Statistics

Prozac & Its Relatives — Guest Post by Robert Yoho

Psychiatry is the drug industry’s paradise, as definitions of psychiatric disorders are vague and easy to manipulate. Leading psychiatrists are… at high risk of corruption and, indeed, psychiatrists collect more money from drug makers than doctors in any other specialty. Those who take the most money tend to prescribe antipsychotics to children most often. Psychiatrists are also “educated” with industry’s hospitality more often than any other specialty. This has dire consequences for the patients –Peter Gøtzsche, Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime (2013)

How modern psychiatry developed

A few decades ago, psychiatrists were losing their status. Then, the fabrication of new diagnoses along with the invention of medications to treat them saved them economically. First the antidepressants, and then the newer antipsychotics came to the rescue. This moved the specialty into the medical mainstream because the psychiatrists were the only ones who purportedly understood it all.

The novel diagnoses—some say concoctions—were enshrined in the psychiatric manual, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Pharmaceutical companies played a huge role in its creation.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) started aggressive disease-mongering of the new ailments. They hired ad agencies to produce “public service” drug advertising. The corporations marketed the new supposed cures alongside.

By 2008, twenty-eight percent of the APA’s income came from drug companies. According to influence theory, this made the APA virtually a subsidiary of the companies. Senator Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) publicized the story in a congressional investigation.

Ben Furman, MD, a psychiatrist in Finland, explained how it happened in a 2018 blog:

The psychoanalytic belief system was thrown out and replaced with the DSM and the biomedical doctrine: everyone should have a diagnosis, and everyone should have medication. The psychiatrists now treated all the conditions that had been treated with therapy with medication. This became the treatment of choice for almost all mental health conditions regardless of whether the patient was an adult, teenager or child. A patient without medication became a rarity. The data system of mental health services required clinicians to diagnose anyone who sought help.

The psychiatrists and corporations ignored studies showing damage from long-term drug use. They left disparaging critics out of the debate and out of the textbooks.

Finally, long after the science matured, a few of the doctors are telling the truth. In 2012, an editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry said the psychiatric medication revolution was at an end. Others now echo this sentiment.

The DSM is a kind of chaotic bible used to promote mental diseases. With its code numbers used for insurance, some call it the billing bible. Created primarily by psychiatrists on industry payroll, it mutates and metastasizes every few years through a vote of the APA members. In 2017, after many editions, it was 947 pages long.

Insiders have decried its intellectual disarray for decades. It has become the perverse standard in the service of drug marketing. The following are a few inside opinions about it:

There was very little systematic research, and much of the research that existed was really a hodgepodge—scattered, inconsistent, and ambiguous. I think the majority of us recognized that the amount of good, solid science upon which we were making our decisions was pretty modest. –Christopher Lane in Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness (2007), quoting one of the DSM’s contributors.

I pictured all these normal-enough people being captured in DSM-5’s excessively wide diagnostic net and I worried that many would be exposed to unnecessary medicine with possibly dangerous side effects. The drug companies would be licking their chops figuring out how best to exploit the inviting new targets for their well-practiced disease mongering. I was keenly alive to the risks because of painful firsthand experience—despite our efforts to tame excessive diagnostic exuberance, DSM-IV had since been misused to blow up the diagnostic bubble. –Allen Frances, lead psychiatrist, DSM IV, author, Saving Normal (2013)

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2013 finally tossed the DSM—psychiatry’s diagnostic system—into the wastebasket.Bruce E. Levine, psychologist and journalist.

Of the 170 contributors to the most recent edition of the … DSM… ninety-five had financial ties to drug companies, including all of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia…Not only did the DSM become the bible of psychiatry, but like the real Bible, it depended a lot on something akin to revelation. There are no citations of scientific studies to support its decisions. That is an astonishing omission. –Marcia Angell (2011), former editor-in-chief of NEJM

The DSM’s diagnostic categories lack validity, and the NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories. –Former NIMH Director Thomas Insel

The authors of the DSM seem more preoccupied with politically correct jargon than substance. There are hundreds of psychiatry blogs where participants argue obsessively about the terminology, and there is a massive effort in each edition to update it.

