Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

Psychiatry Profiting from Community Tragedy and Racism

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

In 2010 a 16-year-old African-American foster child died after being injected with two psychiatric drugs and restrained in SSM DePaul Health Center, a St. Louis company-owned psychiatric ward, and ruled a homicide. Less than two years earlier, a death at the same hospital in the Bridgeton suburb of St. Louis had led to a state inquiry that uncovered instances of improperly secluding and restraining patients and failing to report deaths to authorities.

Before she died, the foster child was held down and injected with Geodon (ziprasidone, a psychiatric antipsychotic drug) and Ativan (lorazepam, a psychiatric anti-anxiety drug).

It wasn’t until 2017 that a lawsuit was filed against the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services for overdrugging foster children with harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, for which a settlement was reached in 2019.

Some of the behavioral hospital chains that have come under scrutiny for patient abuse include six facilities operating in Missouri.

And now today the abuse continues, with African-Americans over-represented in restraint-related deaths of children and adults with disabilities, accounting for 22% of the deaths studied while representing only 13% of the total U.S. population. African-Americans are dying from COVID-19 at almost three times the rate of whites.

As a human rights organization, exposing racism and restraint abuse in the mental health system has been a pivotal campaign since the inception in 1969 of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). This also included exposing psychosurgery experiments on African-American prisoners and a 1994 booklet on psychiatry creating racism. CCHR has successfully worked with the NAACP since 2003, exposing the stigmatizing labeling and drugging of African-American children to obtain three national NAACP resolutions against the forced drugging and also electroshocking of children and teens.

CCHR’s co-founder, Dr. Thomas Szasz, a professor of psychiatry, exposed that while Dr. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry” asserted he was anti-slavery in the late 1700s and signed the Declaration of Independence, he purchased a child slave that he later freed for compensation. He provided a medical model we still see the impact of today that was used to justify segregation and modern racism. Rush claimed that Blacks suffered from a “medical” disease called “negritude” derived from leprosy. Therefore, he asserted that freed Blacks should be segregated and prevented from inter-racial marriage so as to not spread the disease. Rush believed the “cure” was when their skin turned white.

A seal of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that features Rush, a racist and slave owner, is still used for ceremonial purposes and internal documents. There’s also an annual award the APA gives in his name. How appallingly hypocritical, then, that within days of the recent racial protest marches starting, the APA issued a press statement, saying, it “will not stand for racism against Black Americans,” when history shows otherwise. APA urged anyone suffering from the recent trauma or civil unrest to, “seek psychiatric treatment.”

This comes from a group whose members invented the term “protest psychosis” in the 1960s to describe Blacks participating in the Civil Rights movement. Advertisements placed in psychiatric journals for powerful antipsychotic drugs used angry black men or African tribal symbols to influence the prescriptions of antipsychotics to African-Americans. Today, there is still an over-representation of antipsychotic use among African-Americans and harmful psychotropic drugs are prescribed to African-American children as young as 18 months.

African-American students also receive disproportionate discipline in schools. Representing about 15% of the total enrollment, African-American students accounted for 27% of restraints and 23% of seclusion in schools.

CCHR can access over 50 years of research that documents the horrible betrayal of African-American and other groups by a eugenics-based, racist psychiatric-psychological model that has caused immeasurable harm and suffering.

Click here for more information on how psychiatry creates racism.

Reverend Fred Shaw has worked alongside the NAACP in getting 3 national resolutions passed.

How psychiatry Perpetuates Hunger and Malnutrition

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Reference:  United Nations Promoting Sustainable Development

Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015

“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

Sustainable: Of, relating to, or being a method or lifestyle for using resources so that the resources can be maintained and continued, and are not depleted or permanently damaged.

[from Old French sustenir (French: soutenir), from Latin sustineo, sustinere, from sub- (under) + teneo (hold, uphold, possess, guard, maintain)]

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their 169 associated targets adopted in 2015 and accepted by all Member States seek to realize the human rights of all and balance economic, social and environmental factors towards peace and prosperity for all.

To this end we examine some of the existing factors which block or inhibit the realization of these goals, and which must be eliminated so that the goals can be achieved in practice.

SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and
promote sustainable agriculture

Target 2.2: By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

How Psychiatry Obstructs Target 2.2

The possible side effects of common psychiatric drugs typically include adverse health and nutritional effects that would interfere with proper growth and digestion, particularly for children whose tolerance for adverse reactions may be lower than that of adults. There are approximately 8 million children in the U.S. who are regularly being given psychiatric drugs, and up to 20 million worldwide.

Here are some examples of such side effects.

Psychostimulants (such as ADHD drugs): anorexia, liver problems, loss of appetite, stomach pain, stunted growth, vomiting, weight loss.

Newer antidepressants (such as SSRIs): changes in ability to taste food, heartburn, loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, problems with teeth, stomach pain, sudden upset stomach, vomiting, weight loss.

Older antidepressants: changes in appetite or weight, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, gas, heartburn, jaw spasms, liver problems, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, swelling of the throat or tongue, unusual taste in the mouth.

Antipsychotics (major tranquilizers or neuroleptics): birth defects, blood disorders, blood-sugar abnormalities, constipation, liver failure, diabetes, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, excessive weight gain, heartburn, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, sore throat, vomiting.

Anti-anxiety drugs: susceptibility to infection, changes in appetite, constipation, diarrhea, seizures, heartburn, liver problems, nausea, stomach pain, swelling of the tongue or throat, upset stomach, vomiting, weight changes.

Barbiturates: kidney disease, liver disease, upset stomach.

Lithium: change in the ability to taste food, constipation, decreased appetite, diabetes, diarrhea, gas, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, seizures, stomach pain, swelling of the tongue or throat, thyroid problems, tongue pain, vomiting, weight gain or loss.

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

Psychiatry must be eradicated so that SDG 2 can occur.

How psychiatry Perpetuates Poverty

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Reference:  United Nations Promoting Sustainable Development
Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015
“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”
Sustainable: Of, relating to, or being a method or lifestyle for using resources so that the resources can be maintained and continued, and are not depleted or permanently damaged.
[from Old French sustenir (French: soutenir), from Latin sustineo, sustinere, from sub- (under) + teneo (hold, uphold, possess, guard, maintain)]

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their 169 associated targets adopted in 2015 and accepted by all Member States seek to realize the human rights of all and balance economic, social and environmental factors towards peace and prosperity for all.

To this end we examine some of the existing factors which block or inhibit the realization of these goals, and which must be eliminated so that the goals can be achieved in practice.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Target 1.5: By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

How Psychiatry Obstructs Target 1.5

One-fourth of America’s children live in extreme poverty. Poor children are likelier to be given harmful and addictive antipsychotics, particularly children in the foster care system. Children covered by Medicaid are given powerful antipsychotic drugs at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have private insurance.

There is a clear psychiatric intention to keep poor people poor by inundating them with harmful psychotropic drugs by fraudulently diagnosing them with fake mental diseases. Contrary to psychiatric opinion, children are not “experimental animals,” they are human beings who have every right to expect protection, care, love and the chance to reach their full potential in life. They will only be denied this from within the verbal and chemical straitjackets that are psychiatry’s labels and drugs.

Psychiatry must be eradicated so that SDG 1 can occur.

More About Psychiatric Drugs Causing Violence and Suicide

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Reference:

Antidepressant-induced akathisia-related homicides associated with diminishing mutations in metabolizing genes of the CYP450 family
by Yolande Lucire and Christopher Crotty
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, 1 August 2011
[doi: 10.2147/PGPM.S17445]

This research paper details patients who had been referred to Dr. Lucire’s practice for expert opinion or treatment. More than 120 subjects were diagnosed with akathisia [a neurotoxic psychosis often characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and inability to stay still] or serotonin toxicity [extremely high levels of serotonin causing toxic and potentially fatal effects] after taking psychiatric drugs that had been prescribed for psychosocial distress. Akathisia has been known to be associated with suicide since the 1950s and with homicide since 1985.

