Tom Cruise Took on Lord Psychopharm & His
Psychiatrists of the Round Tablets:
Challenging the "curing mental illness" myth and the "fixing chemical imbalances in defective brains" fairy tale.
Unfortunately, the fact that he is a Scientologist — a devotee of a truly loony religious belief system — diminished any serious consideration given to the content of his remarks. Be that as it may, in this classic video clip, could Tom Cruise have been saying something important, something we ought listen to? Wild and wacky Tommy may be like a "canary in a coal mine" whose aberrant behavior indicates real danger. Indeed, if we do listen carefully, we will find that there is a great deal of truth in what he said on The Today Show. Here you can hear and judge for yourself.
Excerpts from the Interview with Tom Cruise
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Later that week, the Today Show followed up with a debate between two well known psychiatrists. Note that, in the following video, Dr. Glenmullen of Harvard Medical School describes himself as "a moderate" who believes that there has been no evidence of biochemical imbalances in psychiatric disorders. Dr. Sharfstein, on the other hand — while also claiming to "take the middle ground" — tells us that biochemical, brain imbalances have been well established. He then characterizes their disagreement as an ongoing "constructive scientific debate" in psychiatry.
It is important for the viewer to know that this is untrue.
As Glenmullen states, "everyone is shocked" by his claims. And then Sharfstein, the President of the American Psychiatric Association, calls such claims "total nonsense." In "a constructive scientific debate," people aren't "shocked" by one side's claims. In a constructive scientific debate, the head of the field's professional society can't dismiss the other side's claims as "total nonsense." Despite some dissent, there is no real "debate" occurring in American psychiatry.
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For an illustration of the case against adjusting supposed chemical imbalances with drugs, see the evidence against the drug treatment of "schizophrenia." In reviewing this summary, remember that "schizophrenia" is a word that refers to the constellation of symptoms that, more than any other condition, is said to be caused by a chemical imbalance that can be corrected by drugs.
Despite the fact that the diagnosis of schizophrenia appears to have questionable validity, since the symptoms are supposedly caused by a chemical imbalance, we are then told that adjusting the imbalance with drugs is the best approach to treatment. After looking at the actual evidence against the chemical imbalance theory, don't forget to come back here and read what you will find below for a shocking look at the damage being done in the name of "treatment."
Though the empirical evidence (presented or linked to on this page) shows that
more people would fare better without neuroleptic drugs, and that (given their dangerous side effects) most people should not be kept on them for very long, withdrawal from neuroleptics can be destabilizing and dangerous. The human body adjusts or becomes accustomed to drugs that are taken regularly. Abrupt withdrawal from such drugs and other substances can cause problematic reactions, e.g., DT's when withdrawing from alcohol and convulsions when withdrawing from barbiturates. Just so, withdrawal from the regular use of psychiatric drugs can pose serious dangers. If you are taking such drugs and wish to withdraw, it may be very important to obtain guidance from folks who know how to do so safely. Here is a link to an informational web site put together by people who have gone through (or supported those who have gone through) withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.
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The Truth About "Schizophrenia" & Fixing Chemical Imbalances
In Bob Whitaker's book, a thorough investigative review of all the evidence reveals . . . a marketing ploy. This marketing ploy—based on misrepresenting the evidence—has been instrumental in converting the pharmaceutical industry from a tiny business into the third largest enterprise in the world (after the military/defense industry and the oil/energy industry).
The most startling fact about 2002 is that the combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) . . . When I say this is a profitable industry, I mean really profitable. It is difficult to conceive of how awash in money big pharma is. (Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, The New England Journal of Medicine.)
Indeed, the psychotropic drugs
can be easily promoted as ameliorating "illnesses" by using drug company sponsored research based on the assessment of the hard-to-quantify, subjective stress/unhappiness of the patient or the subjective judgments of those around yon. (That is, unlike the case with much other medical research that often has truly objective measurements of cure or effectiveness, psychotropic drug efficacy is assessed by measuring variables that can be easily manipulated to produce a desired finding.);
are prescribed for conditions that—because of drug company sponsored research and millions of dollars in grants to departments of psychiatry that are now completely dominated by biologically oriented psychiatrists—are now considered to be "genetic" or chronic "biochemical disorders." This is the MOST lucrative type of condition, requiring drug "treatments" that are prescribed for open ended periods of many years, often for the patient's lifetime;
can be routinely prescribed to folks whose voices are given little or no credence (even when they complain about truly damaging side-effects from their "treatment") and who can be (and often are) legally and physically forced to take them; and
are phenomenally profitable.
