Sunday, June 26, 2022

Comments by ourviolentchild

Showing 202 of 203 comments. Show all.

  • Hi Rossa,

    I’m a parent and I READ and LOVED your book. So happy to see your post, and I wish you would do a regular MIA column!

    ‘Lived-experience’ parents who are neither followers of NAMI nor followers of so-called ‘social justice’ have no community. I raised my child away from ‘experts’ who wanted to diagnose and drug him, and he grew and flourished (but it was very lonely for me as an outlier parent). I have ZERO interest in the natterings of MSWs, MDs, and PhDs unless they’ve really somehow earned their stripes. No paternalistic ‘expert’ doling out ‘helpful tips’ knows what we know, and lived what our families lived.

    ‘Lived experience’ needs to rule now for parents and families. I loved how you wound your way through the crowd of professionals and emerged to tell the tale! Your son is so lucky to have you as his mother.

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi Julia26,
    Your comments are a breath of fresh air, as are those of the other family members who have commented. Julia26, you hit one of MIA’s Achilles heels. In MY experience, anti-psychiatry (psychiatry-critical, anti-pharma, or what-have-you) family members have never had a voice here, which is fine, but which is unhelpful in the ‘big picture’ sense of advancing change. It might have been productive if MIA had carved out a small space for MIA-friendly family members (an ‘anti-NAMI’ spot, if you will) when the website was relaunched. It didn’t do that, and instead took a much different direction (again, fine for MIA). Some might say, ‘Build your own site/community,’ but I daresay we’re all too exhausted (…) to take on more commitments. Julia26, Cheers to you, your clear common sense, and your energy! I’m not commenting again, but if you (or any family member) would like to continue a chat I can be found at [email protected]. Best to all.

  • Yes, great comment. This is a big issue. If I won the lottery I would run, not walk to my favorite Integrative neurologist and have him do a whole Cyrex lab on my child. Like you said, everyone’s different and requires different levels of different things; and plus their bodies are reacting to their environments all the time as well. As it is, I have to read and read and read and hope I’m delivering efficient levels of the correct things. Fingers crossed all the time. At least what we know about diet now (ideas first promoted over 10 years ago) helps a lot.

  • Yes, it’s a VERY expensive product. And I have no way to know its efficacy for my child – it’s impossible to identify a single food, supplement, vitamin, or protocol when you are using many at a time – but it didn’t clearly help in any way that warranted its cost for us with a limited family budget. So, like @bcharris I pick and choose for the supplements that have the best profiles for my child’s issues (Bs, D, zinc, magnesium, omega-3s, sometimes the ‘calming’ ready-made supplements, and others peripherally) and meet my budget. But a crap-free, gut-healthy diet is VERY important for kids’ brains-guts.

  • Great points @truth. I even purchased a Truhope product AFTER I already knew of Natasha Tracy’s complaints, but BEFORE the baby’s meningitis death and the trial/conviction. I had an open mind to the products but we found them unremarkable. A ‘mentally’ healthy kid requires more than a single product. I was also gobsmacked that a highly trained gastroenterologist allowed her child to be psych-diagnosed, psych-drugged, and had never heard of the gut-brain issues that us mere laypeople had been reading about for years. Speaks volumes about the abject failure of conventional medicine to teach its MDs to think for themselves.


    The elephant in the room is the baby’s meningitis death after the family refused to get it conventional medical treatment and tried to treat it with ‘natural’ remedies. Seeing as the family and business are closely related, it’s impossible for consumers to not connect the company, the natural-health products, and the baby’s death. Maybe this anonymous, unnamed push-back the authors allude to and that they complain is about ‘brand-naming’ is actually concern about a company that’s had years of negative online and mainstream press?

    Regardless, there is nothing exceptional about any single product. The tone of this post is puzzling. This supplement won’t be found to be a magic bullet any more than any other single thing in a vacuum. Integrative/Functional medicine has been pointing the way for years now to the importance of nutrition in ‘mental’ health, so there’s nothing new there. More importantly, Integrative/Functional practitioners have been showing the way in the larger picture of a healthy, ‘integrated’ human.

    ( I tried a Truhope product for my child. We found it unremarkable. I have no complaints about it, but didn’t purchase it again.)

  • Not the family’s only brush with the law. More tragic is that the company is a family company, and a son of the owner and his wife (closely associated with the company) were charged and convicted after their baby died of meningitis because they refused to get it conventional medical care (tried to treat it ‘naturally’…).

  • Great points that go a long way to explaining the groupthink mentality that makes it so difficult to communicate with an MD. An MD literally can’t ‘hear’ patients beyond certain keywords because his/her mind has been shut down to what it considers ‘outside’ (‘lay’) information. And yet, the MD’s mind is trained to remain open to pharma rep information. Crazy system.

  • Integrative/Functional clinicians have long been treating children’s behavioural issues by cutting gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods; and by increasing the intake of ‘behaviourally’ friendlier foods. Vitamins (especially Bs, zinc, magnesium, D) are always highly recommended, but the jury is still out on amino acids (which ones and for how long). Parents need to do due diligence on ‘recommended’ products of specific companies. (I’m well aware of this product/family company.)

    But, here as elsewhere, conventional medicine has been far behind the gut-brain work of Integrative and Functional professionals. Noted Integrative neurologist Datis Kharrazian doesn’t take the amino acid route but makes other more practical recommendations to support the brain. There are many high-profile Integrative practitioners working on children’s issues, and they all come to the table with a whole-child view that conventional medicine lacks.

    On the parenting and family side, Ross Greene, a clinical psychologist, wrote the first of several editions of ‘The Explosive Child’ in 1998 (most recent is 2014), and there has been no need to seek or accept psychiatric diagnoses or to drug a child for these issues since. Parents can see his excellent non-profit site (information, news, radio shows, and even training):

    Liz Sydney

  • Always enjoy Kelly Brogan’s pieces in MIA. MIA needs more posts coming from ‘spiritual’ perspectives. Materialism lacks critical parts of the puzzle of what keeps us well, what heals us, and what takes our ‘minds’ apart. MIA needs to be bringing in more people doing work in these fields.

    I work with my son on his ‘chakras’ and on his energy fields. I’ve felt quite strongly for years that he came into this life working issues out from a previous life. He still says things daily that remind me that his anger has nothing to do with this incarnation; and although he doesn’t need to ‘believe’ what I do (reincarnation made sense to me as far back as I recall), he can only benefit by knowing that there is more to life than what the material world indicates.

    Liz Sydney

  • I look forward to MIA publishing some classic excerpts of Solzhenitsyn’s experiences of psychiatry under Soviet communism, and some accounts of communist China’s very current misuse of psychiatry, or of Cuba’s.

    Does MIA speak for everyone harmed by psychiatry, or just those of certain ideological stripes? There’s no indication from the history of the globe that any ideology can deal with ‘mental health’ responsibly or compassionately.

    Liz Sydney

  • Yes, @bcharris, it’s exactly what the Soviets did and what China does today, ‘…turning the dissident into a pliable mental incompetent.’ No indication in the history of communism/marxism/’the left’ that ANY communist state will ever treat people any better. To the contrary, apart from the failures of communism around the world, the regressive-left currently engages in social control by trying to shut all free speech and engage in thought-control through authoritarian political means (current examples in USA, Canada). Not an ideal manner of making people ‘mentally’ healthier, haha.
    Liz Sydney

  • Additionally (to my comment above), the reader comments on the ‘BuzzFeed’ original were very interesting and informative. Without knowing why MIA reprinted a poor copy of the ‘BuzzFeed’ original, this makes MIA’s editorial look haphazard, unprofessional, and lacking basic journalistic principles.

    Liz Sydney

  • Reminds me of the old joke, ‘How many shrinks does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: Only one, but the lightbulb has got to really want to change.’ Except the shrinks here are the studies, and the lightbulb here is the field of psychiatry. And psychiatry really, really does not want to change.

    Liz Sydney

  • Puzzled about why, when the story very clearly originated from BuzzFeed News in December 2016 with an original byline (Rosalind Adams), that MIA chose to link instead to a poorly written rewrite on an obscure site a month after the original story was published. Was there an editorial reason for this?

    Additionally, BuzzFeed News evidently investigated the psych hospital chain, UHS, which is of interest to MIA readers. MIA should have cited BuzzFeed and not linked to a rewrite.

    That the story itself is beyond shocking goes without saying. Defies anything you could make up. But the beginning of the slippery slope was with the child’s parents, who accepted psych diagnoses from idiot MDs for a SIX-YEAR-OLD child in the first place.

    Liz Sydney

  • This ship has sailed. Mindless (and highly stressed) parents are compelled to mindlessly drug their kids because it’s the only thing that satisfies the mindless school and workforce systems. Mindless MDs mindlessly scrawl out the prescriptions. Done and done. A massive social shift in thinking would have to occur for the system to stop drugging children. And the pharma wheels are in high gear now that public policy bureaucrats place what is euphemistically called ‘mental health information’ directly inside the schools.

    Liz Sydney

  • NO, ALL psychiatric symptoms DO NOT come from deprivation/abuse/trauma. That is simply a sweeping, overreaching, dangerous generalization.

    Also, Integrative nutrition and neurology show that that many ‘moods’, behaviours, and states of mind are indeed based in body biochemistry. There are issues that we have previously called ‘psychiatric’ that can be helped or remedied through diet, herbal/vitamin ‘therapy’, exercise, mind/body work (eg. yoga, qigong), a change in gut and intestinal flora, ‘energy medicine’, and even sometimes antibiotics.

    Talk therapy is great in theory, but in my experience – and regrettably – it’s too expensive for most, and not effectively delivered by most practitioners.

    Liz Sydney

  • @Stephen Gilbert, No, to the best of my knowledge this is NOT the same guy. The Ross Greene, PhD I’m referring to was a psych prof with a private practice in family therapy somewhere near Boston. He discovered through his practice with violent kids that the fault wasn’t the family in most cases [nobody is denying the terrible prevalence of child abuse but it’s not the issue here] and realized that there was a developmental component going completely unnoticed. Completely different from the otherwise popular notion that the kids are choosing to be rotten or are in rotten homes. He wrote a couple books on these kids, and now has a busy non-profit devoted to furthering his methods.
    Liz Sydney

  • Disagree. I think there are extremely few psychiatrists with the compassion, intelligence, insight, or interest to look beyond the obscenely simple-minded medical pathologies (ADD, IED, ODD…) that their guild invented. All you have to do is look to the astronomical rate at which children are being psych-drugged (and without informed consent) to see how little genuine interest there really is in these children and their futures.
    Liz Sydney

  • The issue of violent children and teens is very complex. I doubt very much if anyone has parsed out the real statistics of how many of these kids are coming from which issues. Violent kids by no means all come from ‘dysfunctional’/abusive families and shouldn’t be lumped together as such (either literally or figuratively).

