Archive for the ‘Big Muddy River Newsletter’ Category

Chesterfield Psychiatrist Admits Health Care Fraud

Monday, November 21st, 2022

Dr. Franco Sicuro, a psychiatrist from Chesterfield, Missouri, pleaded guilty November 15, 2022 to a felony conspiracy charge and admitted that Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers lost more than $3.8 million based on fraudulent reimbursement claims submitted by clinical laboratories that he owned.

Sicuro was associated with various health care businesses including Millennium Psychiatric Associates, Advanced Geriatric Management, Centrec Care, Sleep Consultants of St. Louis, Midwest Toxicology Group, Genotec Dx and Benemed Diagnostics.

Criminal Fraud is rampant in the psychiatric industry. Psychiatric membership bodies do not police this criminality. Instead, as former president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Paul Fink, arrogantly admitted, “It is the task of the APA to protect the earning power of psychiatrists.”

The mental health monopoly has practically zero accountability and zero liability for its failures. This has allowed psychiatrists to commit far more than just financial fraud, such as repeated allegations of physical and sexual abuse involving patients in various psychiatric facilities.

The primary purpose of mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. It must never be the financial or personal gain of the practitioner.

Experience has shown that there are many criminal mental health practitioners. If you become aware of such, file a fraud report here: https://www.cchr.org/take-action/report-psychiatric-abuse.html.

What is needed is legislation that provides not only more effective oversight but also stronger accountability measures: criminal and civil penalties, removal from CMS programs (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and their funding, and hospital closure where systemic abuse is found. Only such a comprehensive solution can begin to thwart the level of abuse, fraud and malpractice that is so widespread today in the for-profit mental health industry. Contact your local, state and federal representatives and express your opinions about this.

Replacing Prozac With LSD Is Like Switching Seats On The Titanic

Monday, November 14th, 2022

Psychedelics are making a $10 billion-a-year comeback, replacing profit-losing antidepressants; with it comes a new wave of misleading, unproven theories that changing brain chemicals can change your mind.

By Jan Eastgate, President CCHR International, August 26, 2022

The mythical and debunked theory that a chemical imbalance in the brain causes depression, which launched an antidepressant industry in 1989, is being rephrased today to sell Americans on taking psychedelic drugs for their mental health instead. In the wake of SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil having been exposed as being no more effective than a placebo—with a threat to industry profits—psychedelics are being peddled to replace antidepressants and capture a projected $10 billion a year market.[1] But this change in treatment and theories is like switching seats on the Titanic.

The chemical imbalance theory was based on the idea that low levels of the chemical, serotonin, in the brain could be increased by antidepressants to improve depression. A similar theory was marketed in the 1960s and ‘70s to take hallucinogens like LSD—legally and illicitly—before the drug was banned in 1968. Today, psychedelics are referred to as “serotonergic hallucinogens.”[2]

David B. Yaden, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Center for Psychedelic and Conscious Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, delivered a presentation on “The Evidence for Psychedelics in Psychiatry” at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual convention in May 2022, sharing that “serotonin molecules actually look quite similar to LSD and psilocybin—thus, serotonergic hallucinogens.”[3]

The global antidepressants market was expected to decline 42% from $26.25 billion in 2020 to $15.87 billion in 2021,[4] as the introduction of generic versions of the drugs can crash sales for companies with patents.[5] This is an incentive for a psychedelic revival. And it’s a huge market. IQVia statistics for 2020 show 45 million Americans taking antidepressants. With a treatment failure rate of as much as 46%, there’s a potential market of 20.7 million people encouraged to “turn on, tune  in, and drop out”—the catchphrase for psychedelic drug use in the 1960s—on hallucinogens.

As an August 2022 Slate magazine article on psychedelics reported, pharmaceutical companies are looking to psychedelics as a way to replace costly mental illness prescriptions for what they argue are “ineffective drugs.”[6]

One company promoting psychedelics does so by referring to “the failure rate of traditional drugs” being high…. “Depression and anxiety drugs barely even beat placebos!” And, as such: “It’s time to discover powerful solutions that work.”

Facing profit loss, the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry now admits their psychotropic drugs are ineffective–no better than placebos. But that is not what consumers were told when the SSRI and follow-up antidepressants were released with promises of workability and a revolution in mental health treatment.

If the industry has lied about the chemical imbalance theory and antidepressant workability since the 1980s, what hype are consumers being fed today about psychedelics?

