Antidepressant-Induced School Shootings Spread to Europe

Finnish School Shooter Joins List of Drug-Induced Kid Killers including Eric Harris, Kip Kinkel and Jeff Weise

ST. LOUIS: The mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), says the antidepressant-induced school shootings plaguing the U.S. have now spread to Europe; Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen is the tenth recent school shooter reported to be taking psychiatric drugs documented to cause violence, suicide, psychosis and mania. The death toll from these recent school shooters under the influence of mind-altering drugs now totals 39 dead and 84 wounded. Increases in these senseless acts of drug-induced suicide and violence prompted the watchdog to launch a new series of Public Service Announcements, warning parents to “Get the Facts. Fight Back.”

According to news reports, 18-year-old gunman Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide. CCHR maintains that drug-induced tragedies such as this demonstrate the urgent need for more public awareness of the deadly side effects of the psychiatric drugs being prescribed to children—the reason for their new public service announcements that have been translated into 15 languages.

An estimated 63,000 suicides have been attributed to antidepressants, and after decades of denial from the psychiatric/mental health industry, the FDA finally required all antidepressants to warn of suicide risks for children and teens in 2004. Yet despite documented side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation, and 10 recent school shooters documented to be under the influence of such drugs, the mass drugging of children and teens continues.

* Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

* Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

* Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox.

* Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.

* Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2000: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

* El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.

* Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.

* Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.

* Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazadone.

To view the PSAs, go to www.cchr.org/psas/. For a detailed report on psychiatric drugs and violence read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Drugs and Anger Management Curricula—A Perspective on School Violence.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. Contact CCHR St. Louis at 314-727-8307 or cchrstl@cchrstl.org.

The Fight Against Psychiatric Drug-Induced Violence and Suicide

An estimated 63,000 people have committed suicide on antidepressants, some as young as five

Based on thousands of documented cases of psychiatric drug-induced suicide and violence, the mental health watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has launched a new public awareness campaign, “Get the Facts. Fight Back,” featuring Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the deadly side effects of psychiatric drugs on the nation’s most vulnerable: children.

CCHR says that as far back as 1991, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the mental health industry have been aware that antidepressants can cause violence and suicide. Due to pressure from CCHR, concerned doctors, scientists and victims, the FDA held hearings into this issue but because of the vested interests of psychiatrists on the review panel with direct ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the information was buried for more than 14 years.

Finally in 2004, the FDA issued its most severe warning, the black box, on all antidepressants due to the risk of suicide. The toll to the public has been great, and with an estimated 63,000 suicides attributed to antidepressants alone, there has yet to be any federal investigation of the drugs causing violence.

Eight recent school shootings by teens under the influence of psychiatric drugs, now documented by the FDA to cause suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and “homicidal ideation,” have resulted in 29 dead and 68 wounded. The list of school shooters on psychiatric drugs includes Jeff Weise in Red Lake, Minnesota, Eric Harris at Columbine, Colorado and Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Oregon.

In September 2005, following confirmation that school shooter Jeff Weise was under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, the National Foundation of Women Legislators (NFWL) urgently called for a Congressional investigation into the correlation between psychiatric drug use and school massacres. To date there has been no response to this request.

CCHR warns that despite the evidence linking psychiatric drugs to suicide and violence, psychiatrists indiscriminately prescribe the drugs to millions of children and teens based on subjective diagnoses made without any physical tests—such as blood tests, brain scans or X-rays.

Click here to watch the PSAs, which present the deadly side effects of psychiatric drugs being doled out to millions of children. CCHR’s message is featured at the end of each ad for unsuspecting parents who are being pressured to administer these drugs to their children: “Get the Facts. Fight Back.” CCHR says it is imperative that parents have access to information from sources other than those who stand to profit from what has become a billion dollar child drugging industry.

To contact CCHR St. Louis call 314-727-8307 or email cchrstl@cchrstl.org.

CCHR is an international psychiatric watchdog group that has been in the vanguard of patients’ rights since it was co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.

