, she said it does. It’s similar enough to Adderall that I expect Adderall does the same thing (if meth really does it).

  • Once, at a hugh yard sale at a huge house that had obviously been the home of a large family, I came across a book by a child of about 10 years of age. It wasn’t published; she had used colored pencils and an otherwise unused scrapbook for her project. It was a book of fairy stories with ambitious but not entirely competent illustrations. The illustrations did one thing, which was to convey her sense of the beauty and delight in fairyland. The first story was okay, although not memorable. She launched into a second story after that, but the lettering of the title tripped her up. I think I know what happened. She was so careful to draw the edges of the letters cleanly and fill them in completely that she didn’t notice a spelling error. It was more akin to a typo than a spelling error, actually. The absence of spelling errors elsewhere makes the “typo” label seem appropriate. In any event, she inadvertently titled the second story “The Glass Sliggers.” The vision she had of crystal-clear, gleaming slippers of glass and the fairies that would discover, enchant, or bestow them will never be known. She didn’t write a word in her book after that. I wondered if her big sister or brother had spotted it and if they teased her for the rest of her life about those glass sliggers.

    Most people are disinclined to write, because it’s tedious, hard to do well, hard to evaluate, and unlikely to lead to compensation. It takes a lot of optimism and confidence to start writing, given that there’s so little in favor of it as a way to burn one’s time on earth. It makes sense that it wouldn’t take much of an attack on one’s optimism and confidence to stop.

    I agree with what you said about the factors that are almost always at play when people don’t write books despite saying they want to. I do believe in the “almost,” along with the rest. However, there’s a question about applicability. I can’t say whether the woman described in this memorial for a friend who was unable to shake the meaning of words said about him, even though he knew they were meaningless, would have written a single word had the nasty bitch and others not discouraged her in the cruelest way: calling her desire to write a sign of what they regarded as her mental illness. I have sympathy for her whether the blame as laid was laid appropriately or not. Her tears were no doubt shed for more than the book she didn’t write. Babies she didn’t have? Men she didn’t marry? The curse is a curse of separation: you from others, you from your belief in yourself, you from any future that bears contemplation.

  • 4% in 2015 is 11.7 times greater than .34%.

    4.2% in 2016 is 12.4% greater than .34%, and represents a 5% increase over the course of a single year.

    If the .34% rate from 100 years ago had risen by 5% per year, we’d now be looking at 44%, leaving very few of the well to run the planet, since most of them would patrolling psychiatric prisons and injecting inmates with coma-producing doses of Haldol.

  • The study on the effect of negative contextual information was flawed. Subjects read about a child. The descriptions included one symptom of panic disorder or ADHD, and some “contextual” information. The contextual information was varied and any effect of the variation on subjects’ tendency to believe that child suffered from panic disorder (study 1) or ADHD (study 2) was captured.

    “Only contextual information, designed to be unrelated to the diagnosis, was changed.”

    The negative contextual information was supposed to be irrelevant to the “disorder” for which a symptom was also included, but it wasn’t.

    The negative contextual information in the panic disorder study was that babysitters often refused to babysit the child a second time. That is not a statement about babysitters, who rely on repeat business, it is a statement about the child. If we can assume that baby sitters’ avoidance of the child was not triggered by his fashion tense or taste in coloring books, it must be about his behavior. It is unusual for a child’s behavior to repel babysitters, so the behavior of this child must be extraordinary. Panic disorder wouldn’t be the first thing subjects would volunteer in a free-response format, but if panic disorder and no disorder whatsoever were the only options, the baby-sitter repelling quality of this child would cause subjects to affirm a diagnosis of panic disorder.

    And this is a mess, too:

    “…participants were much more likely to conclude that the child had ADHD if the child was described as difficult or unlikeable than if the child was described neutrally.”

    Children diagnosed with ADHD are diagnosed because they are, in one way or another, “difficult.” Being a difficult child generally means being hard to like, which means that ADHD-diagnosed children, because they are by definition “difficult,” are also unlikeable. I don’t see how the negative information could considered irrelevant to a layperson’s guess about the presence or absence of ADHD. Then again, I also don’t know why anyone should care about that.

    The supposedly irrelevant information had a greater tendency to cause diagnosis in the ADHD study than in the panic study, but there’s no way to attribute that to the supposedly internalizing nature of panic disorder and the supposedly externalizing nature of ADHD. To do that, the negative contextual statements would have to be the same in both studies. As it stands, it might be the content of the statements alone that increased the odds of diagnosis. If you really cared, and I hope no one does, you could run four conditions:
    panic, babysitter avoidance
    panic, difficult and disliked
    adhd, babysitter avoidance
    adhd, difficult and disliked
    There’s illogic throughout.

    And then this, which means the entire study should be nuked from human consciousness, even if it means we all have to go back in time from before it was conceived and go through whatever tribulations we have endured since that time. It is worth it for a world in which this study was not conducted or published.