    Violence emerges from: developmental issues; family violence that develops AS A RESULT of the violent child’s violence; pregnancy or birth issues; head trauma; and more.

    I had the good fortune to be exposed to Ross Greene’s ‘The Explosive Child’ and discovered early that my child was experiencing developmental (prefrontal cortex) issues. I was then able to tailor my parenting accordingly. These kids will represent a huge percentage of kids who act out behaviourally. However, since nobody has the time, insight, or energy to deal with them properly they do all end up in the same place, and are all brutalized one way or another.

    But I must disagree with the author who suggests that psychiatrists want to do better by them. Psychiatry bears responsibility for their brutalization by having invented medical pathologies (ODD, IED) for them, which lead directly to them being medicalized and drugged. And then, as you mention, they get more and more labels and drugs (all without informed consent) tacked on as time progresses.

    To his great credit, Ross Greene resisted any diagnoses and labels (his weakness is in not condemning psychotropic drugs). He concentrated on helping them develop impulse control, flexibility, and such. But the post author is correct in that the dedication required to raise children like this is beyond what anyone imagines who has not done it themselves, which is why positions can’t be filled. Not surprising. Woe be the fate of the violent child without a genuinely caring guardian for a decade at least.
    Liz Sydney

  • Hi @AA, Here’s a link I’ve plucked at random:
    The only system conventional dermatology has for ‘treating’ skin issues is to ‘clear’ it cosmetically: scalpel or pharma. Can’t ‘remove’ eczema, so the only way to ‘clear’ it is to stop the immune system from overreacting in its cell production, ie suppress its function in that area. Topical or oral: same target, which is to stop the immune system from running in high gear. But the pharma carries terrible side effects, doesn’t address why the immune system is overreacting, or help it stop.

    Yes, good vitamin C was in our arsenal. Vitamin C has amazing efficacy, but conventional MDs will never prescribe it. Your MD-prescribed steroid might have been too low-dose to clear the eczema before you ran out of patience. There are lots of doses since they prescribe it to newborns, believe it or not (instead of addressing underlying gut issues). Good for you for getting off of it.

  • Agree @AntiP, The diet they show is only barely better than the average conventional North American diet and the authors are glib in their defense of it. People looking to significantly alter their mind/body health would do better to look to Functional and Integrative nutrition, which speak/s directly and forcefully to how food affects the gut-brain system.
    Liz Sydney

  • Agree, @AA on grains and fruit. The authors come across glibly when they write, ‘…everyone has an opinion of what might be the ideal diet…’, when Integrative and Functional nutrition has clear evidence on what constitutes a better diet than the really mediocre diet shown above for the study.
    Liz Sydney

  • A lot of children’s behaviour issues would lessen or disappear if families quit sugar (and sugar substitutes) and colourings; quit conventionally grown food in favour of organic; quit gluten and most dairy; and supplemented with good fats (coconut, grapeseed, some fish oils except that’s suspect now with ocean contaminants). But it’s a lot to ask a time-stressed family of limited means, so pharma wins the day because it’s quick, available, and convenient…just like the crap food they’re eating. And dumb health professionals are clueless about nutrition and quick with the prescribing pen, which exacerbates the problem.

    No easy answers.

    Liz Sydney

  • Spot-on post by Healy and also comment by @anothervoice.

    The comparison to dermatology is apt as well (any medical specialty would have been, sadly), as I learned. When one of my children had a sudden, extreme flare of eczema I knew that the only thing at the dermatologists’ disposal was steroidal cream, which suppresses immune function and creates serious side effects. It’s all they know, and their science is 17 years old (google the statistic: all info at the average MD’s disposal is 17 years old at any given moment).

    We researched through the information from Integrative and Functional science and medicine and cleared the eczema through radical change in diet and attitude, plus supplementation (vitamins, herbs, natural oils). They call it ‘root cause resolution’.

    Similarly, if I had run for the advice of dumb MDs when my other child demonstrated serious behavioural issues, we would have been prescribed one or more harmful drugs (by either a partialist or generalist) that treat and heal nothing. We chose an alternate route and are happy we did. A difficult, complex, and long-term project? Yes. People need to stop abdicating responsibility for their health to these experts goats or nothing will change.

    Liz Sydney

  • @Bean, Absolutely! I remember #medicatedandmighty since I fell into some Twitter spats opposing it. I remember following links and finding that it appeared to be a small, new private company (wasn’t it originally crowd-funded?).

    Now, to me, ‘The Mighty’ looks very much like the baby born from a shotgun marriage between BigEntrepreneurship and the regressive left’s obsession with victim-identityhood. Post after post after post of, ‘I AM this disorder…’; ‘I HAVE that disease…’; ‘Poor me…’; and ‘I suffer…’, which is all music to the ears of pharma and prescribing MDs. Darkly funny.

    ‘Mighty about my victimhood status…and my meds are my badges of honour’ is what I hear.

    Liz Sydney

  • I’ve got a dog in this race (two teens) so was interested to read. ‘Active Minds’ is clearly not going to change its own ‘mind’ or anyone’s ‘conversation’ because it depends on industry dollars. I’ll make sure my kids stay away from it just as I counsel them to give a wide berth to anything like that in the schools.
    One of my kids announced today that his school will be hosting a compulsory psychosis ‘information’ film this week, so I clicked all over (loads of ‘mental health’ so-called ‘non-profits’) to see what’s behind it. Looks like the same old sewage pipeline from pharma-to-government-health-policy-to-national-physican-guild-to-family-physicians and in this case straight from government into schools.
    I explain to my kids about the doublespeak of the now-ubiquitous ‘no stigma’ message, and tell them to avoid ‘mental health’ hotlines, message boards, and teen ‘peer helpers’ they have at schools now.
    It’s a BigPharma jungle out there since they’re hunting for new markets!
    Liz Sydney

  • Yes, @truth, I was confused by all this as well. None of those people further[ed] a psychiatry-critical perspective. To the contrary, they perpetuate all the industry narratives, and pharma is thrilled that they either purposely or inadvertently use themselves as industry spokespeople.
    The media photo of the oversized Prozac pill that Carrie Fisher’s ashes were apparently buried in said it all: A joke for Fisher, I guess, but the message to anti-psychiatry people was that it was a fitting urn since her psych pharma likely led to her early death.
    Liz Sydney

  • “Unfortunately, recent research finds that 75% of children between ages 2 and 5 are being prescribed drugs for ‘ADHD” without receiving the recommended therapy.”

    MIA means to say, “…75% of children who are being prescribed drugs for ADHD and are between ages…”

    And of course. People allow kids to be prescribed pharma drugs do it in exactly the same way they pick up ‘fast food’ for supper. Requires no effort and they delude themselves into thinking it effects the end they wish. Sadly, both ‘fast food’ and pharma drugs are destructive both short- and long-term. And even then only a tiny fraction of these kids require ‘therapy’. It’s the homes and schools that need to be doing the changing.

    But the adults are all popping pharma drugs, too, so they’re not motivated to question anything.

    Liz Sydney

  • Which pharma manufacturer was desperate enough about ‘future market pipelines’ to have funded this study? [Answer: All of them…] Not to mention the lack of safety guidelines on doing MRIs (requiring anesthetic?) on infant brains. That this garbage is the product of expensive science educations is beyond ludicrous. Who and how and where did these researchers manipulate parents or caregivers into participating in a bizarre study like this? Did they pay very poor new parents very well? Who in their right mind would put their baby into a half-baked scheme like this? The whole thing is so weird I can’t begin to get my head around it.
    Liz Sydney

  • In a funny little ‘twist of fate’ irony, I edited a NAMI newsletter for a couple of years. I was a working, professional medical editor and fell into it as a volunteering-in-my-community gig. I had no personal connection to the organization and had never heard of it.
    Fast-forward, two cities and over ten years later I had a child who was poised to be diagnosed as ‘IED’ and ‘ODD’ (I don’t even think those so-called ‘disorders’ existed when I was editing for NAMI). Knowing what I did about NAMI and its families – a sort of pay-for-play organization, hand-in-glove with psychiatry, with some well-intentioned people and some less so – sent me running the OTHER way.
    Every single intervention I’ve used to help my child develop over the past ten years has been non-drug and outside the purview of the medical and psych establishments. Many are listed above, some not, and some age-appropriate ones I concocted as I went along. I never once considered using pharma drugs. (On a child’s developing brain? Obscene.)
    It’s by no means easy to go the no-drug route in a society where families like mine have no support, but it’s the only responsible and conscious choice.
    Liz Sydney

  • Excellent, meaty interview. A pleasure to read whether or not I agree with everything (what he said about post-partum issues is dangerously simplified). Also really happy to see Rossa Forbes commenting because I was also chewing on the ‘family’ stuff. Very much agree that ‘trauma’ is everywhere in life from birth (or before birth if you believe epigenetics and/or Buddhism) and some individuals are just more susceptible to the storm that is life than others. But great, none the less, to read the words of a truly thinking therapist who was able to separate himself from the herd from the beginning and give back lives that would otherwise have been stolen by conventional systems. Wow.
    Liz Sydney

  • Hahaha, Steve! You beat me to it, I was logging in to remark EXACTLY the same thing. Hilarious. So it takes PhDs, neuroscientists, and far-flung, space-and-time bending ‘frontiers of neuroscience’ to make kids do what any common-sense-thinking parent teaches their kid to do. DUH! The prescription pad looms so gargantuan over anyone who utters the word ‘depressed’ that, like you say, this is what it takes. Incredible.

    Liz Sydney

  • Yes, I wish MIA would address the findings of Integrative/Functional medicine on treating depression with nutrition. There’s some info buried in a video series, but MIA needs much more info on a regular basis on the home page, where it’s more accessible and updated.

  • I find this piece confusing. Healy seems to be coming down on both sides of the anti-depressant fence. I fail to see why, with everything we know about these drugs and how they are/were promoted, why anyone would take them. At all. For anything. Ever. I would exercise, start to load up on supplements as has been mentioned (Bs and D appear very significant, try the amino acids, St. John’s Wort…), do laughter yoga… in short do ANYTHING EXCEPT pop these drugs. Even IF they work, they only do so for a limited period (see Dr. Datis Kharrazian and his work) and then there’s the job of getting off of them. And I’m just thinking of myself as an adult here. I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow my CHILDREN to take them (!!). So I’m baffled here.

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi Steve, Always enjoy seeing your comments. Yes, all articles on drugging kids are upsetting because somewhere at the bottom is the default notion that delivering these insane pharma cocktails to kids is acceptable. Want to tear my hair out right there. And I have to show your chemistry ABC to my own kids, just to underline the insanity of the systems they face.

    [Only one personal correction to your reply to me above: I wish my child HAD merely been garden-variety, so-called ‘ADHD-type’ obnoxious. Unfortunately, he was WAAAY beyond that, which is what forced me down this whole road in the first place.]

