Archive for the ‘Big Muddy River Newsletter’ Category

The Dangerous Environment

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Injustice, War, Pollution, Debt, Drugs, Illiteracy, Terrorism, Ignorance, Enslavement

Many people are not only convinced that the environment is dangerous, but that it is steadily growing more so. For many, it’s more of a challenge than they feel up to. An “environmental challenge” exists in an area filled with irrationality. While we thrive on a challenge, we can also be overwhelmed by a challenge to which we cannot respond.

What is dangerousness? Something one is afraid to communicate with. So if you say, “Don’t communicate with this,” then people will think it is dangerous. There are real areas of danger in the environment, but there are also areas being made to seem more dangerous than they really are. For example, recent political campaigns stress the “dangerousness” of the environment. “Vote for me and I’ll make America Safe!”

The fact of the matter is that the environment is made to appear much more dangerous than it actually is. A great number of people are professional dangerous environment makers. This includes professions which require a dangerous environment for their existence such as the politician, the policeman, the newspaperman, the undertaker, the psychiatrist, and others. These people sell a dangerous environment. That is their mainstay. They feel that if they did not sell people on the idea the environment is dangerous, they would promptly go broke. So it is in their interest to make the environment far more dangerous than it is. This kind of misinformation is itself a clear and present danger to our personal safety.

Wherever psychiatry intervenes, the environment becomes more dangerous, more unsettled, more disturbed. PTSD, ADHD, Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, on and on — psychiatry thrives on making people think they are sick; otherwise there would be no psychiatric patients, there would be no need for psychiatry. A wide variety of environmental stresses can contribute to the onset of mental trauma. People can have mental trauma in their lives; but the treatment is not psychiatry or psychiatric drugs. The treatment is finding out what is really wrong, and then finding out that something can be done about it, and then doing something about it. Actually, if you knew what the problem really was, you would already have fixed it; so the “finding out” steps are essential. Psychiatry entirely skips the “finding out” steps; it just prescribes a drug to deaden the pain.

It used to be that the term “mentally ill” was limited to mean crazy people like those talking to themselves in the streets and those acting irrationally, oblivious to the world around them. However, the symptoms of mental illness, today, have been re-defined and broadened by psychiatry to fit under the umbrella of any non-optimum behavior, including what is considered normal for that age. This, in turn, allows for wholesale diagnosis of everything from moodiness of a teenager to mathematics disorder, followed by treatment with dangerous mind-altering drugs with harmful side effects. It would make more sense to look to see where the symptoms are coming from and check out things such as diet, allergies, infections, toxic things in the environment, illiteracy, etc.

The psychiatricizing of normal everyday behavior by including personality quirks and traits is a lucrative business for the psychiatrist because by expanding the number of “mental illnesses” even ordinary people can become patients and added to the psychiatric marketing pool. Safe and effective medical treatments for mental difficulties are often kept buried. The fact is, there are many medical conditions that when undetected and untreated can appear as psychiatric “symptoms.” The psychiatric pharmaceutical industry is making a killing — $84 billion per year — based on people being labeled with mental disorders that are not founded on science or medicine, but on marketing campaigns designed to sell drugs.

An individual’s health level, sanity level, activity level and ambition level are all monitored by their own concept of the dangerousness of the environment. You are as successful as you adjust your environment to yourself, rather than the environment enforcing itself on you. Find something in your environment that isn’t being a threat. It will calm you down. Find Out About The Psychiatric Assault on America! Fight Back!

Ways to Reduce The Missouri Budget

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

The Insane Bloat of the Missouri Department of Mental Health Budget from 1971 to 2016

$2 Billion and Rapidly Rising

The introduction and passage of legislation designed to curb psychiatric fraud and abuse can contribute to the reduction of the Department of Mental Health budget. For examples of Model Legislation, click here.

Reports show that:

* 10% to 25% of mental health practitioners sexually abuse patients.

* Psychiatry has the worst fraud track record of all medical disciplines.

* The largest health care fraud suit in history [$375 million] involved the smallest sector of healthcare–psychiatry.