    “If parents and teachers tend to base their reports on contextual information that is not relevant to the criteria for the disorder, clinicians will likewise be biased toward diagnosis based on this information.”

    How do you infer from parents’ and teachers’ behaviors that clinicians will be “biased” by irrelevant contextual information? Never mind that the information provided was not irrelevant. If you want to study clinicians, study them. Don’t make statements about their mental processes based on whatever it is you think you learned about parents and teachers.

    Having read and appreciated Brett Deacon’s analytical comment, I assert that the reported study should not have ended with a call for “further research” unless it’s on how to prevent confused and confusing studies about nothing. Less of this sort of thing would be better.

  • I can easily join Dr Breggin in a call to ban the prescribing of psychiatric drugs for children.

    However, any rationale for keeping them out of children applies to adults of all ages, but especially to adults for whom decisions are made by others, including many of the elderly.

    There is nothing about a brain that’s been in use for 18 years and a day that guarantees immunity from the problems caused psychiatric drugs.

  • I mainly agree, but I would call it financial insecurity, which arises when income isn’t adequate the service the costs of the lowest standard of living the individual can tolerate. For the poorest the fear is homelessness, for the rest, the fear is slipping down so many rungs that personally important physical and abstract elements of life are lost. Whether one can empathize or not, rich people lie awake at night wondering if they’ll be forced to sell the place in the Hamptons under the same silvery moon as middle class people worry about paying the mortgage and someone sleeping in their car worries about a crackdown on overnight parking.

    They could all end up on drugs if they went to see a doctor about anxiety. How nice it would be if the car-dweller, who might have Medicaid, could receive, instead of seeing a therapist and taking antidepressants, the money used to pay for them.

    When the problem isn’t so much staying afloat, but inadequate time to get everything done in the household, for the children and the aging parents, etc, plus a full time job, I would bet there are millions of people, women especially, who would be relieved of all symptoms if they were granted a Multitalented assistant or even a just a housekeeper who kept their dwelling spotless and tidy. When you start to break down, it’s EVERYTHING that’s too much, but it is usually just one thing that pushes you over the line.

    It is the ultimate in humanist psychology to leave the human out of it altogether. If there were a medical specialty that treated our bank accounts and homes as “sick” and fixed them instead of us, and health insurance paid for it…well, I can dream.

  • You didn’t ask me, so I hope you and Maradel don’t mind I find if I venture an answer.

    I think the whole world has suffered since the west was won! At any time in the past 4 or 5 centuries, until about 1900, there was a drive to explore and tame and conquer in a westward direction.

    Can you imagine the excitement when North America was newly discovered by explorers and presented to Europe? A vast, very lightly populated expanse with varied vistas and terrains. It wasn’t theirs to despoil or lay claim to, but they believed otherwise and acted on their belief.

    North America (and South) offered an “out” for those who’d messed up in Europe, an adventure for those who were bored, an escape from the Church of England for those who clung to their religion and desperately needed a place to practice it, or, because class systems meant most people would never make a dreamed-of fortune, to the rare bird who ventured to dream, it was a place to stake out something to call an estate. There was nothing of the sort in England.

    Then after that, there were colonies and then a small United States, and even then, there was still the Wild West. California, busy with people who got there earlier, would prove so alluring that battles were fought over the right to govern and apportion the land.

    Restless and bored? Off you went with an expedition, on a horse, or on foot.

    Happy and engaged? Fine, stay on the east coast and model a character for Henry James.

    Once all the wars over what was to be Mexico and what was the be the US were done, the end of the adventure was near. Land got all owned up, claimed by the early, the oily, and the best armed and aimed.

    We can still mess around in the Antarctic or the bottom of the sea, or spit ourselves at other planets in high tech tin cans, but the days of pushing west across habitable and arable land, contiguous with the rest of the great American undertaking, and eventually making a patch of it yours have ended, not all that long ago — my grandparents were children — but decisively.

    And now there is nothing for a certain kind of person to do.

    Well, it will never be over for the financial sector, which I really ought to join some day. They are doing it again, but the unowned terrain is acres and acres worth of loan collateral deserted by the would-be owners along with any intention to make another loan payment as long as they live. It does tend to be in the west, too, where nonjudicial foreclosure is law in most states. Declare default, schedule an auction, transfer title. Think the hapless borrower has the wherewithal to sue? You can’t prove she owes you the money, but frontier justice favors the bold. Swat her off like a gnat.

  • Hi, Maradel, I don’t think anyone would say that there is a “lack of biochemical change” during changes in our experiences and in our reactions to them, and in reacting to our reactions. There is biochemical change at all times in our nervous systems and bodies as whole. What many, including me, disagree with is that the changes are as simple as a lego brain would allow and that a person can go from distressed to contented if we just deliver the right chemicals to the right lego. Maybe we could but no candidate for the lego has been found.

    As for brains being rewired by early trauma, the argument against that is that brains are not wired. They are convoluted lumps of densely packed nerve cells that spit chemicals at each other all day and night and they have tremendous capacity to adapt and learn. They are awfully good at learning about danger and too good at alerting us of danger sometimes.

