Drugging Poor Kids

CounterPunch May 21st, 2010

If Poor, US Children More Likely to be Prescribed Antipsychotics — Even When Not Psychotic

Children covered by Medicaid are far more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs than are children covered by private insurance, and Medicaid-covered kids have a higher likelihood of being prescribed antipsychotics even if they have no psychotic symptoms. This is reported in the May19, 2010 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article, “Studies Shed Light on Risks and Trends in Pediatric Antipsychotic Prescribing.”

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The Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

CounterPunch April 28th, 2010

A Conversation with Robert Whitaker

In 1987, prior to Prozac hitting the market and the current ubiquitous use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, the U.S. mental illness disability rate was 1 in every 184 Americans, but by 2007 the mental illness disability rate had more than doubled to 1 in every 76 Americans. Robert Whitaker was curious as to what was causing this dramatic increase in mental illness disability. The answers are in his new book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown Publishers, April 2010

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Are Americans a Broken People? Why We’ve Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

AlterNet December 11th, 2009

A psychologist asks: Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?

A psychologist asks: Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not “set them free” but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States?

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Liberation Psychology for the U.S.

Z Magazine November 1st, 2009

Are we too demoralized to protest?

The term “liberation psychology” was popularized by Ignacio Martin-Baró (1942-1989), the psychologist, priest, and activist who was assassinated in El Salvador by government troops. Martin-Baró focused on the oppression of his fellow Salvadorans, Central Americans, and Latin Americans. It is increasingly apparent that U.S. citizens need Martin-Baró’s insights along with their own special kind of liberation psychology.

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Protect Us From Our Friends

CounterPunch August 7th, 2009

When Liberals and Conservatives are Two Side of the Same Oppressive Coin

For many people I know — especially many young people, Native Americans, and others alienated from American dominant culture — the difference between liberals and conservatives is only in technique used to coerce conformity and gain control.

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Suicide Spike for U.S. Soldiers

Z Magazine April 1st, 2009

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.

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The Case for Giving Eli Lilly the Corporate Death Penalty

AlterNet March 3rd, 2009

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.

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Psychiatry’s ‘Shock Doctrine’: Are We Really OK With Electroshocking Toddlers?

AlterNet February 4th, 2009

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.

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Fundamentalist Consumerism and an Insane Society

Z Magazine February 1st, 2009

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.

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What’s It Going to Take to Lock Up Drug Company Execs?

AlterNet January 16th, 2009

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.

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