* An estimated $20-$40 billion is defrauded in the mental health industry in any given year.

Download and read the full report “Massive Fraud — Psychiatry’s Corrupt Industry.

Recommendations
1. Establish or increase the number of psychiatric fraud investigation units to recover funds that are embezzled in the mental health system.

2. Clinical and financial audits of all government-run and private psychiatric facilities that receive government subsidies or insurance payments should be done to ensure accountability; statistics on admissions, treatment and deaths, without breaching patient confidentiality, should be compiled for review.

3. A list of convicted psychiatrists and mental health workers, especially those convicted and/or disciplined for fraud and sexual abuse should be kept on state, national and international law enforcement and police agencies databases, to prevent criminally convicted and/or de-registered mental health practitioners from gaining employment elsewhere in the mental health field.

4. No convicted mental health practitioner should be employed by government agencies, especially in correctional/prison facilities or schools.

5. The DSM and/or lCD (mental disorders section) should be removed from use in all government agencies, departments and other bodies including criminal, educational and justice systems.

6. Establish rights for patients and their insurance companies to receive refunds for mental health treatment which did not achieve the promised result or improvement, or which resulted in proven harm to the individual, thereby ensuring that responsibility lies with the individual practitioner and psychiatric facility rather than the government or its agencies.

7. None of the mental disorders in the DSM/ICD should be eligible for insurance coverage because they have no scientific, physical validation. Governmental, criminal, educational and judicial agencies should not rely on the DSM or lCD (mental disorders section).

8. Provide funding and insurance coverage only for proven, workable treatments that verifiably and dramatically improve or cure mental health problems.

We think it is time to call psychiatry and psychology for what they are — failed pseudo sciences with no basis in fact, pseudo sciences that harm their recipients and line the pocketbooks of their practitioners.

War, On Drugs

Friday, July 1st, 2016

We thought our subscribers might find this article of interest — “War, On Drugs” by Dr. Peter Frankopan, director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research in the UK. Here is an excerpt:

“Given the well-documented, widespread use of narcotics in modern warfare, it is no surprise to find ISIS also supplying soldiers with stimulants. In the fall of 2015, the largest drug bust in Lebanese history took place at Beirut airport when a Saudi prince tried to board a private jet that was about to fly to Ha’il, in northern Saudi Arabia. Two tons of Captagon were recovered – a drug whose use outside the Middle East is negligible, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.”

“Originally developed in the 1960s, Captagon was designed to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit disorder. It was banned in most countries because of its addictive nature. Captagon produces feelings of euphoria, a boost in energy and heightened awareness – as well as surging aggression levels, says Richard Rawson, co-director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Programme at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Reuters report from 2014 demonstrated just how widespread the use of drugs has become in Syria since the start of the civil war, and especially how production of stimulants for use by rebel and ISIS forces has soared. The fact that the levels of violence have risen, too – not only with videotaped beheadings, but also mass executions and indiscriminate slaughter – might not be entirely coincidental.”

Terrorism is created; it is not human nature. Suicide bombers are made, not born. Ultimately, terrorism is the result of madmen bent on destruction, and these madmen are typically the result of psychiatric or psychological techniques aimed at mind and behavioral control. Suicide bombers are not rational—they are weak and pliant individuals psychologically indoctrinated to murder innocent people without compassion, with no concern for the value of their own lives. They are manufactured assassins.

Part of that process involves the use of mind–altering psychiatric drugs.