    Are some associations not unlearnable, ever? Maybe, but I got rid of one once. I had astounding luck with a mental exercise called the rewind technique, which could be of interest to anyone who feels etched or hardwired by trauma. It can be done with a therapist. I did it alone, after finding it online and thinking it was worth a try. I was finally able to sleep without ruminating on and re-experiencing a bad thing that happened a couple of years earlier. It was not the most traumatic event imaginable, however.

  • Very nicely written. A pleasure to read. Also documents an atrocity in progress. Notable among the unsurprising results were mentions of health statistics. More Americans with chronic health problems might be the demographic effect were told it is, but polypharmacy is as good an explanation. Until I can see that the change in the age distribution fully explains the chronic condition increase, I will stick with an explanation that is not in question. Support comes from the US/EU comparison. That is terrible! Our public health servants should lemming off a cliff for that. It is real suffering and early death in population that shares much of the same ancestral DNA with Europeans, including so-called hispanics whose roots are Spanish, French, and German in addition to Incan, Mayan and Aztec (among others). I don’t blame anyone for personal habits, but when dietary dictates, admonitions to “seek [harmful drug] treatment” for problems in living and use disabling drugs to prevent unlikely diseases, not to mention actual malnutritious food in schools, are handed down from on high, those up high have wronged the nation. (I know the lemming/cliff metaphor is based on a Disney distortion, but in the realm of health-related messaging, Disneyesque distortion is the standard. Transcending it serves one’s dignity but no other object.)

  • I hope you realize that this series of events was not about you, anymore than a criminal abduction is about the victim.

    There are some mentally unsound people in your story, but you weren’t one of them. Whatever kicked off your sleeplessness was not a result of a brain disease or a “mental” disease. Lack of sleep resulted in your condition the day the truly crazy people, the clipboard woman and the two cops, arrived. They suffer from delusions of grandeur, messiah complex, anti-social personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder, at minimum. Their symptoms are expressed calmly. Lucky for them, because that is why they’re allowed to do what they do. From their earliest years they found that they enjoyed controlling others, and came to believe they were very good at it. They had little concern for the results of the efforts, only seeking more and greater opportunities to control people, calmly.

    Amazingly enough, governments tend to have jobs designed to keep such people occupied, which might be for the best, considering how hard they’d be to work with at any privately owned companies where collaboration and mutual respect is the order of the day. They operate a self-funding factory of sorts. The moment a normal member of society draws their attention, another product is on the assembly line.

    The ones that went to your house are The Getters. They gather at a residence or workplace, identify the target, and rarely leave empty handed. They deliver the target to one of their hives, whether it’s a jail or a hospital, where the Waiters hang out during the day. The Waiters take over and process the Target like spiders wrapping a half-dead fly in silk. Once the Target is immobilized, the Doctors are summoned. The Target is a human piggy bank for the Doctors. Nothing much in the way of improving the Target’s health or happiness is done. The length of the stay is arbitrary. They play it by ear until it looks like no more money can be extracted from the Target’s health insurance, or Medicaid/Medicare. Then the Target is released.

    There is no other way to make a living by making people unhappy than as a part of the Doctor’s lucrative factory. There is no regard for how the Target feels at any stage in the assembly line.

    We’re told all our lives, by pretty much everyone other than recovering Targets, that this function of government is beneficial. It would be illegal if the government (cops, courts) didn’t play a role. It’s legal because the Doctors, who harvest barrels of cash from the operation, say it should be. No other reason. Doctors but not lawyers or architects or engineers, who are equally smart and study for nearly as long, hold the status of Supreme Beings. They only study anatomy, chemistry and physiology, so why they are given authority over souls and minds is a perplexing question.

    The authority to abduct is supposed to be for the good of society as a whole. The Target endangers everyone else, you see. But the people who endorse and support the abduction, immobilization, and shaking down for cash are the ones ravaging society. They attack one individual at a time, though, so it’s not easy to see.

  • Not tarring the iatro-dependent with the addict brush is only decent, but there are many who are angry about the extreme difficulties and profound suffering they have to endure when trying to get off a prescribed psych drug,* who want to be called addicts because the derogatory term ‘addict,’ when paired with a drug’s name (‘paroxetine addict,’ e.g.), sends the right message about the drug (even if it’s the wrong message about the person).

    *not to mention finasteride and certain Parkinson’s and epilepsy drugs

  • In my case, Dr. Shipko and I shared an understanding of how horrible benzo addiction and withdrawal are. He prescribed a tiny dose and only ten pills at a point when I’d had 18 months of probable dopamine-agonist withdrawal syndrome (though I didn’t know it at the time). I can’t imagine feeling any worse and can’t quite believe I endured what I did before finally going to see Dr Shipko. Pot barely took the edge of the edge off. Beer worked, but not very well. I’d been drinking a 12-pack a day for well over a year; that’s what it took to feel okay. Having those ten pills meant I finally had a way of turning it off, temporarily. It meant the world to me.