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi Christopher Page,

    Interesting to hear. We’ll see. Material relating to children has been very spotty on MIA, and the people who write on them as well. Virtually all the psych professionals here equivocate on drugs, which is disappointing. MIA psych pros need to explain precisely when and where they drug children, and why. And how they get through the issue of informed consent (!) when they do. For my part as a parent and reader, I had a post accepted and then passively rejected because my child is not a so-called ‘survivor’ or ‘consumer’, which was ridiculous. I went to hell and back in order to NOT psych drug my child or make him a psych-system ‘consumer’, so it was ironic was that our experience was only acceptable/interesting to MIA if I was dumb enough to have drugged him. Bizarre judgment on the part of MIA.

    Liz Sydney

  • If parents had the analysis, time, money, and energy to ‘organize’ and ‘protest’, then they wouldn’t feel utterly pressured into drugging their kids in the first place. That ship has sailed. Good parents are absolutely overwhelmed. Having a difficult or ‘disruptive’ kid is just the cherry on top. Enter: Solutions by your caring pharma manufacturer, delivered by your caring family physician, advocated by your caring school…

  • A problem with MIA is that there is no space and no writing (anymore; there has been some in the past) on children. (And agenda-driven writing by people inside and outside MIA who have no actual, longterm experience with very difficult children is useless.) By all means make sweeping generalizations and bash parents you don’t know, but it means MIA will never be a place for great, thinking parents to go who have parented well and have children with issues. MANY kids who were NEVER abused or traumatized develop symptoms/behaviours; and great, thinking parents have to deal with it in a pharma-crazy environment. The vast majority of drugging parents should not be drugging their kids, but I don’t blame them because to NOT drug a difficult kid means adults losing their livelihoods, and untenable pressure by schools. Nobody is treating behaviour problems (or the perception of ‘bad’ behaviour) as a systemic problem, so desperate parents are left to their own devices. At any rate this is a big and complex issue that MIA doesn’t address. Big weakness on MIA’s part. NAMI does address it, and makes parents feel good about drugging, so I guess that’s how it sweeps parents into its fold.

  • “Steven V. Faraone, PhD…states, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes a psychiatrist doesn’t want to make another diagnosis, like pediatric bipolar disorder, because, one they’re not comfortable; two, they don’t want to stigmatize; or three, they’re not sure, but they know that this kid is really disturbed and very aggressive and possibly having some psychosis.”

    There are SO many things SO wrong on SO many levels with everything coming out of that PhD’s mouth in that one sentence. It almost sums up the problem. We’ll see in the future that there was no ‘pediatric bipolar disorder’, and that it was another wholesale invention to fatten the DSM. Unless it’s a group of symptoms created by a first one or two prescribed pharma drugs (antidepressants, probably).

    Next, I hope the ‘stop the stigma’ crowd sees that its ridiculous efforts have resulted in kids being prescribed even worse pharma drugs. Next, I know that the professionals are clueless about what constitutes a ‘really disturbed’ and ‘aggressive’ child, about why that child may be so, and about how to think about it. And I love the ‘possibly having psychosis’, so let’s throw a long-term antipsychotic drug at a developing brain of an unhappy child, likely leading to worse thinking in ten different ways.

    But it’s not just that particular clueless PhD (they mostly all are), it’s an entire ecosystem of sorts that has made parents believe that drugging is somehow a treatment and a solution… to a problem very few are interested in actually understanding.

    Liz Sydney

  • it would be useful to see a study of the parents who do or do not allow their children to be pharma-drugged. We’ve seen that foster children are certainly pharma-drugged disproportionately (not surprising), but uninformed guesses that heap scorn go nowhere. I know personally of families of all socioeconomic groups allowing their children to be pharma-drugged, and none of them are ‘abusive’. This is a problem of a pharma-drugged society and world, not of ‘abusive’ parenting. Or else call ALL pharma, conventional medicine, public schooling, and government education departments (these are all the groups who push drugs on families) ‘abusive’ and call it a day. ALL parents want to tranquilize their unruly children, or else this would not be a billion-dollar business.
    Liz Sydney

  • Hi oldhead, Good question. I’m NOT looking for any discussion on vaccines here, but will just offer this: It was reported that Trump supports some very credible, vaccine-critical (critical of their ingredients and schedules) science and research. He’s apparently setting up a commission on it, headed by RFK Jr. Vaccines are run in tandem by Big Government public health policy bureaucrats and Big Pharma. Even though vaccine injury is common (paid out by a private court system so the stats are out of public sight), the vaccine issue has been sacrosanct. Question it and you’re branded as an ‘anti-vaxxer weirdo’. NOBODY in any position of power would dare question anything connected to vaccines, least of all a head of state (!). My long-winded point is that if for some reason Trump had personal reason to question psychiatry or psychiatric pharma, then ‘mental health’ issues might budge in a different direction under his administration.
    Liz Sydney

  • Without a doubt, propaganda about ‘mental health wellness’ and ‘mental illness’ is everywhere in the schools now. The schools are now flooded with it.

    Some of it is a product of the ‘Social Justice Warrior’ ‘no-stigma’ crowd meant to ’empower’ ‘marginalized’ kids (this message carried by the teachers’ unions); and some is driven by the pharma-driven public policy crowd (this message carried by government). Both groups — one from the political left and the other from the free market — end up driving families straight to psychiatric drugs.

    Independent-thinking parents have to teach their kids to listen for the buzzwords of BOTH these groups at schools and avoid all the groupthink like the Plague. My kids are taught at home to NOT discuss their ’emotional’ or ‘mental’ issues at school because they will receive misinformation at best, and we will be forced into the medical/psychiatric system at worst.

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi amnesia, Your comments remind me a little of Dabney Alix (spiritual healer who I believe also experienced ‘mental health’ ‘treatment’) in California. I first heard of her through an online summit she put together, Shades of Awakening, that included an interview with a psychologist who has written for MIA. Energy healing, spiritual healing, and such is amazing stuff. I haven’t had first-hand experience but I don’t doubt its efficacy in the hands of authentic practitioners. I wish you health and courage!
    Liz Sydney

  • Good to read about push-back on this. I hear and read everywhere: ‘I AM [fill in the manufactured psych diagnosis]’, and ‘I HAVE [fill in the manufactured psych diagnosis]’. It’s the psychological equal of Identity Politics, which is terrible because it’s the death of critical thinking. This is Identity Psychology, and it stops people from thinking critically about their own lives, thoughts, and feelings. Pharma and psychiatry tapped into the human need to categorize, and the labels come with their own drugs. No more independent thought required.

    However, I hope the people involved are arriving from all political worldviews, otherwise it will devolve into just another groupthink, echo-chamber community. Good luck with the events.

    Liz Sydney

  • It’s a funny thing that people don’t put two and two together when someone with psychiatric diagnoses and on a LOAD of psychiatric drugs dies at sixty. As for Fisher and reading her quotes, maybe her greatest role wasn’t as the Star Wars Princess but as Queen of de Nile.

  • Fisher was set up/set herself up to be used later by opportunistic shrinks like Satel. Fisher says this to a ‘bipolar victim’ in the Guardian piece: “You’re lucky to have been diagnosed as bipolar and accepted that diagnosis at such a young age.” Fisher accepted conventional psychiatry’s views and drugs, and will be forever seen as part of the ‘anti-stigma’ crowd that pharma loves and is served by. She was a smart person and could have informed herself otherwise.

    Actor Jim Carey, and Robert Kennedy, Jr, have both been skewered for openly questioning the accepted lines on vaccination. Those of us who are informed on the vaccination issues really admired their public stands. I’m looking forward to the courageous famous person with a public platform who comes out against psychiatric diagnoses and drugs.

    Liz Sydney

  •, I find your comment disingenuous in this venue of all places. “Difficult to convince” people to not pop magic pills for themselves, their family members, their children? Possibly because the profession to which you belong, and its pharma partners, have spent billions of dollars and a few decades convincing people that they have brain diseases that will absolutely be repaired and rebalanced by little pills, perhaps? A little professional humility is in order. Maybe you’re one of the good guys, and maybe you’re not, but psychiatrists who take a removed, above-it-all tone like that give me serious pause. Liz Sydney

  • To respond to items in the comment above:

    “…that is the reason for administration…”: No. The reason for stuffing children with off-label adult psych-drugs is to tranquilize them into obedience because adults are too preoccupied to deal with unruly kids in any humane and intelligent way. The overwhelming majority of kids being stuffed with drugs don’t require mind-altering drug cocktails.

    Kids require more exercise, better curricula, better teachers, and help learning to self-regulate. The people who benefit from these drugs in the short term are incompetent doctors, bad teachers, and ineffective parents. Benefits in the long-term to go pharma corporations and their stockholders. No child benefits.

    On side effects: The side effects are short and long term (stunted growth being a bad one among many), and none of these drugs were ever tested on children before being administered like candy to entire generations. Permanent brain changes are now being seen in the first generation of child guinea pigs. “Unethical” to test children on adult psych drugs; but A-OK to drug populations of children with them “off-label” for years at a time.

    “…long acting preparations have largely resolved this issue…” Long-acting psych drugs resolve NO issues for any child. They resolve issues for lazy or preoccupied parents, for bad teachers, bad school administrators, and incompetent medical professionals.

    “You can’t just counsel someone’s frontal lobes into maturity”: You can’t just DRUG someone’s frontal lobes into maturity, either.

    Clearly, drugging behaviour is the WORST way of managing a child who needs more space, exercise, and adult support. These drugs are the worst of all choices. I have taken the time and effort to raise my difficult child, realizing that frontal lobe/executive function takes years to develop. Are people such as the commenter responsible adults guiding children into their future? Or are they just drug dealers following the lazy, profiteering pharma line?

    “Also check for…”: How about STARTING there? How about avoiding off-label psychiatric drugs completely? START with ALL nutrition, vitamins, amino acids, sugar consumption, exercise (martial arts and yoga are great for focus, and avoid sports that risk head hits), child-friendly ‘meditation’, and age-appropriate behaviour awareness and AVOID drugging entirely? How about “checking for” the multiple problems behind societies very suddenly wishing to psych-drug entire populations of children?

    Good luck to the young people who try and withdraw from the monstrous drugs that thoughtless, incompetent, greedy adults foisted on them and stuffed them with. Good luck to young people left with permanent brain changes and an inability to self-regulate, focus, or concentrate.

    Liz Sydney

  • A current, working psychologist with a spouse who was an MD (author’s mention) isn’t an ‘outsider’. It’s the definition of an ‘insider’. Bizarre mistitle. Only the rarest MIA reader will be surprised at any of this or disagree with any of it. Always nice to see another practicing therapist on board against mass drugging of society, but none of it comes from ‘outside’ MIA’s purview.

