The Manufactured Crisis of Prescription Drug Prices

“Manufactured Crisis – How Devastating Drug Price Increases Are Harming America’s Seniors”

This report was prepared in 2018 by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Minority Office as requested by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

It examines the history of rising drug prices between 2012 and 2017 for the twenty brand-name drugs most commonly prescribed for seniors.

Drugs were identified using data from Medicare Part D, and average prices were statistically calculated to come up with annual weighted average wholesale acquisition costs.

Of the twenty drugs in the report, two are used off-label for psychiatric purposes:
§ Lyrica (pregabalin), approved for controlling epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain, is also used off-label as an anti-anxiety drug; it carries a warning that it may cause suicidal thoughts or actions.

§ Synthroid (levothyroxine), a synthetic thyroid hormone approved for hypothyroidism, is also used off-label as an antidepressant, although a specific, causally significant hormonal deficiency has not been identified for depression; it has potential side effects of hair loss, mental and mood changes such as depression, easily broken bones, heart problems, and seizures.

A Lyrica prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $264 to $600 (a 127% increase), while the number of prescriptions rose from 9.1 million to 10.3 million (a 14% increase).

A Synthroid prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $96 to $153 (a 60% increase), while the number of prescriptions dropped from 23.0 million to 18.4 million (a 20% drop).

The report concludes, “Soaring pharmaceutical drug prices remain a critical concern for patients and policymakers alike. Over the last decade, these significant price increases have emerged as a dominant driver of U.S. health care costs.”

Frankly, we do not have a particular bone to pick about the cost of prescription drugs; what does concern us more is the off-label use of medical drugs for fraudulent psychiatric conditions, and the seriousness of their potential side effects. If this concerns you as well, please let Senator McCaskill know your thoughts about this.

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

Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mental Health “Care” Coming to Your Community

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

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

History of CMHC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Shoot ’em up” Is No Longer Just for Westerns

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”
[with thanks to Charles Stross in The Apocalypse Codex.]

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog that has investigated school and other mass shootings since the Columbine High School Shooting in 1999, warns about pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into more mental health services in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Valentine’s Day.

An investigation into the shooting must include what psychotropic drugs the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, has been prescribed and the fact that he had apparently undergone “behavioral health” treatment which did nothing to prevent the murderous outcome. A 2016 Florida Department of Children and Family Services report indicated that he was regularly taking “medication” for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); these types of psychotropic drugs are known to have violence and suicide as potential side effects.

CCHR International’s investigation into school violence reveals that at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 172 wounded and 80 killed.

At least 27 international drug regulatory agency warnings have been issued on psychiatric drugs being linked to mania, violence, hostility, aggression, psychosis, and homicidal ideation (thoughts or fantasies of homicide that can be planned).

Cruz, 19, charged over the Parkland, Florida shooting, is a prime example of the failure of the mental health system. Expecting better mental health treatment to solve these problems is a forlorn hope, since it promises something that has not and cannot be delivered.

Pouring more funds into a mental health system that keeps failing and continues to use “treatments” that may induce violent and suicidal behavior in a percentage of those taking them, is a recipe for future disaster. Recognize that the repeated violence caused by psychiatric drugging of school children is neither happenstance nor coincidence, and is in fact an enemy action, and the enemy is psychiatry.

The survivors of the Parkland shooting, the families of those killed and the community at large deserves answers and accountability. CCHR is calling on families with knowledge of a loved one who has experienced treatment abuse and for whistleblowers who have concerns about any behavioral facility to contact CCHR by reporting the abuse here.

For more information read this news release.

Vraylar to the Vrescue

We are now seeing TV ads for Vraylar (generic cariprazine) for “manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder.” An atypical antipsychotic, it alters levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Vraylar was first approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in 2015. It can be compared to the antipsychotic risperidone, which is now available as a generic and thus not as expensive as the newer drug Vraylar. They say cariprazine is “less risky” than risperidone, but we think it was approved because it is more expensive.

Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter, the developer of the drug, licensed it to the Dublin pharmaceutical company Allergan and receives royalties on its sales. It cost about $400 million to develop, and its projected income at the time was $300 million per year. Allergan’s Vraylar revenue for 2017 was $287.8 million. A month’s supply for one person costs approximately $1,050 (depending on dosage.)

The exact way Vraylar is supposed to work is totally unknown. It is another example of the debunked medical model of psychiatry which fraudulently supposes that messing with the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can help. The prevailing psychiatric theory is that mental disorders result from a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, there is no biological or other evidence to prove this.

Basically, psychiatrists gave it in clinical trials to a bunch of people with mental disturbances and performed extensive statistical analyses to “prove” that symptoms of mental distress were less severe while taking the drug than while taking a placebo; while at the same time recording, but discounting, all the adverse reactions.

The most common side effects during clinical tests were uncontrolled movements of the face and body (tardive dyskinesia), muscle stiffness, indigestion, vomiting, sleepiness, and restlessness (akathisia). Other possible side effects are stroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, falls, seizures, agitation, anxiety — basically most of the adverse reactions we’ve come to associate with similar psychotropic drugs. This particular formulation stays in the body for weeks even after you stop taking it, so that side effects may occur long after you start or stop taking it.

During clinical trials, 12% of the patients who received Vraylar for a diagnosis of bipolar I discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction. They say that the drug is not habit-forming, but it has withdrawal symptoms. The trials did not run long enough to actually test for physical addiction, although withdrawal symptoms were reported in newborns whose mothers were exposed to it during the third trimester of pregnancy. Also, the drug carries a black box warning that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death, just like any other atypical antipsychotic.

“Bipolar I disorder” used to be called “manic-depressive”. All it means is that a person roller-coasters — sometimes being up and other times being down. Bipolar disorder is characterized by unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Its symptoms are severe mood swings from one extreme of overly high or irritable (mania) to sad and hopeless (depression), then back again. In the 1800s, bipolar was known as manic depression, a term invented by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin. In 1953, another German psychiatrist, Karl Kleist coined the term “bipolar.” There is no objective clinical medical test for the condition.

Psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar is complicated by high rates of relapse, indicating that the treatments do not really work. The failures to adequately treat bipolar apparently caused the psychiatric industry to split up the diagnosis into bipolar I and bipolar II, where bipolar II means that the individual has not experienced a full manic episode, just an elevated state of irritable mood that is less severe than a full manic episode. It’s splitting a hair that is completely irrelevant to anything except which drug to prescribe.

An estrogen imbalance, hypoglycemia (abnormal decrease in blood sugar), allergies, caffeine sensitivity, thyroid problems, vitamin B deficiencies, stress, and excessive copper in the body can all cause the symptoms fraudulently labeled as  “bipolar disorder.”

“Schizophrenia,” “bipolar,” and all other psychiatric labels have only one purpose: to make psychiatry millions in insurance reimbursement, government funds and profits from drug sales. If you are told that a psychiatric condition is due to a brain-biochemical imbalance, ask to see the test results.

The global bipolar drug market is growing, possibly due to increasing stress in life. For information about how stress can cause someone to roller-coaster, see our blog here. Click here for more information about bipolar, and here for more information about schizophrenia.

Missouri Foster Care Children at Risk

Following up on the federal class action lawsuit (M.B. v. Corsi) against the Missouri Department of Social Services for the overuse of harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs among vulnerable foster children.

More than 30 percent of Missouri’s 13,000 foster children are on at least one psychotropic medication, with 20 percent taking two or more psychotropic medications at the same time. This is almost twice the national rate of such prescriptions. These drugs are known to cause violence and suicide, as well as being addictive.

For the first time, a federal court has ruled that the failure to oversee the administration of powerful psychotropic medications to children in foster care could violate their rights under the Constitution.

On January 8, 2018 U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey denied the state’s motion to dismiss the children’s due process claims. The judge was particularly concerned that the state, by its own admission, fails to maintain complete medical records for the foster children in its care, and does not provide updated health information to foster parents or doctors.

Foster children are drugged with harmful psychotropics at 13 times the rate of children living with their parents.