    Dr. Shipko wrote this column about people like me, and he prescribed Ativan sparingly, just once, for me. Benzos are not an option for people whose suffering is caused by benzos. Mine was caused by different drugs.

  • I don’t see a problem, but I’m aware that others do and with good reason: what they experienced with benzos, or what they’ve seen others go through.

    I saw Dr. Shipko after almost two years of nearly unbearable post-Ritalin, post-Effexor brain damage. It might have included tardive akathisia of the kind Theodore Van Putten calls “mild akathisia” in which “patients may sit without moving a muscle.” I did that almost all day. I didn’t even lean back; there was no relaxing whatsoever, ever. (I’d had the full-blown kind of akathisia for weeks in the past – horrendous, and not understood for what it was by the idiot MD who’d chosen and prescribed the drug that caused it.)

    Mild akathisia was the least of it in the post-drugs period. It was hell is what it was, with constant battering feelings of doom and horror and a very strong desire to be dead. For a year and a half I barely talked to anyone, because all I had to say was “I can’t stand this another minute.”

    I didn’t want to kill myself. I did want to be struck dead. For every completed suicide, God only knows how many there are like me. I disavowed suicidal ideation, but that state of being should be coded as an outcome that’s every bit as bad as suicide, but it isn’t. When there are no thoughts of killing yourself, there’s no name for it.

    I endured it for a year and a half before going to a doctor. A prescription for ten Ativan pills of .5 mg each, written by a cautious doctor who shared my worry about replacing one terrible drug with another, was a turning point. I fell asleep. I slept. I would have loved more but Dr. Shipko only meant it for short-term relief from what I complained of. Next appointment, I asked if he thought I could have more. He didn’t leap at the chance to prescribe it again, so I did without.

    It helped a lot to have experienced something other than a pounding hell that didn’t get the least bit better for18 months. It boosted my morale. I was finally better a few months later after embarking on an almost-ketogenic diet featuring coconut oil and no sugar or flour.

  • Kirsh’s found that trial subjects who got antidepressants and those who got placebo reported or displayed changes that led to approximately the same degree of improvement whether symptoms are metered by HAM-D, MADRS, or possibly clinical impression. In no way does that mean the trialed antidepressant didn’t improve anyone’s mood. It suggests that antidepressant trials are designed in every aspect to effect reductions in depression scores for all subjects. In subjects assigned to take the antidepressant, an additive effect of a mood-improving milieu and drug is not certain to occur, but if it does, it won’t necessarily mean greater improvement in depression scores for the drug subjects vs the placebo subjects. There is a ceiling on how much a pill can elevate a subject’s mood. Elevating it past the ceiling renders the patient hypomanic or manic, to be adverse-effected out of the trial and the data.

    But I don’t think that’s what happens. It’s probably more like adding milk to 100 cups of coffee (milieu, affecting all subjects) and sugar to 50 cups (the antidepressant, affecting half of the subjects) and reporting the change in volume but not the change in sweetness. (Which is like using HAM-D, in which only one question investigates mood directly.)


    Per Bech, MD, Rating scales in depression: limitations and pitfalls:

    P.S. I’ve commented elsewhere that the drugs do have genuine chemical properties that do alter mood, often radically for the better. I say that because I’ve taken a few of them. I’ve also stolen, long ago, pills from my parents’ pharmacy-sized jar of little yellow amphetamine pills, taken Librium and Quaaludes, snorted coke and black beauties, eaten psilocybin, smoked legendary Thai stick, received morphine and Dilaudid intravenously, and attempted to trip on LSD. All but Dilaudid and LSD caused a pleasant and marked departure from the ordinary. (I didn’t take enough LSD, or it was bogus.) Prozac, Effexor, and Wellbutrin also caused pleasant departures from the ordinary. Effexor comes on in 20 minutes, or did for me, the first time.

  • Let me tell you, transdermal Ritalin prescribed in combination with oral Adderall, Prozac, and Ativan put me in touch with spirits and the universe itself. Being swat-teamed for strange but harmless, non-aggressive palaver with a bank manager rendered the whole multi-week period of bliss rather not worth it, but if it had ended without a terrifying encounter with the po-po, I’d recommend to anyone.

  • Ah, some incredibly cathartic dish-throwing while alone in my then-boyfriend’s dwelling, half of a duplex that I owned most of, did me in, too. I lost about 5 years to the subsequent misdiagnosis and mis-prescribed drugs, which is trivial in comparison with what was taken from J. I might have discovered the remedy for akathisa in my throwing spell. It met every need I had at the time and I was very ready for the nap I commenced afterwards, only to discover three cops had entered the house without the usual formalities and were in fact in the bedroom before I knew what was going on.

    J, I’m glad you got away from it and glad you’re writing. I hate that you suffered and probably doubted yourself and that everyone around you apparently bought into the original misdiagnosis. I hope the (m)ad man in you can blow your story up to a size that cannot be ignored.

