- Tens of millions of innocent, unsuspecting Americans,
who are mired deeply in the mental "health" system, have actually
been made crazy by the use of or the withdrawal from commonly-prescribed,
brain-altering, brain-disabling, indeed brain-damaging psychiatric drugs
that have been, for many decades, cavalierly handed out like candy
often in untested and therefore unapproved combinations of drugs - to trusting
and unaware patients by equally unaware but well-intentioned physicians
who have been under the mesmerizing influence of slick and obscenely profitable
psychopharmaceutical drug companies aka, BigPharma.
- That is the conclusion of two books by investigative
journalist and health science writer Robert Whitaker. His first book, entitled
Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment
of the Mentally Ill noted that there has been a 600% increase (since Thorazine
was introduced in the US in the mid-1950s) in the total and permanent disabilities
of millions of psychiatric drug-takers. This uniquely First World mental
ill health epidemic has resulted in the life-long taxpayer-supported disabilities
of rapidly increasing numbers of psychiatric patients who are now unable
to be happy, productive, taxpaying members of society. Whitaker has done
a powerful, albeit unwelcome job of presenting previously hidden, but very
convincing evidence to support his thesis, that it is the drugs and not
the diagnosis that is causing the epidemic of mental illness disability.
Many open-minded physicians and many aware psychiatric patients are now
motivated to be wary of any and all synthetic chemicals that can cross
the blood/brain barrier because all of them are capable of altering the
brain in ways totally unknown to medical science, especially when the patients
are taking the drugs long-term..
- In Whitaker's second book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic
Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness
in America, he goes much further in advancing this sobering reality. He
documents the history of the powerful forces behind the relatively new
field of psychopharmacology and its major shaper and beneficiary, BigPharma.
Psychiatric drugs, whose developers, marketers and salespersons are all
in the employ of the giant drug companies, are far more dangerous than
the drug and psychiatric industries are willing to admit: These drugs,
it turns our, are fully capable of disabling often permanently -
body, brain and spirit.
- More evidence to support Whitaker's well-documented claims
are laid out in two important new books written by psychiatrist and scholar
Grace Jackson. Jackson did a beautiful job of researching and documenting,
from the voluminous basic neuroscience research (which is uniformly ignored
by the clinical sciences) the unintended and often disastrous consequences
of the chronic ingestion of any of the five major classes of psychiatric
drugs. Her second and most powerful book: Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect
Crime, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any of the five classes
of drugs that are commonly used in psychiatric patients (antidepressants,
antipsychotics, psychostimulants, tranquilizers and anti-seizure/"mood-stabilizer"
drugs) have shown microscopic, macroscopic, biochemical, clinical and/or
radiological evidence of brain shrinkage and other signs of brain damage,
which can result in clinically-diagnosable, permanent dementia, premature
death and a variety of other related brain disorders that can mimic mental
illnesses. Jackson's first book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide
for Informed Consent was an equally sobering book warning about the many
hidden dangers of psychiatric drugs.
- This sad truth is that the seemingly knee-jerk prescribing
(without very much information being given to patients about the long list
of serious long-term adverse effects) of potent and often addicting/dependency-inducing
psychiatric drugs has become the standard of care in American psychiatry
since the introduction of the so-called anti-schizophrenic "miracle"
drug Thorazine in the mid-1950s. (Thorazine was the offending drug that
all of Jack Nicholson's fellow patients were coerced into taking at "medication
time" in the Academy Award-winning movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest".) Thorazine and all the other "me-too" early antipsychotic
drugs are now universally known to have been an iatrogenic (= doctor or
other treatment-caused) disaster because of their serious long-term, initially
unsuspected, brain-damaging effects that resulted in a number of incurable
neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia and Parkinson's disease.
