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Has Anti-Depressant
Myth Bubble Burst?

By Ann Blake Tracy, PhD
Executive Director
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
The British newspaper, The Guardian, in the article below states that the news broke yesterday in the UK that antidepressants have been all hype with no beneficial results for two decades. Along with that release the British government announced that $335 Million would be allotted to train 3600 new talk therapists to help those suffering depression.
In the meantime the world rocked with the realization that they had been duped. The question that remains is just how great has been the cost of that deception?
The study, published in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, looked at Prozac, Seroxat, Effexor and Serzone and found the drugs were only better than a placebo for some people with severe depression. "Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have failed to provide a benefit."
Looking for medications to take over where Valium left off we were left with a void in treating anxiety and we were introduced to a new disorder - depression and a new batch of miracle cures in pill form - the SSRI antidepressants, beginning with Prozac. Since the end of 1989 Dr. Ann Blake Tracy has worked non-stop to educate the public to the fact that these drugs were NOT doing what we were being told they were doing to help us. She has sounded warnings of the dangers of the drugs, the anaesthetizing effects of these drugs and questioned how anaesthetizing someone could be "therapeutic" especially when the action of SSRIs was so similar to a slow fuse PCP or LSD effect. Then in August the head of the National Institutes of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel, publicly stated that antidepressants do produce the same effect as Ketamine, sister drug to PCP (Angel Dust).
Meanwhile worldwide people stood back asking how Bipolar Disorder could increase by 4000% from 1994 - 2003? And where was all the violence and insanity coming from that now seems to engulf our world?
I would encourage you to please read below the beginning of a shocking article out of the United Kingdom this morning on this issue. Then below that don't miss Dr. Tracy's two latest brief presentations to the FDA on the SSRI antidepressants and their impact upon society as we adjust to the concept of such great deception in medicine along with the danger of millions coming off these drugs, when few professionals know safe methods of withdrawing from antidepressants.
We hear the word "conspiracy" a lot, but how many know what the word means? I have always understood it to mean "concealing truth in order to get gain." Knowing that the antidepressant market was bringing in $200 Million per day makes it quite clear that there was much gain on the part of the pharmaceutical giants to keep these studies concealed from the public. What everyone must feel like today is what J. Edgar Hoover stated long ago: "The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."
THE WITHDRAWAL AFTERMATH: As Dr. Tracy explains below in bold print it is very critical to make sure patients are weaned EXTREMELY slowly so as to avoid ANY chance of going into a withdrawal state. The FDA warned with the black box warning on these drugs that abrupt changes in dose can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. All we need are millions of people going into suicide, hostility, or psychosis because they, or their doctors, are not familiar with safe withdrawal methods for antidepressants.
As criticism of the industry's withholding of such results mounted, drug companies were forced to make unflattering results public.
It is only very recently that this has become a legal obligation. In the heyday of antidepressant PR, only about 10% of results about how the drugs affected quality of life were published. More than two-thirds of studies today are industry funded, and such research is four times as likely to find in favour of the drugs than independent inquiry. It is hardly surprising, then, that research has tended to give a positive spin to antidepressants.
The Creation Of The Prozac Myth
The Guardian - UK
In the 20 years since its launch, 40m people worldwide have taken the so-called wonder drug - but research revealed this week shows that Prozac, and similar antidepressants, are no more effective than a sugar pill. So how was the myth created? Psychoanalyst Darian Leader traces the irrepressible rise of the multibillion dollar depression industry, while others explore the clinical and cultural impact of Prozac, its perceived personal benefits - and sometimes terrible costs
Has the depression bubble finally burst? Yesterday's headlines about the inefficacy of Prozac and other bestselling antidepressants must have been an unpleasant shock, not only to the drug manufacturers, but also to the millions of people in the UK taking these drugs. The new research, published in the Public Library of Science Journal, found that a placebo was just as effective as the drugs - excepting in some cases of severe depression, where it was not the drugs that did well, but the placebos that did worse.
What will the impact of this new research be? Is it a case of recognising that the Prozac emperor never had any clothes? Or, on the contrary, of acknowledging the power of placebo and finding new ways of working with it?
For many researchers, the PLoS findings actually reveal nothing new. Several earlier studies comparing placebo with antidepressant drugs had found that there was not much difference, yet these results had little media uptake. The new paper owes its coverage partly to the fact that it includes data from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to broadcast. As criticism of the industry's withholding of such results mounted, drug companies were forced to make unflattering results public.
It is only very recently that this has become a legal obligation. In the heyday of antidepressant PR, only about 10% of results about how the drugs affected quality of life were published. More than two-thirds of studies today are industry funded, and such research is four times as likely to find in favour of the drugs than independent inquiry. It is hardly surprising, then, that research has tended to give a positive spin to antidepressants.
