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Meriam's Guy

aerobics can lift depression
Posted:Dec 26, 2007 5:50 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:35 pm


(Reuters Health) Apr 05 - A simple program of regular aerobic
exercise can substantially improve depression scores in patients with
moderate to severe major depression, despite prior failures with
pharmacologic therapy.

The new findings provide "grounds for cautious optimism" about the use of
exercise therapy as an alternative treatment for depression, Dr. F. Dimeo,
of the Benjamin Franklin Medical Center, in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues
conclude in the April issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The investigators studied the effects of aerobic exercise on depression in
12 patients with major depressive episodes ranging from 12 to 96 weeks in
duration. Of the patients, 10 were characterized as having refractory
depression after failing to improve during treatment with at least two
different classes of antidepressants for at least 4 weeks during the
current episode. The intervention consisted of interval training (walking
speed) on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day for 10 days.

Overall, exercise training caused a clinically significant drop in
depression scores during the 10 days. Of the twelve patients in the study,
six demonstrated "substantial" improvements &Mac247; including five of the
patients with refractory depression &Mac247; two demonstrated slight improvements
and four remained unchanged.

Moreover, there was a high rate of acceptance of the intervention among the
group, Dr. Dimeo told Reuters Health. "Indeed, several patients asked to
continue the training program after the study was concluded."
The study director added that many questions remain about the role that
aerobic exercise should play in the treatment of depression.

exercise may certainly be used as complementary therapy in severely
depressed patients who receive antidepressants and do not have
contraindications for exercise. Since there is no evidence about the
long-term effects of exercise [and] compliance and outcomes when stopping
training, aerobic exercise should not be used as first-line therapy for
depression until confirmatory studies have been concluded."

Dr. Dimeo noted that the team has already initiated a larger, randomized
trial of aerobic exercise in depression. Preliminary results from this
study, he said, "are very promising."

Br J Sports Med 2001;35:114-117.

Nourishing your brain
Posted:Dec 26, 2007 5:47 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:35 pm

4/16/01 • Nourishing Your Brain

NEWSWEEK April 23 issue

By Anne Underwood

It’s no secret that the fats in fish and walnuts are good for your heart. New
research suggests they may also ward off depression and mental maladies

Psychiatrist Andrew Stoll has seen plenty of patients with bipolar disorder,
but few more serious than a middle-aged man he calls “X.” Patient X suffered
his first episode of mania in Rome, where he became so delusional that he
landed first in jail and then in a psychiatric ward.

PATIENT X ESCAPED AND was re-arrested, but by then the Italian
authorities had had enough. They bundled him onto a plane back to Boston,
where he was taken to Stoll’s office at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stoll
tried all the usual medications. But lithium alone didn’t work, and Patient X
was unable to tolerate the side effects of strong antipsychotic drugs. That’s
when Stoll, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard, turned to a more
unconventional remedy–he instructed Patient X to eat a quarter pound of
salmon every day, while continuing to take his lithium. The treatment proved
a success.

Salmon? As psychiatric regimens go, it may sound fishy. But in a new
book called “The Omega-3 Connection,” Stoll argues that fish oils–with their
high content of polyunsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids–may help a range of
psychiatric disorders. The brain is an astonishing 60 percent fat, and it
needs omega-3s to function properly. In the last century, however, Americans
have drastically reduced their intake of these oils, as we moved to diets
based on processed foods.

This deficit, scientists agree, has contributed to
an epidemic of heart disease. Now a spate of cross-national studies has also
linked low fish consumption to high rates of major depression, bipolar
disorder, postpartum depression and suicidal tendencies. “Heart disease and
depression often go hand in hand,” says Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, the National
Institutes of Health psychiatrist who conducted a number of these surveys.
“Now we may know why.”

It is impossible to reduce the cause to a single
explanation–especially since omega-3s may function differently in each of
these conditions. For major depression, omega-3s appear to work in part by
making it easier for the receptors on brain cells to process mood-related
signals from neighboring neurons.

“Think of the receptor as a doorbell on a
house,” says Dr. Lauren Marengell of Baylor College of Medicine. Omega-3s
provide the lubrication that frees up a stuck doorbell and allows it to
respond to a messenger’s touch. The same fats may combat bipolar disorder
(which involves mania as well as depression) by inhibiting a process called
signal transduction, which occurs inside a brain cell after a messenger has
“rung the bell.”

In a normal brain, the process is orderly. But in a bipolar
patient, it’s as if everyone in a house started running in different
directions at the sound of the buzzer–and not necessarily answering the door.

Omega-3s–like all the major medications used to treat bipolar disorder–help
quiet this confusion.
If a woman is low on omega-3s to begin with, this depletion may set the
stage for postpartum depression.

While omega-3s are important for everyone, an adequate supply is
especially critical for infants and mothers. Gestating and newborn babies
often deplete their moms of these fats in order to nourish their own brains.

If a woman is low on omega-3s to begin with, this depletion may set the stage
for postpartum depression. A takes in large amounts of these fats
during the third trimester of gestation, and breast milk maintains a steady
supply following birth.

Infant formulas, by contrast, deliver very little.
(The World Health Organization recommends supplementing formulas with
omega-3s, but the U.S. Food and drug Administration has not yet approved
supplementation. The matter is under review.)

No one doubts that omega-3 fatty acids help build and maintain brain
tissue. But can the same fats help treat psychiatric disorders?

have not conducted the large clinical trials needed to answer that question,
but the early evidence is encouraging. When Stoll supplemented the
medications of 30 bipolar patients with either 10 grams of omega-3s or a
placebo, those getting the fish oil did so much better that he switched the
controls over to fish oil just four months into a nine-month trial.

doctors have also gotten impressive results in trials for depression and
schizophrenia. Other researchers, however, have found negative or neutral
results in pilot studies, so it’s not yet possible to deem fish oil an
effective therapy.