Media reported that a recent study found that 65% of Americans who are struggling with mental health want access to psychedelics as a treatment. However, the “survey” was conducted for Delic Holdings Corp.—an organization that wants psychedelic-based treatments made accessible to all. Delic acquired Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC) in November of 2021. Ketamine’s hallucinogenic properties are theorized to be connected to its alleged antidepressant effects, yet even Psychiatric Times reported that its widespread adoption—though not Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved—has “leaped ahead of scientific understanding.” Despite, the lack of science, it purported that “Ketamine may induce alterations in consciousness and personal frameworks similar to those achieved by serotonergic psychedelics….”[7] [Emphasis added]

Today, Delic runs the largest chain of psychedelic mental health clinics in the U.S., operating 13 spuriously named ketamine “wellness” clinics. The company has plans to open an additional 15 clinics in the next 18 months. KWC is approaching 100,000 ketamine treatments and announced a new partnership with the Veterans Administration (VA) in Arizona.

Another biotech company that markets ketamine claims that with its use, “You can re-calibrate the brain during that optimum time of neurogenesis” (development of new brain cells), describing the mind’s alleged state after a ketamine injection.The company has copyrighted its method of psychotherapy—used in conjunction with ketamine—to, as it asserts, “help patients interpret their experiences during the mind-altering state.” And its results are better than placebo, the company further claims!

Evaluate their own experiences? These are subjective alterations of reality. It’s about as scientific as The Imperial-Royal Dream Book, published in the late 1800s and early 1900s, where dreams were arbitrarily interpreted as prophetic; for example, if you dreamed of being married, it was “ominous of death and very unfavorable to the dreamer; it denotes poverty, a prison and misfortunes.” But if you dream of assisting at a wedding, that predicts pleasing news or great success! Then again, dreaming of weeding the garden “signifies that health, happiness and long life will probably be granted to you.”[8] Freud called dream therapy the “the royal road” to the unconscious—part of his works which was criticized as a “triumph of pseudoscience.”[9]

A pseudoscience now expanded to explaining how psychedelics might “work.”

The biotech company is licensing its ketamine protocol to treat alcohol abuse even though ketamine is not approved by the FDA for this use. In a press statement, the company stated, “Along with a 2017 statement from a council of the American Psychiatric Association, this has given practitioners comfort to use it off-label in the US….” [Emphasis added]

Another biotech company that invests in psychedelic research revealed why there will be support for psychiatry’s latest mind-altering drugs, regardless of adverse effects: “[I]nsurance providers are the hottest under the collar for psychedelic therapies, because $10,000 for a magic mushroom treatment is nothing compared to putting someone on Zoloft or an anti-anxiety or an ADHD drug every day and having to pay for those [prescriptions] week after week…But from the insurance perspective, the total lifetime cost for a patient is going to be drastically less than the current psychopharmacological interventions.” [10]

Today’s propaganda surrounding psychedelics smacks of the false assurances made in the 1990s about the chemical imbalance myth and how SSRIs were a revolutionary new treatment to correct the imbalance and improve depression. And in the same way this was done in the 1960s and ‘70s when psychedelics were guaranteed as mental health improvers.

In 1963, Life magazine reported that the “sheer potency [of LSD] has important implications for behavioral science. If such a great deal can happen from such a small source, normal behavior may depend on extremely fine chemical balances.” [11]

The theories behind how psychedelics “work” today remain hype rather than science. Authoritative comments often use words such as “appears” and “suggests” because the theories—like that of the alleged chemical imbalance in the brain—have not been scientifically substantiated. Here is a small example of the explanations:

  • Hallucinogens  are thought to produce their perception-altering effects by acting on neural circuits in the brain that use serotonin.”[12] [Emphasis added] – U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Hallucinogens cause “a temporary chemical imbalance in the brain, which causes hallucinations and other effects such as euphoria.”[13] – Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD, psychologist, Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada.
  • “Psychedelics induce the brain to change transiently in ways that appear to allow a reset to take place and permit alterations in previously ‘stuck’ ways of feeling and thinking about things.”[14] [Emphasis added] – Dr. Jerrold Rosenbaum, Director of the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics at Massachusetts General Hospital and former psychiatrist-in-chief at MGH
  • Psychedelics “change the structures of neurons themselves,” which “can impact how the brain is wired, and consequently, how we feel, think and behave… scientists now know that depression is not simply the result of a ‘chemical imbalance.’”[15] – David E. Olson, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry; Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine; Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis
  • “Scientists aren’t entirely sure why people respond to psychedelics differently, but new research suggests that genetic variations in a serotonin receptor may be a factor.”[16] [Emphasis added] – Healthline

Conflicts of Interest: A Stock in Trade

In September of 2021, Scientific American espoused the benefits of psychedelics in an article titled, “A Renaissance for Psychedelics Could Fill a Long-Standing Treatment Gap for Psychiatric Disorders.” The article was written by Danielle Schlosser and Thomas R. Insel. Both disclosed their conflicts of interest: Schlosser is a psychologist and senior vice president of Compass Pathways, which is conducting clinical trials of psilocybin (hallucinogenic compound found in certain species of mushrooms). Insel is the former director of the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and consultant to Compass. He neglected to mention that he is also an investor in the company. Compass has already made enough synthetic doses of psilocybin to supply more than 30,000 patients, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.[17]

They wrote that research conducted in the last decade suggests that psilocybin, typically taken in pill form, has the potential to treat substance use disorders, including alcoholism and nicotine addiction, as well as depression.

