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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Psychiatry responds

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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Biochemical Imbalances

So, is there any evidence for "biochemical imbalances?" No, there is not. As surprising as this may be, the case has been made, and made well, in the work of the psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Breggin, and in the scholarly investigative reporting found in Robert Whitaker's recent books, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill (2002) and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (2010).
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."

By the way, Cruise was also right about the antidepressants used to treat milder symptoms: the commonly prescribed antidepressants also pose terribly serious problems. And he was also right about electro-convulsive "therapy" (ECT), or what he called "electroshocking people."

Warning!

A guide to coming off psychiatric drugs.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

Speakers (in order of appearance):

Robert Whitaker, author of "Mad in America" (2002) and "Anatomy of an Epidemic" (2010)

Dan Kriegman, Ph.D., founder of Zuzu's Place

Loren Mosher, M.D., first Chief of Schizophrenia Studies at NIMH

Excerpted from The Truth about "Schizophrenia": Loren Mosher and Bob Whitaker visit Zuzu's Place.

For more information about the full-length movie, click here.

 
 
 

Bob Whitaker's groundbreaking book, ''Mad in America''Mad in America

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.);
      Chronic conditions:  The Pharmaceutical Industry's Bread and Butter
  • 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.

Those inseparable siblings, Big Pharma and Psychiatrica.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.

Marcia Angell, former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, takes on the drug companies.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?

Amazingly, the answer again is no.

Yes, there is some heritability of schizophrenic symptoms. Identical twins whose twin exhibits schizophrenic symptoms are more likely to exhibit such symptoms themselves. But the heritability of 50% that they routinely teach in Abnormal Psychology classes turns out to be as mythological as the chemical imbalances.

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.



Some more disturbing evidence: Tardive Dyskinesia (and other "side effects")

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.

Tardive Dyskinesia: bizarre, involuntary, continuous, repetitive movement due to permanent, irreversible brain damage caused by the use of so-called antipsychotic drugs

Tardive Dyskinesia: bizarre, involuntary, continuous, repetitive movement due to permanent, irreversible brain damage caused by the use of so-called antipsychotic drugs


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)

Drugging Children



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Sometimes, Only the Court Jester Is
Allowed Prime Space in the Public Square
from which to Speak the Truth.

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An image used by Janssen to market RISPERDAL®, re-worked as Arkansas sues Janssen for harm caused by RISPERDAL®In June 2005, Eli Lilly & Co. announced that it had agreed to pay $750 million to settle some 8,000 lawsuits filed by people who reported that taking ZYPREXA® resulted in unwanted weight gain, diabetes, other metabolic disorders, and death. By the end of 2007, the total payout had climbed to over $1.2 billion. As of January 2009, it had climbed to over $2.6 billion and counting. It is clear now that Eli Lilly illegally marketed ZYPREXA® and knowingly and fraudulently withheld relevant information about these risks from doctors and patients. ZYPREXA®, with more than $4.8 billion in sales in 2007, accounts for about a third of Eli Lilly’s profits and is the fifth largest-selling prescription drug in the world. Indeed, while their financial assets may not make their power "absolute," it is fair to say that "tremendous power leads to tremendous corruption." And the corruption of power is so huge that it's not possible to keep it a secret!

[Rolling Stone exposé of Eli Lilly's amazing marketing fraud.]

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 . . .

Update: 2009

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.

Update: 2013

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!Attorney James Gottstein's legal defense bills approach $300G as Eli Lilly sues him for exposing Lilly's wrongdoing!


"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!



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    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:

Evidence of brain shrinkage/changes caused by ''schizophrenia'' or iatrogenic mistreatment?

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.]

And if you're still skeptical, don't take our word for it. Take a look at this description in The New York Times of twenty years of research gathered by Dr. Nancy Andreasen, who was the editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry: Official Journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

BTW, this cute little note appears
on the first page of this "research."
Who pays for scientific ''research,'' or should we say ''advertisements?''
[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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Just Take Your Drugs &
Pay No Attention to the Men Behind the Curtain!

Press 'Play' to start
[While playing, right-click the center of screen to enlarge.]
Just take your meds and pay no attention to the pharmaceutical detail men behind the curtain.
To download, right-click here and then click "save target" or "save link."

Eli Lilly was a dope dealer before they invented ZYPREXA®!
Parke Davis:  A Dope Dealer You Can Trust :-)
Before there was Bayer Aspirin, there was Bayer Heroin!
Cocaine! The pain preventive dentifrice!


"And the sooner you get your drugs, the better!
It's like insulin for diabetes."

At least, that's the marketing propaganda you will hear iin the
following video, excerpted from a longer video presented at
the Schizophrenia Society of Canada website (in 2008).

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A propaganda, drug video developed by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada
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A dunce wonders if if the Schizophrenia Society that advocates drug treatment receives support from pharmaceutical companies.


So, should these drugs be banned?

On this question, there could be reasonable, scientific debate. That is, reasonable people can be found on both sides of this question. Some say they should be banned because
  • they are very dangerous,
     
  • the evidence is so weak for beneficial effects that a strong case
    can be made that they produce more damage than good, and
     
  • truly helpful interventions are pushed aside and replaced by
    dispensing these phenomenally profitable, dangerous chemicals.
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:

Tom Cruise reconsidered

In this light—Scientology or no Scientology—Tom Cruise's statements are well worth considering.

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Welcome to Prozac World!
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The ones who see things differently. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. (Jack Kerouac)




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This is a great post.

This is a great post. I agree that drugs can cause things like tardive diskinesia and eventual dementia, which are horrible. Whatever schizophrenias turn out to be when they are truly understood will not change the fact that those effects of the current drugs are terrible. ========================================================== Victor Smith

"Whatever schizophrenia is"

"Whatever schizophrenias turn out to be when they are truly understood "

It's a stigma label used to silence (destroy) disruptive or potentially disruptive people. (Ranging from all types, from the highly sensitive and emotional financial burdens to the belligerent "psychotic".)

Underneath and over-top this base physical reality we live within constructed realities. (Either that or this is yet another case of Anosognosia.)