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose children’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.

Click here for more information about psychiatric drugs harming foster care children.

Psychs Poo-Poo Intelligence

deja poo

A study published 8 October 2017 by three psychologists and a neuroscientist surveyed 3,715 members of American Mensa (persons whose IQ score is ostensibly within the upper 2% of the general population), who were asked to self-report diagnosed and/or suspected mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. There was no actual control group; instead they manipulated statistical data to simulate a control group.

[High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities, Ruth I. Karpinski (Pitzer College) et al. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.09.001]

Diagnostic criteria were taken from DSM-IV, a fraudulent list of so-called “mental disorders.” The main thrust of the survey was to try to link intelligence in some way with something they called the theory of “psychological overexcitability,” which has no basis in actual fact. Then they massaged the data with extensive statistical analyses in order to come up with the conclusion they favored, which was, “Those with high IQ had higher risk for psychological disorders.”

The basic flawed assumption of this piece of poo-poo is their statement that, “those with a high intellectual capacity (hyper brain) possess overexcitabilities in various domains that may predispose them to certain psychological disorders.” The implication being that a “treatment” for psychological disorders might be something that lowers a person’s IQ.

Then they quoted 160 references in order to overwhelm any readers of the study with its bona fides — it must be right because look how many references can be quoted.

Naturally, due to the inherent flakiness of the research, they concluded that further research was needed; and because of the particular methodology of this study, the results conveniently cannot be compared with any other studies about intelligence and health. The authors also recommended further studies with mice instead of people, as if those results could yield any useful information about human intelligence.

There are a number of limitations which cast doubt on the study results. The raw data was self-reported, so it is subject to interpretation, bad memory and bias. There are over 200 different IQ tests which applicants can use to apply for membership in Mensa, so IQ itself is subject to interpretation. All of the participants were American, which may or may not be a limitation depending on other demographic or environmental factors. The simulated control group statistics made exact comparisons challenging, to say the least.

Without an actual, clear-cut definition of intelligence, this kind of research is hopelessly convoluted and clueless; but nevertheless representative of what many psychologists think about the rest of us intelligent beings.

Consider this interesting quote from another source: “We would do well to recollect the early days of applied clinical psychology when culturally biased IQ testing of immigrants, African Americans and Native Americans was used to bolster conclusions regarding the genetic inheritance of ‘feeble-mindedness’ on behalf of the American eugenics social movement.”

Not to be outdone by psychologists, the psychiatric industry has a history of deliberately reducing their patient’s intelligence, evidenced by this 1942 quote from psychiatrist Abraham Myerson: “The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process. … The fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia [feeble-mindedness].”

Evidence that electroshock lowers IQ is certainly available. Also, psychiatrists have notoriously and falsely “diagnosed” the creative mind as a “mental disorder,” invalidating an artist’s abilities as “neurosis.” There is certainly evidence that marijuana lowers IQ (no flames from the 420 crowd, please) — and marijuana is currently being promoted by the psychiatric industry to treat so-called PTSD.

Psychotropic drugs may also be implicated in the reduction of IQ; what do you think? These side effects from various psychotropic drugs sure sound like they could influence the results when someone takes an IQ test while on these drugs: agitation, depression, hallucinations, irritability, insomnia, mania, mood changes, suicidal thoughts, confusion, forgetfulness, difficulty thinking, hyperactivity, poor concentration, tiredness, disorientation, sluggishness.

If you Google “Can IQ change?” you’ll find about 265 million results; so this topic has its conflicting opinions. And as in any subject where there are so many conflicting opinions, there is a lot of false information. Unfortunately the “research” cited above just adds more poo-poo to the pile.

Psychiatric Drugs Putting Veterans at Risk of Dementia

Almost a third of drugs cleared by the Food and Drug Administration pose safety risks that are identified only after their approval.

research study published in January, 2017 set out to determine the impact of psychotropic medication use on the association between PTSD and the risk for dementia in a nationally representative sample of US veterans aged 56 years and older.

PTSD has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been fraudulently interpreted as mental disorders. The favored “treatment” for PTSD is psychotropic drugs known to cause violence and suicide.