When “effective,” they added, “psychedelics appear to confer long-term effects, sometimes after a single administration, suggesting that they are not simply symptom-reducing but disease-modifying.”

While that research isn’t conclusive yet, Paul Hutson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies psilocybin and leads the school’s center for psychedelics research anticipates the FDA will approve psilocybin capsules to treat at least some of these disorders—most likely in the next five years or so. [18]

The current U.S. Administration is also putting together a task force to fast-track therapies such as MDMA (Ecstasy) and psilocybin.[19]

Psychedelics Create Street Drug Abuse

As with the 1960s hallucinogenic rush, when LSD went from the psychiatrist’s couch to the streets, a new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health reports Americans are “turning on, tuning in and dropping out” more than ever. The use of hallucinogenic drugs among teenagers and adults combined rose from 1.7% in 2002 to 2.2% in 2019—now an estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and older. The rate of LSD use increased overall, but most of all in young adults, ages 18 to 25, who quadrupled their cohort, from 0.9% to 4%, during the 18-year study period. These were just a few of the telling trends that researchers derived from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published in the journal Addiction.[20]

The dangers are already known:

  • According to NIDA, “The effects of hallucinogens like LSD can be described as drug-induced psychosis—distortion or disorganization of a person’s capacity to recognize reality, think rationally, or communicate with others.” Further, “Use of hallucinogenic drugs also produces tolerance to other drugs in this class, including psilocybin and peyote.” [21]
  • “[Y]ou can have life-changing negative experiences,” Katharine Neill Harris, a drug policy researcher at Rice University in Texas, said.[22]
  • Microdosing LSD or psilocybin is already prevalent and puts people at risk, as it is believed that by taking small doses—perhaps 10% of a standard dose—every few days, some people might experience mental health benefits without the high. But microdosing psilocybin, The New York Times reported, “can be harmful, and there is some evidence that it can damage the heart over time. Recent research also suggests that the positive impacts of microdosing in humans may be largely caused by the placebo effect. Microdosing LSD may have physical risks, too. In a study on rats, microdosing LSD had the opposite effect of a trip; it made the rats display signs of psychiatric illness, like aggression…. Similar to microdosing psilocybin, it may also strain the heart by overworking the neurons around the organ.”
  • “If you’re constantly stimulating these neurons, even with a small dose of these compounds, the neurons just can’t take it,” said David Olson.[23]

Allan Horwitz, Ph.D., in a review published in The Medscape Journal in 2008, wrote: “After a rapturous reception [given SSRIs] upon their introduction in the late 1980s, which persisted until the emergence of uncertainty during the early years of the 21st century, we are now witnessing a rising chorus of cynicism and disbelief about these drugs.”[24]

We are seeing the same rapturous reception given psychedelics, buoyed by a re-hashed brain chemical theory and claims of a “renaissance” in mental health treatment. It took 30 years for the “chemical-imbalance-in-the-brain-causes-depression” myth to be fully recognized as pseudoscience and dangerously misleading to consumers. We should recognize the trademark signs of this same marketing scam with psychedelics and prevent America from “turning on and tuning out” to these mind-altering drugs before it is too late. 

[1] Sonari Glinton, “Big Pharma Is Betting on Psychedelics for Mental Health: Will it Pay Off,” Slate, 18 Aug 2022, https://slate.com/technology/2022/08/psychedelic-drugs-mental-health-compass-pathways.html

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4813425/

[3] “The Recent Resurgence of Psilocybin: Is It Here to Stay?” Psychiatric Times, 22 Aug. 2022, https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/the-recent-resurgence-of-psilocybin-is-it-here-to-stay

[4] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210426005303/en/Global-Antidepressants-Market-Report-2021-COVID-19-Causes-a-Surge-in-Demand-for-Antidepressant-Drugs-as-Mental-Health-Problems-Rise—ResearchAndMarkets.com

[5] https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/pfizer-faces-first-2017-patent-loss-as-pristiq-generics-crash-party

[6] Op. cit., Sonari Glinton, Slate, 18 Aug 2022l

[7] https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/revisiting-hallucinogenic-potential-ketamine

[8] The Imperial-Royal Dream Book (Jones, Printer, John Street, London,) pages 39 and 73

[9] https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/dream-analysis;https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/freud-was-a-fraud-a-triumph-of-pseudoscience/

[10] Op. cit., Sonari Glinton, Slate, 18 Aug 2022

[11] Robert Coughlan, “The Chemical Mind-Changers,” Life magazine, 15 Mar. 1963.

