Sunday, June 20, 2021

Comments by BetterLife

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  • 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.

  • Ecstacy (which I have not used) and cocaine might be preferable as “lesser of two evils” when compared with Risperdal and Effexor. They wouldn’t be sold on the street if they were as harmful as the two pharma drugs. If Effexor addicts were not rediagnosed with disorders worse than depression and drugged into insanity as treatment for the new diagnosis (scare quotes implied for both medical terms) it would be banned. If a street drug could be blamed for what Effexor does to people, that drug would be deemed the worst drug ever sold, next to “croqodil”, and those who made and sold it vilified and sent to prison amidst calls for the death penality. Coke and heroin dealers would be released to free up cells for the Effexor Villains.

    There is a situation like that, in which a pharma drug is also a street drug, but the picture is a mirror image of the above. Desoxyn is pharmaceutical meth, and one of the most highly rated drugs (by patients) on ( is 100% mainstream, apparently funded mainly by pharmaceutical ad revenues.) Making it or selling methamphetamine from outside the medical-pharmaceutical complex is a felony. “Impurities!” cry the pharmapologists. “Addiction!” cry the disease-modelists. Both are consequences of the illegality of grassroots manufacturing and distribution, not the chemical.

    IMPURITIES: Meth chefs scrounge for sources of the precursor drug and transform it using chemicals they can get without attracting attention. There’s your impurities. Lethal impurities aren’t common. Meth kitchens (and factories, in China) are in business to make money, and they do well with repeat customers whom they’ve come to trust. Killing off clients means finding new ones and risking selling to undercover cops or snitches. They have no more motivation to sell deadly toxins than GSK has. (GSK does it, though. GSK sells more lethal doses of various drugs to more people than any street maker could ever reach. We don’t know their motivation.)

    ADDICTION: Addiction to a drug is alleged when withdrawal symptoms occur during abstinence. Abstinence in grassroots users occurs when a meth manufacturer or supplier goes to prison. Patients prescribed the drug and supplied by pharmacies, for years, rarely face abstinence. When they do, they are not described as addicts, even if they claim tiredness and low motivation upon ceasing use for any reason. Their suppliers go to awards banquets, not court hearings.

    Distinctions among drugs serve social and financial purposes. Street, pharma, they’re just drugs. Where street drugs have the moral upper hand is that no one is ordered to use them or locked up for failing to use them. Once again, it’s a mirror image situation. People are ordered to use pharma drugs and kept prisoner in medical institutions for not taking them or for saying they will not take them in the future. Worst of all is saying they don’t need them. Taking them can kill them, give them the nightmare of tardive dyskinesia, or make them feel horrible, suicidal, fully wrecked, for years, maybe all their lives, while taking them and after stopping.

    If that’s not the crime of this and the previous centuries, I’ll eat my hat.

  • “what we go through is beyond the bounds of what is natural, and I find it hard to believe that anyone who has not experienced it would understand.” I believed the same thing in a protracted withdrawal from transdermal methylphenidate. No species could continue to exist if it could feel the way the chemical’s damage made feel. It was ungodly, unearthly, not even possible in a human being. With enough damage from drugs we are no longer genuine homo sapiens. I wanted to be dead almost always, but did not want to kill myself. So much emphasis on suicide prevention, not much on preventing post psych drug wishng-to-die syndrome. The early morning awakenings in a state of horror that seemed to be validated by the facts of my and every life. There wasn’t a future, just a black chasm to step into for more of the same, or worse. I believe what people say about benzo withdrawal; I get the feeling it is even worse than dopamine drug withdrawal.

    Ms Styblo’s and fellow activists’ messages must be heard, loud and clear. You never know how many people you might spare the same experience. Right now there are people who are doomed to trust their doctors and start on a mlld safe benzo. It’s like boarding a kiddie ride and ending up on the tallest fastest most rickety roller coaster ever built. Not what you bargained for. Ms Styblo’s writing might help a lot of those potential sufferers head in another direction when offered drugs by a pusher.

  • It isn’t the least bit true that little clinical benefit was seen in the LTMX trial! It’s just that it’s a challenge to established Alzheimer’s drug researchers whove been chasing beta-amyloid for a long time and have spent billions and gotten nowhere. LTMX targets the tau proteins instead. And what was found that subjects who took the drug along with a standard Alzheimer’s drug continued to decline, with brain atrophy occurring during the trial’s run, as well as cognitive decline.

    Subjecyts who took only LTMX fared much, much better. So much better that you have to wonder if the standard Alzheimer’s drugs are causing the worsening.

    The trial was dismissed en masse by lazy science writers who found one thing to not like and glommed onto it. It it reported on an after the fact question that wasn’t designed into the study. But, there’s no disputing the data.

    Some said that there was something special about the group that took LTMX but not aricept. Maybe because they were from poorer countries, it was surmised, they responded well during the drug trial because they were suddenly getting health care. Lame.

  • Overdosed methylphenidate adminstered transdermally as Daytrana® induced many spiritual experiences. The wall sent signals, my computer transmitted messages from eastern Europe when no applications were running, and one afternoon, invisible soundless angels told me it was okay to die. I told them I had things to do.

    Aware that I was close to dying from dehydration, I managed to save myself with a solution of sugar and salt in water, the poor person’s electrolyte solution.

    It was glorious to be that kind of crazy until the bad things that keep happening when you’re crazy and can’t prevent or fix them had accumulated to a degree they were bumming my unhinged high. When I was helped by a friend to realize I was psychotic and stopped using the drug, I entered dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS) and stayed in it for almost two years. If I’d known what it was I might have been able to exit it sooner.
    I was abandoned by two psychiatrists I’d been seeing and a neurologist who’d just diagnosed an off-label type of epilepsy after an EEG and a physical exam. (I couldn’t stand with my feet parallel and pressed together so the inner sides were in contact.) I had to fend for myself, armed only with bad luck and the belief that I deserved my life back no matter what I had to endure. New doctors said it was depression but it was not. One said he thought I enjoyed it.

    It was so bad it made depression a desirable alternative: depression is a human experience; it’s different from contentment but it’s made up of familiar feelings; DAWS is outside what our brains could ever know without the poisons that cause it. It’s not worse than depression on some continuum. It’s a hell that only a supernatural force of evil could conceive and inflict.

    The way to tolerate consciousness in DAWS, for me, also involved spirits, preferably 80 proof Cazadores Reposado.

  • I don’t think it’s necessary to identify oneself as a torture-endurer to advocate for better treatment of the human race by psychiatric enforcers. I think it’s better not to. You’re dealing with brainwashees who have not left the field despite knowing all about its wrongs. I’d go so far as to say they are enthusiasts, if they’ve stayed with it more than a month or so. They don’t believe it’s possible for a former victim to recover from the fictitious “brain disease” whose name that was attached to them at some point and put them in harm’s way in the first place. They’ll humor you to a degree but they will not regard you as an expert nor consider your descriptions of your experiences as anything other than unfortunate rare events to be heard and forgotten, or more typically, confabulations or lies.

    Status as a former focus of psychiatric attention can open doors, but entering the system as a patient advocate who is not and never has been subject to the abuses of the system affords an equal footing with other personnel, and means they have to offer reasons for rejecting your suggestions and failing to answer your questions.

  • It’s also possible to understand and maybe predict reactions to brain-changing drugs by taking a look at liver enzymes. Yolande Lucire is an expert. I’ve heard that investgating liver enzymes is not all it’s cracked up to be in general, but I haven’t heard anything bad about Dr. Lucire. She knows all about akathisia and violence, a topic few in medicine seem to know or care about.

  • Thanks for telling some of your story, Welton. What was done to you was absolutely horrible, so I’m not thanking you because I enjoyed it. It’s because it helps when more people know about what is done to people. There can’t be anything worse than being a child or teenager whose parents buy into it. There goes that primal sense of parent as protector. As for very old age? The first state that bans forced psychiatry will see a mass immigration of people in their 70s.

    Pro tip: once you’re in California’s system in one of their many protective programs, anyone who drives you to another state is guilty of abduction. You’re not only not allowed to refuse “treatment,” you can’t even leave the state to escape it. Terrifying.

  • Half of all young adults are male. Most of them are single, and at least a third of them are unemployed. About 20% of them smoke and another segment vapes nicotine liquids. This suggests that the typical young man is the most likely person to be diagnosed with “psychosis,” based on a book written by atypical middle-aged and older men.

    I suspect there is an evolutionary force at work; the silverbacks who’ve been least successful at mating* work to keep the most exciting young men (the rebels without a clue we all knew and loved) away from the women. If they can’t lock them up, they can render them impotent.

    *In 1997, it was revealed that psychiatrists have the highest divorce rate among the medical specializations. Their rate, 51%, is high for any profession.

    “Over 30 years of follow-up, the divorce rate was 51 percent for psychiatrists, 33 percent for surgeons, 24 percent for internists, 22 percent for pediatricians and pathologists, and 31 percent for other specialties. The overall divorce rate was 29 percent after three decades of follow-up and 32 percent after nearly four decades of follow-up.”

    And, pointedly,

    “Physicians who reported themselves to be less emotionally close to their parents and who expressed more anger under stress also had a significantly higher divorce rate, but anxiety and depression levels were not associated with divorce rate.”

  • The science in psychiatry comes out of business schools. It is applied not in the development of so-called “diagnoses” and “treatments,” but in the brilliant non-marketing marketing of the profession and the products it sells. First it was sold to the medical profession (doctors and the self-protective associations they shield in) and governments (state and federal). The medical profession and the “authorities” (which operationalize as gun- and Taser-wielding dog-catchers of man) have sold it to the people. Some of us want our money – our personalities, IQs, friends, families, careers, homes and money, that is – back, is all.

  • “For that, we were told to send our clients to the psychiatrist. For those most alienated from other people, it seemed, help from another human being was not to be provided.”

    Psychiatrists are human beings! However, the help they deliver will typically be in pill form. That must be what Mr. Unger meant. Bertram Karon, a psychologist (professor emeritus) at Michigan State U, wrote

    “There has never been a lack of treatments that do more harm than good. They have in common that they do not require understanding the human condition.”

    He doesn’t believe there is a “genetic component.”

    “I have never treated a schizophrenic patient whose life as experienced by the patient would not have driven me, or anyone I could conceive of, crazy.”

    Mainly, he listens.

  • Nutrition and mood extremes…it just does not seem like food could matter very much, but some people swear by it.

    Medium chain triglycerides ended the torment of dopamine agonist withdrawal (DAWS) for me, and I didn’t expect or hope for it. I was looking for improved memory and cognition after 5 lost years. There were three ruinous years of polydrugging that started with a misdiagnosed withdrawal effect after mis-prescribed venlafaxine/Effexor. 3 years on drugs ended in a spectacular burst of psychosis, followed by 2 years in DAWS, coped with by heavy beer drinking + daily pot (opiates are said to work better, but that’s a double-bind set-up), resolved entirely by MCTs for 10 days. Just a big glob of coconut oil and a smaller glob of grass-fed cows’ butter (Kerrygold, good omega 3/6 ratio, as I understand it) in a cup of instant coffee in the morning, and carb avoidance at other times, for good measure. Sleep came back, nearly unbearable dread/doom/horror stopped, and drinking/pot went away spontaneously and effortlessly.

    Others report miracles on a 100% meat diet. Not viable for compassionate vegetarians and vegans, of course. I have found two people online who went this route and swear by it–both women, for what it’s worth. Here’s one.

    Stated benefits: an end to “bipolar” and 60 lb weight loss.

  • This is what is so stunning:

    “I have trained and worked at well-regarded academic teaching hospitals all over the United States and had never once been presented with this data or an alternative view to my son’s “disease.”

    We know doctors are smart–it’s hard to learn what they learn and pass tests and graduate. They have to be good memorizers, but they don’t have to advance science to graduate, the way PhDs do. A PhD dissertation is original research of publishable quality. Exam scores are not. So we have a lot of smart, highly confident men and women living in an information bubble. They rely on what other doctors believe, and what other doctors believe is what other doctors say. Sticking to the standard of care and being wrong can never get them in trouble. Rocking the boat and being wrong (or just being accused of being wrong) is far too costly.

    It’s great to hear from an MD who pierced the membrane and let herself out, and better yet, is working to get some fresh air in to educate doctors without the same tenacious will to find something better than the status quo.

  • I doubt all the deaths caused by prescribed drugs are counted. The current generation of elderly people experiences more death from falls than any other, and they are also elderly at a time when rates of prescribing falls-causeimg drugs like statins and beta-blockers have done nothing but rise for many years–at their peak now. So does a person die of a fall/head injury, or because a drug that causes hypotension and syncope caused her to fall?

    If only the drugs were prescribed for actual illnesses. The bulk of the drugs taken by old people these days are meant to prevent things, or deal with the side effects of other drugs, not cure or limit genuine organic health problems.

    The newest data show that lifespan has decreased for Americans, for the first time in many years. If you know any old people and know what drugs they’re on, you’ll know why,

  • Before he got to Columbia, he (Lieberman) wrote to the New York Times, outraged to have read that New York’s top cop had banned the use of the so-called hogtie on suspects. The practice of tying someone’s hands and feet together behind his back and tossing him in the back of a car was sometimes lethal. It is not just potentially lethal, it’s inhuman. But Lieberman knew better. He even knew that the police commissioner was pandering to civil rights lawyers who assert the rights of African-Americans. The commissioner’s response was the comeuppance Lieberman needs several times a day.

    Else where in my blogpost is the letter he co-authored, meant to convince the UN’s special rapporteur on Torture, Argentinian attorney Juan Mendez, to adjust his definition of torture so it didn’t include practices typical of psychiatrists in US psychiatric wards. Mr. Mendez was measured in his response, politely conveying the “###k off, creeps” that the letter-writers deserved.

    It is in a blog post punctuated with some of the best Lieber-Tweets and responses, which presents a fictional Skype interview with Lieberman, which you can skip if you just want to read the letters and thereplies, which are near the end. They’re presented as whole page images, so they’re easy to find. Please comment if you enjoy or in some way appreciate it.

  • “Non-invasive behavioral activation techniques”? It sounds inhuman. Love and affection probably fall under “non-invasive behavioral activation techniques”, but should be referred to as “love and affection.”

    How about living in a family household, as part of the family you created, instead of being away in a senior living facility?

    How about not being on one or more drugs to prevent or slow (possibly) diseases (that you might not have been fated for anyway)? Those drugs also install symptoms are “depression,” including sadness, anger, irritability, fatigue, pain, and weakness (namely, Aricept, and every drug for high cholesterol and every drug for high blood pressure)?

  • You can end up drugged and in restraints after entering a general hospital with a physical complaint. It is not just psychiatrists who have access to means of oppression. And medical ward can pull it off.

    A long and rambling anecdote I can’t get off my mind, which I’ve written here before:

    An elderly woman who is very close to me was degraded in the worst ways after entering an emergency room with the purpose of having a laceration on her scalp sutured.

    Actually, that’s wrong. She didn’t intend to go. Her husband tried to keep the paramedics from taking her. The cut was about 3/5 of an inch in length and had finished bleeding. She’d hit her hed on a door as she fell to a carpeted floor. She fell because she was on a beta blocker that caused her to fall. She didn’t know it was the drug. I don’t know if her doctor knew she fell a lot. If he didn’t, it’s his fault for not asking. There was no reason to go to a hospital, but the paramedics who did the transporting work for a private company with a contract to be the city’s paramedics. They pay the city a fee for the privilege of providing the service and billing what they can for it. The bill for the 2-mile transport was $2000.

    Once there, the old woman was subject to every sort of test and scan imaginable, despite having no complaints. No pain. She was 82, and wasn’t able to state her birthday or what city she was in. It was assumed she’d had a terrible head injury. She hadn’t. She just didn’t know her birthday or where the ambulance had taken her.

    I believe she was addled by a very high dose, for her age and small size, of a beta-blocker called Atenolol. Hospital staff called her pharmacy to find out what drugs she took and bungled it. A fateful mistake. They came away with the belief that her was 50 mg/day of the ineffective crap, Atenolol, she took for a non-disease, hypertension. In fact her dose was a whopping 150 mg/day. Because they didn’t know she was on a high dose, they didn’t know that her sense of panic and need to get out of bed the next morning were Atenolol withdrawal. They didn’t know anything. MORNING NOTES: “Patient kept trying to get out of bed and was combative.” They forced Haldol into her and put this kind, shy, and mentally brilliant women in 6 point restraints. They kept her in them for 26 hours. Unfortunately her husband didn’t visit during that horrible period, but when he did arrive, he saw what had been done and undid it, as the banal and sadistic soulsucking nurses watched from a safe distance.

    A laceration that was not bleeding, little more than 1/2 inch in length. The wrong questions asked for the alert-and-oriented test. (Should just be: who are you, where are we, and what time is it.) Not a reason to commit someone or to fight them physically when they wish to leave. Correctly: “Patient wished to get out of bed. Staff were combative.”

    I’m glad she fought them, and very sorry she was out-numbered.

    There were no psychiatrists, not even a doctor who had finished training. She went in psychiatrically “well,” was made unwell by the beta-blocker dosing mistake, and then made worse by inhuman, degrading, humiliating and infuriating treatment selected by a resident. Instead of being tied up, she should have been discharged. As an elderly person who might have had dementia for all they knew, injecting Haldol was criminal. There was nothing wrong with her when she went in. Her soul was a carcass when she got out.

    It was this resident who wrote the orders for the abuse.
    He has the kind of face I can’t stand at the best of times.

    The patient’s life ended without her dying. I knew when I heard what had been done that she, given her nature, would not be intact. She was a severe mess for a while. She had delusions about the composition of the household and believed there were two copies of her husband. She wanted to kill herself and broke down crying on occasion, something never seen before. It’s always sickening when humans beings are abused and especially so when a person has led a laudable life and has reached age 82 and wishes to coast the last ten yards, and is instead mangled and spit out and left, in scraps, to cope. She has coped.

    She didn’t both with Atenolol after that. From 50mg to 0mg just happened. She hasn’t fallen down since.

    When I heard she’d been injected with Haldol, I called and told a nurse not to do it again. I said I am a psychologist, having earned a doctorate in social psychology, specializing (involuntarily) in gerontology. In the notes it says: “Jane Doe called, claimed to be a psychologist.”

    At one point the patient apparently exclaimed “You’re not doctors,” to the assembled torment squad of non -doctors. This too was noted, as if it were a ridiculous thing to say, like this, “You’re not doctors!”

    Number of deaths from falls has risen since 2004, when 41 per 100,000 elderly persons per year died after falling. By 2013 it was 57, a 39% increase. Surely that’s more lethal than the opioid epidemic.

  • Robin Williams had DAWS, which is dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I’ve only seen it mentioned three times. Once by someone here, in a comment, once by me, elsewhere, and once in a comment under his widow’s impassioned essay about their life together and his death. That comment was by the doctor who has published the most about it. Mrs, Williams is doing her best to educate herself, but she let slip that he’d been taken off mirtazapine, a dopamine agonist, and put on something like Levodopa, which despite its name does not help with DAWS. I had DAWS for two years and it was absolutely the worst hell I could ever imagine. The only reason I didn’t kill myself is that I like being alive and was too stubborn to give in…not that I had a plan for defeating it. It’s not depression in the usual sense, it’s a superficial but tenacious affliction that locks you into Misery, doom, despair, hopelessness and deep dark bottomless grief every gosh-darmed day, with especial horribleness around 4 am, and very little sleep possible. One could easily become a drug addict by self medicating with opiates or benzos. I toughed it out with beer and pot. Doctors were useless–not a single one diagnoses it, despite my history of going mad on Daytrana (transdermal methylphenidate) and then quitting it cold turkey. I think powerloading coconut oil for a couple of weeks cured me, or else it was a coincidence.

  • So these are non-serious?
    abnormal ejaculation – ask a guy with PSSD about “abnormal” ejaculation. Pleasureless? Too soon? Not at all?
    tremor – many can’t do their jobs with a tremor in their hands, makes one appear to be weak or ill
    anorexia – leads to weakness, fatigue, syncope, and head injuries
    nausea – worse than pain, leads to vomiting, which is fun at work
    somnolence – mess up at work, school or caring for others
    sweating – give a presentation with nine-inch dark circles on your shirt, seem nervous when not
    asthenia – (abnormal weakness/lack of energy) sounds like severe depression
    diarrhea – dehydration (potentially serious), fatigue, fun at work
    constipation – pain, discomfort
    insomnia – fatigue
    dizziness – falling, head injury
    dry mouth – aversive, unappealing
    libido decreased – joyless life, unhappy partners, divorce, despair
    sexual dysfunction – see previous
    appetite decreased – see anorexia
    fatigue, vomiting or upset stomach, flu syndrome, drowsiness,
    blurred/abnormal vision or dry eyes – can’t perform job functions, drive, enjoy visual arts
    nervousness – highly aversive and crippling at times, causes irritability and harms relationships
    headache – day-wrecker, week-wrecker, etc
    dyspepsia – day-wrecker
    weight loss – not always desirable, impedes women’s fertility (which is just as well given the harm to developing babies and withdrawal after they’re born)
    central or peripheral nervous system problems – please specify
    lightheadedness/faint feeling – falls, head injury
    agitation – akathisia, perhaps? Pure hell.
    impotence – devastating
    taste perversion – loss of another great pleasure in life
    etc ???

    Anything on the nature and prevalence of withdrawal and post-withdrawal syndromes?

  • Peter, I’m glad you mentioned the proposed explanation for the supposed efficacy of the drugs in severe depression. That’s a tired refrain: “…but they do work in cases of very severe depression.” No, they don’t.

    Here’s the HAM-D. It captures a lot of anxiety-related issues, most of which should be expected to diminish as the trial progresses. Each item has its own scale, from 0 to 2, or from 0 to 4.

    1. Depressed mood

    2. Feelings of guilt

    3. Suicide

    4. Insomnia early [falling asleep]

    5. Insomnia middle [after falling asleep, wakefulness or restlessness during the normal sleeping hours]

    6. Insomnia late [early morning awakenings, and unable to go to sleep after getting out of bed.*]

    7. Work and activities [no difficulty, difficult or no longer working]

    8. Psychomotor retardation [moves slowly]

    9. Agitation [0=none, 1=fidgets, 2=plays wth hands, hair, 3=moving about, can’t sit still, 4: hand-wringing, nail-biting, hair pulling, biting of lips]

    10. Anxiety [psychological] [0-no apparent difficulty, 1=subjective tension and irritability, 2=worrying about minor matters, 3=apprehension apparent in face or speech, 4. Fears=expressed without being asked]

    11. Anxiety somatic [Anxiety with physiological involvement. (It says to avoid asking about symptoms that could be side effects of drugs, like dry mouth.)]

  • Haldol is especially likely to cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome and/or kill in people with dementia with Lewy bodies. In a cruel irony, DLB is characterized by the onset of delusions and hallucinations relatively early, compared with Alzheimer’s, but is often, probably most of the time, mistaken for Alzheimer’s. Some experts say DLB is the real issue in as many as a third of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

    What others have experienced and warned against on this page happened to my healthy, competent, self-controlled mother last year, and indeed, humanbeing, it started with a mis-prescribed, hideously over-dosed beta blocker. She survived as a shadow of her former self, with some gradual recovery.

