Posts Tagged ‘Anti-anxiety’

Election Anxiety

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

anxiety: A sense of apprehension, uneasiness, or fear often over an impending or anticipated ill — from Latin anxius “troubled, uneasy”.

The mental health (aka psychiatric) community is all over this, warning Americans about election stress deteriorating into depression and salivating over the number of anti-depressant prescriptions they can write.

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.

A wide variety of environmental stresses can contribute to the onset of anxiety. Find something in your environment that isn’t being a threat. It will calm you down.

The answer to this anxiety and stress is, of course, direct action. Take some positive action over which you have some small measure of control — write a letter to the editor; write a letter to your local, state and federal representatives; contribute time or money to a worthwhile cause; take some self-improvement course.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the billing bible of the mental health care industry, names stress explicitly as a billable diagnosis: Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders (an entire chapter in DSM-5); including various manifestations of PTSD, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and reactive attachment disorder.

Their answer, however, is not action — it is drugs. They even have a class of drugs specifically marketed for this, called anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs come with side effect; one of the side effects is more anxiety. Other side effects can be hallucinations, delusions, confusion, aggression, violence, hostility, agitation, irritability, depression, and suicidal thinking. These are also some of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from.

We would like to make it very clear that ANXIETY and STRESS ARE NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS! They are the reaction to a stressor, something over which you have no control. The answer is to find something over which you do have some measure of control, and take action on it.

One of the more common American causes of anxiety is hypoglycemia. Yes, mental anxiety is one of the symptoms of low blood sugar, which is usually caused by consuming too much sugar.

So, if you are feeling down about the election, forego that self-indulgent donut and write your congressman instead!votazac

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?

Not An Antidepressant

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Not An Antidepressant

I’m reminded of a song by 10CC — “I’m not in love; So don’t forget it; It’s just a silly phase I’m going through…”

I saw an ad on TV recently for Lyrica (generic pregabalin), a drug commonly prescribed for seizures and nerve pain. What struck me as most interesting was the small print that said, “Lyrica is not an antidepressant.”

Why would they need to explicitly call out that Lyrica is not an antidepressant? Could it be because antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs are finally being widely recognized for their addictive nature and disastrous side effects? (For which CCHR has no small part in making public.)

They did not, however, go on to say that Lyrica is in fact a psychotropic drug, albeit not an antidepressant. It is also prescribed off label in the U.S. as an anti-anxiety drug; it was promoted for other uses which had not been approved by medical regulators up until 2009. For this practice, with three other drugs, Pfizer was fined a record amount of $2.3 billion by the Department of Justice.

It has many of the same adverse reactions as other psychotropic drugs, such as dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain, euphoria, confusion, irritability, depression, agitation, hallucinations, withdrawal symptoms, and (drum roll) suicidal thoughts or behavior.

It messes with the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. They don’t really know how it works; when pressed, they may say that, “the mechanism of action of pregabalin has not been fully elucidated.”

CCHR believes that everyone has the right to full informed consent. FIND OUT! FIGHT BACK!

Upgrading the Chantix Black Box Warning

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Upgrading the Chantix Black Box Warning

In response to a request from drug giant Pfizer to remove the “black box” warning on the smoking-cessation drug Chantix (varenicline – an addictive benzodiazepine-based psychotropic anti-anxiety drug), the FDA has decided to not only retain the warning but expand it.

The current label for Chantix already warns that patients taking the drug may develop aggressive or suicidal behavior. That warning will be expanded to note that the drug has also been linked to reduced alcohol tolerance leading to seizures.

The new safety announcement (March 9, 2015) says, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the prescription smoking cessation medicine Chantix (varenicline) can change the way people react to alcohol. In addition, rare accounts of seizures in patients treated with Chantix have been reported. We have approved changes to the Chantix label to warn about these risks. Until patients know how Chantix affects their ability to tolerate alcohol, they should decrease the amount of alcohol they drink. Patients who have a seizure while taking Chantix should stop the medicine and seek medical attention immediately.”

We knew about the dangers of drinking and driving. Now we have one more side effect to worry about — drinking and Chantix. So it’s likely OK to drink and smoke, but not to drink and quit smoking. (That was a joke.)

But it’s no joke that Chantix is an addictive, psychotropic, psychiatric drug with potentially severe side effects. If you want to quit smoking, there are certainly better non-drug alternatives.

For more truthful information about this and other psychiatric drugs, click here.

Commercial Airline Pilots & Mind-Altering Drugs

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Commercial Airline Pilots & Mind-Altering Drugs

Medical records indicate that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who crashed the Germanwings plane in the French Alps, was on medications for depression, anxiety and panic attacks, including lorazepam [an anti-anxiety drug] that can have dangerous side effects, German newspaper Bild reported.