The label itself is powerful enough to erase you. Organizations like the Treatment Advocacy Center pester district attorneys and judges and people in the legal system to such a degree that the label (Along with Bi-Polar now and Schizoaffective) might as well even be seen as a weapon against some and a bailout for others. The method that gives power to TAC (Treatment Advocacy Center) is that they are in and appreciated by the system. When attorneys and judges and law enforcement are supplied with information and they have no logic or critical thinking skills (And have a wrongfully created Stigma image of the mentally ill in their minds) they will more often than not just merely listen to the people who have established identity and credibility within the U.S. political system. Presenting mountains of scientific evidence and arguments is often a waste of time when people like Fuller Torrey and his followers keep creating a Stigma of "mental illness" in America (By using cases of violence where it's tragically ironic that in those cases psych drugs were either involved or the records are sealed, such as Virginia Tech) and using it to herd sheep whilst having ridiculous amounts of funds (such as from a memorabilia seller who donated 250 million after his son embarrassed his family by tearing his clothes off and fighting with police and now they have endorsements from Martin Sheen) and the identity in our culture as being scientific and medical. People in this movement may be right, but they are fighting a monster larger than world governments; they're fighting an entire culture that has been misinformed, mislead and manipulated for generations.

I recommend reading Elliot Valenstein's Blaming the Brain and Robert Whitaker's Mad in America for a start into what this may be about. Money, politics and eugenics

Drug Company Creates Simulation of Illness' Symptoms

http://www.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2002/aug/schizophrenia/
http://onemansblog.com/2007/06/13/what-its-really-like-to-be-schizophrenic/

"In one simulation, a schizophrenic has auditory and visual hallucinations while trying to refill a prescription, and sees the word "poison" on a bottle of pills."
"I watched the 5 minute video just one time 5 years ago and it literally changed me. It was such a powerful and moving experience that I cannot forget it and it altered my perception of mental illness forever."

Re: Drug Company Simulation

The problem with this simulation is the way it's set up. The whole premise is based on the notion that the experience is caused by the individual's failure to take yos medication for an extended period. So it is embedded in the simulation that medication is what is needed to prevent this experience when, in fact, there is now accumulating evidence (referred to or linked to on this page) that, on average, those who take so-called "antipsychotic" medication, tend to have an increased risk of this type of experience.

Dan

I was much more interested

I was much more interested in how these sorts of things affect the general public's view of such people's behavior/demeanor and their treatment noncompliance. Imagine a parent or caregiver of a "psychotic" person who won't take their "medication" watching this video. It makes the statement that a "schizophrenic's" reluctance to take their "medication" is a product of their diseased minds and that they need help taking it. They even made a connection there with blood sugar pills when the woman was advising him on how to remember to take it everyday. "Take it at the same time you do something else that day, that's what I do with my blood sugar pills"! it associates taking neuroleptics as like taking any other pill and then people can figure, "I take a pill for my blood pressure. Yeah, and I take one for my arthritis; so why can't these people just take theirs?"

Also, I experience a lot of social anxiety and fear that I'm being scrutinized in public and frequently mix up meanings to words and body language and the experience goes absolutely nothing like this video. If anything, my connection to reality (as in the physical world) is stronger than most anybody's; I just seem to almost take in everything in my environment at once. But unless that video was lagging, this makes it look like we're snapping photo's because of our "psychotic" detachment from "reality." When I first saw this I wanted to scream bloody murder at the people who made it.

Yet, to the general public the message seems to be: "Wow, so this is what it's like to be that guy? And that is why they won't take their medication? What a hero the drug company is for finally making this, now I can finally understand why they're like that!"

Mental illness

What people with emotional disorders really need is people support such as therapy and support groups. They also need a good diet, exercise, job training and a good job after all that. There has never been any proof that Psychiatric drugs "cure" mental illnesses so that should never be the main focus of treatment. ------------- Stellathomas

What the effects of these drugs can look like.

for what it's worth

call me old fashioned, but i am rather anti-pharmaceuticals....period. i cannot imagine being strategically placed here without also being provided all that we might need from "mother earth". the notion of "NEEDING" some man-made chemical concoction seems incomprehensible to me. and i can't help but wonder if the rise of all these "disorders" parallels perhaps the introduction of fluoride in our water, partially hydrogenated this-n-thats, artificial colors&flavors, preservatives, gmo&cloned foods, pesticides, aspartame, and the host of other toxins we are bombarded with daily in these times? not to mention debt slavery, sexual depravity, paris hilton...i mean jesus....it's a miracle we're not ALL STARK RAVING MAD!!! i am grateful i stumbled across this website and for this page specifically and plan to show all my "crazy" friends who i have been trying desperately to convince do not need drugs to treat their so-called "chemical imbalances"!

In Regards to Phamarceuticals and New Antipsychotics

I'm sure you are not against all treatment. If you got sick you'd take an antibiotic. I'm sure you've taken some form of medication at one time. Please don't convince anyone with a mental illness to go off treatment. People should make up their own minds about treatment. Just like I don't want people to call me "crazy" I don't want people to tell me my psychiatric disability doesn't exist. Yes E. Fuller Torrey and his lies are harmful to consumers. Yes the current dopaminergic medications cause brain damage. But I recovered fully with glycine, a glutamate antagonist which don't cause tardive conditions or diabetes and promotes a full recovery. That is being written up as is my history of tardive psychosis which they refused to identify before. I am changing psychiatry for the better as an advocate within the system. They are identifying tardive psychosis for the first time because of me and are going to get the new anti-psychotics out that don't cause brain damage, at a faster rate because of my work. They are not in control of my mind. I recovered. I proved it to them. I told them that they had to treat me as a person, as a consumer. And through advocacy and getting this information out to the public it will happen sooner. Glycine is not "toxic". It promotes recovery in a fact based manner. The studies show it and I can feel it myself in a way I can define. Nobody defines my reality for me. Read my post and have any mental health consumers read this. Things will be different the way people want but I can't change the system alone nor can we defeat it but together we can make it work for us.

Brain Difference in Twins Discordant for Schizophrenia

[Editor's note: This is a great example of pseudoscience. Thanks for posting it Deoxy. See my response below. Dan]

Supposed Brain differences in schizophrenia discordant twins

That little video above (posted by deoxy on 3/29/08) is so sad.

What is so terribly sad is that that is the type of "science" that is considered solid, convincing "evidence" for schizophrenia being a biological "disorder," an "illness." It seems so convincing to so many people. It is just so sad :-(

First, is there any basis for believing that brain scan images of two different brains would look any more similar? What different experiences did these two twins have? What about photos of differences in their hands or their ears or their genitals? I'll bet we could see differences there, too. What about the more marked differences in their eye sockets or nasal passages that we can see in the photos? Do they cause "schizophrenia?" We're supposed to believe the guy in the video that the differences he points out are the essential difference that lead to developing or not developing schizophrenia? I think not.