    I say this an an actual ‘outsider’. I’m not in the psych profession and have no ties to it; I have purposefully avoided any psych diagnosis or drugging; and I have gone far out of my way to avoid having my very difficult child psych-diagnosed or drugged. I have beliefs, opinions, and experiences as an actual outsider. I point this out because language is important and words matter.

    An MIA ‘outsider’ is either someone like me (dealing with issues from outside the mainstream system), or someone who is published here who supports mainstream ‘mental health’, its views, and its ‘treatments’. Again, language matters.

    Liz Sydney

  • ‘Study Finds That Post-Modern Marxist Ideologues in Academic Social Sciences Confirm All Their Own Preconceived Notions In Studies Where They Ask And Answer Their Own Questions Ad Nauseum’

    No different from the studies done by psychiatry and paid for by pharmaceutical giants. Identify the preferred outcome and finesse the language and numbers to ‘prove’ your agenda. For pharma it’s to make more money; for Marxist ideologues it’s to overthrow the system. And turn it into what, exactly?

    MIA needs to reprint some chapters by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so readers can reacquaint themselves with ‘mental health’ and psychiatry under Soviet-Marxist rule.

    Liz Sydney

  • @Iden Campbell McCollum, Must disagree here. MIA is very weak on parent voices. It prefers professionals who paternalistically talk ABOUT and TO parents. MIA also prefers parents who needlessly drugged their children for minor issues and regret it, although the information has been available for a long time to have avoided such experiences in the first place. I’ve been dealing with a serious issue for a decade and avoided diagnosis and drugs (simply because I did the reading), but for MIA I’m neither fish nor fowl even though my experience represents something important for other parents. (Incidentally, I submitted a ‘Personal’ piece that they evidently liked and accepted but bounced from one editor/category to another til they dropped it with no word. That’s OK, but signifies that, no, they don’t necessarily love hearing from ‘outside’ voices, or are just confused by them.) Best to you, Liz Sydney

  • Good post, thanks to author. Seventh branch, as or more important than the others: the most healthful diet a person can afford. It nourishes the brain and body. Integrative medicine is doing a great job of demonstrating how critical vitamins, minerals, and healthful fats are for the brain and gut, which then translate into feelings, emotions, and behaviour.
    Liz Sydney

  • @Matt Stevenson: Good comment. Lots of didactic, ‘SJW’ ‘thought policing’ on MIA of late, which disappoints on a few levels. These days I mostly look at MIA for ‘On The Web’ curation of articles from elsewhere. Staff and visiting authors appear to be mostly coming from the same ideological perspective and largely the same demographic, which isn’t healthy or interesting. As a ‘non-survivor’ parent of a young, non-drugged child there already isn’t too much for me here, but now it’s really losing me as a reader. Best to you, Liz Sydney

  • There are many, many problems with personally aggrieved social scientists pretending planet Earth’s biology away in favour of wishful thinking. If only the issue was truly about ‘being nice’ and calling people the names they prefer. But sorry, people, Authoritarian Social Justice Warriors don’t actually want ‘nice’; they demand legislated control over everyone’s speech and actions, which is ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’. Legislation already passed (NY State and elsewhere) will end up being challenged up to Supreme Courts, and will end up being proven unconstitutional. Or else we will fall to totalitarianism, which happens with regularity around the world.

    This brief Op-Ed in the New York Times today speaks to the large issues involved with North American Liberalism run amok, and speaks to the gender issues raised in this post:

    The problems with psychiatry and emotional/behavioural/mental health (the focus of MIA, after all) will not in any way be repaired if and when we start pretending away the facts of biological gender differences.

    I regret to see MIA publishing this sort of fuzzy, resentful, agenda-filled ideology. I came to MIA for Robert Whitaker’s critical thinking skills, and for MIA’s ability to cut through the fog and excrement and get to the truth. Disappointing.

    Liz Sydney

  • A lot of MIA is about pushing back against the pseudoscience, omissions, and obfuscation of pharma and psychiatry. This appears to be another area where there’s pseudoscience, omissions, and obfuscation by people based on making a world the way they want it for their own ends. This is dangerous.

    I’m not a biologist (neither is the author or the overwhelming majority of people with these views, or any of the people cited in the post), but my understanding of this issue is that it has become a war between ‘social justice warriors’ of academia and irrefutable facts of human biology. The biologists speak to the facts that there are massive differences between men and women (and they are especially emerging where the playing field is deliberately leveled, like in Sweden), while the ‘social justice warriors’ speak to what appears to be wishful thinking and statistical game-playing (ironically, like the type we see in pharma studies…).

    I spent a part of my life in the ‘social justice’ camp and I recognize the anger of the people within that camp. But wishing that gender differences don’t exist doesn’t make it so. The facts of biology, and the facts of our planet, say something else entirely. (And @markps2 makes good points in the first comment.)

    Wishing on the basis of ideology has led to legislating ‘thought crimes’ and ‘speech crimes’ to that end (apparently passed in New York State and in some Canadian provinces), and will not have the sunny outcome the ‘social justice warriors’ imagine. When facts are quashed in favour of ideology you get the Soviet Gulag, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Remember how the Soviets utilized psychiatry? MIA readers beware. A better idea is to look carefully at the real science, accept its facts, and act accordingly.

    Liz Sydney

  • Always glad to see Kelly Brogan’s posts on MIA. MIA needs to attract more Integrative/Functional practitioners. There’s undoubtedly a lot that Integrative/Functional medicine can do to help with child and adults issues (‘mental’, behavioural).

    But people will only stop swallowing the pills, and stuffing their children with them, when they can stop believing in magical solutions. Beyond psychiatry’s lies and omissions (and beyond where drugs are forced), people themselves need to stop believing that pills of all sorts magically solve problems (NONE do).

    Liz Sydney

  • @tylerpage “…little or no idea…” about a fungible, malleable concept built by a discipline that makes things up as it goes along? And whose diagnoses are directly tied to one of the biggest profit-making industries of the planet? If I had brought my son (from age three onwards) to psychiatrists he would have been variously diagnosed as ADD, ADHD, IED, ODD, bipolar, or maybe even psychotic (all depending on the psychiatric flavour of the moment). I would have fed him off-label psychotropic drugs whose actions are much less clear and much more dangerous than psychiatry/pharma wants us to know, without his informed consent, and without knowing the effects on his brain decades into the future. Meet my son now, who was successfully raised without diagnoses and psych drugs, and then WE can talk.

    If you’re satisfied with your experience, that’s OK. But don’t suggest that because others reject wholesale the lies and omissions of psychiatry, its ridiculous diagnoses, and its deadly chemical cocktails that they somehow know less than you.

    Liz Sydney

  • Yes, @Jill Littrell, wonderful to see the work being done by Integrative and Functional medicine on the interplay between inflammation, our biological systems (bacteria, gut, hormones,…), and our feelings and behaviours. Advances have been practically helpful for me as a parent feeding and educating kids (one of whom experiences behavioural difficulties). I first encountered Kelly Brogan through her interviews on free, online Integrative ‘summits’ (where I also first heard neurologist David Perlmutter and his experience seeing a child cleared of Tourette’s through fecal transplant, and discovered people like Datis Kharrazian) and was thrilled when she appeared on MIA. It’s great to see these two worlds starting to overlap.

  • The problem is the nation, not the abortion. Women have had abortions since always, and will continue always. It’s a difficult reality of women’s reproductive lives.

    There’s little trouble to women in nations where they can have free or affordable abortions in safe settings. There’s a lot of risk (physically and mentally) to women in places where they’re forced to have abortions in unsafe settings where their lives are at risk and where getting an abortion is a financial hardship.

    The notion that women suffer long-term emotional effects from abortions was a straw man fantasy built by the anti-abortion movement to further its misogynist political aims, and was heavily funded by the Catholic Church. Too bad institutions have to waste money on studies to defend against this ridiculous fable.

    Liz Sydney

  • The topic of how psych drugs interfere with and skew normal emotions and perceptions isn’t talked about enough. The implications are massive and culture-changing.

    MIA needs to re-run a ‘Personal Story’ post that ran in the summer by an MIA writer who wrote of how, while under the veil of psych drugs (I don’t recall the drug category), he became an obsessive user of horror-gore. That post woke me up to why and how there is a proliferation of these shows over the past decade or so. They are feeding a huge, drugged audience.

    I can’t find the post since the new site was set up. Help, anyone?

    Liz Sydney

  • Absolutely, @truth. Every part of this story is OBSCENE.

    But leave it to CBC (I’m Canadian, and CBC is my taxpayer-funded national media outlet) to miss the critical issue and drill down randomly (haha, “privacy” issues, prescribing mistakes…).

    A four-year-old “suffers from ADHD and other behavioural issues”. You were expecting him to be working on his dissertation, Doc? Mom? Dad? CBC? Thanks to CBC “journalism” for parroting conventional medicine and psychiatry without even a nannosecond blink toward critical thinking.

    The piece refers to doctors [plural] who saw the child over the course of several MONTHS and NOT ONE questioned a toddler’s Risperidone prescription? ANTIPSYCHOTICS for a FOUR-year-old (a year or two out of diapers…imagine), but everyone’s issue is the pharmacy error. Messenger duly shot.

    Liz Sydney

  • With all due respect to a touching and sensitively written post, I agree with the comment by Richard D. Lewis regarding usage of ‘mental’ and ‘mental illness’ without quotes. We’re far from knowing where these experiences reside, where they come from, and what they are. Please consider also rethinking the word ‘medication’, since the word strongly implies a property that treats and heals.

    Good luck to you. It’s really heartening to see someone like you moving into this field.

    Liz Sydney

  • Kudos to the author/filmmaker. What a great thing she’s done by getting her story and experience out there. A film is accessible and people can relate to it. Thanks to her children and all the people in the film who obviously agreed to be filmed and be public about this. More people need to know about these drugs, and to know that the medical establishment is in a complete fog about their effects (at best) and/or outright lying about them (at worst).

    I wish the film great success.

    Liz Sydney

  • @Stephen Gilbert Great points, and also about the insidious term ‘side effects’, which I never thought about before. Indeed, if they are a part of the effects, then in what way are they an aside? Also completely agree on informed consent. No child (in particular) should be psych drugged on that point alone! Psych drugs are given to children on off-label basis and none have ever been tested long-term on them. Informed consent doesn’t even exist. Only now some research is popping up on permanent brain changes and such. No child is psych drugged with informed consent. Should be a crime.
    Finally, yes, every time I hear of a teen suicide or teen homicide now I wonder if the child was being prescribed psych drugs…
    Liz Sydney

  • Wow! Perfect example of the NYT failing spectacularly at health reporting. The entire tiny article for a hugely important problem never veers from the terminology of children “having” “ADD” or whatever “mental disease”. There is NO suggestion or mention of the pharma drugs that any of these children were taking WHEN they killed themselves. There is no critical questioning in the whole sorry piece. It directly implies that suicides are “caused” by the “mental diseases”. Unsaid takeaway for parents who read NYT? Get your sad or overactive kid to a doc quick for drug prescribing or they might kill themselves! The social irresponsibility, or plain uninformed stupidity of NYT health reporting, is incredible.