  • After all, they suggest, people often cannot afford their medication or do not have access to transportation for follow-up appointments. In such cases, people are not able to continue receiving treatment, and they are more likely to use urgent care or emergency services—more expensive services in the long run.

    suggested revision:

    After all, they suggest, people often cannot afford the drugs doctors prescribe or do not have access to transportation for follow-up appointments. In such cases, people stop receiving drugs and therapy, and they are likely to experience aversive withdrawal symptoms and use urgent care or emergency services—bigger wastes of money in the long-run.

  • Dr. Demitri Papolos has identified a subtype of what he calls “early onset bipolar.” His subtype is called “fear of harm,” exhibited as fearfulness in nearly all situations and labile affect of the “ruining family dinner every single night” subtype. He realized that antidepressants and antipsychotics were not the answer, so he had the wire mothers bring their disordered boys in for a snort of ketamine. To a one, the boys were relieved of symptoms immediately. When they emerged from the K-snorting chamber (which is not called the K-Hole), they were giddy and talkative, high as kites.

  • A blow to the head, even before inflammation sets in, can cause symptoms of depression. Psychiatrists aren’t looking at the blow to the head, or even the inflammation, as causes of depression. They are looking, mainly in the brain, for the neurotransmission and circuitry malfunctions that result from insults and injuries. That’s what the search for the cause of depression amounts to these days.

    Chemistry is where the money is. Drug companies are chemical manufacturers, after all.

  • This Dr. Glass…does anyone know what he suffers from? I gave it some thought…

    From the story on
    “Last week, in an essay in Psychiatric Times, [Harvard psychiatrist Leonard] Glass called the prohibition on such communication “an unacceptable infringement…”

    That’s hyperbolic. All infringements are unacceptable. Including “unacceptable” makes this one seem as egregious as kidnapping for ransom, until you stop and think about it.

    The infringement was on Dr. Glass’s “right and duty” in some regard. Is he sure there’s anyone on earth who feels that he has some duty to them? I’m sensing some grandiosity.

    He goes on about his “right and duty” to…

    “…discuss issues ‘where the perspective of psychiatrists could be very relevant and enlightening.'”

    That presupposes that there exist topics to which psychiatrists’ perspectives are relevant and issues so obscured that a psychiatrist’s perspective will brighten, not dim, our understanding of them. It’s also somewhat hyperbolic, in that “enlightening” us with their perspectives assumes their perspectives are relevant. There’s no need to include “relevant,” much less “very relevant,” except to make what he’s saying seem well-thought-out and therefore unassailable. The wordiness and over-confidence bring mania and grandiosity to mind again.

    His umbrage was smoldering since the publication of a multi-co-authored letter to the New York Times in February, by Dr. Glass and some fellow travelers, concerning the mind of President Trump. The Times let Dr. Allen Francis comment on the futility (and ethics-breaching) of their passionately-crafted co-creation. Dr. Glass self-exonerated last month by citing the aforementioned right and duty. His believing he has some “duty” associated with a public figure who doesn’t know he exists suggests grandiosity, of course, but paranoia, too, should be considered.

    Glass must have had a lot of umbrage waiting to blow. I say that because the piece continued…

    “He ended the essay by announcing his resignation from the American Psychiatric Association [(APA)], which adopted the rule in 1973. He had been a member for 41 years.”

    1973 was 44 years ago, which means the Goldwater rule was in place before Dr. Glass joined the APA. Something having to do with the President upset him so terribly that he undid a decision he’d made 40 years ago.
    –Going beyond believing that one has a connection to a famous public figure and acting on the belief is not just suggestive of paranoia, it’s diagnostic. Leaving a professional log-rolling club after 40 years, not to mention announcing one’s departure in a widely ready psychiatry periodical, is reckless and immodest, which adds support to the developing hypothesis, namely that Dr. Glass was experiencing mania when he wrote about the Goldwater rule. With the affront of the 2016 presidential election not going his way ao wounding as to remain unprocessed, it was inevitable that psychiatric symptoms would develop. He felt uniquely exposed and impotent after the election of President Trump, not realizing he’s one of billions of worthless eaters when viewed from above by banksters, Illuminati, and Dark Statesmen. Our hierarchies, to them, are flat. In reaction, he manifests mania, grandiosity, hyperbolic phrasing, and reckless behavior. The voters (his millions of patients) were not medication- (media-) compliant. He’ll show them what non-compliant really means, acting on every impulse just to show he can. However, mania can be a reaction to an antidepressant, mood-stabilizer, certain antipsychotics, and opioid drug; iatrogenic rather than psychogentic cause is possible. Without drug influence, mania is an axis I disorder. With drug influence, we’re told, it’s not possible, so I’ll stick with Trump-induced mania for his axis I diagnosis. For axis II, I’m considering narcissistic personality disorder (PD), histrionic PD, paranoid PD. There another possibility in a diagnosis I and my “committee” invented just last week. (My committee is me, two chihuahua mixes, a large black wolf-like dog, a mostly white (but he had a rough childhood) pit bull, an understandably furtive – usually absent, in fact – feral tabby cat, and two Rainbow (for inclusiveness and diversity) Lorikeets who live with my neighbor across the alley, both of whom “Tweeted” their participation through the kitchen window for committee discussions and voting.) We christened the complex of signs exhibited by Dr. Glass and others in his field of medicine “psychiatric authoritarian personality disorder,” (PAPD).* The Committee, at our last meeting, concurred with my assessment of mania with underlying PAPD as the ailments that plague Dr. Glass. In frank violation of the Goldwater rule, the Committee approved of and encouraged my publishing our conclusions here.

