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Old 12-18-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
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There’s a lot of “mentally ill” people in America--the depressed, the bipolar, the anxious, the phobic, the "schizo*"—and there always have been. And the statistical probability and likelihood that the violence akin to Oklahoma City, Columbine, V-Tech, Aurora, and Newtown, will increase, I suspect, is unlikely. But no excuse, blame, debate, nor answer can speak for the lives lost in these unspeakable tragedies. The impact of such violence will never cease to shock us as a nation.

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http://wh.gov/RUS0
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
launch a federal investigation in to the relationship between school shootings and psychiatric drugs.
Whereas 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of hostility, violence homicidal ideas, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use;
Whereas at least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed;
Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence;
We the people of the United States demand a formal and public investigation into the relationship between the FDA, the Pharmaceutical industry, psychiatric drugs and treatments, and the violent actions of the shooters for the last 20 years.
Created: Dec 14, 2012
Recently, there has been a growing movement in the mental healthcare world, questioning the safety and effectiveness of psychiatric medication. “Safety” does not only ask whether a patient would suffer aberrant violent behavior, but views the health and longevity of those taking psychiatric medication. The quiet controversy concerning psychiatric medication concerns anyone who takes them for whatever reason. (According to Wikipedia, “More than half of US children diagnosed with ASD are prescribed psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants, with the most common drug classes being antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics.”)

So the question in this thread, is not whether people with mental disorders, illness (e.g. depression) or disability (e.g. autism) (distinction used here is arbitrary; those with depression or autism can be on disability), but whether and how psychiatric medication may play a role in unexpected, senseless violence.

Therefore, I ask FYMers here to have an open mind and have their presumptions challenged and critically think about whether everything you think you know about mental illness is right.

Quote:
Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker
But if we uncover a history of a different sort—a history that shows that the biological causes of mental disorders remain to be discovered and that psychiatric drugs are in fact fueling the epidemic of disabling mental illness—what then? We will have documented a history that tells of a society led horribly astray and, one might say, betrayed.
--Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker (2010)

[None of the psychiatric drugs] had been developed after scientists had identified any disease process on the brain abnormality that might have been causing these symptoms. (54)

[By] 1970 two possible histories were unfolding. One possibility is that psychiatry, in a remarkably fortuitous turn of events, had stumbled on several types of drugs that, although they produced abnormal behaviors in animals, nevertheless fixed various abnormalities in the brain chemistry of those who were mentally ill. If so, then a true revolution was indeed under way, and we can expect that when we review the long-term outcomes produced by these drugs, we will find that they help people get well and stay well. The other possibility is that psychiatry, eager to have its own magic pills and eager to take its place in mainstream medicine, turned the drugs into something they were not. These first-generation drugs were simply agents that perturbed normal brain function in some way, which is what the animal research had shown, and if that is so, then it stands to reason that the long-term outcomes produced by the drugs might be problematic in kind. (65)

Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other psychotropic drugs, [Steve Hyman, recent provost of Harvard University, neuroscientist, NIMH director from 1996-2001] wrote, “create perturbations in neurotransmitter functions.” … In each instance, the brain is trying to nullify the drug’s effects. “These adaptations,” Hyman explained, “are rooted in homeostatic mechanisms that exist, presumably, to permit cells to maintain their equilibrium in the face of alterations in the environment or changes in the internal milieu.” (83)

Prior to treatment, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders do not suffer from any known “chemical imbalance.” However, once a person is put on a psychiatric medication, which, in one manner or another, throws a wrench into the usual mechanics of a neuronal pathway, his or her brain begins to function, as Hyman observes, abnormally. (84)

[Studies conducted by the NIMH in the 1950s, before the arrival of Thorazine] provide a rather startling view of schizophrenia outcomes during this time. According to the conventional wisdom, it was Thorazine that made it possible for people with schizophrenia to live in the community. But what we find is that the majority of people admitted for a first episode of schizophrenia during the late 1940s and early 1950s recoveredto the point within the first twelve months, they could return to the community…. Moreover, those returning to the community weren’t living in shelters and group homes, as facilities of that sort didn’t exist yet. They were not receiving federal disability payments, as SSI and SSDI programs had yet to be established.... All in all, there was reason for people diagnosed with schizophrenia during postwar period to be optimistic that they could get better and function fairly well in community. (92-93)