  • Hi AA,

    That’s exactly the thing. There are many ‘organic’ issues being discovered to be linked to children’s behaviour issues, just as there are ‘organic’ issues being linked to what we have been told are so-called psychiatric brain disorders. We’re discovering that there are issues that are neither ‘nature’ nor ‘nurture’ but a host of other possibilities.

    Case in point, this recent MIA post:

    A lot is being discovered that will eventually and happily leave the bulk of the psych professions back in the dust.

  • Hi firewoman,

    Thanks. I’m unconvinced that ‘ADHD’ exists. I agree that MIA isn’t great on children’s issues. Post authors rarely take a firm stand against drugging even though the evidence is clear. Also, there is a lot of parent-blaming on a lot of comments, which isn’t helpful. I think individuals have a right to their voice on that. I do take issue, however, when a psych professional blames parents offhand, because to do so is deeply troubling on many levels.

  • Hi Frank,

    ‘The Explosive Child’ is the title of Greene’s first book. He apparently came to regret the title, I think in part because it got wedded to psychiatry’s made-up, fantasy DSM ‘disease’ diagnosis of that ridiculous Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), which is as factually based, useful, and explanatory a diagnosis as ‘schizophrenia’ and such. That is to say that IED is another ridiculous label, this time attached to children who exhibit behaviour that adults don’t like.

    And, no, single motherhood is not a syndrome. There is no one ‘type’ of child produced by single parents, and two parents don’t necessarily raise their kids any better or worse than one parent.

  • I should also have noted that any psych professional who has “never seen” child behaviour issues without also “finding” pathological parents is unable to see beyond his/her own profound biases and agendas. Woe be the children in the “care” of such professionals.

    And let’s remember that the labels, diagnoses, and drugs were created by the ‘mental health’ professionals, not by parents. No, parents are not to blame here.

    That comment – evidently from a psychotherapist – blames, shames, and pathologizes parents in a single sweep. Isn’t this exactly the opposite of the kind of dialogue that MIA is trying to promote?

    Liz Sydney

  • My family and I are French citizens. I roll my eyes at this trope (that I see repeatedly in the American press) that idealizes French children and French parenting. It is laudable that the French have avoided the ADHD trap (if in fact they have), but the real French family is as three-dimensionally good and bad as every other family on Earth.

    The French rate of psychotropic drug use is alarming (one study cited one in three adults), for example. The French eat a lot of junk food, smoke a lot, drink to excess, and schools are quite brutal for children by other Western standards. French society as a whole tends to be extremely rigid in its views, and French families are absolutely not warmer or more supportive than any other group. And, today, the French family is more culturally diverse than ever, making any generalizations impossible. Also, the French are as happy to pop ‘pills for ills’ as any other group where BigPharma has an important presence.

    Maybe it would be more useful and helpful to identify groups of people in any nation who resist the long arm of conventional medicine and ‘mental health’ treatment, and who support their children, and go from there. Cultural stereotypes just aren’t useful today.

    Liz Sydney

  • My goodness. What a hideous, angry, oversimplified, anti-parent generalization. I am aghast but not surprised to see such a negative, anti-parent, blanket statement come from a ‘mental health’ professional.

    I invite interested MIA readers to read the body of work by Ross W. Greene, PhD, originally of ‘The Explosive Child’, who did NOT vilify parents and families but sought instead to genuinely understand why some children experience extreme behavioural issues. He succeeded and his work is a testament to what a psych professional can do with a genuinely open, inquisitive, unbiased mind.

    Liz Sydney

  • “…how Doctors who go round saying that only they are qualified to appraise the evidence seem very willing to accept evidence from non qualified, zero clinical experienced Drug reps and other industry bosses.”

    Nicely said!

    And drug reps I have known came out of two-year marketing diplomas. And, yes, they’re delivering critical information to MDs.

  • I sent a link to your wonderful post directly to my own 16-year-old, so he realizes that I’m not the only parent who wants to ‘Just Say No To [Deadly, FDA-Approved, MD-Prescribed Psychotropic] Drugs’.

    Many thanks for telling your great story to MIA.

    Liz Sydney

  • Unreal. This is a ‘poster child’ issue for everything that is wrong in conventional medicine.

    Some kids (much fault lies with the nutrient-deficient N. American diet that knocks out the body’s immune responses, but I digress…) suffer disproportionately with ear infections, sinus problems, and bronchitis. Conventional medicine has thrown antibiotics at every kid for decades regardless of the root cause of the infections, or whether the infections were viral or bacterial (most were viral and antibiotics were useless and harmful).

    Repeated courses of antibiotics knocked out the child’s body’s ability fight off the next infection, and so on. At a certain point the MD would just call it ‘asthma’ and throw an inhaler at the family because it suppressed the symptoms, and the child’s immune system would become dependent on the quick-fix inhaler, although most were never actual ‘asthmatics’ at all.

    THEN I read here on the horrifying outcome for some children of some inhalers, which for most should never have been prescribed in the first place (and even the best of them only suppress the immune system’s reactions, which is ultimately destructive to the system). And THEN these poor kids will be prescribed anti-psychotics, which is of course absurd and deadly in itself.

    You can’t make these things up.

    Liz Sydney

  • “But psychiatry has very few true “placebo-controlled” studies in its research literature. What it has is an abundance of studies where patients abruptly withdrawn from their medications are dubbed a placebo group, which means they masquerade as a placebo group.”

    Wow! Wow.

    Liz Sydney

  • To loosen regulations and make ECT more widely available for use? Why don’t they dust off all the Medieval torture devices to see if they could be available for use and be new income streams for modern psychiatric practices? Is there a single thinking human in the FDA?

    And I assume ECT’s safety and efficacy is based on the type of solid, evidence-based research being written of here:

    Liz Sydney

  • From the text: “Psychiatry has come a long way from the barbarisms of lobotomy and the fallacies of Freud. Today, it can be among the most inspiring medical specialties. We stabilize the acutely suicidal and care for those gripped by depression, ensure the safety of the psychotic and save patients from the ravages of addiction.”

    This seems optimistic to the point of delusion. (And hasn’t the lobotomy simply been replaced with ECT?)

  • Yes, Alan Schwarz “aligns himself with the current mental health paradigm…”. As does the author of this post when she says, “medication may have [a] role to play in [the] alleviation of symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity…”

    No. Powerful cocktails of psychotropic drugs should have NO “role to play” in the brains and bodies of children. Drugs treat and heal nothing, and are now (finally) being seen to cause lasting damage to the developing brain. Drugs are used on children simply to tranquilize so-called “hyperactivity” and control so-called “inattention”. Psychotropic drugs also pave the way for more drugs as years go on, and pharma consumers have been created anew.

    Very disappointing to read authors who support the drugging of children in MIA.

    MIA did publish an excellent, critical, thoughtful post by Patrick Landman, MD on the subject of “hyperactivity” and “inattention” here last year that is well worth a read:

    Liz Sydney

  • I would have been shocked if research had NOT eventually come to this conclusion. Dumb MDs and shrinks have been using a couple of generations of children as guinea pigs. How could off-label psych drugs NOT adversely affect a developing brain? A parent didn’t have to be Einstein to have the common sense to keep her/his child away from these pill-dispensing quacks.

    I hope parents speak to pharma in the only language it understands: class-action lawsuits.

    Liz Sydney

  • Lucky for your friend that she was open-minded and trusted your judgment! (Lucky she had you, of course.) You did exactly what Kelly Brogan talks about on her post today, ‘What Does Your Illness Mean?’

    You considered your friend’s daughter in the context of her own self and life and gave sensible and safe advice. Sounds so simple and caring, but in fact it’s light-years away from what the ‘health care’ system would have done.


  • Yes! And so you would think that between these studies being done in academia, plus current Integrative and Functional medicine’s talk of the gut for the past few years, PLUS what’s known from ancient systems (China, India), that the conventional system would be changing.

    BUT just recently a friend’s 20something daughter began having ‘anxiety attacks’ out of nowhere, and the family went down every possible conventional route. She’s now on two psych drugs and a third for sudden attacks. Like one of my kids said, ‘props to psychiatry as a business model!’

  • I’ve heard Campbell-McBride speak a few times over the past couple of years on online ‘summits’ created on specific topics such as gluten, the microbiome, and maybe another (and there are lots of ‘summit’ talks I don’t hear). The summits host all the current Integrative and Functional medicine people (some in academia, some in clinical practice). Hard to imagine that they’re not all aware of each other. These ‘summits’ are an incredible source of information. That’s where I first heard of the gut being referred to as the ‘first brain’, and the grey matter as the ‘second brain’.

    Liz Sydney

  • Am very much in agreement about the use of the word ‘medication’ in psychiatry/behaviour medicine. It’s a massively powerful signifier. Children learn early that ‘drugs’ are ‘bad’ and/but ‘medications’ are ‘good’ (healing, necessary, and beneficial). It’s really insidious. Even the best-intentioned clinicians clutch onto the word ‘medications’ like a magical totem and can’t let it go.

    Liz Sydney

  • One-stop diagnoses and dangerous drugs. That’s what the system knows, understands, and offers. That’s why I kept my young child away from the system(s) whose narrow, ridiculous lexicon for children is comprised of ADD, ADHD, ODD, IED, (and worse); and why I did the work necessary to help his development myself at home. No education degree, social work degree, psych degree, or medical degree necessary to raise a difficult child. You just need love and a few active neurons.

    Liz Sydney

  • The NYT consistently prints the oldest, most retro, most conventional, most pro-pharma health information available anywhere (on all health topics). If you heard of it 10 years ago, you can be sure you’ll read it in the NYT health section.

    So, if EVEN the NYT’s decrepit health section managed to publish this piece, then the ‘alternative’ psych movement (or whatever people wish to call it) must be making serious inroads into the mainstream. That’s my ‘good-news’ takeaway.

    Of course, asking its reporters to speak with Robert Whitaker or many others before Drs. Pies and Frances…well, that will take the NYT breaking quantum barriers in space. In any event, I was pleasantly surprised to see the article there today.

    Liz Sydney

  • Grateful to Peter Breggin for this post. Society’s complicity with the pharmaceutical industry on every level is astonishing: From high government (an attorney general, no less!), through the medical establishment, continuing all the way through the ranks of the mainstream media. I watched the Gupta clip: he concedes the truth for a brief moment and then returns to the groundless default repeated always: “…but these medications help so many…”, or “…nobody denies that these are lifesaving medications…”, yadda yadda. The truth doesn’t stand a chance.