Thus it really shouldn't be surprising that the drug companies have focused their vast resources on influencing psychiatry more than any other medical specialty. In fact, the giant pharmaceutical companies pay for psychiatry's journals, conferences, professorships, underwrite psychiatry departments at leading universities, and sponsor most of the supposedly scientific research in the field. Using their vast profits, these companies pour so much drug money into controlling the medical education, training, and clinical world view of it's "dealers" that it would not be an exaggeration to say that the drug companies are buying (or some would say "they already own") psychiatry.
So, you can imagine that Bob Whitaker's conclusions have made quite a few powerful people unhappy. In the course of promoting, debating, and defending his conclusions, Bob has been reviled as dangerous, misleading, incompetent, irresponsible, etc. What is most striking about this "debate"—which, despite what Dr. Sharfstein claims, has none of the characteristics of constructive science—is that the proponents of the biochemical imbalance theories have resorted to ad hominem attacks on the other side.
Why? Where is all the "evidence" to support their position? Glenmullen says there isn't any and that it is misleading to tell people they have such a biochemical imbalance and that drugs "correct" such a "defect" in their brains. Why are such claims illegal in Europe, where beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry don't run their "FDA?" In all of the attacks on Bob Whitaker's position, why hasn't one expert ever pointed out the error of his analysis of the data? Why hasn't one person presented some evidence of this supposedly well-established imbalance? The only reasonable answer is, "There isn't any."
Pills and Lies: How to provide false information to patients and their families (while minimizing lawsuits).
So, do patients still get told they have brain/biochemical imbalances that are corrected by psychiatric drugs? Absolutely. Routinely. The pharmaceutical companies are becoming more careful in their claims because, despite whatever benefit some people may get from the drugs, they are, in fact, dangerous and they know they will be sued when people are injured. Yet, they still clearly suggest that their drugs correct biochemical imbalances in defective (i.e., chemically imbalanced) brains. And, in doctors' offices, such notions are glibly passed off as well-established science, in exactly the way Dr. Sharfstein talks about it.
When Bob Whitaker was doing the research for his book, he was able to present his findings to the scientists who work for the drug companies and challenge them with their own empirical evidence. When thus pinned down, the drug company funded researchers actually admitted that there is no evidence of "chemical imbalances," and that we know very little about how the brain produces normal human experience (not to mention problematic human experience) or how drugs affect our experience. One top researcher quickly added, "You can't use that!" retroactively trying to take his admission "off the record."
And in Europe, as Glenmullen noted, false claims about fixing chemical imbalances are illegal.
So in the US, drug companies are now careful to avoid explicitly claiming that there are any such fictional imbalances. Simultaneously, they continue to imply or suggest that they exist and that their drugs fix them. They have managed to so influence the mindset and beliefs of the prescribing doctors that they can safely rely on their network of drug dealers/distributors (i.e., "psychiatrists") to foist the misinformation on their patients and families.
The "New Pharmaspeak"
In addition to being able to use their fiscal control to bias the "scientific" findings and stack university departments and training centers with biopsychiatry biased opinion leaders, the drug companies have developed carefully couched wording to describe their wares, wording with unmistakable implications. Here are two examples of the New Pharmaspeak taken from the web sites of two of the most prescribed (and profitable) drugs in the world, olanzapine (Eli Lilly's ZYPREXA®):
"It is believed that ZYPREXA® works by adjusting the imbalance of chemicals in the brain that may cause your symptoms. By doing so, ZYPREXA® may help restore more normal thinking and mood."
and risperidone (Janssen's RISPERDAL®):
"How does RISPERDAL® work?
Symptoms of schizophrenia are thought to be caused by imbalances of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are called dopamine and serotonin. Exactly how RISPERDAL® works is unknown. However, it seems to readjust the balance of dopamine and serotonin. This may help relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, suspiciousness and delusions."
Such suggestive, hedged wording—"it is believed," "imbalance . . . that may," "ZYPREXA® may help," "are thought to be," "Exactly how RISPERDAL® works is unknown." "It seems to," "this may help"—apparently does help to avoid damaging lawsuits for false claims. But c'mon, people! Who are they kidding? Such wording seems to be unmistakably intended to encourage—and intended or not, we know that such wording does encourage—doctors to present these fictions as medical science to their patients. And, à la Sharfstein, that is routinely what actually occurs.
