In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas Szasz, Iconic Champion for Liberty & Co-Founder of CCHR

Dr. Thomas Szasz
1920—2012

Professor Thomas Szasz, iconic champion for liberty, pioneer in the fight against coercive psychiatry and co-founder of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has passed away at the age of 92. Considered by many scholars and academics to be psychiatry’s most authoritative critic, Dr. Szasz authored hundreds of articles and more than 35 books on the subject, the first being The Myth of Mental Illness, a book which rocked the very foundations of psychiatry when published more than 50 years ago. Szasz was Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the International Academy of Forensic Psychology, whose life long list of educational accomplishments, credentials, honors, biographical listings and awards speak for themselves.

To the world, he was the foremost critic on psychiatry and its abusive practices, a brilliant debater and orator. To those who had the privilege of working alongside him, he was witty, charming, charismatic and fearless. But above all else, he was a defender of personal liberty. As Professor Richard E. Vatz of Towson University stated, “Thomas S. Szasz has steadfastly defended the values of humanism and personal autonomy against all who would constrain human freedom with shackles formed out of conceptual confusion, error, and willful deception.”

Szasz had long criticized the use of psychiatry as a means of social and political control stating, “Although we may not know it, we have, in our day, witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control. When I use the term therapeutic state, I use it ironically, it’s therapeutic for the people who are doing the locking up, who are doing the therapy, it’s not therapeutic for the victims, for the patients.”

Dr. Szasz’s alliance with CCHR was formed out of this fundamental philosophy. He didn’t just write and speak about the use of coercive psychiatry, he personally represented the victims of it. In 1969 as a forming member of CCHR, he spoke on behalf of a Hungarian refugee, Victor Gyory, who had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution, stripped naked, held in isolation against his will, and forced to undergo electroshock. Szasz established that it was solely due to Gyory’s inability to speak English that had resulted in psychiatrists labeling him schizophrenic. Szasz’s testimony led to the hospital director discharging Gyory, a precedent-setting victory against involuntary commitment and coercive psychiatry.

Of his alliance with CCHR, Szasz stated, “They were then the only organization, and they still are the only organization, who were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals with whom there was nothing wrong, who had committed no crimes, who wanted to get out of the hospital. And that to me was a very worthwhile cause; it’s still a very worthwhile cause. We should honor CCHR because it is really the organization that for the first time in human history has organized a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never happened in human history before.”

It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside Thomas Szasz the past 43 years. We shall continue his legacy of fighting against abusive and coercive psychiatric practices until personal liberty and human rights in the field of mental health are established for all.

To find out more about this champion of human rights and personal liberty, visit CCHR International’s website section on Dr. Thomas Szasz.