    A study of 39,000 people in Japan found that regardless of severity of hypertension, those treated for it died young than did those not treated. They don’t deny that hypertension precedes cardiovascular events. It’s just the treating it, according to their findings, is worse than leaving it alone.

    “Treated participants had significantly higher risk for cardiovascular mortality, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke compared with untreated people. Among untreated participants, the risks increased linearly with an increment of blood pressure category. The risk increments per blood pressure category were higher in young participants (<60 years) than those in old people (≥60 years)"

    "The risks of cardiovascular mortality were ≈1.5-fold high in participants under antihypertensive medication."

    Not to mention the cognitive impairment, falls, head injuries and broken hips.

    I’m sad and disgusted to read about the author’s father’s tragic experiences and his death. I strongly endorse the device that no elderly person be left alone with the murderous fools in white coats.

    I can only assume it’s a mass conspiracy between gov and medicine to get people off the Medicare rolls and into the ground, probably achieved with just a few winks and elbow nudges.

    If it weren’t, wouldn’t it have stopped by now?

  • There’s one antihypertensive that has improved memory test scores by two points out of ten, which is a lot, in very old people with hypertension, Losartan. My mother became noticeably sharper when she started taking it. It was about 8 months after the ordeal, and she began to recover. She could remember topics from one day to the next for the first time since the ordeal, and she talked about the kind of topics she had talked about all her life. Unfortunately, she finally went to a neurologist at her polydrugger’s request, and that moron started her on that accursed Aricept. I didn’t know until it was too late. I live two hours away…Neither doc had any idea how well she was doing since she started on Losartan. Her doc told the neuro ninny she had Alzheimer’s (which I think is false; this all began on a beta blocker right before the hospital ordeal). The idiot neurologist had no interest or expertise in geriatrics. So he writes a prescription for a toxic nocebo.

    Damned if the next time I visited, my mom wasn’t on the floor in her underwear, having spent the night there with some pillows and blankets. She wouldn’t let my dad help her up.

    All I could manage was to gently pull the blanket she was on towards the bathroom so she could put herself put back together. As I pulled, she cried out in terror, “NO! I’m going to fall! I’m falling!” and screamed a few times. Moving along the floor had invoked a hallucinatory experience of falling off a cliff or a building. It was horrifying to see my mother in such a state of terror, whether justifed at the moment or not. She was living whatever it was she was dreaming with her eyes wide open.

    I could go on, but you get the point. Gotta love those MDs, the stupidest and most lethal people in the country. (Not exaggerating.)

  • The CDC was pushing antidepressants during the hysterics of the so-called opioid epidemic. “Max out on safe alternatives like SSRIs” (before you prescribe drugs that actually work) was the message from Dr. Deb Houry. She’s an emergency medicine specialist with a career interest in domestic abuse who has no idea what she’s talking about.

    You’re right about withdrawal being potentially lethal for elderly people. I’m witnessing the horror of the ruinous effects of polypharmacy in both my parents right now. They were two of the smartest, healthiest people you’d ever want to meet, but they are now drugged to the gills, in their 80s, with pills to prevent heart attacks that neither is prone to. Statins, beta-blockers, and finasteride (to prevent cancer, except not) among others. They’ve both fallen so many times and had so many concussions as a result, in the last year r two, that they now need caregivers. I had no idea what a couple of walking drugstores their doctor had made them into until it was too late and their minds were fried. Then when the good doc responded to the opiod crisis by cutting the codeine he’d happily supplied for years to the addict he created, we had a nice case of withdrawal on top of it all. Somehow a statin was snuck in, after my dad discontinued in 2013, and my dad can barely talk or walk. He is enraged several times a day, and mostly stays in bed. He falls nearly every night, whereas he never fell before. I can’t get a sibling, my mom, or the doctor to give a damn, and my dad is too impaired to understand logic…Neither parent has their dignity intact. Thank you, brilliant FDA, for keeping us safe.

  • His work wasn’t finished. The death of his body when his mind was in fine form is a terrible loss for those who knew him. That goes without saying. It’s a misfortune for those who might have been spared much misery by whatever his future research and fearless criticism of dodgy individuals in his field would have accomplished. Dr. Wagner’s life just got easier, and that’s bad news for children and adolescents. For everyone.

  • It’s not about de-stigmatizing mania, psychosis, suicide attempts, mood swings, and antisocial personality disorder, is it? It’s about normalizing pill-popping so more people will try it, and so fewer people will give up on it. They encourage psych-drug users to wear their drug lists on their sleeves (“Medicated and Mighty!”), and make sure there is a shill or ten on every public discussion platform to empathize, suggest dosage tweaks, and share her own nightmarish “relapse” upon discontinuing her drugs. “That’s when I knew I REALLY needed Sytrexline! Those anti-meds people have no idea what they’re talking about!”

  • A company called TauRx has had some interesting results with a drug that untangles the Tau proteins that also characterize the brains of AlzD individuals. The study was roundly criticized because the finding occurred in an unplanned analysis, but it was a reasonable analysis that should have been planned. It is certainly worth doing again, properly. provided critical coverage, so critical that it quoted an amyloid-b proponent’s suggestion that it could have been a placebo effect…

    …reducing brain atrophy as a placebo effect?

    “In First Phase 3 Trial, the Tau Drug LMTM Did Not Work. Period.”

  • Yes, to-the-choir preaching, this one, almost comically so. But it was nice to see someone put the blasted 2nd Gen antipsychotics in their place. Abilify caused akathisia in 25% of subjects in the trials that led to its misguided approval by the FDA as an adjunct to an antidepressant when the antidepressant has damaged the brain so much that its effects can no longer take place in what is left. Basically, you stay on an AD long enough and you’ll need an AP. What does that imply?

    Why don’t they take the poor sucker off the antidepressant, then? Because they can’t. Ever seen a plank that’s been eaten by termites? They leave the outermost layer of the wood intact. Its looks fine, but if you poke it, you break right through the unsupported veneer and discover a bustling community of insects taking up the space. The wood is our brains and the termites are the drugs. They’ve done the harm and now they occupy the tunnels they created in the process. It’s best to leave things as they are.

    So what is Abilify? A gallon of shellac poured over the scene of the destruction, holding it together from the outside.

  • It happens here, too, in the less well-lit corners of every facility, sometimes, or always.

    It happens here, but not with such a horrendous concentration of harm, or out of public view for so long. But dark days may lie ahead, when there are more people in distress than can be cared for by those who are not in distress. (And if they’re not in distress, what’s wrong with them? What you said.)

  • I’m pasting in a post I found on an Alzheimer’s forum. It’s a reminder of what we are up against, and also suggests that our messaging can be misunderstood as alarmism and perceived as harmful by people who still believe in The Drugs.

    [start quoted material]
    Re: Aricept Results
    My Mom’s primary care prescribed Zoloft for her about 6 months ago. I was thrilled. She has needed help long before the dementia issues arose.

    Well, she didn’t start taking it for weeks but I could tell when she did. I asked and, sure enough, she’d been on it 3 weeks at the time. Then she began to sink back down and, sure enough, she’d stopped.

    She told me she heard one of those stories on the news about a teenager who killed his family because he was on Zoloft so she stopped it.

    Of course, I can’t even begin to explain to her. I did mention that the boy (I’d heard the story too) had been a problem for years and that he’d only been on the Zoloft for 2 weeks. [Which is exactly when to expect it. Note that he’d “been a problem for years” but had not killed his family until starting on Zoloft.]

    And that his defense attorney’s [sic] did that for a living, trying to find a reason other than personal
    responsibilities for doing something. [I’m starting to think this is a pharma shill…]

    Then I got off my soapbox and just let it go.

    I also asked her if she was dropping a hint that she’d been thinking about killing her family. And, if so, to start with one of my brothers. [Ha ha ha]

    She even got a giggle out of that. Sure wish she’d stayed on Zoloft.
    [end quoted material]

    (posted May, 2005 on

  • It’s brilliant of you to teach your children not to discuss mental or emotional issues at school. This isn’t quite that, but there’s a woman in Kansas facing life in prison (when last I checked) because her you son, at some “DARE”-like anti drug session, triggered an interrogation (without a parent present or even aware) by saying saying his mother “calls it cannabis.”

    Then…”The other students laughed, the teacher did not. He was removed from the classroom and questioned extensively about what he had said. Banda says that he was “made to feel very smart” so that he wouldn’t be afraid of talking to them, but that when they wouldn’t take him home he started to get worried. He was taken out of her custody and placed in a foster home in another town. Banda was furious.”

    Also, just avoid Kansas altogether. There are two cases where the children of people who live out of state were opportunistically harvested by government employees because their parents use marijuana legally at home. One uses it for epilepsy, which has got to be 1000 times better, side-effects-wise than all the epilepsy drugs. You might know how horrible they are if you have seizures, or if you fell under the bipolar bus and got put on a so-called “mood-stabilizer” that’s actually an epilepsy drug. Go to an epilepsy forum and weep for the people experiencing suicidal depression as a symptom of withdrawal while their brainwashed neurologists tell them it;s not possible and refer them to psychiatry… The other is a veteran rated 50% disabled and using marijuana legally for pain and “PTSD.” In any case, Kansas had or has their kids, and they were not even Kansas residents…

  • alternate #5.) Kids with psychiatrists, people with psychiatrists etc., sometimes get caught up in psychiatry. And once they’re labelled, the psychiatrists then use those labels against them. They can use them to demean them, to get away with their psychiatry by saying that the person is insane, to escape justice by means of using psychiatric terminology in legal documents etc; whereas, in fact, part of the distress that contributes to some of the problems the label describes is caused by such mistreatment of the individual. One just has to look at the multitudes of legal cases where this happens in various countries.

  • Indeed. The FDA does not approve of the use of antipsychotics on elderly persons with dementia and psychosis. That’s because of a doubling of the rate of death in such people when given antipsychotics in a group of very short studies like the Taiwanese one. It seems entirely arbitrary to limit the non-approval to individuals with dementia and psychosis. The key is the oldness, and the non-approval should be extended to all elderly persons (then to all of humanity).

    Something they’re probably too uninterested to have learned is that persons with Dementia with Lewy bodies are at greatly elevated risk for Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome if made to take an antipsychotic. As much as 35% of old age dementia is Lewy body dementia, but it’s not often diagnosed properly. It can be diagnosed relatively late, because memory impairment is not typically among the first symptoms to become apparent. Delusions and hallucinations often precede it, and those are not always disclosed by the person experiencing them.

    Haldol and other neuroleptics have killed countless elderly people, with and without dementia. There are too many stories of someone’s elderly parent being admitted to a nursing home for short term physical therapy or extended recovery from surgery, and leaving on a gurney, killed within days by idiot, improperly educated, callous and brainwashed employees. They really think Haldol is a great drug. Search for Haldol or haloperidol if you want an eye-opener. It will keep you from setting foot in a hospital or nursing home unless you have some way to keep the murderous control freaks’ drugs out of your body. Stating in writing that you must not be made to take an antipsychotic isn’t reliable. ( is another place to listen in on some water-cooler medical chatter.)

  • Dr. Frances knows as well as anyone what it means to be haunted for life. He’s trying to undo his damages and hoping to win a naive new audience by championing ideas that sound good and in fact are good.

    When the fog of psychiatric correctness clears, you still have a doctor who believes that some individuals’ personal ways of being are diseases to be eradicated. He’s not been clear on what the individuals are expected to do or be after their genuine selves have been rendered impotent and silenced.

  • That chief headshrinker is Jeffrey A Lieberman, a professor at Columbia and an MD. He calls himself a scientist despite holding no doctoral degree in any science. (Any one can call themselves a scientist, and there is a long tradition of excellent work from self-educated scientists. It becomes socio-pathological when you use the badge to conduct unethical studies on innocent children, offer your crazy insights to a gullible media misled by your MD, and wear a white lab coat in vlogs you make for mass consumption, as Lieberman has done (the former) and still does (the latter).)

    From his “ask me anything” text-chat session on

    “The only thing that I can say about scientologies [sic; he typed it] antipathy against psychiatry is that unlike the idealogical zealots like Robert Whitaker and patients who are unwilling to acknowledge their own illness and thus blame psychiatry.”




    Yet more. Lying in his mass-market book “Shrinks” about the outcome of the first test on an actual patient of the first “antipsychotic” in 1952: “WHY THERE’S AN ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT”


  • No, but an elderly relative was on a beta-blocker called Atenolol at a very high dose for someone in her 80s who weighs 110 lbs. It was accidentally under-dosed when she was in a hospital for nothing. (Or, to fill empty beds and empty hospital bank account.) A nurse at the hospital called her pharmacy to find out what pills she was taking, and somehow, recorded 50 mg/day when the real dose was 150 mg/day.

    She had been admitted “for observation” (of the hospital’s bottom line?) after going there for unnecessary sutures for a 1.5 cm laceration. It had had stopped bleeding before she was transported. (She had been involuntarily transported over her retired-surgeon husband’s objection by the for-profit company our city contracts for “paramedic” services, and how they got to the scene is a story in itself. It wasn’t her or her husband’s wish.) Interestingly, in the hospital records, the laceration became a 2 cm laceration between Day 1 and Day 3, despite not changing in actual length. Someone must have realized what a cluster-eff they’d inflicted on her and tried to create something like a justification for it.)

    Because she had “inexplicably” fallen, she was subject to every test or scan imaginable, ultrasound scan for blood clots, brain CT-scan, EKG, x-rays, all with negative findings. The fall was easily explained by the chronic overdose of Atenolol, which sloppy nursing or sloppy pharmacy communication disguised as a normal (though still potentially problematic) dose.

    I believe she got no Atenolol on the afternoon and evening of Day 1, but should have got 50mg at both times. She got none or 25 mg on the morning of Day 2. By 9:00 she was freaking out in a state of panic and terror and was tackled, jabbed with Haldol, and put in restraints.

    It was a year ago and she’s still a changed, damaged, ruined human being as a consequence. The idiot nurses and doctors had caused withdrawal and as usual, blamed aberrant behavior on the patient, imputing it to psychiatric causes or voluntary behavior when the cause was physical and was their fault.

    The upside is that she completely discontinued the drug afterwards, and hasn’t fallen once since then (12 months). Before that she was falling at least once every other month, luckily breaking some ribs and a vertebrae (i.e., her back) but not a hip, through all those collapses onto concrete and tiled floors. She’d been on Atenolol for at least 2 years. I found a flyer in her files, from AARP, which handles her Part D Medicare. It suggested switching to Atenolol because they were withdrawing coverage for a more expensive antihypertensive they were going to stop covering. (I forget which one it was).

    I had no idea there was a beta-blocker withdrawal syndrome, but Dr. Google has opened my eyes with comments like these on various medical forums, all regarding Atenolol:

    …went through enough terror with just that short time.

    …my life and my blood pressure have not been the same since.

    …great amounts of panic-anxiety

    …full fledge [sic] panic attacks

    …could not leave my house because of the bad anxiety and panic attacks

    …times when I thought I was going to die

    …felt like someone was continually injecting adreneline [sic]

    …horrible anxiety attacks and very bad fatigue.

    I’m glad you got off Coreg quickly. Was it real Coreg, or a generic? here are some horror stories about the generic…

    And if it was for hypertension, the prescription would be questionable in the first place.

  • I wondered if it was a typo, too. It says a great deal when Andrew Weill says he is surprised to hear what Dr. Wood has to say. I don’t know if it says a lot about him, or about the barrier between our testimony and the ears of those who could do the most good if they heard it.

    I haven’t been too impressed by Weill in the past. He issued a memorably biased rejection of the possibility that consuming coconut oil leads to weight loss.

    He cited a study of 20 women. Half used two tablespoons of coconut oil per day in their cooking, and half used two tablespoons of soybean oil. They all cut 200 calories per day and they all exercised 4 days a week. After three months, they’d all lost about two pounds. How weak an intervention could you design?

    Then he says “In other studies, dieters who used MCT-rich oil extracted from coconut lost more weight than those who used vegetable oil, but the losses reported were modest.” I’ll take “modest” if it comes from merely switching to coconut oil, or adding it. How many pounds is “modest,” anyway?

    If he’d wanted to tout coconut oil, he could have ignored the first stupid study and played up the second one. He doesn’t use citations in his articles, even when he discusses specific studies. I wrote him off. I hope Dr. Wood’s information will start him on a transformation.

  • Sorry for the late reply, especially because I’m disagreeing with and correcting some of the statements made in replies to my original comment.

    I didn’t recommend against tapering. I said it isn’t a panacea, and it unduly improves the image of antidepressants. The mainstream media has caught on, and now mentions tapering as if it addresses the problem of antidepressant withdrawal so completely that withdrawal is a non-issue. Now, anyone who has problems after they go off an antidepressant brought those problems on themselves by not tapering slowly enough.

    How slow is slow enough? Well, if you had problems, you’re told your taper wasn’t slow enough. The Theory of Tapering therefore cannot be falsified.

    It is true: There are studies that conclude there’s no difference between tapering and not tapering. (I know: their tapers weren’t slow enough.)

    I’ve been a member of long enough to have read countless stories of people suffering all through tapering. There are people who were doing fine until the last dose reduction, from minuscule to nothing. That last step isn’t a quantitative change like all the previous ones. It’s a state change, from one a drug to not on a drug, and it can bring on withdrawal symptoms in full force.

    The implication that I don’t know what I’m talking about is an attack-the-messenger strategy. I’ve gone off more psych drugs than most people have been on, and it wasn’t because there was anything wrong with me when I first took a dose of Effexor IR.

    Regarding smoking, some people might prefer tapering to quitting cold turkey, but that”s because, as I implied, tapering is the opposite of quitting. Using is the opposite of quitting. Cold turkey was the method used by the majority of former smokers because of the simple fact that you either smoke, or you don’t. Quitting isn’t a process. Quit is a status.

    Smoking and antidepressant use are apples and oranges, anyway. Smokers crave nicotine, and AD users do not crave ADs. Physical complaints and mood changes in withdrawal from nicotine are negligible in comparison to those complaints and changes in withdrawal from ADs.

    I don’t recommend tapering or cold turkey. I recommend thinking long and hard, doing a lot of reading, and questioning experts, users and former users before taking an antidepressant drug for any reason.

  • Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford neurobiologist, was last seen “working on a modified virus that could carry engineered ‘neuroprotective’ genes deep into the brain to neutralise the rogue [stress] hormones before they can cause damage. The virus is now shown to work on rats…”

    The modified virus is herpes. Volunteers?

    I thought his lunacy was worth mentioning because of a column he wrote right after the Germanwings antidepressant-induced atrocity. It ran in major newspapers across the country. The gist was: “get treatment because depression kills.” He mentioned “schizophrenics” along the way. His thoughts on those diagnosed with schizophrenia?

    “…the vast majority of schizophrenics are dangerous only insofar as they break the hearts of loved ones watching the tragedy of a wasted life.”

    The unfortunate thing is that Sapolsky is not just respected, he’s generally revered. For those uncertain about how to revere him, he provides the model by revering himself.

  • I’ll board this hijacked train.

    “Some evidence suggests that receipt of SV-40 contaminated polio vaccine may increase risk of cancer…”

    Good old SMR: “Suggests-May-Risk.” It means there’s a relationship, period.

    Any studies showing that it reduces the risk? Didn’t think so. I believe they would say so: “In fact, some evidence suggests that being shot up with monkey-AIDS-causing-virus actually may reduce your risk of cancer…”

    In the (presumed, but wrongly, perhaps) absence of studies revealing a negative relationship, findings would would necessarily average out to a positive relationship. The basic statistic calculated to determine a relationship between two measurements or yes/no outcomes is a number between -1 and +1. When more of X is associated with more of Y, it’s a number between 0 and +1. When more of X is associated with less of Y, it will be a number between -1 and 0. If all you have are findings of a positive relationship or of no relationship, the average will be above 0: a positive relationship. It cannot be 0.

    “…the majority of studies … have shown no *causal* relationship between receipt of SV40-contaminated polio vaccine and cancer.” [asterisk-emphasis added]

    But have the majority of studies found a relationship, despite no proof of causality? Sounds like a possibility. How would you prove causality other than in an experiment that cannot legally be conducted? So, another way of saying the above would be “the best evidence we have so far…” because correlational evidence is as good as it is going to get.

    If being injected with monkey-AIDS-causing-virus increases the odds you’ll get cancer, either the shot causes it, or something correlated with the shot causes it. (Getting cancer later can’t cause you to have got the shot earlier.) I’d like to hear some ideas on what was correlated with getting a polio vaccine in the US in 1960, other than being born.

    This isn’t about the wisdom of being vaccinated against polio; it’s about word use. Any government I fund is obligated to tell the truth clearly. Ours doesn’t.

  • I’m quite sure my doctor, a woman, believed I was neurotic when I asked her to look at a hard, attached mass I knew was cancer. Nope, not to her it wasn’t. I asked her how she knew it wasn’t cancer. “Because it isn’t” was her reply. Itch cream was prescribed. I went back a month later, with what was now a large-ish hard, attached mass. An ointment edged out the itch cream–more staying power. I finally went to a specialist (also a woman), who hadn’t even started the specialized part of the exam when she began saying words like “radiation” and “chemotherapy.” A CT-scan found that it had spread to my liver, and also spawned a secondary tumor, which proved to be highly inconvenient in the long run, because chemo didn’t finish it off and radiation seemed to feed it. One life-changing massive surgery later…(two, if you count the unnecessary one)…

  • I don’t think the author meant to belittle pseudobulbar affect. He meant to say that is’s another symptom of antidepressant damage that will not be attributed to antidepressants, as it should be. It will be a new diagnosis, and a reason to prescribe a new and no doubt expensive drug.

    Ten bucks says they’ll call it “mini-bipolar’ or if they really put their shrinking caps on, “Bipolar with Limited, Attenuated Mood Events” (BLAME)

  • The suicide comment assumes that people who feel badly enough to kill themselves feel worse than people enduring extra-pyramidal drug and withdrawal effects. If you haven’t talked to anyone in the latter group, and aren’t in it, it’s probably impossible to the guess the depth, breadth, and duration of the life-wrecking syndromes. There is such thing as suffering so badly you beg out loud to die, but not being willing to kill yourself. That should be recognized.

    Some people do kill themselves to escape extra-pyramidal side effects, and anyone who has endured them or is enduring them knows why.

    That the drugs induce suicide is not discussed here much mainly because no one who comments here has killed himself or herself, and there’s something of an ethic of sticking to topics you know something about.

    There are people here mourning those who have killed themselves, and the gravity and atrocity of doctors having instructed them to take pills known to doctors, researchers, drug companies, and governments to put their lives at risk is not lost on anyone, author or commenter.

  • What I’ve noticed and not been fond of are articles written by people who don’t know the subject matter well enough to avoid wording, lifted from what ever media article they’re re-writing, that hits the wrong note. It might be patient-blaming, pharmapologism, or diagnosis-validating, among others. They clearly mean well, but they clearly haven’t lived through it, or been around the loosely unorganized non-movement long enough to know in their bones that what they are (re-)writing comes from a pro-drug, pro-diagnosis, pro-psychiatrist stance.