Second, why didn't he claim that the brain scans were done before the introduction of brain damaging/changing drugs? Could it be because, in America, it is now considered malpractice by the drug industry controlled medical specialty of psychiatry to not put anyone evidencing psychotic symptoms on neuroleptics at first contact with the mental health system? And mainstream psychiatric journals have published hard evidence produced by mainstream neuroscientists (e.g., Gur) that such drugs induce changes in the brain that are associated with a WORSENING of such symptoms. What we see in such brain studies are differences between individuals, one of whose brains has been repeatedly dosed with neurotoxins. (See Brain Shrinkage, above.)

Third, here's a bet for you; an empirical test, if you will. I'll bet the "scientist" in the video makes a substantial part of his living from drug company money and from prestige and titles supported by drug company money. Any takers? [That "bet" was posted in April of 2008; I'm awaiting a response.]

And since the two skull casings appear to be quite different, maybe THAT'S (the shape and size of the skull) the real "cause" of schizophrenia! Let's go back to phrenology.

This just isn't science. 

It's just very sad that such supposed "evidence" seems so convincing when, in fact, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER TO SUPPORT THE SCHIZOPHRENIA BRAIN DISEASE HYPOTHESIS. For just one example of pseudoscience passing for real evidence, just consider the colorful graphic of "brain shrinkage" above. I dug up that study and read it. It is completely bogus. (I don't expect you to simply believe this because I claim it. The basis for my claim is also presented above.)

Note that I wouldn't be surprised to find that SOME subgroup of people who today get labeled "schizophrenic" will one day be found to have real neurological disorders (though I believe it will turn out to be a small minority of those who today are labeled with schizophrenia). However, whether or not this conjecture (which I believe is reasonable) turns out to be true, if you look at the actual studies that we have so far, it is clear that, as of today, there simply is NO CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT DIRECTLY SUPPORTS THE SCHIZOPHRENIA BRAIN DISEASE HYPOTHESIS.

And yet this hypothesis is so thoroughly accepted as THE TRUTH that explains what we see in everyone who exhibits the symptoms that millions of people are forced to take brain damaging chemicals that, in tragic irony, result in genuine, permanent neurological disorders . . . and death.

Dan

This is a response to EJ's comment (below) posted on 11/6/06

EJ, you wrote, "Your article however attacks the entire field of drug-treated-mental-illness, with such spittle-flinging fire-breathing ferocity that the entire thing comes across as unbelievable."

What is unbelievable? The "entire field of drug-treated-mental-illness" or our article? If the latter, then our article failed. If the former, then maybe we made our point well. If the data indicates that 2/3 of those treated are made worse by the treatment (and the DATA does indicate that, not my opinion, and unlike proponents of this traditional treatment, I do not make money from saying this) then what is being done is truly almost "unbelievable."

Then you quote our saying ""It is called tardive dyskinesia and . . . most people will eventually get it if they stay on their drugs long enough . . ." and claim that "this is so far from believable as to be ridiculous." Yes, it is hard to believe. But many horrible facts are hard to believe. The stats: 5% a year get tardive dyskinesia. If they stay on the standard neuroleptics steadily, by year 20 almost everyone has it. That's right, almost everyone.

Whether or not you find it hard to believe, that is the truth. There are lots of horrors that weren't opposed effectively because people couldn't believe they were actually happening. And yes, we are trying to let people know what is happening so that the horror may be opposed effectively.

Next you wrote, "I've known many people who have been treated (with drugs) for different types of mental illness . . . and never seen anyone with TD." The most commonly prescribed psychotropics do NOT cause TD; only the "antipsychotics" commonly cause it. The so-called atypical antipsychotics (newer drugs) may cause it less frequently. But they have frightening metabolic side effect of their own, often resulting in serious cases of diabetes in a large number of patients. Even if these drugs are effective in treating the symptoms of psychosis in some cases, they are still dangerous and often terribly destructive in other ways.

Then you claim that because people get an "immediate benefit" that there must be a chemical imbalance that was corrected. This is simply unfounded. Digitalis can correct heart symtoms. Does that mean the heart was suffering from a digitalis deficiency? Valium is quite effective at reducing and managing anxiety. Even if one has overwhelming anxiety due to not knowing if your son will survive the emergency surgery he is undergoing. So is intense concern for your child's well being due to a chemical imbalance just because valium has an ameliorative effect?

Next you state, "'l also have to disagree if you backpedal slightly now and say 'Well I didn't mean to say it's wrong in EVERY case.'" Not only wouldn't I "backpedal" in this way, I would claim that a careful reading of the article indicates that it doesn't say it is wrong to use drugs. That's not what the article is about.

The article claims it is wrong to claim the drugs cure (fix chemical imbalances) when there is no evidence for such a claim. It is wrong to hide or understate their terrible side effects. It is wrong to claim that everyone needs the drugs and that they won't get better without them when most people would recover without them. But whether it is wrong to use the drugs at all in a given case is not something this article even addressed.

You then claim that the article has no chance of convincing anyone "even if it is 100% correct." Well, if it isn't 100% correct, instead of critiquing a series of "straw men" that were never in the article, please make suggestions that would correct it and bring it closer to that goal. And you pose the hypothetical of it being essentially correct, yet still being too much of a diatribe to convince anyone. OK. After you have contributed to bringing it near to that state of correctness (assuming it isn't already) how would you present these truths in a more effective manner?

There are at least two reasons to be provocative in our presentation, though the risk of provoking the kind of reaction you are having is quite real and troublesome. First, provocative presentations garner attention, albeit, as in your reaction, the attention can be negative. Howver, this is an area in which there is almost no debate or open discussion. People are disinterested or convinced (as you appear to be) that they know the truth already. Thus it may be justified to provoke a response to attempt to jolt people out of complacent assumptions.

And, second, the situation is dire for many people who are the targets of this "treatment." If reasonably announcing that there is a fire in the room does not get an effective response, shouldn't one raise one's voice? I'm not sure we are speaking loud enough to be heard as it is. Though some who do hear us, like you, may find our tone annoying. I can recall being initially quite annoyed at someone screaming "Watch out!" while I was driving. Moments later I was grateful that they had brought a dangerous situation to my attention in a forceful manner, even if it was unpleasant.

