Archive for the ‘Big Muddy River Newsletter’ Category

Psychiatry and Other Enterprises

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Book Review

Psychiatry and Other Enterprises
Personal Experiences and Reflections after 57 Years in the Field of Psychiatry
by Nelson Borelli, MD (Mill City Press, Inc., 2015)
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern University

“Psychiatry as it stands now, a neurological and drug-oriented enterprise, poses a bleak predicament for those suffering from emotional or existential problems.

“Psychiatry’s pursuit of the enterprising route as a means of survival is backfiring: psychiatry is on the brink of extinction as a medical specialty to once again become a stepchild of neurology. …

“Organized psychiatry lost a chance to achieve solid medical identity after WWII because its leadership refused to analyze itself, to listen to its critics, and to consider a new paradigm. Instead psychiatry sank its head into the ground to continue to rely on State support for its survival.

“The possible survival or the new birth of psychiatry would need a new paradigm. A paradigm which priority and main clause would be: separation-from-the-State.”

Dr. Borelli emphasizes that a fuller understanding of psychiatry’s failures can be found by following the money trail, particularly the governmental money trail.

Over the course of his career it became clear to Dr. Borelli that the people that consulted with him were not “mentally ill”; that the consultees either had medical problems with emotional symptoms or had ordinary life problems caused by poor management. As a Life Analyst, Dr. Borelli assists people seeking help in managing their personal lives. Rather than diagnosing and treating medical conditions, he now identifies the blind spots in the assessment and management of the life of his clients. He does not tell people how to live their lives. He strongly believes that psychiatry should do away with the forced treatment of people (involuntary commitment) and the insanity defense practice.

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

A June 26, 2017 article on Kaiser Health News by Vickie Connor presents the information that, “Adults with a mental illness receive more than 50 percent of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the United States annually.”

Not surprisingly, it also says that while the opioids are prescribed primarily for pain, patients with mental illness find that the drugs alleviate their mental issues, too. We don’t know about you, but if we’re in severe pain our mental health suffers. Then again, you’ve probably heard of the “hammer effect” — if you’re having symptoms of mental trauma, smack your finger smartly with a hammer and we guarantee that you won’t be thinking about your mental troubles for a while. (This is one of those “please don’t try this at home” pieces of advice.)

Understand that when news media say “mental illness,” we read “mental symptoms,” since the symptoms are real but the illness is not. There may indeed be some physical, medical illness; but the fact is, there is no such thing as a “mental illness” the way the psychiatric industry touts it. In 40 years, “biological psychiatry” has yet to validate a single psychiatric condition/diagnosis as an abnormality/disease, or as anything neurological, biological, chemically imbalanced or genetic.

In any case, the best treatments for chronic pain are not opioids, but finding the underlying causes for the pain, learning how to deal with those, and treating those with workable, non-psychiatric methods. See also “The Medicalization of Addiction” for more information about the current craze of treating opioid addiction with more addictive drugs.

Opioid addiction and related deaths have become such an issue in Missouri that  Missouri Attorney General Joshua Hawley filed a lawsuit June 21, 2017 in the Circuit Court of St. Louis City against several pharmaceutical companies. Opioid sales now generate nearly $10 billion in sales per year, while countless individuals have become addicted to opioids as a result of the use of opioids for chronic-pain treatment, often with tragic results.

“Missouri faces an urgent public-health crisis. Each year, hundreds of Missourians die from opioid overdoses, while tens of thousands more are hospitalized or require emergency treatment. Opioid addiction and abuse have destroyed the lives of countless Missourians and ravaged communities across the State. This opioid epidemic is the direct result of a carefully crafted campaign of deception carried out by Defendants. For years, Defendants fraudulently misrepresented the risks posed by the drugs that they manufacture and sell, misleading both doctors and consumers.”

We don’t really know which came first — the mental trauma or the physical pain; but it doesn’t really matter which comes first. The bottom line is that neither opioids nor psychiatric drugs are workable treatments. Click here for more information about workable treatments.

What Makes Special Education Special?

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

The Special School District in St. Louis County, Missouri has an annual budget over $400 Million for 7 schools, over 2600 teachers, and over 24,000 students.