[12] “How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body?,” National Institute of Drug Abuse, https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/how-do-hallucinogens-lsd-psilocybin-peyote-dmt-ayahuasca-affect-brain-body

[13] “How Psychedelic or Hallucinogenic Drugs Work,” verywellmind.com, 25 Nov. 2020, https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-psychedelics-22075

[14] Peter Grinspoon, MD, “Back to the future: Psychedelic drugs in psychiatry,” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 22 June 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/back-to-the-future-psychedelic-drugs-in-psychiatry-202106222508

[15] https://theconversation.com/mind-molding-psychedelic-drugs-could-treat-depression-and-other-mental-illnesses-98071

[16] https://www.healthline.com/health-news/people-respond-differently-to-psychedelic-drugs-genetics-could-be-one-reason#Other-factors-affecting-treatment-response

[17] https://www.cchrint.org/2021/08/13/ca-plan-to-legalize-psychedelics-is-dangerous-for-mental-health-patient-lives/, “Shroom-Therapy Startup Edges Toward FDA Approval: The feds have designated Compass Pathways’ experimental psilocybin treatment for depression a ‘breakthrough therapy,’” Bloomberg Businessweek, 6 Jan. 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-07/psychedelic-mushroom-therapy-startup-edges-toward-fda-approval; Danielle Schlosser, Thomas R. Insel, “A Renaissance for Psychedelics Could Fill a Long-Standing Treatment Gap for Psychiatric Disorders.” Scientific American, 14 Sept. 2021, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-renaissance-for-psychedelics-could-fill-a-long-standing-treatment-gap-for-psychiatric-disorders/

[18] Danielle Schlosser, Thomas R. Insel, “A Renaissance for Psychedelics Could Fill a Long-Standing Treatment Gap for Psychiatric Disorders.” Scientific American, 14 Sept. 2021, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-renaissance-for-psychedelics-could-fill-a-long-standing-treatment-gap-for-psychiatric-disorders/

[19] Op. cit., Sonari Glinton, Slate, 18 Aug 2022

[20] Hannah Sparks, “Millions more are tripping on psychedelic drugs than ever before: study,” New York Post: 19 Aug 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/08/19/millions-more-are-tripping-on-psychedelic-drugs-than-ever-before-study/; full study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.15987

[21] “How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body?” National Institute of Drug Abuse, https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/how-do-hallucinogens-lsd-psilocybin-peyote-dmt-ayahuasca-affect-brain-body

[22] Kat Eschner, “The Promises and Perils of Psychedelic Health Care,” New York Times, 5 Jan. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/05/well/psychedelic-drugs-mental-health-therapy.html

[23] Ibid.

[24] https://www.cchrint.org/2019/08/05/getting-it-right-about-antidepressants/; “Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation,” Medscape J Med. 2008; 10(5): 121, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2438484/.

Doctor Pleads Guilty to Mental Health Care Fraud

Monday, November 7th, 2022

A Stratford, Connecticut internist pleaded guilty November 3, 2022 in Hartford federal court to health care fraud and kickback offenses.

Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan, 44, a citizen of Sri Lanka and owner and president of MDCareNow LLC, a medical practice with offices in Stratford and Milford, submitted to Connecticut Medicaid over $800,000 in fraudulent claims for psychotherapy services that he knew patients did not receive.

Thillainathan submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid that falsely represented his employees had rendered 60-minute psychotherapy sessions when, in fact, his employees only had very brief conversations with patients, had only left a voicemail for patients, or had no contact with patients at all.

This news shows that mental health care fraud is being perpetrated not only by psychiatrists but also by non-psychiatric medical doctors engaged in mental health care.

The fact is, mental health care fraud in the U.S. is estimated to be up to $20 billion per year. There should be no place for criminal intent or deed in the field of mental health.

There are as many types of mental health insurance fraud as the criminal mind can invent. For example, a U.S. congressional committee issued a report estimating that Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) had diverted between $40 million to $100 million to improper uses. Various CMHCs had built tennis courts and swimming pools with their federal construction grants and, in one instance, used a federal staff grant to hire a lifeguard and swimming instructor. [Reference: Rael Isaac and Virginia Armat, Madness in the Streets, (The Free Press, New York, 1990), p. 98.]

The primary purpose of mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. It must never be the financial or personal gain of the practitioner. Those suffering are inevitably vulnerable and impressionable. Proper treatment therefore demands the highest level of trustworthiness and integrity in the practitioner.

Experience has shown that there are many criminal mental health practitioners. If you become aware of such, file a report about this fraud here: https://www.cchr.org/take-action/report-psychiatric-abuse.html.

Psychiatrists in Brussels Prescribing Museum Visits

Monday, October 31st, 2022

Psychiatrists at Brugmann University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium will be able to write a “museum prescription” that encourages patients and their friends and family to visit one or more of Brussels’ cultural institutions.

The initiative is a six-month pilot program starting in September, 2022 to evaluate the impact of cultural institutions on mental health and well-being. This is the latest in a number of studies and initiatives that correlate mental health with the experience of art.