Dan

Is it really black and white?

Psychiatry may have some skeletons in its closet, but does that mean that it is inherently evil? Compare a schizophrenic on some of the newer drugs today with a schizophrenic on no drugs, and decide which condition you would rather live with. The condition is real, even if it is not fully understood, and sometimes described poorly to the general population. Sometimes, people are better off without medication, but that is not always the case. Should we help no one because some people don't need the help we are offering?

Please struggle with this, Rachel. It's important.

Rachel,

Psychiatry is not a person or an entity. It cannot be evil or good. Indeed, three of the authorities upon whose work this page is based—Glenmullen of Harvard Medical School, Peter Breggin, and Loren Mosher, the first Head of Schizphrenia Research at NIMH and the founder of the foremost journal in this area, the Schizophrenia Bulletin (and its editor-in-chief for its first twelve years)—were all psychiatrists.

However, there are questions as to whether modern medical treatment of schizophrenia, even with the newer drugs, does more good than harm. Shouldn't we ask such questions?

The empirical fact is that a new "schizophrenic"—i.e., someone who for the first time is exhibiting signs of overwhelming emotional distress and who is expressing yoself in a manner that is difficult for others to understand and whose behavior makes those around yon uncomfortable (and may even be dangerous)—will often, quickly become quiet and easy to manage on the new drugs. However, a minimum of 50 to 60% (and I think the figure would probably be over 75% if we provided good support), would slowly become "grounded" again, less distressed, and easier to understand even if they were not given drugs.

Since at least 50% of those put on drugs will have their lives destroyed (diabetes and, yes, tardive dyskinesia, and a host of other serious life diminishing ailments), we are destroying half of the 50 to 75% of the people who we do not need to place on a lifelong drug treatment plan, i.e., they would get better without drugs. That's a lot of people. We calculate the toll of lives destroyed on the "Pharmacaust" link from this page: 20,000,000 . . . so far.

No one spoke of "helping no one." (I do wonder what we said that might give that impression.) In fact, the most effective programs ever researched (and they do exist in Europe but not in the US, though they did exist here before they were shut down by drug advocates), do use neuroleptics AFTER supportive care fails (and then they use much lower doses and stop the neuroleptics if and when they can). These programs simply have better outcomes, i.e., they help MORE people.

Again, where did you get the impression that we were against helping people? Seriously. If you can point to the wording, we will change it. Remember, this is an open source meme system.

I know this page goes against the conventional wisdom. But then again, the conventional wisdom believed by more than 1/3 of the people in the world is that you will live forever in heaven if you believe Jesus is the Son of Yahweh. And almost another 1/3 believe that you will go to hell for that belief. That's 2/3's of the world! So, we have to look beyond convention, beyond mere belief, no matter how widespread and well established a belief is—e.g., that there is a biological disease, schizophrenia, that can be most effectively treated by drugs that fix chemically imbalanced brains—and see what the evidence tells us.

Here is a link to a good summary of 50 years of empirical data. This is written by an investigative reporter whose original newspaper series on the pharmaceutical industry (which led to this research) was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, i.e., he is no New Age, Scientologist type.

I hope you will take this seriously enough to engage in a deep exploration of this issue. I know you are serious about your passion to help people facing such problems. I hope you can believe that we will face the facts, Reality, Yo, and change our beliefs if the emprical data is there. Take a look at the data and tell us what you find in our meme system that is inconsistent. I, for one, want to know.

Dan

I agree, wth reservations

I agree wth careful treatment, but I think using the words of Tom Cruise to spark a debate was probably the wrong way to go. He believes all psychiatric drugs are inherently evil. Period. Perhaps I missed the forest because of that pole in the middle of the forest, posing as a tree. Truth be told, I think psychiatry in America is due for some change. And I definitely think the pharmaceutical industry is way out of hand. I also think lay people have generally not had the education to truly understand all of the biology of diseases like schizophrenia. We have to be careful when talking about things we don't fully understand. Of course, that goes for psychiatrists, too. no one COMPLETELY understands schizophrenia, but there's more to it than "exhibiting signs of overwhelming emotional distress and who is expressing yoself in a manner that is difficult for others to understand and whose behavior makes those around yon uncomfortable." It is truly a brain disease. Something physical is happening, and it's not just unpleasant to those around the patient, it's usually unpleasant to the patient as well. I'm only a first year medical student with an interest in this topic, though. I am certainly no expert. I hope to continue learning more about this, and many other diseases, as time goes on, so that I can effectively heal my patients.

"It is truly a brain disease."

Hmmn. I wonder what that means. If you are saying that all mental/emotional experiences are constructed in brains, there is much truth to that.

But then why is "schizophrenia" a brain "disease" any more than stealing, drunk driving, fundamentalism, etc.? I never claimed there was "no more to it" than its symptoms or that it wasn't unpleasant to the patient. (I called what they demonstrate "overwhelming emotional distress" which does suggest a high degree of unpleasantness, no?) And as with stealing, drunk driving, and fundamentalism, surely "something physical is happening" in their brains.

But what do you get from calling it a "brain disease?" Is adolescence a brain disease? Adolescents do crazy, dangerous things. They tend to grow out of it, though not all do without terrible damage. Is it a disease? Of course not. The question is rhetorical. By asking it, I'm trying to get you to answer the question of what makes a psychotic breakdown a "brain disease," when the majority will "grow" out of it without any treatment of their brains. Remember, most of those who suffer from schizophrenia will pass through that naturally too, if NOT placed on a lifelong regimen of brain damaging drugs.

I hate to have to ask you to do this, but please read the linked article referred to above. You may have been fed a bunch of fictions that suggest there is a clear meaning to calling psycho-emotional breakdowns "brain diseases." I know I was in my training as a psychologist, which began at Boston State Hospital.

It took a long time before a "schizophrenic" patient got me to BEGIN to question what I was taught. I was shocked when she got me to read Peter Breggin's Toxic Psychiatry, which taught me a lot of things they didn't teach in school. But still I believed in the "brain disease" model.

It wasn't until hearing Bob Whitaker---a brilliant, thorough investigative reporter with no discernable ax to grind---describe the results of going over each and every major research article upon which the brain disease model is based that I realized that the empirical evidence does NOT support the model. And all of a sudden, my own clinical experience began to make sense more fully.