The July 2002 President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education revealed the source of a deeply troubled Special Education system: 40 percent of kids are being labeled with “learning disorders” simply because they have not been taught to read. This finding leaves no doubt that the subjectivity of the term “learning disorder” must be a central point of Special Education reform.

Eighty percent of children (or 2.4 million) labeled as having a “specific learning disability” could be taught in a normal school setting but with greater emphasis on phonics and academic basics. We suspect that all children, not just special school district children, could benefit from this.

State and federal governments are already wasting $28 billion per year due to unscientific categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This money would be better channeled into providing more teachers and workable educational methods that get actual results.

The DSM-5 lists these ridiculous items of “mental illness”:

  • “Academic or educational problem”
  • “Specific learning disorder”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in mathematics”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in reading”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in written expression”

The primary purpose of Congress’ original IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) law in 1975 was to provide a free and appropriate education for children with hearing, sight, speech and other physical handicaps. When the term “handicapped” was changed to “learning disabled,” children who fidget, interrupt their teachers, or simply fall behind academically were suddenly considered “disabled.”

Over the ensuing years, the funding has been largely funneled, instead, to children with “learning disorders,” a term so subjective that children who fidget, butt into line or interrupt their teachers are so labeled. In most cases the children were subsequently prescribed cocaine-like, mind-altering drugs. Many of these children simply have never been taught to read. Clearly, there is a critical need to provide an objective, scientifically based definition of “learning disability,” and this must be the central point of reforming IDEA.

Labeling a child with these “disorders” led to school personnel threatening parents to place their child on a psychiatric drug as a requisite to remaining in class, or face the child being dismissed from school.

Due to the hazards of these drugs, in order to receive federal funds under the IDEA, the “Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment” (H.R.1350) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 3, 2004 and requires schools to implement policies that prohibit schoolchildren being forced onto psychiatric drugs as a requisite for their education. The law states, “The psychological/psychiatric system should not be able to abuse Special Education by diagnosing childhood and educational problems and failure as ‘mental disorders.'”

Email Special School District Superintendent Don Bohannon at dbohannon@ssdmo.org and let him know what you think about this.

Click here for more information about mental health screening in schools.

Doctors in Schools

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Through psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, false explanations, easy-seizure commitment laws and often brutal, depersonalizing “treatments” and deadening, mind-altering drugs, thousands needlessly fall into psychiatry’s coercive system every day all over the world. It is a system which exemplifies human rights abuse.

“In the Australian state of Victoria, a state program kicked in at the beginning of 2017 to mandate that children as young as 12 should see a doctor in school at least once a week, to receive drugs and medical treatment without parental consent.”

“Select Victorian Government secondary schools will work together with local general practices to enable primary health care services to be delivered on school premises.

One suspects that this “Doctors in Schools” program is actually intended to consolidate government control over children and line the pockets of pharmaceutical corporations. You know that these doctors will be prescribing psychiatric drugs to these schoolchildren.

In his 1932 novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley depicts a “utopian” but totalitarian society, one that is insane and bent on control. It is a controlled civilization, using, as Huxley stated, the “technique of suggestion – through infant conditioning and, later, with the aid of drugs.”

In 2003 the release of the U.S. New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Report recommended that all 52 million American schoolchildren be “screened” for “mental illness,” claiming – without proof – that “early detection, assessment, and links with “treatment” could “prevent mental health problems from worsening.” “Treatment” ultimately means drugs – usually the most expensive ones that effectively create lifetime mental health patients – for which the government and insurance agencies can be billed.

Children worldwide are under extremely dangerous assault. Today, parents and teachers are also deceived in the name of improved mental health and better education.

In the U.S. alone, 1.5 million children and adolescents on antidepressants are at risk of known, drug-induced violent or suicidal side effects.

In Missouri, Medicaid spends $16 Million per year on psychiatric drugs for roughly 20,000 children in state foster care. Foster care babies less than a year old are being given barbiturates to make them sleep. The side effects of barbiturates include addiction, depression, disorientation, hallucinations, kidney disease, and liver disease.

This information is not easy, comfortable reading. Ultimately the harshest reality you will have to face is that children urgently need our help and protection. Without that, the future for one and all is at serious risk.