Mania, psychosis, hallucinations, depersonalization and suicidal and homicidal ideation. These all are documented side effects from 134 international drug regulatory agency warnings on the very drugs that commercial airline pilots are allowed to take. While not everyone taking these drugs will experience these side effects, what is certain, based on hundreds of drug warnings and studies, is that a percentage of the population will.

Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 blamed for purposefully flying the aircraft into the French Alps and killing all on board, had a long history of mental “treatment” and psychiatric drug use. According to German police investigators, numerous prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were found at Lubitz’s home, including antidepressants. His former girlfriend, who ended the relationship in 2014, also said he was in psychiatric treatment, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency charged with protecting consumer safety, placed its most serious “black box” warning on all antidepressants citing suicidality in addition to other side effects on the drug labels including hallucinations, mania and a host of other abnormal behaviors. Incredibly, despite being fully aware of this, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reversed its 70-year ban restricting pilots taking antidepressants and other mind-altering psychiatric drugs from flying.

Does the FAA have a choice about whether to revisit its pilot psychiatric drug policy? Can the FAA be in direct contradiction with the FDA about the possible deadly consequences associated with psychiatric drugs? Not if the public has any say in the flying experience. Click here to read this article in full.

Former Top Industry Insider Reveals Big Pharma Secrets

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Former Top Industry Insider Reveals Big Pharma Secrets

[From American Free Press Newspaper] “The former managing director of drug giant Eli Lilly and Company in Sweden continues to blow the whistle on the business practices of the pharmaceutical industry, scoring a major victory in announcing that his first book, Side Effects: Death. Confessions of a Pharma-Insider, will be turned into a full-length feature film.

“John Virapen, who began his career with ‘Big Pharma’ in 1968 as a salesman knocking on doctors’ doors, rose through the ranks to realize what he was pitching were not drugs, but death. Virapen was well aware early on that thousands had died or committed suicide by taking the drugs he was pushing. ‘I indirectly contributed to the death of … people, whose shadows now haunt me,’ he explained in his book.

[From Amazon.com] “I bribed a Swedish professor to enhance the registration of Prozac in Sweden.” -John Virapen

“Pharmaceutical companies want to keep people sick. They want to make others think that they are sick. And they do this for one reason: money. Did you know:
* Pharmaceutical companies invest more than $50,000 per physician each year to get them to prescribe their products?
* More than 75 percent of leading scientists in the field of medicine are ‘paid for’ by the pharmaceutical industry?
* Corruption prevailed in the approval and marketing of drugs in some cases?
* Illnesses are made up by the pharmaceutical industry and specifically marketed to enhance sales and market shares for the companies in question?
* Pharmaceutical companies increasingly target children?

“Side Effects: Death is the true story of corruption, bribery and fraud written by Dr. John Virapen, who has been called THE Big Pharma Insider. During his 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry internationally (most notably as general manager of Eli Lilly and Company in Sweden), Virapen was responsible for the marketing of several drugs, all of them with side effects. Now, Virapen is coming clean and telling all of the little secrets you were never intended to know!”

Now balance this valuable anecdotal account with more of the facts. Download and read these various CCHR booklets to get the truth about psychiatric drugs:

Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide
The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Senseless Violence
The Truth About Ritalin Abuse
Antianxiety Drugs — the facts about the effects
Antidepressants — the facts about the effects
Antipsychotics — the facts about the effects
Psychostimulants — the facts about the effects
Mood Stabilizers — the facts about the effects

Psychiatric drug ER trips approach 90,000 a year

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Psychiatric drug ER trips approach 90,000 a year

“Bad reactions to psychiatric drugs result in nearly 90,000 emergency room visits each year by U.S. adults, with anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives among the most common culprits.

“A drug used in some popular sleeping pills was among the most commonly involved sedatives, especially in adults aged 65 and older.

“Most of the visits were for troublesome side effects or accidental overdoses and almost 1 in 5 resulted in hospitalization.

“The results come from an analysis of 2009-2011 medical records from 63 hospitals that participate in a nationally representative government surveillance project. The study was published [July 9, 2014] in JAMA Psychiatry.

“Overall, the sedative zolpidem tartrate, contained in Ambien and some other sleeping pills, was involved in almost 12 percent of all ER visits and in 1 out of 5 visits for older adults.”

Read the full MSN News article here.

An unexpected finding of the study was that rates of antipsychotic, sedative, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant adverse drug event emergency room visits were highest among adults aged 19 to 44 years.

We expect that most people do not realize that Ambien is a psychiatric drug, since it is usually prescribed as a sedative for insomnia. In fact, drugs of this nature are variously called “anti-anxiety drugs” or “minor tranquilizers” or “sedative hypnotics.”

Today, at least 20 million people worldwide are prescribed these “minor tranquilizers.”