They were tested for variant alleles in cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes, which play a major role in the metabolism of all antidepressant and many other drugs, indicating ultrarapid metabolism due to allele duplications. This seems to be strongly associated with a large number of deaths from intoxication and suicide. High or fast-changing levels of psychotropic substances can cause unpredictable toxicity leading to violent behavioral effects, including akathisia. [An allele is one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.]

Psychiatric drugs are metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 enzymes in order to be eliminated from the body. Abnormal CYP450 metabolism, either ultrarapid and/or diminished, can lead to the drug or its metabolites reaching a toxic level in hours or days, correlating with the onset of intense dysphoria [unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life] and akathisia. A person genetically deficient in these enzymes, or who has an ultrarapid drug metabolism, or who is taking other (legal or illegal) drugs that diminish CYP450 enzyme activity, is at risk of a toxic accumulation of the drug leading to more severe side effects.

Eight of these cases had committed homicide and many more became extremely violent or suicidal while on antidepressants. Ten representative case histories involving serious violence are presented in great detail in the paper. None of the ten subjects described had any history of mental illness; none had been violent before. All recovered from akathisia after stopping the medication without assistance or supervision and, frequently, against medical advice.

Akathisia suicides and homicides, particularly when they involved children, gave rise to the first antidepressant suicide advisories by the FDA in 2004.

Personal, medical, and legal problems can arise from using psychiatric drugs and experiencing the resulting toxicity from these metabolic effects. The results presented in this paper demonstrate the grave extent to which the psychiatric industry has expanded its influence beyond its ability to cure.

As the authors state, “In all of the cases presented here, the subjects were prescribed antidepressants that failed to mitigate distress emerging from their predicaments, which encompassed psychosocial stressors such as bereavement, marital and relationship difficulties, and work-related stress. Every subject’s emotional reaction worsened while their prescribing physicians continued the “trial and error” approach, increasing from standard to higher dose and/or switching to other antidepressants, with disastrous consequences. In some cases the violence ensued from changes occasioned by withdrawal and polypharmacy. In all of these cases, the subjects were put into a state of drug-induced toxicity manifesting as akathisia, which resolved only upon discontinuation of the antidepressant drugs.”

“It is the authors’ contention that prescribing antidepressants without knowing about CYP450 genotypes is like giving blood transfusions without matching for ABO groups [the classification of human blood].”

In general, the psychiatric industry pushes psychotropic drugs without regard to these CYP450 cautions, but this is the direct result of the unscientific psychiatric diagnoses perpetrated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which fraudulently justifies prescribing these harmful drugs for profit in the first place.

Recommendations

1. Practice Full Informed Consent by asking your doctor for information about possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, as well as information about alternative treatments.

2. If your doctor diagnoses a mental disorder and prescribes a psychiatric drug, ask to see the clinical lab tests proving the diagnosis. (There won’t be any.)

3. All treatment options should include checking for real underlying medical conditions that could cause a patient’s mental or emotional duress.

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

5. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), psychiatry’s billing manual for mental disorders, is the key to false escalating mental illness statistics and psychiatric drug prescriptions and usage worldwide. Untold harm and colossal waste of mental health funds occur because of it. It is imperative that the DSM diagnostic system be abandoned before real mental health reform can occur.

6. Patients, doctors and insurance companies should report all instances of adverse side effects from psychiatric drugs to the FDA.

7. The pernicious influence of psychiatry has wreaked havoc throughout society, especially in hospitals, educational systems and prisons. Citizens groups and responsible government officials should work together to expose and abolish psychiatry’s hidden manipulation of society for profit.

NARPA Annual Rights Conference

Friday, June 14th, 2019

ANNUAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE

September 18 – 21, 2019

Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area — East Hartford, CT

Visit http://www.narpa.org for registration form and updates.

 NARPA’s mission is to support people with psychiatric diagnoses to exercise their legal and human rights, with the goals of abolishing forced treatment and ensuring autonomy, dignity and choice.

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Attend the conference to promote social justice for people who experience the world in ways the psychiatric industry fraudulently calls “mental illness.”

Involuntary Commitment Under Another Name

Monday, April 8th, 2019

The Acting Cook County Illinois Public Guardian filed a class-action lawsuit (Golbert et al v. Walker et al) December 13, 2018 on behalf of hundreds of children and teenagers in state care who have been held in psychiatric hospitals after they had been cleared by doctors for release, calling the practice inhumane and unconstitutional.