Click here for more information about Psychiatry and Terrorism.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR RIGHTS PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

RIGHTS UNDER SIEGE: FIGHTING BACK

NARPA ANNUAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE
August 25-28, 2016
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Phoenix, Arizona
Registration form at www.narpa.org

Conference Keynotes and Highlights

Robert Whitaker, Author
Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury,
and Prescriptions for Reform and Mad in America

Mort Cohen, J.D., Professor of Law, Golden Gate University
Litigator of Landmark Forced Treatment Cases
Lifelong Champion for the Rights of Marginalized and Disadvantaged Peoples

Caroline White, Social Activist and Survivor
Trainer/Facilitator for Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community & Hearing Voices USA

Eve Hill, J.D.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Justice

Peter Lehmann, Publisher and Activist
Co-Editor Journal of Critical Psychology, Counseling, and Psychotherapy
Author, Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs
Founder of Self-Help and Survivor Groups in Germany and Europe

Special Plenary
Arlene Kanter, J.D., L.L.M.
Professor,  Syracuse University School of Law
Recent Developments in Mental Health Law – 2016
Annual plenary by legal scholar presenting updates and interpretation on the most recent legal cases affecting disability rights and mental health law.

Political Psychiatry: How China Uses ‘Ankang’ Hospitals to Silence Dissent

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Political Psychiatry: How China Uses ‘Ankang’ Hospitals to Silence Dissent

The Wall Street Journal (19 April 2016) recently reported on how China’s Ministry of Public Security is using psychiatric involuntary commitment to remove dissidents from society and silence their protests.

“… human rights groups have long charged that one of the crudest examples of illegality in Chinese criminal procedure is the political use of psychiatry to detain, imprison, and forcibly medicate dissidents and activists. The use of this tactic, borrowed from the Soviet Union early in the Maoist era, was reduced after the Cultural Revolution, but revived in 1987 with the creation of psychiatric hospitals, administered by the police, called Ankang (‘peace and health’) institutions.”

CCHR also reported on this in 2014, when it said, “The Chinese government routinely uses psychiatric confinements as a tool to control dissidents.”

Even earlier in 2010 this was being reported.

Psychiatry and psychology have a long and troubling history of being used to suppress political dissidents — most recently with the CIA-sanctioned torture program. Despite consistent denials, the American Psychological Association had numerous contacts with CIA contract psychologists Drs. James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, including contacts related to illegal interrogation techniques. For example, the APA secretly coordinated with officials from the CIA, White House and the Department of Defense to create an APA ethics policy on national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the CIA torture program.

Too often the “mental health” industry has shown its willingness to accommodate and collude to legitimatize government policy, including the torture and murder by the People’s Republic of China’s Falun Gong, the CIA’s 1950’s MKULTRA mind-control programs, and the Soviet Union’s incarceration of political dissidents in psychiatric hospitals and sentenced to labor camps, to name a few.

In 1955, a Soviet manual entitled Brainwashing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics was translated and distributed as a public warning by a New York professor. The manual was based on the methods of Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychiatrist who developed “conditioned response” theories through experiments on dogs in the early 1900s. Pavlov’s work laid the groundwork for a fundamental psychiatric misconception that remains to this day: that, like dogs, men are basically programmable animals, influenced only by fear and reward. Pavlov’s experiments established the foundation for much of the inhuman brainwashing techniques used by the Soviet Union and China in the mid-twentieth century; and now used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency in their Detention and Interrogation Program.

PSYCHOPOLITICS—the art and science of asserting and maintaining dominion over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals, officers, bureaus, and masses, and the effecting of the conquest of enemy nations through “mental healing”. Download the Brainwashing manual here.

Psychiatry and Assisted Suicide

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Psychiatry and Assisted Suicide

 We were struck by this paragraph on page 14 in the March 28th issue of the National Review magazine:

“The Dutch have discovered a cure for autism: murder. Dutch law first was changed to accommodate ‘physician-assisted suicide’?i.e., medical euthanasia?for patients with severe conditions some years ago, and, as it turns out, some slopes are slippery: The Dutch soon decided that those suffering from psychiatric problems could be put down like unwanted pets, too, and now are eliminating those who have no diagnosed medical condition whatsoever save autism. Dutch law requires that patients seeking to be put to death do so after sober and careful consideration?a condition that people suffering serious mental problems cannot reasonably be said to have met. Now unhappy people from abroad are traveling to the Netherlands to be killed. Canada is on the same decline, its supreme court having ‘discovered’ a new right, as our own so often does, this time to physician-inflicted death. When a mentally ill person says that he wants to die, the proper response is treatment, not “Does your insurance cover hemlock?”