    I never read about these types of murders anymore without wondering if the killer had contact with psychiatry. And, lo and behold, the media always reports that they did [but blames the crime on the ‘mental illness’, as Peter Breggin noted]. Finally, the tail wagging this dog is the ‘No Stigma’ campaign that follows, whose ultimate beneficiary is, again, the pharmaceutical industry.

    Liz Sydney

  • Very regretful to see an MIA author be so entirely negative and dismissive of what is a very new, fascinating, and hopeful area of study. It behooves MIA contributors – more than the contributors to establishment publications, I daresay – to be open-minded to what the future of health studies is uncovering and may uncover. Nobody, including the author, has the first clue about what the study of epigenetics will, or will not, show us about the possibilities for altering our minds and bodies.
    Liz Sydney

  • Hi Julie,

    Sadly, I’m not surprised that no therapist in decades had the capacity to your story, or that they were more interested in slamming a Jewish mother.

    Speaking for myself, I’m finding surprising relief of persistent, old psychic wounds from the unlikeliest place: ‘Emotional Freedom Tapping’ (often referred to simply as EFT). I dug into the basis of energy healing and gave it a try. Glad I did.

    Best to you,

    Liz Sydney

  • The astonishing thing in this NYT piece (and I’ll take the opportunity to note that NYT consistently publishes the worst ‘mental health’ information) is that one of the subjects of the piece who was evidently coerced and controlled “…has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, and specializes in child abuse and violence against women.”

    She had advanced education in exactly and precisely those issues but couldn’t see it when it happened to her. We’re all fallible humans prone to denial, but I think this example says something quite damning about the quality of academic psych education. These same people are ‘helping’ other vulnerable people? One of many reasons I steer clear of all ‘mental health’ professionals.

    Liz Sydney

  • Bramble,

    A few spots in this post are really badly garbled. MIA badly needs light copy editing and complete proofreading. No ‘spellcheck’ program replaces a breathing human who can read and understand the material. I see it in every single post and cringe. Funny irony: I used to copy edit and proofread for a NAMI newsletter (and medical journals of unrelated subject matter) before I ever had any personal interest in this subject.

    Liz Sydney

  • Thanks for the information, Wayne Munchel and commenter Peter C. Dwyer. Forced drugging of society’s arguably most vulnerable population is something out of the psychological horror film genre. Thanks to Richard Lewis for his comments.

    Evidence to support all this drugging will never be found, but it doesn’t matter. The fantasy/notion that we suffer “mental diseases” “in our brains” “from our genes” is so deeply embedded in the culture – and is so profitable to so many – that I wonder how the facts, which are all out there, will ever be accepted by the mainstream.

    Liz Sydney

  • Reply to ‘julemiller’ comment:

    Well, I’ve heard of ambulance-chasing lawyers, but this is my first time witnessing an ambulance-chasing psychiatrist. Did julemiller even read Merry Citoli’s entire account? It was substantially more complex than “my Ativan caused a bunch of stuff”. julemiller and I did not read the same account. And isn’t telling Ms. Citoli that she needs a shrink for her trauma much like sending a vegan to a hamburger joint for lunch? I don’t have the impression she (or anybody, for that matter) will find healing through psychiatry. Directing Ms. Citoli to a shrink strikes me as a sick joke. After spending time on MIA I would sooner send myself and my loved ones ANYWHERE for healing that was NOT a psychiatrist (!) or anyone in the ‘mental health’ system (!).

    Thank you for your moving personal account, Merry. I wish you healing, health, and safety after everything you were put through. Accounts like yours are wrenching. Good luck with your book.

    Liz Sydney

  • Mike, I am hyper-aware that my child could have been/could be one of those children dead in restraints in the kinds of institutions being described here. That’s why I never abdicated my responsibility for my difficult child and took responsibility for his development instead of handing him over to broken systems. That’s what has me hanging around MIA, learning from all the info that comes down the pipes here.

    Thanks again for your post.


  • Thanks to the author. I think this is the fourth or fifth MIA post that I’ve read that documents the gaslighting of ‘mental health’ workers/employees by their own colleagues and administrators. It’s astonishing and horrifying. The system is hopelessly rotted from the inside.

    The few with critical-thinking skills are forced out (and eventually write MIA posts), then leaving the rest, a good percentage of whom are drugged themselves and are either terrible or simply complicit. Consumers are flies caught in a web, and don’t stand a chance anywhere in this scenario.

    Thanks, Robert Whitaker! Without MIA I wouldn’t have these windows into these systems. Very grateful.

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi blibra2012,

    I’ve commented here because I have personal experience with my own child. And I express my vehement anti-drug views here because MIA is the only venue where I can do so (and it’s liberating since I’m not supported anywhere). But I DO NOT judge parents with extreme issues who have decided to give prescribed drugs, and I’ve repeated that in my own blog. The problems of extreme behaviour are so complex, and there is so little support for parents dealing with extreme issues, that I well understand why a family in that situation would make that choice. Sadly, though, only a fraction of these prescriptions are for our ‘extreme’-case kids. The majority of kids on these drugs should not be on them.

    Liz Sydney

  • I felt compelled to come back and amend my comment: It’s difficult to NOT grow cynical, negative, and hopeless with alarming, beyond-the-pale developments like the candy-amphetamine. BUT hope springs eternal, and just like I and a few others refused drugs, maybe some tide will turn and the mainstream will see the folly of drugging children through their childhoods. Hope always!

  • Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Dr. Peter Breggin radio interview. MIA should post a link somewhere. The truly satisfying thing there was hearing his total outrage at these outrageous developments. (Less so the parenting advice for some of us who faced extreme issues, but I digress.)

    I have thought a lot over the years (while raising my own very difficult child) what motivates parents to drug their kids, and frankly I believe that everyday stress and the pace of life just pushes parents toward miracle-wishful-thinking solutions (the same reason adults take 90% of their pharma in the face of evidence that would tell them not to). This was confirmed for me in this recent and awful article that I hope you will read, where an MD both shills for the candy-amphetamine and feeds it to her own kids…because it’s the convenient solution:

    This topic is close to my heart, and I’ve sacrificed a decade to it, which is why I’ve commented a couple of times. To tell you the truth directly from the trenches, I think pharma has won this one. Woe be future generations.

    Liz Sydney

  • Hi Michael,

    You mentioned it briefly, but schools really play a big and toxic role in the drugging of children. Instead of taking the lead and challenging society to ask why populations of kids now have so many issues they never had before (and adapting for difficult kids), the schools choose instead to collude with pharma and to pressure parents into tranquilizing their kids for easier manageability. Parents are intimidated (a ‘one-two’ punch by the MD and the school) and further pressured into drugging their kids instead of informing themselves and avoiding all of it.

    Good, solid, credible information is out there for interested parents, but parents have to WANT to avoid diagnosis and drugs to become informed in the first place. I wish there were more of us.

    It’s a terrible scourge, and we’ll see the results of these guinea-pig trials in the decades ahead as these drugged kids grow and age. It’s a huge issue. Thanks for devoting a post to this critical question of why parents cave to drugs.

    Liz Sydney

  • Rescheduled? Or getting pushback from network pharma advertisers, and will never be aired? It’s not in pharma’s interest that the segment be seen. And ‘Boost’, the product being advertised on the brief clip, is owned by Nestle, which seems to either be involved or getting involved, in pharma. It’s all a train wreck.

    Meanwhile, idiot MDs will continue to prescribe anti-psychotics for minors, and parents will continue to believe that the magic pills will cure something that wasn’t diseased in the first place.

    Liz Sydney

  • ‘Mad in America’ readers are appalled, but here was a mainstream publication, its journalist, and an MD/parent who were quite happy about it (only the lightest suggestion of criticism, and only at the end, when many readers have already stopped reading):

    Liz Sydney

  • Absolutely. Just yesterday some outfit called ‘Rethink Depression’ promoted an ad on Twitter. I replied snarkily and was happy that someone else did, too. It linked to a ‘report’ that was a train-wreck of random scary ‘information’ on how ‘depression’ overtakes all areas of your life, how you ‘should visit your doctor’, and then segued directly into ‘medication’ crap. Reeked of a veiled pharma ad campaign.

    Liz Sydney

  • And on the subject…If this piece [link below] in the popular ‘Daily Beast’ site wasn’t underwritten by pharma it should have been! Author doesn’t have the curiosity – on any level – to question anything about the issue – on any level – and the doc pushing it is doing so for the very reason I always suspected people all stuff drugs down their kids’ gullets: their own convenience. No thought to long-term effects or any of the other hundred issues…

  • Robert,

    Pie and Frances aren’t the only ones who wish you would stop writing. I make my honour-roll 16-year-old read your pieces because they’re ESSENTIAL to a young person learning about how REAL science functions in the REAL world. Yes, he groans when I make him read them, but there was welcome comic relief in Frances’ replies to you. My teen noted with a face-palm that Frances’ replies looked exactly like his friends’ texts. All that was missing was the ‘chill, dude’.

    Regarding the ‘micro/macro’ argument, it’s worth noting that the message is getting from some of us parents to a new generation. That should be heartening to those who feel this is all just preaching to the choir. We all just do what we can!

    Liz Sydney

  • This is a wonderful post. The entire ‘mental health’ field needs a complete overhaul, re-thinking, up-ending. Honestly, my heart skipped a beat reading it. A real joy to read.

    But I beg to differ on the comparison with midwifery (although it’s an interesting comparison). I’m splitting hairs a little, but not a lot. I don’t know midwifery standards outside Canada, but my midwives in my Canadian region were highly trained and skilled ex-nurses with hospital privileges, and one taught midwifery at the university level. Nothing ‘informal’ about them, their practice, or their skills. They were specialists.

    But to LavenderSage’s point, their understanding of women’s health, pregnancy, and birthing was light-years beyond the conventional medical paradigm, so in THAT respect a comparison could be made with what ‘mental’ healthcare could be in an ideal world: skilled people working in tandem with a person in crisis, but not imposing anything on them. That’s the expertise my midwives provided IN a hospital setting, with nurses answering to them and NO doctors near me. If you make a ‘mental health’ analogy, it sounds a lot like the ‘Soteria’ approach, I think.

    Liz Sydney

  • Steve,
    Agree! ‘Overmedicating’, as if any amount is acceptable. And “…children under 6 years of age who have ADHD…” as if ADHD is an actual disease and not a cluster of behaviours that teachers find annoying, that pharma is clever enough to promote a “treatment” for, that MDs are uneducated and unethical enough to prescribe, and that parents are gullible enough to shove down their kids’ throats at breakfast.

    My blood is boiling. Is there a drug for that?

    Wouldn’t that be wonderful? If ‘Generation Rx’ grew up and started launching class action lawsuits against parents, caregivers, MDs, and pharma for having drugged them without informed consent?