“Art museums have great potential to positively impact people, including reducing their stress, enhancing positive emotional experiences, and helping people to feel less lonely and more connected,” said Katherine Cotter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

What Is Art?

Art is a word which summarizes the quality of communication. If art speaks to you, it has achieved its purpose in communicating a message. What does art say? In the first place art produces an emotional impact.

Art is not just observed. The observer contributes back to the art — one contributes one’s own interpretations, emotions, or motions; one discusses it with others. Thus art is a curative for loneliness, which is simply a lack of communication.

The Psychiatric Connection

The highest level of spiritual sensation is aesthetics, and beauty is a consideration of aesthetics. Unfortunately, psychiatry denies the beauty in all of us.

Psychiatry and psychology have a long history of attacking creativity and artists. For years, psychiatrists and psychologists have labeled the creative mind as a mental “disorder,” mischaracterizing an artist’s “feverish brilliance” as a manic phase of craziness, or melancholic performances as depression. Vision was redefined as hallucination.

Psychiatrists notoriously and falsely “diagnosed” the creative mind as a “mental disorder,” invalidating the artist’s abilities as “neurosis.” They lectured on the supposedly thin line dividing madness and sanity.

This current effort to promote art for the rehabilitation of mental trauma is welcome indeed. One must, however, be vigilant that traditional biological psychiatry does not usurp and corrupt this healing method as they have done in the past.

Recommendation

People in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective care. Sound medical (not psychiatric) attention, good nutrition, a healthy, safe environment, and opportunities for participation in aesthetics will do far more for a troubled person than the normal psychiatric “treatments” of repeated drugging, electroshocks and other psychiatric abuses.

Are You Authentic?

Monday, October 24th, 2022

We have noticed a gush of social media posts about “authenticity” or “being real” and thought it might be an appropriate subject for this blog.

Authentic:
– worthy of acceptance or belief
– conforming to an original
– not false or imitation
– true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
– being really what it seems to be, genuine
– genuineness as a reflection of the true person and not simply of a professional acting in a role

[Ultimately from Greek authentikos, from authent?s perpetrator, master; from autos self + -hent?s accomplisher, achiever.]

Checking it out, we also noticed a surfeit of psychological and psychiatric dialog about authenticity. Apparently the subject is not so well understood, given the excessive amount of scholarly discussion and argument over it. An example is “What the new science of authenticity says about discovering your true self“, a recent article we saw from a psychologist who claims that “it can be challenging to find your authentic self.”

We think the real challenge is recognizing what is authentic in spite of all the psychobabble.

One’s Real Self

We would like to think that everyone would agree with the statement that they are themselves and not someone else. So we can call one’s own self or personality “oneself,” or one’s “identity,” or one’s “beingness.”

Interestingly enough, a person has the ability to combine with or take on parts of another. When done willingly and knowingly, we call this “acting” and extol this ability in actors and actresses.

However, when done unwillingly or unknowingly, this becomes a problem and could be called a “facsimile personality.” Without detouring into the mechanics of how this occurs, we note that a person can display the characteristics of one or more personalities in addition to, or in place of, their own. In extreme cases this might produce a “split personality” or certain symptoms of so-called schizophrenia.

Psychiatric Confusion about Authenticity

Some psychiatrists notice that some thoughts and feelings are genuine expressions of oneself, and some are expressions of mental trauma or the side effects of psychiatric drugs. However, we do not find an effective psychiatric process for self-discovery, or an effective method for recognizing or rehabilitating authenticity.

We do find a lot of psychiatric psychobabble, so instead of burrowing down the rabbit hole of psychiatric mumbo-jumbo, let’s just get down to what we can do about it.

Practical Aspects of Authenticity

The subject of facsimile personalities is extensive, and not something we are going to fully address here. However, we can address some aspects which might prove useful in our original quest for authenticity.

There are three elements that bring about an Understanding of oneself, others, and the world around you. These three elements are Affinity, Communication, and Reality. After all is said and done, authenticity is recognizing what is real. And in no small measure, recognizing what is inauthentic and unreal about psychiatry.

Local psychiatrist known for giving medical marijuana cards could lose her license

Monday, October 17th, 2022

Dr. Zinia Thomas, a psychiatrist in St. Louis, Missouri, was arrested September 1, 2022 on felony drug charges for illegally possessing marijuana, which she had allegedly attempted to sell.

Apparently she had also been previously investigated for improperly issuing Missouri medical marijuana cards.

In addition to marijuana, Dr. Thomas also promotes the use of ketamine, a psychedelic anesthetic also called a “date-rape” drug. Basically it knocks you out so you don’t feel so depressed anymore. You don’t feel much of anything, actually, since you’ve just shot up an anesthetic. Psychiatrists pushing ketamine are shameful drug pushers who are making a buck off people’s misfortune.

Psychiatry, in spite of diagnosing cannabis use as a mental disorder, also pushes cannabis as a treatment for mental trauma. In Missouri, “psychiatric disorders” are a top reason that patients are approved for a medical marijuana license.