What Others Have Said About Dr. Thomas Szasz

  •  “Dr. Szasz makes a real contribution by alerting us to the abuses—existing and potential—of human rights inherent in enlightened mental health programs and procedures. He points out, with telling examples, shortcomings in commitment procedures, inadequacies in the protections afforded patients in mental institutions and the dangers of over-reliance on psychiatric expert opinion by judges and juries.” Arthur J. Goldberg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • “It is no exaggeration to state that Szasz’s work raises major social issues which deserve the attention of policy-makers and indeed of all informed and socially conscious Americans…. Quite probably he has done more than any other man to alert the American public to the potential dangers of an excessively psychiatrized society.”Edwin M. Schur, The Atlantic
  • “No one attacks loose-thinking and folly with half the precision and zest of Thomas Szasz.” John Leo, social science editor for U.S. News & World Report
  • “Szasz is a brilliant debater…. He can turn a topic as somber as insanity and its social context into a book that is extraordinarily entertaining.”The New York Times Book Review
  • “Stripping away centuries of self-serving propaganda written by psychiatry’s acolytes, Dr. Thomas Szasz gives us a radically new look at the history of the world’s most dangerous political religions. From the eighteenth century’s ‘trade in lunacy’ to the nineteenth century’s ‘insane asylums’ to the twentieth century’s ‘snake pits’ to the twenty-first century’s ‘outpatient commitment,’ Szasz gives us a radically different perspective on the major episodes in the history of psychiatry.”Keith Hoeller, editor of Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry
  • “Bit by ‘barbarous and bizarre’ bit, Thomas Szasz dismantles psychiatry’s rickety scaffolding, exposing over two centuries of physical torture and tortured logic. Professor Szasz takes the necessary analytical and empirical solvents to this state-empowered fraternity of sorcerers. He also supplies the only salve for the psychiatric violence he correctly dubs ‘psychiatric slavery’: abolition: Now, ‘Let the sunshine in.’” Ilana Mercer, libertarian columnist and writer, WorldNetDaily.com
  • “Throughout his distinguished career…Thomas S. Szasz has steadfastly defended the values of humanism and personal autonomy against all who would constrain human freedom with shackles formed out of conceptual confusion, error, and willful deception.”Dr. Richard E. Vatz, Professor, Towson State University, and Lee S. Weinberg, Professor of Legal Studies, University of Pittsburgh
  • “Tom Szasz is one of the most compassionate and loving persons I have ever known, and I have known and know many great and good people in my life. I say this because many people have been so critical of him throughout his professional career. That is the price he must pay for the work he has done. It takes a brave person to withstand such criticism…. Here is a man who has demonstrated uncompromising commitment to family, honesty, truth, and liberty throughout his life.”Jeffrey A. Schaler, Department of Justice, Law and Society American University School of Public Affairs
  • “Thomas Szasz remains unique among contemporary observers of the social, ethical, and political implications of psychiatry: every argument he makes, and each word he chooses, are deserving of our closest attention.”Paul Roazen, author of Encountering Freud
  • “Thomas Szasz…has been one of the few writers who have helped keep me sane in this insane business.”Dr. David Stein, Professor of Psychology and Criminal Justice, Virginia State University
  • “Szasz helps people recognize how many issues portrayed solely as questions of mental health are actually questions of liberty. He has helped open the eyes of generations of Americans to the fact that merely wearing a white coat doesn’t make a person trustworthy enough to shackle other people.”James Bovard, best-selling author and lecturer
  • “For decades, Thomas Szasz has publicly challenged the excesses that obscure reason. The Medicalization of Everyday Life offers a no-nonsense perspective on prevailing dogma. It is only through clear vision that intelligent choices can be made. Required reading for all professionals in health care fields, and all those who are subject to their unwitting prejudices.” — Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D., Director, The Milton Erickson Foundation
  • “Every defender of the therapeutic state should be strapped down and made to answer the questions Dr. Szasz poses about the psychiatric industry’s mission creep.”Mike Hume, columnist, The London Times
  • “Thomas Szasz is the preeminent critic of psychiatry in the world.” — Dr. Richard E. Vatz, Professor, Towson State University

 

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InfoWars—Dr. Lynne Fenton, the Batman killer, drugs and drug money

Jon Rappoport
Infowars.com
July 31, 2012

“This is a high stakes game. WHAT DRUGS WAS HOLMES TAKING?”

People don’t get it. The media don’t get it and they don’t want to get it. Billions of dollars are riding on the drugs Dr. Lynne Fenton may have prescribed to her patient, James Holmes, the accused Batman shooter.

And when billions of dollars in potentially lost revenue are hanging in the balance, the interested parties take action. They’re serious about their money. They don’t screw around.

You see, if James Holmes was, for example, taking Prozac, all of a sudden no one wants to take it. If doctors prescribe it to patients, the patients say, “Hey, wasn’t this the drug that nutcase took before he killed all those people in the theater?”