“Drug-treated patients tend to have longer periods of hospitalization…. The untreated patients consistently show a somewhat lower retention rate.” (93)
WHY HAVE THE NUMBERS OF DISABLED MENTALLY ILL SOARED OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS [?] …. “In the later [medicated] era, none chose a career, although many held various jobs, and none married or even had lasting relationships.” …. Today, there are an estimated 2.4 million people receiving SSI or SSDI because they are ill with schizophrenia (or some other psychotic disorder), a disability rate of one in every 125 Americans. Since the arrival of Thorazine, the disability rate due to psychotic illness has increased fourfold in our society. (119-120)

If they stop taking the medication, they are at high risk of relapsing. But if they stay on the drugs, they will also likely to suffer recurrent episodes of depression, and this chronicity increases the risk that they will become disabled. The SSRIs, to a certain extent, act like a trap in the same way that neuroleptics [aka anti-psychotics] do. (170)

Antidepressants […] can cause manic switches and turn patients into “rapid cyclers,” and may increase the amount of time they spend in depressive episodes…. “The number of episodes, and it’s a very rich literature [documenting this], is associated with more cognitive deficits,” he said. “We are building more episodes, more treatment resistance, more cognitive dysfunction, and there is data showing that if you have four depressive episodes, unipolar or bipolar, it doubles your late-life risk of dementia. And guess what? That isn’t even the half of it…. In the United States, people with depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia are losing twelve to twenty years in life expectancy compared to those not in the mental health system.” (175-76)

Given what the scientific literature revealed about the long-term outcomes of medicated schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression, it stood to reason that the DRUG COCKTAILS used to treat bipolar illness were NOT going to produce good long-term results. The increased chronicity, the functional decline, the cognitive impairment, and the physical illness—all these can be expected to show up in people treated with a COCKTAIL that often includes an antidepressant, an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer, a benzodiazepine, and perhaps a stimulant, too. (177)

Antidepressants have also led many people into the bipolar camp. (180)
Psychiatrists regularly saw that their drugs were effective. They gave them to their distressed patients, and their symptoms often abated. If their patients stopped taking the drugs, their symptoms frequently returned. This clinical course—initial symptom reduction and relapse upon drug withdrawal—also gave patients reason to say: “I need my medication. I can’t do well without it.” (THE GOTCHA) (206)

Rather than fix chemical imbalances in the brain, the drugs create them. We then combed through the outcomes literature, and we found that these pills worsen long-term outcomes, at least in the aggregate. (207)

The seriously mentally ill are now dying fifteen to twenty-five years earlier than normal, with this problem of early death having become much more pronounced in the past fifteen years. They are dying from cardiovascular ailments, respiratory problems, metabolic illnesses, diabetes, kidney failure, and so forth—the physical ailments tend to pile up as people stay on antipsychotics (or drug cocktails) for years on end. (211)

Jasmine’s Story (248-251)

"It was not surprising that medical students accepted the dogma of biomedical reductionism in psychiatry uncritically; they had no time to read and analyze the original literature. What took me a while to understand, as I moved through my residency, was that psychiatrists rarely do the critical reading either." -- Colin Ross, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, Texas (1995)

THE CATCH 22: No competent person would refuse “medically sound treatment,” and thus courts consistently order patients to be medicated. (356)
The idea of “chemical imbalance” rooted in the public conscience over the past 30 years is a fallacy. It has become a catch-all-phrase for pharmaceutical industry and marketing. To date, no doctor can answer the author Whitaker’s primary two questions, quoted in the beginning: Why is mental illness not cured? and Why is mental illness increasing in numbers?

For those who are viscerally disagree with these ideas, I kindly ask that you take some adequate time to do some comprehensive research yourself and bring back your own conclusions.