Medical marijuana sales in Missouri are above $200 million since it went on sale in October 2020. Roughly 17% of approximately 200,000 medical marijuana cards issued in Missouri are for so-called psychiatric disorders, which must be diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist. One popular diagnostic code from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is “Unspecified mental disorder”. Note also that there are 32 diagnostic codes for various mental problems with marijuana use and abuse, including the ever popular “Unspecified cannabis-related disorder”. Notice that a psychiatrist can recommend the issuance of a Missouri medical marijuana card to someone to treat their problems from using marijuana. How convenient is that?

False information published by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration claimed that “19.9 percent of American adults in the United States (45.1 million) have experienced mental illness over the past year.”

This popular statistic, pushed by the psychiatric industry to justify their existence, is completely false or, at best, highly questionable. The apparent epidemic of “mental illness” is because the psychiatric industry, working with the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration, invents new fraudulent disorders for which more drugs can be prescribed; all-encompassing disorders such as the one noted above, “Unspecified mental disorder.” People can have serious problems in life; these are not, however, some unspecified mental illness caused by a deficiency of marijuana.

The psychiatric industry today has jumped on the cannabis bandwagon for several reasons. Psychiatrists are embracing all things marijuana because they are getting so many patients with marijuana-related problems such as addiction and psychosis.

When psychiatric treatments fail and psychotropic drug patents run out, there are usually efforts to resurrect old treatments as “new miracles,” such as psychedelics. There is a hefty body of evidence showing the lack of science behind psychiatry’s diagnostic system that leads to unworkable and potentially damaging treatments including psychedelics. The psychedelic “therapy” industry is predicted to reach $7 billion by 2027, a powerful draw for a therapist without scruples.

Governments keep investing billions of dollars into psychiatry to improve conditions that psychiatrists admit they cannot cure. Promises are repeatedly made to improve the mental health of the country but the opposite has occurred. The rate of mental trauma keeps soaring, and with it, demands for a blank check for more funding. Contact your local, state and federal officials and demand that they stop funding harmful psychiatric “treatments,” and that psychiatry is held accountable for their harm.

More About the ADHD Hoax

Monday, October 10th, 2022

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 fraudulent “disease”.

Sarah Durston, Professor of Developmental Disorders of the Brain at the University Medical Center Utrecht in Utrecht, Netherlands, spent 13 years (between 2003-2018) and over 2.5 million euros searching for the source of ADHD in the brain, and did not find it.

She concluded in a 2021 article about ADHD in Scientific American that, “Calling the condition a disorder falsely implies we know of a cause located in the brains of people diagnosed with it—and we don’t.” She says, “The most common psychiatric handbooks (DSM-5 and ICD-11) are clear on the status of their classifications: they are purely descriptive and are not based on underlying causes” and that “ADHD does not cause attention problems any more than low socioeconomic status causes poverty.”

Trying in vain to find a biological cause is not unique to ADHD; this deficiency exists for virtually all 541 disorders in DSM-5. The DSM says, “in the absence of clear biological markers or clinically useful measurements of severity for many mental disorders it has not been possible to completely separate normal and pathological.”

Moreover, the symptoms used to “diagnose” ADHD are typical of the side effects of central nervous system stimulants (such as methylphenidate [e.g. Ritalin, Concerta]) used to “treat” ADHD. This confusion is not so surprising because much ADHD research is done on children who are already taking stimulants.

All stimulants work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. The body must strictly regulate dopamine levels since both an excess and a deficiency can be very problematic. Thus drugs which mess with dopamine play Russian Roulette with your brain.

Methylphenidate is often referred to as “amphetamine-like” or “cocaine-like.” It has hallucinogenic properties as well as being a stimulant. It binds to the same sites in the brain as cocaine, thus producing effects that are indistinguishable from cocaine; in fact, it is more potent than cocaine. For this reason it is also called “kiddie cocaine.”

Why do people who take amphetamine-like drugs such as methylphenidate say that their attention and concentration improves? One explanation is that this drug can cause psychosis, and compulsive-psychotic behavior may make the person less likely to be distracted by external stimuli. This is called “tunnel-focus”, and prompts the additional moniker of “chemical straightjacket.” Long-term use increases the likelihood of addiction and psychosis.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has this to say about methylphenidate: “There is neither specific evidence which clearly establishes the mechanism whereby Ritalin produces its mental and behavioral effects in children, nor conclusive evidence regarding how these effects relate to the condition of the central nervous system;” and “Treatment emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, e. g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania can be caused by stimulants at usual doses.”

Furthermore, there is no evidence that stimulants result in any long-term improvement in either behavior or academic achievement.

The ADHD diagnosis does not identify a genuine biological or psychological disorder. The diagnosis is simply a list of behaviors that may appear unwanted, disruptive or inappropriate.

