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Tropical_Man 67M
6573 posts
12/25/2007 12:04 pm
Schizophrenia Study: No Drugs = Better Chance at Recovery


Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability



Recent public disclosures about the harmful effects of FDA-approved

psychotropic drugs and corroborating evidence from patient outcome and

mortality studies reveal that psychiatry's fixation on drugs as the

treatment of choice is a toxic prescription for debilitating adverse

effects; an impediment to recovery; and premature death.

A 15-year prospective follow-up study compared recovery outcomes in

schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotics and those untreated or

treated without drugs was just re-published in the Journal of Nervous and

Mental Diseases (May 2007). [1] It was funded by the US Public Health

Service and the National Institute of Mental Health.

The findings from this 15-year study confirm previous international outcome

studies [2]:

40% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who were NOT on antipsychotic

drugs showed periods of recovery and better global functioning compared to

only 5% of patients taking antipsychotics (p=.001). "These analyses

indicated that in addition to the significant differences in global

functioning between these groups, 19 of the 23 schizophrenia patients (83

with uniformly poor outcome at the 15-year follow-ups were on antipsychotic


The indisputably significant findings from this 15-year prospective study

provide documented evidence for the overthrow of psychiatry's harm

producing, drug-focused paradigm of care. This paradigm condemns people to

chronic disability impeding rather than fostering recovery.

The investigators, Martin Harrow, PhD. and Thomas Jobe, MD, Department of

Psychiatry, at the University of Illinois, Chicago, evaluated the outcome of

145 patients with a DSM-III psychiatric diagnosis, including 64 with

schizophrenia and a control sample of 81 nonschizophrenia patients. Patients

were evaluated on premorbid variables, assessed prospectively at index

hospitalization, and then followed up 5 times over a period of 15 years (at

2 years following hospitalization, 4.5 years, 7.5 years, 10 years and 15

year). At each follow-up, patients were compared on symptoms and global

outcome. One hundred and ten of the 145 patients (75.9 were evaluated at

all 5 follow-ups over the 15 years, and another 23 patients (15.9 were

evaluated at 4 of the 5 follow-ups. In controlled clinical trials the drop

out rate in short 6 week studies is 65% and more, in the CATIE study the

drop out was 74%. Thus, the significance of the findings of this

naturalistic study is enormous.

The investigators addressed the following clinically significant:

1. In a naturalistic research design, which includes patients in treatment

and those not in treatment, can schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotics

function better and show periods of recovery?

2. Which particular types of schizophrenia patients go off medications for a

prolonged period, and do factors associated with this influence subsequent

outcome and recovery?

3. Do schizophrenia patients who do not remain on medications differ in (a)

premorbid developmental achievements and (b) prognostic potential or in

personality and attitudinal factors?

Best recovery outcomes were demonstrated by patients who had stopped taking

antipsychotic drugs-and they showed significantly better global functioning

than those who continued to be treated with antipsychotics at 4 of the 5

follow-ups (p=<.001) Curiously, an earlier version of the study was

published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin in 2005, but the findings were

largely ignored, no doubt, because they pose a financial threat to the

pharmaceutical-dominated psychiatric establishment. [3]

The findings confirm that the poor outcome findings in the CATIE study,

which assessed only patients on antipsychotic drugs, are due mainly to the

drugs' ill effects.


The poor recovery of patients treated with antipsychotic drugs goes a long

way in explaining a recent analysis of government mortality data. It shows

that patients treated in the American mental health system die 25 years


At this juncture, a compelling body of evidence documents psychiatry's

colossal failure:

1. A series of international studies consistently show that patients

taking antipsychotics have worse clinical outcomes than those who do not.


2. U.S. government sponsored studies:

--Schizophrenia CATIE study reported that 74% of patients

couldn't tolerate the antipsychotics and dropped out within 18months;

--An analysis of mortality rates among patients in 8 state mental health

systems reveals that their lives are cut short by 25 years.

3. Evidence from secret company documents uncovered during civil

liability suits and state Attorneys General lawsuits provide evidence of the

drugs' debilitating effects.

When added up the harm produced by the drug-centered treatment paradigm is a

public health catastrophe whose magnitude is comparable to a

pandemic-millions of people-including and the elderly-have suffered

harm from FDA-licensed psychotropic drugs.[5] [Below a sample of recent

living testimonials]

The cumulative evidence is indisputable: the drugs cause harm without any

credible demonstrable benefit-and without a scientific rationale.