The new negative results might seem to promise a change of direction. But they may just be the other side of the industry coin. What remains unchallenged is the diagnosis of depression itself. GPs diagnose it every minute of the day, celebrities reveal they suffer from it and soap opera characters wrestle with it. Yet 40 years ago depression was hardly anywhere. A tiny percentage of the population were deemed to suffer from it. So what happened?
These developments actually followed a surprising course. The story of depression cannot be dissociated from the story of its supposed remedies. And these, like nearly all psychotropic drugs, were not the result of targeted research, but of chance association. The first drugs had in fact been used as antihistamines, yet they seemed to have effects on mood, energy and anxiety.
Although epidemiological studies had found high levels of nervous conditions in the community before these drugs were marketed, this had not been diagnosed as depression. With the marketing of the drugs, this nervous substrata was now labelled as a depression which had gone unrecognised and untreated. Yet this knowledge was not seized on and marketed until the drugs market made this happen in the late 70s.
Where depression had been rated at 50 per million in the early 60s, by the 90s this had jumped to 100,000. These remarkable changes coincided with the crisis in the market for minor tranquilisers such as Librium and Valium, prescribed for anxiety. As these widely used drugs were found to be highly addictive, it looked as if a substantial market was about to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people took these drugs and the economic gains were enormous. Anxiety had to be remarketed and new agents found to respond to it. And this is where depression started to really take off as a diagnosis. First of all, however, it had to be constructed as a discrete, well-defined clinical entity.
Why couldn't the drugs companies have simply offered their products as tonics or general mood enhancers? After the thalidomide scandal in the early 60s, tough new standards were set in place and drugs had to specify their active ingredients, the outcomes sought and the delivery period for attaining them. This meant a new kind of surface precision. Drugs would have to pass expensive trials proving they were more effective than placebo and do better than other drugs used for this same group of target patients. These new standards brought with them a new technology to evaluate. Randomised controlled trials became the norm, together with a silver bullet model of illness according to which each specific disorder would have a specific cause and a specific treatment.
These changes in the landscape of prescription medicines framed the market for the antidepressants. Since the new diagnosis needed to be publicised, drug companies paid for adverts in medical journals, glossy pullout supplements, conferences and clinical studies to show the prevalence of depression. When Frank Ayd wrote his book Recognising the Depressed Patient, the pharmaceuticals giant Merck bought 50,000 copies and distributed them to GPs. The book argued that depression was going undetected and untreated in the community. This dissemination of knowledge coincided nicely with their marketing of a new treatment for depression in the form of amitriptyline.
The later generation of SSRI drugs had an even more exponential success: by the late 90s Prozac was a household word, with millions of prescriptions and a whole cult of novels, films and memoirs based around it. In 2005, traces of Prozac were even found to be present in British tap water.
This process of marketing depression helped create the clinical category itself. If the new drugs affected mood, appetite and sleep patterns, then depression consisted of a problem with mood, appetite and sleep patterns. A subtle shift in the defining symptoms of depression took place over the years, so that the category itself became taken for granted. Lost here was the simple idea that there is a difference between surface symptoms (insomnia, loss of appetite, feeling low) and underlying causes, which may be different from case to case. The creation of the antidepressant market effectively disallowed this once crucial distinction.
What would happen, after all, if surface symptoms were separated from underlying causes? How would the clinician make a prescription? What would be targeted? Pretty soon, the absurdity of the idea of a drug curing underlying causes would become clear. How could a drug cure the experience of having lost a loved one, for example? It might numb the pain, but it couldn't really do much more than that.
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy's September 13, 2004 to the FDA
I am Ann Blake Tracy, PhD, head of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness. I am the author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare and have testified in court cases involving antidepressants for 12 1/2 years. The last 15 years of my life have been devoted full time to researching and writing about SSRI antidepressants.
Research on serotonin has been clear from the very beginning that the most damaging thing that could be done to the serotonin system would be to impair one?s ability to metabolize serotonin. Yet that is exactly how SSRI antidepressants exert their effects.
For decades research has shown that impairing serotonin metabolism will produce migraines, hot flashes, pains around the heart, difficulty breathing, a worsening of bronchial complaints, tension and anxiety which appear from out of nowhere, depression, suicide - especially very violent suicide, hostility, violent crime, arson, substance abuse, psychosis, mania, organic brain disease, autism, anorexia, reckless driving, Alzheimer?s, impulsive behavior with no concern for punishment, and argumentative behavior.
How anyone ever thought it would be "therapeutic" to chemically induce these reactions is beyond me. Yet, these reactions are exactly what we have witnessed in our society over the past decade and a half as a result of the widespread use of these drugs.
In fact we even have a whole new vocabulary as a result with terms such as "road rage," "suicide by cop," "murder/suicide," "going postal," "false memory syndrome," "school shooting," "bi-polar" - every third person you meet anymore - along with the skyrocketing rates of antidepressant-induced diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Can you remember two decades ago when depressed people used to slip away quietly to kill themselves rather than killing everyone around them and then themselves as they do while taking SSRI antidepressants?