CHADD Promotes Pharmaceutical Agenda While Receiving 1 Million Dollars from Pharma

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” (CHADD)

Promotes Pharmaceutical Agenda While Receiving 1 Million Dollars from Pharma

LOS ANGELES: The psychiatric watchdog organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights is warning that consumers nationwide are being mislead by CHADD, which recently made fraudulent claims about the medical validity of “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD), calling it a “disease.” CHADD attacked a Virginia school board for sending out valid information about ADHD and the drugs used to “treat” it, including a warning by the United Nations about the dangers of ADHD drugs.

With more than $1 million in pharmaceutical funding in 2004-2005 alone, CHADD has a conspicuous vested interest in trying to convince parents of the validity of ADHD and the drugs used to “treat” it.

Among other facts cited, the memo sent by the Virginia school board states, “The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued a strong warning against falsely labeling youth with the psychiatric diagnosis of ADHD and administering powerful ADHD drugs. The committee urges that other forms of management and treatment be used to address difficult behavior in children. The Commission recommended against the prescription of these drugs for anyone under 18.” The memo also lists some of the documented side effects of drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall.

CHADD asked that the memo be retracted and that a new one be sent out stating that ADHD is a disease and requires “treatment.” CCHR says that CHADD’s fraudulent promotion of ADHD as a disease, and their outrage at the school board’s informational memo, is due to the organization’s vested interests in drug companies that market the so-called “treatments.” CHADD also conveniently omits the recent FDA warnings that ADHD drugs can cause hallucinations, psychosis, stroke, heart attack and sudden death.

Despite CHADD’s claims, there are no biological tests, such as blood tests, chemical imbalance tests, brain scans, MRIs or X-Rays, which can confirm ADHD as a medical disorder requiring the administration of dangerous and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs. Pediatric neurologist, Dr. Fred Baughman, who has discovered real physical diseases, says that claiming ADHD is a “disease” or “neurobiological” is “a perversion of science and medicine and is a lie.”

In addition to the strong FDA warnings issued this year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has warned that most of the material prepared for public consumption by groups like CHADD do not address the potential or actual abuse of Ritalin but instead portray such dangerous drugs as a benign, mild substance that is not associated with abuse or any serious side effects. In fact, the DEA classifies Ritalin and Methylphenidate in the same class of highly addictive drugs as cocaine, morphine and opium.

CCHR says the public has the right to know the truth about the dangers of these drugs, as well as the fact that there is no medical/scientific basis to validate ADHD as a disease. The watchdog group urges parents to demand that their right to fully informed consent be upheld and to applaud those individuals and groups that are fighting for informed consent and the right for parents to get all the information available, instead of that coming from groups that benefit from the child drugging industry.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. Contact CCHR St. Louis at 314-727-8307 or CCHRSTL@CCHRSTL.ORG. Visit CCHR’s website at http://www.cchrstl.org.

Mental Health Day urges protections against school mental health screenings

MENTAL HEALTH DAY URGES PROTECTIONS AGAINST

SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING AND PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS

Human Rights Group Calls on Missouri Commissioner of Education to Act

St. Louis – International Mental Health Day was a launching pad to draw attention to the dangers of behavioral screening and programs and psychiatric drugs in schools. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a 38-year psychiatric watchdog group, has asked Missouri State Commissioner of Education Dr. D. Kent King to protect schoolchildren from potentially being placed on dangerous psychiatric drugs by cutting funding for mental health screening of schoolchildren. The screening can lead to students being referred for psychiatric drug treatment that can induce violent and suicidal behavior. In a letter sent to the Commissioner, CCHR asked Dr. King to redirect state funds towards non-drug educational programs, additional teachers and music/art education instead.

A federal recommendation to screen all 52 million schoolchildren for “mental disorders” has drawn scathing criticism and “triggered fierce controversy” according to a 2004 British Medical Journal article. The controversy hasn’t died, CCHR says, and thousands of petition signatures across the nation have since condemned screening that parents charge is aimed at feeding the $27 billion a year sales in psychotropic drugs.