For example, they changed Mental Retardation to Intellectual Disability. In 2010, this change was written into federal law. Multiple Personality Disorder morphed into Dissociative Identity Disorder for the DSM-V. Other diagnoses were hatched, for example Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. This was formerly Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder. For many more samples, scan the entire document online. I read it for hours and did not think it got any better.

To understand the DSM V better, see the following excerpt:

Criteria for Oppositional Defiant Disorder:

A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the following categories, and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling.

Angry/Irritable Mood:

1. Often loses temper.

2. Is often touchy or easily annoyed.

3. Is often angry and resentful.

Argumentative/Defiant Behavior:

4. Often argues with authority figures or, for children and adolescents, with adults.

5. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with requests from authority figures or with rules.

6. Often deliberately annoys others.

7. Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

Parents of boys need no other commentary unless they support using medications with pernicious side effects to suppress normal, but somewhat irritating behavior.

The DSM has worldwide influence. It is the ultimate resource for courts, doctors, prisons, hospitals, and insurance companies. These diagnoses lock people into legal and therapeutic boxes, but they are of dubious benefit since the drugs work poorly and promote chronicity. Since withdrawal from these medicines is severe and mimics the conditions treated, long-term use becomes almost inevitable.

The corporations blatantly falsify research to get psychiatric drugs approved. The study deceits I reviewed in the FDA chapter are all used. Studies that show drugs do not work get concealed. Positive reviews get published multiple times, and the journals mostly only print the data that show the drugs work. These last two tricks are such standard practice that the drugmakers have internal nicknames for them: “salami-slicing” and “cherry-picking,” respectively.

Another often-used fraud is to compare massive doses of an old drug such as Thorazine with standard doses of a new medication. This makes the side effects of the new one look modest.

In proper drug studies, patients who take a placebo are compared with those consuming the genuine thing. However, in some psychiatric research, the people chosen to receive the sugar pill recently discontinued an older antipsychotic such as Thorazine. They are having withdrawal effects such as severe restlessness (akathisia) and anxiety. Placebo patients should not have any reactions. When such a trial is over, the lie is told that the treatment group using the drug had fewer ill effects—fewer side effects—than the sugar-pill group, which is absurd.

Psychiatric drugs are disasters. For example, Hengartner and his colleagues did a 30-year prospective study of 591 depressed Swiss adults at the University of Zurich. They found that no use of SSRIs (Prozac-class medications) had better patient outcomes than some use, which in turn had better results than long-term use. After nine years, they reported that the SSRIs cause more depression rather than less.

The benzodiazepines (Valium-class drugs) relieve anxiety for a few weeks. But after about a month, they stop working. After this, patients require higher dosages to produce the same effects. Later, if the drugs are discontinued, months of agonizing dread, sleeplessness, and crippling nervousness commonly occur.

The original studies of Xanax for anxiety were for 14 weeks; after four weeks, it was working; after eight weeks, it was not; and at the end of the study, as the experimenters withdrew the drug from the patients, they got much worse.

The psychiatrists and the drugmaker ignored the longer-term results and claimed there was a net benefit based on the first four weeks. (See Robert Whitaker’s YouTube.) The FDA approved the drug, and it became not only the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine but the most frequently prescribed psychiatric medication. But Xanax is addictive, and most physicians are well aware of this by now.

Other benzodiazepines are also hard to discontinue. Klonopin (clonazepam) is a chemically similar drug. One patient I worked with had used this 17-hour benzodiazepine to sleep every night for a decade. He decided to stop it. I wrote a compounding pharmacy prescription for smaller and smaller doses, so he tapered it over three months. He suffered with anxiety and sleeplessness the whole time, but felt better at the end. He said his energy and creativity both improved.

Another example: bipolar patients’ outcomes are profoundly worse in today’s medication era than they were before. Prior to the drugs, the disease often went away on its own. But now, we treat children who have psychological ups and downs with a stimulant or antidepressant before their first severe mania develops. The ones treated with antidepressants have four times increased chances of becoming “rapid cyclers,” which means they have frequent recurrences.