But isn't "mental illness" genetic?
Don't we know from the genetic studies that "schizophrenia" is heritable? Doesn't that mean it has to be a "biological" brain disease?
Virtually all measurable human traits—including features of personality such as neatness, shyness, criminal activity, conservative vs liberal values, overeating, athleticism, talkativeness, extroversion, religiosity, etc., etc.—show more similarity in pairs of identical twins, even if they are not raised together. The truth is that when the empirical data is examined, there is no evidence that schizophrenic symptom patterns are any more heritable than any other measurable pattern of human experience or behavior!
Indeed, the fact is that the low concordance rates actually found suggest the exact opposite of the generally accepted notion that schizophrenia is a heritable, biological disorder that is relatively impervious to anything other than biochemical intervention: Since identical twins share the same genetic biology and since most identical twin pairs with one "schizophrenic" twin are not concordant for schizophrenia, it appears that biology cannot be more than just one piece of the story. And this piece obviously cannot be THE explanation: Again, most twins who have a schizophrenic identical twin are not concordant for schizophrenia.
Periodically, someone produces a finding that this or that gene or genetic marker is associated with mental illness. Typically, this finding is front page news and is actively promoted by the pharmaceutical companies (who more often than not, paid for some or all of the costs of the research). Later, the finding is found to be faulty; it cannot be replicated. But the new finding is printed on page 15, as was this report that recently appeared in The New York Times.
The vast majority of practicing psychiatrists, however, believe that science has proved that schizophrenia is linked to specific genes and/or is highly heritable and is thus a biological disorder. This is what they were taught. Yet, when we examine the gene and twin studies that supposedly support this "scientific" view — and you should know that such an examination of the research is NOT something that is done today in advanced psychology classes or medical schools where the departments of psychiatry are now totally dominated by researchers funded by pharmaceutical companies — we see that there is no evidence to support such a belief.
The actual data (linked to in this box) shows that genetic, inborn biology accounts for the appearance of the symptoms of so-called mental illness no more than it accounts for any other measurable human trait; this means that biology has to be a relatively minor part of the story, i.e., genetic biology explains no more about "schizophrenia" than it explains any other human behavior.
Note: These neuroleptics (ZYPREXA® and RISPERDAL®) are now known to cause significant weight gain and life-threatening diabetes in an alarming percentage of patients. Though they were touted as not causing tardive dyskinesia (described below), it is now known that they do. Yet these and other neuroleptics have been prescribed to well over 50 million people, so far. Not only is this number rapidly rising, but the rate of the increase is also increasing! Given the massive numbers of people who are prescribed such drugs, millions of people will experience their terrible side effects, side effects that can, and frequently do, destroy lives. So these marketing fictions are more than just misleading.
The pictures below (scroll a few screens further down this page for videos) show the hideous, disfiguring, involuntary facial movements that are frequently seen in folks labeled "schizophrenic." What the public is rarely told when they see someone engaged in such bizarre behavior is that this is NOT a symptom of "schizophrenia" or of any naturally occurring "mental illness." It is an iatrogenic (physician induced) side effect of so-called "antipsychotic" medication. It is called tardive dyskinesia and is a common (most people will eventually get it if they stay on their antipsychotic drugs long enough, like they are told to), permanent, irreversible symptom of drug-induced brain damage. Note that this is not our opinion; this information is not disputed and can be found in the prescribing literature published by the drug companies themselves.
Keeping all this in mind, consider these horrifying facts:
. . . Soaring numbers of American children are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs — in many cases, for attention deficit disorder or other behavioral problems for which these medications have not been proven to work, a study found.
The number of children prescribed antipsychotic drugs jumped fivefold between 1995 and 2002, to an estimated 2.5 million, the study said. That was an increase from 8.6 of every 1,000 children to nearly 40 out of 1,000 children. More than half of the prescriptions, however, were for attention deficit and other nonpsychotic conditions, the researchers said . . .
The drugs [of which ZYPREXA® and RISPERDAL® comprise a significant portion], which typically costs several dollars per pill, are considered safer than older antipsychotics — at least in adults — but they still can have serious side effects, including weight gain, elevated cholesterol and diabetes.