For more information on harmful mental health screening, assessments, evaluations and programs within our schools, go to http://www.cchrstl.org/screening.shtml.

Bronx Cop Killer Alexander Bonds Was Taking Psych Drugs

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

According to the New York Daily News, Alexander Bonds who killed Officer Miosotis Familia as she sat inside a parked police vehicle on July 5, was likely taking psychiatric drugs known to cause violence and suicide. Bonds was shot to death by police after the killing of NYPD veteran Familia as she worked a midnight tour in the Bronx.

Here are the quotes:

“…Alexander Bonds spent eight hours at a Bronx hospital after appearing for a impromptu psychiatric exam just four days before he executed an NYPD officer.”
“…an NYPD search of the ex-con’s squalid South Bronx apartment turned up prescription anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs…”
“The anti-psychotic was Risperidone, typically used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, while the anti-depressants were identified as Bupropion and Escitalopram…”
“In an interview after the execution, the girlfriend told police that Bonds visited a psychiatrist last month…”
“Police investigators also found Benadryl and a muscle relaxant in Bonds’ second floor apartment…”

All of the listed psychiatric drugs have the potential adverse side effects of violent and suicidal behavior.
Risperidone is an antipsychotic, also called a neuroleptic (“nerve seizing”).
Bupropion is an antidepressant (norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor.)
Escitalopram is an antidepressant (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.)
Benadryl is an antihistamine that interacts moderately with risperidone and buproprion and excitalopram, meaning that there is an increased risk of adverse side effects when taken together.

The FDA has issued several warnings on these psychotropic drugs, cautioning that persons prescribed the drugs must be monitored for increased suicidal ideation and worsening depression.

The bottom line is — Check for psychiatric treatment and psychiatric drugs (prior or current use, or withdrawal from) in all cases of senseless violence.

Watch the CCHR video “Psychiatry’s Prescription for Violence” documenting the connection between violence, suicide and psychiatric drugs at http://www.cchr.org/videos/psychiatrys-prescription-for-violence.html.

The Medicalization of Addiction

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Most early addiction treatment programs were abstinence-based. Today, the psycho-pharmaceutical industry has convinced insurance carriers and government agencies to fund and promote “medication-assisted treatment” (MAT), in which the treatment drug is as addictive as the original one.

Nearly half a million Americans died of drug overdoses from 2000 to 2014, mostly from opioid painkillers and heroin. The treatment of drug addiction by administering yet more potentially addictive drugs isn’t just profoundly counterintuitive; it is also a case of bad science and flawed policy, since it inhibits alternative forms of comprehensive treatment and often the drug-free treatment programs are not covered by insurance — already in Maryland, which suffers from some of the highest rates of drug addiction and alcoholism in the nation, drug-free addiction treatment programs that refuse to accept patients using MAT are being denied subsidized state funding.

Welcome to medication-assisted treatment, an increasingly influential and controversial paradigm in the world of medicine that, among other things, considers addiction a chronic “brain disease” rather than a condition that can be treated by addressing the social and spiritual aspects underlying addiction.

A typical prescription for an opioid painkiller might as well read, “80 mg OxyContin daily until you graduate to heroin.”

More than 710 people in the St. Louis region died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Nationwide, prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015. In Missouri, opioid-related deaths have increased more than 7 times for young adults age 25 to 34 from 1999 to 2014.

The response of businesses who are affected by substance abuse is to refer employees to an “employee assistance program” (EAP) which is a euphemism for a mental health care provider. The EAP then refers the addict to a MAT program.

As an example, methadone, which is used today by more than 250,000 Americans, making it the most widely used medication for treating heroin addiction, carries a high risk of death from accidental overdose, especially during the initial stages of treatment, because it tends to suppress the respiratory system. In fact, it is the prescription of methadone for pain —- not methadone from maintenance clinics —- that has been a major contributor to the nation’s high opioid painkiller overdose death rates over the past two decades.

Another major step toward the growing medicalization of addiction occurred in 2013, when the American Psychiatric Association issued its fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which insurance companies rely on for billing purposes. There are now 73 disorder diagnoses related to some kind of substance abuse, with another 20 disorders related to withdrawal symptoms. Disorders mentioning opioids number 38.

