Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit

The New York Times had an article April 7, 2018 discussing the fact that antidepressants are actually addictive and have withdrawal symptoms. Quotes are from this article.

“As far back as the mid-1990s, leading psychiatrists recognized withdrawal as a potential problem for patients taking modern antidepressants.”

On the other hand, CCHR has been making this known since 1969. Psychiatrists have been loathe to admit the addictive nature of antidepressants and other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs, and euphemistically call the side effects of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs “discontinuation syndrome”.

Drug addiction in the 1960’s became an increasing problem, and when investigated it was found that psychiatrists were pushing drugs and addicting people as a “cure.”

“Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal data by The New York Times. Some 15.5 million Americans have been taking the medications for at least five years. The rate has almost doubled since 2010, and more than tripled since 2000.”

Nearly 25 million adults have been on antidepressants for at least two years, a 60 percent increase since 2010.

“Many who try to quit say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about.”

We recommend Informed Consent. Protect yourself, your family and friends, with full informed consent. Courts have determined that informed consent for people who receive prescriptions for psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs must include the doctor providing information about possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, as well as information about alternative treatments.

“Antidepressants are not harmless; they commonly cause emotional numbing, sexual problems like a lack of desire or erectile dysfunction and weight gain.”

“Patients who try to stop taking the drugs often say they cannot. In a recent survey of 250 long-term users of psychiatric drugs — most commonly antidepressants — about half who wound down their prescriptions rated the withdrawal as severe. Nearly half who tried to quit could not do so because of these symptoms.”

“The truth is that the state of the science is absolutely inadequate … We don’t have enough information about what antidepressant withdrawal entails, so we can’t design proper tapering approaches.”

Polypharmacy is another significant problem, wherein a patient is prescribed many, possibly negatively-interacting drugs, often by multiple doctors who might be unaware of each other’s prescription orders. Often, these are drugs that the patient has been taking for a long period; they may be affecting the patient’s health negatively or are simply no longer beneficial. This is often addressed by deprescribing, which is the process of reducing the medication burden of a patient who might no longer need one or more of their prescriptions. Deprescribing principles are intended to improve health care for the patient by minimizing the harm and costs associated with polypharmacy, and minimizing the withdrawal effects of stopping one or more drugs.

Medications that may be considered for discontinuation include drugs that are no longer indicated, drugs that pose a risk for untoward side effects, drugs that interact adversely, drugs that are given to mitigate the side effects of another drug, and addictive drugs that have withdrawal side effects. However, addictive drugs should never be discontinued abruptly, since the withdrawal side effects can be severe.

For more information about how to safely withdraw from these harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, download and read the booklet Coming Off Psych Drugs Harm Reduction Guide.

Victims of therapist sexual abuse encouraged to speak out during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Press Release

CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
April 4, 2018

With studies showing an average of 6 to 10 percent of psychiatrists and psychologists sexually abusing their patients, including children as young as three, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is encouraging victims of such abuse to contact it and speak out.[1]

Coinciding with April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, CCHR also launched a petition calling for uniform laws to prosecute sexual harassment and assault of mental health patients [https://www.change.org/p/state-legislators-laws-needed-to-prosecute-psychiatrist-psychologist-patient-sexual-abuse-as-felony], calling the problem catastrophic. The sexual crimes committed by psychiatrists are estimated at 37 times greater than rapes occurring in the general community, one U.S. law firm stated, estimating that about 150,000 female patients have been assaulted.[2]

CCHR, a mental health watchdog, points to studies showing that mental health practitioners abusing their patients are often repeat offenders. A U.S. national survey of therapist-client sex involving minors also revealed one out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor, with girls as young as three and boys as young as seven.[3]

Clinicians have compared psychotherapist-patient sexual involvement to rape, child molestation, and incest, putting victims at increased risk of suicide, according to the study, “Psychotherapists’ Sexual Relationships with Their Patients” in Annals of Health Law. [4] Such sexual assault victims commonly struggle with emotional repercussions such as: Feelings of no self-worth, denial, crying spells, paranoia, helplessness, loneliness, shame, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, numbness, withdrawal, depression, fear of relationships and intimacy, and more. [5] The findings of a national study of 958 patients sexually abused by their therapist suggested that 90% were harmed and of those, only 17% recovered. About 14% of those who had been sexually involved with a therapist attempted suicide.[6]

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center which started Sexual Assault Awareness Month states, “With the #MeToo movement shining an unprecedented spotlight on this complex societal issue, it is a critical opportunity for informed news coverage to advance the public conversation.”[7] CCHR says that public conversation must include the rampant assault of women and children in the mental health system.