Not that we have any particular wish to debate the pros and cons of assisted suicide?we wish only to highlight the psychiatric involvement here. Assisted suicide of psychiatric patients is increasing in the Netherlands. The data indicates that euthanasia is often granted despite disagreement by the treating psychiatrists over whether cases meet the legal criteria for assisted suicide.

The Washington Post chimes in: “Once the Netherlands authorized euthanasia for physical illnesses in 2002, demands to extend this ‘right’ to the suffering mentally ill were inevitable … Canadians are debating how to implement last year’s ruling by their Supreme Court establishing a right to ‘physician-assisted dying’ in cases of a ‘grievous and irremediable medical condition.’ A panel of experts advising Ontario and 10 other provinces and territories has urged that the ruling be construed to include mental illness.”

For decades after World War II, leading psychiatrists in Germany and around the world consistently denied or greatly minimized their profession’s main role in Nazi Germany’s euthanasia atrocities. The Nazis murdered well over 5,000 physically and mentally disabled children in over 30 psychiatric and pediatric hospitals. Doctors in German psychiatric facilities seeking to free up beds and save money killed patients—possibly as many as 10,000—by administering overdoses or providing them with so little food that they starved to death.

German psychiatrists created the ‘racial hygiene’ movement, which began with the work of eugenicist Alfred Ploetz in 1895. Almost forty years later this gained supremacy with the passage of the 1933 Sterilization Act in Nazi Germany and the concept of ‘lives unworthy of living’. This led to psychiatrists in Germany murdering hundreds of thousands of people that were ‘racially or mentally unfit’, long before the Holocaust began, and these same psychiatrists were then placed in killing centers during the Holocaust. Millions of people were killed during the Holocaust in Germany led by psychiatrists, which admission was finally made in an international broadcast apology by the President of the Germany Psychiatric Association in November 2010.

The Netherlands and Canada seem now to be following in those footsteps, urged on by the same psychiatric community of greed and misanthropy. Only now instead of calling it euthanasia they are calling it “assisted suicide,” or “death with dignity”, as if that removes the guilt.

Physician-assisted suicide in the United States is legal in the states of California, Oregon, Vermont, Montana, and Washington; a number of other states have considered it. There are alternatives to psychiatric treatment; however, these need to be applied before psychiatry-assisted suicide.

The treatment was successful; unfortunately, the patient died. Contact your state legislators and tell them what you think about this.

More About Marijuana and PTSD

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

More About Marijuana and PTSD

 Recent news is full of articles about making marijuana legally available for those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

While marijuana’s popularity may be based on the perception that it is safer than other methods as a treatment for so-called PTSD, a new study just published March 23 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science finds that regular marijuana smokers experience more work, social and economic issues at midlife in comparison to the ones who use pot just occasionally or not at all.

Backing up for a moment, we should mention that PTSD is not a real medical illness. It has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been interpreted as mental disorders when they are not.

Indeed, people can experience mental trauma; unfortunately, the “treatments” being used — psychiatric drugs and marijuana — have their own issues.

People take drugs to get rid of unwanted situations or feelings. Marijuana masks the problem for a time; but when the high fades, the problem, unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before.

The University of California, Davis researchers in this newly published study tracked roughly 1,000 young people for decades and found that the ones who smoked cannabis four or more days in a week over many years suffer lower-paying, less-skilled jobs in comparison to those who didn’t smoke pot on a regular basis. Quoting from the study, “Persistent cannabis users experienced more financial difficulties, engaged in more antisocial  behavior in the workplace, and reported more relationship conflict.”

“Against the backdrop of increasing legalization of cannabis around the world, and decreasing social perception of risk associated with cannabis use … this study provides evidence that many persistent cannabis users experience downward socioeconomic mobility and a wide range of associated problems. Individuals with a longer history of cannabis dependence (or of regular cannabis use) were more likely to experience financial difficulties, including having troubles with debt and cash flow, … food insecurity, being on welfare, and having a lower consumer credit rating. Persistent cannabis dependence (and regular cannabis use) was also associated with antisocial behavior in the workplace and higher rates of intimate relationship conflict, including physical violence and controlling abuse.”