WARNING: PEOPLE TAKING MEDICATION SHOULD NOT STOP ON THEIR OWN. PSYCHIATRIC DRUG WITHDRAWAL IS VERY DANGEROUS. FOR INSIGHT, GETTING OFF XANAX IS TOUGHER THAN HEROIN.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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While I do agree it is not right to put children on psychiatric drugs simply for showing signs of hyperactivity, there's a lot to this post I disagree with.

I've known people who went on medication to combat depression, anxiety and emotional disturbances. They did not get worse or become deranged. They got better and calmed down a great deal. I noticed the change almost immediately and I was relieved they were on medication. One was able to get off Abilify, which is used to treat bipolar disorder. She did not react like a heroin or crack addict. She was weened off and was able to continue on with her life, and seven months later is doing fine.

Maybe some with mental illnesses are being forced to stay medicated because a psychiatrist wants to keep them as a patient, but some people do need to be medicated.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Well monitored medication treatment can work really well for kids with autism/ adhd/ anxiety. It can literally change the lives of families and individuals . Medication does not work for everyone, and behavoural and cognitive therapies and changes to the environment should also be considered and used in conjunction with medication.
All those people on medication that killed people have one thing in common.
They all had access to guns.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mysterious_jen View Post
Well monitored medication treatment can work really well for kids with autism/ adhd/ anxiety. It can literally change the lives of families and individuals . Medication does not work for everyone, and behavoural and cognitive therapies and changes to the environment should also be considered and used in conjunction with medication.
All those people on medication that killed people have one thing in common.
They all had access to guns.
Opinion acknowledged.

I started this thread to separate the mental illness issue from Newtown. There's a lot of speculation in that thread, and the tossing around term "mental illness" or otherwise (excuse me) is a bit reckless IMHO. There seems to be the whole "round up the crazies" or patronizing the mentally ill mentality.

Yes, the shooters all had access to guns. But are we labeling them mentally ill before or after they committed the crimes because we cannot comprehend their heinous deeds? If someone mentally ill had access to weapons, does that mean there's a 100% probability they will use it? (Hypothetical: A police officer's son is severely depressed. Is he likely to commit violence?) We can't say for sure, because we can't prove what has not happened yet.

What I chose to do in this thread is to discuss better alternatives to psycho-pharmaceutical treatment.

Pearl, I'll address your opinion in a while.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:21 PM   #5
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Again, expecting the obvious reactions to the original thread topic, I ask that people may reconsider what they may know.

For the sake of the debate/discussion, it wouldn’t hurt to petition the White House (http://wh.gov/RUS0) to investigate further whether medication does indeed play a significant role in senseless violence more than we realize. If such research investigation were thoroughly examined, the one party of the debate would be vindicated. N’est pas?

I’ve been on medication for more than half my life. Medication has not improved my life. In fact, my life revolves around medication.

For the first half of my time on medication, I’ve been on an antidepressant and a neuroleptic (aka, anti-psychotic). My doctors claimed that neuroleptics (anti-psychotic) have been shown to help with the depression. (Abilify is a neuroleptic. It’s the latest generation of anti-psychotics, along with Seroquel and Geodon. Your friend was lucky they weren’t on that stuff for too long.)

I believe that medication is acceptable in the short term and during emergencies. But the longer one stays on psychiatric medication, the matter becomes more precarious and dangerous. Should someone be medicated on a short term and/or in emergency, careful attention must be taken immediately after they stop the medication in whatever circumstances.

The information I quoted in the original post is from the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker. He is an award-winning science and history writer who has done extensive research from Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library, where copies of medical journals date from the early 1800s to 1986. He’s dug into the history of psychiatry and written about the evolution of psychiatry and medicine that most practicing psychiatrists don’t know. He’s got testimony from neuroscientist Steve Hyman, Clinton’s NIMH Director and Harvard provost, who confirms in medical journals that medication creates the “chemical imbalance”, contrary to popular belief.