    Liz Sydney

  • Huge kudos to the author. Horrifying. I made my kids read it and we discussed it. One son receives pro-pharma propaganda at high school, and one son had coincidentally just read a glowing piece about the FDA in his science workbook.

    Also for anyone interested, FDA ex-commissioner David Kessler has written a self-serving, golly-gee Op-Ed about opioids in the New York Times today:

    Liz Sydney

  • I wish a special place in Hell for people who profit from the pharma-drug abuse of children.

    The work the authors took on should have been lauded from the beginning, not something they had to fight to do and to have accepted.

    Shame on psychiatry and conventional medicine. The harm done to children by these drugs makes me sick.

    Liz Sydney

  • I’m confused why this piece was published in Mad In America. The author makes clear that as a pediatrician she is NOT anti-psychiatry or anti-psych-drugging; so why wasn’t this piece given to the New York Times, for example, which mounts defenses of labelling (ADHD, ODD, IED, ADD, pediatric bipolar, and on and on…) and child-drugging regularly to readers who are happy to hear it and never question the basis of any of it. However, MIA publishes research and news daily of the terrible and tragic short- and long-term harm being done to children by psychiatry and by the psychiatric drugs forced on them [‘forced’, as children cannot give informed consent, and neither can adult caregivers since pharma manufacturers lie and obfuscate about their terrible products].

    MIA publishes reports that include suicide, death, shrunken brains, growth problems, nerve issues, weight problems, metabolic problems, mood problems, secondary/tertiary substance-abuse (not to mention the emotional/spiritual/psycho-social effects)…and many of these accidental/unintended test subjects aren’t even grown yet. What effects will they experience decades in the future? Who speaks for children? Not this author, as she says there is nothing against psychiatric drugs in her writings. MIA needs authors with the courage to say unequivocally that they are indeed anti-psychiatry and anti-child-drugging.

    I understand that the author seeks the widest possible audience for the promotion of her new book and it serves to reason that she wants to be all things to all people, so I understand why she wants to be here. But I am disappointed that MIA published the piece, since I can read this kind of fence-sitting by medical professionals anywhere on the Web. This is the single place for voices that are unashamedly and proudly anti-psychiatry and anti-psych drugs. I believe that psychiatrist Kelly Brogan, MD speaks unequivocally against psych drugs and that she does not prescribe them.

    The most egregious example of fence-sitting: On one hand the author correctly makes a reference to the hatred and fear of children at the root of some of society’s problems with children. Yet she makes a point of saying that she is absolutely not against drugging children, which is society’s favorite contemporary tool of control for the wild children it hates. Psych drugs don’t treat, heal, or cure; they control and restrain. This reminded me of other professionals who also want it all ways at once when dealing with very difficult children. I just don’t come to MIA to read their views.

    I intentionally steered clear of all of these conventional types when my own family was in crisis and I was trying to uncover the root of my child’s rages and violence. The schools and ‘health’ systems were clearly confused, misinformed, labelling, pathologizing, drugging, controlling, and authoritarian. Instead, I did my own research and found critical and independent thinking on the issues that led me to answers. Thank goodness I avoided MDs, psychiatrists, and child-drugging.

    I come to MIA for courageous voices of dissent against the tyranny of psychiatry and its culture of child-drugging. I’m discouraged to read pieces like this here. No, children should not be controlled through the use of psychotropic drugs for any more than a moment of extreme emergency. Psychiatry has little to offer anyone in any state, and least of all to difficult children.

    Liz Sydney

  • You had me ’til vaccinations. If you’re able to consider the outsize roles of state, society, global financial structures, technology, and other power structures in medicine and in our lives from cradle to grave, then you should also be able to take a serious, unbiased look at the legitimate dissent and criticism of the complex and dangerous structures in and around modern vaccination.

    If you’re able to reconsider contemporary medical education belief systems, then you’re able to consider that humans are simply another animal of many made of bacteria, and that there’s nothing inherently wrong with swaths of us being wiped out from time to time. Interfering with the planet’s ecosystems, and overpopulating it with humans, hasn’t done the planet any good.

    And if pumping cocktails of toxic ingredients (by private, secretive, profit-making corporations that have been freed of product liability) with no double-blind studies behind them into newborn infants isn’t invasive, then nothing is.

    And, parenthetically, you should also be able to see that the scorn heaped on anyone questioning vaccine orthodoxy faces the same power issues present when anyone tries to ‘speak truth to power’ on the other issues to which you refer, and that we see daily on MIA.

    Liz Sydney

  • I agree, the sandcastle of psychiatry and its psycho-pharma SHOULD by rights be crumbling with all the factual evidence against them. The facts are all out there for anyone to see.

    But a couple of behemoths stand in the way. One is the popular media, which is supported by pharma and consequently sings its tunes. Try being calmly and politely critical of psychiatry/psych drugs on the ‘New York Times’ (readers more educated than most, even) comments sections and see how far you get before you’re shouted down.

    The other behemoth is the white-coated MD who introduces the patient to the psychiatrist/drugs. Nobody believes their doctors are as badly informed (or ill-educated, or corrupt, or lazy, or of average intelligence, or…) as they are, and nobody can believe that they are receiving terrible advice and dangerous drugs. Nobody. Faced with the evidence-based facts above and a white-coated MD, the vast majority of people will blindly side with the MD, just as our forebears 200 years ago believed their priests.

    Liz Sydney

  • Good post. Thanks to author and MIA.

    “We have to stem the tide of somatic psychiatry…” Good luck with that.

    A big part of stemming that tide means that mainstream media [‘Science’ sections run by uncritical journalists are the worst offenders] need to actively question and critically report the press releases they receive from the industry [difficult, since ‘the industry’ includes respected institutions and lots of intimidating professional titles]. That never happens, and isn’t happening anytime soon [since pharma advertising dollars support all those big, mainstream media outlets].

    Every parroted press release by the ‘New York Times’, ‘CNN’, ‘Time’, or ‘Wired’ is more evidence of ‘science facts’ in the minds of readers/viewers.

    (Honestly, Robert Whitaker is the superhero of journalists for having taken this on.)

    Liz Sydney

  • Very glad to see studies like this being done. The toxic chemical soup of urban environments is certain to have an impact on developing brains and gut microbiomes. And in farming regions the herbicide and pesticide load will have an impact on behaviour as well. And then again in industrial regions where water, land, and air are poisoned by heavy industry, factories, and resource development. Hard to be optimistic! Thanks to MIA for posting.

    Liz Sydney

  • Funny story: One of my children had a best friend whose father was a shrink. He was a nice guy but altogether clueless. That he was an MD amazed me. For a few years we saw the family socially. The mother complained and complained about mysterious weight gain, and one day I saw a pill bottle in the kitchen and recalled that she was on some anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or whatnot prescribed by her husband, and I asked, “Maybe the psych drug is making you put on weight?”

    She looked at the husband, he looked at her, and she yelled at him for a minute or two. He took her off the drug. She lost the weight.


  • Little coincidence here. The NYT published a piece yesterday on drug ads, and of course it’s as conventional and as lacking in critical questioning and insight as I have come to expect from ALL NYT health coverage, across the board. And I can’t stress the word LACKING to a great enough degree. I often feel like I’ve just read pharma’s own press material after reading an NYT piece. And then commenters all sing the praises of conventional medicine, progress, and pharma, and attack anyone who suggests alternate, unorthodox routes to healing.

    The link:

    Liz Sydney

  • At the risk of repeating myself in comments, the New York Times did not publish a word of this study. UK and Canadian papers gave it front-page status, but did mainstream US papers receive pressure from the pharma advertisers? I don’t know. NYT has significant ‘Health’ and ‘Science’ sections that are widely read (and education sections targeted to schoolkids and university-aged ‘kids’). The paper leaps on every new biological news and research story and regularly underplays — or ignores! — ‘negative’ research on pharma risk.

    When I tell other parents about the study, their eyes widen like saucers. Nobody’s heard it, and everyone’s shocked.

    Liz Sydney

  • Interesting to see this ‘reprint’ a year-ish later. Good to hear that there was a moment when the New York Times was on the correct side of this, because lately it’s all rah-rah for the biological model of mental illness.

    Just this week NYT published — again — on the newest ‘schizophrenia’ gene. No critical reporting at all. They buried the recent story on antidepressants in pregnancy to a tiny piece in the ‘Motherlode’ blog, and NEVER presents all the evidence of harm. And, further, is that by today NYT simply hasn’t touched the stunning research from Joanna Moncrieff in BMJ on evidence on anti-depressants on children and teens. Canada and UK mainstream papers ran it in headlines on front pages. NYT didn’t touch it.

    Liz Sydney

  • And the New York Times and Los Angeles Times still haven’t published anything about the study…two days later. This should be ‘headline’ health news. Drugs that are fed to millions of kids and are possibly raising their risk of suicide and/or aggression! Not so for media that are beholden to pharma manufacturers. I try and resist hyperbole, but it’s very discouraging when forces exist to allow children to kill themselves or harm others. [Sigh.]

    Liz Sydney

  • Wonderful post and thanks to author and MIA for reprinting it here. The failures of modern psychiatry distilled down to an easy-to-read essay. I’m going to make my high-schooler read it (who has ‘mental health’ agencies trotting through his school occasionally spreading all these myths and grooming kids to be the next generation of druggies); and will read it with my middle-schooler as part of his homeschool science curriculum.

    Liz Sydney

  • I’ve followed the trend to deliver antipsychotics to young children for a few years now. At some points (even very recently) ‘expert’ researchers and ‘expert’ prescribers became very excited about delivering antipsychotics simultaneously with other psychopharma to just about any random, uncontrollable brat, and published papers on what a swell idea that was. Now, suddenly, the dominoes appear to be falling the other way, with everyone quickly backtracking on filling kids with antipsychotics and multiple drugs, presumably — forgive my cynicism — because the pharma corporations are smelling the scent of class-action suits in the air and are quietly pulling the plug on the whole idea. Isn’t that funny? [Eyeroll.]

    Liz Sydney

  • The bad news, as has already been noted by many here, is that the comment by “lucilda” [far above] is an aggressive, ‘gaslighting’, and mean-spirited comment on many levels. I was shocked to read it. The good news, however, is that its presence here suggests that some individuals in or around the psychiatry profession must be threatened by the writing at MIA, or else this type of thing wouldn’t be here at all.

    So glad for Richard D. Lewis’ reply as the ‘insider’ I understand he was until very recently. The clients he served must miss him!

    I wish Robert Pfaff all the courage and strength in his journey ahead. This is a very moving account of harrowing personal struggles. It made me wonder what happens to the millions of children who are prescribed these horrible drugs. To that end I did a Google search and a ‘Huffington Post’ piece by Dr. Peter Breggin popped up. Terrible enough for an adult to survive this withdrawal; this ordeal for children must be beyond comprehension.