All of these so-called disorders can be prescribed a psychotropic drug for “treatment”, in addition to whatever street drug, prescription opioid, or addiction treatment drug was being used or abused.

Perhaps the most publicly visible display of Big Pharma’s political connections in recent memory occurred this past December, when, in a 94-5 vote, the U.S. Senate approved the “21st Century Cures Act,” one of the largest bills ever aimed at reforming the FDA. The $6.3 billion law, which President Obama signed before leaving office, calls for greater use of MAT and includes $1 billion for opioid prevention and treatment programs in 50 states over two years.

What can you do about this? Here’s a thought — contact your Missouri State Senator and Representative and ask them to remove all references to the DSM from Missouri State Law.

Trust Us, We Know What We’re Doing

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

The June 5, 2017 issue of The Weekly Standard magazine discloses that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fifteen other Federal Departments and Agencies have issued final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (the Common Rule). The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017.

“For nearly 40 years, the federal government has enforced the ‘Common Rule.’ The rule required researchers in the social and medical sciences to get the approval of an independent review board, or IRB, for their federally funded experiments. The purpose of the boards, which are usually set up by the researchers’ universities, is to protect human research subjects—college students, usually—from potentially harmful experiments.”

“In January the Department of Health and Human Services relaxed its regulations governing the use of the review boards. For example, psychological researchers who believe their experiments entail only ‘benign behavioral interventions’ can exempt themselves from seeking the approval of their IRB…”

The article cites another example of the mental health industry trying to push its boundaries. “…members of the American Psychiatric Association are hoping to repeal the APA’s ‘Goldwater Rule,’ which forbids members from pronouncing on the psychological health of public figures whom they haven’t examined personally.”

The article concludes with, “…the exalted role social scientists have assumed in the public conversation requires that we view them with redoubled scrutiny and skepticism. ‘Trust Us, We Know What We’re Doing’ is a suspicious motto for any profession.”

Here is an extract of the actual wording of the exemption in the text of the Final Common Rule as recorded in the Federal Register:

“…the following categories of human subjects research are exempt from this policy:…Research involving benign behavioral interventions in conjunction with the collection of information from an adult subject through verbal or written responses…”

There are a lot of ifs, ands and buts in this convoluted rule. However, the bottom line is that the original goal of protecting human research subjects is being eroded in favor of the convenience of researchers. The ethics of allowing psychologists or psychiatrists to run experiments without independent oversight is questionable.

One of the essential problems with psychology is its reliance upon psychiatric or biological behavioral models—-a far cry from its foundations as the study of the human spirit.

For reference, here is a paper on Ethical Problems in Psychiatric Research.

The Skinny on the Skin Drug

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

We saw a TV commercial recently for the drug Otezla® (generic apremilast), from Celgene Corporation, which was approved by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of symptoms of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (skin lesions) and psoriatic arthritis.

Our attention was caught by the statement that Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. We wondered why, since this drug is not used for psychiatric diagnoses, and psychiatric drugs all have such potential side effects.

The drug inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), but the exact way in which it is supposed to work “isn’t completely understood”.

The estimated wholesale price is $22,500 for a year of treatment.

Digging deeper, we find that apremilast is an analog of thalidomide which was primarily prescribed as a psychotropic sedative or hypnotic and which was banned in 1961 for causing disastrous birth defects. Depression is also a common side effect of thalidomide.

In 1998 thalidomide was approved again by the FDA for use in multiple myeloma, a type of cancer, because it apparently had some kind of anti-inflammatory effect. It still is not known how it is supposed to work. Analogs of thalidomide were then developed to try to limit the side effects; an analog is a compound having a chemical structure similar to that of another one, but differing from it in respect of a certain component. Analogs are developed to see if they can improve upon the function of the base drug.

Well, apparently this one side effect — depression — did not get eliminated in the transformation from thalidomide to apremilast.

If someone has been given the full range of pros and cons for a drug or other treatment (i.e. full informed consent), with all applicable alternatives and even the alternative of no treatment, and then decides to take the drug or treatment, they made a fully informed decision. But we know that such informed consent is rarely, if ever, obtained prior to a psychiatrist or other doctor writing a prescription for a psychotropic drug. Click here to learn more about informed consent.