Anecdotal evidence suggests similar side effects occur in children. (Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press journalist, “Anti-Psychotics’ Use for Kids Skyrockets,” San Francisco Chronicle, 17 March 2006)
In November of 2007, the Attorney General of Arkansas filed suit against Janssen for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and punitive penalties for the harm caused by their product, RISPERDAL®. And that's just Arkansas! Wait until California, New York, Texas, and the other large states climb on the bandwagon. In the box below, we present just a few of the allegations. You can take a look at the full suit against Janssen here. More recently, AstraZeneca joined Janssen and Lilly.
By 2010, Eli Lilly was no longer alone in their billion-dollar-plus payout for the damage and destruction caused by so-called "antipsychotic medication." According to a New York Times article:
"In April [of 2010], AstraZeneca became the fourth major drug company in three years to settle a government investigation with a hefty payment — in its case, $520 million for what federal officials described as an array of illegal promotions of antipsychotics for children, the elderly, veterans and prisoners. Still, the payment amounted to just 2.4 percent of the $21.6 billion AstraZeneca made on Seroquel sales from 1997 to 2009.
LAST year, Eli Lilly and Pfizer settled investigations resulting in the largest criminal fines in United States history. Lilly paid a $515 million criminal fine as part of a broader, $1.4 billion settlement with the government. Pfizer later paid a $1.3 billion criminal fine as part of a broader, $2.3 billion settlement.
The Lilly case focused entirely on its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, while Pfizer’s settlement included $301 million related to its antipsychotic, Geodon, along with marketing of other drugs.
In 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $515 million to settle federal and state investigations into marketing of its antipsychotic drug Abilify to child psychiatrists and nursing homes. Bristol-Myers Squibb, like AstraZeneca, denied any misconduct.
Johnson & Johnson is currently under investigation by the Justice Department, which says it paid kickbacks to induce Omnicare, the nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy, to recommend Risperdal, government filings show. Omnicare paid $98 million last November to settle civil charges."
[Editorial note: Johnson & Johnson was eventually fined $1.1 billion for downplaying and concealing risks associated with their antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. And as of 2013, Eli Lilly has paid out $2.6 billion to pay fines and settle suits regarding their drug, Zyprexa.]
On November 20, 2007, the Attorney General of Arkansas filed suit against Janssen, the
manufacturer of RISPERDAL®, for hundreds of millions of dollars for damages caused in the small
state of Arkansas alone, claiming (among other things, the full suit is here) that Janssen is guilty of:
95. (a) Misrepresenting that RISPERDAL® is safe and effective for indications for
which safety and efficacy had not been demonstrated . . .
(b) Making false and misleading misrepresentations of . . . the likelihood and severity of
the side effects associated with RISPERDAL®, including diabetes, stroke, high blood
pressure, weight gain and other serious and potentially life-threatening conditions;
(c) Misrepresenting and concealing material facts and/or failing to inform and educate
Arkansas physicians as to the risks and dangers associated with RISPERDAL® use when such
facts were well known to, or readily ascertainable by, Defendants;
(d) Misrepresenting and concealing material facts which were known to Defendants,
and unknown to Arkansas physicians, when Defendants knew that Arkansas physicians
rely on such facts when deciding whether to prescribe RISPERDAL® to their patients;
(e) Misrepresenting that RISPERDAL® is safer and more effective than less expensive first
generation antipsychotics; . . .
(g) Intentionally creating a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding in the minds of
Arkansas physicians as to whether RISPERDAL® was safe . . .
96. Due to the secrecy of the foregoing conduct, the State has only recently been
made aware of its actionable nature.
97. Defendants made, and continue to make, orally and in writing, false, misleading
or deceptive representations in advertisements, promotions and statements, and otherwise
disseminated, and continue to disseminate, false, misleading or deceptive information . . .
111. . . . (c) Marketing and/or promoting RISPERDAL® as appropriate for children;
(d) Failing to adequately train their sales force so that when Arkansas physicians
treating Medicaid, DBHS and DFAEBD participants raised safety concerns regarding
RISPERDAL® important safety information was withheld; . . .
(h) Continuing to promote, market and/or sell RISPERDAL® after they knew, or should have
known, of the serious side effects and risks associated with RISPERDAL® use; . . .
122. Through their sales and marketing practices . . . Defendants warranted that
RISPERDAL® had no significant risks or side effects that were not identified on its labeling . . .
12 States have now sued Eli Lilly over ZYPREXA®: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.
7 states have sued Janssen over RISPERDAL®: Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvana, South Carolina and Texas.