The group is calling for uniform therapist-sexual assault laws to be enacted throughout the U.S. and internationally. In 2016 a U.S. investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that in 49 states and the District of Columbia, multiple gaps in laws can leave patients vulnerable to abusive physicians.[8]

CCHR cites various studies in support of psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist patient sexual assault laws:

  • Psychiatrists themselves indicate that 65% of their new patients inform them of previous psychiatrists who have sexually abused them. Sexual assault or rape is not just limited to females. Men are also victims of therapist sexual abuse or rape.[9]
  • A 2012 study found psychiatrists in Canada were four times as likely as other doctors to be sanctioned for sexual misconduct.[10]
  • “More spectacular cases may involve the use of drugs to sedate patients or Svengali-like manipulation of patients who perform nonsexual and sexual services,” a Los Angeles Times article on the subject reported.[11]
  • A Canadian task force on sexual abuse of patients found that patients younger than 14 years accounted for 8.7% of reports of therapist sexual abuse.[12]
  • A study published in the Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law reported those therapists who report having sex with their patients are often repeat offenders with some surveys noting over 50% of male therapists reporting sexual involvement with more than one patient.[13]
  • Psychiatrists have an ethical obligation to expose colleagues who sexually abuse their patients.[14]
  • A survey of therapists published in the journal Professional Psychology reported that almost nine of 10 therapists said they had been sexually attracted to a patient, and 58% said they had been sexually aroused in the presence of a patient.[15]

A report in Annals of Health Law said that when sexual contact occurs in a psychotherapeutic setting, it is not unusual for the patient to have been persuaded that it was a necessary and integral part of the therapy itself.[16] The practice is referred to as “therapeutic deception,” which CCHR recommends should elicit greater penalties if used to sexually abuse a patient.

In one of the first lawsuits involving such abuse, the New York Appellate Court affirmed a trial courts decision which found that the relationship between a patient and psychiatrist was a fiduciary one, and it based liability on the psychiatrist’s misuse of his position of overpowering influence and trust to coerce a patient to have sex with him. According to the trial court, “[T]here is a public policy to protect a patient from the deliberate and malicious abuse of power and breach of trust by a psychiatrist when that patient entrusts to him her body and mind in the hope that he will use his best efforts to effect a cure.”[17]

At least 10 U.S. states specify “consent” is not a valid defense (CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, MN, NE, SD, ND, WI). Current Psychiatry referred to psychiatrist-patient sexual contact as a “boundary violation,” while acknowledging that such contact with patients is “inherently harmful to patients, always unethical, and usually illegal.”[18]

In a U.S. survey of psychiatrist-patient sex, 73% of psychiatrists who admitted they had sexual contact with their patients claimed it was committed in the name of “love” or “pleasure”; 19% said it was to “enhance the patient’s self-esteem” or provide a “restitutive emotional experience for the patient,” while others said it was merely a “judgment lapse.”[19]

CCHR says such excuses add weight to the need for uniform patient sexual assault laws, arguing that no lay rapist could argue that he “crossed the boundary,” his violent act was for the victim’s “self-esteem.”

Defrauding Insurance Companies

Some therapists that have sexually assaulted their patients add to the abuse by billing health insurance companies, fraudulently claiming they provided a “consultation.” For example, a psychologist in Florida was accused of having sex multiple times with one of his female patients and billing her insurance company $1,400 for “sessions,” according to records from the Florida Department of Health.[20]

CCHR encourages anyone who has knowledge of a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist sexually abusing a family member or friend to report this to CCHR, to call CCHR’s hotline at 1-800-869-2247, or fill out an abuse case report form [http://www.cchr.org/take-action/report-psychiatric-abuse.html] on the CCHR website.