“The field is still in its infancy,” cautions Hibbeln.
“What we have now are provocative hypotheses, not a lot of hard-nosed data.”
Fortunately, because omega-3s are a normal part of the diet, they have caused
virtually no side effects in the trials. “Omega-3s just give back to the body
what it requires for proper functioning,” says Stoll.
replacements for mind altering drugs
Posted:Dec 26, 2007 5:42 pm
Last Updated:Dec 27, 2007 4:15 am

For several years now many of you have asked me(Dr Tracey) repeatedly to post on our site the information necessary to know how to find alternative treatments to help after being on antidepressants. I have spent years looking for various natural non-toxic answers to rebuild health after damage caused by these drugs.


When SSRIs impair one's ability to metabolize serotonin I find that they also generally deplete vitamin and minerals from the body by interfering with metabolism. Nurses have also voiced their concern to me about this aspect of the drugs - especially when they are being taken by pregnant women who so desperately need all the nutrition they can get.

I always recommend taking a good, easy to assimilate vitamin/mineral supplement after using mind altering medications. The following has information on one of the vitamin/mineral supplements I have found to be very helpful. Our director in Arizona overcame 22 years of anorexia using these products - something doctors told her could never happen.

(google Reliv Products)

These are powerful powdered vitamin/mineral supplements making them nutrients that are both easy to take and easy to assimilate. They have been used with excellent results by those dying from malnutrition in third world countries. Many of those recovering from the damage caused by mind altering medications are reporting excellent results with these nutritional products in stopping panic or anxiety attacks, OCD symptoms, Tourettes, anorexia, balancing blood sugar levels, etc.

Most begin with the basic products Classic and Energize (absolutely no stimulants). See their personal experiences with these products listed below and more posted.


My name is Nathan Gibb. I was diagnosed hypo-manic over ten years ago which, as I understand it, is a tamer version of manic-depressive. I had been taking a medication called Wellbutrin to manage the low end of the mood swings where I spent most of the time. Within the last couple of years I took a position with a company who offered no health insurance and so from month to month it was often impossible to stay consistent with the meds.

My experience on Wellbutrin was that I was maintaining a quality of life that was about 75% of how I felt before I began experiencing depression symptoms in my 20's. I began the Reliv products in Nov 2001 and immediately began sleeping better and experiencing more energy. At about six weeks the depression that I was mired in began to lift. I have steadily improved over the last year and feel that I am able to handle stress, avoid debilitating lows that used to negatively impact my work and home life, and I have hope and a quality of life I have missed since I was in my 20's.


My name is Jenny McKinney. I am 26 and a stay-at-home mother of three boys, ages 5, 4, and 1 year.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression in August of 1995. I was suicidal and depressed when I was prescribed the anti-depressant, Paxil. My mood swings were already out of control, but worsened after taking Paxil. I was told I would not see results for at least three weeks after beginning the drug. Within three days, my sister, whom was pregnant and I roomed with at the time, said if I did not get off the drug immediately, I was to find another place to live, because she would not have that baby with me in the home.

On Paxil, my mood swings increased greatly to the point I was sugar sweet one minute and violently psychotic the next. I was always nauseated, dizzy, and blacking out. To this day I cannot remember everything that went on at that time in my life. I was only on the drug for 2 weeks and quit cold turkey without consulting my psychiatrist.

I tried to handle life without any kind of meds, but over the next few years tried many herbals, including licorice root, St. John's Wort, and SamE.

I struggled over the next few years with my depression and anxiety, as I married and had . I tried counseling, different herbs, and much, much prayer. There were even a couple of times when the doctors wanted to institutionalize me. In spite of all my efforts, after having the rage really set in. I was constantly yelling at my , then 3
years and 18 months. I knew I was out of control with my depression and anger when my second splashed in the bathtub and I spanked his bottom, several times, extremely hard, then sat and cried for hours over doing it. I was truly fearful that I would end up seriously hurting my if I did not get help.

Later in the week, my boys and I went to visit family out of state. My mother-in-law introduced me to Reliv when I arrived. As soon as she heard about it, she knew it was what I needed to get better. That was all I needed to hear. I began on Reliv Classic and Innergize immediately. I was taking them two times a day. By the third day, the same sister noticed the difference in me when I had not had my product. By the end of my two-week stay, I had not yelled at my once.

I have since then had another , and am able to handle life wonderfully, when I am consistent in taking these products. The best part, is knowing that as long as I am taking Reliv, my are not afraid of me anymore.


Hi, my name is Lori White. I live in Sandy, Utah, and am a mother of 5 , and grandmother of 7.

After being married for 12 years, I became a single mom for the next 9 years, during which time I had 4 teenagers at the same time. Depression runs in my family, and after a very difficult divorce, I found myself spending a lot of time in bed, especially when the were in school. It was hard to cope with life, and I cried easily and found it difficult to stop crying.

Eventually I found a wonderful man and remarried, but every time there was a problem with one of the , I would sink back into a depression. If I dropped the off at school and one of them said, "Duh, Mom!" , I would shrink into myself, feel very incapable, and wonder what I had done to have my hate me so much!

My doctor took pity on me, and put me on Prozac 8 years ago. When I was on the medication, I felt wonderful! I had NO problems!! And neither did anyone else! I was not affected by anyone else's sad life or situations, and didn't, couldn't, cry.

After being on the medication for 6 years, I was introduced to a wonderful product, Classic, made by the Reliv company. After taking it for 6 months, I decided to go off the Prozac, which I did over a 3 week period. I found that I could cry again, could sympathize with others, and feel sad, but it didn't last--I could stop crying, and I could feel happy again when I chose to.

I have been off Prozac now for 2 1/2 years, and just don't have the cloud of gloom sitting on my shoulder that I had before going on it. When something sad or difficult happens in my life, it doesn't bury me--I may cry, go to bed really feeling down, but when I wake up in the morning, I am fine--able to cope and put the problem in perspective.



Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

I have been talking about hyperbaric for some time, but seeing these brain scans before and after is amazing! --Dr. Ann Tracy

Google: International Hyperbaric Medical Association

Dr. Harch is the leading expert in the US on hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The following are case reports with brain scans before and after treatment for various ailments. It is amazing to see and even more amazing to experience.

Earlier this year I sent Dr. Harch the most difficult patient I have seen in the past 15 years. It was a worst case senario - a patient on Paxil for six years at double the maximum dose (120mg) who came off "cold turkey". I have never seen anyone alive in such bad shape. After he saw Dr. Harch the change was DRAMATIC to say the least!!

I have never found anything better for a patient in "cold turkey" withdrawal from an antidepressant than hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Certainly it is very important to follow the other guidelines in the "Help! I Can't Get Off My Antidepressant!" tape to rebuild, but for acute situations hyperbaric certainly seems to be the answer.


If you have read my book you know that I mention aromatherapy oils as a very effective treatment in rebuilding after using antidepressants. I explain my own reservations at first but go on to explain how my look at the scientific research on the oils helped me to see how they can be so very effective in rebuilding after the damage done by these antidepressants.

I use ONLY theraputic grade oils as others have been processed with chemicals - the last thing someone in trouble on these drugs would want to be exposed to! There are several of the oils I personally will not be without. I feel they are essential to the well being of my family and save us thousands in medical bills. I have witnessed miraculous results with these oils over the years and what a wonderful way to smell your way to wellness!

As I mention in my book and tape Bergmot has been used for years for mania, as well as depression. Two combinations of oils that oil is found in are Joy or Gentle Baby. And I have seen little better for cancer than frankensence oil. But more information can be found in my book or tape or CD on how to come off antidepressants.

The following is Merrill Osmond's story from the 3/04 issue of UT Health Magazine about his long term use of medications and his journey back to health using Young Living Oils:


Stress, depression, stokes and a host of health professionals pumping his body with a buffet of chemicals took its toll.

“They were telling me it was possible to completely get off the stuff I had been on since I was twenty one! Getting off the Lithium alone was a real no-no. My doctors would have killed me. It’s what was maintaining my moods and controlling my depression. The whole borderline diabetes Glucophage® thing was another huge issue.

“Here I was listening to these physicians who were telling of other breakthroughs and new ideas. They told me it was between me and my family and God, but emphasized that they really could help me go in a new direction. ‘We can help you, Merrill,’ they kept telling me.

“I said, ‘Okay. I’ll give it a shot.’

“I will swear to you on a stack of everything I know to be true, that I’m off of everything, and have been for over six months!” exclaims Osmond. “I’ve had all my tests updated, and I’m not a hundred percent yet, but I do feel one hundred percent better. I feel so great. And I’m much better off now, too. I’m drug free and I’m sleeping well,” boasts Osmond.

And the depression?

“Absolutely under control. I’m getting around better and functioning better than ever and handling more stress than ever.


Leslie Judd's Story

My name is Leslie Judd and I appreciate the opportunity to tell you my story. I recently had a major life change which came about because of information that was passed on to me by Young Living Essential Oils.

Eleven years ago, I experienced some serious depression which I now recognize was most likely post-partum depression, since it began following the birth of my third . The condition was serious enough to cause me to be unable to function normally. After a visit to the doctor, I came home with a prescription for Prozac, and this was the beginning of a ten-year nightmare.

Within the first few days, I began having hallucinations and hearing voices, but had no relief from the depression. At my next appointment, the doctor prescribed Paxil and Trazodone. Temporarily, it seemed to help with the depression, but I was a zombie all of the time. I felt like I had a hangover every morning.

With Paxil and all of the anti-depressants I took from then on, I had what is called a withdrawal or "wear-off" effect, which means that my body soon adjusted to the new dosage and then I would need a higher dosage. Symptoms of this effect were electrical sensations throughout my body, shudders and whoosh sound with every move. Also, a trailing feeling when I moved or turned my head. This increased until the doctor would change my medication and I would begin the cycle again. I began fluctuating between depression and hypomania.

The therapist I started seeing referred me to a psychiatrist, who put me on a fairly low dose of Zoloft. My initial diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder, but soon became Dysthymia, or severe mood disorder. After trying different antidepressants, like Effexor, Serzone (now off the market due to the fact that it causes liver failure) and Wellbutrin, all of which gave only temporary relief, she decided to try lithium because my symptoms had become like that of a bipolar patient. So now the diagnosis had become Bipolar II Disorder.

Next, the doctor decided to experiment with different types of drugs such as anti-seizure medications (such as Topamax, Depakote, Lamictal and Neurotin) and anti-psychotics (such as Risperdal, Sroquel, and Zyprexa), which caused me to have a multitude of other side-effects such as tremors, visual disturbances, anxiety and nervous problems for which I was prescribed benzodiazepines. Guess what? I became even more depressed and I was more ill than I had ever been before in my life.

The inherent back problem I have had since I was a was now getting worse. The medications decreased my pain tolerance. I developed fibromyalgia. I became obsessed with illness and with pain. I gained an excessive amount of weight. I also began behaving impulsively, lost interest in relationships and developed social phobias such as agoraphobia (fear of public places, not wanting to leave home). I would panic in crowds, break out in a sweat, and collapse in terror.

I could not feel joy or affection, and didn't want anyone to touch me. I became obsessed with death. Sometimes, I cried uncontrollably without knowing why. I felt like I was a burden to everybody. I spoke with slurred speech, couldn't find words and had loss of memory. The tremors became so severe that I could no longer write a check or sign my name. This only led to more anti-social behavior and self isolation.

Every month when I went to my doctor, my medication and dosage were changed. There was a point during the ten years that I realized the medication was making me sick, especially when I got lithium toxicity. My body was holding on to all fluid, I was bloated beyond recognition, my pupils were dilated (one more than the other), I started to get panicky and I had constant nausea and severe headaches along with other symptoms which alarmed my husband, and he called my doctor, who told me to stop taking the medication immediately.