So right now, in Aurora, there are pharmaceutical people on the scene

And that’s not all. Congress holds hearings, not because they want to, but because they want to look like they’re doing the right thing. And at those hearings, all sorts of nasty stuff comes out about Prozac. It’s big news. The studies that showed the drug was dangerous, that it could and would cause people to commit suicide and homicide. Boom. More bad press for the manufacturer. More investigations. More lost revenue. So right now, in Aurora, there are pharmaceutical people on the scene. Not just low-level goofballs, but competent investigators. They want to know what drugs James Holmes was prescribed. They need to know. And behind the scenes, people with clout are making phone calls. These pharma types are talking to government agents and it’s crazy time and damage-control time, and nobody is laughing. This is a high-stakes game. WHAT DRUGS WAS HOLMES TAKING?

There is pressure on both attorneys in the case, too. And the cops. With an insanity plea lurking in the wings, Holmes’ medical records could very well see the light of day. That would let everybody know what the drugs were. So somebody is calling the governor of Colorado, and other state officials, and they’re trying to maneuver and manipulate the legal process, to make the medical records vanish.

Come on. This isn’t just a murder case. Now it’s about money. Big pharma lawyers are reading up on Colorado law to find loopholes, ways to get around revealing Holmes’ medical history.

Holmes is now a pawn. He’s the nowhere kid who is going to be shuttled around on the game board to save the drug money for the people who own it.

Holmes’ psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, was reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, in 2005, for prescribing drugs to several patients, including herself, without entering the information in patient records

The money is dirty. It always was. It’s filthy. It’s been made on the backs of people who have died at the rate of 100,000 a year in the US alone. That’s a million people per decade—pharmaceutically caused deaths. The heads of these drug companies and their allied banks are Mafiosa. They inflict more human damage in a day than all the goombahs who have ever shot up pizza joints on Mulberry Street or dealt narcotics to addicts across the world, since Sicily puts itself on the map as the center of the Cosa Nostra.

Holmes’ psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, was reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, in 2005, for prescribing drugs to several patients, including herself, without entering the information in patient records. She could now find a target painted on her back, as the drug companies try to make her a patsy, an “irresponsible and incompetent doctor who didn’t give Mr. Holmes what he truly needed.” They would do this to take the drugs off the hook. “In the hands of a good psychiatrist, the proper medications would have worked well.” Who knows? Maybe they’ll claim she didn’t even treat Holmes directly, but supervised interns or grad students, who actually worked with Holmes.

I wrote the following as part of a 1999 white paper for The Truth Seeker Foundation, in the wake of the Columbine massacre. So the information is from that period. The white paper was titled: WHY DID THEY DO IT? THE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS ACROSS AMERICA.

It’s quite long; I’ve only printed an excerpt here. You can go to my blog and read the whole thing. It’s very relevant to the issues at hand.

http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

The bulk of American media is afraid to go after psychiatric drugs as a cause of violence. This fear stems, in part, from the sure knowledge that expert attack dogs are waiting in the wings, funded by big-time pharmaceutical companies.

There are doctors and researchers as well who have seen a dark truth about these drugs in the journals, but are afraid to stand up and speak out. After all, the medical culture punishes no one as severely as its own defectors.

If the mothers of the young killers and young victims began to see a terrible knowledge about the psychiatric drugs swim into view, a knowledge they hadn’t imagined, and if THEY joined forces, the earth would shake.

And what of the federal government itself? The FDA licenses every drug released for public use and certifies that it is safe and effective. If a real tornado started at the public level, if the mothers of the young killers and young victims began to see a terrible knowledge about the psychiatric drugs swim into view, a knowledge they hadn’t imagined, and if THEY joined forces, the earth would shake.

After commenting on some of the adverse effects of the antidepressant drug Prozac, psychiatrist Peter Breggin notes, “From the initial studies, it was also apparent that a small percentage of Prozac patients became psychotic.”

Prozac, in fact, endured a rocky road in the press for a time. Stories on it rarely appear now. The major media have backed off. But on February 7th, 1991, Amy Marcus’ Wall Street Journal article on the drug carried the headline, “Murder Trials Introduce Prozac Defense.” She wrote, “A spate of murder trials in which defendants claim they became violent when they took the antidepressant Prozac are imposing new problems for the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly and Co.”