Whitaker examines pharmaceutical treatment in the long-run outcome, not the short term. And in the long run, we’re all screwed; but the medicated are screwed 25 years earlier than most people.

When you go into a psychiatrist’s office even for the first time, you’ll never get out without a prescription. It’s like the doctor diagnosed you faster than an employer who interviews you for a job. They know what they want to try on you. And if that prescription doesn’t work, they’ll go trail and error on you. They say the drugs all do the same thing, but works differently on people. But there is no scientific method in prescribing medication; it’s trial and error guesswork. And even then, it’s no cure or real treatment.

Back to my experience, the latter half of my medicated days, I’m on 3 more drugs: 2 anti-convulsants and a benzodiazepine. So now I have 5 medications, in which each medication by its own definition treats a specific diagnosis: one for depression, two for bipolar, one for schizophrenia, another for anxiety. But the original diagnosis years ago was depression.

Recent research has shown that those on antidepressants long enough, end up being diagnosed as bipolar. Then the other two or three cocktails come along: the anti-psychotic (neuroleptic) and the anti-anxiety (benzodiazepine) pills.

But things get worse than that for those medicated: weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart dysrhythmia, sleepiness, mental fogginess, etc. General physicians will find a can of worms. They’re apprehensive about their medicated patients, but also dumbfounded as to why these patients have so many health problems. Doctors don’t even consider how greatly psychiatric medication affects the human body. Can anyone truly state that man-made chemicals do no harm to the nature’s biological creation?

To withdraw from psychiatric medication cold turkey, will only worsen the effects the medicine was meant to treat, if not created. Then the reasoning and logic becomes circular, one must be on medication. No one really tries to figure out which came first: the chicken or the egg. Psychiatric medication perpetuates, if not exacerbates, the psychological condition it aims to treat. We the medicated are always in limbo.

But if any of you really want to discuss these matters seriously, I recommend you read the book aforementioned. It’s a great starter for conversation.

Lastly, advice for expecting parents or those who are young parents: Don’t ever send your kid to the psychiatrist. Love them and work it out with them first.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #6
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Lastly, advice for expecting parents or those who are young parents: Don’t ever send your kid to the psychiatrist. Love them and work it out with them first.

Yes, because kids with problems just need more love.

This is a very irresponsible thing to say.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Yes, because kids with problems just need more love.

This is a very irresponsible thing to say.
"Need more love"... "Need more attention." Is that something irresponsible to say? Kids need more attention from their parents who overwork for being underpaid.

You got something to say, then say it. Don't troll.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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"Need more love"... "Need more attention." Is that something irresponsible to say? Kids need more attention from their parents who overwork for being underpaid.

You got something to say, then say it. Don't troll.

I may be many things, but a troll I am not.

You seem to be foisting the blame for issues in the parents -- if only they'd love them more or spend time with them, Johnny wouldn't have behavioral issues. Perhaps if they prayed harder as well? Surely the last thing parents and especially mothers need is more guilt.

There are kids who get all the live and attention their parents can possibly give them and still their child has issues that only a qualifies professional can begin to address. We already have problems with stigma and mental illness. You only make it worse by chalking it up to inadequate parenting.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:09 AM   #9
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You only make it worse by chalking it up to inadequate parenting.
Oh boy, some flamin' is going to start soon, if things aren't cleared up.

Have you read every word I've written in the three previous posts? How many times have I mentioned parents?

Am I exacerbating problems with stigma and mental illness? Everyone in this forum is basically implying, "Round up the crazies. We need to know who's crazy. Keep 'em away from guns." And mental illness? Other than the slight hint of bigotry against the mentally ill, I'm seeing NAMI patronizing--trust the doctors.

What I'm bringing into the conversation is from the left field. For years, nobody has questioned APA or the pharmaceutical industry.

And *you* walk in and wag your finger about me making a off-topic remark about parenting?

When Jay-Z's child Blue was born, Jay-Z joyously said, "[Beyonce and I] are going to give all the love we can." or something to that effect. Is that being irresponsible? Is that being naive?