To raise public awareness on this issue CCHR members were present at the Federal Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, having petitions signed and handing passers-by “Fact Sheets on Mental Health Screening and Psychiatric Drugs for Children” warning of at least 18 acts of school violence by students taking psychiatric drugs, half of them antidepressants. In 2002, the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Education report on prevention of school attacks found school shootings/attacks between 1974 and June 2000 averaged 1.4 incidents per year. Since 1988, when the first of the new antidepressants came on the market, the number of incidents almost doubled to 2.5 per year. Despite increased mental health funds to prevent school violence, the opposite has occurred. CCHR spokesperson Teresa Hassler said, “This is because the correct reason for the violence is not being addressed: mental health screenings, psychological programs and psychotropic drugs being prescribed to curtail the violence are the very things causing it.”

At least 7 of the 18 students above had also undergone anger management/conflict resolution classes or psychological counselling, including the Columbine school shooters—programs that experts have also indicated could increase violent tendencies. Ms. Hassler said, “It’s time to put an end to our schools being used as mental health labs and get education back on track, without wasting millions of taxpayers’ money on unworkable and potentially dangerous psychological curricula and drugs.”

Parents consenting to mental health screening are unaware that it is based on the American Psychiatric Association’s “billing bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), which is not based on science. Unlike for most medical conditions, psychiatrists admit they do not know the cause of or cure for any mental disorder. Dr. Thomas Szasz, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York, Health Science Center says, “There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases.”

The DSM has been criticized as unreliable because of its subjective nature and the influence of pharmaceutical companies on it. A study published last year in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics determined that psychiatric drug makers funded 100% of the APA panel members that decided what “mood” and “psychotic” disorders were included in the DSM. TeenScreen, one of the “depression screening programs” being used across the country, is based on the DSM. Its developer, David Schaffer of Columbia University, admitted to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that the test has an 84% false positive rate. This means that 84% of teens diagnosed as having some sort of mental health or social disorder are, in fact, perfectly normal teenagers.

Ms. Hassler said, “Mental Health Day was chosen to raise awareness about the need for greater protection for schoolchildren because psychiatrists often use tragedies such as school shootings to demand millions more in government funds, and to increase mental health protocols being used in schools without ever being held accountable for not reducing the problems it claims to be able to help. If nothing is done about this, we could be looking at 40 million American kids taking psychiatric drugs within the next decade.”

Since 2000, there have been 119 international drug regulatory agency warnings against psychiatric drugs, including more than a dozen FDA warnings in the past three years. Depending upon which group of drugs, they could cause agitation, blood disorders, hallucinations, hostility, psychotic depression, strokes, heart attack, psychosis, severe liver damage, diabetes, seizures, suicide, violence and death.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry, as a watchdog organization to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.

COURT RECORDS SHED NEW LIGHT ON OHIO SCHOOL SHOOTER

Asa Coon May Be Another Teen Under the Influence of Psychiatric Drugs Resulting in 29 Dead and 68 Wounded

Cleveland juvenile court records obtained by the psychiatric watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) show that Asa Coon, the 14-year-old Ohio school shooter who wounded four before taking his own life on Wednesday (10/10/07), had been prescribed psychiatric drugs including Trazodone, an antidepressant, and Clonidine, prescribed for “ADHD.”

Although The New York Times reported that Coon had refused to take his “medication,” it failed to mention that the court records also state that the “Child shall be evaluated by a psychiatrist to review his medication and he shall follow all recommendations, including taking medications as prescribed.” This was in June 2006, and by November, the court determined that these conditions were met and the boy’s probation was consequently terminated.

CCHR’s long-standing investigation into the correlation between suicidal and homicidal effects of antidepressant drugs, predating the FDA’s black box suicide warnings by more than 15 years, maintains that the drugs are often linked to acts of senseless violence yet this fact is often swept under the rug.

Recent school shootings by teens under the influence of psychiatric drugs, documented by the FDA to cause suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and “homicidal ideation,” have resulted in 29 dead and 68 wounded. With many other school shooters, their psychiatric drug use has never received the investigation merited by the violence-inducing effects of the drugs.