Psychiatrist Kenneth Kendler, co-editor-in-chief of Psychological Medicine,

acknowledged (2005):

"We [psychiatrists] have hunted for big, simple neuropathological

explanations for psychiatric disorders and have not found them. We have

hunted for big, simple neurochemical explanations for psychiatric disorders

and have not found them. We have hunted for big, simple genetic explanations

for psychiatric disorders and have not found them" (pp. 434-435).[6]

Despite the lack of clear evidence for neuropathological, neurochemical, or

genetic explanations for psychiatric disorders, the beliefs in such are

heavily perpetuated by psychopharmacologists and physiological psychiatrists

who are heavily invested in the drugs and their industry benefactors.

Psychotropic drugs that have consistently been shown to cause ham-to impede

rather than improve patient recovery-and to undermine vital physiological

function of hormonal, endocrine, cardiovascular systems. The body of

evidence should give Congress pause about its misallocation of public

funds-harmful treatments should not be subsidized by taxpayers. [7]


A superb critical review of the published disconfirming literature of

psychopharmacology, written by psychiatrists and neuroscientists whose

criticism of currently held beliefs about mental illness and the paradigm of

treatment, are mostly drowned out by this industry-dominated field. Dr.

Thomas Murray,
Director of Counseling at North Carolina School of the Arts,

calls upon the counseling profession to "be cautious about supporting the

psychiatric-medical model, or any model, when it is not prepared to produce

its own body of research to test the assumptions of that model." He

encourages counselors to "get a balanced view about psychopharmacology and

the medical-model in call into question the uses of technology

(e.g., brain scans), research methodology, and treatment efficacy of these

medications based on the examination of the existing research. Specifically,

I suggest counselors investigate rigorously the uses and consequences of

these medications regardless of their support or skepticism." [8]

And most importantly, Murray admonishes counselors to "examine the

consequences and the impact of associating with and imposing particular

assumptions about the biological etiology of mental disorders on

without evidence that such approach serves their best interest."


1. Martin Harrow, PhD, and Thomas H. Jobe, MD. Factors Involved in Outcome

and Recovery in Schizophrenia Patients Not on Antipsychotic Medications: A

15-Year Multifollow-Up Study, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,

Vol. 195, No. 5, May 2007 tinyurl

2. Lehtinen V, Aaltonen J, Koffert T. Two-year outcome in first-episode

psychosis treated according to an integrated model. European Psychiatry 15

(2000):312-20; Lehtinen K. Finnish needs-adapted project: 5-year outcomes.

Madrid Spain, World Psychiatric Association International Congress, 2001;

Seikkula J, Aaltonen J, Alakare B. Five-year experience of first-episode

nonaffective psychosis in open-dialogue approach. Psychotherapy Research

16/2 (2006): 214-228; Leff J, Sartorius N, Koren A, Ernberg G. The

International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Pscyhological Medicine 22

(1992): 131-45; Jablensky A, Sartorius N, Ernberg G, Ansker M.

Schizophrenia: manifestations, incidence and course in different cultures.

Psycghological Medicine 20, monograph supplement (1992):1-95.

3. Colton CW, Manderscheid RW. Congruencies in increased mortality rates,

years of potential life lost, and causes of death among public mental health

in eight states. Prevalence Chronic Disability, April 2006. See also: Mentally ill die 25 years earlier, on average By Marilyn Elias,

4. Martin Harrow, Linda S. Grossman,3 Thomas H. Jobe,4 and Ellen S.

Herbener. Do Patients with Schizophrenia Ever Show Periods of Recovery? A

15-Year Multi-Follow-up Study, Schizophrenia Bulletin vol. 31 no. 3 pp.

723-734, 2005.

5. Gianluca Trifiro` MD, Katia M. C. et at All-cause mortality associated

with atypical and typical antipsychotics in demented outpatients,

Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety 2007; 16: 538-544. . See also, a series

of investigative reports in the national press documenting the harm

producing effects of psychotropic drugs-in particular the antipsychotics:

USA TODAY: New antipsychotic drugs carry risks for 5/2/2006

Boston Globe: Bipolar labels for stir concern Hull case highlights

debate on diagnosis Rebecca Riley's parents are accused of deliberately

poisoning her with her prescription medication. February 15, 2007


THE NEW YORK TIMES: Psychiatrists, and drug Industry's Role May 10,



USA TODAY: Mentally ill die 25 years earlier, on average. May 3, 2007


6. Kendler, K. S. (2005). Toward a philosophical structure for psychiatry.

American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 433-440.