The lawsuit follows a ProPublica Illinois investigation that found nearly 30 percent of children in DCFS care who were sent to psychiatric hospitals between 2015 and 2017 were held there after doctors had cleared them for discharge.

It may not legally be Involuntary Commitment, but it has the same harmful physical and emotional effects. Some children were sexually exploited.

Every 1¼ minutes, someone in the U.S. becomes the next victim of involuntary incarceration in a psychiatric hospital. And there’s nothing they can do about it.

With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated or whose treatment is no longer necessary. Involuntary incarceration hikes federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who is not allowed to leave when treatment is over. ProPublica Illinois found that DCFS spent nearly $7 million on medically unnecessary hospitalizations between 2015 and 2017.

Read more about this here.

Human Rights in the Mental Health Care Industry

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 3.4 says, “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.” This is certainly a laudable goal.

We are particularly interested in promoting mental health and well-being. The United Nations measures its success with this goal by reducing the suicide mortality rate. We think this is a useful measure.

Unfortunately, the current “standard of care” in the psychiatric mental health industry heavily promotes and prescribes harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs which are known to cause violence and suicide, exactly the opposite of this goal. How might we engage to counter this sorry state of affairs?

CCHR To The Rescue

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights® (CCHR) is a non-profit watchdog organization whose purpose is to restore human rights to the field of mental health by ensuring that criminal abuses are speedily investigated and prosecuted and that people’s rights are legally protected. CCHR was founded in 1969 by the late Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology. The CCHR St. Louis chapter was incorporated in 1989 in Missouri.

The mission of CCHR is to investigate, expose and eradicate violations of human rights by the field of psychiatry. To be sure, CCHR’s investigations over the last 50 years have consistently shown that the field of psychiatry itself is a human rights violation.

By depicting those they label mentally ill as a danger to themselves or others, psychiatrists have convinced governments and courts that depriving such individuals of their liberty is mandatory for the safety of all concerned. Wherever psychiatry has succeeded in this campaign, extreme abuses of human rights have resulted.

Through the broad dissemination of CCHR’s internet sites, documentary videos, books, newsletters, booklets and pamphlets, more and more patients, families, professionals, lawmakers and countless others are becoming educated on the truth about psychiatric fraud and abuse, and that effective action can and should be taken.

Has Your Life, or The Life of Someone in Your Family, Been Affected by Fraud or Abuse in the Mental Health Industry?

Here are some examples of psychiatric fraud and abuse:

No Mental Health Help When Needed
ElectroConvulsive Therapy (ECT, Electroshock)
Harmful and Addictive Psychiatric Drugs
Suicide
Violence
Involuntary Commitment
Being Threatened with Involuntary Commitment or Punishment for Refusal of Treatment
Being Coerced into Hospitalization or Treatment
Treatment Without Prior Informed Consent
Medical Kidnapping
Forcible Removal of Children to Foster Care
Forcible Drugging of Foster Children
Misdiagnosis
Sexual Assault
Elderly Abuse
Insurance Fraud
Forcible Restraints
Psycho-Surgery
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Deep Brain Stimulation
Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Tell us how this has affected you. Report psychiatric Abuse. It’s a Crime.

The Truth About ECT

Friday, January 4th, 2019

TruthAboutECT.org is a blog site created to bring about public awareness of the dangers of electroconvulsive therapy (also known as electroshock or ECT).

Most people don’t believe that electroshock is still being used in modern society. This is most likely because the mere idea of electroshock is so abhorrent that most people simply can’t believe it’s still being used.

Factually, ECT is one of the most brutal “treatments” ever inflicted upon individuals under the guise of mental health care. Yet approximately one million people worldwide, including an estimated 100,000 Americans, are given electroshock each year, including the elderly, pregnant women and children.

The Washington University in St. Louis psychiatrists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital give 2,000 shock treatments per year, including to pregnant women.

The articles on this website are written by those who have either experienced the damaging effects of ECT or those who are medical professionals who have seen the damage caused by it.