This stopped the toxicity from progressing, but the immediate withdrawal caused me to crash into an even deeper depression. More medication, without relief. More suicidal ideation. Alcohol binges.

When I was released and came home, I was worse than ever. I was having hallucinations. I shook uncontrollably, which was actually a side effect of anti-seizure medications, and I had to move my legs constantly. My eyes were dead and I had absolutely no energy and no desire to do anything. I felt empty. My family rallied to get me back on my feet and friends brought dinner to help out. It was as if I was seeing things from outside of my body, but I actually remember very little from this time period.

An attempted suicide made for my second hospital stay, where I was humiliated in front of other patients by psychiatric techs, after which I made another attempt to end my life while I was still in the hospital. To get out of the hospital, I lied by telling them I felt better. Eight days later, I went home on new drugs.

After two weeks at home, I was back in the hospital for another eight days. I was so out of it. I felt like I was in a vacuum. I did things contrary to my nature, not even thinking of the consequences. Nothing mattered. On leaving the hospital following my third stay, I was told that my diagnosis was Bipolar II, Panic and Anxiety Disorder, PRSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and Borderline Personality Disorder with psychotic episodes. It seemed that I would just get worse and never be well again.

Back home, my family searched for answers. Our good friends, Brian and Barb Kuckuck, went to a Young Living convention in California and returned with help -- an audio tape and a book by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy.

The tape opened our eyes to the destruction that these drugs can cause in people's lives. Today, I know that I have a disposition towards depression, but I am not bipolar. I am not psychotic and I do not have a borderline personality disorder. My mental and physical disorders were caused primarily by the medication I was given by my doctors. I lost ten years of my life.

I followed Dr. Tracy's guidelines for tapering off of the medication and I have been using the Cortistop and other YL supplements as well as essential oils, particularly Valor, Clarity and Peace and Calming, without which I know it would have been much more difficult to break free from the drugs. The weaning process can last up to two years, but it is worth it.

Today, I have been completely free of my medications for five months. Although I still have some residual side effects, I am living my life again and enjoying it. I thank Young Living and Dr. Ann Blake Tracy for making me aware, I thank my husband and for their untiring love and patience, thanks to my family for their persistence and love in searching for something to help. I appreciate my friends, who were there for me even though I didn't know it and I especially thank my faith for giving me the strength and courage to succeed.

For more information on the essential oils discussed here, see Dr. Tracy's book, Prozac, Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare and her tape or CD entitled, "Help! I Can't Get Off My Antidepressant".

Pittman Tradgedy
Posted:Dec 26, 2007 5:28 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:35 pm

Pittman tragedy detailed in letter

By The Herald

BETHESDA, Md. -- Joe D. Pittman stood and faced the nearly three dozen panelists, his hands trembling as he prepared to read his 's letter to the Food and Drug Administration.

'My at the tender age of 12 killed my parents,' Pittman said, his words quashing any noise in the room, before reading the letter.

'Dear FDA, My name is Chris Pittman. I am now 14 years old. I would like to tell you what happened to me, what the medication did to me, and how I felt when I was taking Zoloft,' Pittman read. 'Because of this medication, I took the lives of two people that I loved more than anything, my grandparents.'

Hundreds of people attended the FDA advisory panel hearing Monday, many there to tell gut wrenching stories similar to the Pittmans'. The advisory panel is helping the FDA determine the best way to investigate whether anti-depressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, cause an increased risk of suicide in some . Many claim the same mechanism that can drive some to harm themselves can also drive them to harm others.

The bodies of Joe Frank Pittman and Joy Roberts Pittman were found in the ruins of their burned Chester County home on Nov. 29, 2001. Christopher was charged with double murder and arson. His trial may begin in April, where he will be tried as an adult. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Along with describing how the medicine affected him, Christopher's letter also described how his dosage was dramatically increased days prior to the killings. He wrote, 'I went to the doctor and he gave me a sample pack of Zoloft. He told me to take 50 mgs once in the morning and once at night. ... A week after my doctor gave me a sample pack, I went back and he gave me two packs, and he told me to take a 100 mgs once in the morning and once at night.'

Those revelations shocked many in attendance. As his maternal grandmother, Del Duprey, said moments before when addressing the advisory panel, 'Within 48 hours, his grandparents were dead ...'

Christopher's tragic story wasn't alone Monday, as dozens of families related nightmares they believe were brought on by intense adverse effects to anti-depressants. Included in those were:

• A 13-year-old boy hung himself in his closet on his seventh day of taking Zoloft;

• A held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage with a high-powered rifle within days of a dosage increase while on Effexor;

• A recent Stanford graduate stabbed herself in the chest twice with a butcher's knife, dying on her parents' kitchen floor after being on Paxil for two weeks;

• A boy on Prozac hung himself with his belt from a rafter, leaving behind a letter pinned to his clothing thanking his parents for 14 wonderful years of life;

In line with the countless other horror stories was one of a 12-year-old girl who hung herself with her shoelaces in a middle school bathroom three months after being on Paxil and Zoloft.

'We were told that anti-depressants like Paxil and Zoloft were wonder Drugs, that they were safe and effective for ,' said the girl's father, Glenn McIntosh. 'We were lied to.'

Neither Paxil nor Zoloft have been approved to treat depression in . Out of the entire SSRI category, only Prozac has been approved for such. SSRIs work by blocking the absorption of serotonin, a mood-altering chemical, once it is naturally released into the brain.

'Why do we believe street Drugs like heroin or LSD can lead to outcomes such as this, yet won't accept that legal Drugs working on the same neurochemicals can result in horrific crimes against persons and property?' asked Dawn Rider, who lost her to suicide while he was on SSRIs and now heads ASPIRE, an advocacy group. 'Why do we accept a Drug like penicillin, as beneficial as it is for some, can prove fatal for others? These Drugs are not safe for everyone.'