Again, Rachel, read the Whitaker article linked above. It's a mind blower.

And, oh yeah, about Tom Cruise. Truth be told he is not very articulate when he does not have a prepared script. But in his flailing around and apparently making extreme statements, he actually was trying to say some things that are closer to the empirical facts than the "brain disease" model. I wouldn't try to defend everything he said, though the most extreme things could be attributed to his inarticulate flailing.

And while, as you note, because of his involvement in Scientology there are drawbacks to using Tom Cruise to get the debate going, the fact is that he attracts attention and gets the debate going. And this is a topic about which there is almost no debate because folks like you (and me too until reading Bob Whitaker) assume the evidence for the brain disease model was overwhelming and clear.

Dan

brain chemistry

Some things to consider:

Studies show that, statistically speaking, glycine is lower and homocysteine higher in the brains of people with schizophrenic symptoms. And recently glucose has been shown to be higher.

In the last few years glutamate, and its NMDA receptor, have been receiving more attention as being involved in trouble closer to a potential root cause than the more traditionally mentioned dopamine. The reasoning goes that glutamate signaling is lower than desirable. Note that I say "a potential root cause" and not "the ... " because it is recognized that there may well be different causes in different people.

The existing drugs affect dopamine receptors, and it may be that for most sufferers there was never any problem with the dopamine receptors at all, even though some symptoms do get better because of how some neurons use both of these neurotransmitters. It is mostly "positive" symptoms that were helped by these drugs, and remaining "negative" symptoms and cognitive symptoms usually did not get much better.

See http://www.schizophrenia.com/schizpictures.html, specifically the top images about glutamate and dopamine influenced areas of the brain.

However recently some observations and initial studies show that substances such as glycine, D-serine, and sarcosine, help all three types of symptoms. These substances enhance signaling where there are NMDA receptors. If I remember correctly, glycine and D-serine are NMDA co-agonists and sarcosine is a glycine transport inhibitor. (I guess increasing glutamate might help, but is considered too dangerous due to potential toxic effects from having too much, and for some reason the co-agonists don't pose that same danger.)

(Enter any term above as a search term on www.schizophrenia.com to learn more.)

What all this indicates to me is that yes, the existing "neuroleptics" have barked up the wrong tree, but it is still highly likely that brain chemistry plays an important role in many symptoms of schizophrenia. At the same time, brain structure and genetics also quite probably play an important role, according to what I have read.

In any case, I can agree that the term "chemical imbalance" is vague, incomplete, and an oversimplification. And I agree that tardive dyskenisia and other extrapyramidal symptoms are horrible. I agree that current drugs stink because of these and other side effects and the problems of dependence that they cause. But given the studies mentioned above I believe that brain chemistry does play a role in symptoms of schizophrenia, and that there is good reason to hope for future drugs that will help more and hurt less. Some of these may take the form of simple amino acids like mentioned above.

At the same time it makes complete sense to be on guard against new potential side effects that could come with any new drugs, and make sure patients and their families know about them, and that psychiatrists talk openly about them.

As far as calling it a disease or not, schizophrenia may exist as a genetic niche within a Darwinian process (see the books "Darwinian Psychiatry" and "Evolutionary Psychiatry"), but it does cause a lot of dis-ease for folks. Perhaps the issue here is that disease is a vague word.

I am not a doctor, but I play one on the internet.
;-)

Re: Glycine

Well I happen to be one of the lucky winners. I am on glycine. I experienced the full horror of neuraleptics for years but when I discontinued them I became psychotic. Then I could not stand the movement disorders and I ended up (voluntarily) on Clozaril and that was worse (although for the record, it cannot cause tardive dyskanesia but has severe side effects, including a potentially fatal blood condition that requires weekly blood tests). Good news. I started glycine, with my psychiatrist's permission (he said it would do nothing but I could try it, for anyone reading this don't try it on your own without guidance, its still unknown) and I made a full recovery and got off neuraleptics and although I have a full range of movement disorders (tardive dyskanesia, tardive dystonia, tardive akathesia, perhaps tardive psychosis), I am being treated by a neurologist for those and recovering. Am I angry? Yes of course. But with my mind recovered and psychotic thoughts gone (according to my criteria, not some book) I realized I could percieve reality and enjoy life better than before, than before I had even began "hearing voices" (derogatory term if you ask me, far more than that) and having trouble relating to people, communicating and the like. So does schizophrenia (or in my case schizoaffective) exist? I would have to say yes. But are the current treatments causing permanent brain damage? Absolutely! So for a long tiime we were stuck but now we may have something at hand (again this is in Phase 2 study, I am legally obtaining out of study but the results are impressive). My psychiatrist was skeptical but after a year I went back and I explained to him that the whole idea of a "patient" "complying" with medication was ridiculous, that if it was meant to treat people, then the consumer and provider (the terms I use and the independent living movement does) should partner on recovery and that I should be able to present this idea to the psychiatric community in general and..he listened! Why? Because he was a great guy? No. Because my arguement made sense. I hate the idea of forced medication and coercive treatment and it disgusts me too but I do have a psychiatric disability and medication helps me function and I'd rather win hearts and minds than a lawsuit. And with the glutamate inhibitors (such as glycine) I may be able to get the treatment I need without the brain damage. Living with tardive conditions is lousy for sure but the glycine actually helps ameliorate the movement disorders (in studies too). I can easily dismiss the system but not the concept of mental illness and its treatment. Its just time that the consumers took control of their own recovery. Its called the middle path.

Patrick,You say, "brain

Patrick,

You say, "brain chemistry does play a role in symptoms of schizophrenia." And who could dispute that? Brain chemistry plays a role in all human experience, all the "symptoms" of being who you are (with all your personality quirks and patterns). The point is that "schizophrenia" is no more (or less) "biological" than any other human experience.

Referring to the symptoms we call schizophrenia as if they are "biological" implies that they are more biological than other human experience. There are NO data to suggest that. The stuff you cited may be true, but those particular patterns may be true for anyone in extreme distress (or dis-ease, as you called it). And nobody suggested that what we call "schizophrenia" is not often terrifying, to say the least. (Also note that the pattern you described may also be secondary to "treatment" with brain damaging neuroleptics. Were the studies done with folks who had not been exposed to neuroleptics? What are the references?)