In their study, researchers examined information from 3,139,780 veterans aged 56 and older.

Researchers discovered that taking certain antidepressants, tranquilizers, sedatives, or antipsychotic medications significantly increased veterans’ risks for developing dementia compared to the risks for veterans who didn’t take such medications.”

The increase in the risk of dementia for veterans taking the drugs was the same whether or not they were diagnosed with PTSD.

Stated another way, patients diagnosed with PTSD using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, novel antidepressants, or antipsychotics were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with dementia compared to both those with and without a PTSD diagnosis but without any identified psychotropic medication use; and patients using benzodiazepines or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors appear to have an elevated risk for dementia diagnosis regardless of a PTSD diagnosis.

The bottom line seems to be that using psychiatric drugs increases one’s chance to develop dementia — one more reason that the first alternative to taking psychiatric drugs is just not taking them.

Click here for more information about the harm caused by psychiatric drugs.

What is Happiness?

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.

[Chinese Proverb]

What is happiness, really? Is it “happy pills?” Mother’s little helper? Is “happiness” the opposite of “depression,” so that an anti-depressant should make one happy? Unfortunately, what anti-depressants do is actually detach one from reality; and the only happiness accrues to pharmaceutical companies who rake in $80 billion a year worldwide for psychiatric drugs.

As is usual with English words, “happiness” has more than one definition: 1) transient pleasure; 2) overcoming not unknowable obstacles toward a known goal; 3) a condition or state of well-being, contentment, pleasure; 4) joyful, cheerful, untroubled existence; 5) the reaction to having nice things happen to one.

Psychiatry, however, redefines happiness as a manic or hypomanic indication (associated with a bipolar diagnosis) which occurs in 14 separate entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.)

Manic: characterized by frenetic activity or wild excitement; excitement of psychotic proportions manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganization of behavior and elevation of mood.
Hypomanic: A mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity; a mood state characterized by persistent dis-inhibition and pervasive euphoria.

“Treatment” generally includes psychotropic mood stabilizers, unless the state is a result of drug abuse or drug side effects — in which case the “treatment” may include psychotropic sedatives. All of these psychotropic drugs are addictive, mess up the central nervous system, and can have many disastrous side effects including violence and suicide.

For more information about mood stabilizers such as Lithium, Depakote (sodium valproate), Depakene (sodium valproate), Lamictal (lamotrigine), Lamictin (lamotrigine), Lamogine (lamotrigine); download and read the booklet Mood Stabilizers — the facts about the effects.

One psychologist even overtly proposed happiness as a psychiatric disorder. [From the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health]. One might think this was an April Fool’s joke, except that it was published in June.

Published in the Journal of Medical Ethics – J Med Ethics. 1992 Jun;18(2):94-8
“A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder”
Richard P Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool in the UK:

“It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains–that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.”

We think we can safely say this psychologist’s attitude is a misanthropic manifestation; the DSM-5 might call it “Adult antisocial behavior”, “Antisocial personality disorder”, or maybe just “Unspecified anxiety disorder”.

It is true that a euphoric condition is often associated with certain hallucinogenic drugs. We wouldn’t actually call that “happiness”, however; and the mania associated with many psychiatric drugs is not sustainable.

What would promote happiness is an actual cure for mental distress. The psychiatric industry itself admits it has no capacity to cure. We generally take cure to mean the elimination of some unwanted condition by some effective treatment. The primary purpose of any mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. The only effective measure of this treatment must be “patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals.” This, we would call a cure.

While it is illegal for FDA-regulated products to make cure claims, there are in fact many non-drug and non-psychiatric alternatives which may prove effective in handling traumatic conditions. The trick is in finding out what is really wrong and fixing that, not just suppressing the central nervous system with drugs so that one does not feel the bad emotions.

Click here for more information about alternatives to fraudulent and abusive psychiatric treatments.

Click here for the truth about psychiatric drugs.

Click here for The Way To Happiness, the first moral code based wholly on common sense, containing twenty-one basic principles that guide one to a better quality of life.