7. Robert Whitaker, Mad in America, Perseus, 2002; Anatomy of an Epidemic:

Psychiatric drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol.7, No. I, Spring 2005 online

8. Thomas L. Murray, Jr. The Other Side of Psychopharmacology: A Review of

the Literature Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 28/No. 4/October

2006/Pages 309-337.



Psych meds drove my crazy

At 17, my was a funny, odd autistic boy. But a misdiagnosis turned him

into a violent, unpredictable man, and drove our family to the brink.

By Ann Bauer

May. 18, 2007

This is a story with a hopeful ending. Lucky, even. But be forewarned, you

have to get through a lot of hopeless, unlucky crap before you find it.

Here's how it all starts: My first-born has autism. Now that isn't

hopeless or, in my opinion, unlucky. Autism isn't sick or crazy. It's rigid

and routine, a little eccentric. Autism is multiplying columns of numbers

easily while being unable to look anyone in the eyes; listening to only one

band's music, and always in the same order, for a period of six weeks;

refusing to eat anything orange. It's also being able to remember the exact

date and time you ate a bison burger in Chamberlain, S.D., when you were 6.

But there's a really charming side to all this, a wonderful tilted

perspective on life that, if you're a parent of autism, you come quickly to

enjoy. I was a parent like this.

Until he was 17, my was unique and funny and odd. He was difficult in

some ways but incredibly easy in others. He washed the family's dishes

precisely, went to bed at exactly the same time each night, and sorted our

mail into careful piles. He did fairly well in school -- above average in

math, a little below in social studies -- and spent his weekends playing

tournament-level chess. He was a loner, but sweet and articulate and very

close to his only brother.

Then junior year came. He met a girl, he went to a dance, he thought life

was better. And for a night it was. Then the dance ended, the girl decided

she was interested in someone else, and the boy became depressed.

Was this cause for alarm? I thought not. Teenage boys routinely get

depressed over girls and fickle friends and school dances. It was painful,

but I assumed it would blow over. When it didn't, after six months, I took

him to a psychologist who recommended a psychiatrist who put him on a

newfangled antidepressant she said would have the added benefit of

controlling some of his obsessive tendencies, like stacking the dishes and

sorting the mail.

I didn't want to control those things -- to me, these weren't symptoms, they

were characteristics of my . And I'd fought for 17 years to keep him

drug-free. But the psychiatrist and the psychologist and several family

members insisted: He'd become unhappy, his routines were getting in the way

of his developing a social life. This pill, they said, would help him.

Instead, he gained 30 pounds and began to lose his mind.

It happened slowly, over a period of months. First his grades began to fall.

There were some random episodes of violence -- nothing major, just an

out-of-control moment here or there. A tendency to stand up from the dinner

table, after a full meal, and walk to Arby's for a snack. Eerie giggles that

seemed involuntary. A flat expression on his once-curious face.

Senior year, he started an after-school job at an auto parts factory but

lost it when he couldn't keep up with even the elderly workers. He stopped

speaking to his brother entirely and even hit him several times. He lost

interest in music, computers and chess.

Together, my ex-husband and I took our to a highly respected

neuropsychology clinic housed in a suburban office building. The doctors

there even looked like bankers; they wore regular clothes and carried

clipboards and fancy pens embossed with the names of drug companies, rather

than stethoscopes.

After meeting our twice, they conferred with the original psychiatrist

(who, we discovered later, was employed by the same large healthcare

conglomerate) and came up with an altogether new diagnosis. This wasn't

autism at all, they told us, but "psychomotor slowing" -- a form of

schizophrenia. Our was just unlucky, they said sadly, the victim of two

devastating neuro-behavioral disorders. Completely unrelated.

It was critical that we begin treating him immediately; they couldn't stress

this strongly enough. We were given a prescription for a brand-new

antipsychotic medication with the inspiring name Abilify that was

direct-to-consumer advertised in Newsweek and Time magazine. It featured a

woman gazing into an azure sky and copy promising the drug would work on the

brain "like a thermostat to restore balance."

We were skeptical. But the experts were firm: He would continue to

deteriorate if we didn't catch this now. Did we want our to end up

institutionalized? In jail? Sick to our stomachs and desperate, we gave him

the drugs. Then he got much, much worse.

He stayed with me on weekends, and twice during the workweek he would come

to my house for dinner. We would sit at the table -- my husband (his

stepfather), his brother and sister and I -- but my once-reserved older

would only stand over us acting crazy. Humming, shifting foot to foot,

screaming if anyone touched him or tried to move him to the side. Often, he

would talk back to the people who were speaking to him inside his head,

telling him to do things. He would not, however, say a word to us.

He wasn't eating meals. But he was eating -- constantly. Aft