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.
Bias in drug studies may mask the mind’s role in overcoming depression.
While millions of people swear by Prozac, Zoloft, and other antidepressants, do they work any better than a placebo or no treatment at all?
Big pharma has some new customers. Not complying with authority is now, in many cases, labeled a disease.
For a generation now, disruptive young Americans who rebel against authority figures have been increasingly diagnosed with mental illnesses and medicated with psychiatric (psychotropic) drugs.
Many prescription drugs have effects similar to those of illegal drugs. But we still view some users as criminals – the others as patients.
While Americans are inundated with coverage of the Democrats’ quibbling over Barack Obama’s use of marijuana and cocaine as a teenager, a truly important drug story continues to be neglected: The hypocrisy of Big Pharma, psychiatry officialdom, and justice institutions regarding mood-altering (psychotropic) drugs – specifically the denial of the similarity between illegal and psychiatric drugs.
It would be a lot easier to address the increasing rate of depression among Americans if we weren’t so afraid to admit that our consumer society makes us unhappy.
The following is an excerpt from Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green, 2007) by Bruce E. Levine, and is reprinted here with permission from the publisher. In this book, Levine delves into the roots of depression and links our increasingly consumer-based culture and standard-practice psychiatric treatments to worsening depression, instead of solving it.
The U.S. Psycho-Pharmaceutical-Industrial Complex
In Eugene Jarecki’s documentary film Why We Fight, about the U.S. military-industrial complex, U.S. foreign policy critic Chalmers Johnson states: “I guarantee you when war becomes that profitable, you are going to see more of it.” Similarly, as mental illness has become extremely profitable, we are seeing more of it.