The study concludes with, “Our data indicate that persistent cannabis users constitute a burden on families, communities, and national social-welfare systems. Moreover, heavy cannabis use and dependence was not associated with fewer harmful economic and social problems than was alcohol dependence. Our study underscores the need for prevention and early treatment of individuals dependent on cannabis. In light of the decreasing public perceptions of risk associated with cannabis use, and the movement to legalize cannabis use, we hope that our findings can inform discussions about the potential implications of greater availability and use of cannabis.”

We urge everyone embarking on some course of treatment to do their due diligence and undertake full informed consent.

Holocaust Commemoration in London Details Hitler’s Use of Psychiatric Genocide Program

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Holocaust Commemoration in London Details Hitler’s Use of Psychiatric Genocide Program

 International Holocaust Remembrance Day forum discloses the sordid role psychiatry played in the Nazi genocide.

LONDON, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Community leaders gathered for a Holocaust Commemoration and Human Dignity forum hosted by the London Church of Scientology heard accounts of Hitler’s lethal weapon to eliminate “unwanted” people by means of a psychiatric eugenics genocide program.

After one minute of silence to honor the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust, attendees learned of the secret eugenics program spawned in the late 1800s by Swiss German psychiatrist Alfred Ploetz. As documented in the Citizens Commission on Human Rights documentary, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, eugenics is the so-called “science” and practice of “improving the human race” by selective breeding to eliminate those considered “inferior.”

German psychiatrists used eugenics to justify the sterilization and murder of the mentally and physically disabled. In collusion with the Nazi regime, they then extended this to encompass those considered socially and politically unacceptable. They used starvation, sterilization and lethal injection to accomplish their sordid aims and expanded the program into the concentration camps where they systematically gassed Jews, Roma, Poles, and anyone else Hitler wanted to eliminate.

Other subsequent genocides have harrowing similarities. The 10-year Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts in the 1990s had the same psychiatric theories at their root. Psychiatrists Jovan Raskovic and Radovan Karadzic inspired racial and religious genocide in Bosnia including mass torture and rape. Former President Slobodan Milosevic, a Karadzic patient, perpetrated and financed the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

It was not until 1999 that German psychiatrists finally admitted publicly that psychiatry had spawned eugenics and the racial inferiority/superiority ideology that poisoned the minds of the German people for almost three decades, laying the foundation for the Holocaust.

The conference went on to explore modern psychiatric procedures that include categorizing difficult or unruly children and labeling them with invented “mental disorders” so they drug them into being “normal” or “acceptable.”

Today even normal childhood behavior—such as crying or being energetic—is labeled and codified as a mental disorder, the solution for which is mind-altering and highly addictive pharmaceutical drugs, and even electric shock.

While psychiatric crime occasionally surfaces in the media—as with a recent rash of headlines on a study linking their prescribing of antidepressants to suicide—psychiatrists continue to practice with impunity. They prey on “those who are vulnerable—those who feel they have no voice or rights and should just do as they are told,” said keynote speaker the Director of Citizens Commission on Human Rights in the UK, who detailed how the rights of patients are being compromised and what they and their families can do and say to successfully fight these abuses.

“We have a duty to help those in need,” said Daniels, “and by helping them understand their human rights we can empower them to make their lives better.”

Click here to report mental health human rights abuse to Citizens Commission on Human Rights, or click here to report psychiatric abuse in a specific State of the U.S. Click here for more information about the politics of psychiatry.

The Screeners are Screaming Again

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

The Screeners are Screaming Again

Just when you thought that calls for ubiquitous mental health screening was winding down, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is calling for widespread depression screening for children.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is made up of 16 volunteer members who are supposed to be experts in prevention, evidence-based medicine, and primary care. Task Force members are appointed by the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to serve 4-year terms. AHRQ is a federal government entity which is supposed to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide research on health care.