Also on February 7, 1991, the New York Times ran a Prozac piece headlined, “Suicidal Behavior Tied Again to Drug: Does Antidepressant Prompt Violence?”

In his landmark book, Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Breggin mentions that the Donahue show (Feb. 28, 1991) “put together a group of individuals who had become compulsively self-destructive and murderous after taking Prozac and the clamorous telephone and audience response confirmed the problem.”

Breggin also cites a troubling study from the February 1990 American Journal of Psychiatry (Teicher et al, v.147:207-210) which reports on “six depressed patients, previously free of recent suicidal ideation, who developed intense, violent suicidal preoccupations after 2-7 weeks of fluoxetine [Prozac] treatment.’ The suicidal preoccupations lasted from three days to three months after termination of the treatment. The report estimates that 3.5 percent of Prozac users were at risk. While denying the validity of the study, Dista Products, a division of Eli Lilly, put out a brochure for doctors dated August 31, 1990, stating that it was adding ‘suicidal ideation’ to the adverse events section of its Prozac product information.”

An earlier study, from the September 1989 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, by Joseph Lipiniski, Jr., indicates that, in five examined cases, people on Prozac developed what is called akathisia. Symptoms include intense anxiety, inability to sleep, the “jerking of extremities,” and “bicycling in bed or just turning around and around.” Breggin comments that akathisia “may also contribute to the drug’s tendency to cause self-destructive or violent tendencies … Akathisia can become the equivalent of biochemical torture and could possibly tip someone over the edge into self-destructive or violent behavior … The June 1990 Health Newsletter, produced by the Public Citizen Research Group, reports, ‘Akathisia, or symptoms of restlessness, constant pacing, and purposeless movements of the feet and legs, may occur in 10-25 percent of patients on Prozac.’”

The well-known publication, California Lawyer, in a December 1998 article called “Protecting Prozac,” mentions other highly qualified critics of the drug: “David Healy, MD, an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist, has stated in sworn deposition that ‘contrary to Lilly’s view, there is a plausible cause-and-effect relationship between Prozac’ and suicidal-homicidal events. An epidemiological study published in 1995 by the British Medical Journal also links Prozac to increased suicide risk.”

When pressed, proponents of these SSRI drugs sometimes say, “Well, the benefits for the general population far outweigh the risk,” or, “Maybe in one or two tragic cases the dosage prescribed was too high.” But the problem will not go away on that basis. A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes: “Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”

In wide use. This despite such contrary information and the negative, dangerous effects of these drugs.

There are other studies: “Emergence of self-destructive phenomena in children and adolescents during fluoxetine treatment,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1991, vol.30), written by RA King, RA Riddle, et al. It reports self-destructive phenomena in 14% (6/42) of children and adolescents (10-17 years old) who had treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

July, 1991. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Hisako Koizumi, MD, describes a thirteen-year-old boy who was on Prozac: “full of energy,” “hyperactive,” “clown-like.” All this devolved into sudden violent actions which were “totally unlike him.” [Sound like James Holmes?]

September, 1991. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Author Laurence Jerome reports the case of a ten-year old who moves with his family to a new location. Becoming depressed, the boy is put on Prozac by a doctor. The boy is then “hyperactive, agitated … irritable.” He makes a “somewhat grandiose assessment of his own abilities.” Then he calls a stranger on the phone and says he is going to kill him. The Prozac is stopped, and the symptoms disappear.

[What is true about Prozac is true about Paxil or Zoloft or any of the other SSRI antidepressants. And be warned: suddenly withdrawing from any psychiatric drug can be extremely dangerous to the patient. See www.breggin.com on this subject and how to handle it.]

Ritalin, manufactured by Novartis, is the close cousin to speed which is given to millions of American schoolchildren for a condition called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADD and ADHD, for which no organic causes have ever been found, are touted as disease-conditions that afflict the young, causing hyperactivity, unmanageability, and learning problems. Of course, when you name a disorder or a syndrome and yet can find no single provable organic cause for it, you have nothing more than a loose collection of behaviors with an arbitrary title.