  • “c) that side effects lead to medication non-adherence which has been linked to increased risk of relapse, re-hospitalization, and self-harm”

    Which means that drug effects lead to non-adherence.
    Which means that drug effects are linked to increased risk of relapse, re-hospitalization, and self-harm.

    I read some lead-headed reporting in the records of someone who was dropped from 150 Atenolol to 25 mg overnight, attributed to the patient’s pharmacy’s information including atenolol, 25mg/day, which is highly unlikely. More likely, the dingbat was told by the patient that she was on the drug, and assumed the dose was the lowest, given the age and frailty of the 108-pound patient. Dropping atenolol like that can cause extreme anxiety ad panic attacks. The lead-headed reporting was “Patient combative with staff. Patient wanted to get out of bed.” It’s pretty obvious that the correct telling is “Patient wanted to get out of bed. Staff combative with patient.” No mention was made of why said patient should have remained in bed if it were her wish to stand, given that the presenting complaint was a scalp laceration slightly over 1/2″ in length (.6″) that wasn’t bleeding, and that the thousands spent on scans and tests to figure out why the patient fell revealed nothing wrong with her health. The fall that caused the laceration is easily attributed to the crazy-high 150mg/day dosing of Atenolol. Had they been aware of her actual dosing, the patient might have been spared the iatrogenic hell of 6-point restraints while enduring Atenolol withdrawal. Nothing 5mg IM Haldol wouldn’t make worse, however, so naturally that was accomplished. Eff-word you, idiot, ignorant, sloppy nurses.

    That patient was not me, but I could pen a slim volume called “Surviving Registered Nurses,” or “Nurses try to kill me ALL. THE. TIME.” The advice at the end would be to avoid nurses at all costs, and to resort to 6-point restraints and IM neurotoxins only when they are a danger to themselves or others. I regret to say that’s at approximately all the time. Just go on to find out what a bunch of self-important humanity-haters that profession has become.

  • Another little-publicized and sometimes denied fact is that getting off some beta blockers can bring on crippling anxiety and even panic attacks. People use strong terms to describe what it’s like, with “hell” and “horrible” among the more popular.

    Naturally, it’s been established that beta blockers are not worthwhile in the treatment of hypertension, and there are strong suggestions that treating hypertension, which is a predictor of cardiovascular diseases in the way ldl is a predictor, is more lethal than not treating it. This study was probably a headache ofr drug makers. It was done in Japan and included people in 6 levels of hypertension. It wasn’t a matter of those with the highest levels of hypertension being the most likely to be treated, with the hypertension rather than the treatment explaining the relatively high rates of death due to heart attack, stroke, etc. Blood pressure was linearly related to death in the untreated group, as we’ve been told, but being treated for it at any level of hypertension increased the odds of dying from cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and stroke.

    Cardiovascular risk with and without antihypertensive drug treatment in the Japanese general population: participant-level meta-analysis.

    “The risks of cardiovascular mortality were ≈1.5-fold high in participants under antihypertensive medication.” (No beating around the bush.)

    “More attention should be paid to the residual cardiovascular risks in treated patients.” (“Residual” is a nice word.)

  • I’m starting to believe that our messaging has a leftie tone. We appear to want sympathy and except people to not only care, but do something about a cause that isn’t their own. We direct it too much at liberal audiences and law-makers, in whom we believe sympathy resides. What we forget is that everyone is afraid of mentally ill people, and that liberals might be more so than others. After all, they don’t have loaded rifles standing next to their beds to deal with “crazed” intruders or concealed-carry pistols at the ready should something go down at Walmart again. We figure conservatives are heartless and not inclined to help those less fortunate, so we don’t expect help from their side. But they have a particular hatred of Wasteful Government Spending (which the liberals see as Wonderful God-given Sinecures), and we can leverage that into action by making the correct points, focused not on misery, but on money.

    Framing the problem in terms of what is spent on drugs sold by foreign-headquartered drug companies, which is most of big pharma, and what little good it does Americans might get some attention and some anger of the kind that motivates. It would be helpful to describe cheaper alternatives and demonstrate that there would be fewer mass shootings if they were in place (which takes the heat off NRA). The savings must be estimated, but they’d be huge. Once there is a large number attached to a reasonable proposition, the proposition becomes attractive.

    We’d have to counter APA and self-appointed pro-drug, pro-force spokesmodels like Jeff Lieberman, E Fuller Torrey and Helen Farrell, but we have a few well-placed advocates in academic medicine who can decimate the spokesmodels’ vapid, palatable wisdoms with actual data.

    In sum, it’s all marketing, and we are doing it wrong.

  • We need a lobbyist, or several. We don’t agree on everything, but if we could agree on a set of points, perhaps those endorsed by the United Nations regarding forced treatment and additional ones based on an assembly of all the “black box” warnings the FDA has mandated, we could present a powerful statement to counter TAC, NAMI, PHRMA, and groups* that do little more than lobby Congress to make laws that force the rest of us to submit to harmful interventions again and again, too often losing our right to genuine health or our lives as the result.

  • I agree with the points made in the article, and with Oldhead’s comment. I like bcharris’s comment, and I think an android companion would probably be more helpful than a psychiatrist or drugs for many.

    I just want to pick a nit, something I’ve stopped myself from doing in noisier discussions where the point would be lost. It’s about this statement, which is made often when “mental health” and violence are discussed:

    “… individuals who are diagnosed with serious mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Further, they are rarely violent in the first place.”

    My nit-picking is pointing out that the odds of being violent versus experiencing violence have no bearing on whether those with “serious mental illness” diagnoses are, on average, more violent than those without such diagnoses. If I am not mistaken, the data on hand says they are. Presumably the use of psychiatric drugs and other drugs explain that.

    Making the comment about the higher risk of being attacked than attacking invites opponents to point out what I just pointed out, and in any case, the risk ratio is probably true of everyone, diagnosed or otherwise. Since so few people are killers (for example), and there are more people killed than there are killers (given that some killers kill multiple times), everyone is more likely to be killed than to be a killer.

    To mention that most mass shooters have been patients of psychiatry or mental health service providers and taking psychiatric drugs undermines the attempt to convince an audience that those with psychiatric diagnoses are no more violent than the general population, but it’s the stronger and more important point to get across, in my opinion.

  • I was happy to see the word “homeostasis” here. It’s been avoided by the charlatans who speak of chemical imbalance, because the drugs they use to “correct chemical imbalances” do not correct or restore any kind of balance. They do nothing, unless by chance, in favor of genuine homeostasis, which is a state that’s like the idling of a well-tuned engine running on clean, optimally potent fuel. With antidepressants, sub-processes go awry and interact with other tweaked subprocesses. The gears begin to grind here and there and subsystems, deprived of the usual inputs and channels for outputs, malfunction. Hearts beat at the wrong pace, nerves carry messages of pain when there’s been no stimulation, or nothing at all despite intense stimulation. The natural state of relaxation is prevented by signals of distress heeded by the limbs but unknown to the conscious mind, and the natural process of falling asleep is subverted by noisy parties in parts of the brain that normally twiddle their thumbs all night. Ingesting food is experienced by the stomach as insult and injury, so the stomach signals, with intense nausea, that food is no longer welcome. By its only ex post facto means of self-preservation, it sends food back up the esophagus and out the mouth, returning it to where it darned well came from. So the body is a rendered a mess.

    On antidepressants, and after they are stopped, one’s consciousness experiences emotions uncoupled from the experiences that normally trigger them. The altered individual is not aware their their operating system was deleted and that legacy code buried somewhere in the brainstem, adequate to the purposes of a monitor lizard, has reassembled itself and taken on the job of running a human being in a human milieu. Anxiety about social status becomes paranoia. Romantic love turns into disdain or hatred. Takers gain weight, lose empathy, and shop, drink and gamble their families and homes away. Maternal love turns into murder. Bland misanthropy wakes up one morning and suggests mass slaughter as the remedy for ongoing dissatisfaction with oneself and others. It makes sense (to a monitor lizard).

    “Antidepressant,” is a bit of a misnomer. The drugs are more like molecular monkey wrenches. If only it were as easy to stop taking them as it is to start taking them.

  • You can do it, but be aware that the account would eventually get deleted because Facebook only tolerates individuals using their real names. They have eventually busted all my fake accounts. In the case of a shared account, they might have ways of detecting that logins are occurring from all over the country or world, and simultaneously. If everyone used a good VPN* service, and pretended to be from the same city, that would help. If you make an official “Page,” many people can administer it, but I don’t know that Pages can comment on off-site content.

    *VPNs are Virtual Private Networks. You login into their application before you commence using the web. They assign you an IP address from anywhere in the world you chose (among their offerings), so that your real IP address is not revealed when you view web pages. (Normally it is logged by the computer that is hosting the pages.) Your real IP address lets people pinpoint you to a city block, or to your home if your internet service provider is consulted. It’s like a calling card that you leave by accident. Or like you stepped in something and now you’re leaving tracks all over the internet.

    Some people use a VPN to seem to be from a country that is allowed to access certain material on the web, if they live in a country that isn’t allowed to. Others use it for lightweight anonymity, because lot of bloggers keep track of the IP address that visit their blogs. If you’re stalking the enemy and don’t want to be recognized by your IP address every time you enter their turf, a good VPN is probably a good enough defense against being recognized, if you change up your fake location often. I doubt anything is NSA-proof, though.

    Good VPNs don’t keep any user activity logs, unless they have to by law, in which case they’re not all that good for people who do bad things on the net. Good VPNs don’t leak your real IP address. Bad ones do both.

    Leak what? Search for: lifehacker leaking ip address VPN.
    A lifehacker article on the topic of leaks will be the first result.

    Some VPN services are free, but always test for leaks and check their logging practices.

    I just searched for: best vpn
    The first site listed by Google gave high ratings to some good VPNs.

  • Far too many. And the MDs just eat it up, because then they can whip out the “mood stabilizers” and “antipsychotics,” and that means they have a patient for life. Like a spider wrapping another envenomated fly in spider silk and stashing him somewhere in her web, they accumulate wealth, one victim at a time.

  • I read Dr. Gold’s article too. I liked it about as well as Dr. Hickey did. There’s one in a similar vein by a delusional-seeming Dr. Helen Farrell. If you care to read it, do not miss Dr. Pies’ contributions to the comments section.

    I met J in the Emergency Department. Dark red blood [there’s another kind?] was oozing out of self-inflicted deep lacerations to her forearms. [If they were deep, blood would do more than ooze.] The surgical team was consulted and the cuts were debrided, cleaned, stitched and neatly bandaged. [Is this the Martha Stewart take on locked wards?] J was patched up. [No she wasn’t. She was stitched up.] But she was not healed. Her wounds ran deeper than a surgeon’s instruments could access. [What do you mean? They were in her ulnas?]

    “Locked up?!” These are typical words expressed by patients who learn that they are going to be admitted involuntarily to the psychiatric unit. [No, it’s what they say when they learn they are not going to be allowed to leave.] When J heard this news, her own tear-stained face scrunched up in an expression of horror. After several minutes of pleading, she finally resigned herself to the plan. [I bet that’s therapeutic, being terrified until your will is broken. Sign me up!]

    A nurse came into the room and took J’s phone. [That would be a theif, not a nurse, in common parlance.] She took her sweater, her belt and the laces from her shoes. [Now the nurse is a sexual offender, too.] J stripped down into a standard hospital gown. [We like that opening in the back, even though we don’t do surgeries in this ward.] It is common for patients to make one last plea and many have told me that they fear the psychiatric unit is analogous to prison. [Because it is. And you have a sick way of writing about terrified people’s behavior. If you didn’t enjoy it, you would do something else for a living. You like the tear-stained faces of young woman, and their pleas. Admit it.]

    J is representative of the many patients whom I treat on a day-to-day basis. She is a composite of those actual people who suffer from serious mental illnesses ranging from psychotic and mood disorders to personality disorders that require hospital level care. [You’re a composite of Stalin, Mao, Jack the Ripper, and Betty Boop.]

    Not Your Mother’s Psych Ward [Leave my mother out of this, Ding-Dong, unless you want to go a few rounds in the parking lot.]
    The days of psychiatrists wantonly locking up patients like J against their will are long gone. They have been replaced by a legal process called civil commitment that firmly puts patients’ rights first [even as it locks patients up against their will, or at the whim of a judge who knows nothing but what psychiatrists tell him]. Yes, J was being admitted against her will, but she would retain her power to make treatment decisions, summons legal counsel, and even have a hearing with a judge [unless she lacked insight or was declared non compo mentis. Because if her idea of treatment was telling you you’re a deranged creep and demanding that you stay at least 30 feet from her at all times, I don’t think she’d receive it. I think she’d lose every one of those powers you listed, just for requesting something that most people would find at least a little bit funny, not a sign of “mental illness.”] These safeguards apply to patients like J who are mentally ill and at risk of harm to themselves or others as a direct result of mental illness. [Did I miss something? Cutting her arms doesn’t mean J is “mentally ill.” It probably means something awful’s going on in her life that she either can’t escape or can’t articulate, to herself or anyone else. One thing she does not do is lock people up and drug them. That, my friend, is “mentally ill” even by your standards, if you’d stop and think about it. Except I’d just call it sadistic.]

  • Truly. Imagine if there were no psychiatry. Someone might invent it for a dystopic futurist novel in which one small set of people is allowed to declare deficiencies of mind in the rest of the population, deficiencies for which there is no proof, only the opinions of the special caste. Further, they can break up families, extract people, including children, from their homes and lock them up, and may inject chemicals that make their captives’ brains malfunction, and their bodies, too. Nearly everyone ever seized by the Caste bears the marks in one way or another for the rest of their lives. No one dares to oppose them for fear of being labeled deficient and seized. And thus the population is controlled.

    Except that’s not a novel, that’s now.

  • The very terrible thing is that the people who repeatedly insisted that Dan accept an idiotic, invented diagnosis won’t be charged with emotional abuse and harassment. This story moved me to tears, because Judy is so intelligent, yet she was fed a bill of goods and mostly accepted it, probably because the sales people seemed intelligent and serious. We’re not meant to know that “healthcare” professionals are sales people, selling a service that does no good. If we recognized them as salespeople, we could overlook their intelligence and see them the way we see door-to-door swindlers and carnival hawkers, many of whom are quite bright, selling ineffective potions, over-hyped gadgets, and magic spells. We could thanks, but no thanks, and close the door, walk away.

  • Me too. And notice that all of the illustrative examples were the hard cases, living outdoors in the northeast. That’s the thing about Rosenbaum. She paints pictures for those who are willing to forget that there’s a world outside her words. She’s quite the menace in that her fantasies are published by an august journal where they reinforce the worst instincts of the worst doctors, and it all goes on where the general public would never think it possible.

    I assume you read “Re-connecting the dots.” If not, you must. But have someone you can rant to handy!

  • Well, I really meant the actual human beings, the Pelosi, Feinstein, H Clinton, Obama types, whatever they are called. I don’t think anything regarded as socialist has been anything like anarchy in recent centuries. Don’t forget the Bolsheviks. That’s a flavor of socialism that was nowhere near anarchy. Something closer to anarchy, in recent history, was the very people they were bent on killing, the Cossacks. Rumor has it that they didn’t have centralized government, and to the extent they were organized, it was for military might, not control of production. What they had was enough land per capita, and a suitable climate to be self-sustaining as individuals and as a culture. What they lacked was outside support, which mattered, because their productivity on the land was too desirable to be left alone. They thought they could do their thing indefinitely, but by the mid 1850s, globalism was crowning, and their way was anachronistic. It was crazy, actually. When they ran out of bullets, they were done.

    Isn’t that was crazy is? Doing your own thing, or wanting to, in a context where someone else with an unlimited supply of bullets wants you to do their thing? When you read about the goals of those who would “treat” what they call “schizophrenia,” it always boils down to “independent living.” Well, being homeless *is* independent living (while lacking outside support). Independence is not the goal of mental-healthing. The real goal, which isn’t really a secret, is that everyone be a “productive” member of the collective, er, society.

  • I see. Thank you for explaining. What you said about the Left/Liberal participation in the “mental health” enterprise is quite true. Their governing philosophy is “tyranny with benefits,” which appeals to those who like tyranny, whether they want the benefits or not, and those who accept tyranny because they want the benefits. As tyrants, Left/Liberal legislators and their cronies find it convenient and lucrative to imprison troublemakers, which is why the USA has the largest percent of its population in prisons (many of which are run by for-profit private concerns, with publicly-traded shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange), and the highest rate of individuals incapacitated by a for-profit mental health system (encompassing “medical” “care” and drug sales) on earth. The imprisoning and mental-healthing of difficult people also enriches attorneys (who are mostly Left/Liberal, and worthless in assisting us in the fight against the mental health enterprise*) and the public purse.


  • I’d love to see a “bucket” for the research on post-psychotropic drugs problems, which are common, often severe, and just as valid as any other medical problem. They have symptoms that make them seem like disorders of the psyche, but they are caused by chemical injuries to the nervous system and heaven knows what else (hormones seem to be affected, too)

    The ICD diagnostic system includes a code for “post-psychiatric illness personality disorder,” or something similar. It’s regarded as psychological. It sounds like post-psychotropic brain damage to me.

  • It is paternalistic rubbish.
    “Although these medications are “clearly effective,” and many patients who are unable to take one drug fare better on another, we do need better drugs.”
    –Guess who she quoted for “clearly effective?” Jeffrey Lieberman. Why did she put the term in quotes? Because she knows it isn’t true. The sentence is a typical jumble of ideas. If the drugs are clearly effective, why do we need better ones? And who is “we”? Doesn’t she mean “they,” the people who receive the prescriptions? If many who can’t take a drug fare better on another drug, what about those who do not?

    “Such good and compassionate care is possible, but only if we […] are willing to accept, not deny, their differences.”
    –She’s saying that political correctness gets in the way of good “care.” She doesn’t understand that if there were good care, nothing would get in its way.

    “Why should schizophrenic delusions be left alone when we’d consider such an omission to be negligence in someone with psychosis from toxic metabolic encephalopathy?”
    –A classic Rosenbaum illogic. Answer: Because they are not caused by toxic metabolic encephalopathy.

    How’s this for a reference?
    “What is anosognosia? — backgrounder”
    Treatment Advocacy Center, June 2016.

    Despite the recent date, the link is dead:

  • I pointed out this 3-article series to the news editor a few days ago, which might be why it’s here. I did not point it out because I endorse it or thought MIA would. It’s of interest because it’s by the cardiologist who wrote a manipulative, illogical series for NEJM last year, saying conflicts of interest really aren’t anything to worry about. She was the darling of the Ivy League careerist MDs on Twitter for a few weeks; the fawning was close to obscene. Then critics started in, and opposition and opprobrium were delivered by the bushel.

    I found the piece lacking in impact and insight. Sort of a nothing. No firestorm of criticism on Twitter yet, which is probably a disappointment to the author.

    Matt S. picks it apart below.

  • I share your distaste for the word “medications.” Why not “medicines,” I wonder, not that that term is palatable either. And the most reprehensible useage is the ubiquitous “her meds,” “your meds,” etc. The last psychiatrist I wasted any time with (not realizing I suffered from dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome) told me I had to take “my meds.” (Topamax was making me into a stupid person who cried a lot, and I thought that was a bad direction for me.) I told him they weren’t my meds, they were his drugs. That was it. I left him to contemplate his 3-d model of synapses and serotonin being messed up by Prozac.

  • I have no wish to debunk your comment. I was glad to read it. Every time I encountered a statement about “dopaminergic pathways” and psychotic symptoms, I had a small sense that that was wrong, but discarded the thought. You seem to be saying unbalanced or excess dopamine can’t produce hallucinations because dopamine isn’t a hallucinogen. That’s more of a revelation than it should be!

    Is experiencing hallucinations anything like being asleep and dreaming? If so, it would not require big fancy explanations for why some people hallucinate and others do not. The only thing to explain would be why some do it only while asleep.

  • I have no trouble believing that there is bias in the science. This article was biased, too, though.

    There are too many conclusory statements for this to be convincing. A conclusory statement ‘… is a statement made in an argument that states a conclusion, without any foundation, underlying logic, or reasoning.” So, something like this…

    “Donna Maney is an expert in neurobiology at Emory University.”

    Says who?

    “Earlier this year, she published an article stating that “the communication and public discussion of new findings [in the neuroscience of gender] is particularly vulnerable to logical leaps and pseudoscience.”

    That’s nice, but it’s just what someone said. Examples of studies that relied on logical leaps and pseudoscience, and the mechanisms and effects of bias, are needed.

  • In real life, he won. If he had “lost,” therefore, it would have been because it was rigged. He might have had a gut feeling, which I had, that the massive rallies supporting his candidacy, compared to the limp hand-clapping for Clinton’s, meant he’d win the election, polls notwithstanding. And as the Podesta emails revealed, there was some undue influence via the media’s coziness with Clinton that made his battle much harder. That’s not exactly rigging, but it’s dirty. That he won despite the way he was depicted day after day after day in major outlets is quite remarkable.

  • If you don’t know what Jeffrey St Clair meant about destroying Libya, here’s a hard-left writer’s chilling summary of Clinton’s role and just how misguided it was. For those who don’t know, Libya was once a country. It is now hell.

    You can cite Trump’s anti-Muslim-immigration remarks as Islamophobic, but people hold them up against Clinton’s murderous deeds, and their result.

  • JEFFREY LIEBERMAN is a big pal of Tim Murphy’s, and also of a Kennedy cousin who believes he is being successfully treated for bipolar disorder. I’d wager that Lieberman fed Tim Murphy that absolutely untrue stuff about Holmes, Rodgers, and a few other mass killers being “untreated” mentally ill. Lieberman has testified before Congress on mental health. The Marshall Project, a worthy, human-rightsy publication co-created by former NYTimes editor Bill Keller, gave Lieberman a voice during the James Holmes / Batman/Aurora trial. Lieberman asserted that Holmes was not insane, and shortly thereafter, a few jurors were sent packing because they’d been exposed to media coverage. In reality, how many jurors were exposed but not caught? How many would have seen Lieberman’s unethical and absurd assessment of Holmes’s mental health (Not psychotic, just “troubled”), based on a scribbled “diary?” But Bill Keller was all for it, because Lieberman is a professor of psychiatry at an Ivy League university, I guess. Lieberman is the one to watch.

    His record on human rights is appalling. This blog post contains to infamous (or should be) letters he wrote to or about public figures, showing his craven tendencies. Both letters received replies that put him in his place.

    Destroying Lieberman’s false credibility would help a lot. Not that Mr. Whitaker hasn’t done it ably; but a wider awareness is needed.

    In case you’re interested, Lieberman’s unseemly showing in the Holme’s case, among other problems with the trial and various doctors, is covered here:

  • This is a comment on the wording of the donation box:

    “Enjoyed what you just read? Consider a donation to help us continue to produce content, provide up-to-date research news, offer continuing education courses, and continue building a community for exploring alternatives to the current paradigm of mental health. All donations are tax deductible.”