Frequently, toxicology reports or medical records are never disclosed, or in the case of Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, toxicology tests were only done on blood and not tissue, which would reveal if the shooter was experiencing violent withdrawal symptoms.

A thorough toxicology report was merited by Cho’s former roommate’s observation of the shooter taking “prescription medication” as part of his daily routine, along with the fact that Cho’s records reveal he was prescribed psychiatric drugs in high school.

School shootings committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs include:

March 21, 2005: Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, reportedly under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, went on a shooting rampage at home and at his school, killing nine people and wounding seven before committing suicide.

April 10, 2001: Wahluke, Washington: 16-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school, and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage while on a high dose of the antidepressant Effexor.

March 22, 2001: El Cajon, California: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman was on two antidepressants, Effexor and Celexa, when he opened fire at his California high school wounding five.

May 20, 1999: Conyers, Georgia: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with a mix of antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded 6 of his classmates.

April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado: 18-year-old Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox when he and his partner Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 26 others before taking their own lives.  The coroner confirmed that the antidepressant was in his system through toxicology reports while Dylan Klebold’s autopsy was never made public.

May 21, 1998: Springfield, Oregon: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his own parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been on Prozac.

Following the Red Lake Indian Reservation shooting in September 2005, the National Foundation of Women Legislators, together with American Indian tribal leaders, called for a Congressional investigation into the correlation between psychiatric drug use and school massacres. However, Congress has yet to investigate the psychiatric drug link to these senseless acts of violence. According to CCHR, an immediate Congressional investigation into this link is necessary to help prevent further tragedies in our nation’s schools.

For more information, read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Drugs and Anger Management Curricula—A Perspective on School Violence.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.  Contact the CCHR’s Media Department at 800-869-2247 or humanrights@cchr.org.

Health Care Reform

A Health Care Reform editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (“Then vs. now”, 09/30/07) bemoans the fact that “Health insurance premiums grew by 78 percent between 2001 and 2007.”

 

Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Mental Health budget grew by 157 percent between 2001 and 2007, to over one billion dollars this year.

Per the Post-Dispatch’s own research (“Broken Promises, Broken Lives”, 6/11/2006), “Mentally retarded and mentally ill people in Missouri have been sexually assaulted, beaten, injured and left to die by abusive and neglectful caregivers in a system that for years has failed at every level to safeguard them.”

 

Looking at the whole picture, one could easily come to the conclusion that we got off lightly with only a 78 percent increase in health insurance premiums, while mental health fraud and abuse continues to rise as mental health care funding increases.

 

With mental health treatment costing up to 300% more than general medical treatment, spiraling costs are imminent. An increasing percentage of mental health care costs go toward psychiatric drugs that can damage the brain and physically harm patients. Spending on drugs generally is rising at three times or more the rate of inflation.

 

Efforts by the mental health industry to require insurance companies to pay mental health care benefits at the same level as for physical health care (called “mental health insurance parity”) are one significant reason why our health care system is in jeopardy. Mandated mental health parity is an effort by the mental health industry to have governments force insurers, employers, consumers and taxpayers pay for a fraudulent and abusive service they will not buy of their own free will. It drives up the cost of insurance and has skyrocketed the number of uninsured.

 

Read the CCHR publication WHAT DOES MANDATED MENTAL HEALTH PARITY PAY FOR? Skyrocketing Costs, Increased Stigma, More Child Abuse & Fraud at http://www.cchr.org/index.cfm/17106.

 

Despite mounting evidence of a link between antidepressants and suicide/violence, psychiatrists indiscriminately prescribe the drugs to millions, based on subjective diagnoses made without any physical tests — such as blood tests, brain scans or X-rays — and try to obscure the dangerous side effects of the drugs in order to protect billions in profit from drug sales.

 

CCHR is calling on:

 

1) The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to place in a prominent box on both the Drug Information Packaging and bottle, a statement that consumers have the right to report any adverse psychiatric drug reaction to the FDA (MedWatch), and

 

2) All state governments and the federal government to recognize the dangers of psychiatric drugs and to start channeling funds away from unworkable and dangerous psychiatric methods and into medical programs that:

  • help wean a person safely off psychiatric drugs, and
  • help mentally disturbed individuals with effective medical/alternative, non-psychiatric programs.