    *We noted that although authoritarianism as a personality trait has been discussed and referred to especially often since the 1950 publication of “The Authoritarian Personality” by Theodor Adorno and others, it doesn’t make strong in psychiatry. Obviously, taken to extremes, the authoritarianism can become a pathology, yet the great nosologists of psychiatry do not acknowledge that. They have not designed a personality disorder that describes themselves.

  • This article covers topics I wonder about. I often notice something of a narration when I am not talking or reading or playing media depicting the words of others. When there are no words to see or hear, my brain often picks up the slack.

    There was a time a few years back, before I knew about psychiatric drugs’ extreme effects, when I could sense that the source of the narration was the part of my brain that Eric’s parasite inhabits in his. It didn’t seem like a separate being. It was more like the end of a continuum from dreaming (marked by the absence of narration) to wakefulness and the attendant awareness of history, future, actions and consequences. It was caused by the extreme effects of psychiatric drugs. Now I know.

    It happened during a period on transdermal methylphenidate and oral amphetamine salts for ADHD, diagnosed after a few years of unsatisfactory wrangling with psychiatrists and drugs, which started when my well-founded anxiety about my oncologist’s decisions was deemed pathological and Effexor was prescribed…and ingested. ADHD was the least inharmonious of the labels applied to my intolerance of SSRIs, SNRIs, Abilify, et al., so I embraced it for its verification of my essential soundness of mind.

    On multimodal 24/7 assault by speed, I began to experience transitions between what I called “talking brain” and (out of fanciful, partially informed ignorance, believing it to be seated in the legendary pineal gland, which isn’t even part of the brain despite being enveloped by brain tissue), “Pinea.” I experienced or perceived my brain as concentric hollow spheres and believed that Talking Brain was seated in the outermost one, which corresponds to the cortex. There were times when I registered the remarkable fact that I’d been free of the usual narration for hours, which was bliss.

    I am sure that any doctor who understood my mind would have diagnosed psychosis, which would have been horrendous. Though it all led to financial ruin, the path was indirect. It wasn’t so much my inability to pay bills while in that state as the desperate moves I made once I resumed the usual way of living as the captive audience of Talking Brain, which occurred not long after I ran out of drugs. Until then, my mind got to be itself and experience wonderment without posing questions about its source or future availability.

    While the drug supply held, which was a few weeks, I lived happily in the converted attic of my house, with roommates below unaware of my condition, or possibly aware but untroubled. I strongly disliked transitions back to Talking Brain. (I didn’t notice transitions back to Pinea, which were sort of like falling asleep. Only Talking Brain could notice those; if it did, transition failed.)

    I could read and write without transitioning back to TB, but talking, or threat of talking caused by a phone ringing, caused an immediate shift accompanied by impatience and irritation. I exchanged many chat messages with a guy I’d met before a couple of weeks before I started experiencing my consciousness in two modes. There’s a transcript of my swan song, during which I narrated, via chat, the amazing sense of moving among my brain’s layers of concentric hollow spheres. Alas, it reads as gibberish, but I still remember the experiences I was trying to describe. He implored me to “get help” and eventually backed away, which is understandable.

    I’d do it again if I could, if someone could run my business while I was unable to. It’s the latter requirement that proves to be the sticking point. I’d hired a CPA to receive income and disburse payments before it started, because I was growing less and less tolerant of anything that required concentration, and didn’t care to figure out why. He fobbed the work off on his unqualified brother, who berated my clients, lost paperwork, and didn’t pay bills. The guy I used to chat with soon fell obsessively in love, online, with someone who wouldn’t send her picture or allow a visit, he told me later. It was the kind of online love affair that anyone but he could tell was some kind of scam.

    The CPA, his brother, and my new friend, representing sane world, were no more realistic or effective than I was as a representative of my world, but of the four of us, only I would have been deprived of liberty had it all come to light. That’s the price one is at risk of paying when deaf to the “talking brain.”