Robert Whitaker, a distinguished journalist, summarized the horrific medication problems in Anatomy of an Epidemic (2010):

Given what the scientific literature revealed about the long-term outcomes of medicated schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression, it stood to reason that the drug cocktails used to treat bipolar illness were unlikely to produce good long-term results. The increased chronicity, the functional decline, the cognitive impairment, and the physical illness—these are usual in people treated with a cocktail that often includes an antidepressant, an antipsychotic, a mood stabilizer, a benzodiazepine, and perhaps a stimulant, too. This was a medical train wreck…

Whitaker learned that most patients in emerging countries could not afford psychiatric drugs. Doctors there may even leave psychotic people unmedicated. The result is much less chronicity and some spontaneous cures. Almost half of the people with schizophrenia recover if they never get antipsychotics, but in the US, with treatment, this happens rarely or possibly never. History is also encouraging: before the drugs were developed, some studies showed the same thing. But since Americans now medicate practically everyone, comparison with placebo has become impossible.

In the US, mental illness, disability, and drug prescribing rose in tandem. Our psychiatric disability percentages have grown over tenfold during the modern medication era. Whittaker built a cautiously stated and well-referenced case that the medications were the cause. He also reported studies showing that within a few years, antipsychotics caused brain shrinkage in both monkeys and humans.

Psychiatrists have pressures to pass out medications. I interviewed one who said, “We cannot support our families unless we see a patient every ten minutes and give them the latest drug. Most of us know these are unproven, ineffective, and sometimes harmful, but people will not pay us just to talk with them anymore.”

David Healy further describes this circus in Pharmageddon (2012). The industry’s interest in funding psychiatry picked up when Prozac became available in 1987. As these SSRIs and other inventions became lucrative, corporations spared no expense for psychiatrists. They cater food, pay for meetings, arrange free hotel rooms, and sometimes provide first-class plane tickets for them. Lectures, trinkets, social events, limousine service, and massive exhibit halls are all available courtesy of the drugmakers (Let Them Eat Prozac, Healy).

These companies give some working psychiatrists $300,000-$400,000 per year. This creates the desired effect; for example, one group from the American College of Neuro-psycho-pharmacology published a claim (2004) that SSRIs did not cause youth suicides. They were discredited after the discovery that nine of the ten doctors on the panel had a financial relationship with the industry.

The psychiatrists have credible excuses. The phenomena they treat are chronic and poorly understood. No labs, physical testing, or examination findings help make the diagnosis. Studying treatment is difficult because every detail is subjective. I felt sorry for them until I read about their misbehavior.

Since nothing seems to help, in their frustration, they have historically tried about anything. Ice-water baths. Electrical brain shocks—electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Overdosing with insulin to crash the blood sugar. Even a destructive brain surgery called lobotomy, for which the inventor received the 1949 Nobel prize in medicine. These were all discredited. ECT, for example, is no longer believed to be effective and at least a third of treated patients suffer substantial memory loss. Worse, the fatality rate is 1/1000.

Psychiatrists customarily use medication combinations. They prescribe Topamax and Lamictal, which are unpleasant anti-seizure medications, to treat various symptoms and side effects. Depression, drug abuse, anxiety, and bipolar disease are all treated off-label using these. Military psychiatrists are fond of giving these seizure treatment drugs to combat troops. They often throw antipsychotics into these “drug cocktails.” The side effects of all these medications include fever, hair loss, nausea, mood changes, dizziness, diarrhea, double vision, loss of appetite, and suicide.

Brexanolone is a steroid hormone approved in 2019 for postpartum depression. It requires sixty (60) hours of medically supervised intravenous injection costing $34,000.

Progesterone, a female hormone that rises during pregnancy and goes nearly to zero postpartum, can ease these symptoms. The 100 mg dose is a patent drug, but compounding pharmacies can inexpensively provide the larger doses required for this condition. There is little interest in this because there is no huge price tag.

Hallucinogens such as ketamine (which is used for date-rape) or LSD are recurrent fashions in psychiatry. Recent trials are underway to treat depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder using small doses of these, and there is a lot of enthusiasm in some circles. LSD has been considered disreputable and classified Schedule I since the war on drugs in the 1970s, even though it has no fatal dose and its toxicities are modest compared with many prescriptions. Although these therapeutic uses may have merit, I fear they are further abuses, even though there is no patented way to profit from these older drugs—yet.