ECT is a Violation of Human Rights

On December 3, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of The Organization of American States published a Precautionary Measure calling for the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts to immediately cease electroshocking children as a disciplinary measure, emphasizing that electroshock is a gross violation of human rights.

A November, 2018 Supreme Court decision in Victoria, Australia ruled that the forcible use of electroshock treatment violates patients’ human rights, saying “People with mental illness are highly vulnerable to interference with the exercise of their human rights, especially their right to self-determination, to be free of non-consensual medical treatment and to personal inviolability.” While the decision reinforces that electroshock given without consent is a human rights violation, the entire practice of ECT is a human rights violation and should be banned.

If you would like to report a psychiatric abuse, please fill out the abuse reporting form by clicking here.

If you would like to write about your own horrifying electroshock experience, click here.

For more information about the devastating effects of ECT, click here.

Neurodiversity – The Latest Psychiatric Disability Trend

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

We’ve written a considerable amount previously about topics involving various disabilities and their relation to psychiatric fraud and abuse; here is a small selection for example:

People With Disabilities

The Disabled Community has many advocates helping them survive better in the world. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”. Traditional physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness, missing or impaired body parts, all have their advocates.

However, the psychiatric industry has made it their special emphasis to target people with so-called mental disabilities: Autism, PTSD, Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia (problems with reading), ADHD, Dyspraxia (problems with movement or coordination), Dyscalculia (problems with mathematics), Tourette Syndrome (involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations), Hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid in the brain.)

Neurodiversity

With so many different “mental disorders” and no real clues about curing them, psychiatrists needed a new all-encompassing word to describe them. They picked “neurodiversity” — diversity based on some neurological condition.

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. Neurodiversity activists may reject the idea that any of these conditions should be cured, since they don’t know how to do so, advocating instead for support systems that help people get along in life with their disability.

Now, we’re not advocating for any particular support system, and we certainly think that helping people with disabilities get along better in life is a laudable activity and deserves support.

Psychiatry

One theory of biological psychiatry is that these various neurological conditions are the result of normal variations in the human genome. Unfortunately, this attitude tends to lean toward eugenics, which is the track taken in Nazi Germany to eliminate anyone with so-called genetic defects from the breeding population. Psychiatrists developed the racial purity ideology used by Hitler which lead to the Nazi euthanasia program and, later, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

We question whether the psychiatric industry has anyone’s best interests at heart, let alone the interests of the disabled. In 2009, the Florida Sun Sentinel reported about the use of dangerous prescription medications for children and adults in residential and group home facilities licensed by the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

In 1987, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) was literally voted into existence by a show of hands of American Psychiatric Association members and included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Within a year, 500,000 children in America alone were diagnosed with this, and to expand the client base it has also been associated with Asperger syndrome and Autism spectrum disorder.

In 2018, the media reported on a Massachusetts school [Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, MA] which will be allowed to continue administering electric shocks to its special needs students after a judge ruled the procedure conformed to the “accepted standard of care,” in spite of the practice being condemned by disability rights groups and the ACLU.

[Update 3 December 2018] On December 3, 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of The Organization of American States published a Precautionary Measure calling for the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts to immediately cease electroshocking special needs children as a disciplinary measure.

Our Point

The psychiatric industry continues to find new patient populations in the disability community, and imposes coercive and damaging “treatments” that further compromise people’s mental and physical health.

A parent with a child on psychotropic drugs can receive disability payments as a financial incentive. We observe that psychiatric drugs cause disability, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

Even the United Nations recognizes the pervasiveness of abuse in the mental health care system. In its July 24, 2018 Annual Report of the High Commissioner, “Mental health and human rights,” it states, “States should ensure that all health care and services, including all mental health care and services, are based on the free and informed consent of the individual concerned, and that legal provisions and policies permitting the use of coercion and forced interventions, including involuntary hospitalization and institutionalization, the use of restraints, psychosurgery, forced medication, and other forced measures aimed at correcting or fixing an actual or perceived impairment, including those allowing for consent or authorization by a third party, are repealed. States should reframe and recognize these practices as constituting torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and as amounting to discrimination against users of mental health services, persons with mental health conditions and persons with psychosocial disabilities.”