  • There’s nothing as devastating as a family in league against one child, except a family clever enough to weaponize its malevolence with doctors and drugs. Hardships endured with the support of a loving family pale in comparison. And, of course, there’s no one more vulnerable or less trusted than someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness and made to take drugs. The drugs validate the diagnosis, which after all is just words, by introducing physical objects that can be seen and touched. They also cause mental states that match the signs of various psychiatric diagnoses and harm physical health in ways that can be attributed to the child/victim’s supposed “mental illness.” Obesity, anorexia, tics, lethargy, insomnia, somnolence, mania, depression, and hallucinations, all caused by drugs and all presumed to be caused by “emotional problems.” Between the meaning of drugs and their disabling effects, they’re self-refilling prophecies.

    Your upbringing was a long-term crime that went undetected because the bad guys had the field of medicine as their cover, but your ability to write about it casts you in more roles than mere victim. You can be a detective, a prosecutor, a judge, and a journalist. Those are powerful positions from which you can correct the lies and reveal the villains. If you can’t find an outlet for your history here or on another site, you can publish it yourself on and promote it on Twitter and Facebook. You can self-publish a book that would be printed on demand or distributed in digital form, with revenue sharing but no up-front costs, on Amazon.

    Too many people are completely ignorant of the grievous harm visited upon innocent individuals like you in the name of “mental health care,” so every effort to inform is worth making. More power to you.

  • What Mr. McCrea said, but also “got” in another way. A drug company’s sales staff is charged with forming relationships with doctors. A plausible conjecture: A few well-funded drinking sessions with legislators’ doctors in Washington, DC will build enough misplaced trust that a doctor of weak character violates HIPAA to get a few laughs or feel like a bigshot. A doctor waking up the morning after a night of debauchery with fun-loving sociopaths from Johnson & Johnson might not remember disclosing medical information about high-profile patients, but the J&J representatives remember every word.

  • Bad luck. That was the year chlorpromazine (Thorazine) supposedly performed its first miracle on the first psychiatric patient to receive it in an attempt to demonstrate proof of efficacy. He was apparently manic, not schizophrenic, there were some serious adverse events with the injections themselves, and his treatment was augmented with ECT and a barbiturate, but hey, if you read about it in Jeff Lieberman’s fake history of psychiatry, “Shrinks” (2015), the trial was a complete success for the man he calls “the psychotic,” and his doctors were “flabbergasted.”

  • “Disordered eating can also be an early warning sign of an eating disorder.”

    “Susceptible individuals may go on to develop an eating disorder from which they cannot recover on their own.”

    That’s written as though no one has ever recovered from an eating disorder on their own. Yet, for example,

    Eat Disord. 2012;20(2):87-98.
    Self-change in eating disorders: is “spontaneous recovery” possible?
    Vandereycken W.

    A limited series of community studies including non-treatment-seekers has shown that a considerable number of eating disorder patients do not enter the health care system but can be considered “clinically recovered” (remission of major symptoms) if followed up long enough.

    The possibility of “spontaneous recovery” (overcoming an eating disorder without professional treatment or formal help) often faces scepticism on the part of professionals.

    Clearly, self-change is an underestimated pathway to recovery from an eating disorder, but open-minded clinicians can learn a lot from it.

    Disordered eating encompasses one or more of the following types of behavior:
    [Note that it says just ONE is enough to meet their definition of disordered eating.]

    ◆ Skipping meals. [This is crazy.]

    ◆ Restricting food choices to a few “acceptable” items. [The scare quotes are condescending and insulting. If the kids are choosing from what’s on offer in the vending machines in the community college I attended two years ago, they’d be correct in saying there were only a few acceptable items. It’s like General Mills wrote this thing.]

    ◆ Focusing excessively on avoiding certain foods, particularly foods that contain fat.
    [Even if it’s hydrogenated vegetable oil?]

    ◆ Binge eating, particularly snack foods and sweets. [Define binge eating, and explain why binging on chicken kiev is any less bingey than binging on snacks and sweets.]

    ◆ Self-induced vomiting. [The best kind, if you ask me, and a perfectly healthy thing to do if you’re having a bout of nausea from those psych drugs they put you on to “treat” your “disordered eating.” The old finger down the throat is a 100% effective and safe way to bring instant relief from a sometimes-debilitating condition. Waiting until you vomit spontaneously is self-induced torture.]

    ◆ Taking laxatives, diuretics (water pills), or diet pills. [even if they suffer from constipation, menstruation-related water retention, or have more adipose tissue than is healthy?]

  • FYI:

    Anna Westin Act of 2015
    Introduced in House (05/21/2015)

    Sponsor: Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-21] (Introduced 05/21/2015)

    House – Energy and Commerce;
    Education and the Workforce;
    Ways and Means

    Latest Action: 06/03/2016 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. (All Actions)

    This bill requires the Office on Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services to revise, promote, and make freely available the BodyWise Handbook and BodyWorks obesity prevention program [SEE NEXT REPLY]. The handbook must include information about eating disorders relating to males as well as females.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration must award grants: (1) to integrate training on eating disorders into existing curricula for health, mental health, and public health professionals; and (2) to states, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and educational institutions for seminars for school personnel on eating disorders and to make resources available to individuals affected by eating disorders.