The mental health industry’s ambition—now mostly realized—is to be the universal solution for every problem, and to use the drugs for nearly anyone. The National Institute of Mental Health says one in five US citizens “live with a mental illness.” Wikipedia (2020) noted that: “Worldwide, more than one in three people in most countries report sufficient criteria for at least one [psychiatric disorder] at some point in their life. In the United States, 46% qualify for a mental illness at some point.”

They were citing (respectively) the Bulletin of the World Health Organization and a 2005 paper by Ronald Kessler in Archives of General Psychiatry. He is the most widely cited psychiatric researcher in the world. He said in his paper: “Interventions aimed at prevention or early treatment need to focus on youth.”

Industry financing pushes this narrative. The money passes back and forth, and it is hard to tell what is industry propaganda and what comes from legitimate psychiatric sources—if there is such a thing. For example, MentalHealthfirstaid.org (accessed in 2019) is a link-farm for dozens of psychiatric groups of all genders and species. It says: “In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.”

They emphasize that besides fifty percent of adults, children, who are traditionally off-limits, should be drug candidates as well. The following chapters explain how seventeen percent of the entire US populace came to be using psychiatric drugs.

This post is excerpted from Robert Yoho’s Butchered by “Healthcare” available on Amazon. See his website to learn more about his books. For his podcasts, see here and here. A handy copy of his document about covid is at this link and a simplified version is here.

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Categories: Statistics

32 replies »

  1. Lots of accurate observations here.
    Antipsychotic use will increase as the use of cannabis increases (cannabis-induced psychosis). This is well known to the healthcare industry and the health insurance industry both of which stand to profit from this.
    We expose our brains to caffeine as kids and continue to do so throughout adulthood. Overuse of caffeine can cause psychosis — just ask any college town ER doc. Caffeine can cause panic attacks and insomnia and can change the mood cycle in folks with bipolar. But many are more productive when using it.
    Ketamine and LSD may help a small percentage of those with refractory depression. Both have dangerous side effects. Ketamine can cause persisting psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations). But the “academics” who recommend it will not follow their “mistakes” after discharge to home.
    Benzodiazepines can keep your alcoholic husband off booze. Twenty years of alcohol will give him cirrhosis and neuropathy and you will suffer domestic abuse/violence. The Ativan will dull his memory. You choose.
    It is too bad that psychiatric meds do not restore health in the way antibiotics do. The drug companies are under no obligation to produce meds that restore you. “The money’s in the treatment, not the cure.”

  2. I was a sort-of ‘disciple’ of David Healy – and published on the subject of psychiatry (and psychopharmacology) for about 25 years.

    While I agree that there is no doubt modern psychiatry does far more harm than good, and in that sense ‘we would be better off without it’ in a net sense; there have been several drug and physical treatments that did net-good when used properly.

    Your blunderbuss condemnation misses this. For instance ECT is rapidly and almost 100% effective for catatonia, and highly effective for the worst kind of endogenous or psychotic depression. It is also potentially very useful for mania and Parkinson’s disease. And while there are short term problems with its usage, so that is is best used for severe (and rare) problems; there do not seem to be lasting symptoms when used properly – certainly *much* fewer and less severe problems than the ‘antipsychotics’ (properly called neuroleptics) which are given out like candy.

    https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/99/6/417/2258701

    Ketamine is, according to people that seem trustworthy – including David Healy – almost a miracle cure for the more sever forms of depression, providing relief in literally minutes in some people who get no benefit at all from anything else (except ECT , which takes days not minutes to have an effect).

    But ECT and ketamine are useful only for rare people (prevalence of much less than 1%) with some of the most severe kinds of psychiatric disorder; they are not patent protected, and so there is little money in them. Therefore they get very little attention and are very under-used (in the situations where they are most likely to help) compared to patented medication and funded experimental/ research treatments.

    In theory psychiatry could do considerable good with these and a few other agents, if treatment was focused on the most severely affected, mostly hospitalized, disorders.