There is grave danger in the simplistic notion that "schizophrenia" (whatever that may be, if it exists at all as a consistent phenomenon) is a "biological disorder." The danger is that we then "treat" the supposed disorder with toxic chemicals that destroy MOST (yes, well more than half) of the people who adhere to the treatment. And this approach is used in place of psychosocial supports that have been shown to cure at least 2/3 of those who experience psychotic breakdowns. That's beyond sad. It's criminal.

Dan

studies

Here are some summaries of the studies referred to above. Note that at the bottom of each are references, and the glucose one has a link to the full published paper (which admits it needs verification by other studies.)

Glycine and Homocysteine Levels in Schizophrenia

Glucose

For the psychosocial support approach that you mention, to what extent does that cure negative and cognitive symptoms too? Is that also a 2/3 cure rate?

I agree that drugs that cause things like tardive diskinesia and eventual dementia are horrible. Whatever schizophrenias turn out to be when they are truly understood will not change the fact that those effects of the current drugs are terrible.

By the way, I don't consider myself a debater, but just a truth seeker, and this is a good discussion. I do badly wish to know the truth here, as people close to me are suffering.

The studies you cited.

Note that the first one was on patients being treated with neuroleptics. Again, we have no evidence of brain differences between "schizophrenics" and "normals." And even if they claimed that the subjects were neuroleptic virgins (as is implied in the brief description of the second study, though some of their subjects were also treated with neuroleptics), the comparison group makes the study meaningless.

Nobody claims that schizophrenia is not highly distressing. Your own concern for the people close to you suggests you know about this incredible distress first hand. The proper "control" group would be people undergoing similar levels of distress/agitation. It is inconceivable to me that people under severe stress would not have some changes in their glucose metabolism. And it stands to reason that when they calm down (or are calmed down by the neuroleptics, which are also called the "major tranquilizers") their metabolism would be more normal. How is this indicative of a biological marker---a fundamental biological difference between schizophrenics and normals? By that standard, we could look for differences between folks who had just completed running a marathon and "normal" marathon runners who were resting between training runs and conclude that active marathon runners are fundamentally, inherently, biologically different from normals.

And yes, the 2/3 cure rate includes negative and cognitive symptoms, at least to the degree that folks lead normal lives, i.e., are working, have relationships, are not hospitalized, not medicated, etc. The only long term negative and cognitive symptoms I see in the psychiatric survivors I know seem to be a direct consequence of the trauma they suffered from their treatment (!) including biological traumas such as TD.

Shortly, I will be posting a video I am currently editing in which Loren Mosher, the first Chief of Schizophrenia Studies at NIMH and the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief (for twelve years) of the prestigious research journal The Schizophrenia Bulletin and Robert Whitaker discuss the research. Yes, the 2/3 recovery figure is robust and verified in every study in which the Western model of drug care is not routinely applied. Given that MOST people who take the neuroleptics regularly as they are told to in the Western model are made physically ill and/or die from the drugs, the fact that 2/3 would recover without them indicates that a horrible crime is being committed: We are needlessly destroying many millions of lives.

Again I recommend Bob Whitaker's book. Now I am getting back to work on editing that video.

Dan

OK

Dan, you raise reasonable points about those studies. I guess I am curious to find out if glycine, D-serine, and/or sarcosine help people who are drug virgins.

I read Whitaker's article linked above and I will pick up his book. I also look forward to your new video that you are working on editing.

Currently I am reading a book called
by Michael Foster Green, a schizophrenia researcher at UCLA.
It seems to me to have a good amount of evidence to support schizophrenia being a brain disorder, both neurodevelopmental and progressive. I want to finish reading it before summarizing, but in the mean time, what do you think of this:

Studies of Individuals with Schizophrenia Never Treated with Antipsychotic Medications


On the link you asked about

The "Studies of individuals . . . " link you posted is to an article by E. Fuller Torrey, one of the major proponents of biopsychiatry. One of the founders of Yoism (Zac) wrote to him to ask him some questions based on Bob Whitaker's book. He never responded.

It is hard to comment on this article as it claims to be based on 65 studies that I have not had a chance to review. In my experience, it is astounding how often such studies fall apart on close examination. Since I do not have the time to immerse myself in this material, I must defer to others (like Bob Whitaker) who have done their homework and who don't seem to have a Paul Bunyan size ax to grind ;-)

Torrey's sister has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and I am told he is very distressed by her attitude toward drug treatment. While I can not verify that, he is the head of an org that advocates forced treatment and is one of those critics of "Mad In America" (He called it “Nurse Ratched with Footnotes.”) that uses ad hominen attacks in place of actual data or reason.

In contrast, Bob Whitaker took Torrey on in a respectful reasonable way, with real content. He wrote that

E. Fuller Torrey wrote in The Invisible Plague, conditions that "disrupt brain chemistry may cause delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking, and mood swings-the symptoms of insanity" (Torrey, 2001, p. 315) . He noted that infectious agents, tumors, metabolic and toxic disorders, and various diseases could all affect the brain in this manner. What Torrey failed to mention is that psychiatric medications also "disrupt brain chemistry." As a result, their longterm use is bound to be problematic, and that is precisely what the research literature reveals: Their use increases the likelihood that a person will become chronically ill, and they cause a significant percentage of patients to become ill in new and more severe ways.

This is directed at the original article.

First of all I would like to excuse for any poor english, I am from Portugal and stumbled upon this page from a link in wikipedia, and I just add to register to add this comment. I had two major psycothic episodes and I have an unclear ( alot is unclear in this science you know "bob", can I call you "bob" you sound like a "bob". ) schizophrenic disorder (appearently mild) diagnosis. I will carry the scars and aftereffects of my disorder my whole life, although I like to think myself now as a very rational, integrated and socially responsive and responsible individual. Yet guess what??? I take daily dosages of Seroquel (YEAH TM), im sure you know this drug, its a neurolectic after all. and HERES A REAL SHOCKER: THE LAST TIME I DECIDED FOR MYSELF AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE THAT I DIDNT NEED THAT TO LIVE AND IT DID ME MORE HARM THAN GOOD I HAD MY SECOND FULL BLOWN PSYCHOTIC EPISODE WITHIN 7 DAYS. In case you dont know, I can attest that having one of these episodes CAN DO ALOT OF DAMAGE TO YOUR LIFE GOOD SIR. So you want to portray psychiatry as a manipulative branch of medical science when you have some yo yo new age religion banner at the bottom of your site?? Fine. But from what certain readers may extract from your article is that every person in my condition or worse, or far worse (as in need of internment) should SIMPLY STOP TAKING THE EVIL KILLER NEUROLECTICS, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT NOTHING BUT TURN PEOPLE INTO CIRCUS SHOW FREAKS AND THE BENEFITS ARE NOT WORTH MENTIONING. I bet someone is going to edit this out but I would just like to say to whoever wrote this piece of trash, you disgust me.