- Thorazine and all the other knock-off drugs like Prolixin,
Mellaril, Navane. etc, are synthetic "tricyclic" chemical compounds
similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic "antidepressants"
like imipramine and the similarly toxic, obesity-inducing, diabetogenic,
"atypical" anti-schizophrenic drugs like Clozaril, Zyprexa and
- Thorazine, incidentally, was originally developed in
Europe as an industrial dye. That doesn't sound so good although it may
not be so unusual in the closely related fields of psychopharmcology and
the chemical industry, especially when one considers that Depakote, a popular
drug marketed initially as an anti-epilepsy drug but now is being heavily
used as a so-called "mood stabilizer". Depakote, known to be
a hepatotoxin and renal toxin, was originally developed as an industrial
solvent capable of dissolving fat - including, presumably, the fatty tissue
in human livers and brains.
- Some sympathy and understanding needs to be generated
for the various victims of BigPharma's compulsive drive to expand market
share and "shareholder value" (share price, dividends and the
next quarter's financial report) by whatever means necessary. Both the
prescribers and the swallowers of BigPharma's drugs have succumbed to BigPharma's
cunning marketing campaigns, the prescribers having been seduced by attractive
drug company representatives and their "pens, pizzas and post-it note"
freebies in the office, and the patients being brain-washed by the inane
and unbelievable (if one has intact critical thinking skills) commercials
on TV that quickly gloss over the lethal adverse effects in the fine print
while urging the watcher to "ask your doctor" about the latest
unaffordable wannabe blockbuster drug..
- For a quick overview of these issues, I recommend that
everybody with an open mind read a long essay written by Whitaker that
persuasively identifies the source of America's epidemic of mental illness
disability (a phenomenon that doesn't exist in Third World nations because
costly psych drugs are not prescribed so cavalierly as in the US).
- Whitaker and Jackson (among a number of other ground-breaking
and whistle-blowing authors who have been essentially black-listed by the
mainstream media and mainstream medical journals) have proven to most critically-thinking
scientists, alternative practitioners and assorted "psychiatric survivors"
that it is the drugs - and not the so-called "disorders" - that
are causing our nation's epidemic of mental illness disability. The Whitaker
essay, plus other pertinent information about his books can be accessed
at www.madinamerica.com A recent interview on Wisconsin Public Radio can
be accessed at www.wpr.org (at their radio archives link) and a long interview
with Dr.Joseph Mercola can be heard at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/08/robert-whitaker-interview.aspx
- After reading and studying all these inconvenient truths,
mental health practitioners must consider the medicolegal implications
for them, especially if the information is ignored or if the information
is dismissed out of hand by practitioners who might be tempted to not take
the time to study this new information. Those people who are hearing about
this for the first time need to pass the word on to others, especially
their prescribing healthcare practitioners who should be equally concerned.
This is important because the opinion leaders in the highly influential
(for good or ill) psychiatric and medical industries have been marketed
into submission without hearing the all the facts (which may have been
intentionally hidden from them. If that is the case, they cannot be automatically
blamed for. proceeding in a practice that some day might represent malpractice.
It shouldn't have to be pointed out that is the solemn duty of ethical
practitioners who are in positions of authority to fully examine potential
malpractice issues and then warn others, especially their patients, of
- Sadly, it must be admitted that most of the over-worked,
double-booked care-givers in medical clinics have not yet heard the news
that most if not all of the brain-altering synthetic chemicals known as
psychotropic drugs (which are treated as hazardous waste unless they are
packaged in a swallowable capsule!) have been marketed as safe and effective
- but only for short-term use. The captains of the drug industry know that
the psychotropic drugs that they present for the FDA-approval have only
been tested in animal trials for days and in clinical trials for 6 weeks.
They also know indeed they hope - that patients will be taking their
drugs for years (despite no long-term trials proving safety and efficacy)
as the only "treatment" for mental ill health. They know that
their brain-altering drugs are also dependency-inducing (aka addicting,
causing withdrawal symptoms when stopped), neurotoxic and increasingly
ineffective (a la "Prozac Poop-out") as time goes by.
- The truth is that the people diagnosed as "mentally
ill" for life are often simply those unfortunates who find themselves
in acute or chronic states of crisis or "overwhelm" due to any
number of preventable, curable and treatable (without the use of drugs)
bad luck accidents such as poverty, abuse, violence, torture, homelessness,
discrimination, underemployment, brain malnutrition, addictions/withdrawal,
brain damage from electroshock "therapy" and/or exposure to neurotoxic
chemicals in their food, air, water or prescription bottles.