    Liz Sydney, parent of drug-free children

  • Very important post and big thanks to the author and MIA for it. The ‘biotype marker’ concept is horrifying. Author rightly notes that things are bad when the DSM looks good by comparison.

    I only wanted to comment that the anti-psychiatry movement needs to push back harder against the mound of sand these arguments are built upon: that is, the ‘precision’ of conventional medical treatment.

    Insel rests his whole ‘Scientific American’ piece upon: “…probably be assessed by a clinician who will order a battery of tests to determine if your symptoms result from pneumonia, bronchitis, heart disease, or something else. These tests not only can yield a precise diagnosis, they ensure you will receive the appropriate treatment…”

    Usually these types of arguments trot out the diabetes trope, but this one went for lungs and heart. [By the way, Type 2 diabetes can indeed be reversed without drugs, and some clinicians have even seen Type 1 reversed. But I digress.]

    Anyone with a Grade 6 education can read the eye-bugging stats and facts on: Tests that fail, testing error, doctor error, medical error, hospital error, treatment error, accidental hospital death, misdiagnosis, misprescribing, overprescribing, drugs that kill, treatments that kill, and more. And Integrative health research regularly reveals where conventional medicine has completely misunderstood an issue or illness because of its narrow, compartmentalized, symptom-based view of the body. To Insel’s example of heart disease, we now understand that the conventional view of cholesterol has been entirely misunderstood.

    Sorting out the viral from bacterial (to Insel’s example of pneumonia versus bronchitis) alone has created a world so randomly overfed antibiotics that they are failing to function in the biological world. There is nothing ‘precise’ or beyond-a-doubt ‘appropriate’ at all about medicine. ‘Approximate’ and ‘hopeful’ are truer positive descriptors for medicine. Class-action lawsuits are being filed as we speak over antibiotics, multitudes of pharmaceuticals, and medical devices that have harmed and have nothing whatsoever to do with psychiatry.

    This is the ‘precision’ of medicine of Insel’s argument. Is this the kind of ‘precision’ we can look forward to from a shiny, brand-new field of ‘bio-psychiatry’? Yikes.

    Liz Sydney, [email protected]

  • Thanks MIA for re-posting. Great, succinct post. Provided an excellent lesson for my high-schooler in how science and information operate and function in the real world. Hope he was listening (…).

    Liz Sydney
    ourviolentchild blog

  • ‘Shock and awe’, yes. Surprise, no. I’ve been gathering links like these for a couple of years now. It just rolls on and on. Systems have long been in place to psych-drug healthy children. As long as parents and caregivers are made, by so-called ‘healers’, to believe that kids’ brains have so-called ‘illnesses’, so-called ‘treated’ by so-called ‘medicines’, this will continue.

    Addendum: The first generation of needlessly psych-drugged children are becoming needlessly psych-drugged parents whose psych-drugged upbringings have normalized them to now psych-drugging their own babies. Rah-rah for pharma’s success in psych-drugging from in utero through to death. And the beat goes on…

    Liz Sydney, renegade parent of a difficult, healthy, undrugged child

  • Thanks for the post. I am a parent who uses teas, vitamins, herbs, elements, spices, essential oils, Manuka honey, amino acids, tinctures, etcetera, and indeed whole foods in the way that other parents use pharmaceuticals. Not just for my ‘difficult’ child’s mental/emotional health but for a broad range of health issues. (I use conventional medicine where necessary; but it is very rarely necessary.) I’ve been adversely affected by Health Canada rules, and I recognize that Big Pharma, in collusion with governments, wants us all on its chemical cocktails. I’ll try and write an email with a cc.

    Liz Sydney

  • it SHOULD BE criminal to drug healthy children in order to control their behaviour. But not only is it not criminal, a lot of pharma corporation drug reps and managers will be enjoying very fat end-of-year bonuses from the bonanza borne of this check-list diagnosis. Good luck to the generations of kids whose brains develop while marinating in these chemical soups. Welcome to dystopia 🙂

    Liz Sydney
    Parent of an undrugged, difficult child

  • What a terrible, insidious thing that it became normal, and normalized, to drug children. Nothing short of evil. Drugged children can’t learn how to think, or feel, or cope with any of the events of life when they’ve lived years with their brains on drugs. And these pills are a gateway to any other sort of future substance misuse (or even, it’s being suggested, bipolar illness). A moral crime that began with the pharma companies but that many adults are complicit in: Teachers, school administrators, psychologists, psychiatrists, foster caregivers (as we read about frequently now), and let’s not let PARENTS off the hook. Somebody says ‘yes’ to the prescription, buys it, and shoves it at the child day after day. Shame.

    There’s my angry diatribe for the day.

    Cheers, all.

    Liz Sydney

  • Thank you, MIA, for reporting this. I feel vindicated each time a report like this is published. There was never any way in a thousand years that I would ever have consented to drugging my young, difficult child. I took the “…non-pharmacological treatment…” route. The report raises so many, many questions on an individual and social level! The bias and placebo issues overshadow everything. And what about long-term issues on brains and bodies for decades to come…?

    Liz Sydney

  • I love the concept that ‘attention’ itself has finally been commodified, and so the marketplace — in this case the Medical-Pharma Complex — necessarily turned its absence into a pathology (to be ‘fixed’ with drug therapy) via the DSM-5.

    I’ll bet the pharma company marketers have spent thousands of boardroom hours trying to figure out ways to stealth-market these ADHD drugs directly to kid-viewers through cartoons on preschool TV, or through kid-friendly apps. It makes the adult pharma ads on CNN look like child’s play, so to speak. ‘Attention’, the final frontier of capitalism indeed.

    Thanks for that piece.

    Liz Sydney

  • What a coincidence! Just three days ago I had a conversation with a bright, confident young woman in her fourth-year of neuroscience, planning to enter medical school. I asked about study drugs (ADHD drugs are one of my betes noires) without giving away my own bias. She said “ninety percent” (surely an overestimation?!) of her highly academic and competitive university peers take Adderall for study and exams, and that it’s “impossible to NOT take it” since it levels the playing field where they’re all chasing grades. She has a prescription “for concussions”, and said, and fakes a sports accident to her doctor if she needs it for study. Others either have prescriptions or buy it from peers, she said. She confirmed that it’s everywhere.

    She saw NOTHING harmful about it and threw around some newly learned neuroscience jargon to prove her point. It just “activates short-term memory neurons,” she said, and, “everything goes back to normal once it’s out of the system”. No long-term issues, she confidently chirped! I was appalled and horrified at how flippant a serious science student could be about a psychopharmaceutical.

    It confirmed to me exactly what the pharma manufacturers hoped for: that when kids started taking these drugs at a young enough age, pharma drug use — even psychopharma! — becomes completely normalized. There’s our ‘Brave New World’: These kids don’t even consider functioning without them, or EVER bother reflecting on any of the moral, ethical, political or economic issues surrounding them. Three cheers for the global pharma giants…

  • Fully agree with the author’s position on psychopharma and the APA. Dangerous, destructive, and corrupt.

    However, I’m always struck by how therapists of all stripes wildly overestimate the usefulness of their talk therapies. Each seems to hold a quasi-religious belief in the usefulness of what they do. They all practice from an unproven point of view; they simply have one perspective among many, but their belief in the good they do is almost comical.

    In ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, Larry David runs into Rob Reiner at the office of their common psychiatrist (a loony guy). David says something along these lines to Reiner, “Well, what are you gonna do? You can’t bore all your friends with this stuff. You have to unload it on somebody!” That’s it in a nutshell: people just need to unload. I myself would love a low-cost, well-programmed robot therapist. I hardly need to pay a flawed, opinionated human to mess me up further!

    Freud and Jung simply had some notions and ideas a century ago; neither bore the Ten Commandments, for goodness sake. Buddhism, viewed NOT as a faith but as a school of psychology, posits that I chose the situation I was born into from my previous incarnation, so dissecting my childhood situation of this incarnation is a mistaken and altogether pointless venture.

    Buddhism advises that I need to take responsibility for, and become aware of, my own mind and negative thoughts (a central feature of Buddhism, while we accept negativity as a normal state!) that lead me into my own mental prison: a more useful exercise than ruminating for decades on what my parents did or didn’t do TO me!

    I suggest to my children that there is as much evidence for reincarnation as there is for anything else, and that if even it’s hogwash (as much as any other theory) their long-term mental wellness is best served if they take responsibility for their minds and for their [negative and positive] thoughts. I advise them against handing themselves over to another flawed, upset, muddled human determined that s/he has The Answer to the human condition.

    Liz Sydney
    (Our Violent Child wordpress blog)

  • Re mental health in non-Western societies, the New York Times is currently (Oct 2015) running a series about mental illness in West Africa that presents psychiatry and psychopharma (in the hands of evangelical organizations and supported by U.S. psychiatry) as a beacon of modernity, progress, and healing.

    Mental health ANYWHERE is a complex subject; but I find this NYT series especially simplistic and shallow. Maybe some lives are being saved through the import of Western psychopharma, ideas, methods, and more; but it won’t be that simple by a long, long shot.

    I would be interested to see Bruce Levine or MIA authors critique the series from a more critical and multidimensional perspective than the NYT [beholden to pharma ad dollars and RARELY critical of pharmaceutical corporations, pharmaceuticals, or psychiatry] is able to offer.

    Liz Sydney

  • I refused to drug my child. I read Ross Greene’s ‘The Explosive Child’, decided that my child’s issues were developmental, and treated him not with pharma but with love and support. Decades will tick on and I expect we’ll see all sorts of other problems that will be linked back to this big, open-air drug experiment that pharma and psychiatry pushed and that parents allowed.

    Liz Sydney

  • This was a very thoughtful essay and I am mostly in agreement with it. I have very strong feelings on the subject since I altered the course of my own life and my child’s in order to NOT have my difficult child diagnosed or medicated. I had too many comments about the piece and so put them in a post on my own blog. If author or MIA have an issue with my copying the post (everything is properly attributed) I’m happy to cut major portions out; let me know. I did this because of my concern for the issue; not to “drive traffic” to myself or assume anyone’s copyright or authorship.

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    This is a wonderful piece and really resonated with me on a few levels. On one level I’m a parent and very aware that many young adults fall into these altered states that blindside families and hurl them suddenly into what I also view as the dangerous arena of psychiatry.

    I feel it’s critical to inform myself on these new approaches to ‘psychosis’ as a spiritual state (I recently discovered the work and community of Dabney Alix and her ‘Spiritual Awakenings’), and not as an illness that requires Draconian force, manipulation, and mind-numbing chemicals. Your detailed piece helped me to see this state in an alternative perspective so that I can be more prepared if it happens to my children.

    (As an aside, it also helped me understand the mind of a close friend, now tragically dead of suicide while on Seroquel, who spoke to me while hospitalized and experiencing psychosis.)

    Thank you for your wonderful piece!

    Liz Sydney