    The National Institute of Mental Health must make public service announcements on eating disorders.

    This bill amends the Public Health Service Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and Internal Revenue Code to prohibit health insurance coverage from permanently excluding a particular condition from mental health or substance use disorder benefits. Mental health and substance use disorder benefits include residential treatment.

    The Federal Trade Commission must submit to Congress a report that contains a strategy and recommendations to reduce the use in advertising of images that have been altered to change the physical characteristics of the individuals depicted.

  • In studies of the second-generation “antipsychotic” drug (dis)Abilify, 25% of trial participants experienced akathisia after they started taking Abilify.

    “The most commonly observed adverse reactions (incidence greater than or equal to 5 percent and at least twice the incidence of placebo plus ADT) associated with the use of adjunctive ABILIFY were akathisia (25 percent vs 4 percent), restlessness (12 percent vs 2 percent) […]”

    Except restlessness is the hallmark feature of akathisia. I assume that the people with akathisia didn’t get a separate diagnosis of restlessness. That would be like diagnosing 25% with headache and 12% with pain in the cranium. So it’s possible that 37% suffered with akathisia, but some of them were labeled “restless” because it sounded better.

    Is there a black box warning for akathisia?

    If anything other than a “psychiatry” drug caused it, would the drug be approved?

    PS I’ve been putting “mental health” in quotation marks for a long time, and I rarely type the letters m-e-d-i-c-a-t-i-o-n in the order. From now on, “psychiatry” and related words will be in quotation marks, too.

    It works very well:

    I went to a psychiatrist and she said…
    I went to a “psychiatrist” and she said…

  • be a future without psychiatry, anyone who entered a hospital would still be at risk of psychiatry-like coercion, drugging, and physical abuses including assault, restraints, deprivation, and solitary confinement. I submit therefore that there is a larger problem in medical settings it that they’re staffed by various medical personnel who have the right to do things to us that they don’t want done. My awareness of this comes from discovering what happens to elderly people who for one reason or another are transported to emergency rooms. Those with Medicare throb like pulsars and attract the attention of administrators with beds to fill and not enough workers to run full wards safely.

    Here comes tiny Aunt Edna. She fell at home and has a scrape on her right hand and bruises on her left leg. She seems fine, but perhaps she should stay overnight for observation.

    Crap. It’ only been two hours of IV fluids, and already, the old lady in 20B is trying to get out of bed. Crap squared–she’s heading for the bathroom. She can’t be allowed to use it, though. She’s a fall risk. We’d better install a catheter. Did we do it wrong? Darned if she doesn’t have a UTI now. Okay, it’s time for her brain CT. What is she doing? Trying to get off the gurney? Quick, grab her, and if she kicks you, we’re going for the Haldol. Ah, worked like a charm. Someone get that new resident and see if she’ll order restraints, though. We Do Not Have Time For This Bullsh*t. Either way, I’m going to write that Edna was combative, because she put up a devil of a fight when we put her back in bed the last time. Is constantly saying she wants to go home a sign of dementia? She’s said it at least ten times since she got here. I’ll put “dementia” with agitation as reason for admission. We have to scare up a doctor who’ll agree that she should stay here a few more days, or at least until she’s stable. Is that her screaming? Time for some Vitamin H. Just do it, IV. Worst case, Dr. Wallace will prescribe it when he gets here in the morning.

  • We know that in some trials, sleeping pills or tranquilizers are available to patients who experience insomnia and anxiety while taking the antidepressant under investigation. Are relaxing drugs only available to the drug group, or do placebo patients get them, too? They would almost have to, or the double-blinding would break. If placebo patients have access to sleeping pills and/or benzos, of course they’ll feel better than they did before. And on the HAM-D depression scale at least, there are a lot of questions about sleep. If sleep is no longer a problem, HAM-D scores will improve, regardless of mood and motivation.

  • I’ll second this. Akathisia might includes separation from one’s soul, but “a feeling-less state of apathy” doesn’t sound right at all. It’s non-okayness so profound and enveloping that your entire existence is taken over by it. It’s a desperate feeling that something must be done to help you NOW accompanied by the sure knowledge that you are utterly incapable of doing it. Oh, and you cannot remain still. Can’t sit, can’t lie down. There might be twenty people you could call for help but the impossibility of explaining yourself even if you understood what was going on makes it seem pointless. It is typical of akathisia sufferers to say “I can’t take another minute of this.” And yet it’s relentless and many, many more minutes are queued up, measured in days and weeks, or months and years in the worst cases. A lot of sufferers say they want to die immediately, while completely disavowing any desire to kill themselves. It only seems contradictory to those who don’t listen to the exact words spoken. Abilify is a top offender in causing this syndrome, and woe be to those prescribed Abilify for anti-depressant-induced mania that was mistaken for so-called “bipolar disorder.” The worsening will be misunderstood as worsening of mania and dose increase of the Abilify is likely.