    No, i really did not enjoy it. Some similar but not as bad just happened to my mother in a modern, high-profile hospital and she has the mind of a child now. My mother is alive, but gone. I don’t read this site for enjoyment.

  • Your description so much like being admitted to a prison that it boggles the mind. Only a cold-blooded sociopath–no scratch that–only a really stupid sadist…oh, never mind. I was trying to think of the kind of doctor who would believe that that kind of treatment is good for anyone. I don’t think they do think that. It’s good for them if patients keep coming in and public and private insurance companies keep transferring funds. A racket, in other words.

  • Jim Coyne wrote a nasty paper about David Healy. Underlying his beef with David is his inability to believe that antidepressants are dangerous. If he knew what David knows, I’d join forces. Did you see him take up the cause of the ME/CFS patients vs Simon Wessely this year?

    In this anti-Healy rant, he calls out the result — that 2/10 became suicidal on an antidepressant. He was incredulous. His comment was something like “How is that we wouldn’t know about this, if it’s true?” LOL LOL ROTFLOL.

    Most of us don’t have the media’s ear, most of us don’t want publicity, scant few doctors will listen, and pharma is in the business of not listening. Those doctors who do listen are pilloried (even by you, Jim!)

    There are those of us who want to talk about this, far and wide. But we don’t get very far on our world tours. (No one believes us, Jim. And you’re not helping.)

  • To perpetuate an argument that came up after one of Sera Davidson’s posts, I’ll noted that McCain and Jolly are Republicans, as is Charles Grassley, who led the investigation that dislodged pharMercenaries A. Schatzburg (ceased leading an NIH-funded research project at Stanford U.) and C. Nemeroff (left his job as chair of the psychiatry department at Emory U.) from lofty perches. Is this going to become a partisan issue with the smarty-pants Dems on the wrong side of science?

    All three are senators, which puts them in a position to vote against HR2646 and the similar senate bill when they’re up for a vote in the senate. If you write to them, point out a few things that are bad about the bills, and ask them to lobby their pals in the senate to vote against it/them.

    I think it’s important to point out that Tim Murphy, sponsor of HR2646, used falsehoods about Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Aaron Alexis, and Elliot Rodger in promoting the bill.(1) He said they were all cases of untreated mentally ill individuals. They had all been subject to psychiatry or psychiatric drugs. Connecticut won’t spill the beans on Lanza’s drugs,(2) but Holmes’s was Zoloft, Alexis’s was Trazodone, and Elliot’s was a benzodiazepine.

    (1) In Murphy’s words:
    “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.”

    (2) Connecticut’s assistant attorney general’s incoherent, revealing excuse for denying Able Child access to Lanza’s medical history:
    “No matter how the outcome of the use of antidepressants, or the causal link between the use of antidepressants and the kind of violence that took place in Newton – that’s not a legitimate use [of Adam Lanza’s psychiatric drug use history]. Even if you can conclusively establish that Adam Lanza, that his murderous actions were caused by antidepressants, you can’t from that logically conclude that others would commit the same actions as the result of taking of antidepressants. Not only is the use to which you wish to put the information illegitimate, it is harmful because then you can cause of lot of people to stop taking their medications and cooperating with their testing physicians.”

  • The points made are all good ones, particularly the one about prisons, in which iatrogenic violence perpetrated by drugged prisoners is considered a disorder and the newly violent, drugged prisoners are “treated” with more drugs.

    In the words of Dr. Lucire:

    “How is it possible when presented with overwhelming evidence, even the evidence of our own eyes, that we can deliberately ignore something – while being entirely aware that this is what we are doing?”

    I don’t know, but when can we start charging drugmakers who fake their drug trial data with crimes? Civil suits are impossible to pursue, for most Americans.

    [There are problems with some uses of the word “iatrogenic” in the article. All effects of medication are, by definition, iatrogenic. Iatrogenic means “originating in therapy” (of any kind). A sentence that begins “another area where the iatrogenic effects of medication are seen…” means “another area where the medication-caused effects of medication are seen…”]

  • SSRI sexual dysfunction in the form of erectile dysfunction, numbing, and anorgasmia is a real physical effect of antidepressants, and for some people, it has yet to go away. It isn’t a nocebo effect or mass hysteria. If it were a fabrication of the mind, something that is easier to talk about would have been chosen.

    ”More than two-thirds (68%) first experienced sexual problems as a symptom of their depression, and 17% first experienced sexual problems only after starting antidepressants.”

    That’s the worn-out ‘blame-the-patient’ attitude, ‘pre-existiing condition’ version. There are sex problems in people who aren’t on drugs, which SSRIs apparently don’t correct, but there are distinct problems that people on antidepressants experience.

  • I don’t regard people who say they are helped by antidepressants as mere beneficiaries of a placebo effect. They feel different, at least at first. The depression scales in most drug trials don’t capture it.
    They care less about things that used to upset them. They’re forgetful, in a good way: they can’t ruminate if they can’t easily call the past to mind.

  • You nailed it, madmom. I just saw it yesterday, when someone sent me an article by his widow. He was in Mirapex, was taken off, and put on Sinamet. Mirapex is a dopamine agonist, Sinament is levodopa. Going off Mirapex is the #1 route to Dopamine Agonist Withdrawl Syndrome, and I am here to tell you it is about as bad as being conscious can get, out side the obvious physical things and the obvious terrible life events.

    The syndrome (DAWS) was named in 2013, and it typically visits those who go off Mirapex because of its “impulse control disorder” side effect. That is, they have gambled away their life savings, shopped it away, or had sex with anything that moved. It’s almost a perfect predictor, apparently, that DAWS lies ahead. ANd they say they have no treatment for DAWS. Someone who commented on RxISK said Wellbutrin was helping, and another guy keot saying Oxycodone…That might sound too risky, but I don’t think anyone who has DAWS would fear the risk of opioid addiction if there was a way out of DAWS. I don’t think the MDs have tried stimulants, but they should. I am not pro-psych-drug, but DAWS is not a psychiatric disorder. It’s physical and it kills. No one should ever have endure it for more than half a day, and that’s only if they are a magnificient jerk.

    I can’t find a media report that figured this out. But a bunch of doctors would have known it right away.

  • This should resonate with liberals especially: Tell your senators that the Scandinavians and other European countries (other than Great Britain) are decades ahead of us, and that both bills are being pushed on naïve congresspeople by a small group of backwards-looking anti-humanist psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists, who do not represent current progressive thinking.

    Tell them how Jeff Lieberman, former APA president, who testified in support of at least one of these bills, tried to convince the UN to change its proposed definition of inhumane treatment of the disabled, because it encompassed what American psychiatrists do to mental hospital inmates every day.

    He also tried to get the NYPD to resume the use of the demeaning and sometimes lethal “hog-tie” after the first black NYPD Commissioner banned it. Lieberman’s letter to the New York Times even included a race-based jab at the Commissioner.

    Make it personal, and it might resonate. Tell them about Lieberman’s cruel studies, which Robert Whitaker publicized in his award-winning Boston Globe series. (Check the details, please!) Giving Ritalin (speed) to first-episode psychosis in-patients, one of whom was fourteen, just to see how much worse it would make them? How much more miserable and terrified, in other words.

    That’s who thinks Tim Murphy’s bill is a great piece of legislation.

    Tell them that imprisoning people who are very distressed, searching their persons, taking away their belongs, and forcing risky, outdated drugs like Haldol into them is no way to end violence. It IS violence, and it is a national shame. Drugs are not more humane than physical restraints: they are equally odious; they just happen to be invisible. They fix nothing. They cure nothing. They can only suppress behavior and they do it at tremendous cost.

    Tell them: the FEDERAL GOV SPENDS $130B ON “MENTAL HEALTH” EVERY YEAR, AND SUICIDE IS UP 25% SINCE 1999! Don’t use all caps, though.

    Here is a meme of Senator Murphy puzzling over that fact.

    NIMH alone has an annual budget of $1.5 billion. I’s 13-year director, Tom Insel, finally quit, admitting that nothing had been accomplished. He blamed the lack of advanced technology. Oh PLEASE. Ask them to name ONE breakthrough in psychiatry that has occurred in their life time. One biomarker, just one, that proves a certain person has a “mental disorder” as opposed to just being terribly upset, for far too long, over terribly messed up circumstances, quite often a nasty home life they can’t escape for financial reasons.

    You can see for yourself how mangled the NIMH is when you search the site using a google trip. Paste this into a browser instead of going to
    to search, paste this in:

    site: self-esteem
    site: obesity
    site: HIV
    site: cruelty

    Here are how many hits you will get, in order:
    36 for self-esteem
    109 for obesity
    1690 for HIV (there are all of 30,000 new infections per year)
    0 for cruelty

    That’s right folks. I write my own jokes. That’s not a joke, though. That’s as exhaustive a search as you can do of a site’s publicly accessible pages, and it proves that NIMH has no concern whatsoever for those harmed by cruelty, and no interest in learning how to prevent it.

    Psychiatry will get nowhere if those bills pass, no matter how they are combined. I hope some of my thoughts give readers some ideas about what to say to their senators. You can do it. Go to to get their contact information. Real letters are better than email, but don’t let lack of a stamp stop you. Email today, and send the letter tomorrow. (Or call.)

  • I wish I had block-quoted the GSK info. On my display it looks like I am instructing Ally to “Call your healthcare provider right away”, just before the “Read….” link. It’s actually part of what I quoted from the warnings that come with Paxil, or did in a 2014 document.

  • Tree/house analogy is brilliant. I agree that with the benzos a) there is an immediate effect and b) you don’t have to get addicted. However it is darned easy. I don’t think they are safe for daily use. By the time you rack up what–6 days? 10? Definitely 30–you could feel the need to call 911 if you miss a dose. I sure did. But you didn’t say anything about daily use. Adderall (“amphetamine salts”also works right away, and though potentially addicting and able to cause psychosis, with low doses and limited use, is also an antidepressant that is far less destructive than antidepressants. The withdrawal syndrome is nothing compares to SSRI withdrawal, unless the Adderall user was in full-blown psychosis like Scott Stapp, the rockstar who flipped out on the stuff a few years ago,

    But such ideas are out of vogue, partly because benzos and speed have been accomplices in the ruin of people’s lives, but mainly because the doctrine of SSRI has destroyed so many other lives that to admit it is wholly wrong would be calamitous for those who have preached it for many decades.

    There’s still plausible deniability wrt to SSRIs and addictions. With benzos and speed, there are salient warnings about addiction potential. Not so with antidepressants. Regulators and profiteers rely on fuzzy definitions of addiction and dependency and find reason to avoid using the terms with antidepressants.

    To whit: A stable feature of antidepressant addiction is lack of cravings. Drug-seeking might take place, but only if the sufferer has decided they can’t stand the sensations and emotions of withdrawal and post-withdrawal ill-health and decides that hair of the dog is their only hope. I can imagine a desperate scramble by someone who feels so terrible that they can hardly bear another minute of it. It’s not done to get high; it’s done to prevent suicide.

    Yet cravings and drug-seeking are central to most concepts of addiction, so there’s the wiggle-room needed. If SSRI withdrawal and post-withdrawal features neither, few “experts” would deem them addictive. Experts suck in this case.

    Imagine the reparations due to the harmed users if drugmakers or prescribers ever have to pay? Gloriously large sums of money.

  • Are they your blogs? Do you know who created them?

    The links are to personal blogs created by someone who seems to be angry at Dr. Shipko. Maybe they were harmed by his advice or feel slighted by him. Do you know why they were created?

    Many of the links don’t work. One of them goes to a page on that requires special access privileges. Unless that’s a recent protection, it implies that whoever made the blogs is among those allowed to access the page, which is:

    There’s a professor James Hooper from UA (University of Alabama) who was arrested on drug trafficking charges this summer. Is this something to do with him? I guess his arrest might be the reason the page can’t be viewed at present. Maybe it was freely viewable by all when the anti-Shipko blogger linked to it.

    The blogs contain no information that indicates there is anything wrong with Dr. Shipko’s credentials or competence. There are links to two criminal cases in which Dr. Shipko apparently testified as an expert on the effects of certain psychotropic drugs. He correctly testified that psychosis and extreme, unprecedented violence can occur when people take these drugs, change the dose, or discontinue the drugs. There are warnings about violence that accompany SSRI antidepressants, so he is not exactly on the fringes with such testimony, though he might have been ahead of his time, given the age of the cases.

    In one case (Shellhouse) he stated that a he was not an expert in forensic psychiatry. The defense hired him anyway; that is a failing of the defense, not Dr. Shipko. Dr. Shipko is an expert on the effects of SSRIs, however, so discrediting his testimony simply because he has no background in forensics was a semantic play, not a valid one. The pills don’t care if you’re arrested or not.

    Contrary to what the blogs imply, SSRIs are known by the FDA to cause violence. This is from GSK’s medication guide for Paxil:

    Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms,
    or call 911 if an emergency, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
    • attempts to commit suicide [which is a violent act]
    • acting on dangerous impulses
    • acting aggressive or violent
    • thoughts about suicide or dying
    • new or worse depression
    • new or worse anxiety or panic attacks
    • feeling agitated, restless, angry, or irritable
    • trouble sleeping
    • an increase in activity or talking more than what is normal for you
    • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
    (I added the emphasis on four items.)

    See the document here:

    Ally, do you share the blog-creator’s ill-will toward Dr Shipko? Do you have some experience with him that you think people should know about? It would be better to come out with it than to link to those blog posts. They don’t accomplish the harm to Shipko’s reputation that they apparently aim for.

  • This is egregious. If they would just take the hepatotoxic acetaminophen out of the opioids they wouldn’t be so lethal.

    The director of injury prevention is unqualified for the job and it looks like working at CDC is going to be the end of her:
    She said in an interview that doctors should “Max out” with “safe” SSRIs before resorting to opioids. Clearly she has done no serious investigation.

    “We absolutely want to treat your pain, but we want to do it safely.”

    We absolutely want you to stay out of our doctor’s prescription pads when you don’t know enough about drugs to say which ones are safe.

    The epidemic is antipsychotics, with more money spent on Abilify than on any other drug in some recent years, and 11% of the population taking an antidepressant. Not to mention stimulants, which 10% of high school boys are prescribed.

  • And yet, today on Twitter, pill proponents are up in arms because of a BBC show about a doctor who took all the patients in his practice off prescription drugs. There are cries of “pill-shaming” and “stigma,” which are efforts to turn this into a moral issue.

    That’s not right at all. I don’t know if they really believe those who speak out against psych drugs are shamers and stigmatisers, but there is no evidence to support such accusations. In the time I have been reading so-called anti-psychiatry sites and forums, I have never once seen anyone advocate drug-free depression therapies because they believe using mood drugs is immoral. Prescribing them is immoral, but that’s the doctors. The morality of patients is not something we question or disparage. We are concerned for their mental and physical health and comfort. We are former pill-takers, therapists, psychologists, and medical doctors and our only cause is the cause of health.

    We have seen it first hand, or lived it: the drugs are too harmful to be worth the debatable benefits they confer.

    PS. All four preceding comments were excellent.

  • Er, not every study. Pfizer didn’t fund the epidemiologist’s study, which is here:

    Two years before, this came of out UCSD’s shillboy, Robert Anthenelli. And it had smokers who smoked as few as ten cigarettes per day. That’s like studying alcoholics who drink 3 beers per day.
    Anthenelli is a scientific advisor to Pfizer, Inc., manufacturer of Varenicline. He receives no personal income and his services have been contracted by The Regents to Pfizer. As a result of this contractual arrangement, Anthenelli receives funding to support research and other University activities.

  • This is simply incredible! I follow Chantix closely and am astounded at the degree of Pfizer involvement in every study. A telling study was done by an epidemiologist at UCSD, normally a bastion of corruption, greed, and hubris. He found that since the introduction of Chantix, quit rates have

    Based on responses from more than 39,000 smokers, overall use of pharmacotherapy increased from 28.7 percent of smokers trying to quit in 2003 to 31.1 percent in 2010-11, representing a 2.4 percent increase.

    This slight increase in the use of cessation aides, however, did not translate into more smokers breaking the habit. In 2003, approximately 4.5 percent of smokers reported successfully quitting for at least a year, compared with 4.7 percent in 2010-11.

    That’s a 1% increase on a paltry percentage. Still paltry. And what have individuals, health insurers, and medicare/caid shelled out for this result?

    Not to mention the horrible and sometimes permanent changes to one’s mental state.

    I took it for a while about a year after undiagnosed akathisia had driven me to smoke. I would have snorted Ajax if I thought it would help. I became dependent right away. On Chantix, the obvious need to kill myself asap would swoop down from the heavens and perch in my brain. It was a TERRIBLE visitation, delivering an expansive sense of hopelessness and eternal loss with the certainty of a right hook to the head. My IdiotDoctor® hadn’t told me of any side effects, but something inspired me to look at the insert. I didn’t talk to my doctor for months after that. I did begin to see the value of looking at the inserts.

  • “terror-like, irrational anxiety that I could never have previously imagined possible and simply cannot be expressed in words. ”

    I went through that for a very long time, almost two years. Like Mr. Cope, I had been diagnosed with ADHD. I was prescribed Ritalin. It made me intensely nervous and jittery, so my doctor wrote a prescription for Adderall. To be taken along with Ritalin. I guess when you’re on Ritalin, everything seems like a good idea, because I complied. There being no improvement, he added Prozac. I don’t remember much after that but my Facebook account does. (All set to private now, which took many hours.) I did realize I had gone crazy and had a sense that it wasn’t good. I discontinued the drugs, more or less ruined my life, and fell into a waking hell state of mind. It was certainly colored by the ruination of my life, but the intensity and persistence of the never-before-felt emotional states went far beyond a reaction to material losses and the end of a long-term relationship.

    I now think the “waking hell” state of mind was dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS). I’ve seen it written that ADHD drugs can’t cause that. That makes no sense, because Adderal is a dopamine agonist, so I wrote to a professor who studies ADHD drugs for his opinion. He said he couldn’t think of a reason why they wouldn’t. Like Mr. Cope, I was at a loss for words in my attempts to describe what I was enduring. Inhuman and unGodly come to mind. I do not think a brain could experience the emotions I had unless it had been damaged by psychiatric drugs. If street drugs did this, no one would take them.

    The point of this comment was to suggest to others, including Mr. Cope, that there might be a name for what’s going on, or went on, if the drugs they were taking affected their dopamine machinery. Note that the naming and description of the syndrome had to come from the Parkinson’s Disease literature, where researchers aren’t as devoted to blaming patients for side effects as mainstream psychiatrists are. They offer no remedy, by the way. I tried many things. Leaning towards a ketogenic diet (high in certain fats, low in everything else) seemed to be what started my recovery, for what it is worth.)

  • So in other words, the meth user was doing far better on meth than he or she is doing on psychiatric treatment? The only problem there is that buying meth from a meth dealer is not legal. Given that meth can be prescribed as Desoxyn, he/she could get a prescription and live a crime-free life, sustained by the best medicine for his “condition.” It’s worth considering, if Cymbalta and Gababentin have left any part of the individual’s mind functioning and havene’t destroyed the will to live. Those two drugs are the stuff of living nightmares. I’d sooner inject Desoxyn than allow one tablet of either to enter my body orally. Anyone who doubts the wisdom of this should visit and read the histories of people whose enjoyment of life, whose ability to remain neutral as opposed to suffering and suffering deeply, has been destroyed by those two pills. The emotional pain is not depression and it’s not psychological angst. It’s a torment much deeper than thoughts and beliefs can access, and is relentless, it seems.

  • I’m surprised you were not offered a benzodiazepine, to which you would now be hopelessly addicted, given that the withdrawal symptoms are worse than those for heroin, are persistent, and can’t necessarily be treated by resumption of the drugs.

  • Dear Goodie1950.

    I think Dr. Shipko did hear you. You must have said in your email that you were thinking about suicide. In his clinical wisdom, training, and knowledge of the law, the correct thing to do to save a suicidal patient’s life is to call an ambulance.

    He did not ignore you; he phoned you right away. He was within his rights to tell you what kind of information you should not email him. Did he mean that you should call him, or 911, when things are that bad, instead of emailing?

    I guess you expected a different reaction to your email. It’s hard to tell. But sometimes an ambulance is in order. I collapsed to the floor in my first and last non-epileptic non-syncope “seizure” when I went to see a new psychiatrist after the first one had trashed my brain. I was mystified. I asked her what it was (my collapse). She said “I’ve seen that before.”

    I told Dr. Shipko that short story. He said he would have called an ambulance. If Dr. Airbrain had, I might have been rescued from her ineptitude instead of losing the next 4.5 years of my life and much that I held dear in her “care,” or chemical assault program.

    She turned out to be the partner of Dr. Idiot, which neither disclosed to me. He had told me he thought she’d be great, even after I emailed him to say I had arranged to see an MFT/PsyD who’d helped me in the past. I said I didn’t think drugs were suitable for me.

    He emailed me soon after, told me he had made an appointment for that very afternoon, and that Dr Airbrain already had his notes. Like a Stockholm-Syndromed sucker, I went to see her. If I had known they were partners (or seems their airbrain-idiotic web site), I would not have.

    I hope you made your way through the pain you were experiencing this spring, and found the kind of help that works best for you.


  • If you look at dozens of things that vary, in only 78 subjects, one of them will line up with the way the 78 are divided Suicidal on ADs versus not suicidal on ADs). You then must find 78 more subjects, preferably 7800, and see if the association holds. I suppose I should read the study instead of assuming it was done wrong. I’ll come back and correct myself if I misjudged it.

  • Steve McCrea suggested, a few years ago, that opposition to things like the Murphy bill should target forced drugging and, as a tactic, leave the kidnapping and captivity part alone. I see the value in that approach. It is more defensible and eliminates one of the more horrific results of of the K&C procedures.

    Steve, are you still in favor of that approach?

    I’ll elaborate in the forum.

  • A doctor/hospital/nurse(?) could disclose medical/psych/drug history, prognosis, diagnosis, etc., to just about anyone deemed a “caregiver,” and I don’t think the so-called patient had a say in who was a caregiver. It was defined to include someone who provides some care, not necessarily all care.

    It’s called “COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION.” (copied and pasted as all caps from the original)

    This is where it the bill lives on the web. I don’t know if the one under the “text” tab is the exact one the House voted on:

    There’s a version showing proposed (or actual) changes, too. The link (below) is found under the “Actions” tab.


    I did just notice something worth noting in the house report (the second link of the two in this comment)…there is to be a “INTERDEPARTMENTAL SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS COORDINATING COMMITTEE” that has to come up with …

    a summary of advances in serious mental illness and
    serious emotional disturbance research related to the
    prevention of, diagnosis of, intervention in, and treatment and
    recovery of, serious mental illnesses, serious emotional
    , and advances in access to services and support
    for individuals with a serious mental illness or serious
    emotional disturbance

    Wow. They slipped in “serious emotional disturbance” at some point. I don’t mean to the bill per se. I don’t know how much it comes into play in the bill. I just mean that most of the government concern in recent years has been about “serious mental illness,” which requires a diagnosis.