    But in practice psychiatry is corrupted perhaps more completely than any other branch of medicine – and, as I say – does a vast and increasing amount of harm in impairing and making-dependent something like 15% of the population – who would nearly all be better off without treatment. Consequently, most people, most of the time, who are suffering significant psychopathology – would be better off treating themselves with agents available over the counter; as I advocated here.

    https://medicalhypotheses.blogspot.com/2008/11/sub-types-of-depression-and-self.html

  3. The Hippocratic Oath needs to be replaced with The Oath of Hypocrites.

    So many of our problems can be attributed to folks circling “mammon,” not “God” on the test.

  4. This is purely anecdotal. Not advocating, or recommending anything, here. But:
    I do not like to drive. Traffic, and congestion, traveling in hundred yard increments used to spike my frustration into a rage, and push me into a near panic. I used to pity my dear wife having to be in the car with me. Then in December of 2017, I got the notion in my head that I’d like to re-visit the world of psychedelics, and I got hold of a few doses of LSD. I did a lot of it when I was much younger, but after a few unpleasant rides I let it go. I did a quarter of a dose for a day of riding bikes at the beach. The low dose had a noticeable, but subtle effect, and did not produce any visual hallucinations. Even so, it turned the day into a near religious experience. Joy, and beauty. I had a very good time. Much to my surprise, I drove home at the end of that day, and did not lose my temper in traffic. Frustration simply did not happen.
    I still dislike driving, but I haven’t had an incident of road rage in four years, now. I’d call that cured.

    JWM

  5. Is being irritated by things that are irritating a disorder? Not trying to be sarcastic, but imagine the reaction of many to the Covid hype–those that submit are the good citizens who are trying to keep everyone safe, and those who decline to take part in the charade are the dangerous and crazy ones? Wait for “hesitancy” to the vaccine be be included in next DSM.

    Unrelated but somewhat related to the current post–it is well known how the DSM de-stigmatized gay sex, and it has done the same thing with trans people–in that many honest practitioners cannot ask patients to put on the brakes without being sanctioned or booted out of the mental health community. PS every trans person has been on a course of legal drugs given to them BEFORE they realized they were trans. Not one trans person has been outside the system of “care.” There is a moral there, and only the willfully blind cannot see it.

  6. We were doing Christmas at my son’s house with his three boys, and I ask him where the trash can is in order to chuck out some nut shells, and the 5-year-old heard this and chimes in, “Where’s your butt?”

    Five years old and he already has the family curse, the Smart Mouth Syndrome, which he caught from his older brothers or is possibly genetic. Try to tell them a knock-knock joke and they say stuff like, “Not today JimBob,” and “Knock knock your butt.”

    No amount of punishment will cure this malady, and Lord knows the afflicted never really grow out of it. Drugs and/or alcohol don’t help; they make it worse. The Wokey Doke Psychos can’t fix it, because they are quacks and frauds and sadly have their heads completely up their butts. So stick it there, JimBob.

  7. Seems like most mass shootings, at least up until 5 or six years ago when people still paid attention to them, involved serotonin inhibitors.

    I think a lot of the problem is that neuroscience still doesn’t have a complete grasp of how the brain works.

  8. spaceranger,
    “serotonin inhibitors.” IS incorrect:

    They are Serotonin re-uptake inhibiters.
    So they reduce the absorption or breakdown of the naturally secreted serotonin.
    This enables the serotonin to pool at a rate reflective of the rate it is produced.

    They from a vital part of the armoury in the healing process for many people with mild to severe mental health disorders. They are often necessary but no necessarily, sufficient.

  9. They are described as like a ladder for those in the pit of despair who no longer have the wherewithal to even move or shift themselves. Once they have this ladder, they can then climb to a level where they will with help and support be able to move themselves towards a better place.

    Not everybody can turn to their Fatih, not everybody has the ability to overcome adversity without the help of others. That patients with mental health conditions also often have murderous or suicidal thoughts does mean that separating out the cause of such actions is not easy. Blaming mass shootings on SSRI’s is another example of false attribution.

    That psychiatry is difficult is not. reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  10. Maintaining a well functioning thyroid, increase
    of fat in diet, and balanced blood sugars go a long way
    in alleviation of depression and anxiety…

  11. While that’s true, any proper medical assessment will cover those possibilities.
    There are countless triggers and exacerbating factors in depression and anxiety. There are also other disorders that are not classified as depression, so good diagnosis is as always the place to start.