 

The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R. 3580)

Congress gave final approval Thursday, November 20, 2007  to legislation designed to transform the Food and Drug Administration from a passive monitor to an active detective seeking out medications that have been approved for sale but turn out to be hazardous.

The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R. 3580) passed by unanimous consent in the Senate after the House overwhelmingly passed it the day before, and the bill has been signed into law by the President.

 

Thank you for for supporting CCHR, helping it and its allies achieve what the media are heralding as the, “most significant drug safety legislation in more than 40 years.”

Overcoming unbelievable obstacles, and working with many consumer and parents groups and whistleblowers, in a nutshell the following is some of what was achieved:

§         Drug ads will now carry a conspicuous notice: “You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.”  Until now, over 90% of Americans didn’t know that they could bypass their psych or MD to report adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to the FDA (because psychs/doctors only report 1-10 percent of drug side effects.) Empowering people with the ability to report side effects themselves and the ADR reports could increase 100x! And $225 million is to be allocated to ensure that the FDA does oversee the adverse reactions and acts on them!

§         Drug companies must now publicly post all results—the good, bad and the ugly—of their drug clinical trials on the Internet. They can no longer selectively choose what they want you to know. The posting will include a glossary for the lay people explaining technical terms to ensure that such information is not misleading or misunderstood.

§         If any drug maker submits false information on a clinical trial, the FDA will post a notice stating: “The entry for this clinical trial was found to be false or misleading and therefore not in compliance with the law.”

 

§         The FDA must now monitor drug advertisements and if they are false or misleading, can fine drug makers up to to $10 million.

 

You can see that your support of CCHR is getting dynamic RESULTS. Please continue to support CCHR with your donations and your volunteer efforts.

 

Think psychiatrists don’t
know their drugs
cause violence?
Think again.

 

Homicide by Psychiatric Hospital Staff Goes Unpunished

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Exposé is Representative of National Restraint Death & Patient Abuse

Rickey Dean Wingo was among 115 “suspicious deaths” in Georgia state psychiatric hospitals between 2002-2006, one of the death tolls uncovered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). In May 2002, Wingo suffocated to death while staff at the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital restrained him face down. Ruled a homicide, no staff was ever charged and like many other psychiatric staff across the country, they are literally getting away with murder. In fact, in the case of Northwest, rather than facing disciplinary procedures, one of the employees involved received a pay increase.

The AJC reported, “In many instances, employees of the hospital where a death has occurred investigate their colleagues’ actions—and, records show, rarely find fault.” Of the 194 verified allegations of physical or sexual abuse of patients by Georgia psychiatric hospital employees, as well as violent physical restraint, the AJC reported that it “could find criminal charges in no more than a handful of instances.” Abuses occurring in the facilities routinely go uninvestigated and unpunished because the government-funded institutions lack sufficient independent oversight.

It is a national disgrace that despite more than $100 billion poured into mental health care nationally and federal regulations passed in 1999 to prevent restraint deaths, patient deaths from such restraints continue to be prevalent and go unpunished. They are not limited to Georgia. According to Dr. Bernard Aarons, former director of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services, restraint deaths could be as many as 150 a year, some as young as 6-years-old.

Thorough, independent investigation of abuses and deaths in psychiatric institutions is needed to ensure that federal laws are complied with. Click here for more information on violent and lethal restraints used to silence psychiatric patients, published by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Scientific Legitimacy of Psychiatry’s “Billing Bible” Increasingly Under Fire

A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry exposes the lack of medical legitimacy behind psychiatric diagnoses.

Using the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry’s billing bible, researchers Michael B. First (DSM editor), Jerome Wakefield, Allan Horwitz and Mark Schmitz found that people experiencing normal sadness, divorce, rejection and economic misfortune are erroneously being classified with a mental disorder. Horwitz stated, “People are starting to think that any sort of negative emotion is unnatural.” He further remarked that psychiatry has come to think of itself as “the arbiter [judge] of normality.”