References:

[1] “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases: Capable Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Fight for Justice,” https://www.beasleyfirm.com/medical-malpractice/doctor-sexual-assault/; Kenneth S. Pope, “Therapist-Patient Sex as Sex Abuse: Six Scientific, Professional, and Practical Dilemmas in Addressing Victimization and Rehabilitation,” https://kspope.com/sexiss/therapy1.php
[2] “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases: Capable Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Fight for Justice,” https://www.beasleyfirm.com/medical-malpractice/doctor-sexual-assault/
[4] Clifton Perry, Joan Wallman Kuruc, “Psychotherapists’ Sexual Relationships with Their Patients,” Annals of Health Law, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 1993, https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.bing.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1356&context=annals
[5] Op. cit., “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases: Capable Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Fight for Justice”
[8] “50-state review uncovers how patients are vulnerable to abusive physicians,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 17 Nov. 2016, https://www.ajc.com/news/national/state-review-uncovers-how-patients-are-vulnerable-abusive-physicians/MrE462LHAPKilYj3SA2crN/
[9] Op. cit. “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases.”
[10] “Psychiatrists four times as likely as other Canadian doctors to be disciplined for sexual misconduct: study,” The National Post, 6 Dec. 2012
[11] “When Doctors and Patients Become Involved : Ethics: Sexual contact between therapists and patients is not new. But now it is the subject of a growing number of malpractice cases,” Los Angeles Times, reprinting a Washington Post article, 9 Nov. 1989, http://articles.latimes.com/1989-11-09/news/vw-1375_1_malpractice-cases
[12] “Statistics & Laws Regarding Sexual Abuse by a Doctor or a Health Care Provider,” Averly Law Firm, 18 Mar. 2012, http://www.coloradosuperlawyer.com/injury-law/medical-malpractice/statistics-laws-regarding-sexual-abuse-by-a-doctor-or-a-health-care-provider/
[13] Gary C. Hankins et al, “Patient-Therapist Sexual Involvement: A Review of Clinical and Research Data,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law, Vol. 22, No.1, 1994, http://jaapl.org/content/jaapl/22/1/109.full.pdf
[15] “Many Therapists Feel Rage, Fear, Desire Toward Patients,” Chicago Tribune, 12 Sept. 2013, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-09-12/features/9309120024_1_therapists-patient-feelings
[16] Clifton Perry, Joan Wallman Kuruc, “Psychotherapists’ Sexual Relationships with Their Patients,” Annals of Health Law, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 1993, https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.bing.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1356&context=annals
[17] Clifton Perry, Joan Wallman Kuruc, “Psychotherapists’ Sexual Relationships with Their Patients,” Annals of Health Law, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 1993, https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.bing.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1356&context=annals
[18] “Psychiatrist/patient boundaries: When it’s OK to stretch the line,” Current Psychiatry, 2008 August;7(8):53-62, http://www.mdedge.com/currentpsychiatry/article/63241/psychiatrist/patient-boundaries-when-its-ok-stretch-line
[19] Nanette Gartrell, M.D., Judith Herman, M.D., et al., “Psychiatrist-Patient Sexual Contact: Results of a National Survey, I: Prevalence,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143 No. 9, Sept. 1986, p. 1128
[20] Tamara Lush, “Tampa psychologist accused of billing insurance for sex with patient,” Associated Press, 18 Feb 2010, http://www.foxnews.com/story/2010/02/18/florida-psychologist-accused-having-sex-with-patient.html.

Psychiatry is Now Called Behavioral Health

The Board of Trustees of the former National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) announced the association has changed its name to the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH), effective Monday, March 19, 2018.

NABH advocates for behavioral healthcare and represents behavior healthcare provider organizations such as psychiatric hospitals.

The reason they gave for the name change is to reflect the association’s mission to advocate for behavioral healthcare, because these healthcare needs are too complex to represent solely by reference to psychiatry.

We conjecture in addition that by removing the word “psychiatric” they are acknowledging that this word is gaining negative connotations in society.

In their anxiety to keep their failures explained, psychiatry continually redefines key words; in this case, replacing “psychiatric” with “behavioral health”. The emphasis is on describing ever more complicated conditions instead of curing them. The continual cry for more government funding buys no cures, but only how incurable it all is.

In fact, healthcare needs are relatively simple, and the effort to represent it as very complex is an obfuscation that facilitates asking for more funds to support more and more harmful and ineffective treatments.

Research has shown that proper medical screening by non-psychiatric diagnostic specialists could eliminate more than 40% of psychiatric admissions. Medical studies have shown time and again that for many patients, what appear to be mental problems are actually caused by an undiagnosed and untreated physical illness or condition.

While life is full of problems, and sometimes those problems can be overwhelming, it is important to know that psychiatry, its diagnoses and its drugs, are the wrong direction to go. The drugs can only chemically mask problems and symptoms; they cannot and never will be able to solve problems.

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

Trauma Informed Therapy is the Newest Psych Buzzword

“Trauma Informed Therapy is centered on the understanding of the emotional, neurological, psychological, social, and biological effects of trauma,” in the misleading idea that trauma experienced when young affects the mental well-being of individuals throughout life.

