Monday, March 20, 2023

Comments by spatler

Showing 16 of 16 comments.

  • I have TD which began during my withdrawal from Klonopin, a benzo. I’ve never taken an AP. I can’t stop pressing my front teeth together and have to wear a mouth guard to suppress the urge. It began 54 months ago and has not improved at all in that time. I suspect it is permanent. Great. TY Dr. Breggin for your life-long effort in fighting drug treatment. The brain was not meant to be bathed in these chemicals. More harm than good.

  • This whole subject is fascinating. To think a multi-billion dollar market might be built on the placebo effect.

    In considering possible causes of depression, a biological basis is one possibility and I think we need to also consider the possibility that depression could be a symptom of more than one biological cause. This means that ADs could, in some case, improve depression, while in other cases make it worse, yet you would still get the overall results shown in all these fascinating placebo studies. This is what William Walsh seems to have found in his decades of nutrient treatment of depression. I think his epigenetic approach is much more scientifically grounded and incredibly more sensible than the *very profitable* and poisonous approach the drug companies push. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him address the placebo effect in his work, but surely it is at work there too.

  • “…“medications” is not scientifically correct and politically its continued use serves to reinforce the oppressive narrative promoted by Biological Psychiatry and Big Pharma. Please reconsider your use of this term.”

    Thank you for pointing this out, Richard. I have filed that one away and will no longer refer to these drugs as “medicine.”

  • We’re on the same page for sure, J. Doe. I’m a benzo victim too – still disabled and recovering 33 months after a brutal 30-month taper. And I agree with and fully support everything you wrote in your articles. Well researched and thoughtful.

    Unlike ADs (and the other psych drugs) benzos have a “street profile” (well, I guess ADD drugs might too) and are easily conflated with drug abuse. Heck, they are even tracked by the DEA (which I don’t think ADs are?). In that sense they live a double life as a street drug and as a mundane medicine along side ADs and the other psych drugs. I never once in 21 years had any desire to take more than my prescribed dose. On the contrary, I spent 21 years wishing I didn’t have to take them at all.

  • Well said, Brighid. I would even go so far as to call it “iatrogenic damage” or “iatrogenic poisoning” instead of “iatrogenic dependency” as that is what it truly is. I feel that even the words “withdrawal” and “dependency” hinder us, as uninformed minds who hear these words will default to equating it to addiction. These words connote drug abuse culture. Even doctors, who should know better, do this, and as you have clearly pointed out, that is dangerous for all – -even the abuser. Getting it coded as a billable physical illness would go a long way.

  • It is possible for people to be “addicted” to benzos, I gather, as they are a drug of abuse, but this is not the majority. Not by a long shot. For most people the benzo is a medicine your doctor told you to take every day, just like an AD. For 21 years I did this as a daily routine as I trusted my doctor who said I need them daily. There was no desire or craving. I disliked having to take them, but saw it as needed medicine.

    When I tried to stop it became a huge problem – I Literally COULD NOT get rid of them without damaging my CNS. Or, stating that more accurately, without unmasking the damage they had already done to my CNS through what Whitaker called “opposition tolerance.” All psych drugs do this, not just benzos.

    And this huge problem is happening quietly in isolation in homes, one person at a time. No headlines in the news, but it is a much bigger problem than abuse. I think it dwarfs the abuse problem, actually. Five years of my life down the drain so far and it will probably be six or seven before I am clear of it.

    But no matter if a person is addicted or not, they now have a physical CNS injury requiring very slow removal. Detox centers and fast tapers are never appropriate, even for someone who is addicted and craving.

    Richard, thanks for your comments. I get where you are coming from and appreciate your effort to understand this issue.

  • The language really does matter. I recoil every time i read the word “addiction.” It is so frustrating to see well-meaning media reporters get it wrong and report on the abuse angle. This harms the victim and lets the doctor off the hook. I’ll bet 90% of news articles on the subject get this wrong.

    I’ll also add that it is not just benzos that cause this illness. The same problem and symptoms occur with all psych drugs. They all cause CNS injury to receptor systems. It actually is not a withdrawal phenomena at all – it’s an injury and it can take years to heal.

    Good job. Thanks for writing this.