- Those labeled as the "mentally ill" are just
like us "normals" who have not yet decompensated because of some
yet-to-happen, crisis-inducing, overwhelming (however temporary) life situation.
And thus we have not yet been given a billable code number (accompanied
by the seemingly obligatory - and unaffordable - drug prescription or two
signifying we are now chronically mentally ill. Unlabeled, we are likely
to remain off prescription drugs but with a label and in "the system",
it is hard to "just say no to drugs."
- The victims of hopelessness-generating situations like
simple bad luck, bad circumstances, bad company, bad choices, bad government,
big business, and a competitive society that generates a few winners but
mostly losers. America tolerates, indeed celebrates, punitive and thus
fear-inducing social systems resembling in many ways the infamous police
state realities of 20th century European totalitarianism, where people
who were different or just dissidents were thought to be abnormal and therefore
"disappeared" into insane asylums, jails or concentration camps
without just cause or competent legal defense. And many of them were and
are drugged with disabling psychoactive chemicals against their will.
- The truth is that most, if not all, of BigPharma's psychotropic
drugs are lethal at some dosage level (the LD50, the lethal dose that kills
50% of lab animals, is calculated before efficacy testing is done), and
therefore the drugs must be regarded as dangerous. The chronic use of these
drugs is a major cause of cognitive disorders, brain damage, loss of creativity,
loss of spirituality, loss of empathy, loss of energy, loss of strength,
fatigue and tiredness, permanent disability and a multitude of metabolic
adverse effects that can readily sicken the body, brain and soul by causing
insomnia or somnolence, increased depression or anxiety, delusions, psychoses,
paranoia, mania, etc. So before filling the prescription, it is advisable
to read the product insert labeling under WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE
EFFECTS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, TOXICOLOGY, OVERDOSAGE and the ever-present
BLACK BOX WARNINGS ABOUT SUICIDALITY.
- Long-term, high dosage or combination psychotropic drug
usage could be regarded as a chemically traumatic brain injury (TBI) or,
as drugs like Thorazine were known in the 1950s and 60s, a "chemical
lobotomy". That is a useful way to conceptualize this serious issue,
because such chemically brain-altered patients are often indistinguishable
from those who have suffered a physically traumatic brain injuries or been
subjected to ice-pick lobotomies which were popular in the 1940s and 50s
- before the drugs came on the market.
- America has a mental ill health epidemic on its hands
that is grossly misunderstood because it is worsening, not by the supposed
disease progression, but because of the neurotoxic, non-curative drugs
that are somehow regarded as first-line "treatment."
- For more information of these extremely serious topics
check out these websites: www.mindfreedom.org, www.breggin.com, www.icspp.org,
www.cchr.org, www.drugawareness.org, www.psychrights.org, www.benzo.org.uk,
www.quitpaxil, org, www.wildscolts.com, www.endofshock.com, www.mercola.com
and www.madinamerica.com and follow the links.
- Dr. Kohls is a family physician who, until his retirement
in 2008, practiced holistic mental health care. His patients came to see
him asking for help in getting off the psychotropic drugs that they knew
were sickening and disabling them. He was successful in helping significant
majorities of his patients get off their drugs using a thorough and therefore
time-consuming program that was based on psychoeducational psychotherapy,
brain nutrient therapy, a drastic change away from the malnourishing and
often toxic Standard American Diet (SAD) plus a program of gradual, closely
monitored drug withdrawal. Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation
of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal
symptoms that can occur with the chronic use of any dependency-inducing
psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. Close consultation with an
aware, informed physician who is hopefully familiar with dealing with drug
withdrawal syndromes (starting with the original prescribing physician),
who will read and study the above books and become aware of the previously
unknown dangers of these drugs and the nutritional needs of the drug-toxified
and nutritionally-depleted brain.
- Dr. Kohls is a member of MindFreedom International and
the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. He
is the editor of the occasional Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.