The issue of whether SSRIs can lead to an increased risk of suicide in some juvenile patients first arose in the United Kingdom last year. The U.K. equivalent of the FDA in December all but banned doctors there from prescribing SSRIs to , with Prozac being the lone exception.

The FDA has taken no such action. In June, it warned that a SSRI/suicide link may exist and announced it was launching an investigation into the entire category. The agency also requested that all SSRI makers submit data showing the results of any trials involving .

Dr. Richard Brook, a member of the U.K. expert panel that moved to restrict the use of SSRIs in , attended Monday's hearing but did not participate. At a separate press conference, where a group of scientists presented data they felt proved such a link already exists, Brook urged the FDA to follow his group's lead.

'What's good enough for British ought to be good enough for American as well,' Brook said.

The FDA now has some 15 studies to examine, 12 of which show the Drugs have no effect on treating depression in . These cases will now be dissected to examine the possible suicide link.

'It is absolutely critical, in our view, that we make every effort to provide the best answer possible to this question.' said Dr. Russell Katz, head of the FDA's neurologic Drugs. 'The wrong answer in either direction ... could have profound negative consequences for the public's health.'

Critics, however, claim it will be impossible to get that answer from this pool of data, since these studies were not conducted in the best way to uncover any link between SSRIs and suicide or violent behavior. Some claimed the doctors who performed the studies using Drug company money were inclined to provide as favorable results as possible.

Dr. Lawrence Diller of the University of California at San Francisco blasted such scientists.

'Unfortunately in my quarter century of practice, I've seen a psychiatry biological revolution hijacked by a for-profit Drug industry,' Diller told the panel. '... At this time, the conflict of interest between my academic colleagues and the Drug industry rivals that of the stock analysts and the brokerage firms.'

Not all of the 60-plus people who addressed the advisory panel expressed anti-SSRI views.

Of those who offered praise, most shared the sentiments of Sherri Walton with the Mental Health Association of Arizona, who claimed SSRI medications saved her Jordan's life.

She urged the FDA not to restrict the Drugs, but to find the problems and to fix them.

'We have the greatest sympathy for any family who has lost to suicide. I ask that you identify and fix any breakdown in the system that can lead to such tragedy,' Walton said. 'At the same time, I ask that you appreciate and take into account the enormous benefits that these medications have had for and their families.'

The FDA hopes to complete its investigation and have an answer for the public by late summer.
My Friend Randy
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 11:22 pm
Last Updated:Dec 26, 2007 5:45 am

Randy has the type of personality that the most important thing to him was that everyone viewed him as Mr All-American. He wanted to be viewed as the person that you would most like to be like. He always suffered a little from depression as long as I had known him but, nothing extreme.

I was reading about how most people that are "diagnosed", leading to medications for depressions are just going through a difficult time that is normal such as a divorce, loss of job, etc. Something that is temporary, and is not a permanant situation.

In Randy's case, the day he graduated, his mom left to be with someone she had wanted to be with for years. How could this not hit anyone like a brick wall? So Randy went to OSU and lived in an apartment with others from our town for their educations as well. They witnessed Randy happy one moment, but very sad unexpectedly as well. All the time he wanted everyone thinking he was perfect.

What I also found out years later was that Randy's mom used to come into his room at night crying and talking to him. She was so unhappily married. She used to tell him things that a mother doesnt tell a . That was a heavy burden. But it is not an illness to carry a heavy burden.

Randy and his wife Suzy stayed in our small town in Ohio after graduation from OSU for the next 15 years. They had three together and the town viewed them as the perfect family. Suzy worked in helping with people who couldnt read get their GED's and further their education. Randy was an Engineer.

They moved to a small town at the bottom of Virginia. They were away from their Christian friends, the community he had grown up with and I guess you would say his support. The things that normally kept things in boundaries. Randy had never really dealt with these things of his past. So now they came out into the open. The marriage started to dissolve. Randy sought help.

So what did his doctor do? Put him on Prozac. That is when things really started to Change with Randy. Never violent, he had situations arise with his teenage that often became physical all of a sudden. Suzy all of a sudden had fears and he placed his hands on her as well.

All this time frame of 3 years where his doctor was monitoring his medication. Things were worse, not better. Go forward 5 years later and divorced. His girlfriend Rhonda told me of him hitting her, her having a broken leg, etc. All things the Randy I knew would not do. he eventually was arrested because I told her to report him for his own good. He had almost killed her a few times. Choked her out once, and took her 6 year old to Church with him as he left her there.

So, this is one of the reasons that I started studying about psychology, the medications people take and the pharmeceudical companies and what was the truth.

*I found out that every anti-depressant on the market will and not can cause permanant Brain Damage and Organ damage as well with any extended usage.

*I found out that chemical imbalance is just a theory and has never been proven, if anything it has been proven that it is very incorrect. I learned that the anti-depressants medicate you and place toxins in your brain, but do not balance anything at all.

*I found out that all anti-depressants now must come with a label that can cause sudden death because it happens.

*I have learned that companies pay doctors many thousands of dollars just to prescribe their drugs each year.

*Companies have paid up to 100 million dollars a year for the last decade because of harmful issues regarding their drug, when they sell 4.2 billion dollars a year of this dangerous drug. They dont care.

*I have learned that there are many cases where these drugs are causing out of character reactions and also suicides as well as murders.

*Almost every instance in which these go balistic and shoot others in schools, they have been on mind altering drugs..(antidepressants) which made them worse.

I have had my friend Randy become something he never was because of Prozac.

My sister Lynn has been medicated for 30 years now, and she has become a total recluse. I believe that she has permanant damage from these drugs.

My friend Paul lost his because after years of being on them from being molested, the drug itself just killed her.

These are just a few things, but worldwide it is many.
No proof mental illness rooted in biology
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 12:53 pm
Last Updated:Dec 26, 2007 6:46 am

No proof mental illness rooted in biology

By KEITH HOELLER editor of the "Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry" in Seattle.