Correction: you also have a pharmaceutical bonanza.

Read the rest of the article here

To see a list of international drug advisory warnings and studies on psychiatric drugs and violence click here

To see a partial list of school shooters documented to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs, click here

To visit the psychiatric drug side effects search engine – click here 

 

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The Aurora, Colorado Tragedy—Another Senseless Shooting, Another Psychotropic Drug?

As the world’s leading mental health watchdog, CCHR has for decades investigated hundreds of acts of senseless violence in coordination with the press and law enforcement as well as in legislative hearings, such as those held following the 1999 Columbine massacre (ringleader Eric Harris was found to be under the influence of the antidepressant Luvox, Dylan Klebold’s autopsy reports were never unsealed). And while there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases—prescribed psychotropic drugs which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation.

 Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. (Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.)

There have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings issued on psychiatric drugs causing violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis, and other violent type reactions. These warnings have been issued in the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

In determining what would prompt James Holmes, identified as the 24-year-old gunman in the Aurora, Colorado shooting, to commit such a brutal and senseless crime, the press must ask the right questions, including: What, if any, prescribed psychotropic drugs Holmes may have been on (or in withdrawal from).

Click here for more.

 

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COLORADO HEAT WAVE SPIKES RISK OF DANGEROUS OVERHEATING FOR THOSE TAKING PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS

 

By Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Colorado’s current heat wave increases the risk of heat-related illness and death for those taking psychiatric drugs, most especially antipsychotic and “ADHD” drugs.

Psychiatric drugs cause people taking them to be less sensitive to signals from their body.  Many of the drugs also directly interfere with the body’s ability to respond to heat.  As a result, individuals taking psychiatric drugs can overheat when temperatures soar and not realize it, running a greater risk of heat exhaustion or life-threatening heat stroke.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, psychiatric drugs that interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down include antipsychotics, tranquilizers, and tricyclic antidepressants.   These drugs make individuals more susceptible to dangerous overheating.

Antipsychotic drugs, in particular, are known to increase the risk of heat stroke, as evidenced by a medical alert issued in April by the New York Office of Mental Health.  Children and the elderly – the most physically vulnerable – who are taking antipsychotic drugs face a still higher risk.

The risk of heat-related illness and death is also increased by stimulants, including the stimulant drugs prescribed for so-called ADHD.

Stimulant drugs raise body temperature, as well as interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down, so that high summer temperatures cause body temperatures already elevated by these drugs to go higher still.

Those taking psychiatric drugs should limit their exposure to summer heat and strenuous activity and drink plenty of water.  Seek medical attention for someone who becomes disoriented, whose skin is dry and hot, or who has difficulty waking up, with particular attention paid to children and the elderly.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced adverse effects from psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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From A Colorado R.N.: Why I Left Psychiatric Nursing

“It is a mistake to pathologize life [to represent it as a disease].  All of us get angry, sad, depressed, overjoyed, and excited at times.  There are times that any of us might lose control of any of these emotions with the challenges that life presents.

“Unfortunately, losing one’s temper in public might earn a person a stay in a psychiatric hospital.  Anger, especially, is not tolerated inside the psychiatric department of a hospital.  It can be diagnosed as “dysphoria” [unpleasant emotion, agitated, depressed], “hypomania” [speeded up, agitated behavior], or a “personality disorder.” The patient — adolescent and adult alike — can be disciplined with restraints, isolation, and involuntary medications.

“Isolation and restraints are legally allowed ONLY when the patient is threatening others or viewed as a danger to himself.  However, as a former psychiatric nurse, I have witnessed these methods used for reasons other than safety.  I have seen them used to discipline a patient for his temper or simply to gain control over him, even when there was no threat to anyone’s safety.  They were used to break down the individual’s will so that he will comply with the system inside the psychiatric unit, which imposes a milieu structure [a structured environment] with medications prescribed for questionable diagnoses.