  • A topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks for this…really excellent. I am a fellow sufferer. I tapered Klonopin, and also an SSRI. Despite the tapering they have managed to still obliterate five years of my life, although I have managed to hang on to my job, marriage, and family. I was never told what the drugs might do to me. I feel misled extremely and harmed by Western medicine and psychiatry.

    I agree that the terminology matters a great deal and am shocked that the medical negligence of detox centers, who’s business it is to know this subject, continues unabated. No one in medicine seems to know or care enough to put a stop to the atrocities going on there.

    I also agree the term “addiction” is not at all appropriate – it implies drug-seeking behavior. And I think “dependency” or even “physical dependency,” although much closer to the target, do not fully capture it, as I think you alluded to. To me “dependency” still connotes withdrawal and is too close to “addiction.” This is not what’s going on with psych drugs.

    What happens with psych drugs is a physical rearrangement of the receptor systems (new receptors are created or old ones abolished, neurotransmitter levels are increased or decreased, the way receptors systems interact and influence is altered) as the CNS tries as best it can to adapt and function homeostatically in the presence of the drug. To me this is much closer to – and maybe actually is best called – neurological damage (hopefully reversible) as it cannot be reversed over a short time span like other drug withdrawal effects, and remains long after the drug is gone – often years after. The tapering process is truly a physical damage healing process where the CNS has time to slowly reverse the damage done by the drug.

    I’d like to move away from the terms “addiction,” “dependency,” and “withdrawal” completely and really get to the root of what is happening by describing and depicting it for what it really is. The terms “addiction,” “dependency,” and “withdrawal” are borrowed simply because we don’t know what else to call it.

    Thanks for bringing this subject to light and doing a fantastic job with the extensive research.

  • It works, right? Let’s be clear – that is not in question. I’m questioning the reason it works and am critical of that being presented as a drug effect. Where is the objective proof that ketamine does anything to help depression beyond the placebo response? How does it stack up against therapy, placebo, and nothing at all? Show me objective quantitative results. If it is for real it should be able to withstand this test and that should be done before it is peddled to unsuspecting patients as real medicine. It is simply another in an endless string of examples of the placebo effect being ignored and the results attributed to a mysterious drug effect.

  • This is the way it is with the placebo effect. No one believes it and assumes it is the drug. It isn’t! This mistake has opened the door to billions of dollars for the drug industry and they have exploited it masterfully. Yet we know the placebo effect is very strong with depression. Administering ketamine via injection produces a powerful placebo effect. I would want to see the results of an unbiased placebo injection trial…go through all the same motions, but with water, or better, an injection fluid that produces side effects. Without that the claims made are baseless and highly suspect.

    I’ve been through the bio-psychiatry wringer and have given psychiatry a thorough rectal exam. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on and it is important to remain deeply skeptical. I see nothing convincing with ketamine that can’t be explained by the placebo effect. It’s the same old story – more unscientific bio-psychiatry nonsense.

  • Every drug trial result for antidepressants I’ve ever seen can be accounted for by the placebo effect. They have a lot of difficulty outperforming placebo and often don’t. The drug is administered and the patient gets better. It is natural to think the drug worked. It appears it is the drug, but it is not. The active chemical does nothing for depression. The patient has been given an expensive and potentially dangerous placebo. Why does this fact get swept aside?

  • I agree. They were developed for other reasons, and have been found to work for depression. The reason they work is the placebo effect, nothing more. And the guy who is doing the injections is using an extremely effective placebo procedure. It is an established fact that what he is doing will give good results even if the injected liquid were water. But I have no doubt he believes it is the ketamine.

  • Exactly! And it was Thomas Insel who said that! As near as I can see the entire efficacy of ADs is accounted for when we consider they are active placebos, just as Kirsch found. It is well known that depression has a large placebo effect. I’ll never understand how people in the field overlook this and conclude the drug itself actually affects depression. They work because they are active placebos and also because depression can remit on its own.

  • I think you are exactly right, Kirsch’s work was right on the money. We know active placebos are more effective than passive ones. I wonder what would happen if an “overactive” placebo were used, i.e., one that had stronger side effects than the drug itself. Or if the patient were deceived (for the purposes of the study) and told he/she was getting the drug when it was actually an active placebo. Hard to believe all this has not been hashed out already…kind of basic to good science.