What is "the mental health movement?" Its proponents claim that millions of Americans are afflicted with a mental illness, which is a disease "just like any other" and that the mentally ill suffer from a chemical imbalance in the brain that is corrected by psychiatric drugs.

Mental illness is said to be the cause of many of our society's social ills, such as suicide, murder, divorce, abuse, sex offenses, depression and various addictions. If only mental illness could be cured, mental health supporters say, all of these ills could be prevented.

Because the mentally ill often are unaware of their disease, treatment must be forced on the mentally ill. All 50 states have laws that allow involuntary treatment if professionals deem they are a danger to self and others.

Psychiatrists, we are told, can now accurately diagnose mental illness and have safe and effective treatments. Psychiatry is considered a valid medical specialty, like cardiology, and the claims of the movement are based on scientific research.

The largest lay group is the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAM. The media routinely refer to NAMI as advocates for the mentally ill, although its membership consists almost entirely of family members and not the mentally ill themselves. NAMI ascribes to the "biological basis of mental illness," and endorses forced treatment of the mentally ill.

The movement's major source of funding is the highly profitable pharmaceutical industry, which funds the drug research; which funds psychiatric journals, and even the American Psychiatric Association itself; which funds advertising to doctors and the public; and even funds lay groups such as NAMI (at least $11 million) and and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (at least $1 million).

Yet many professionals claim that the mental health movement is not a legitimate medical or scientific endeavor, let alone a civil rights movement, but a political ideology of intolerance and inhumanity. Numerous psychiatrists and psychologists have examined the psychiatric research literature and found it to range from smoke and mirrors to quackery.

Psychiatrists have yet to conclusively prove that a single mental illness has a biological or physical cause, or a genetic origin. Psychiatry has yet to develop a single physical test that can determine that an individual actually has a particular mental illness. Indeed, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders uses behavior, not physical symptoms, to diagnose mental illness, and it lacks both scientific reliability and validity.

On Aug. 16, eight members of MindFreedom (, an umbrella organization of mental patients who call themselves "psychiatric survivors," began a Fast for Freedom "to press for human rights and choice in psychiatry" and to "demand that the mental health industry produce even one study proving the common industry claim that 'mental illness is biologically-based.' "

Dr. James Scully of the American Psychiatric Association responded to the hunger strikers by claiming the evidence was so vast one need only look at "Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" (1999) or a recent psychiatry textbook.

An expert panel for the strikers, made up of members (like myself) of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (, quickly responded by pointing out that neither of these works contains any such conclusive proof. Actually, the surgeon general's report on mental health states that "the precise causes (etiology) of mental disorders are not known" and "there is no definitive lesion, laboratory test, or abnormality in brain tissue that can identify (a mental) illness." The Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry (1999) states: " ... Validation of the diagnostic categories as specific entities has not been established."

In its reply to the fasters, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill did not cite any scientific evidence at all.

In 1784, a similar debate raged in Paris about the scientific validity of the latest psychiatric nostrum (hypnotism) and its inventor, Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer, who claimed to have discovered a physical mechanism he called animal magnetism. The Academy of Sciences formed a panel, including American scientist Benjamin Franklin and French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, to assess the movement sweeping the city, and concluded that Mesmer's "cures" had no scientific basis. They were due entirely to the power of suggestion, now called the placebo effect. The Royal Society of Medicine issued a report with similar findings on Aug. 16, 1784.

Let us hope the Fast for Freedom has a positive outcome for all involved.

If not, let us insist that the American Medical Association (or similar body) form a panel of objective, non-psychiatric scientists, without any ties to drug companies, to examine whether psychiatry should continue as a medical specialty or if it should join the historical ranks of alchemy, astrology and phrenology as a pseudoscience.
Artificial Food Additives Linked to Aggressive Behavior in
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 12:19 pm
Last Updated:Dec 25, 2007 3:33 pm

Artificial Food Additives Linked to Aggressive Behavior in
By Summer Minor; April 8th 2007
AC - Associated Content

In Australia a school in New South Wales went additive free for two weeks. The school provided breakfast for the made from foods free of any additives, and sent home booklets for the parents suggesting foods that they could serve at home free from additives. The results were amazing. The began more co-operative, days became more harmonious, and disturbances became a thing of the past.

Principal Andrew Bennett said that the changes became obvious in three or four days.

The average American eats 2.4kg of additives each year. Processed foods are full of additives, preservatives, and dyes. Even foods that we think of as healthy such as breads and dried fruits can be to blame.

A new Nutrition Australia report notes in daycare who eat highly processed food are more likely to injure others in the playground, according to the staff who care for them. Nutrition Australia spokeswoman Aloysa Hourigan stated "Staff identified that with poorer food choices ... were more likely to be the who were impulsive and display behaviours which could cause injury to other ,"

In 2004 the University of California conducted a study that found that a lack of zinc, iron, vitamin B, and protein in the first three years of a 's life was linked to negative behavior later on. who were fed poorly were found to be more likely to fight, take drugs, and bully others.

Pediatrician Heidi Webster said food intolerances might exacerbate the behaviour of some with attention deficit disorders and autism. "Trialling the efficacy of dietary change can ... improve the quality of life for the that suffer with ADHD and autism," Ms Webster said.

Many studies have been done that indicate diet may be a factor in childhood behavior. A double blind, placebo-controlled study of with ADHD who also had signs of allergy was published in Annals of Allergy in May, 1994. The study showed that 73% responded favorably to treatment with a multiple-item elimination diet. A study on the Effect of nutritional supplements on attentional-deficit hyperactivity disorder published in the 1998 January-March volume of the Integr Physiol Behav Sci found that symptoms of ADHD were reduced by a change in diet. In the September 1999 issue of Pharmacological Research a report on Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid. found that a deficiency in DHA was associated with ADHD and aggressive hostility. DHA is commonly found in fatty fish and in breastmilk.