The Racism of Psychiatry

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

We generally think of racism as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

In Nazi Germany, this idea took on a slightly different slant, as the racial hygiene law of 1934 targeted individuals not necessarily of a different race, but against anyone considered abnormal; against any individual who might pass on what was considered abnormal to their descendents.

“Schizophrenia” is a strategic label as “Jew” was in Nazi Germany. If you want to exclude people from the social order, you must justify this to others, but especially to yourself. So you invent a justificatory rhetoric. That’s what the really nasty psychiatric words are all about: they are justificatory rhetoric, labelling a package “garbage”, it means “take it away! Get it out of my sight!” etc. That’s what the word “Jew” meant in Nazi Germany; it did not mean a person with a certain kind of religious belief. It meant “vermin!”, “gas him!” I am afraid that “schizophrenic” and “sociopathic personality” and many other psychiatric diagnostic terms mean exactly the same thing; they mean “human garbage,” “take him away!”, “get him out of my sight.” [Dr. Thomas Szasz, from “Interview with Thomas Szasz” in The New Physician, 1969]

Since 1939 enforced sterilization and systematic mass murder in psychiatric institutions was planned and organized in Berlin by psychiatrists, and was the blueprint for the subsequent murders in the gas chambers of extermination camps in occupied Poland starting in 1941. Psychiatrists used the Nazi regime to implement their plans for the elimination of those whom they declared to be untreatable. The killings survived the end of the Nazi regime and continued until 1949. Today these killings survive by psychiatric coercion and violence using involuntary commitment, enforced drugging with psychotropic drugs, lobotomy (brain mutilation), electric shock (electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation, and vagus nerve stimulation.

Among the almost unknown crimes of the 20th century by psychiatry is the mass murder by starvation of patients in psychiatric institutions. At least 25,000 German prisoners of psychiatry were starved to death in psychiatric institutions. [Hungersterben in der Psychiatrie 1914-1949, Heinz Faulstich]

Psychiatry, originally a medical practice treating dysfunction, abandoned that practice and abandoned therapeutic approaches, instead focusing on safeguarding society from abnormality by removing the abnormalities. The racism of psychiatry is now a racism against the abnormal, against the individual as the bearer of some deficiency that could be passed on to their descendents. Psychiatry is no longer interested in searching for cures; they are only interested in removing what they cannot cure.

Click here for more information about the real crisis in mental health care today.

Terrorized by Climate Change

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

The psycho-pharmaceutical industry has jumped full-time onto the climate change bandwagon. You don’t even need to believe in climate change, since there is also the satirical “Climate Change Denial Disorder”.

Scholarly articles are being published claiming that climate change affects mental health, along with the typical cries to fund more research, prescribe more antidepressants, and prepare for the worst. Here is an example quote: “Increasing ambient temperatures is likely to increase rates of aggression and violent suicides, while prolonged droughts due to climate change can lead to more number of farmer suicides. … Increased frequency of disasters with climate change can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and depression.” [Mental health effects of climate change, Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jan-Apr; 19(1): 3–7.]

The DSM-5 does not lack for possible disorders that can be tied to some climate change disaster for which antidepressants can be prescribed. Here are a few:

“Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder”
“Other specified trauma- and stressor-related disorder”
“Unspecified trauma- and stressor-related disorder”
“Specific phobia, Natural environment”
“Posttraumatic stress disorder”
or any one of over thirty depression-related disorders.

It used to be called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD). Although this is no longer classified as a unique disorder, it can still be diagnosed as a “mood disorder with a seasonal pattern.” SAD is considered a subtype of major depression or bipolar disorder. An example of a SAD diagnosis might be “Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent Episode, Moderate, With Seasonal Pattern”.

Here we have the “dangerous environment” in full bloom. A dangerous environment only persists if we fail to spread a safe environment across the world. What makes a dangerous environment? Confusion, conflict and upset.

The Merchants of Chaos who promote a dangerous environment make it seem as threatening as possible so that they can profit from it. How do you counter this? You spread the truth. Behind the truth comes the calm. You may still need technology to handle climate change, but you don’t need antidepressant drugs to do so.

The issue is not “is there or is there not climate change?” The issue is, get rid of the psychiatrists who are promoting and profiting from the confusion. Find Out! Fight Back!