We call it misleading because while it is certainly true that trauma can affect one’s outlook on life, it is a mistake to think that this is a ripe field for psychiatric treatment just because psychiatrists and psychologists think there is no other treatment for it, when in fact the hardy resilience of children, and of adults, is often overlooked. Psychiatrists and psychologists think they have uncovered something new by focusing on the relationship between trauma and present-time adverse behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. The unfortunate aspect of this is that their “treatments” only make the matter worse.

Trauma focused therapy is a branch of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which as we’ve said before is a form of psychotherapy that attempts to modify dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts — by evaluating for the person, challenging the person’s behaviors, and getting the person to change those behaviors, often in combination with psychiatric drugs.

Trauma therapy is a direct result of the alarming spread of the fraudulent diagnosis of PTSD – so-called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Originally applied to soldiers suffering from battlefield exhaustion, PTSD has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events (trauma) on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been interpreted as mental disorders, leading directly to calling “trauma” the new “black,” and spawning an entirely new opportunity to expand psychiatric “treatment” to a broader patient population.

Why is this bad?

Psychiatric trauma treatment at best is useless, and at worst highly destructive to victims seeking help. By medicalizing what is a non-medical condition and introducing harmful drugs as a therapy, victims have been denied effective treatment options.

There is no better example of tyranny over the minds of men than what is being given to children and adults in the name of “help” through behaviorist programs such as CBT and Trauma therapy. The entirety of these psychological and psychiatric programs are founded on the tacit assumptions that mental health “experts” know all about the mind and mental phenomena, know a better way of life, a better value system and how to improve lives beyond the understanding and capability of everyone else in society.

The reality is that all these mental health programs are designed to control people towards specific ideological objectives at the expense of the person’s sanity and well-being. Do we really want to institutionalize mandatory psychiatric counseling and screening, which is where all this is heading?

Claiming that even normal behavior is a mental disorder and that drugs are the solution, psychiatrists and psychologists have insinuated themselves into positions of authority. If someone is exhibiting behavioral problems, there are many things that can be done besides the exclusive drug- and behavior modification-based options that are the backbone of mental health services today.

In fact, studies have indicated that many mental health consumers, that is people under the supposed care of some mental health provider, program or institution, have experienced traumatic, frightening, humiliating, or distressing events during their treatment or hospitalization. This is why CCHR encourages victims of psychiatric fraud or abuse to report these events.

Legal protections should be put in place to ensure that psychiatrists and psychologists are prohibited from violating the right of every person to exercise all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in other relevant instruments.

Take Action – Missouri Legislature – Very Bad Bills

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Missouri and is composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly is responsible for creating laws for governing the State of Missouri. The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) are electronically available on this site:  http://revisor.mo.gov/.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

The Ninety-Ninth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, convened on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, and will end on Friday, May 18,  2018.

This time we’d like to discuss several bills which we’d like you to write your legislators about. Please write from your viewpoint as an individual or professional, and not as a representative of any organization. Let us know the details and any responses you get. The full text of each bill can be found on the House and Senate Joint Bill Tracking site. Just put the bill number into the search box (e.g. SB661).

Check out our handy discussion about How to write to a legislator.

If you are not a voting resident of Missouri, you can find out about legislation in your own state and write your own state legislators; also, we are looking for volunteers to monitor legislation in Missouri and the states surrounding Missouri — let us know if you’d like to help out.

Very Bad Bills

These are bills that further psychiatric abuses of human rights, and are moving swiftly toward becoming law. Please express your opposition and opinions about these to your legislators and copy the sponsors.

1) SB661 – Senate Bill 661 – sponsored by Senator Jeanie Riddle (Republican, District 10; Audrain, Callaway, Lincoln, Monroe, Montgomery, & Warren counties). Related to HB1970.

This act provides that after a person accused of committing a crime has been involuntarily committed to the Department of Mental Health due to lack of mental fitness to stand trial, the legal counsel for the Department shall have standing to participate in hearings regarding involuntary medications for the accused.

The subject of this bill had been introduced previously in 2016 and 2017. We think it is very bad because it allows the Department of Mental Health to force psychiatric drugs on involuntarily committed citizens. Both of these actions — involuntary commitment and enforced drugging — are psychiatric abuses of human rights.

2) SB846 – Senate Bill 846 – sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp (Democrat, District 24; St. Louis County). Related to HB1419.

