Psychiatric or Political Solution?
In February 2009, Americans heard about a dramatic rise in suicides among U.S. soldiers. While treatment for emotionally troubled soldiers increasingly consists of antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, recent investigations show that these drugs are no more effective than placebos and can actually increase suicidality. In order to prevent even more suicides, both the research and basic common sense instruct us that we need less psychiatric drugs and more political courage.
At this point, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is basically a public menace.
Eli Lilly & Company’s rap sheet as a public menace is so long that for Lilly watchers to overcome the “banality-of-Lilly-sleaziness” phenomenon, the drug company must break some type of record measuring egregiousness. Lilly obliged earlier this year, receiving the largest criminal fine ever imposed on a corporation.
Many Americans think electroconvulsive therapy has been abandoned. But American psychiatry still regards it as a respected treatment, even for kids.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. — C.S. Lewis
Psychiatry’s “shock doctrine” is quite literally electroshock, and its latest victims are – I’m not kidding – young children.
At a giant Ikea store in Saudi Arabia in 2004, three people were killed by a stampede of shoppers fighting for one of a limited number of $150 credit vouchers. Similarly, in November 2008, a worker at a New York Wal-Mart was trampled to death by shoppers intent on buying one of a limited number of 50-inch plasma HDTVs.
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals the shocking extent of how corrupt drug companies are.
“Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” – Jonathan Swift
After reading “The Neurontin Legacy — Marketing through Misinformation and Manipulation” in the January 8, 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, one may conclude that (1) America’s prisons would be put to better use incarcerating drug company executives instead of pot smokers, and (2) society may need a return of public scorn via the pillory for those doctors who are essentially drug-company shills.
Profiting from drugging women and children
Postpartum depression among women in the United States occurs at a rate of between 10 to 20 percent, but it is rare in several cultures where new mothers routinely receive structured social support following childbirth. Yet, currently Congress is legislating increased medical treatment for postpartum depression rather than confronting its societal roots.
America’s mental health problems may be more than a matter of some “unadjusted” individuals. The entire culture might well need adjusting.
For many Americans who gain their information solely from television, all critics of psychiatry are Scientologists, exemplified by Tom Cruise spewing at Matt Lauer, “You don’t know the history of psychiatry. … Matt, you’re so glib.” The mass media has been highly successful in convincing Americans to associate criticism of psychiatry with anti-drug zealots from the Church of Scientology, the lucrative invention of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.
Establishment psychiatry is under attack in Congress. Investigators are recognizing that not all mental health treatments come in a pill.
American psychiatry has been rocked by Congress. Congressional investigators first exposed the financial relationships between high-profile psychiatrists and drug companies. “But now the profession itself is under attack in Congress,” reported the New York Times on July 12, 2008.
Just because a Harvard academic says something is so, doesn’t mean it is.
A “Daily Show” interview that hit a chord for me was Jon Stewart’s conversation with Tal Ben-Shahar, who teaches “positive psychology” at Harvard and has written a self-help book. Early in the interview, a suspicious Stewart declares, “I am a psychology major, so I know a lot of it is bullshit.”
Meet the man who got rich by popularizing bipolar disorder for children. Congressional investigators and the NY Times expose the scandal.
What Dick Cheney is to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, psychiatrist Joseph Biederman is to the explosion of psychiatric medications in American children. Recently, Biederman was nailed by congressional investigators and the New York Times for overestimating just how greedy an elite shrink is entitled to be. Beyond a peek into the corruption of psychiatry at its highest levels, the scandal is an opportunity to reconsider the Big Pharma financed view of why kids become disruptive and destructive.