Meanwhile, a former nurse practitioner who ran psychiatric clinics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, admitted October 4, 2022 to writing illegal Adderall prescriptions while suspended for other drug charges. He continued to prescribe Adderall despite his suspension and submitted claims to Medicare for office visits under a co-worker’s license. Adderall is another habit-forming stimulant amphetamine drug prescribed for ADHD.

Any medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of a child or adult exhibiting signs of what a psychiatrist calls ADHD can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions. Any person labeled with so-called ADHD needs to receive a thorough physical examination by a competent medical—not psychiatric—doctor to first determine what underlying physical condition is causing the manifestation.

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable, subject to unreasonable depression, inattention, anxiety or panic. Mental health care is therefore both valid and necessary. However, the emphasis must be on workable mental healing methods that improve and strengthen individuals and thereby society by restoring people to personal strength, ability, competence, confidence, stability, responsibility and spiritual well-being. Psychiatric diagnosis, drugs and other psychiatric treatments are not workable.

Reference
The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry by C.F. van der Horst (Per Veritatem Vis Foundation, 2022)

Intuition – Your Friend or Foe?

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Lately there has been an abundance of social media postings about intuition or gut feelings. We were curious about this, as many people seem to be promoting the use of intuition to reach critical Life decisions rather than direct observation and rational thought. We suspect this might be related to a misunderstanding, mistrust, or confusion between rational and emotional reactions to Life situations.

There are many ways to describe and define the word “intuition”:
– insight, a snap judgment
– instinctive knowingness, spiritual perception
– perceive directly without reasoning
– an impression that something might be the case
– knowledge gained without evident rational thought or facts
– knowledge gained by feelings rather than thought
– knowing or understanding something without reasoning or evidence
– knowledge dependent more upon past experience than present perception

[from Late Latin intuitio “act of contemplating”, from Latin intu?ri “to look at, contemplate”]

The idiom “gut feeling” speaks to the visceral sensation or emotional reaction one is said to experience. The idea that emotions are experienced in the gut has a long historical legacy, and many nineteenth-century doctors considered the origins of mental illness to derive from the intestines.

In truth, pure knowingness, not influenced by space or energy, is a property of a spiritual being; it is not dependent upon observation. Below this state there is knowing about, which is the province of data, or speculations or conclusions or methods about data. True knowledge is certainty, not data.

In order to play any game (such as The Game Of Life) one has to reduce one’s knowingness by assuming one cannot know or knows wrongly, since if one fully knew everything about the game (e.g. knowing all the moves of both sides in a card game), it would no longer be a game.

One convenient way many humans accomplish this is to substitute for rational observation in present time with irrational recall of past events. This gives rise to the type of intuition we know as a gut feeling, where unconscious recalls impinge upon the body and mind to produce feelings that may or may not apply to present circumstances.

This type of intuition has a formal definition in psychiatry and psychology: a faculty in which hunches are generated by the unconscious mind rapidly sifting through past experience. Psychology and psychiatry provide guesses about how this is supposed to work, with many wasted efforts attempting to justify the substitution of intuition for rational observation and thought.

Of course, consulting one’s past experiences is certainly a valid use of experience in evaluating present time situations. The problem with gut feelings is that this process is unconscious and liable to pull up irrational responses rather than rational ones.

Attempts by psychology and psychiatry to teach people how to use their intuition is, to be blunt, fraudulent; since their concept of intuition is by definition an unconscious process based solely on the past, and as likely to be irrational as it is to appear rational. They may promote meditation as a path to using intuition, and we have written previously about the psychiatric corruption of meditation.

On the other hand, true intuition which is a spiritual knowingness and awareness can be rehabilitated by boosting one’s awareness, and improving one’s ability to consciously observe and consider things in present time, as well as considering consequences in future time. Learning more about how to make good judgments is also a positive approach.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness” and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases,” using the psychiatric billing bible the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as their justification. The bottom line is that all psychiatric “treatments” are harmful, including attempts to focus on intuition where it unconsciously restimulates past events.

The High Number Of Suicides After Electroshock

Monday, September 26th, 2022

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry [1] showed an astounding rate of suicide death for those who received electroconvulsive (shock) therapy (ECT), contrary to the claims of its proponents.

Here is the study’s conclusion: “The risk of suicide mortality 30 days and 1 year following treatment was similar in patients treated with an index course ECT and in a matched group. There was no evidence that an ECT course decreased the risk of death by suicide.”

The electroshock study utilized electronic medical record data from the Department of Veterans Affairs health system between 2000 and 2017 to include 5,157 index courses of ECT therapy, along with 10,097 matched controls who did not receive ECT. Index ECT usually refers to the initial phase of treatment in hospital to induce maximum response. The typical number of treatments is 6–12.