Requires two hours of suicide assessment and prevention training for licensure as a psychologist. Behavior analysts, professional counselors, social workers, baccalaureate social workers, and marital and family therapists must complete two hours of suicide assessment, referral, treatment, and management training as a condition of initial licensure and as a condition of license renewal.

While this sounds altruistic, the current state of so-called “suicide prevention education” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.

3) HB1363 – House Bill 1363 – sponsored by Representative Bill Kidd (Republican, District 20; Jackson County).

This bill requires teachers and principals to complete two hours of suicide prevention education each school year.

Again, while this sounds altruistic, the current state of so-called “suicide prevention education” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.

4) HB1419 – House Bill 1419 – sponsored by Representative Marsha Haefner (Republican, District 95; St. Louis County). Related to SB846.

This bill requires certain health care professionals to complete two hours of suicide prevention training as a condition of licensure.

More of the same — the current state of so-called “suicide prevention training” is a recommendation for harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, which are known to cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent, which is violence and suicide.

5) HB1658 – House Bill 1658 – sponsored by Representative Chuck Basye (Republican, District 47; Boone, Randolph, Howard, & Cooper counties).

This bill prohibits any third-party payer for health care services from limiting coverage or denying reimbursement for treatment for emotional, mental, or behavioral symptoms for children with physical or developmental disabilities. This is another attempt to enforce “Mental Health Care Parity“.

Parity is the concept that insurance reimbursements for mental health care must be equal to that for purely medical issues. Mental health parity amounts to a blank check for a mental health industry that cannot police itself, frequently abuses patients and rips off the health care system. Due to mandated mental health insurance parity there is more widespread patient abuse and fraud, as well as increasing insurance premiums and number of uninsured.

6) HB2384 – House Bill 2384 – sponsored by Representative Jay Barnes (Republican, District 60; Cole County). Related to SB1098.

This bill is basically another attempt to expand mental health care parity. See the discussion under HB1658.

7) The following bills refer to something called “Trauma-Informed Care”. Stay tuned for our Big Muddy River Newsletter on April 9th for more about this concept. Think “PTSD on steroids.” It’s really just re-defining words to create a new class of patients who are ripe for psychiatric fraud and abuse.

SB1004 – Senate Bill 1004 – sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp (Democrat, District 24; St. Louis County). Creates a “Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families” Board; a public-private partnership to promote using this style of treatment for children and families.
SCR47 – Senate Concurrent Resolution 47 – sponsored by Senator Jill Schupp (Democrat, District 24; St. Louis County). Establishes the Task Force on Trauma-Informed Care for Veterans.

Patients For Life

A leading cause of death in patients diagnosed with a serious mental condition (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression) has been preventable medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, metabolic disorders which are typical side effects of being treated with second generation (atypical) antipsychotics.

The majority of those who screen positive for these types of metabolic disorders do not receive treatment for these medical conditions. Even worse, the majority of patients being treated with these antipsychotics are not even screened, with simple blood tests, for these side effects.

A tremendous amount of effort, lasting over at least the last 15 years, has been expended in trying to change the U.S. medical system to implement simple blood test screening protocols for patients being prescribed antipsychotics. Many reasons have been given for this reluctance to change, but the most obvious reasons were not among them — the fact that no one knows how these drugs work, that they are addictive, harmful, and are causing side effects that produce continuing income from these patients for life, a life albeit shortened by the metabolic disorders caused by the drugs.

The general attitude of the mental health care industry is that mental disorders are comorbid with metabolic disorders. This means that there is a simultaneous presence of these two chronic conditions in a patient, with little thought given to the fact that metabolic disorders can be the side effect of the drugs being given for the mental disorder. Since the drugs are addictive, harmful, and have nasty side effects, the obvious solution is to stop prescribing the drugs and use one or more of the many non-drug alternatives. This, however, would deprive the industry of one of its top money-makers.

Patients already presenting with CVD or diabetes, or who have known risk factors for these, should not even be considered as candidates for antipsychotics, and should also be screened for any other undiagnosed and untreated medical conditions which may be causing mental symptoms.

A case could be made for malpractice if blood test screening for metabolic disorders is not being performed for patients vulnerable to these diseases, especially since the medications that psychiatrists prescribe increase vulnerability to metabolic syndrome. [Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic disorders, usually including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.]

Psychiatrists should be responsible for monitoring any potential side effects associated with the drugs that they prescribe; therefore, it is negligent if monitoring is not being done.

We are seeing a huge increase in the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions among younger pediatric patients, yet the younger one is, the lower one’s chances of being monitored.

Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), statistics are touted about near “epidemic” rates of mental illness in order to demand more government funds and sell more harmful drugs, making people “patients for life” as the drug adverse events then require more drugs to handle these harmful side effects.

Contact your local, state and federal authorities and legislators and demand that funding for psychiatric promises be revoked until the mental health industry can prove its effectiveness with actual cures.

Psychiatric Sexual Assault – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In 2009, President Obama first proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The Presidential Proclamation does not mention sexual assault in the mental health care field, so we’d like to mention it here.

In Missouri, there are a number of Statutes that specify crimes and penalties for various forms of sexual assault, but patient rape by a psychiatrist or psychologist is not specifically one of them.

The United States Code, Chapter 109a, Title 18, Section 2242, Sexual Abuse, states, “Whoever…knowingly…engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is…incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct…shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

There is a long-standing consensus in the medical profession that sexual contact or sexual relations between physicians and patients is unethical. The prohibition against such was incorporated into the Hippocratic Oath: “I will come to the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons… .” (Other translations from the Greek may read slightly differently, but the intention remains the same.) Contrary to popular belief, the Hippocratic Oath is not required by most modern medical schools.

In no other area of medicine is the patient in such a state of emotional vulnerability as when they visit a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is a relationship in which the patient can be most easily exploited and manipulated.

But psychiatrists and psychologists rarely consider that raping a patient is rape. Instead, it is euphemistically called “sexual contact,” a “sexual relationship” or “crossing the boundaries” when one of its members sexually forces themself on a patient, often with the help of drugs or electroshock treatment.

Yet, the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics states:
“[T]he inherent inequality in the doctor-patient relationship may lead to exploitation of the patient. Sexual activity with a current or former patient is unethical.”

Similarly, the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct states: [3.08] “Psychologists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, and employees.” [10.05] “Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current therapy clients/patients.”

Unfortunately, too many of them do not heed their profession’s codes. This is well understood by government and law enforcement: as of 2004, there have been more than 25 statutes enacted to address the increasing number of sex crimes against patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Israel.

Psychiatric Rape Statistics

A review of more than 800 convictions of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists between 1998 and 2005 revealed that more than 30% were for sex crimes.

Studies in numerous countries reveal that between 10% and 25% of psychiatrists and psychologists admit to sexually abusing their patients.

A 1997 Canadian study of psychiatrists revealed that 10% admitted to sexually abusing their patients; 80% of those were repeat offenders.

In a 1999 British study of therapist-patient sexual contact among psychologists, 25% reported having treated a patient who had been sexually involved with another therapist.

As reported in 2001, a U.S. study of therapist-client sex, reported that 1 out of 20 clients who had been sexually abused by their therapist was a minor. The female victims’ ages ranged from 3 to 17, and from 7 to 16 for the males. The average age was 7 for girls and 12 for boys.

Medical & Licensing Boards

While psychiatric rape is punishable by the justice system, in most of the cases professional registration boards deal with psychiatrists’ and psychologists’ rape merely as “professional misconduct.”

These boards decide what discipline should be imposed. Following this logic, if a plumber raped a customer, his fate should be decided by a society of plumbers. That, of course, will not happen and in the same way, neither should professional registration boards be allowed to operate as law. Especially when they have proven they cannot be trusted.

In Missouri, the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts and the Committee of Psychologists have this function.

The so-called ethics system used by psychiatrists has been universally attacked as soft and inadequate. In 1996, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) claimed that “Ethical practice is based on the psychiatrist’s individual sense of responsibility to the patient and judgment in determining what is correct and appropriate conduct. External standards and influences such as professional codes of conduct, the study of ethics, or the rule of law by themselves will not guarantee the ethical practice of medicine.”

Psychiatric and psychological professional societies do not police their memberships. State licensing agencies’ disciplinary actions frequently fail to meet the severity and lasting damage of the practitioner’s violations. Rape is rape and sexual abuse is sexual abuse, whether it occurs in an alley at knife point or on the couch in a professional office. It should be treated as a crime under existing sexual abuse statutes or legislation should be created and enacted that specifically targets sexual exploitation by psychotherapists.

Additionally, any law enforcement agency investigating such a sexual assault complaint should determine if insurance was involved and, if so, should suspect and investigate for potential insurance fraud (billing private, state or federal insurance programs for “treatment” that was actually sex).

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights exposes the criminal convictions of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health personnel for sexual assault, rape and other crimes. See also the documentation on PsychSearch.net if you suspect a psychiatrist of malfeasance.