    They were already stretching it by calling “bipolar” a “serious mental illness (SMI),” when half the time (these days) it’s an adverse effect of taking or quitting an antidepressant and will self-resolve if the poor soul doesn’t get put on Abilify or something.

    But now you don’t even have to be diagnosed bipolar. Just have an emotional disturbance — possibly just an episode, it sounds like — and you’re in THE BIG CATEGORY: SMI/SED

    They’re spreading that net nice and wide…

  • Did you know they took the privacy horror out of it?

    The hotbutton issue around clarifying HIPAA regulations didn’t derail the bill because the final version pushed it off to HHS to seek comment and decide. The bill had previously included HIPAA changes that would have allowed providers to share information about mentally ill patients with their caregivers, but those changes were removed due to objections from both Democrats and some Republicans, reported The Hill.

  • INCREDIBLE…the “families in mental health crisis act (HR 2646) is being sold with a big falsehood. Rep. Murphy markets the bill on his official web platform,, with outright false information. He would have met with every other representative in the house and probably all the senators by now, spewing this rubbish, when opposite is true.

    It says this:

    “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.”*

    In this PDF:

    This bill goes to the senate next and I strongly advise all of us, including myself, to write or call our senators and inform that that Murphy promoted his bill with false information. You don’t have to prove the drugs are harmful, just that he used cases of treated patients and called them untreated. (If you cite anything, make it mainstream, as in, not

    One place to get house and senate contact info
    (I run ad blockers and spyware disablers and can’t load the official .gov sites)

    * Loughner is the only one that had never been to a psychiatrist and was not a current or very recent user of psych drugs AFAIK. He supposedly smoked Salvia divinorum a lot, but I don’t what’s officially known about his drug use or toxicology)
    ( )

  • It is just as surely an ailment as OCD. There’s a guy in my town who pays below market when little old ladies sell up. The real estate agents get the listings and slip them to him. Never mind that the lady needs money so she can age in comfort and safely. They are easy marks. He tears down the adorable (and valuable) house and builds the biggest house he can fit on the lot. Then he sells it and can profit half a mil or so depending on how little he paid for the property. Everyone hates him, but he’s relentless. I think of him as the Opulence Addict.

  • Until the 1950s, schizophrenia was characterized as social withdrawal. What? I know. Weird, but I got an online student subscription to NEJM and searched the archive for ‘schizophrenia’ after reading that some place, and indeed that is what I found, in the blurbs for articles going back to 1900 or thereabouts. For more money I could read the articles, but it was pretty clear from the blurbs the search tool presented.

    The first antipsychotic was tested on a highly agitated person regarded as manic, not schizophrenic. It didn’t go as well as hoped. He was taken off the drug and given barbiturates and ECT more than once during the three week treatment. His doctors did write about the case, because at the end of three weeks, he was discharged, apparently recovered.

    If you read about the case in Lieberman’s ‘Shrinks’ you won’t know about the barbiturates and ECT. Lieberman called it a resounding success for Chlorpromazine. The doctors in 1952 disagreed. They said they did not think they had discovered a new therapy for mania and only grudgingly praised it. Obviously not a great therapy, if the patient inspired them to drug him with barbs and hotwire his nervous system him after he took it for a few days. (Thomas Ban and Chlorpromazine in a search engine should turn that up.)

    Since then, schizophrenics have gain a different reputation (wildly violent) as have Chlorpromazine and its successors (highly effective). I am pretty sure the drugs cause the florid symptoms.

    Then antidepressants joined the mix and eventually it was decided drugs could take the place of hospitals. It wasn’t just that the hospitals closed in the 70s and patients were in the community fending for themselves, as every newspaper asserts. It was that all the patients were on the new
    (post-1952) drugs or in withdrawal when sent away from the hospitals, and these were drugs people knew little about. They cause intense agitation and violence and suicidality.

    Even today, family members know worse than nothing. They think the drugs reduce the very symptoms they cause. They think withdrawal symptoms are proof the patient needs the drugs. The patient needs non-existent inpatient specialized care in a setting where no one buys into the biological psychiatry toxic myth. That is what we need: Aftercare for those who have been pharmaceutically assaulted. Until that is known and acted upon, there will be more blood.

    It is jerks like Lieberman and useful idiots like Murphy that prevent progress. There is no voice from within APA to counter Lieberman and that indicts a lots of doctors. Maybe some of the good doctors should hold their noses and join and overthrow the biopsych toxic myth. I mean yes, that would help, and I hope some will do it.

    Patients, pseudo patients, recovered from the drugs or not, have no influence. The help has to come from medical doctors. Go for it, doctors. Heros are needed right now.

    Boston Globe article was an embellished recitation of crazy people killed by cops. No research, no investigation of what ‘mental illness’ is. It is two words, is what it is. A useful label for people other people want to kill. A disservice to all, including cops.

  • There’s a faction within psychiatry that really wants antidepressant mania to be real bipolar disease.

    This was published 9 years before DSM-5 came out!
    A review of antidepressant-induced hypomania in major depression: suggestions for DSM-V.

    I think this might be old school manic-depression. But he was a doctor–it might have started with drug use.

    “‘He Wanted the Moon’ ”
    “…He was Mimi Baird’s father, Dr. Perry Baird, a Texas-born, Harvard-trained physician whose severe bipolar disease ultimately destroyed his life and scarred his family with the usual wide-ranging cruelties of mental illness.”

  • That’s most insightful. I have just seen it happen to an elderly woman who’d fallen and had a 1.25″ cut on her head. Through a colossal set of mistakes by others, she ended up in an emergency room, and was admitted for observation because she didn’t know her birthday or what city she was in. She hadn’t known her birthday in years and she’d never been to that hospital. Observation devolved into haloperidol and restraints and a forced catheterization, and she has not bounced back.

    She talks about killing herself now, whereas before, even at 82, she was always involved in something and there was always something she was going to do next. Her notion of the future is a black void now.

    She could have walked out the door at any time, but didn’t know it. She was impaired by Haloperidol. If I allowed myself to fully feel what I feel about it all, I’d be arrested for thought crimes.

    I am reporting it to the relevant agencies and working up to reporting it as a crime. I want to expose the fancy research hospital for the scumatorium it is. They picked the wrong little old lady to neglect and abuse. She has an advocate who sees them for what they are: violent criminals.

  • Hi Rachel E,

    Abilify must be among the most misrepresented and unpredictable drug around. I hope you feel better when it’s gone. I was worse on it than off it, that’s for sure. I had distressing akathisia for far too long, which the doctor thought was mania.

    It sounds like you’re well on your way, but thinking about this, it occurred to me that almost everyone tapers off one drug at a time. rather than by a series of small reductions across the board. I wonder how that would work. It might feel less even than expected, given that some drugs have very different affects at low does than high doses.

    Best of luck,

  • I just came across a very similar-sounding case (though I do not have the details.)

    “…District Attorney Lacey also recognized Scott Angel Aquino, Richard Mason Jr. and Eddie Harris, who stopped the sexual assault of a woman in Alhambra on March 3, 2015, and captured her assailant. The suspect was convicted of assault with intent to commit a sex crime and sentenced to six years in prison.”

  • I agree. But what gives?

    We know this. Some of the psychiatrists and other prescribers know it. The drugmakers know it. Some parents know it. A lot of children know it. FDA knows it.

    The doctors, the manufacturers, and the FDA could jointly or individually put an end to it. Two of those groups do very well by keeping the status quo. And I guess those two groups provide the information the third one, the FDA, relies on to make decisions.

  • I personally did become psychotic on the time release Methylphenidate transdermal product known as Daytrana. Fortunately I stayed home mostly, but I managed to lose all my clients for my creative services, and my boyfriend and my best friend.

    I haven’t wanted to go back to any of them and say “Hey, that’s wasn’t really me, making no sense and ranting and all that. I was on a drug–I mean a prescription medication–I’m not really crazy.”

    The pain of not being believed and reinstated would be too great. People who can only imagine the effect of alcohol on behavior can’t fathom the transformative power of psych drugs, unless they charitably choose to take one’s word for it.

    It’s not a drug to be used by people who live alone, that’s for sure. Noven can warn you in 2″ letters that you might become psychotic, but what good does that do once you’re out of your skull?

  • In this case the guy was not diagnosed bipolar; that’s his wife’s assessment. We might hear otherwise, though. I have heard steroids mentioned, and that he’d bulked up at some point. Anabolic-androgenic steroids would do it.

    I agree–Research hospitals are the worst. It adds the ego/career motive to the money motive, the ego-career is much stronger and more corrupting.

    And then swapping stupid stories, here’s mine:
    My SNRI akathisia lasted 24 hours and was treated as bipolar for three years, often with the original SNRI, with Abilify that orovoked akathisia overnight, which went on for a couple of months during what the main thing I ever said was this is unbearable.” (Know that one?)

    I often mentioned that 49 was late onset for bipolar disorder, but despite having a PhD in psychology, I was a pitiable, typical bipolar patient resisting “my meds.”

    It’s foul how the patient nicknames her chemical death. One of the last things I said to the last mental midget who thought I believed his plastic model of a neuron inhibited from re-uptaking serotonin by a mighty SSRI was, “they’re not my meds, they’re yours.”

    By then I was in dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome (DAWS), which no one recognized, despite my previous doctor’s wild notion that I had ADHD, not bipolar disorder, and should be on two stimulants and Prozac.

    The tiny clown wth the 3D neuron toy had prescribed so much Seroquel (which minimizes your dopamine) that I stopped breathing at night on several occasions. I also prayed for death much of the day or night; that’s DAWS which is not helped by scrubbing every last dopamine molecule out of your nail beds.

  • Maybe it’s mostly in Italian.

    In my opinion, Dr. G. Fava is one of the good guys. He acknowledges antidepressant withdrawal. Some psychiatrists still regard it as relapse or recurrence, and use it to push patients stay on drugs for-ever. (There’s an M. Fava in the field as well; he’s a conventionalist.)

  • That’s a very effective comment, Madmom. You’re a good writer and you’re right about the Murphy Bill. Is it much of surprise that he’s a “mental health professional”? Something fishy about that.

    After Ferguson, millions of Americans became aware of the abuse of citizens in the streets, by cops. If they only knew what went on behind closed doors, with medical personnel, not cops, as the violent oppressors. A cop can shoot you or arrest you. Medicals can torment you for weeks on end and destroy your mind and your personality.

  • Frances trots out the wizened chestnut about antidepressants’ effectiveness in the most serious or severe cases.

    The usual reason some intervention appears to work for only the most extreme cases is a natural phenomenon called “regression to the mean.” To make it less technical, regression to the mean could also be called “some patients’ original scores were extreme because of errors, exaggeration, or bad timing, and when the scoring is done again after the intervention, are closer to the average score than they were the first time.” It doesn’t mean the intervention worked, in other words.

  • Beer saved me when I either had DAWS or long term “mild akathisia” (it exists), but I sure took flak for it from my self-righteous sober sister, who is on Strattera, Celexa (or similar), and Seroquel for sleep. (She believes there’s no withdrawal with Strattera because it says so on the label. That would be cool.) The misery/dread/despair was un-Godly and I wasn’t about to take more weird molecules. Ethanol is an old friend of humanity and can be used wisely. Hope this isn’t sacrilege.


    The depression set in after the naso-gastric tube went in. Hmmm. Have any of those people had to endure an NG tube for any length of time? I have, and in the wrong gauge. Funny the nurses didn’t offer me the small (pediatric) one when I told them how much it hurt every time they asked. And they had never heard of Chloraseptic spray for sore throat. And I never did figure out why I wasn’t allowed to drink anything, not even water, for a week, given that the NG tube was continuously delivering the contents of my stomach to a clear container mounted jauntily on the wall a few feet from my head.

    Why don’t they try EVERY thing before ECT? Maybe morphine, or Adderal, or both. Or Cannabis. Those are all old, predictable drugs and they actually do what you think they will the moment they hit your bloodstream.

    The think about not wanting to eat is that it feels like not wanting jump into an icy sea. You really do not want to. Not that it seems as aversive as that, but when you don’t want to do something, you can’t make your hands and mouth cooperate. You can no more “make yourself eat” than you could make yourself leap into the icy sea.

  • I don’t know if there’s anything that will deprogram a sheeple other than going through it themselves. I was intelligent and read about science and health in MSM as much as possible. I had no suspicions about psychiatry and psych drugs until after I escaped my accidental ordeal. I entered into it naive, and experienced lots of bad stuff while in the care of psychiatrists. I decided that my doctors were idiots, not that the whole field was bunk. Finally free of the drugs, and having met someone who knew of people like Dr. Breggin and Mr. Whitaker, I proved a quick study.

    No one in my immediate family really gets it. They still think Effexor mania and Adderall psychosis were me; My sister is on Lexacroak and takes 25mg Serokill for sleep. Since going on ADs she’s become so disagreeable that anything I say is automatically coded as false. Any number of articles from pubmed can’t dent her notion that doctors and drugs are good for us. I sometimes forget I used to like her. My parents have Ambien and Lorazepam on their nightstands. Even if I do convince one of them that my mental-problem-years were drug-induced, they forget.

  • I forgot the relevant part. In Parkinsons’s dementia, Lewy bodies are involved.

    I came across a study since I last posted that showed a caner drug with promise in treating

    “An FDA-approved drug for leukemia improved cognition, motor skills and non-motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia in a small phase I clinical trial, report researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington. In addition, the drug, nilotinib (Tasigna® by Novartis), led to statistically significant and encouraging changes in toxic proteins linked to disease progression (biomarkers).”

  • There is a subset of dementia patients that is know to react badly to antipsychotics. They are not easy to distinguish from Alzheimer’s patients. Their condition is called Dementia with Lewy Bodies, sometimes just DLB. They differ from AD patients in that they tend to have visual hallucinations and those tend to start in before memory loss or other features of AD begin. There is a range of estimates on host percents of dementia is DLB: 15% to 34%. They must never receive an antipsychotic. Hospitals should be required to exclude DLB patients from antipsychotic drugs, or risk killing them.

    “Patients are particularly sensitive to developing extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and also to the potentially fatal complication of neuroleptic sensitivity, which affects approximately 50% of DLB patients”

    J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65 Suppl 11:16-22.
    Lewy body dementia: the litmus test for neuroleptic sensitivity and extrapyramidal symptoms.

  • You’re right. I can’t think of a worse kind of victim to be, other than a rape victim. I don’t mean in terms of suffering. That can be huge in all kinds crime, malpractice, and accidents. I mean in how we are received. And the statutes of limitations do not consider the unique case of people whose brains are disabled.

    My doctor harmed me
    –Doctors help people
    Their drugs destroyed me
    –Millions of people take them
    They’re being harmed
    –Now you sound crazy
    I’m not crazy
    –You’re not bipolar?
    No, not at all. That was the drugs and a sadly ignorant doctor
    –I don’t see how the FDA would approve mental health drugs that cause mental illness.
    Cardiac drugs don’t cause heart attacks.
    Atenolol does.

  • Haloperidol clearly is neurotoxic. Should it be banned?
    Current Psychiatry 2013 July;12(7):7-8.
    Henry A. Nasrallah, MD
    “Few medications remain in use 50 years after they were launched. Advances in drug development often render older drugs obsolete because newer drugs are more efficacious or safer, or both. Consider reserpine: Nowadays, no internist would use this drug to treat hypertension, even though it was the top-selling antihypertensive 50 years ago. Why? The adverse effects profile is no longer acceptable, with safer alternatives available.”

    (The author is actually a big fan of antipsychotics.)

  • The military did a study and found a relationship between insomnia and diabetes. They didn’t even mention sleep drugs. (see page 6)

    “For sleep, the first drug they like to go to in Iraq is Seroquel,” says Trotto, of the atypical antipsychotic originally developed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. “They hand that **** out like Skittles. You get a bottle for 10 days, and if you run out, they give you more.” (2013)

  • This just happened to my mother in February at UCSD Health Center in San Diego. She went to ER with a minor scalp laceration from a fall and only because a naive, over-worrying sibling of mine insisted. She didn’t know her own birthday or what city she was in. Big deal. That wears off, and did wear off. Normally she is a sane, independent, clever and competent person who reads more in a month than most Americans read in a year.

    They say she became “agitated” after some kind of dispute where she didn’t want the meal they brought her after putting 5 stitches in. Yeah, duh, major concussion with loss of consciousness. No reason to eat and plenty of reasons not to eat. They force-injected Haldol. Haloperidal prevents recovery from brain trauma. It’s sadistic.

    After that they tortured her with a forced bladder catheter installation during which she screamed and yelled for help, she tells me, while a bunch of them held her down. There is no need for that. I call it rape. She was ambulatory and if she weren’t, there’s bedpans. No need.

    She was there for two days and had no way to tell us she wanted to get the hell out of there. Nothing was done therapeutically, no CT-scan, no blood work, no neurologist. Just a captive.

    This one brings me to tears – they put those mitt restraints on her hands at night. She tried to get them off, but you can’t. To think of my dignified, polite, kind, kind mother lying there with no one to help her just destroys me. She sacrificed most her adult life running a group that helped the local animal shelter by fostering dogs that would otherwise have been killed. Other women went shopping and went to martini lunched and spent weekends in Palm Springs while she was driving stray dogs to the vet and taking care of them as they recovered at her home. She was president of her class in nursing school in the 1950s.

    This was UCSD Health Center in San Diego, which is hiding the worst record in the city in terms of percent of years during which they were fined for violations by the state department of public heath. In 2015 they got their sixth Immediate Jeopardy administrative penalty. The next highest was 3. They killed a woman who said she didn’t want to be discharged because she wasn’t breathing well, helping shove her into a cab. That failed so she was then carried face down by her feet and arms and left lying face down on the pavement. In another case in 2013, a 57 year old man with a head injury wandered out of the ward, out of the building and to the edge of the parking lot where he fell into a ravine. When they noticd he was missing, it took ten minutes to “reach security” during which no one actually looked for him, and 3 days to find his body at the bottom of the ravine. Video showed him leaving the building in a surgical gown, socks, and neck brace. This one is beyond imagination…

    I am out for blood, so to speak. Criminal charges. If anyone can recommend an advocacy group to guide me please respond here (if that’s allowed) or email a me at temporary, non-private email account I set up at [email protected]. (You can set one up too. Just make up a name and that’s it. Use immediately.)

    For the love of all that’s holy, do not let an elder be in a hospital without anyone there. I thought my dad was on top of this but much to my grief, he was not. My mom says she will never be the same, and so far that looks to be the case. They killed her soul. Sorry about the histrionics, but they half-killed mine, too.

  • Is the HAMD the one that counts cessation of weight loss as improvement? (Today’s MDD diagnosee isn’t so low s/he can’t eat.)

    The scale with that question is a gift to clinical trialists, because drug-induced weight gain contributes to the desired trial outcome.

    Weight gain is probably the real reason the studies are of short duration. By week 8 no one can zip their trousers and good moods are turning dark.

    I appreciated this article. The New York Times ought to run it.

  • And they treat the brain as separate from the nerves in the rest of the body. Emotion, which is a large part of psychiatric diagnosis, is felt and displayed by our bodies. What images in an fMRI might be reactions to the body’s reactions. It is an old debate, of course, but making something of a comeback.

    How many other specializations would get away with treatments the derange and injure the organ of interest? How many would get away with 100% of their drugs causing psychosis, mania, seizures, damaged sexual response, and ruined lives. Odd that headshrinkers do both. The horror is that they get away with by describing (and thinking of) their patients as incompetent and wholly unreliable witnesses. And it isn’t stigma. (Grrr) It’s a studied and intractable prejudice; the Religion. John Read called it iwhen he said something like “psychiatry is the only branch of medicine that locates the problem in the patient.

  • It does not have to be this way forever. In the US we have to focus on congress. The psych-harmed are still the least respected and most blamed crime victims but their/our stories are what will cary the day eventually. A well known as Robert Whitaker is, we still need some one with the visibility of Oprah Winfrey to take our cause on.

    Meanwhile everyone who can get online can open a Twitter account and Tweet. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows fake names so you can post anonymously.

  • Or take something that doesn’t regenrate the way money does, like their headquarters and factories. There’s a huge cost to moving. Personnel would be disoriented, work would be disrupted, and it would be far more visible than a wire transfer. There were would throngs outside cheering the day a crane lowers their logo. All the better if we’re allowed to take turns pelting it with rotten vegetables.

  • I was horrified when I saw the part about Medicare reporting mental diagnoses to some agency. It won’t make a dent on murder rates, and not just because diagnosed people are not especially violent, unless SSRIs have begun to change that. Even if they were more violent, being on a list won’t make them less violent. It might make them less likely to use guns, but there’s always the Molotov Cocktail. It will make them less likely to own guns, though. A diagnosed person who takes comfort in owning a pistol–and this includes single women, and many in low-income, high-crime areas–will be deprived of that comfort. They’ll also be sitting ducks once word gets out that their homes are gun-free zones.

    Obama? Pure pandering. If he cared about crime he would have fired Holder years ago for failing to prosecute the too big too jail crowd–Moynihan, Mozilo, Dimon…

  • This letter writer, who self-identified as poor and mentally ill, put it very well.

    “As a taxpayer and a mentally ill individual, I cannot support [an author’s] requests for additional funding for “behavioral and social sciences.” It is simply a waste of money and it saps valuable resources out of the economy into programs that falsely raise peoples’ hopes and [support] an elitist class of academics who exploit human misery for financial gain without directly taking responsibility for delivery of real-world solutions.

    “But I no longer believe [I will get well] because the gap between the real world and the world of NIMH researchers and staff is too wide.There is a quality control crisis in public mental health, not a funding crisis as many would like us to believe.

  • So glad you made it out. I had four years of drug crazies due fake bipolar from getting off Effexort. It wasn’t even prescribed for depression or anxiety. Then 1 year of bad after-effects, 1 of slowly getting better, and now I finally feel unaffected. Two psychiatrists made the mistake of emailing with me during four years. I recently found it all their ignorance of akathisia, induced panic-attacks, and drug-induced seizures is incredible. It was never the drug, they said, and I didn’t look it up for myself, then forgot about the emails, and am looking things up now. The psychiatrists were wrong.

  • Does agitation and inability to relax sound right? That how I was for a long time.

    It’s different from anxiety. Anxiety means worrying about what going to happen in school, work, health, etc., and being jumpy and easily scared, I feel it in my gut. Felt it on too much Ritalin.

    Getting off an antidepressant was a different and worse. I had a constant sense that nothing was okay and it never would be again. My whole being was affected. If I tried to watch a movie I’d sit upright instead of leaning back. I felt like I was on alert at all times, but not worried and stuff in my life. Vigilant.

    I don’t think it was psychological. It felt like I was programmed that way (not by the CIA, but my own nervous system).

  • This study is a damp dishrag. Even the title refuses to say anything. Why the question mark?Throughout, they talk about “mania/bipolar.” What is that? Mania is a state with signs and symptoms, or a sign/symptom. Bipolar is an adjective usually associated with ‘disorder.’ So what do the drugs cause? A symptom/state, or a lifelong disorder?

    “Nothing. It is only a correlation.”

    Oh, Okay.