    Metabolic conditions are just one other physical cause or contributing factor.

    It isn’t either or, it’s all possible causes which require input, potentially

  12. Joy, the previous post was not a question!
    medical assessment is an option, after self
    care, study, and lifestyle changes…

  13. Vince,
    Nobody is equipped to assess their own thyroid gland.
    Even if they are a physician.
    the previous post was not a question!
    Nor was my point
    Nor is self assessment the right way to manage medical conditions.
    That does not mean that patients are not in intimate control of their own health management.
    Again, it’s nt either or, it’s both, and I don’t care if you asked a question or not. You’ve got the answer!

  14. Uncle Mike — laughing, dude.

    By the way, your avatar appears to be you done up in greasepaint for the community college production of “Don Quixote”. I bet you knocked ‘em flat.

  15. Earlier I almost pointed a comment which said,

    “JWM, interesting”
    thought better of it

    Scientologists would love today’s post

    It just seems to be more winging for the sake of it. I expect to hear a whole lot more about this kind of thing once Covid’s out of the front pages.

  16. I have been on anti depressants since menopause. For me, they have been extremely helpful, although I have had real success with only two, Wellbutrin, and Celexa. Light therapy also helped, without meds, for 4 years until I hit the wall again. I agree that most drugs are over used, and some, like the Covid vax, are very dangerous, but I also know that agitated clinical depression is dreadful. I likened it to the tortures of the damned.

  17. “facing the cannon” is a very useful resource for people who are looking for hope or hopeful stories that might help with depression and low spirits.
    Maybe not for American ears but hey.
    This one’s famous, apparently
    He knows all about depression:
    https://youtu.be/IOb6Ao_4zz8

  18. Joy,
    Yes, I am aware of that. I was just trying to use short-hand, as I’ve also seen them referred to as serotonin uptake inhibitors AND re-uptake inhibitors. Maybe we should just call them the one that messes with our serotonin.

  19. One of many medications I was prescribed in fruitless attempts to mitigate my mystery chronic pain syndrome, Fibromyalgia, was an SSRI. It only took about 10 days before my nights were becoming increasingly hellish. After a few nights of ghastly effects which I will describe in a moment, I got up at about 2am (not having slept at all) and started Google searching about SSRI side effects. I quickly discovered that I was experiencing Akkethisia and that this was a known SSRI “side effect”. I suppose that I was experiencing one of the worst forms, as I am quite proud of myself for not throwing myself through the bedroom window, glass and all, while having this hellish “trip”. I credit my strong Christian faith with preserving me, but I have no hesitation in saying Alex Jones is right on this -SSRI’s are, for some people, a drug that drives to suicide.

    What I experienced was something like my flesh crawling, only much worse. When lying on my back, it was like an invisible dark malevolent “mass” was rolling over me in waves from toe to head. It felt somewhat like depression “to the power of”. The urge was powerful to try to escape this hellish sensation by any means. Because it was getting worse from one night to the next, I promptly guessed it was the drug and not “something wrong with me that the drug was meant to be curing”. The next day after my 2am Google search (and a sleepless night) I sent my doctor a strongly worded email and said I would not be taking one single further dose. These episodes quickly diminished and vanished.

    There was one “benefit” in that any “depression” feels miniscule in comparison; I feel like I have some benchmark sensation against which mere depression can’t possibly be too bad.

    I shared the experience by group email with family and an elderly aunt replied to say that she knew several family members who had experienced something like this with SSRI’s and did not know anyone who had been able to sustain taking them, let alone experienced any benefit from them. My disgust with the mainstream medical profession on this and many other issues, is the total lack of pre-identification of patients “who are going to have problems with a given treatment”. Can they not work this out in trials of each treatment? Just because they claim it “works for enough people” is no reason to give a treatment carte blanche approval for use on everyone without making a serious effort to identify the gene or the simple identifier (blood type, even, perhaps) in common that the “unlucky” have. The industry is continuing to perpetrate this outrage more and more boldly and savagely for more and more new treatments as time goes on and they are not held accountable. One hears of an entire family who got Bell’s Palsy after a certain unmentionable vaccination – surely it is not that hard to identify the marker that will predict outcomes like this? My family obviously has some marker somewhere that says “SSRI’s NOT a good idea”.