4 states have sued AstraZeneca over SEROQUEL®: Arkansas, Montana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
In April of 2012, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen were fined $1.1 billion for downplaying and concealing risks associated with the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
And that's still just the beginning!
Unfortunately, Big-Pharma is able to punish whistleblowers who expose their wrongdoing! For example, consider the case of Jim Gottstein who is under attack from one of the biggest corporations in the world. Having spent close to three hundred thousand dollars to defend himself, he is still being threatened with loss of his license to practice law, massive civil penalties, and possibly jail. Jim needs our help!
"But," you say, "Surely this fraud by Eli Lilly, and Janssen, and AstraZeneca was an aberration, right? MY doctor uses 'evidence based medicine' to treat ME."
There is, however, no way your doctor can do that when the real evidence that is accumulating is that such research distorting behavior on the part of drug companies (and/or the researchers hired and enriched by them) has become so pervasive that there no longer is any clear, evidence based medicine! The "evidence" your doctor relies on, unbeknownst to your doctor — who was taught to trust and rely on the scientific research published in medical journals — is now contaminated. Here are some more examples of serious misconduct surrounding the research generated by Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. And those are just examples of their misconduct that we know about, i.e., that they have been caught for!
Now here's a real shocker
In the next video, you can see what tardive dyskinesia (TD) looks like in real life. These clips are from a program about Geel, a town in Belgium where psychiatric patients have been highly integrated into the community. Though many questions have been raised about Geel—whether there is problematic exploitation, whether a patronizing (and thus infantalizing) attitude pervades the project, and whether it has simply become another venue in which to manage people with these brain-damaging chemicals—in a number of cases, the Geel system may be better than managing people in hospitals and segregated halfway houses. But that could also be seen as "damning with faint praise."
And, anyway, that's not the point. When you see the repetitive facial movements caused by TD, try to imagine the reaction of people who interact face-to-face with these victims of disfiguring, drug-induced, permanent brain damage. Can they ever really see past the bizarre movement and just see the person as another human soul, the same as themselves? What about the impact on the victim when he or she looks in the mirror? TD destroys lives. Eventually, the brain damage becomes severe enough to produce tardive dementia, a dementia similar to the later stages of Alzheimer's Disease. But even before that occurs, the social impact of TD destroys any capacity to function fully as a whole member of the social community.
That's still NOT the real shocker. Despite the horrible result from forcing people to take these drugs, this is all common knowledge. Millions of people have been forcefully brain damaged in this manner. As horrifying as this is, it shouldn't shock us. After all, we've known about this for years; it's not news.
No. The real shocker is this: These clips were excerpted from a a fairly long story on 60-Minutes, a generally reputable, fine program. Though the program shows the subjects engaged in rather bizarre looking facial movements—and this is the only strange or in anyway "different" behavior exhibited by the "schizophrenics" in this piece—the viewer is never told that this is not a symptom of any psychiatric disorder. The viewer is never told that the strange behavior is a result of brain damage from the supposed treatment! Indeed, in the last segment of these clips, the camera pans back and we see the systemic (full-body) effects of TD, edited to coincide with a voice-over that tells us about the supportive people of Geel: "For example, in a shop when someone is behaving . . . with strange behavior, they will help him."
The shocker is how the routine destruction of millions of people can be ignored, even when evidence of it is being (misre)presented to us by otherwise decent reporters. When you see systemic, full-body TD and hear a voice talking about people exhibiting strange behavior—again, the only strange behavior in the piece—what could you possibly conclude except something like:
"Schizophrenics are really pretty weird looking; there is definitely something inherently strange about them. There must be something wrong with their brains; just look at those repetitive movements. Yet, maybe we should strive, like the good people of Geel, to tolerate such strangeness and to live more closely with folks who exhibit such weird behavior."
And we certainly should: In addition to whatever moral obligations we all have to one another as human beings, we support (actively or passively) the system that routinely uses physical force to make people take the brain damaging drugs that cause such weirdness. How ironic: If viewers—who have heard psychiatrists like Sharfstein talk (above, in the second video on this page) about "proven biochemical imbalances"—conclude that the the strange behavior of the mental patients in the clips must be due to some neurological disorder, they would be right; thanks to folks like the good doctor!