“Anger is in itself not a disease.  It is a symptom that something is not right.  Anger can escalate when it is not listened to.

“While working one evening a few years ago in a small Colorado psychiatric inpatient unit, I was asked by our staff psychiatrist if I thought a 16-year-old boy there had “bipolar disorder.”  The adolescent had expressed anger toward his mother, who was continuing to date a man who had literally beaten the boy up.

“Recognizing that this young patient had a lot reason to be angry, I asked the doctor why he thought the boy had “bipolar disorder.”  The doctor explained that the patient’s mother had reported an increase in the boy’s appetite the week before, when he had an extra chili dog for dinner.  The boy then went outdoors to play basketball with his friends.  The doctor surmised that these two occurrences of normal behavior must be interpreted as “mania” because they were not typical for this boy.

“As the doctor was writing out prescriptions for three psychiatric medications, including an antipsychotic drug, I voiced my opinion that perhaps this boy’s behavior might be normal or just a sign of getting well.  The doctor instructed me to observe him over the weekend for unusual behaviors and symptoms.

“Later that night, as I was passing out bedtime medications, I found myself with an antipsychotic medication in my hand with a physician’s order to give it to this boy — a child who was not mentally ill.

“My license said I had to give it.  I left the psychiatric setting a few months later.  Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common in psychiatric facilities.

“What is needed is empathic [with empathy] listening, understanding, validation and acceptance to feel what we need to.  In my experience, I found that acceptance and caring about how my patient felt was always calming.  A therapeutic conversation could then take place.  Empathic listening and validation are key to healing.”

–Colorado R.N., a former psychiatric nurse

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A Question of Medical Ethics: Researchers Conclude Antidepressants Do More Harm Than Good

 

Image by George Hodan
Image by George Hodan

A team of researchers reviewing previous studies into the effects of antidepressants have concluded that the drugs are doing patients more harm than good, according to a research paper published yesterday in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology.

“The thing that’s been missing in the debates about antidepressants is an overall assessment of all these negative effects relative to their potential beneficial effects,” says professor Paul Andrews, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University in Canada and lead author of the study. “Most of this evidence has been out there for years and nobody has been looking at this basic issue.”

Most antidepressants alter the level of serotonin naturally produced by the human body in an attempt to alter mood.  But serotonin also regulates other important functions in the body, including digestion, reproduction, and the blood clotting to seal a wound.

“Serotonin is an ancient chemical,” said Andrews.  “It’s intimately regulating many different processes, and when you interfere with these things you can expect,  from an evolutionary perspective, that it’s going to cause some harm.”

Quoting from his research team’s paper:

“Because serotonin regulates many adaptive processes, antidepressants could have many adverse health effects….  Antidepressants can…cause developmental problems, they have adverse effects on sexual and romantic life, and they increase the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood plasma), bleeding, stroke, and death in the elderly.  Our review supports the conclusion that antidepressants generally do more harm than good by disrupting a number of adaptive processes regulated by serotonin.”

The full paper can be read here.

 

Proven risks outweigh questionable benefit

Following on the heels of other research on both the ineffectiveness and the risks of adverse effects of antidepressants, this latest research raises serious questions about whether physicians can ethically prescribe antidepressants for their patients.  After all, a cornerstone of medical ethics is that it may be better to do nothing than to risk causing more harm than good.  Antidepressants now have been shown in a growing number of research studies to cause proven harm, while providing questionable benefit.

For example, in an explosive report that aired recently on CBS’s 60 Minutes, an expert on placebos said that the difference between the effects of antidepressants and sugar pills is clinically insignificant for most people. (see “Expert Finds Antidepressants No More Effective Than Sugar Pills”).  Another recent study shows antidepressants can considerably worsen depression (see “Antidepressants can cause chronic and worsening depression”).  An earlier study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 linked antidepressants to an increased risk of major birth defects.

(For international studies and warnings on the side effects of antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug search engine.)

Professor Andrews believes his research shows the critical necessity of reevaluating the use of antidepressants.