    After around 25 years of suffering I finally worked out my own protocol to put my Fibromyalgia into retreat but no thanks at all to mainstream medicine. It was all “alternative” or at least doing my own reading about useful research that somehow gets buried by the establishment. Whether this useful research will ever break through into the mainstream is a question.

  20. Thanks for letting me reprint this It sure shook all the monkeys out of the trees.

    Those shrinks who replied—just about what you would expect, some outraged and some sadly agreeing.

    I am a popularizer. My whole book is derivative of other brilliant authors; I have little personal expertise. My writing style perhaps overstates my certainty for emphasis.

    And the patients. The vast majority would have been better off with no meds, ever, street or Rx, but deciding what is appropriate is impossible without a trial of treatment, and that subjects everyone to the long term problems and terrific addictions.

    I have more about psychiatry and medical corruption in my book, which you can download free at
    https://dl.bookfunnel.com/4kliod8a9z
    My only ask is that you leave an honest review at
    http://Amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=B08FVMK5GY

    I’m selling 30 books a day but it all goes to amazon marketing.

    Best and happy holidays all.

    Robert Yoho

  21. Chronic pain is not. ‘Syndrome’ in and of itself.
    SSRI’s aren’t the right treatment for that kind of problem. One of the worst problems in the healthcare sector is dealing with misinformation, most of it purely accidental and non sinister in origin.

    All side effects of all medicines are written on accompanying paperwork with the medication. WE are expected to read it before taking the medicine. Same is true for Aspirin, paracetamol and non steroidal anti inflammatories as simple one 4th counter medications.

    Fibromyalgia is affected by a sleep disturbance.
    So it’s interesting that the increased disturbance in your sleep also increased the fibromyalgia.
    When we sell there is a phase during which repair of muscle and other soft tissue occurs. If the sleep is not of a sufficient quality for long enough, this causes diffuse tenderness and pain. That’s not the whole story of course, but given that SSRI’s increase agitation symptoms for a time until the system adjusts, it’s not surprising that your pain increased.

    There are other short term side effects which settle after a time, but for some, those are too intense to tolerate. For that reason you’re right to stop taking them.

    To Robert Yolo:

    Hardly surprising you sell 30 books a day when depression and anxiety is such an all pervasive and considered the top cause of human suffering in the world. As long as you happy in your work…Google “back pain” and see how many hits you get!

    On this current post, I don’t believe there are any shrinks who commented.
    Take Uncle Mike, for example, her wrote a very heart felt and truthful comment on a previous post to a commenter who said he was suicidal and who has since been unceremoniously banned! Yet on this post, Uncle Mike is joining in with the festive spirit and b being generous to your post. Which is also good of him.

    For my part I’m a physiotherapist who specialised in complex problems and chronic pain.
    This is within the field of musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy.
    I have not been working for a time but I have over twenty years experience and at a high level, with a variety of ages and demographic types.

    So actually physical experience counts for far more than simply taking in what’s fed through an “academic paper”, or even and “important new paper”

    So like I said, it’s so easy to criticise. Gp’s and prescribers of medication for depression ae not without the direct feedback frothier patients. If there was so much to say against SSRI’s proper use, they wouldn’t be relying on monkeys in trees to write popularising pamphlets to “teach” them what do do for the best for their patients!

    Then there are the poor quality clinicians and Dr’s. Just as is always the case in any system of healthcare. Those will always be with us as in any profession.

  22. Correction of weird inclusions of strange words, sorry for that.
    Chronic pain is not. ‘Syndrome’ in and of itself.
    SSRI’s aren’t the right treatment for that kind of problem. One of the worst problems in the healthcare sector is dealing with misinformation, most of it purely accidental and non sinister in origin.

    All side effects of all medicines are written on accompanying paperwork with the medication. WE are expected to read it before taking the medicine. Same is true for Aspirin, paracetamol and non steroidal anti inflammatories as simple over the counter medications.