Daily use of therapeutic doses is associated with physical dependence. Addiction can occur after 14 days of regular use. Of the 72 different reported adverse reactions, some are anxiety, hostility, aggression, depression, sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and suicide. The typical consequences of withdrawal are anxiety, depression, sweating, cramps, nausea, psychotic reactions and seizures. Elderly people taking these drugs for anxiety or insomnia are at increased risk for motor vehicle crashes. There is also a “rebound effect” where the individual experiences even worse symptoms than they started with as a result of chemical dependency; medical experts point out that this is the drug effect, not a “mental illness.”

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. Yet very often, psychiatrists ignore these requirements.

All patients should first see a non-psychiatric medical doctor, especially one who is familiar with nutritional needs, who should obtain and review a thorough medical history and conduct a complete physical exam, ruling out all the possible problems that might cause the person’s symptoms.

There are far too many effective options to list them all here. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, insist there are no such options and fight to keep it that way. Patients and physicians must urge their local, state and federal government representatives to endorse and fund non-drug health care options instead of dangerous psychiatric drugs.

More About Elliot Rodger and Xanax

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

More About Elliot Rodger and Xanax

Based on interviews with Elliot’s parents, Peter and Li Chen, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department is being told that he was likely addicted to Xanax (generic name alprazolam), an anti-anxiety drug known to cause psychosis, rage, hostility, and suicide.

Rodger on May 23 killed six people and then himself, in the college town of Isla Vista, California, adjacent to the University of California Santa Barbara campus.

Daily use of therapeutic doses is associated with physical dependence. Addiction can occur after 14 days of regular use. The typical consequences of withdrawal are anxiety, depression, sweating, cramps, nausea, psychotic reactions and seizures. There is also a “rebound effect” where the individual experiences even worse symptoms than they started with as a result of chemical dependency.

Drug experts say that Xanax is more addictive than most illegal drugs, including cocaine or heroin, and once someone is hooked, getting off it can be a tortuous and deadly experience.

Email the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and request that they investigate the role of psychiatric drugs such as Xanax in the violence and suicide of Elliot Rodger.

For more information about violence and suicide caused by psychiatric drugs, download and read the free CCHR booklet Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide.

Fort Hood Shooting: A Wake-up Call for Lawmakers

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Fort Hood Shooting: A Wake-up Call for Lawmakers

Violence and psychiatric drugs—a deadly formula America is becoming too intimately familiar with. The mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights says that rather than continually sending heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, it is time for lawmakers to investigate the connection between prescription psychiatric drugs and violence.

America learned within hours of the April 2nd shooting at Ft. Hood that four people were dead (including the shooter) and 16 had been wounded in the attack. The shooter, 34-year old Army Specialist, Ivan Lopez, served in Iraq for four months in 2011 and according to The New York Times, Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, said Lopez had been “examined by a psychiatrist within the last month, but showed no signs that he might commit a violent act.” Secretary McHugh further explained to the Senate Armed Services Committee that Lopez “had been prescribed Ambien, a sleep aid, and other medication to treat anxiety and depression.”

CCHR says this sounds sadly familiar to the September 2013 Washington Navy Yard attack by Aaron Alexis, who had been taking the antidepressant, Trazadone, when he killed twelve innocent people.

CCHR continues that, “psychiatric treatment, in the form of prescription mind-altering drugs, once again is connected to a mass shooting. Yet, despite data showing a connection between psychiatric mind-altering drugs and violence, lawmakers have yet to investigate the connection.”

Click here to read the full article.

Ambien (generic name zolpidem) is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic and anti-anxiety drug often prescribed for insomnia, and whose known side effects include aggressive behavior, agitation, anxiety, confusion, fear, hallucinations, hostility, psychosis, rage, suicide attempts, and transient amnesia.

Rescue Drugs

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Rescue Drugs

If you missed us (the CCHR St. Louis booth) at the Working Women’s Survival Show at the St. Charles Convention Center in February, we want you to know that we had a blast talking to hundreds of people about the dangers of psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric treatments.

One of the interesting results of this exposure was our new awareness of something called “rescue drugs.”

A rescue drug is one intended to relieve symptoms immediately, in contrast to other drugs which are intended to cure a medical problem or to prevent or reduce symptoms over a more extended period. It generally refers to the sudden onset of undesirable symptoms, rather than those that may already be present.

In this context we spoke with people who agreed with us that psychiatric drugs are bad for you, but they still carry around their psychiatric rescue drugs, such as an anti-anxiety drug in case they suddenly have a panic attack, for example.

From this we might observe that, 1) the root cause of their difficulty has not yet been found, and 2) while the message may be getting out that psychotropic drugs are bad for you, the message that there are effective non-drug alternatives is still somewhat suppressed.

Be sure to attend our upcoming seminar about healthy alternatives.

The First Alternative is Do No Harm!

The Second Alternative is Find and Fix The Cause!

Read more about non-psychiatric alternatives by clicking here.