An Important Point about Withdrawing from Neuroleptics

Dear Concerned,

I am familiar with what you report. Abrupt withdrawal from neuroleptics can cause a dangerous psychotic break. And on this page we do note that some people may benefit from medication. You have raised an important point and I will edit this page to warn people about the danger associated with withdrawal.

Indeed, the human body adapts to drugs; it compensates. Therefore, there may be an INCREASED instability when drugs are withdrawn too rapidly from a body that had become accustomed to the presence of the chemicals. This may account for the higher rates of relapse (e.g., re-hospitalization) in those treated with neuroleptics in those studies that compared folks treated with neuroleptics to those treated without neuroleptics.

We should still note that the empirical evidence is that most people do not have a psychotic break if they are withdrawn GRADUALLY and have good social supports during the process. And they have a good chance of remaining drug free without further episodes.

Your feedback is also important because it indicates that our commitment to facing the truth and helping others do so did not come through clearly. Instead, you seem to have felt that we have a cavalier attitude and feel comfortable telling others how to live. That's important feedback and something to watch out for.

So you raised some important points. Thanks for your input and for helping us develop Yoism.

Dan

"Instead, you seem to have

"Instead, you seem to have felt that we have a cavalier attitude and feel comfortable telling others how to live. That's important feedback and something to watch out for."

That's the understatement of the year. I'm not sure how you could possibly edit the article to make it sound more like "Get off the meds now!" if you wanted to.

Pharma companies by definition want to sell more drugs. That's a given. They're companies, not non-profits. The same way that GM spends millions of dollars trying to convince you that your current car is inadequate.

Your article however attacks the entire field of drug-treated-mental-illness, with such spittle-flinging fire-breathing ferocity that the entire thing comes across as unbelievable.

First, there's the blatant fear-mongering with "Tardive Dyskinesia". Your statement "It is called tardive dyskinesia and is a common (on the standard antipsychotics most people will eventually get it if they stay on their drugs long enough, like they are told to) permanent, irreversible symptom of drug-induced brain damage." is so far from believable as to be rediculous.

I've known many people who have been treated (with drugs) for different types of mental illness, and never seen anyone with TD. Maybe it only affects those with mental illness so strong (and drug doses so high) they have to be confined, but that hardly counts as "common".

I have also seen people who receive an immediate benefit (as in, they feel better within 24-48 hours) and who continue to benefit while on psychiatric drugs. You can't dismiss that with a "You feel worse when you quit due to quitting too fast", this is when they START taking the drugs. There is an immediate and obvious improvement. This flies in the face of your claim that "there is no imbalance and the drugs don't fix it." They sure fix something, and it really doesn't matter (to the general public, the doctors, or the person being treated) if it's an imbalance, infection, "bad humors" or space alien rays as long as it can be fixed.

I'll also have to disagree if you backpedal slightly now and say "Well I didn't mean to say it's wrong in EVERY case." You certainly meant to imply it. And a response at the end of a long page of comments hardly counts as a "correction" to the article.

This article is a perfect example of what is wrong with "Yoism". The basic idea is great. Some of the web site has great ideas, stories, and writings that really make you think. But the rest of the web site is filled with the ravings of the lunatic fringe.

It's all in the presentation. The presentation here is terrible. This article, even if it's 100% factually correct, stands absolutely zero chance of convincing anyone who doesn't already agree with the points you're making. It does not come across as a calm reasonable persuasive discussion. If preaching to the choir makes you feel good, have at... but it hurts the goal of having Yoism taken seriously.

Liars

I took E##### for a year. My doctor was convinced I would kill myself without it, and withheld treatment for my other problems until I agreed to take E#####. In actuality, my spouse was abusing and threatening to kill me, so of course I was the one in need of medical treatment for this problem. I protested to no avail and acquiesced because I really needed treatment for my other problems. When I took that first pill, I was so angry. I told myself, "Fine! If he wants to experiment with my brain, so what, I am so miserable anyway from my other issues that I will just go for it. I already tried several other antidepressants and they all made me sick. Maybe this one will kill me and that will put an end to my suffering." Note that coercing me into psychiatric meddling by withholding medically necessary care for unrelated conditions is considered 'ethical'.

For the entire year, from the very first pill, I felt sick. I also felt severely addicted, going nuts if I was just one hour late getting my dose. I complained about my symptoms and he belittled me. My heart rate was almost always over 110 beats per minute for the entire year and my doctor did nothing. I withdrew from the drug as soon as I was able to. I had to read Breggin's book and titrate my dose by 10% per week because I developed severe and painful torticollis (spastic distortion of the neck) when I cut my dose in half. I had to resume full dose and go to the library to learn what had been inflicted on me.

Note that my doctor was clueless about how to handle withdrawal with this drug that he told me had minimal side effects. He had to call the manufacturer for help, and they told him to switch me to P#####. I thanked him for his help and scratched him out of my address book. I should have sued him, but I was in the process of moving - three times - after having been forced out of my home at the point of a knife.

I also developed SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I still have not recovered 5 years later. If I awake in the middle of the night and look at my ceiling, I see rainfall or snowfall gliding slantywise across the darkened ceiling like it is being projected up there with a video projector.

Now I have myoclonus, abnormal vision, tinnitus, nausea, dizziness, nerve pain, and probably heart damage (based on my total lack of stamina), as well as a feeling like I am not nearly as smart, cheerful, or witty as I used to be. Oh yes, almost forgot to mention my memory problems. All the independent sites I consulted agree that E###### has the capacity to cause these problems. Other people on the web have complained of the same problems.

My doctor, my other doctor, and every other doctor I have discussed this with, all told me that my chronic symptoms are completely unrelated to E###### because my dose was so 'low', so they refused to report my reaction. To a man (and they are all men), they have refused to comment on the other symptoms I acquired from E######, in fact even though I told them in very strong terms what happened they seemed to think I was insane or something and ignored me.