“It could change the way we think about such major pharmaceutical drugs,” he says. “You’ve got a minimal benefit, a laundry list of negative effects – some small, some rare and some not so rare. The issue is: does the list of negative effects outweigh the minimal benefit?”

 

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant, we want to talk to you. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Columbine: A Permanent Reminder That Psychiatric Drugs Can Turn Kids Into Killers

The 13th anniversary of the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, is a time to remember the real lesson of Columbine: psychiatric drugs can turn kids into killers.

Read more here.

 

 

 

 

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Patient Beware: Negative Results Of Psych Drug Tests Were Not Revealed To Your Doctor

 

Image by Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Analysis of articles published on the outcomes of clinical trials of psychiatric drugs found that many unfavorable results never appeared in the professional journals doctors rely on to make informed decisions for their patients.

A new report published in PLoS Medicine found that drug companies seeking FDA approval for eight newer, so-called atypical antipsychotic drugs performed a total of 24 studies.  But four of the studies were never published in professional journals – and all four of those studies had negative results for the drugs in question.

Three of those unpublished studies showed that the new drugs were no better than sugar pills.

Lead author Erick Turner, M.D., a former drug reviewer for the FDA and now at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center, called the results of the analysis “unsettling” and called on the FDA for greater disclosure of drug trial results.

Doctors subjected to aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies, but not getting full disclosure of negative clinical trial results, are fueling the skyrocketing use of these expensive antipsychotic drugs, increasingly using them for purposes for which the drugs have not been approved.  A study published last year found that off-label antipsychotic prescriptions doubled between 1995 and 2008, from 4.4 million to 9 million.  Sales of the drugs exceeded $16 billion in 2010, according to IMS Health, a data tracking firm for the health-care industry.

And antipsychotic drugs were not the only psych drugs for which negative clinical trials were squelched.  In 2008, Dr. Turner and his colleagues found an even greater publication bias for antidepressants.  Nearly one of every three clinical trials of antidepressants by drug companies produced troubling results that were never revealed in professional publications.

Without access to this negative information, doctors do not get the complete picture of the dangers and ineffectiveness of the psych drugs they may be prescribing to their patients – and both doctors and their patients need to know this.

 

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from a psychiatric drug, we want to talk to you. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Expert Finds Antidepressants No Better Than Sugar Pills

In an explosive report just aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes, an expert who has studied the effects of placebos (dummy pills) for 36 years stated that antidepressants are no more effective than sugar pills for the vast

Image by George Hodan
Image by George Hodan

majority of depressed individuals.

Irving Kirsch, Associate Director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School, says his research shows that the difference between the effects of antidepressants and sugar pills is clinically insignificant for most people.

He reports that it is not the chemical ingredients of antidepressants that make people feel better, but rather their expectation that taking a pill will make them feel better, such that taking a dummy pill with no drugs in it alleviates their symptoms.  This is known as the placebo effect.

In addition to its reported effectiveness in handling depression, a placebo has none of the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.  (Information on the harmful side effects of antidepressants and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

View a video clip about the 60 Minutes report.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant, we want to talk to you. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Parker Man Who Killed Ex-Wife, Then Committed Suicide Had Taken Psych Drug

Part of the ongoing series: Killers On Psych Drugs –
Psych-Drugged Accused Or Convicted Killers

 

Image by Raki Halder
Image by Raki Halder

A man who shot and killed his ex-wife outside a McDonald’s in Parker last December and then took his own life had taken the antidepressant nortriptyline, according to an autopsy report.

Royer reportedly was having emotional and financial problems at the time of the double killing.  So how does a depressed individual turn violent?

Antidepressants have long been linked to violence.  Nortriptyline is known to cause hostility, aggression, agitation, confusion, hallucinations and delusions.

It also can cause worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and suicide.

Research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the harmful side effects of antidepressants and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant drug, we want to talk to you. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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http://psychiatricfraud.org/2012/01/parker-man-who-killed-ex-wife-then-committed-suicide-had-taken-psych-drug/