We rest our case. We need your help. Let us know if you have some volunteer hours to help us expose psychiatric fraud and abuse.

More About Serotonin

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

We often remark on serotonin when discussing psychiatric drugs, so we thought we’d describe it in more depth.

The word comes from the combination of sero- (serum) + tonic (from Greek tonos string or stretching) + -in (from Latin -ina a term used to form words). It was first named in 1948, although its effects had likely been observed since 1868.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter hormone synthesized in the adrenal glands and elsewhere in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan (chemical formula C10H12N2O, also called 5-hydroxytryptamine), found in the brain, blood, and mostly the digestive tract, which allows nerve cells throughout the body to communicate and interact with each other.

Some of its effects include:
— helping smooth muscles to contract, such as the abdominal muscles that aid digestion,
— helping to regulate expansion and contraction of blood vessels,
— assisting the clotting of blood to close a wound,
— helping to regulate mood, aggression, appetite, and sleep.

It helps to create a sense of well-being or comfort in the body, which is the starting point for the theory of using it as an antidepressant.

Since serotonin impacts every part of your body, messing with it can cause unwanted and dangerous side effects. Obviously, the body must closely regulate and balance the level of serotonin, since both a deficiency or an excess can be harmful.

It is mainly metabolized in the liver and the resulting products are excreted by the kidneys.

It is also found in animals, insects, fungi and plants.

Extremely high levels of serotonin can cause a condition known as serotonin syndrome, with toxic and potentially fatal effects. It can be caused by an overdose of drugs or interactions between drugs which increase the concentration of serotonin in the central nervous system, the most common of which are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), whose purpose is to raise the level of serotonin in the brain.

A toxic level of serotonin can occur by taking two or more of these types of drugs, even if each is only a normal therapeutic dose. Many drugs, both legal and illegal, influence the level of serotonin in the brain — including some antidepressants, appetite suppressants, analgesics (pain drugs), sedatives, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, antimigraine drugs, antiemetics (for relief of nausea and vomiting), antiepileptics, cannabis (marijuana), LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), and cannabidiol (CBD).

There aren’t any tests that can diagnose serotonin syndrome. Instead, one has to observe the extent and severity of the various adverse reactions. Some side effects of serotonin syndrome can be altered mental status, muscle twitching, confusion, high blood pressure, fever, restlessness, sweating, tremors, shivering, or death.

Some people have a genetic defect with cytochrome P450 enzymes which influences serotonin metabolism. Some research also suggests that the interactions of psychotropic drugs with cytochrome P450 in the brain may also influence serotonin metabolism. Basically, these interactions can be extremely complex, and the results are unpredictable — meaning that wild variations in serotonin concentration, both lower and higher than optimum, may occur, with the attendant adverse reactions.

The proponents of all these drugs basically ignore the fact that they mess with serotonin when making claims for safety and usefulness. Messing with neurotransmitters in the brain without totally understanding how they work is serious business. Researchers know that 60 to 70 percent of patients diagnosed with depression continue to feel depressed even while taking such drugs. There is still a lot unknown about such interactions and long term safety, so caution is definitely advised.

An article in the October, 2018 print issue of Scientific American (“Postpartum Relief” on page 22) makes an interesting point, saying, “Many women who suffer from postpartum depression receive standard antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac. It is unclear how well these drugs work, however, because the neurotransmitter serotonin may play only a secondary role in the condition or may not be involved at all.” (Emphasis ours.)

Researchers still only conjecture about any relationship between depression and serotonin, and they are coming to understand that the results do not support the hype.

Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. Further, there is no credible evidence that depression is genetic or linked to serotonin transport; these are just public relations theories to support the marketing and sale of drugs. The manufacturers of every such drug state in the fine print that they don’t really understand how it works. Psychiatric drugs are fraudulently marketed as safe and effective for the sole purpose of earning billions for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry.

These drugs mask the real cause of problems in life and debilitate the individual, so denying him or her the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future. This is the real reason why psychiatry is a violation of human rights. Psychiatric treatment is not just a failure — it is routinely destructive to the individual and one’s mental health.