I raised the subject with my new doctor. "It was never reported before," he said. "Well, what is wrong with the reporting system?" I asked. "Report it!" "Oh no, you do not have brain damage from E######. It was stress." This while I am convulsing with myoclonus on his examination table. Does stress cause convulsions??? Does stress cause snowfall on the ceiling in the dark, only when interrupted from sleep in the middle of the night??? Does stress cause tinnitus and shortness of breath and pounding heart? why have I never heard of this before?

Now my new doctor wants to put me on L####### because, in his way of thinking, if I had a bad reaction to E###### that must mean I am manic depressive. He even diagnosed me as depressed when I was 7 years old, even though he met me when I was 45. He also told me that I suffered all those horrible permanent neural injuries from 'stress'.

I explained to him that I have severe reactions to many drugs and that I do not metabolize them well. I told him if I were going to take another psychotropic, I wanted my blood level monitored to make sure I was not going toxic. He belittled me, told me he had seen everything and that I was nothing special, said that the blood levels do not matter, then shouted at me that I was depressed. He wanted to put me on two 'mood stabilizers' and two 'antidepressants' before he would even think about treating my nerve pain, which was what I originally went to him for.

Well I had just had a devastating breakup with my boyfriend a week earlier, and been horribly mutilated in medical malpractice a year ago, plus I am on disability with excruciating chronic pain, so OK I was upset and I have PTSD. But for Gaia's sake I am not manic depressive! I am grieving. I believe there is something called 'differential diagnosis' and no matter how miserable in pain I might be and no matter how desperately I might want my suffering to end, it is still ethical for a doctor to diagnose me as having a genetically induced neurotransmitter imbalance in order to con me into swallowing poison that will only serve to mutilate me further with yet one more chemical lobotomy if in his judgment he needs another chronic patient to keep coming back every few months for a follow-up hijacking (er, excuse me, prescription).

Another thing this one doctor told me is that c@nn@bi$ does not cause brain damage. Now anyone who has smoked p0t knows that the first few times you do not get high, but after that you always get high. This is proof positive of permanent brain damage.

He also told me that all of the neurotransmitter changes induced by psychotropic drugs are 100% reversible (excluding TD from neuroleptics) despite the obvious truth that once the targetted synapses have spent a year stewing in psychotropic juice, the excretor/receptor/re-uptake/destroyer levels all change permanently. There is no such thing as complete recovery. Even the neural organization changes, with new neurons proliferating chaotically in the temporal lobes ('scar tissue') while old neurons die off in the rest of the nervous system.

In other words, he told me anything he felt like saying just to manipulate me. He even told me that since he did not prescribe E###### for me originally, he could not report it! He said that if he did report it, he could only report it to the drug company and then only if he prescribed it. Now either he is lying or the system is completely corrupt. The doctor who prescribed it has to open himself up to medical malpractice lwsuit by being the one to report the adverse reaction? The drug company that sold it has to open itself up to product liability lawsuit by reporting it to the government? What kind of incentive for honesty, justice, and sound medical care is that?

The truth of the matter is that all of my doctors, including ones that I used to trust implicitly, have lied to me. They think that I need something so they tell me anything that comes to mind if it will con me into letting them experiment on me with their latest and greatest toys that they get in these brightly-colored packets of free samples. They enjoy playing God with other people's brains and bodies! Plain truth.

They con many people into supporting their arrogance and attacking my integrity. The person above, EJ, is in their camp. Such people are not thinking rationally, they are reacting emotionally.

So, EJ, now you have met one person who took a drug for only one year, not twenty, and it was not even a neuroleptic, it was an antidepressant and it was a small dose, and got myoclonus plus a whole constellation of other permanent damage including probably heart damage that has made it difficult for me to climb a flight of stairs ever since. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You want to call me lunatic fringe, go ahead, just keep in mind that I was opposed to this psychotropic experiment gone wrong before it even started because I had some common sense and they did not, I was coerced into it, my complaints were ignored while I accumulated progressive nerve damage, and my doctors are still circling the wagons and pretending that I am the problem instead of behaving responsibly and reporting the damage to the federal government, or even acknowledging to me my suffering and apologizing for the damage they inflicted on me. They are denying me the things that would do the most to help me get over this - legitimacy and justice - and instead offering me more poison. They should have gone into pest control instead of medicine.

Reply to EJ

"Pharma companies by definition want to sell more drugs. That's a given. They're companies, not non-profits. The same way that GM spends millions of dollars trying to convince you that your current car is inadequate." Oh really, i find myself to be quite an informed person on most subjects, yet until i read some of the articles on this site, i believed that these companies actually carred about the well being of the people they were selling these drugs to. I can just imagine how the average uninformed american (i am european myself) can take these claims that are being made by these companies as "the truth". And this analogy is a poor one i'm afraid, what does driving a car have to do with your mental health? A drug from our company is better than drugs from our competitors? These drugs actually kill people and it all comes down to marketing tricks? I didn't agree with some of the points this article makes before, but now i do, and let's say it is for a fact 100% fatcually correct... well what more do i need in order to be convinced? I agree with you that the basic idea of yoism is great. I do not however agree that it has anything to do with the presentation, this is not a circus, what difference does it make how it's being presented? The people who agree more or less with yoism are not a bunch of sheep, i'm sure they're people like me, rational skeptic thinkers, who found something that perhaps like in my case, organized their thoughts and philosophy in a kinda altruistic way in which we can use these ideas to inform people (i do like to say "enlighten" also) about reality (truth).

Working as a volunteer

Working as a volunteer during the summer for a California drug rehab center I had a chance to do some research for a college project. I wanted to study the pharmaceutical market starting with the tycoons and ending up at the last user. Since no pharmaceutical company director accepted me to snoop around their business I decided that drug rehab patients are the ones that can reveal what I needed. From 125 patients there in three months I gathered their testimonials and found out that at least 15 were there because of the pills their doctor recommended. The pain was too big so they took their pills to make it pass. But the pain still lingered until they couldn't leave their homes without the bottle of poison. the doctor wouldn't give them any more receipts and they ended up here detoxing. Like any other business, the pharmacy wants to sell more and more but making their medicine cause addiction is simply evil. I'm even starting to think that coughing syrup doesn't treat the cough but keeps it going on....