    What happens is…if you go manic, and had never been manic before….it doesn’t matter. You will be stuffed with Abilify or Seroquel, which too often leads to akathisia which no doctor has ever heard of, take a leave of absence, and then its Lamictal or Topamax, the side effects do you in, switch to Lithium, lose your boy- or girlfriend, add an ssri, gain 40 lbs, start drinking, gain 20 lbs, quit the ssri, hit the emergency room and have a seizure and a head injury, cry for six weeks, add an snri, kick holes in the walls, increase snri dose, emergency room, drop snri, file for disability, add Wellbutrin, quit drinking, lose 70 pounds, quit try to get a loan mod, talk constantly and stop bathing, add Geodon, get cataplexy, cant read a web page without passing out, all under the watchful eye of an MD. Finally clue in, stop all drugs, enter the nastiest pit in Hades aka post-psychotropic dysphoria and dysthymia and anhedonia and neuralgia and Breggin’s Chronic Brain Impairment for two years solid while the bank starts to take your house, which is a drag because you haven’t been outside for 7 months, get scammed by foreclosure lawyers, find Mad in America and, etc., call malpractice attorneys “we don’t handle those cases,” file for bankruptcy, lose disability because you’re not being “treated” for anything…I think that’s it, except crashing your car a few times and posting bizarre stuff on Facebook and Twitter, losing friends and ex-co-workers and credibility and thus job prospects.

    Imagine all that and not finding Mad in America or THAT would suck.

  • Check out what he says between :35 seconds and :50 seconds, and note the nervous swallow. It’s something about the drugs causing symptoms of elevated mood and mania … As part of a bipolar disorder. No, it was “People who take antidepressants can also develop…” Which locates the problem in the patient: the first resort of a bad doctor. It works so well they don’t need a backup method.

  • The time I’d been tapered off 75mg Effexor in two weeks, went to the emergency room with incredible upper abdominal pain, ghost white, and sweating, and lost consciousness while asking the third time if I could lie down…that was a couple of days after a prescribed 2-week taper from 75mg to Omg. I had a massive violent seizure and hit my hit on floor so hard the nurses heard it from all corners of the ward. The nurse who refused me a place to lie down wrote in her notes that I was on Effexor, seroquel, and something else ridiculous. No one linked the drugs to the seizure, and neither did I. Were you ever asked how long you’d been on them, whether you recently changed or missed a dose, or whether you just stoped taking something? I wasn’t.

    Mind you they didn’t the event into their log so it didn’t need explaining. I came across my records recently, and saw that I wrote “I told her I had stopped taking them 3 days ago” next to her note about drugs. Despite the symptoms of shock and impending death I arrived with, she didn’t take my BP. After the seizure it was 65/45. I was only 50. I know that sounds old to younger people but I was fit as a fiddle (which also sounds old). So that was Effexor/Seroquel withdrawal.

    The next time I went to that place I was on Straterra for just a few days, unaware that it was an SNRI. I could only tell them that I wanted to die, that I couldn’t take it anymore. My legs had a horrible feeling in them..I think it was some twisted kind of akathisia, The told me I tested positive for Lithium. I told them I wasn’t on it. I hadn’t had it for a few years, since I escaped from fake bipolar racket. But they left it in my notes. I brought the Straterra with me, and the nurse who looked at it said “this is speed.” Well, no it isn’t. It’s an SNRI and it was the problem.

    They were close to committing me but I convinced them of the distinction between suicidal and wishing to not be alive. I asked for an Ativan and was refused because of that priggish anti-addiction 12-step thing that pervades the consciousness of health care workers. I know and believe Ativan is powerfully addicting and murder to get off of, buI was in the state it’s meant for, for short-term use. A social workers said “ATIVAN? Why don’t you just drink a glass of WINE?” I said “I think I will,” and told them I was all done being taken care of. Drank a bottle of wine when I got home, too.

    Since getting off the drugs I couldn’t care less about alcohol. I drank my way through a year and a half of hell. People said the drinking was causing the misery, but it wasn’t. I started a modified (not hardcore) ketogenic diet, and nearly 24/7 feeling that I was in hell lifted, and I didn’t have to try to quit drinking. I just lost interest. Now I waste half of every beer I open. I’ve been on nothing for almost three years and have had no mania, psychosis, or ER visits. Fancy that.

  • The truly horrendous thing about psych drugs that they disable the organ they are supposed to treat. Usually it is a diabetes drug harming the heart, or a NSAID harming the liver. A diabetic can say my heart I was fine–I took these because my pancreas doesn’t work.

    When we say “I was never suicidal, manic, psychotic. I was just anxious” it’s very easy for the pharmapologists to convince the masses that anxiety is an early sign of, or cause of, suicide, mania, and psychosis. Underlying condition, etc…

    That’s on top of problems with credibility just by virtue of “needing” on a drug. If we say the drug gave us distal neuropathy, it’ll be described as possibly “psychosomatic pain,” not real pain. The only patients that are trusted are those that like the drug and ask for more.

  • It was a Ritalin transdermal called Daytrana that threw me into psychosis and cost me the things that mattered, but along the way I had an instructive bout with Ativan. It had been prescribed by the same man who prescribed the Ritalin, and when I expressed misgivings about becoming dependent on it, that MD said “So what? Just take it for the rest of your life.” It was only a few weeks in that I found myself on the way to dinner to meet a man from OkCupid, who’d said lateness was a pet peeve, and realized my planned stop-off at the pharmacy to replace my empty Ativan bottle with a full one would make me late for dinner. It was only meant as a friendly dinner, not a romantic one, but I still felt it best to arrive on time. Before our food was served I began to feel weak, tired, desperate, and very much in need of lying down. He was prattling on about some horrific woman he couldn’t get over, and I was trying to decide between calling paramedics, lying on the floor near my chair, or possibly making it to the restroom and lying on the floor there. I am thankful that I remembered a third or a quarter of an Ativan tablet that I had put in with the oral Ritalin I had in my purse. I took it and felt absolutely normal within 15 minutes. Another blessing is that I felt fine in the morning and that was the end of it.

    I did become fully unhinged by the Daytrana which initially was pleasant and fascinating to the point of magical, but which decayed into hostility, paranoia, seizures, inability to read without rapidly losing consciousness, loss of boyfriend/presumed best friend, and loss (as a victim of forgery and fraud) of long-held investments and thus my retirement income.

    Yes, the packet warns of psychosis, but what on earth good is a warning you read three weeks ago when you are talking to angels, hallucinating demons, and dancing with what you think is the shadow of your skeleton? The same holds for warnings about benzos. They cannot prevent a condition with a silent, insidious onset. Warnings about catastrophe serve only to keep plaintiffs from prevailing in court. The catastrophes roll on.

    The doctor? Up against the medical board, owing $100,000 in back taxes, and with luck, not going to practice in the future. If only they’d taken his license the first time he was brought before them instead of allowing him a period of probation. The state he started his career in did. They caught wind of his first California probation and sent a letter saying he’d never practice in New York again.

  • It’s most similar to a drug that’s available in Europe, Canada, and Australia, Valdoxan (agomelatine). I’ve read some doozies on forums about horrible dreams, non-sleep sleep, and murderous urges on the stuff. Novartis bought the right to market it in the US only to find it didn’t work well enough in their trials to be worth seeking approval for. It’s touted as not disruptive of sleep, low or no sex side effects, and no withdrawal. The only one I haven’t seen complaints about is sex .

  • Wellbutrin sure does do that. It’s funny that GSK was fined 3 billion from promoting is as a weight-loss and sex-enhancing drug when it is one for says “increased/decreased libido” is a side effects. That’s close.

    Oddly enough, I fainted last time I was on it.

    The neurotransmitter story with Wellbutrin is confusing. First, it’s a chemical cousin of amphetamine in that it’s a substituted cathinone which means it’s also a substituted amphetmine. (From what I gather, substituted means it’s almost the the same, but a few atoms are swapped out for different ones.) Wikipedia goes on to say

    “bupropion and its metabolites act as non-competitive antagonists of several neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors”

    and states that it has insignificant dopamine-related actions in the brain, doing most of its work on norepinephrine.

  • I found the researchgate link too, and was happy to see that the third author had uploaded it to his account, allowing free access for all. I hope it’s in violation of BMJ’s copyright.

    Synonyms: underling, henchman, flunky, lackey, hanger-on, follower, servant, hireling, vassal, stooge, toady, sycophant;

    I like “stooges” better than minion and underling.

  • I believe you.

    I lost at least 5 years of my real life to psychiatry, the life I planned and worked and suffered for. The ability to retire. Job, savings, house, forever-boyfriend, best friend since 1986…all gone. It was traded in for the role of “patient” or ping-pong ball, and my initial complaint was not psychiatric. I couldn’t manage my own affairs and there was no one to do it for me.

    Nutt is an idiot, or a liar. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I encountered this article (below). Nearly everything in it is wrong. False.

    “Professors George Davey Smith and David Nutt fight the case for statins and SSRIs. The drugs work: the truth about statins and SSRIs” by Suzi Gage (a moron), Guardian, July 31, 2015

    Psych drugs are bad enough. Statins disable healthy old people who deserve better. The “study” they did was barking up the wrong tree. Statins cause weakness, not pain. On statins, my dad got the weakness and though he stopped taking them, the weakness hasn’t gone away. He also became depressed (enough to talk about it, something I’d never heard from him before) and was sure he was developing dementia. He doesn’t complain of those anymore, but he seems to be less engaged with things.

    He was at no risk for heart disease. He and my mother have an ideal-looking diet, don’t smoke, and walk 2 miles a day, every day..

    Thank God I saw the 2013 article in the NYTimes by Abramson and Redberg–the same article and authors cardiologist Lisa Rosenbaum mocked in her pro-Conflict-of-Interest series for the NEJM this summer.

  • Yes, the end result of this will be more Abilify. What a hideous drug. The FDA was wrong to allow it to be named Abilify, too. Obviously it should be Disabilify.

    There’s a clinical trial for a drug that’s suppose to help with tardive dyskinesia. Look how they omit mention of the cause and the name tardive dyskinesia
    Do involuntary body movements have a hold on you?

    If you or a loved one suffer from bipolar disorder, mood disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia – and are experiencing involuntary movements in your face or other parts of your body – the Kinect 4 Study may help.

    Individuals 18 to 85 years old will be evaluated to determine their eligibility. Those who qualify will receive:

    Study medication for the study treatment period of 48 weeks.
    Study-related medical exams and lab tests at no charge.
    Regular general health check-ups and monitoring of TD symptoms.
    Compensation for time and travel may also be available.

  • Acidpop, that must be so hard on your daughter, if she thinks that was her, and not Zoloft. I’ve never had Zoloft, but SNRIs can do the same thing. It’s like your mind is absent, and you react to things like a cartoon character, not the person whose judgement and character you’d been working on your whole life.

    It’s a shame the money-research people (think Jeff Lieberman, Tom Insel) discount the character-warping aspects of these drugs. Understanding how the warping happens would tell us a lot about philosophical questions those guys never think of asking.

    Too often the dose is raised in response to intolerable side effects, like agitation, which is misread as anxiety. Do you know why someone upped her dose, from her point of view? (I’d sure like to hear what her doctor has to say about what happened.)

  • B, it IS horrible. But who told you it was supposed to go away when you stop the drug? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m thinking of akathisia. For lots of people it starts after they stop the drug. Some descriptions of akathisia say it mainly affects the legs (and the mind).

  • I hope Dr. Shipko answers you. That’s really interesting. Do you wait for a zap or san you trigger one?

    I had something similar. I kept going to emergency in the wee hours–every couple of months–with upper abdominal pain and relates symptoms I thought would KILL me, and I’m tough. There was no obvious cause but we blamed a big non-elective GI surgery. I had gone off Effexor, which was not for a mood disorder, after the surgery, when nurses forgot to give it to me, but we didn’t think of that. (I too got a fake bipolar tag out of that mess.)

    But this was two years after that. My idiot psychiatrist still thought I was bipolar even though any drug I took was a disaster, and I was wrecked with akathisia from heaven knows what? Abilify? which she didn’t recognise and I’d never heard of, so she put me back on Effexor. The last emergency event was after I’d been back on Effexor briefly (I can’t recall how it affected me) and then tapered off for a month. Subjectively I felt fine, but I had an attack of the pain/emesis/hypotension/sweating so bad that once I got to the emergency room, I fainted and had some kind of massive violent seizure with loss of consciousness, and a bad concussion.

    I now have a painful injury that physical therapy can’t touch and some depth perception problems, but four years later I’ve only had one “attack,” and I was able to tough it out at home; I’d call it a 60% strength one, and it was during the day, not at 1am.

    So, I don’t know if the stories are all that similar, but they both pertain to untoward brain events making something not happen or not hurt.

  • I had relentless feelings of doom, dread and regret for at least a year. It was satanic. Sleep was a myth, a rumor, a luxury others had but didn’t appreciate.

    After a while it was still daily, but wore off somewhat in the afternoons, to become mere misery and regret and worry, until I took something that would let me fall asleep. Awaking before 5am with a pounding heart continued.

    The mornings were ungodly. I don’t know why I survived it.

    I know HOW I survived. I didn’t kill myself.

  • I agree. There’s something really dirty about how people wrecked by drugs have all but no recourse. The media could fix it overnight. Unfortunately, it’s not “true” unless it’s on the major news networks. I finally figured out–media people are hooked on the drugs and can’t bear the thought that we are right.

    Pharma ads? Maybe, but when a car has defect and 5 people are killed in the space of 2 years, that’s front page news, and the car companies still run ads.

  • I agree based on what I have read that psych drugs should be nowhere near a developing human being or any living thing. It is not as simple as stopping taking them, though. If a woman’s doctor cut off her prescription and she went into a tailspin, the doctor could be liable. Did you read the Andrew Solomon article that was (to my eye) anti-science in its failure to acknowledge what is known about birth defects, low birth weight, and possible other things. The first and the last women’s stories look to me (not just me) like antidepressant withdrawal, both life altering, one lethal.

    Dr. Shipko posted on this page when it was new, calling psych drug withdrawal the 20,000 gorilla in the room, or something like that, and it is. It sure is hard to get the messages we here have received about the drugs out of our gathering places and into the marketplace.

  • Many people who now view antidepressants and minor tranquilizers unfavorably started off as patients who got relief initially from psych drugs. They are all a little bit stimulating, but we soon habituate. Problems come up, like weight gain, feeling dead inside, losing sexual feelings, inability to care about others, lethargy, somnolence, or being angry and irritable. Then, the withdrawal. Some people can’t hack it after a few days they go back on drugs or start new ones. those people collect on sites like nd keep trying new drugs. Some are on 6 or 7 drugs.

    Other people get through it in a few weeks, and some people suffer for years. It’s hard to believe and easy to think it’s neurosis or malingering. People in that boat connect on

    Benzo people have their own special torments.

    There also Facebook groups & Yahoo groups.

  • –Good point. It might as well be fiction if they will not prove it.

    “When we participate in clinical trials today, companies get to sequester the data from these trials in flagrant breach of the ethics and norms of science and yet parade their representations of those results as science. ”

    –I didn’t understand this…can anyone explain it?
    The participation of some of us in those trials puts all of us in a state of legal jeopardy. In the US, we may get our day in Court, but we will have the data from clinical trials in which our friends and families participated used against us.

  • Smoking, too. Same authors.

    PLoS One. 2015 Mar 12;10(3):e0118333. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118333.
    Smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies with investigation of potential effect modifiers.
    Zhong G1, Wang Y1, Zhang Y2, Guo JJ3, Zhao Y2.

    Previous studies showed inconsistent results on the association of smoking with all-cause dementia and vascular dementia (VaD), and are limited by inclusion of a small number of studies and unexplained heterogeneity. Our review aimed to assess the risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and VaD associated with smoking, and to identify potential effect modifiers.

    Smokers show an increased risk of dementia, and smoking cessation decreases the risk to that of never smokers. The increased risk of AD from smoking is more pronounced in apolipoprotein E ε4 noncarriers. Survival bias and competing risk reduce the risk of dementia from smoking at extreme age.

  • Take it with a grain of salt. Second author:”Dr. Williams has received unrestricted educational grants from Pfizer.” Pzifer makes Chantix/Champix, the smoking-cessation aid that makes some people flip out and/or kill themselves.

    The study initially found no health benefit, so the authors “went fishing” in the data for something to report. They probably tried drug addicts, older prisoners, left-handed ones, and red-haired ones too. In fact, it’s worth checking in Left-Landed Health Journal and Pathology of Red Hair Genomes for more findings. Doing that used to be frowned upon, because it increases the reporting of findings that turn out to be spurious.

  • I’m glad you tweeted the editor and sorry to hear that a MAOI (and a device that failed) created what sounds like a difficult situation.
    About Solomon’s psychology PhD. He got it at Cambridge. Sounds great unless you know what that means. He earned majored in English at Yale and graduated magna cum laude. He went to Cambridge and earned a master’s degree in English. I was told a master’s takes a year there, but haven’t checked. With his English chops, he entered a non-traditional PhD program. Here’s how a student described it on the department’s web site:
    “Coming to Cambridge from the U.S., where science PhDs can take up to seven years, I knew I would have the advantage of an accelerated program. Now looking back on the last two years, I realise just how many opportunities have been open to me that wouldn’t have been available elsewhere. At Cambridge you hit the ground running, thrown into the research process within your first few weeks. As there is no traditional coursework required, the focus is really on learning by doing.”

    I understand that he is a multi-award-winning, highly-praised author and philanthropist, and I don’t mean to diminish that.

    It is possible that he didn’t learn how to read primary sources and question their methods and analyses. His failure to mention antidepressant withdrawal, as well as the problems Dr U reported above, hint at that.

  • The Marshall Project for some reason asked Jeff Lieberman annotate to annotate the notebook. He didn’t mention the part where the drugs made Holmes manic. The Marshall Project was founded by Neil Barsky and its editor is Bill Keller.

    Holmes listed his history with therapy. #2 is the one he gave the notebook to, I’m pretty sure.
    2. Immediately prescribed antidepressants (fast acting benzos, long lasting SSRIs – Sertraline). Sertraline primarily antidepressant not anxiolytic.
    3. Anxiety and depression both serotonergic system anyway though.
    No effect when needed.
    First appearance of mania occurs, not good mania. Anxiety and fear disappears. No more fear of failure.
    Fear of failure drove determination to improve, better and succeed in life. No fear of consequences.
    Primary drive aversion to hatred of mankind.
    Intense aversion of people, cause unknown.
    Began long ago, suppressed by greater fear of others. No more fear, hatred anchored.
    Can’t tell the mind rapists plan.
    If plan is disclosed both “normal” life and ideal enactment on hatred foiled.

    Someone transcribed it the notebook.

  • Dr. Urato and Dr. Shipko, I wish you would write letters or even Op-Eds, with or without reference to gorillas (though Glaucus, above, wrangled another 20,000-pounder into this sad situation).

    In addition to underemphasizing the…facts…Solomon did not address the gorilla Dr. Shipko mentioned, but I see it featuring in two of his anecdotes. In first one (first one in article), it sounds like the woman had withdrawal symptoms of mania bordering on psychosis. Solomon presents it as the return of her depression. Then…

    –She was sleep-deprived because she often woke up in a panic, terrified that there was something wrong with the baby.
    That’s what I did after going off antidepressants, and other people say the same thing in support groups–hearts pounding and gasping for breath. Sleep-deprivation is not from waking up at 2am, it’s from waking up and not being able to fall asleep again, and watching the sun rise, week after week.

    –Some nights, she spent hours online, poring over descriptions of everything that could go wrong.
    Also typical, but the topics vary. (It’s nothing helpful like learning French or doing an online training for a new job, I promise.)

    –“We could see her spiraling downward,” Kristin said. “The really irrational obsession, the inability to see otherwise, tormented her.

    She was initially thrilled to be pregnant. So…what happened? Is irrationality depression? Is waking in a panic depression?

    There is another case towards the end. A woman started having panic attacks after being at work in the financial district on 9/11. She’d never been depressed, she says. She was prescribed Paxil, which calmed her, and has one of the worst reputations for withdrawal syndromes. She stopped taking it.

    “I went back to being unable to function,” she recalled. “Loss of interest in things, irritability, crying, not wanting to get out of bed. Complete loss of energy or desire to do anything.”
    Sounds familiar for withdrawal, but is unlike her original complaint, panic attacks.

    Solomon says Margaret’s (brand new) depression escalated in the months after she gave birth. She found it difficult to bond with her baby, worried that her short temper and disengagement would damage her marriage.”
    Feeling nothing for loved ones, and an explosive temper–does that sound like withdrawal to anyone?

    I wish these two women hadn’t had such bad experiences, but given that they did, I wish Solomon hadn’t used them to persuade people that antidepressants are more or less safe.

  • Anosognosia was originally something seen in people with head injuries, who might not be able to use one arm, and also reported no awareness of the deficit. The way the term is used now can be helpful–to describe a person on psych drugs who doesn’t realize their whole personality has changed.

    It is also a way to justify locking up and drugging someone who is rational and resisting. Just say they have anosognosia and do whatever you want. The person’s denials mean nothing.

    In the Murphy bill, they got it wrong altogether. Its proof that at least some of the bill was written by unqualified people.

    ” What the investigation found:
    Approximately forty percent of individuals with schizophrenia do not recognize they have a mental illness, a condition known as anosognosia, where the individual is unaware of auditory or visual hallucinations and delusions.”

    Should have stopped before ” where.” If you’re not aware of a hallucination…you’re not having one.

  • Have you seen the research from England about “skunk” Cannabis and psychosis? The same lead author has done two imperfect cross-sectional studies that associate the two. I think you can list all the questions that arise when someone says one of those two causes the other. The Singapore study might be helpful to side or the other in a debate. Probably both if they’re equally adept at spin.

    Is that matter anywhere near settled? Likely to be?

    I like to think that pot doesn’t cause anything worse than short-term stupid, but I’d rather know.

  • I started a reply to B the other day, but making my point depended on finding definitions of addiction and dependence from the same source. I spent a long time, and gave up.

    In my post, by the way, I meant “whatever other people mean when they say ‘addicted’.”

    I THINK the connotation of addiction used to be craving and seeking the drug, and dependence just meant feeling lousy without it.

    And yes, B, to this, “if you get it from a pharmacy they are wonder drugs which are “safe and effective’.” –The difference between selling meth and going to jail vs to the Bahamas is if you call it “ice” or “Desoxyn.”

    When talking about antidepressants, I like “physically addicted.”

    Steve, what you wrote made me think it would be nice to hear from a former speed or heroin addict who later had to get off ADs ,and hear their “reviews.” Maybe on bluelight or one of those sites.

  • Do you know anything about individual differences in susceptibility to addiction to stimulants?

    I’ve read (in the popular press) that methamphetamine causes addiction in one trial, and somewhere else that about 10% of users end up addicted.

    In my college days cocaine was around. In high school were we taught that it wasn’t addicting, just a ‘party drug.’ One friend was earning a masters in film and tv, and had a great future and healthy childhood, and went from party use to habitual use via dangerous methods. He said it was too compelling to ignore, at the time. He lost a lot. (He got well and back in track.)