In February, 2016, the USPSTF recommended repeated and widespread primary care mental health screening for “major depressive disorder” in children aged 12 to 18 years. The usual “treatment” is SSRI psychiatric drugs.

While they admit that “Medications for the treatment of depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have known harms,” they basically ignore the harms in order to push the screenings and the drugs.

Mental health screening is a test for so-called mental illness. A person who is screened and found to exhibit symptoms of mental distress can then be diagnosed with a mental “disease” or “disorder” and referred to a psychiatrist or psychiatric facility (or even to a General Practitioner) to be prescribed psychiatric drugs.

Mental health screening aims to get whole populations on drugs and thus under control. The kinds of drugs used create further medical and social problems, and these subsequent complications require additional taxes and laws to handle them. The net result is a sick and fearful population dependent on the government to “solve” all their problems.

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatric institutions, and other medical doctors prescribing psychiatric drugs and treatments must be made fully accountable for their funding, practices and treatments, and their results, or lack thereof — including prescribing antidepressants whose only results are harmful side effects.

Risky Business of Sleep Drugs

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Risky Business of Sleep Drugs

After reading about the dangers of sleeping pills in the February 2016 edition of Consumer Reports magazine, we thought you might like to know something about that.

Some psychotropic drugs are prescribed as sleeping pills. Trazodone, an antidepressant, is often prescribed off label as a sleeping pill. Benzodiazepines such as Valium are also prescribed as sleeping pills. Other examples are Ambien (an anti-psychotic), Lunesta (an anti-anxiety drug), and Sonata (another anti-anxiety drug).

These have all the potential side effects we have come to associate with psychiatric drugs — including violence, suicide, addiction, and so on.

The latest sleeping pill fad, touted as “the new insomnia drug”, is Belsomra (generic “suvorexant”). It is classified as a “sedative-hypnotic” which means it is a central nervous system depressant; it alters brain chemistry by targeting a neurotransmitter called orexin.

Belsomra is manufactured by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corporation, and was approved by the FDA for insomnia in August of 2014.

Guess what? This drug carries the same warnings as other psychotropic drugs; it may cause memory loss, anxiety, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, depression, addiction, and thoughts of suicide — all this along with its own special side effects: inability to move or talk, sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and drowsiness lasting through the next day.

Here is what Consumer Reports has to say about Belsomra: “…people who took a 15- or 20-milligram dose of Belsomra every night for three months fell asleep just 6 minutes faster on average than those who took a placebo. And those on Belsomra slept on average only 16 minutes longer than people given a placebo. Such small improvements didn’t translate to people feeling more awake the next day, either. Instead, more people who took Belsomra reported that they felt drowsy the next day than those who took a placebo.”

“Because of the limited benefits and substantial risks of sleeping pills, Consumer Reports’ medical experts advise that sleep drugs should be used with great caution.”

“Merck spent $36 million on TV ads for its new drug Belsomra from Aug. 1 to Nov. 24, 2015, making it the second most advertised Rx drug in that time frame, according to iSpot.tv. The ads note that Belsomra is the first drug to target orexin, a chemical that plays a role in keeping people awake. But Belsomra doesn’t work much, or any, better than other sleep drugs. And because it’s new, little is known about its long-term safety.”

One take-away here is that even if a prescription drug is not advertised or prescribed for psychiatric reasons, if it messes with the brain’s neurotransmitters and has all the same side-effects as a psychiatric drug — well, you must get the picture by now.

The Consumer Reports article goes on to discuss non-drug sleep alternatives at some length; it is a good and helpful read.

When your doctor prescribes a drug, it is good practice to ask questions so you can give your full informed consent. These are some example questions you can ask:

1. What is the evidence for the diagnosis?
2. How does the treatment affect the body?
3. How does the treatment affect the mind?
4. What unwanted effects may occur?
5. Is it approved by the FDA for this condition?
6. What is known and not known about how safe it is and how well it works?
7. What are the alternatives, including the option of no treatment?
8. Does the doctor or the clinic have a financial interest in pushing the diagnosis or treatment?