A book by Wakefield on this topic, written with Rutgers sociologist Allan Horwitz and titled “The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder,” has just been published by Oxford Press.

This study is only the latest in a series of events that have exposed the DSM’s lack of credibility and undermined public confidence in the psychiatric profession. Psychiatrist Robert Spitzer, who oversaw two out of five revisions of the DSM and defined more than a hundred mental disorders, recently admitted to the BBC, “What happened, is that we made estimates of the prevalence of mental disorders totally descriptively, without considering that many of these conditions might be normal reactions which are not really disorders. That’s the problem, because we were not looking at the context in which those conditions developed.”

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a psychiatric watchdog, says that the study only partially reveals the fraud of psychiatric diagnoses being used to justify the mass drugging of millions. There are no physical tests—such as blood or urine tests, brain scans or X-rays—which can be used to medically/scientifically prove who is mentally ill and who isn’t. It is all a matter of opinion, which has enabled psychiatrists to redefine behaviors as illness or disease. Mathematical problems, jet lag and drinking too much coffee, for example, are listed in the DSM as “disorders”—and for each “disorder”, the pharmaceutical industry invents a drug to treat it.

While people do experience real life difficulties, this does not mean they have an illness of the brain requiring the administration of potentially lethal, mind-altering drugs. CCHR says the stigma of an unproven psychiatric label often prevents people from seeking out safe, medically proven alternatives to handling problems of attention, mood or emotional duress.

The profitability of psychiatry “medicalizing” behaviors and emotions can be traced to the vested interests of psychiatrists who profit from inventing and categorizing new mental disorders. A 2006 study in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found a majority (56%) of the panel members responsible for revisions to the DSM had one or more financial ties to drug companies. The study also found that 100% of the panel members on “Mood Disorders” and “Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders” had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies. The lead author of this study, Lisa Cosgrove of the University of Massachusetts Boston stated, “No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual.”

Commenting on this study, UCLA psychiatry professor, Dr. Irwin Savodnik, stated “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”

The heavy scrutiny over psychiatrists’ conflicts of interest and the subjectivity of psychiatric diagnoses comes at a time when international governmental bodies are issuing an increasing number of warnings—24 in the last two years—about the serious dangers of psychiatric drugs, including suicidal behavior, homicidal ideation, fatal birth defects, psychosis, heart attack, stroke and sudden death.

To learn more about the DSM, read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual Link to Drug Manufacturers, or click here to see what experts say about the issue. For more information on the dangers of psychiatric drugs, read The Report on the Escalating International Warnings on Psychiatric Drugs by CCHR.

 

Convicted Psychiatrist Remained on Payroll for Months

According to the Los Angeles Times (Wednesday, 5/9/07), psychiatrist Trey Sunderland, a senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and “a lasting symbol of the agency’s entanglements with drug companies,” remained on the federal payroll several months after he pleaded guilty to a federal conflict-of-interest charge relating to hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from pharmaceutical companies. Last December, a U.S. District Judge fined Sunderland $300,000 and sentenced him to two years of supervised probation and 400 hours of community service. Representative Joe L. Barton called the NIH “an ethical Potemkin village [something that appears effective but isn’t], where a hollow system appears to provide the illusion of integrity, but transgressors never leave.”

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog group, says that criminality is rife within the mental health system, so much so that it has tracked more than 1,000 convictions of psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health workers and created a database as a public warning. Found at www.psychcrime.org, it was established as a public service to law enforcement agencies, health care fraud investigators, medical and psychological licensing boards and the general public.

The LA Times story follows Massachusetts psychiatrist Daniel J. Carlat’s admission to the Boston Globe, stating: “Our [psychiatric] field as a whole is progressively being purchased lock, stock, and barrel by the drug companies: this includes the diagnoses, the treatment guidelines, and the national meetings.”

To read more about conflicts of interest in the mental health field, read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Diagnostic Manual Link to Drug Manufacturers.