As more people begin to look at their diets and at the additives in their food new research is being done on the effects that these chemicals could be having on our health.
A Pharmaceutical Insider Speaks Out
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 12:14 pm
Last Updated:Dec 25, 2007 3:36 pm


A Pharmaceutical Insider Speaks Out

Dear Editor,

In reviewing the overwhelming media “hype” put out on the spate of senseless violent crimes--of which the Virginia Tech incident is the latest on a growing chain of events with documented similarities that are rarely discussed in the media---the public has been done a tremendous dis-service and is being distracted from ever knowing the complete truth about what really caused these catastrophes.

Recent articles attempt to sum up the misinformation campaign by suggesting that lax laws and human rights movements against involuntary commitment practices and forced psychiatric drugging contributed to the murderous rampage at Virginia Tech.

Excuse me, but being a veteran pharmaceutical rep who sold psychiatric drugs, I'd like to say that this bit is getting a little old. The tiresome rhetoric of attack against Dr. Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology, who co-founded CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights), is the oldest Pharma diversion tactic around. I was taught to use it by a manager when I sold Haldol (haloperidol) over twenty years ago and, apparently, that smear campaign is still alive and well today. Can't anyone come up with any new angles?

The truth is, the psycho-pharmaceutical interests do not dismiss these watch-advocates lightly and Pharma's media "spin" machine is in constant motion counteracting their vigilant efforts...among others. Therefore, I was not surprised to see the cheap stabs at this organization in superfluous articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal and the Tampa Tribune -- just bored with them. However, it initially made me suspect a possible financial conflict of interest on the part of the authors, as I know Pharma often pays hefty sums of money for the penning of articles such as these in times of controversy.

The manufacturers of antidepressants are constantly working overtime to convince the public that we are being protected by their humanitarian efforts rather than railroaded by their profiteering deception; and that their drugs are safe and effective products having only mild and transient side effects. This is truly science fiction copy where antidepressants are concerned!

If I sound skeptical, this is why: Cho was reported to have been detained, evaluated and treated for depression in 2005. It was never clear according to reports whether this detention was voluntary or involuntary on Cho's part.

However, psychiatric evaluation and treatment nearly always equal drug intervention, so it is safe to assume that drug therapy was instituted at that time. Cho's roommate reported seeing him take his prescription medication (for psychological problems) at 5 a.m. the morning of the shootings. Therefore, it is also logical to assume that Cho was still under a psychiatric outpatient maintenance program and taking his medication. Why wasn't he improving then?

Cho's behavior was said to have deteriorated over the past several months as he became more and more isolated and bizarre. His roommate told reporters Cho slept restlessly, grunting and tossing and turning in his sleep; that he was up and down throughout the night, and often gone by dawn. He left behind a ranting, rambling, multi-page letter of grievances and mailed a menacing video to NBC brandishing guns and other weaponry before the camera. Could Cho have been exhibiting manic reactions to his medication that manifested in symptoms of sleep disturbance, anxiety, grandiosity, and eventually frank psychosis? Was his total lack of emotion or expression as he shot his victims at point-blank range indicative of the emotional blunting caused by antidepressant drugs?

All these effects have been well documented with antidepressant toxicity, especially in the newer category of drugs called the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Another point of interest, as a drug rep I was trained that Asians metabolize many drugs differently than the general population causing an increased accumulation of drug levels to occur in many.

This recently prompted the FDA to request warning label changes and a recommended reduction in dose for Asians using the cholesterol drug Crestor. Because Asians were recorded to have twice the blood plasma levels of the drug at the same 10 mg. starting dose. Could Cho's medication have accumulated to toxic levels because of his inability to metabolize and clear it properly?
These are some of the legitimate questions currently being asked by medical doctors, mental health experts, psycho-pharmacology researchers–and the human rights activists of CCHR.

In addition, while much "to do" is being made about the latest meta-analysis released in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which concluded that antidepressants are safe and effective for treating anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder in and adolescents (and coincidentally released the same day as reports that Cho was being treated for depression), hardly anything has been reported on two other concurrently published articles.

One study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine and concluded that antidepressants are less effective than placebos in treating bipolar disorder; and the other is a study in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry which found that 1 in 4 people who were treated with antidepressants were not clinically depressed at all, but were dealing with the mental repercussions of a recent emotional blow, such as death, divorce, job loss, etc. Only a small percentage was found, in fact, by the researchers' definition, to be clinically depressed.

Therefore, the authors concluded that the standard definition of depression should be redefined to exclude reactions to normal stressful life events, thus avoiding unnecessary stigma and misdiagnosis along with the unnecessary prescribing of antidepressant drugs.

How, then, can anyone educated about psychotropic drugs and their potentially toxic effects possibly suggest that increasing forced commitments and drugging on the population would have prevented this latest disaster?

In fact, the overuse and abuse of psychotropic drugs is what has unleashed this dangerous situation on an unsuspecting society in the first place. The problem exists in where we are getting our information about these drugs from--the marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies that have a financially vested interest in selling them!

Pharmaceutical companies want to expand what are currently saturated markets for their multi-billion dollar depression drugs.

They need to increase market share in order to increase their bottom line and pay stock investors dividends. They cannot afford the negative publicity brought on by events such as the VT shootings, that might prompt a more thorough investigation into the number of school shooters who were actually taking or withdrawing from antidepressants (or other psychotropic drugs) at the time of their crimes; and the possible dangers of these drugs--not only to the people who take them--but to the public at large.

If the treatments are found to have a causal effect and to be the real problem at hand, then additional forced treatment with these defective, dangerous chemicals will cease to be the answer in the future. Plus, all of the affected parties would be entitled to financial recompense…think about it.

As for the psycho-pharmaceutically promoted fear tactics to support more involuntary commitments and forced drugging, I think our time would be well spent revisiting Nazi Germany. We are obviously in need of a significant history lesson on this issue!