  • There is some good advice there but there is also sometimes bad advice, and privacy concerns.

    -The admin and moderators are dogmatic and sometimes pushy when a struggling member wants to try another drug to get them through a crisis.
    -They claim they are not giving medical advice, but they advise on dosing. I just looked and saw a guy being told that he should up-dose from 5mg to 10mg of drug to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. He did it, and started have worse symptoms plus chest pain. He’s only 22.

    -Very personal posts are listed individually by google.
    -Members are accepted if they tell a convincing story, but non-members can read almost every post they make.
    -No one is allowed to delete posts or close their accounts

    It is a good place in many ways, but I advise caution about joining and posting because of privacy concerns. I’d be very careful about taking medical advice there.

  • Alliances with other patient categories would be very helpful. As the psych group, our claims are inherently falsifiable, if not automatically dismissed. The physical illness people maintain their credibility, even if they are not always believed. Then, they’re not crazy, just mistaken.

    Naive persons cannot fathom a total retreat of the self, with replacement by a tranced-out monster, on an FDA-approved drug. Could those who experienced it, until happened?

    We say/They say:

    The drug MAKES me manic ; She won’t take her meds. No wonder she’s manic.

    I am not mentally ill ; Poor girl. Her doctor says she is mentally ill, and she thinks she’s fine.

    I broke the windows during a post-Effexor psychotic episode. I was normal before ; That could never happen to me. I’m ME, immutable. It cannot happen at all, to anyone. If I took Paxil I might feel weird, but I would still be “home” and “running the show.” Psych patients lack insight, I guess.

    I screamed at the cops after Paxil made me manic. I only took it for mild anxiety ; The FDA would withdraw Paxil if it made people do that. Everyone’s on antidepressants, and they’re not all screaming.

    We’re “the other” to the bone once “diagnoosed.” This will change. It’ll just take more writing, talking, activism, time, energy, ideas.

  • Someone E.,

    I think shrinks are told this many times a week. By their training, they must believe that our testimony is perverse and therefore to be disregarded.

    They are taught that patients refuse meds because of an oppositional disorder, to anger the doctor, or because they’re manic or irrational, not because the effects are highly aversive.

    They are taught that people who exhibit psychosis on psych drugs are innately psychotic, and sadly the drugs didn’t work. The bad ones believe it. Add another, and up the dose!

    The bad shrinks have a schema in which we are marionettes in need of their masterful manipulations.

    It’s a lot like a nasty prison guard and an inmate. The guard holds all the cards and the inmate had better get in line. What the inmate wants doesn’t figure in the least.

    The difference is the nasty prison guard relishes the pleasure of dominating, intimidating, and injuring the inmate.

    A bad shrink thinks the suffering he inflicts on a patient is for the patient’s own good. But is it? Or is it just an enjoyable power struggle between dictator and subject?

    There are good psychiatrists. The good ones believe you and tell you what they believe. The bad ones don’t care what you say, and what they say is meant to influence you, not enlighten you.

    My 2 cents, anyway.

  • Handed out like weapons, I say.

    If you want a novel view of psych meds, go to and select a pharma drug from the pharma menu. Find the “experience vault” on that drug’s page.

    People who think they are experienced drug users with psychedelics and junk and meth under their belts tell of taking megadoses of Haldol for the heck of it, and get on rides rides they never want to take again. They cannot believe it is possible to feel that awful and live to tell about it. They megadose Effexor, too, and it sounds ungodly.

    Thing is, recreational drugs rise to prominence for one reason: people like them. They’re tried and true (but quality control is lacking). Antipsychotics drugs are designed to change behavior, with it feels secondary or not even considered. Plus you never know if one will knock you out or shoot you at the moon.

    Ang the more I read about APs, the sadder I get thinking about your ordeal (and others’ too). Glad you broke out!

  • I commend your courage. I don’t think I would feel good there.

    I visit a former teacher in a low-security federal pen and feel no discomfort, and that’s not because there are a few armed guards among the hundred or more inmates and visitors in the visiting hall. It’s because I’m not all that different from the inmates. I dream of elaborate tax-avoidance schemes too (and pay my tax bills assiduously). I wouldn’t pirate DVDs for profit, but I wouldn’t mind knowing someone who used to. I wouldn’t deal pot, but I’ve bought it.

    I doubt any of the inmates thinks he know what’s best for me. I wouldn’t mind telling them about my run with psychiatry; they’ve been subjugated and deprived of choices too, so there’s a fellowship and an agreement that loss of agency hurts.

    NAMI’s mission is “to eradicate mental illness and improve the quality of life of those affected by these diseases.” Them and Us is built right into it, along with condescension and grandiosity. I’ll take the meth dealer whose wares people crave, and which I can refuse, over the proselytizer whose firm belief is that I should take drugs that aren’t even pleasurable, whether I want to or not.

    Who’s crazy and dangerous: the drug dealer, the drug forcer, or the person who just wants to choose for herself?

  • Incredible. Thank you very much for saying so much in one essay.

    You are right about the disabling iatrogenic conditions that follow the bipolar diagnoses that follow antidepressant use. The pain, the akathsia, the endless mental torment, are bad enough. But to be discredited makes it worse.

    Further, if those experts had copped to this at the outset the vast bulk of sufferers would be free and happy today. I know of three women who no longer have houses they owned due to post-ERffexor mania. One sold without knowing, one sold against her will when a realtor forged her signature, and the other, I don’t know the details. Selling a house does not mean one can buy another one, by the way.

    Yet Lieberman just called people thus disabled “patients who are unwilling to acknowledge their own illness.”

    Maybe I am not alone in saying statements like that are actionable. I mean it when I say it.

    I agree with your racketeering allegation, too, but I’d rather see them tried one at a time.

    I am glad you made it to Alaska. I’ve been reading about Kodiak and how the people swarmed their borough assembly and got a property-rights-destroying bill quashed.

  • To go off psych drugs or not…This is what I have gathered through experience and a lot of reading–books, journal articles, and support forums. It is not meant as advice, just some things to keep in mind.

    Going off psych drugs can lead to short and long term mental, emotional, and physical problems, whether a person tapers off slowly or goes cold turkey. These can be severe and ruinous, and wholly unlike a return of the original symptoms. Or they can be mild, or not happen at all. Doctors vary in their understanding of this and the usefulness of the guidance they offer. Some drugs are harder to get off than others. Effexor and Paxil are often mentioned as bad ones.

    Going off psychiatric drugs is not something to be undertaken lightly. When someone in the news is said to have “just gone off his meds,” quite often the bizarre behavior is not what the person was medicated for in the first place, though that is assumed by writers and readers alike. This is not the APA party line, but it is evident in the stories on and documented in case histories that can be found by searching Sites like crazytalk and crazymeds are pro-psych drugs, but stories there of people starting and stopping multiple drugs are nonetheless instructive and not usually flattering to psychiatry.

    People who do fine on psych drugs are not heard from much in web forums.

    Problems with discontinuation do not get mentioned in clinical trials, for several reasons. One is that the FDA does not mandate study of discontinuation phenomena. The rest of the reasons have to do with the nature of clinical trials and their purpose. They are not pure research motivated by scientific curiosity. Outcomes are shoehorned into questionnaires completed by subjects or interviewers. Akathisia can be called anxiety or agitation. In an infamous case, suicidality was coded as “emotional lability.” Hypomania and mania might just be coded as improvement in mood, for that matter, but that’s my conjecture. Adverse effects are not usually reported unless they happen to more than 5% (sometimes 10%) of subjects. Adverse events do not have to be reported at all if the people running the trial believe they were not caused by the drug. Outcomes for people who quit the drug and leave the trial are not reported. Studies designed to compare discontinuation to continuation have been done post-marketing (the PREVENT series) but they are comical in design and analysis, and published by questionable authors like Keller (lead author of the notorious Study 329) and Nemeroff (disgraced over unstated conflict of interest was revealed in another trial) whose ties to the drug industry are numerous.

    Considerations before even thinking about stopping a drug are numerous. How difficult were the original symptoms? Did they occur in reaction to a short-term life crisis? Was the diagnosis correct? Did drugs prescribed for an initial diagnosis like depression trigger symptoms of a new one, like bipolar? Do the drugs really work to alleviate symptoms? Are the side effects worth any benefit? Are the drugs known to cause other health problems, like obesity and diabetes? Have some drugs been prescribed to treat the side effects of other ones? Are other therapies known to be helpful for the original diagnosis? If one could go back in time and not start the drugs, would one?

    So, a can of worms. It’s not like being a heavy drinker and deciding to quit. In that case the benefit is obvious, the course of withdrawal is predictable, and much support for the decision is available.

  • Every story I read inspires me to keep reading and writing. You would think the general public would be up in arms by now, but our stories are up against misinformation and outright nastiness from Guild members who discredit us as hysterics and incompetents.

    Anyone who has been treated by a psychiatrist can be dismissed as an unreliable witness, which gives this movement challenges not faced by other activists.

    That is no reason to stop telling the stories, though.

    I am optimistic, believe it or not, and very grateful for those who came before me, and for heroic efforts like those of Robert Whitaker and others who come to this out of compassion rather than their own injuries.

  • The most powerful argument you can make against ineffective therapies and harmful ideology is that it costs too much.

    If Americans knew what Medicare and Medicaid spent on psych drugs AND iatrogenic illness, plus SSDI, at taxpayer expense, and also knew what percent of private spending on “healthcare” went to psych drugs and their side effects…that would get a reaction.

    Another accounting is the price of human tragedy, which is hard to put a number on. Not just murder and violence, but spouses and parents going manic or suicidal and ruining families, etc. The public has a hard time, under the assault of APA lies, believing psych drugs make ordinary people into criminals and killers. But they might be interested in the much larger number of less dramatic outcomes like ruined marriages, children sent to foster care, etc.

    One thing we can all do is write notes to reporters who publish stories about psychiatric issues and stick to the APA line. Ask them why they omit mention of side effects or withdrawal, especially when the story is about a murder done by someone who “just went off their meds.” I think asking is more effective than telling, and plus I want to know. So far my first try got no response, but I’ll keep it up.

  • Turns out there’s a full-text pdf on Researchgate, and methylphenidate is just as Dr. Brogan described it.

    “Among amphetamines and stimulants (Table 4), 25% (1/4) of examined agents were associated with carcino- genicity, with 10% (1/10) of all studies being positive for carcinogenicity. Only methylphenidate was associated with carcinogenicity, in one-third [of the] studies of that agent. Amphetamine salts, modafinil and atomoxetine were unas- sociated with carcinogenicity.”

  • The study’s abstract listed the drug classes from most to least carcinogenic. Their wording for the last-ranked stimulants:

    “stimulants (with the exception of methylphenidate) were last (25%, 1/4 agents)”

    Dr. Brogan’s:

    “25% amphetamines/stimulants were associated with carcinogenicity, with methylphenidate specifically associated.”

    I guess those could be consistent, depending on what the authors meant…

  • Dr. Steingard,

    A few years ago I started to wonder whether a “schizophrenic” who is hallucinating, and talking to what s/he hears or sees, might actually be asleep and dreaming. I would describe it as the opposite of a hypnagogic hallucination. It’s also not unlike a lucid dream except the body is moving around in “reality” rather than lying motionless and seeing a dreamscape.

    Today I came across Bertram Kratan again (I’d forgotten his name but not his humanity) and he’s got the same idea. I might well have internalized it in college 30 years ago, and begun to think it was mine.

    Kratan also believed that schizophrenic people, during episodes, were in a states of terror (Nightmares?).

    Finally, I was reminded yesterday that congenital blindness and schizophrenia rarely co-occur. (A handful of known cases, ever.) That somehow ties back to sleep/wake issues, as well.

    Below are two non-contiguous paragraphs byt Dr. Kratan.

    “Schizophrenia is a chronic terror syndrome. All of the symptoms of schizophrenia are either manifestations of the terror or defenses against it. Chronic terror blanches out most other emotions, which led Eugen Bleuler to the erroneous conclusion that schizophrenics have no affect. Many patients are helped by being told in the first or second session that you will not let anyone kill them.

    Hallucinations are basically waking dreams, and can be readily understood with Freud’s theory of dreams, with minor alterations. There are no universal symbols but there are frequently used symbols. Schizophrenic hallucinations may occur in any sensory modality, but auditory hallucinations are most frequent because schizophrenia is an interpersonal disorder, and speech is a communication between people. As with dreams, if the patient associates to the hallucination, the two of you will eventually figure out what the hallucination is about. Patients don’t like being told they hallucinate, but they readily discuss voices and other experiences.”

    Whether any of these sleep-like phenomena really are variants of regular sleep is beyond me. What I like about a sleep theory is that it doesn’t put the patient so far away from everyone else. Some of us sleepwalk, and others lucid-dream and sleep-hallucinate. Maybe in the process of waking up or becoming tired, something small goes awry, maybe out of sync.

    If you have any thoughts on Kratan’s ideas I’d be interested to know them.


  • Perhaps understating.

    Google is a private company, and in its truthiness initiative has hinted at de-listing pages with content it deems bogus. I saw it in action when I searched for lubitz medication side effects.” The first result was from CCHR, and it came with a feedback box that asked me what I thought of the content. If CCHR is under scrutiny, how far behind are MIA and liked-minded sites? Yes, I know CCHR has the taint of L Ron Hubbard and his spawn, but I just took a look at their content. It’s boilerplate information you can find anywhere in the realm of critical psychiatry, and no mention of Scientology that I could see. Google is doing the FDAs dirty work, and probably without being asked.

    Regarding the food supply, a big chunk of the doctors who wrote that stink mail to Columbia suggesting Dr Oz should be fired were GMO shills. Though many in the public are aware that Dr Oz was under fire for his statements about GMO labeling (in favor) and coverage of herbal supplements that don’t act as advertised, he also endorses natural remedies over antidepressants for the treatment of depression. Only diet treatments were emphasized in coverage of the story.

    The author of SHRINKS wrote a nasty little note to the NYTimes, to take a nip at the ankles of Dr Oz (who is said to be an excellent surgeon, by the way).

    To the Editor:

    Re “Dr. Oz Is No Wizard, but No Quack, Either,” by Bill Gifford (Sunday Review, April 26):

    I want to illuminate the real and valid concerns of the academic medical community over the behavior and actions of Dr. Mehmet Oz, a faculty member and cardiothoracic surgeon at Columbia University Medical Center.

    The concern by fellow physicians over Dr. Oz’s approach to health care as demonstrated on his television show stems from the fact that physicians and medical researchers are held to standards that require not just honest communication but also credibility based on fact.

    Boundaries do indeed need to be pushed, and consumers do need to do homework, but recommendations need to be rooted in scientific evidence and medical facts.

    Since his foray into daytime television, by way of Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz has strayed from the strict standards characteristic of the medical field and particularly academic institutions.

    You can’t have it both ways: You can’t have the credibility of an elite academic institution and not be held to its standards.

    New York

    So yes, the crunch you hear as the boot strikes the ground is the bones of Truth and Justice, who apparently proved ineffective and laden with adverse events in a clinical trial run by Keller and Thase and funded GSX.

  • It’s a win-win for the two specialities that profit from “treating” differentness: plastic surgeons, many of whom live off cosmetic procedures, and psychiatry, to treat the boys for whatever the emotional sequelae of growing breasts might be. It is probably the chance to jack up mom on Abilify and Dad on Ambien, too. Talk about putting a spark back in your marriage. Think powder keg.

  • Lie-bore-man dad an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit recently.

    This is what he thinks of those who have suffered under the psych meds,

    “The only thing that I can say about scientologies antipathy against psychiatry is that unlike the idealogical zealots like Robert Whitaker and patients who are unwilling to acknowledge their own illness and thus blame psychiatry. ”

  • “Bitterness towards medication use impales those whose life it saved?”

    No, it doesn’t. Bitterness in people disabled or impoverished by psychotropics, and suffering hellishly for months or years, does not prevent others from going on pills if they want to.

    The warnings are inadequate, and the drugs cause permanent mood, cognitive, and bodily symptoms. The mood problems are not depression. People describe them as a mix of terror, despair, and dread. They also say there are no adequate words. Can last for years.

    It is science-denying to declare that ADs cause no dependency and no life-wrecking iatrogenic mania. The people who go through hell with these grossly aversive and disabling outcomes have science deniers in academia to thank. The denialism is taught to future clinicians.

    Make a study of it.

  • From the NYT review of Lie-bore-man’s new book, “Stinks.”

    “Ultimately, though, the real secret to psychiatry’s success is drugs.”

    Yes, Natalie Angier is right. Drugs and the message that they must be taken for life. Drugs and withdrawal syndromes that defeat efforts to quit. Drugs and side effects such as new diagnoses (bipolar).

  • Someone Else,

    “And it appears the ADHD drugs and antidepressants lead to a form of completely iatrogenic “bipolar.””

    Is there a set of distinguishing features in iatrogenic bipolar?

    I see so many people around the various drug-taker sites who start of with depression, get a med, and fall into the bipolar trap, with 1 or 2 drugs from the antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants. I mean they take 3 to 6 drugs every day. It is a crying shame.

  • It looks like various segments of the US have their own ideas about who the identified patients are, and that it changes over time.

    I wasn’t alive in the 1950s, but from then and into the 60s women were thought to be a problem. We were thought to be stupid, bad drivers, hysterical, and the like.

    Man-hating was installed and working properly by the 1990s. They were said to be stupid, violent, immature, and so on.

    But I do not know if that mkes them IPs

    I guess the mentally ill are the IPs now, as you said. They are blamed for mass shootings, even when they are on psych drugs or just off them. They are especially maddening to the naive when they “go off their meds.”

  • Treatment for schizophrenia is designed to benefit society, and if it benefits the diagnosed individual in a subjective sense, that’s a coincidence. The same is true of mood stabilizers used for bipolar illnesses. The discontinuation of antipsychotics, anti-convulsants, and Lithium is said to be common; if those drugs made people feel well that would not be the case. What they do is make them act well.

    Society is the patient, and the mentally ill person is the disorder?

  • In contrast to psychiatry, most medical specialties end in -ology, which indicates a science or the study of a topic. Oncology, Cardiology, Neurology, Dermatology.

    Psychiatry got stuck with its second-class name because psychology existed before it did and was outside of medicine, where it belonged.

    By the way I like the idea of a logical analysis of the DSM.

  • Yikes.

    Alexander is soliciting donations for “in-crowd member”, where responses like this to people trying to quit antidepressants are the norm:

    “You talk like the Effexor was a crutch or a vice, like a bottle of whiskey, as if being on the medication made you less of a person or symtom free, that you had to do it the “natural” way or some sh*t. It’s silly talk to be quite honest. Would you say the same if you were on high blood pressure meds or anticoagulants to prevent a stroke? [clc: I would…]

    And that was written by this person:
    Diagnoses: MDD, Social Anxiety
    Current Meds: Effexor XR, Wellbutrin XL, Neurontin, Klonopin, Propanolol, Seroquel, Zyrtec

    Scary stuff.

    In the same blog entry, Alexander blames his declining blog traffic on WordPress. Is he really a psychiatrist? This could argue either way: “I get self-esteem and occasionally money from blog hits, so this is kind of bothering me.”

  • He’ll trot out studies by Keller and Thase and Nemeroff, the PREVENT series. Those were about long-term maintainance on Effexor. They took half the people who had responded well to Effexor off of it. They called those people a placebo group, and compared Effexor continuers to this false placebo group. No suprise, it was better to stay on Effexor than to go off it–the withdrawal and tardive effects are notoroius. By labelling the discontinuers “placebo,” Effexor was made to shine in comparison.

    Thase is fond of saying that the undeniably small positive effects of the drugs are magnified and thus important when public health (for 329m people) is at stake. He never admits that the the same is true of adverse effects.

    Leiberman has made a fortune off of damaging the brains of children. His comrades have, too. This is Soviet-style mind control, from the drugs to the diatribes. Thank heaven we have the government to protect us from the University Sociopaths Selling Remedies.

    Except we don’t, thus far.

  • Why would she have been diagnosed as any kind of bipolar? From the story it sounds like a schizophrenia diagnosis would have fit her symptoms and signs.

    I have a hunch that the article is meant to encourage the trillions of “bipolar” “patients” that DSM-IV and -V have created, and their loved ones, panic and seek more and stronger drugs for the “patient,” and to spend more money “complying” with psychiatrist’s prescriptions.

    (Sorry for all the quotation marks, but I can’t use those terms and mean them 90% of the time.)

  • When I first learned about ‘bipolar’ it was still called manic-depressive disorder (or disease)

    I prefer the old name as it describes two affective states. Bipolar, in contrast, describes the person.

    I wonder if treating mania with sedatives and depression with antidepressants would work better than these horrendous mood stabilizers?

    I wonder if the switch to the name bipolar was done to meds could be prescribed for daily use rather than episodically.

    My iatrogenic symptoms arose from a nursing mistake while I was recovering from a major surgery (abdominal)

    The resulting manic behavior got me into the meat grinder of psychiatry. I finally managed to get off everything and all is well.

    The last sad sack I tried to comply with wanted to me to take an antidepressant, and sedative, and a mood stabilizer.

    An up pill, a down pill, and stay in the middle pill.

    Not quite sure but does that not sound like a recipe for stasis?

    And by then I was only dealing with the hellish dread/terror “depression” which many experience during protracted withdrawal.

    Did you have morning terror/dread experience?

  • 2. Do clinical trial data marketed as evidence of effectiveness make it easier to adopt a mythical account of biology? There are no published studies on this topic.

    I assume that the question refers to TV ads that might cite findings like:

    “Patients taking Agitraton 300kg/day were four times more likely to experience reductions in the severity of the four primary symptoms of major depressive disorder compared to patients taking Pharmatrol .5mg/day.

    Patients on Agitraton were significantly less likely to report serious adverse events (89%) than were patients taking Pharmatrol (100%).”

    Ads like that would be accepted without question by a lot of viewers who have been primed to believe the plausible/mythical theory.

    Would they cause someone who was unaware of the plausible/mythical bio explanation of depression deduce it from the trial data? Maybe.

    No, not if they believe antidepressants are happy-pills like Ecstasy and stimulants.


    Yes, if they have been told that antidepressants correct a deficiency just like iron supplements do. The Party Line and maybe the original message I heard about Prozac when it was new was a version of the plausible/mythical account of depression. People were worried that Prozac was a happy pill, and thought that taking it was a cop-out. No, we were assured. All prozac does is is restore your available brains serotonin to an optimal level.

    In that case, the plausible/ mythical cause for depression is fortified by the “scientific” research.

  • The two questions

    Does a plausible (but mythical) account of biology and treatment let everyone put aside clinical trial data that show no evidence of lives saved or restored function?

    Yes, it has done that. The plausible serotonin deficiency theory (which no one has ever stated, advocated, or believed), is a placeholder in the public discourse. Even after hearing that was abandoned a long time, that just sounds like it was the wrong theory of a biological basis for MDD. So even though the plausible myth is gone, another one will come down the pike.