A study out of the University of Southern California in 1996 looked at a group of mutant mice in an experiment that had gone terribly wrong. These genetically engineered mice were the most violent creatures they had ever witnessed. They were born lacking the MAO-A enzyme which metabolizes serotonin. As a result their brains were awash in serotonin. This excess serotonin is what the researchers determined was the cause for this extreme violence. Antidepressants produce the same end result as they inhibit the metabolism of serotonin.
These are extremely dangerous drugs that should be banned as similar drugs have been banned in the past.
As a society we once thought LSD and PCP to be miracle medications with large margins of safety in humans. We have never seen drugs so similar to LSD and PCP as these SSRI antidepressants. All of these drugs produce dreaming during periods of wakefulness. It is believed that the high serotonin levels over stimulate the brain stem leading to a lack of muscle paralysis during sleep thus allowing the patient to act out the dreams or nightmares they are having. The world witnessed that clearly in the Zoloft-induced murder-suicide of comedian Phil Hartman and his wife, Brynn.
Connecticut witnessed the Prozac-induced case of Kelly Silk several years ago. This young mother attacked her family with a knife, then set the house on fire killing all but her 8 year old daughter who ran to the neighbors. As she stood bleeding and screaming for help she explained, "Help! My mommy is having a nightmare!"
Out of the mouths of babes we will understand these nightmares for what they are. She understood that this was something her mother would do ONLY in a nightmare, never in reality.
This is known as a REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. In the past it was known mainly as a drug withdrawal state, but the largest sleep facility in the country has reported that 86% of the cases they are diagnosing are patients on antidepressants.
Because this was known in the past as a condition manifesting mainly in drug withdrawal you should see how dangerous the withdrawal state from these drugs will prove to be. That is why it is so critical to make sure patients are weaned EXTREMELY slowly so as to avoid ANY chance of going into a withdrawal state.
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy's December 13, 2006 to the FDA
Ann Blake-Tracy, PhD, head of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? & Our Serotonin Nightmare. For 15 years I have testified in court cases involving antidepressants. The last 17 years of my life have been devoted to researching, writing, and lecturing about these drugs.
Two of my nieces in their early 20's, a decade apart, attempted suicide on antidepressants, the first on Prozac, the second just a month ago on Wellbutrin.
Due to time constraints I refer you to my September, 2004 testimony on the damaging effects of inhibiting serotonin metabolism - the very mode of action of antidepressants. Impairing serotonin metabolism results in a multitude of symptoms including suicide, violent crime, mania and psychosis. Suicidal ideation is, without question, associated with these drugs.
Rosie Meysenburg, Sara Bostock and I have collected and posted 1200 news articles documenting many exaggerated acts of violence against self or others at www.drugawareness.org with a direct link to www.ssristories.com
Beyond suicidal ideation we have mania/bipolar increasing dramatically. Antidepressants have always been known to trigger both.
According to the Pharmaceutical Business Review in the last 11 years alone, the number of people in the U.S. with "bipolar" disorder has increased by 4.8 million.
Dr. Malcolm Bowers of Yale, found in the late 90's over 200,000 people yearly are hospitalized with antidepressant-induced manic psychosis. They also point out that most go unrecognized as medication-induced, remain un hospitalized, and a threat to themselves and others.
What types of threats from manias?
Pyromania: A compulsion to start fires
Kleptomania: A compulsion to embezzle, shoplift, commit robberies
Dipsomania: An uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol
Nymphomania and erotomania: Sexual compulsions - a pathologic preoccupation with sexual fantasies or activities
Child sex abuse has increased dramatically with even female teachers going manic on these drugs and seducing students. The head of the sex abuse treatment program for Utah estimated 80% of sex crime perpetrators were on antidepressants at the time of the crime. While Karl Von Kleist, an ex-LAPD officer and leading polygraph expert estimated 90% - strong evidence of manic sexual compulsions that demand attention.
Diabetes has skyrocketed, has been linked to antidepressants, and blood sugar imbalances have long been suspected as the cause of mania or bipolar. Anyone who has witnessed someone in insulin shock would see the striking similarity to a violent reaction to an antidepressant.
If there has been any increase in suicide since the black box warning it is due to doctors not knowing how to get patients off these drugs safely.
Clearly, far too many lives are being destroyed in various ways by these drugs.
For additional information contact:
Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D., Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
Website: www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.org 
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare
CD or audio tape on safe withdrawal: "Help! I Can't Get 
Off My Antidepressant, etc.!" 
Order Number: 800-280-0730
E-mail: <mailto:atracyphd1@aol.com>atracyphd1@aol.com
Phone: 1-801-209-1800
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