Gwen Olsen

A veteran 15-year pharmaceutical sales rep and author of

Confessions of an Rx drug Pusher: God's Call to Loving Arms
Schizophrenia Study: No Drugs = Better Chance at Recovery
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 12:04 pm
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:35 pm


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
The Politics Behind Despair and Depression
Posted:Dec 25, 2007 11:51 am
Last Updated:Jul 22, 2024 1:35 pm

The Politics Behind Despair and Depression
By Bruce Levine

Posted October 5, 2007 | 01:52 PM (EST)

On September 14, 2007, New York Times reporters Alex Berenson and Benedict Carey foiled, at least temporarily, Big Pharma and its psychiatry allies' attempt to eliminate the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning label about increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors in minors using antidepressants.

Berenson and Carey refuted a September 2007 American Journal
Bruce Levine of Psychiatry article that had claimed an increase in the youth
suicide rate in 2004 was related to declining antidepressant prescriptions
for that group (caused by the FDA warning). Berenson and Carey reported that, in fact, in 2004 the "number of prescriptions for antidepressants in that group was basically unchanged and did not drop substantially." The New York Times did not, however, report that the lead author of the American Journal of Psychiatry article had served as an expert witness for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, makers of the antidepressant Effexor.

NOTE:: Joseph John Mann, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Radiology, Columbia University; Chief of the Division of Neuroscience and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at New York Psychiatric Institute, New York. Received research support from GlaxoSmithKline; served as an adviser to Eli Lilly and Lundbeck. ("Early Evidence on the Effects of Regulators’ Suicidality Warnings on SSRI Prescriptions and Suicide in and Adolescents," Am J Psychiatry 2007; 164:1356‒1363.) Attended a 2002 GlaxoSmithKline advisory meeting on lamotrigine. (Preliminary Report of the Task Force on SSRIs and Suicidal Behavior in Youth, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, January 21, 2004, p.16; On file with CSP Consultant and expert witness for Pfizer for the Drug Zoloft (sertraline), submitting a deposition for the company in 2000. Expert witness for SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). In 1990, received funding from Eli Lilly for a study on the safety and biological mechanisms of action of norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants.

-Mann.txt, pg. 1622; accessed 01/19/04) Research involving all suicide victims in a region of Hungary received three years of funding from Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc. (Vince

While the recent smoke and mirrors of Big Pharma and the American Journal of Psychiatry was detected by The New York Times, the media, once again, is losing sight of a more important revelation: scientists currently agree that "the neurotransmitter-deficiency theory of depression"--the rationale for antidepressants--has no validity.

It was news to many Americans when Newsweek's February 26, 2007 cover story, "Men and Depression," mentioned that scientists now reject the theory that depression is caused by low levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told Newsweek that "a depressed brain is not necessarily underproducing something."

This appeared to be news because since the advent of Eli Lilly's serotonin-enhancer Prozac in the late 1980s, the general public and doctors have received a multi-billion dollar marketing blitz proclaiming that depression is caused by a deficiency of serotonin, and that this deficiency could be corrected by Prozac or other serotonin-enhancer antidepressants such as Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, and Luvox.

This rejection of the neurotransmitter deficiency theory of depression should not in 2007 be considered news. In 1998, The American Medical Association Essential Guide to Depression stated: "The link between low levels of serotonin and depressive illness is unclear, as some depressed people have too much serotonin." That same year Elliot Valenstein, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan, in Blaming the Brain pointed out, "Furthermore, there is no convincing evidence that depressed people have a serotonin or norepinephrine deficiency." (Antidepressants that increase the neurotransmitter norepinephrine as well as serotonin include Effexor and Cymbalta). In 2002, The New York Times reported: "Researchers knew that antidepressants seemed to raise the brain's levels of messenger chemicals called neurotransmitters, so they theorized that depression must result from a deficiency of these chemicals. Yet a multitude of studies failed to prove this precept." Unfortunately, that fact was buried under more than fifty preceding paragraphs.

Historically, those who profit from the status quo have preferred to explain unhappiness, despair and what is now called depression as caused by personal defects. In previous eras, those atop society declared that such malaise was caused by "character defects" such as lack of intelligence, laziness, or refusal to delay gratification; today their personal-defect preference is for some kind of "biochemical-defect" explanation.

While all personal-defect explanations for despair distract the depressed from considering how the structure of society may be contributing to their malaise, biochemical-defect explanations have the added benefit of creating a boatload of easy profits for Drug companies. And biochemical-defect explanations are also quite useful for authoritarians who prefer that people look up to authorities-- in this case, to biotech corporations and Drug-prescribers-- for solutions to their problems, rather than looking toward themselves, their family, friends, and community.

While researchers have not found depression to be associated with any kind of biochemical marker, they have found it to be associated with several variables that we as a society actually can do something about.

In 2000, sociologist Robert Putnam reported: "Low levels of social support directly predict depression." Several studies show that people who have close friends, friendly neighbors, and supportive coworkers are less likely to experience symptoms of depression. In 2004, BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) reported that postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 20 percent of women in the United Kingdom and the United States but is considered rare in societies such as Fiji and many African populations. BMJ concluded, "Structured social supports after childbirth are described in groups of women with low rates of postpartum depression."

Researchers have found that depression is associated with other pains that are directly and indirectly connected with our societal priorities. One such pain is poverty-- Americans receiving public assistance have a rate of depression three times as high as the general population. Another pain is childhood trauma--there are more than 200 studies that link childhood abuse, neglect and other such traumas to depression.

The rate of depression in the U.S. has increased more than tenfold in the last fifty years, and if Americans heard more about commonsense societal sources of depression, they might consider behaving like citizens rather than being merely Drug consumers. Such citizens would be less likely to acquiesce to those who have decimated community, dehumanized culture, and exploited despair, and these citizens might then take social actions that would prevent unnecessary pain.

Certainly, all of life's losses and overwhelming pains cannot be avoided by saner social policies. However, in a society with greater honesty about the relationship between loss, pain, and depression, there would be less depression--and more healing, community, and democracy.

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007).

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