Seriously, how many times did I mention the words parents on this page, other than this post I'm writing.*

*Correction: How many times have I mentioned "parents" in the two biggest posts I've written in this thread?
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
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May I suggest choosing a title that gives an inkling as to what the thread is about?

Obviously, people were curious and clicked to read, but it's nice to have a useful title.

I don't think it can be edited now, but just for future reference.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:15 AM   #11
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May I suggest choosing a title that gives an inkling as to what the thread is about?

Obviously, people were curious and clicked to read, but it's nice to have a useful title.

I don't think it can be edited now, but just for future reference.
Duly noted.

Apologies. I think I wanted a bit of shock factor to the thread topic.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:51 AM   #12
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Do doctors overprescribe sometimes? Yes. However I've seen the difference drugs can make in the case of depression, anxiety and psychotic breaks. To say kids with mental illnesses just need more love is frankly irresponsible. No one is saying kids don't need love, but sometimes they need more than love, they need medicine,
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:00 AM   #13
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Do doctors overprescribe sometimes? Yes. However I've seen the difference drugs can make in the case of depression, anxiety and psychotic breaks.
In the short run, probably. In the long run, unlikely.

Quote:
To say kids with mental illnesses just need more love is frankly irresponsible. No one is saying kids don't need love, but sometimes they need more than love, they need medicine,
Mmph. That wasn't my point. My advice is: don't/never take your kids to see a psychiatrist. In the short run, it's a quick fix. In the long haul, it'll be something your family will be dealing with for the rest of your lives.

But in any case, love your kids, give them attention, work life out with them.

Let me ask those who question me: For how long has the person you've known to be on medication? ... Do they suffer any other health conditions doctors would deem serious, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity?
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:21 AM   #14
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In early 1998, Robert Whitaker co-wrote a series for the Boston Globe about the abuse of psychiatric patients in research settings.

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There were several types of "abuses" that Dolorse Kong and I focused on. We looked at studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) that involved giving schizophrenia patients a drug designed to exacerbate their symptoms (the studies were probing the biology of psychosis). We investigated the deaths that had occurred during the testing of the new atypical antipsychotics. Finally, we reported on studies that involved withdrawing schizophrenia patients from their antipsychotic medications, which we figured was an unethical thing to do. In fact, we thought it was outrageous.

Our reasoning was easy to understand. These drugs were said to be like "insulin for diabetes." I had known that to be "true" for some time, ever since I had covered thte medical beat at the Albany Times Union. Clearly, then, it was abusive for psychiatric researchers to have run dozens of withdrawal studies in which they carefully tallied up the percentage of schizophrenia patients who became sick again and had to be rehospitalized. Would anyone ever conduct a study that involved withdrawing insulin from diabetics to see how fast they became sick again?

That's how we framed the withdrawal studies in our series, and that would have been the end of my writing on psychiatry except for the fact I was left with an unresolved question, one that nagged at me. While reporting that series, I had come upon two research findings that just didn't make sense. The first was by Harvard Medical School investigators, who in 1994 announced that outcomes for schizophrenia patients in the United States had worsened (author's emphasis) during the past two decades and were now no better than they had been a century earlier. The second was by the World Health Organization, which had twice found that schizophrenia outcomes were much better in poorer countries, like India and Nigeria, than in the United States and other rich countries.
....
In the poor countries, only 16 percent of patients were regularly maintained on anti-psychotic medications.
....
Here was a study by the World Health Organization that seemingly found an association between good outcomes and not staying continuously on drugs. (Foreword, x-xi)
Here in the Foreword, Whitaker is saying that the [long term] outcome for schizophrenic patients are worse than before, AND poorer countries, schizophrenics fared much better.

He goes on to saying with research support from various sources, that people have better chances to recover from mental illness, if they never had been on medication in the first place.

The forementioned 1998 Boston Globe article series cowritten by Whitaker was a finalist for 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:47 AM   #15
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If all these medications are so terrible, why are you taking so much? Why aren't you off them and just working it out yourself?
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