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Here's a technical article with video demonstrations of a range of movement disorders that are caused by drug-induced brain damage. And in the video below (on the left), you can see how they try to treat this permanent, brain damage induced by "treatment" with . . . yet more products from the pharmaceutical industry! And now we have a manual for an objective method for measuring Tardive Dyskinesia (the video below on the right). In addition to its valid use in assessing this terrible iatrogenic disorder, this objective assessment of TD can also be used to prescribe profitable drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry to counteract the damage from the profitable drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry!
Imagine a President of the American
Psychiatric Association with just a
very mild case of Tardive Dyskinesia:
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The Pharmacaust: Way more than 20,000,000 dead. So far.
We can actually calculate the death toll. We know that 5% of those on the standard antipsychotics develop tardive dyskinesia every year. We know how many received the medications. We know how many have gotten diabetes and will get it from the so-called atypicals. When tardive dyskinesia becomes marked, you become the walking dead. Nobody takes you seriously as a human being. And the motor movements are just the most visible signs of the brain damage. Thinking is permanently dulled until it reaches the extremes of tardive dementia.
So, how many lives have been lost? How many lives have been made not worth living? How many people have been reduced to mere shadows, ghosts of themselves? Watch as we calculate the death toll from what could be aptly termed "The Pharmacaust."
Is "schizophrenia" produced by, or does it cause diseased or defective brains?
What else could one conclude upon reading the following graphic? Yet, in actuality, it is simply another example of the misleading way in which "schizophrenia" is presented as a brain disease/defect:
A closer look at this "science"
Let's see what happens if we take a closer look at the actual data reported in this typical study purporting to find evidence of a neurological difference between "schizophrenic" and "normal" brains. Given the actual data reported in the study, its claim that it provides evidence that schizophrenia causes brain shrinkage (as indicated in the graphic image on the left) is bizarrely outrageous. In the study, those with the fastest "shrinking brains" had all been on MASSIVE doses of neuroleptic toxins for MANY years. There were three groups in that study: normal adolescents, young adults who had not been diagnosed with schizophrenia and who had been on sizable doses of neuroleptics for other reasons, and supposed "schizophrenics" who had been on even larger doses of neuroleptics for longer periods.
The result? The normal adolescents showed brain shrinkage (according to the study's authors, some brain shrinkage is a normal part of adolescence). Those with moderate neuroleptic exposure showed greater brain shrinkage. And those diagnosed with "schizophrenia" and put on larger doses of multiple neuroleptics showed the largest amount of brain shrinkage. Surprise, surprise.
Yet in that study, this result—which could most reasonably be explained by the clear correlation between brain damaging neuroleptic usage and brain differences—was explained the way the "expert" in this video explained it, as a product of "mental illness." [For a more detailed analysis of this study, click here; and here's a more honest graphic. Email us (using the link below) if you would like a copy of the original study.]
BTW, this cute little note appears
on the first page of this "research."
[Medicine is afflicted with a] disease: an overpowerful, under-regulated drug industry and a research establishment and publishing industry in its thrall . . . Between the interests of the public and the commercial interests of drug companies stand two potential safeguards—journal peer review and drug regulation . . . [it is] clear that peer review in its current form is unequal to the task . . . Drug regulators too seem unequal to their task. Critics focus on their close relationship with industry; their lack of transparency; their lack of systematic post marketing surveillance; and an emphasis on efficacy over patient safety, which favours industry. . . . I suggest a radical solution. As with most good ideas, it is not mine alone. Marcia Angell (personal communication) and [others] have also had it, but here is my version. Drug companies should not be allowed to evaluate their own products. (Fiona Godlee, M.D., Editor, British Medical Journal)
Chris Rock Put It Succinctly (but not politely ;-)
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Others say that there are cases, times, and situations in which they can be useful, i.e., with clear informed consent—which cannot occur when the data is so distorted—there are times when these drugs may be used appropriately.
As long as pharmaceutical companies design and finance more than half of this research; ghost-write many of the research publications; run countless trials but publish only those findings they wish without providing open access to their data; and are permitted to make scientifically unsubstantiated advertising claims, a true informed-consent for psychotropic medications will be unobtainable. (Audrey S. Barrick, Psychologist, University of Iowa, New York Times, March 25, 2006)
While this debate continues, there are a few things about which we can be absolutely sure: If the downside, if these questions about the efficacy and safety of drugs that are purported to balance unbalanced brain chemistry are not fully acknowledged and openly debated, then:
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