Click here for more information about psychiatric sexual assault.

Did You Know You Have Been Paying for Drug Company Ads?

Drug companies have too much influence in Washington, D.C. – so it figures we’re one of the only nations in the world that allows both advertising of prescription drugs to consumers and for those ads to be subsidized by taxpayers.

Under current law, drugmakers can fully deduct the cost of television, online, magazine, and radio ads from their taxes—-all while continuing to hike drug prices for all Americans. You might be tired of paying for it with your taxes.

In 2015 alone, drug companies in the U.S. spent more than $6 billion on fully tax-deductible advertising expenses.

According to the Internal Revenue Code “ordinary and necessary” business expenses are tax deductible, including most advertising costs.

The direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs, however, should not be treated the same as other advertising, since in many cases it disperses deceptive information, hinders the patient-doctor relationship, encourages patients to choose drug-based solutions over lifestyle-based ones, reduces the amount spent on research and development, and increases spending on drugs without a corresponding health benefit.

In the case of psychotropic drugs, clearly these ads dispense deceptive information, as we have repeatedly written about. In the face of these compelling public policy justifications, the Tax Code could be revised to deny tax deductions for DTCA. While the First Amendment protects free speech, this protection does not require Congress to continue to subsidize DTCA.

Hence Senate Bill S.2478 has been introduced into Congress – “A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny the deduction for advertising and promotional expenses for prescription drugs” [115th Congress, 2017-2018].

The real problem with the psycho-pharmaceutical industry is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, stigmatize unwanted behavior as  “diseases,” and prescribe harmful and addictive drugs to keep patients in the mental health care system. Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. Why are we continuing to subsidize their advertising? Contact your U.S. Senators to support S.2478.

Take Action – Missouri Legislature – Abolish ECT on Children

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Missouri and is composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly is responsible for creating laws for governing the State of Missouri. The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) are electronically available on this site:  http://revisor.mo.gov/.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

We’d like you to write your legislators about the bill discussed below. Please write from your viewpoint as an individual or professional, and not as a representative of any organization. Let us know the details and any responses you get. The full text of this bill can be found here.

Check out our handy discussion about How to write to a legislator.

If you are not a voting resident of Missouri, you can find out about legislation in your own state and write your own state legislators; also, we are looking for volunteers to monitor legislation in Missouri and the states surrounding Missouri — let us know if you’d like to help out.

Very Good Bill
This bill supports human rights, particularly those of children. Please express your support and opinion about this to your Missouri State Representative.

HB1451 – House Bill 1451 – sponsored by Representative Karla May (Democrat, District 84, St. Louis City).

This bill prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on children under 16 years of age. Any person or mental health facility that administers electroconvulsive therapy to someone under 16 years of age will be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for two years, or both, and will be liable for compensation to the person that was given the electroconvulsive therapy.

What can we say? You are being hoodwinked by a small group of psychiatric industry special interests who claim that electroshock is good for you. About time to get this one passed! Write your legislators now! Stick your finger in an electric socket if you think ECT is good for anyone!

In fact, we just heard about a case in Missouri where a 5-year-old child was given electroshock. This is unconscionable, and a no-brainer to pass into law.

When we speak with people about electroshock, the typical response is, “We didn’t know that was still being done.” In fact, ECT is a huge money-maker for psychiatry in Missouri, because the damage it does to the brain makes a patient for life. Barbaric practices like shock treatment need to be eradicated.

Despite modern ECT being promoted as “new and improved,” there is much evidence that contradicts this claim. California, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas have already banned the use of ECT on those aged 0-12 and 0-16. The Western Australian government banned the use of ECT on those younger than 14, with criminal penalties if this is violated. ECT should never be used on children.

In light of the fact that the FDA admits ECT can cause cardiovascular complications, memory loss, cognitive impairment, brain damage and death and that psychiatrists admit they do not know how ECT “works,” we call upon the Missouri legislature to pass HB1451 into law this session.

Mental Health “Care” Coming to Your Community

News articles extolling “Community Mental Health” continue to be published across the United States and abroad. We thought you should know more about this.

These articles generally discuss funding, either the lack or availability of public funding, for various mental health care programs — such as Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC), police Crisis Intervention Teams, Suicide Programs, Veterans Programs, Mental Health Courts, Emergency Management or Crisis Counseling, Violence Prevention, School Safety, or other public/private ventures in the mental health care industry. They also generally complain about the lack of a sufficient number of psychiatrists or psychologists in relation to the target population. Let us help put the record straight about this.