    Fibromyalgia is affected by a sleep disturbance.
    So it’s interesting that the increased disturbance in your sleep also increased the fibromyalgia.
    When we sleep there is a phase during which repair of muscle and other soft tissue occurs. If the sleep is not of sufficient quality for long enough, this causes diffuse tenderness and pain. That’s not the whole story of course, but given that SSRI’s increase agitation symptoms for a time until the system adjusts, it’s not surprising that your pain increased.

    There are other short term side effects which settle after a time, but for some, those are too intense to tolerate. For that reason you’re right to stop taking them.

    To Robert Yolo:

    Hardly surprising you sell 30 books a day when depression and anxiety is such an all pervasive and considered the top cause of human suffering in the world. As long as you’re happy in your work…Google “back pain” and see how many hits you get!

    On this current post, I don’t believe there are any shrinks who commented.
    Take Uncle Mike, for example, he wrote a very heart felt and truthful comment on a previous post to a commenter who said he was suicidal and who has since been unceremoniously banned! Yet on this post, Uncle Mike is joining in with the festive spirit and being generous to your post. Which is also good of him.

    For my part I’m a physiotherapist who specialised in complex problems and chronic pain.
    This is within the field of musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy.
    I have not been working for a time but I have over twenty years experience and at a high level, with a variety of ages and demographic types.

    So actual physical experience counts for far more than simply taking in what’s fed through an “academic paper”, or even and “important new paper”

    Like I said, it’s so easy to criticise. Gp’s and prescribers of medication for depression are not without the direct feedback from their patients. If there was so much to say against SSRI’s proper use, they wouldn’t be relying on monkeys in trees to write popularising pamphlets to “teach” them what to do for the best for their patients!

  23. RY – “Those shrinks who replied—just about what you would expect, some outraged and some sadly agreeing.”

    Maybe you meant me? I’m not a shrink, tho’ I did some psych training, and did a doctorate in the psychopharmacology of depression – then dropped out to be a scientist and critic instead.

    https://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/psychhuman.html (which was widely reviewed, and universally panned by the establishment, in the mainstream literature.)

    But you should read the links if you regard me as mainstream.

    I know Robert Whitaker, commissioned a big paper from him in Medical Hypotheses, and wrote a bit for his journal. Likewise I commissioned a paper from Joanna Moncrieff. In other words I have read and cite the same authors as you; and also done original work in the field.

    But science and medical research was not always as now. there was a golden age up to mid 20th century, with mostly honest and well-motivated researchers who made major breakthroughs.

    Unless this baseline is acknowledged there is no point in referencing anybody – you might as well be ‘postmodern’ about it; just say what you happen to believe (on whatever grounds – these are usually socio-political; like most ‘antipsychiatrists’ – who are extreme-idealist leftists) and leave it at that.

    You can’t *legitimately* use the forms of science and scholarship unless you take them seriously and with discernment.

    Nuff said…

  24. Response to Briggs:
    What I’d love is to have a team of clever thinkers together who can communicate properly with clinicians, and listen to where and what the needs are. This can happen alongside the current methods of research.
    I think it’s already taking place at Oxford, but it would be good to take people from totally unrelated fields of engineering and science, even philosophers! and put them in a position where they have to come up with something.

    Pain science does need more non clinical thinkers, but that doesn’t mean that the clinicians know nothing.

    I’ve been trying to suggest that Briggs goes and helps out at his local clinic for a while now. I don’t mean “epedemiology” or anything so high falluting! Just help out with the staff making clinical assessments and do it for long enough to get a picture of actually how this stuff works. It looks from here as if there’s an unhealthy gulf and unnecessary false competition between researchers and the coal face workers

  25. There’s a recent book that delves into the history and back-story to your observations–Empire of Pain: Secret history of the Sackler dynasty.

    The Sacklers merged “respectable” medicine with marketing and advertising to create the modern pharmaceutical behemoth that drives the industry today.

    The patriarch did his early medical training and work at a mental hospital, during the height of the Freudian fraud. He hypothesized that mental illness was caused by chemical imbalances. It was a short hop to creating chemicals to balance those imbalances.

    The Sackler genius was hitching chemicals to his advertising and marketing dynamo. Sackler perfected the marketing tactic of suborning doctors and regulators.

    Librium, Valium, and Oxycontin were the golden-egg laying geese for the Sackler family.

    Eye-opening book, highly recommended.

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