    Biological (chemical) treatment went large with Prozac’s portrait on the cover of Time. That is the day the (plausible, mythical) stigma of seeking mental health services took a big old
    Nembutal and took to its bed.

    With the two pillars, biologic theories and chemical treatments, set deep in bedrock, immune to stigma, and questioned at the moment by just a handful of public figures (plus alt media, a layer of bloggers, and layer of commenters and forum posters), why would anyone bother to examine clinical trial data? With the peristance and expanded reach of antidpressants, stimulants, APs, etc, why would a regular person believe the FDA approved them based on trials that were weak or fraudulent? No reason.

    Which reminds me. I just took a hard look at a trial of Vortioxetine the other day (Brintellix). It simply cannot have used human subjects. I have just a sliver of the people who try it able to tolerate the side effects, or getting any benefit. They rarely last more than a few weeks on it, per my extensive searches of the main drug forums, which are mainly pro drug and pro polydrug in tone, the results are not easy to accept. A confound is that lots of the threads I follwed were by polydruggers adding it to cocktails.

  • Holy cow:

    “Firstly, it was DSM-IV that made it possible for an individual to be labeled “bipolar” without ever having displayed a manic episode.”

    A neat trick, to be sure, but at least DSM-IV ruled out a bipolar diagnosis in people who exhibited manic behavior that was clearly a side-effect of antidepressants (ADs), as Dr. Hickey reported here:
    But as he also mentioned, DSM-V allows manic behavior that occurred as an AD side-effect as a symptom of a bipolar disorder. Why? Well, from 2004:

    “A review of antidepressant-induced hypomania in major depression: suggestions for DSM-V”

    …whose authors concluded, per the abstract: “Depressed patients who experience antidepressant-associated hypomania are truly bipolar.”

    Really and truly, but says who? Not Dumb and Dumber, but Chun and Dunner. I’d never heard of either author, but you might have.

    The second author is D.L. Dunner, notorious friend to drug makers. He was listed as an expert witness for the defense of the disgraced Dr. Schulz in the U of M case in which a Seroquel clinical trial resulted in the death of a young man.
    And more, here:
    Dunner shares authorship with the disgraced Dr. Nemeroff, too.

    Meanwhile, Chun as lead author makes as much sense as Pee Wee Herman in that role. He has no other publications. He was a student at U of W’s medical school at the time, but doing what? His subsequent internship and residency were in family medicine at Sutter Health in Sacramento. He now specializes in podiatry and sports medicine in Honolulu, according to his listing on Kaiser’s site. He claims to be an assistant clinical professor at the university’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, although it seems U of H, per my search of their faculty database, is not aware of this.

    Not only will this denial of AD-induced manic symptoms add to the diagnosis- and drug-loads of depressed individuals, I assume it will lead to the omission of manic behavior from lists of adverse events in clinical trials of ADs.

    Looking ahead to DSM-VI, we can expect that any psychiatric symptoms that do not meet strict criteria for a diagnosis of catatonia will be ascribed to the new Bipolar Disorders, types III to IXX.

    ADHD, whose DSM-V criteria will be deemed “too detailed and boring,” will be renamed amphetamine-deficiency disorder.

    Are you ready for your dose-up?

  • Nice round-up, Rob 🙂

    Regarding the NYTimes, the quote from the 2011 Stüben publication was not accompanied by a source. I traced the quote to a pretty harsh April 12 article about him in a German paper, which did not supply the source, either. I searched the net, but using English keywords, and had no luck. I wrote to the author of the German article and will report back if he supplies it.

    This is the German article, roughly translated by Google:

  • Why did they not look at psych drug use? They might not have wanted to, considering they found this:

    “Higher mortality rates were found among more recent studies (Table 2), particularly those with a first year of baseline in the 1990s compared with before 1970.” (Looks like a linear progression to me.)

    Change in antidepressant use in 2000 and 2010, according to “Trends in Antidepressant Utilization and Expenditures in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population by Age, 2000 and 2010” which came from AHRQ.

    They reported increases in U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population purchases of one or more antidepressant:

    ages 18–44: 48.5%
    ages 45–64: 91.3%
    ages 6%+: 71.8%

    Regarding “natural causes,” the JAMA authors mean diseases like cancer, coronary, metabolic.

    Unnatural causes were “suicide and unintentional injury.” (Like passing out on a tiled floor on your first dose of Zoloft, but they did not mention that.)

    These findings are a good start, but the data they analyzed have a bigger story to tell.

  • This got me thinking about the failure of clinical trials (whether fabricated or done correctly) to predict the post-marketing usefulness, tolerability, and destructiveness of new drugs.

    In a sense, the best a drug can do in a trial is drive responses to the measuremen instruments in the right direction. How well the instruments measure the subjective experience of depression is not known. Two people who complete questionnaire with the same answers could be describing different inner states. In other words, just as there is heterogeneity in depression, there is heterogeneity in how people use language to describe their symptoms.

    Clinical trials of psych drugs reliably report improvement in the placebo groups’ symptoms that is worryingly close to that in treated groups. Given the similarity in placebo and treatment participants’ reports, it might be they relfect a third variable, “time elapsed since baseline,” to a greater degree than they measure improvement in symptoms.

    I’d like to see clinical trials add seemingly bone-headed questions like “Do you like this drug?” How does it make you feel? (No one can fault the wisdom in “say what you mean and mean what you say.)

    Depression surely is heterogeneous, making it hard to define and measure. We can get around that by remembering that drugs are intended to help people, not clinical trial outcomes.

  • Tatiana, it’s a long answer.

    There really is no treatment that can safely relieve the physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. It’s just a matter of gritting your teeth and piecing together your own recovery.

    If you join, or already belong, just post your questions in your “intro thread” and let the members know what’s going on with your health.

    You will find every trick in the book for getting through discontinuation in their pages, as well as empathy and online companionship.

  • Copy cat, I am interested in what you say about Adderall. I was just wondering today whether Dexedrine might help people with antidepressant-discontinuation-induced anhedonia and/or akathisia, though that does sound far-fetched, especially for akathisia.

    I am very glad to hear that it helped, and wonder if you could say a bit more about it, along the lines of…

    Did you have problems in addition to psychosis and anhedonia after the Zyprexa-withdrawal-induced hedonia?

    Who came up with the Adderall idea? Why did he or she propose it?

    As for doctors losing their licenses…seems very hard to do, and it is devastating to the patient-victims.

    I know of a psychiatrist in California who drugged and raped a woman he met in a bar, using pharma drugs. The CA medical board was informed, and the case is documented on their web site, but the board did not revoke his licence.

    I know of another psychiatrist who was banned from practice in NY, then warned by CA’s board, not long after relocating there–both times for over-prescribing Ritalin. A second warning was issued a few years later, but he is still practicing, too.

    In at least one case, when Ritalin made a patient anxious to the point of disability, the former NY doc added Adderall, which did not help, so naturally he added Prozac and Ativan. (Why he didn’t then advise snorting meth is an open question.) That patient entered a ruinous period of psychosis and developed symptoms that were diagnosed as intractable epilepsy. Recovery from psychosis and seizures occurred slowly, with no further drugs or doctors.

  • Still not impressed.

    LoganBerman posted selected findings from this study:



    The study reports two trials. LoganBerman reported the results of the second trial. I looked at both trials, and am summarizing results for the HAM-D scale, because it appears first on the data tables. This took quite a while, so someone else can do it for all the other outcomes measures if they question it.

    Trial 1

    The first trial supplied doses of 7.5 mg/day or 15 mg/day to the treatment groups. There were two 30-day phases. Placebo or 7.5 mg/day were supplied in Phase 1, and placebo or 7.5 mg/day or 15 mg/day were supplied to the treatment groups. Of note: Data analyses for the second phase of Trial 1 excluded all placebo-treated subjects who responded during the first phase. Of 112 placebo patients, only 33 were included in analyses of phase one data.

    They found that MTHF did not improve outcomes.

    In Trial 1’s first phase, 28% of placebo patients responded, and only 19% of MTHF patients did. Remission rate for placebo-only was 18%, and 11% for MTHF patients.

    In the second phase, with the higher dose of MTHF provided, and placebo-responders from the first phase excluded from data analyses, response to MTHF was 17%, which is slightly lower than the 19% response rate in the lower-MTHF. The placebo group size had dropped from 112 to 33 after placebo subjects who improved during phase one were excluded.

    Trial 2

    The second trial was the same as the first, but MTHF was supplied at 15 mg/day during both 30-day periods.

    MTHF subjects improved at higher rates than did placebo subjects.

    In phase 1, response rate for MTHF was 37%, and for placebo, 19%. In phase two, the rates were 28% for MTHF and 9% for placebo. As in Trial 1, placebo-responders during phase one were omitted from the data in phase two; the placebo group size dropped from 56 subjects to 21.

    Some anomalities occurred, though. Response rate in Trial 2 for MTHF in phase 1 was 36%, and dropped to 28% in phase 2. Both rates were markedly higher than those seen in Trial 1, phase 2, which supplied MTHF at 7.5 mg/day or 15 mg/day, with a response rate of 17%.

    If you look at the four phases in the two trials as a sequence (T1 p1, T1 p2, T2 p1, T2 p2), the response rates to MTHF do not make sense: 19%, 17%, 37%, 28%. The leap from 17% to 37% is quite large, considering that the increase in dose from T1 p2 to T1 p2 did not increase the response rate at all.

    This is might be because there were too few subjects in Trial 2 (19 and 18 in the phase 1 and 2 MTHF groups).

    Or it could be because Pamlab, the maker of the MTHF supplement, Deplin, funded both trials, and five of the authors take money from, consult for, and speak for Pamlab.

  • I found the the source of the 70% figure offered by LoganBerman. Not impressed.

    Kelly et al. studied 100 people who had attended the Dept of Psychiatry at a Belfast hospital, and whose current or most recent period of illness met ICD-10 criteria* for a depressive episode. The controls were 89 people with no history of depressive episodes, recruited from local clinics.

    Basis for the study:

    The research questions for this study derive from the discredited monoamine theory of depression:

    Folate and homocysteine are thought to parallel levels of 5-methyltertahydrofolate in the CNS, which is thought to relate to monoamine neurotransmitter function.

    Kelly et al. thought MTHFR genotype would predict a) depression and b) plasma levels of levels of folate and homocysteine.


    1 Relationship between MTHFR genotype and depressive episode history?

    70% of the 100 recent/current depressive-episode subjects had the relevant MTHFR polymorphism.

    So did 55% of the 89 no-depressive-episodes-ever subjects.

    2 Relationship between MTHFR polymorphism and folate and homocysteine?

    In the current study, patient and control groups did not differ in levels of plasma folate or plasma homecysteine.

  • You are onto something there. I had similar experiences with a regrettable course of prescribed speed, designed by a lunatic psychiatrist. I was taking Adderall, Ritalin, and Prozac, and recall having an “awake dream” during which I was lying on my bed in the morning, dreaming convincingly that I was out doing my errands for the day. I went to the bank, UPS, and grocery shopping, except I didn’t.

    When I was a young adult I often had sleep paralysis and hypnogogic hallucinations, as well as lucid dreams. I always liked them, during and after.

    If you love chaos it probably means you have the ability to enjoy and accept multiple stimuli at once, which sounds like a strength, not a symptom or deficiency.

    Whether Chantix only makes the bad crazies in people with atypical minds is something that is studied. I pored over so many pages yesterday that I can’t recall all the findings I saw. Some studies recruited individuals with diagnoses of schizophrenia, and bipolar, while others excluded anyone who had sought treatment for depression in recent times. Pfizer funded a lot of them; they are probably trying to create evidence for a “pre-existing condition defense” against slews of lawsuits.

    I too used Chantix, and experienced the unbidden and compelling idea that I ought to kill myself.
    I wasn’t unhappy with anything at the time, nor depressed. It was astounding, because it arose sui generis, not as something I idly considered and easily discarded. There was no possibility that I would commit suicide, but the feeling was a pure transmission of doom, which conveyed the idea that I really should pack it in at the first opportunity. It was a day or so before I remembered that I was on a drug and the drug might have side effects. Once I figured it out, I discontinued it and the suicidal imperative expired.

    PS I will re-examine the Chantix studies and see what they concocted for their findings with the schizophrenic people.

  • Hi Acidpop, I have spent much of the day and night reading the research on Chantix, a smoking cessation drug. I know what you mean in your post above.

    In the Chantix (varencycline) studies, the authors often include someone who works for, accepts speaking gigs, or holds stock in Pfizer, which makes the drug.

    I have been hoping to figure out how the various studies avoid detecting many serious adverse events when, in real life, by the second year of its availability, it had prompted 988 adverse reaction reports, the most reports received for that time period. For 769 other drugs, the median number of reports is 5.

    I think I found the dishonest data trick, which is what I complained about earlier–the throwing away of data. I did not discover this trick–all the critics of psychiatry write about it.

    In the Chantix meta-analyses, when the researchers are counting adverse events, they often discard any adverse-event data for events that only happened to 5% of fewer patients, or, in one study, to 10% of fewer. The ability of Chantix to cause murder, suicide, and unprovoked violence is known. How many users experience that, though? Probably fewer than 5% or 10%.

    Some of these meta-analyses include more than 10,000 smokers, so even 1% with lethal outcomes is a lot of people.

    Of course, the researchers also often exclude people who drink, or are depressed or anxious, “bipolar” or “schizophrenic,” or have been to a shrink in the last year, to further ensure few adverse events.

    Then, when they cannot hide a finding showing Chantix users do have neuropsych adverse effects, they say “smokers tend to have a high rate of mental illness” and “withdrawal symptoms for smoking cessation may be responsible.”

    Chantix does, remarkably, lead to a higher rate of smoking cessation than do nicotine patches. But still, only about 22% stay clean for a year after quitting with Chantix, so why do we have a murder/suicide pill out there, from which 80% of users will not benefit, and will risk destroying their lives and those of others?

    Here is a group of customer reviews. Many of them say that their bodies and minds are seriously damaged after using the drug only a short while.

    You would not know that from reading all the studies i have read today.

    This situation is possible because of research manipulations, Pfizer-designed research, and advertising that is false.

    FDA: False Data Always?

    On the FDA site, there are the usual platitudes, and the results of two massive studies done by the VA and the DOD. No differences in psychiatric hospitalizations between Chantix users and nicotine replacement users. But, that is from a subset of Chantix users. One of the studies excluded PTSD hospitalizations from the data, and the other one only considered the outcomes for the first 30 days of Chantix use.

    Meanwhile, a medical watchdog group analyzed reports made to the FDA, and learned what the FDA already knew.

  • Bad therapy ideas come from the problem oldhead pointed out.

    If, in response to something scary, my level of neurotransmitter x falls, that does not mean I should increase my x level to escape feeling scared. It could be that the drop in x that occured was part of a coping response which, if reversed, would allow the perpetuation of my fear. Maybe x has to get out of the way so wonderful y can come in and calm me.

    Not sure but that example might describe what went wrong when SSRIs were developed to ease depression. Recent news is that depressed people have high serotonin availability, not low. Perhaps depression is experienced when (or because) serotonin levels are high for some reason, and begins to remit spontaneously as serotonin drops (or is caused to drop by endogenous or environmental events). If so, increasing serotonin’s re-uptake (and thus multiplying its effects, I assume) would prevent the natural decline of depressive symptoms.

    ^that second paragraph is to science what Beanie Babies are to zoology. Please forgive me for the flight of fancy, unless it happens to be correct.

  • Re: (Kirsch et al, 2008)

    It is not even necessary to suppress failed trials. Why risk the file drawer when you can eject subjects early in a study for failure to improve on antidepressants, and hope that luck of the draw will work in your favor in round two:

    “Replacement of patients who investigators determined were not improving after 2 wk was allowed in three fluoxetine trials and in the three sertraline trials for which data were reported.”

    That is, “we threw out data we didn’t like.”

  • I think the dependent measures in drug trials are a huge problem.

    The Hamilton scale only has one question about mood per se.

    Trials also don’t specifically ask about adverse outcomes, like arguing, violence, and mania, as far as I know.

    Hamilton was not devised to measure outcomes of SSRIs, after all. Focusing only on a flawed depression scale has surely muddied the waters.

    There should be a scale that includes questions about all known drug effects, not just the desired effects.

  • Very good idea. If that turns out to be true, it would buttress the case for the placebo-only effect of the drugs, by proving the placebo effect.

    There is a lot wrong with clinical trials. I sure would like to hear from someone who has been in one.

    Just thinking…If they do not screen out people with past psych drug use, there is yet another problem. Some of them might be in protracted withdrawal from another (or the same!) drug, and any reported improvement would be coded as a drug effect rather than a relief from drug withdrawal.

    Anyone know if they screen out people recently on psych meds, or even do blood tests to show the people are not currently on drugs of any kind?

  • That’s brilliant. I wonder if it happens in an 8-week clinical trial, and whether the subjects are weighed.

    (Not just asexual, btw, for for some, inorgasmic.)

    I noticed that the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale has an item about recent weight loss, but not weight gain. In fact, it would count weight gainas a positive. Heh. Maybe that it is why it is used, despite its other flaws.

    I can think of some great posters for this idea…

    Truly a good one. You should tell the Scientologists. They are the only ones throwing money at this.

  • B, I posted this link earlier. It is my attempted take-down of Sapolsky’s recent column in major papers, stating that depression caused the German pilot to crash the plane. He called untreated major depression possibly the most lethal “disease” on earth.

    That is what got me into researching his bizarre desire to design drugs and cause people to think they need them.

    His claim to fame was based on studies of apes. From this he decided that depression is 100% biological, caused by “stress” and elevated cortisol, forgetting that human minds are not ape minds, and also forgetting that stress is a sign of too hard a life, or maladaptive ways of thinking about life, both of which can be helped without drugs.

    (It just occurred to me that living with people who are whacked out on psych drugs probably causes loved ones to end up on the drugs, too. Grim.)

    He is a determinist, he says, which means he believes we are basically machines.

    He is also considered a leading voice in biology and neurology, and this is part of why we have drugs now instead of other innovative ways of coping with personal difficulties.

    But more than just one researcher, we have the media glomming onto sexy stories that say pills can fix us, such as that AP story I linked to before.

    In case you didn’t see it…my response to the article he wrote. Took me days to document everything, but it was cathartic…better than drugs. I learned a lot, too.

  • The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale is pretty weird, anyway. Look for it online and see if you think it is a valid measure of depression. It has one question about mood, three about insomnia, and one about weight loss, but nothing about weight gain.

    Here’s a study that is cited to show ADs work, but look at the finding.

    “virtually no difference at moderate levels of initial depression to a relatively small difference for patients with very severe depression, reaching conventional criteria for clinical significance only for patients at the upper end of the very severely depressed category. ”

    Then see the chart…the green area shows the studies that showed “clinically significant effect.”

    How does that justify the claim that the drugs work, when none of the other studies showed anything useful was done by the drugs?

  • Not Sapolsky. He’s scarily out of touch with humanity.

    Here he is excited about a drug called tianeptine, which ended up addicting people to the point that they inject it (aka krokodil. You might have seen the pictures of what it does to the body when injected). The drug is an opiate-like “antidepressant,” and was supposed to also reverse brain shrinkage supposedly caused by depression, though even Sapolsky concedes that the shrinkage was seen in patients who had previously been on antidepressants, and therefore cannot be ascribed to depression rather than drug damage.

    And here is just one report on the addiction problem with tianeptine. Search the net for personal horror stories like this one.

    Sapolsky talks a big line, but it is only to promote his own views and pave the way for new brain drugs. He was last seen trying to design a vaccine against stress using modified herpes virus to pass the blood-brain barrier and deliver “neuroprotective genes deep into the brain.”

    Sounds like a plan.

  • Dr. Read, New Zealand, like the US, allows drug companies to advertise to consumers. I have seen a graph that showed the two countries have rates of bipolar diagnoses that are the highest in the world and well above the next contender, which I think was Columbia. (Cannot find it at the moment, and of course it might be false.)

    In any case, it might be that NZ is experiencing high bipolar rates because people ask their doctors for antidepressants, as they do in the US, and end up in mania or akathisia.

    The negativity about the drugs in the study you described might be because many in NZ were prescribed the drugs for mild depression, got worse or became delirious, wish they had not taken the drug for a tolerable complaint, and are up in arms.

  • I have been unhappy with the coverage of the Germanwings story in major news media. The big papers have columns by medical experts explaining how depression caused it and urging people to get care.

    I wrote a blog post rebutting Robert Sapolsky, a would-be drug designer, whose column ran in the LATimes and elsewhere.

    It’s long, but it might help someone who is new to all this (the MIA) message see the light.

    That some people are helped and not harmed is great. But the extent of the harm is heartbreaking.

    Just read the words of some victims of side effects, and ask whether depression or drug syndromes is the more likely explanation.

  • Thanks for this. There are other problems, built into the FDA’s guidelines for clinical trials. Adverse events must be reported, but only if the researchers think they were caused by the intervention, not the condition the drugs are meant to treat (think drug trials in psychiatry). So, if a participant in a mania drug trial gets akathisia, it can be written of as mania. If antidepressant goes paradoxic, sending a mildly depressed participant into depths of hell far worse than her condition at the outset, that can be coded as progression of her depression, or ignored, and not coded as an adverse drug event.

    This must explain the contrast between clinical trial results and lived reality for people who use them.

    I wrote a blog post that covers this, and more, in response to recent columns in the NTImes and LATimes by experts, who say depression caused the Germanwings crash, and more people should seek treatment. Neither writer mentioned the possibility of a drug reaction; Friedman misquoted a meta-analysis, saying no suicides had occurred, even, when jn fact there had been 8 (5 treated, 3 placebo).

    This is it. It links to both problematic columns.

  • Thanks for this article.

    Meanwhile, this seemed relevant here.

    Yesterday Dr. Robert Sapolsky, who is a very successful researcher and public speaker from Stanford, told us that depression is 100% biological, and that the lives of those diagnosed as schizophrenic are “wasted lives.”

    He said untreated depression is the most lethal disease on earth! I got the statistics I needed to find out. The death rate by suicide un untreated depression is about 2.7%/year.

    His big thing is “depression is biological,” a theory he developed while worki g with baboons.

    Not exactly a humanist. The type that thinks we are robots and need new parts sometimes. These are the kind of people who convince the public to go on drugs.

    The article I linked to, about the German pilot, said nothing about the possible role of psych drugs, which is not surprising.

  • The FAA requires continued scrutiny for 60 days after a pilot has discontinued the use of the four approved psych drugs. I wonder how they figured that out? Discontinuation can be far more damaging and devastating than the drugs are, but this is a nearly invisible fact in journalism. The old “off his meds” chestnut satisfies every naive reader, every publisher, every drug executive, and presumably the FDA.

    It is hard to explain the difference between relapse and withdrawal. I like the analogy of a heroin user experiencing withdrawal–vomiting, sweating, and probably craving.nit is never suggested that that is a return to his state before he started using heroin. With psych drugs, there is very little understanding of the trivial complaints for which they are often prescribed, and how those are eclipsed by the madness that can follow discontinuation, which is none the less blamed on relapse, or the reappearance of an underlying condition, or the progression of the illness.