History of CMHC

In 1955, a five-year inquiry by the U.S. Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health recommended replacing psychiatric institutions with Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs). According to Henry A. Foley, Ph.D., and Steven S. Sharfstein, M.D., authors of Madness in Government, “Psychiatrists gave the impression to elected officials that cures were the rule, not the exception,” a claim that the psychiatric industry could not and still cannot substantiate.

The advent of Community Mental Health psychiatric programs in the 1960s would not have been possible without the development and use of neuroleptic drugs, also known as antipsychotics, for mentally disturbed individuals. Neuroleptic is from Greek, meaning “nerve seizing”, reflective of how the drugs act like a chemical lobotomy.

These community facilities and programs were promoted as the solution to all institutional problems. The premise, based almost entirely on the development and use of neuroleptic drugs, was that patients could now be successfully released back into society as long as they were taking these drugs. Ongoing service would be provided through government-funded units called Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC). These centers would tend to the patients from within the community, dispensing the neuroleptics that would keep them under control. Governments would save money and individuals would improve faster. The plan was called “deinstitutionalization.”

The first generation of neuroleptics, now commonly referred to as “typical antipsychotics” or “typicals,” appeared during the 1960s. They were heavily promoted as “miracle” drugs that made it “possible for most of the mentally ill to be successfully and quickly treated in their own communities and returned to a useful place in society.”

These claims were false, as neuroleptics are now known to have devastating side effects. In an article in the American Journal of Bioethics in 2003, Vera Sharav stated, “The reality was that the therapies damaged the brain’s frontal lobes, which is the distinguishing feature of the human brain. The neuroleptic drugs used since the 1950s ‘worked’ by hindering normal brain function: they dimmed psychosis, but produced pathology often worse than the condition for which they have been prescribed — much like physical lobotomy which psychotropic drugs replaced.”

Author Peter Schrag wrote in Mind Control, by the mid-seventies enough neuroleptic drugs and antidepressants “were being prescribed outside hospitals to keep some three to four million people medicated fulltime – roughly ten times the number who, according to the [psychiatrists’] own arguments, are so crazy that they would have to be locked up in hospitals if there were no drugs.”

After a decade of the Community Mental Health program, consumer advocate Ralph Nader called it a “highly touted but failing social innovation.” It “already bears the familiar pattern of past mental health promises that were initiated amid great moral fervor, raised false hopes of imminent solutions and wound up only recapitulating the problems they were to solve.”

As for the funding of CMHCs and psychiatric outpatient clinics, the fact is that psychiatry’s budget in the United States soared from $143 million in 1969 to over $9 billion in 1997 – a more than 6,000% increase in funding, while increasing by only 10 times the number of people receiving services. The estimated costs today are over $11 billion.

If collecting these billions in inflated fees for non-workable treatments wasn’t bad enough, in 1990 a congressional committee issued a report estimating that Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) had diverted between $40 million and $100 million to improper uses, and that a quarter of all CMHCs had so thoroughly failed to meet their obligations as to be legally subject to immediate recovery of federal funds.

Psychiatrists have consistently blamed the failure of deinstitutionalization on a lack of community mental health funding. In reality, they create the drug-induced crisis themselves and then, shamelessly, demand yet more money.

The CMHCs became legalized drug dealerships that not only supplied drugs to former mental hospital patients, but also supplied psychiatric prescriptions to individuals not suffering from “serious mental problems.” Deinstitutionalization failed and society has been struggling with the resultant homelessness and other disastrous results ever since.

Accompanying the psychiatric push for expanded community mental health programs is their demand for greater powers to involuntarily commit individuals. Psychiatrists disingenuously argue that involuntary commitment is an act of kindness, that it is cruel to leave the disturbed in a tormented state. However, such claims are based on the dual premises that 1) psychiatrists have helpful and workable treatments to begin with, and 2) psychiatrists have some expertise in diagnosing and predicting dangerousness. Both suppositions are patently false.

In spite of receiving huge increases in funding in the United States, psychiatry and psychology not only failed but managed to make things drastically worse; rates of drug abuse, suicide, illiteracy and crime continue to rise.

The real message is this: in spite of an investment of billions of dollars for psychiatric promises, the world has received nothing but presumptuous demands from psychiatric vested interests for more money.

Contact your local, state and federal authorities and legislators and demand that funding for psychiatric promises be revoked until the mental health industry can prove its effectiveness with actual cures.