The study found the risk of suicide death was similar in patients treated with an index course ECT and in a matched group who were not given ECT. In the cohort, suicide deaths were: 138.65 per 10,000 in 30 days and 564.52 per 10,000 in 1 year. “ECT does not appear to have a greater effect on decreasing the risk for suicide than other types of mental health treatment provided to patients with similar risk,” the authors wrote.

Assertions by psychiatric organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association that ECT is a life-saving treatment is so misleading that it could constitute consumer fraud.

Between Tricare [DoD health insurance] and Veteran Affairs, the Department of Defense (DoD) spent more than $70 million dollars on electroshock treatment between 2010 and 2019. During this same period, there was a 46% increase in the number of veterans that were given ECT. [2]

The tragic expectation is that more patients will commit suicide after receiving electroshock. Psychiatrists and the FDA will blame this on their “illness” rather than failed treatment. [3]

Electroshock carries the risk of driving people to commit suicide. Patients sold on the fraudulent idea that the treatments correct a “chemical imbalance” or faulty chemical messengers in the brain become hopeless when those treatments fail them and go on to make fatal decisions about their lives.

There needs to be accountability for false claims made in defense of these treatments—better still, take them off the market when their risks are so high. Consumer fraud litigation should ensue in addition to any personal injury claims.

Vulnerable patients seeking mental health care deserve much, much better. Non-harmful practices should be made available to them.

Why Use Shock Treatment At All?

The barbaric and shameful use of shock treatment unfortunately has a lengthy history. ECT had its beginnings in early Roman times when people would place an electrical torpedo fish against their heads to rid themselves of headaches.

The purpose of ECT shock treatment is to cause convulsions and create brain damage in order to reduce one’s awareness of their troubles. Make no mistake, shock treatment is painful. Stick your finger in an electrical outlet if you doubt this. Shock treatment uses an anesthetic to numb the pain and render the patient unconscious. A muscle relaxant is administered, causing a virtual shutdown of muscular activity to reduce damage from the convulsions.

Notice that someone with troubles is already at a lower level of awareness. Pain is then what they are most aware and certain of. The psychiatrist is there to deliver more pain in the mistaken idea that this will cause the insane to be less insane. However, the certainty and awareness of pain which is delivered by such an impact is a non-self-determined certainty. Certainty delivered by force, pain, blows and shock eventually brings about only unconsciousness and the certainty of unawareness.

Today, psychiatry is not particularly interested in increasing awareness; they would rather blunt someone’s awareness in a misguided attempt to make a person less aware of their troubles.

Thus we see that ECT does not and never can cause an improvement in mental health, since it produces only the reduction of awareness.

Psychiatry’s brutal ECT can now be seen for what it really is: an attempt to overwhelm an individual, eventually rendering them unaware of their mental traumas and compromising any efforts to actually get better.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness” and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases,” using the psychiatric billing bible the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as their justification. The bottom line is that all psychiatric “treatments” are harmful.

Contact your local, state and federal representatives and urge them to ban ECT.

References:

[1] Bradley V. Watts, MD, MPH, Talya Peltzman, MPH, and Brian Shiner, MD, MPH, “Electroconvulsive Therapy and Death by Suicide,” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Apr. 2022, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35421285/

[2] https://www.cchrint.org/2021/05/25/cchr-supports-veterans-against-electroshock-dod-spends-70m-on-shocking-minds/

[3] https://www.cchrint.org/2022/08/05/new-study-shows-high-number-of-suicides-after-electroshock/

The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry

Monday, September 19th, 2022

Book Review
The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry
Infiltrating the school system, businesses and your home
C.F. van der Horst
© 2022 Per Veritatem Vis Foundation
All rights reserved.
http://www.psychhorrors.com/
https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Horrors-Psychiatry-Infiltrating-Businesses/dp/9082177250/

The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry addresses several significant and shocking issues related to psychiatry that have been rarely exposed or are altogether unknown. 

Everyone involved with mental health care—and especially caregivers such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, as well as psychiatrists themselves—should be well aware of these issues. And, because of their far-reaching impact, public representatives, legislators, judges, forensic doctors, lawyers, members of police forces, and employers should also be familiar with this data. 

With a chapter dedicated to the current education crisis and increasing illiteracy rates, this book is indispensable for remedial educators, teachers and parents.

Although The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry focuses on ADHD and shows how arbitrary diagnoses are used to medicalize child behavior, it goes far beyond ADHD. Indeed, it pertains to any mental health issue. The general pattern of medicalizing, diagnosing, and drugging or otherwise treating is very similar to the treatment of ADHD.

The well-documented and sometimes horrifying data presented in this book shed new light on medicine and psychiatry, their alliance with the pharmaceutical industry, and the scientific underpinnings of psychiatric diagnoses and potentially very dangerous psychiatric treatments.

These facts show that the hidden horrors of psychiatry can affect you too, professionally or privately, and perhaps sooner than you might think.

The Hidden Horrors of Psychiatry