Tranquility or Agitation? There’s a drug for that!

April 25th, 2022

Agitation, as with many English words, has multiple definitions. Here are a few:
1. moving back and forth with an irregular, rapid, or violent action
2. a feeling of being restless
3. a state of excessive tension and irritability
4. a state of anxiety, emotional disturbance, worry, upset, or nervous excitement
[From Latin agitare, put into motion]

Agitation is a side effect of various psychotropic drugs, such as psychostimulants given to children for so-called ADHD; newer antidepressants such as SSRIs; antipsychotics often called major tranquilizers; anti-anxiety drugs often called minor tranquilizers.

So, pretty much all psychiatric drugs, often prescribed to reduce agitation, have a side effect of agitation. Counter-productive, wouldn’t you say?

The psychiatric billing bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), specifies some diagnoses related to agitation:

 — Restless legs syndrome
 — 54 individual diagnoses using the word “anxiety”
 — High expressed emotion level within family
 — Adjustment disorder, With mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct

Pretty much anybody, then, can be diagnosed with some form of agitation or anxiety and prescribed one or more psychiatric drugs which have the potential to exacerbate the agitation.

The Latest Agitation Drug

On April 6, 2022 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved BioXcel Therapeutics dexmedetomidine (Igalmi™) sublingual film for the acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar I or II disorder in adults.

Dexmedetomidine is a sedative whose safety and effectiveness cannot be established beyond 24 hours from the first dose, usually used to anesthetize a patient or animal before surgery. It inhibits the release of norepinephrine in the brain, stopping propagation of pain signals. They don’t really know how it “works” for agitation, other than the obvious fact that it knocks you out. It’s mostly eliminated from the body within hours. It’s metabolized in the liver by Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes, so the side effects can be exacerbated by abnormal CYP450 metabolism which can lead to a toxic level causing acute agitation.

The most common side effects (incidence ?5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) were sleepiness, burning or prickling sensations, oral numbness, dizziness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure.

Since it is self-administered by placing the film under the tongue, it’s used by an individual to knock themselves out when they are having an anxiety attack.

Psychiatrists promoting this “treatment” are ecstatic about it, since the patients can knock themselves out whenever they feel the need.

If you feel the need, please contact your local, state and federal representatives and let them know what you think about this.

Prolonged Grief Disorder is Now Official

April 18th, 2022

The latest update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-5-TR, 3/18/2022], the billing bible used by psychiatrists, includes a new officially voted-upon condition called “prolonged grief disorder” [PGD].

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) formally released on March 18, 2022 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR), with prolonged grief disorder added.

This so-called disorder has these salient points:
1. The bereaved individual has experienced the death of a person close to them at least 12 months ago (for an adult).
2. The bereaved individual continues to be upset about it nearly every day for the last month, and the grief interferes with normal activities.
3. “The duration and severity of the bereavement reaction clearly exceed expected social, cultural, or religious norms for the individual’s culture and context.”

There is a lot more mumbo-jumbo in the official text of the diagnosis. Essentially, it is the opinion of a psychiatrist, since there are no medical tests against which such a diagnosis can be confirmed (and no medical treatment, either.)

Allen Frances, the American psychiatrist best known for chairing the APA task force for DSM-IV, tweeted about DSM-5-TR, “Its only new new diagnosis ‘Prolonged Grief’ is a disaster”.

Psychiatrists who support this ridiculous diagnosis may hope that it explains the difference between “normal grief” and “abnormal grief.”

In point of fact, there is such a thing as an upset of long duration. But it’s not a mental illness; it’s a spiritual trauma.

Really, what is an upset?

An upset is a sudden drop or cutting of one’s Affinity, Reality, Communication or Understanding with someone or something. It’s a lack of Affinity, Reality, Communication or Understanding that is common to all upsets. If one discovers which of these points have been cut, one can bring about a rapid recovery. When such an upset continues over too long a period, they become sad and mournful. This condition is handled by finding the earliest such upset and indicating which of these points were cut.

Psychiatrists want to prescribe an antidepressant for this (or some other harmful and addictive mind-altering drug to suppress the symptoms) instead of actually dealing with the original trauma — primarily because they don’t know how to deal with it, so they default to the quickest way to make a buck off of it.

Such brutal treatment is all too common in psychiatric mental health care.

The APA’s DSM extends the reach of psychiatry deeply into daily life, making as many people as possible eligible for psychiatric diagnoses and thus for psychotropic drugs. More than ten per cent of American adults already take antidepressants, in spite of their horrific side effects such as violence and suicide.

With the DSM, psychiatry has taken countless aspects of human behavior, such as grief, and reclassified them as a “mental illness” simply by adding the term “disorder” onto them. While even key DSM contributors admit that there is no scientific or medical validity to these “disorders,” the DSM nonetheless serves as a diagnostic tool, not only for individual treatment, but also for child custody disputes, discrimination cases, court testimony, education and more. As the diagnoses completely lack scientific criteria, anyone can be labeled mentally ill, and subjected to dangerous and life threatening “treatments” based solely on opinion.

The psychiatricizing of normal everyday behavior by including personality quirks and traits is a lucrative business for the APA because by expanding the number of “mental illnesses” even ordinary people can become patients and added to the psychiatric marketing pool.

There are non–psychiatric, non–drug solutions for people experiencing mental difficulty, there are non–harmful alternatives.

Contact your State Legislators and ask them to remove all references to the DSM from State Law.

MECTA Electroshock Device Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy as its Shock Box Loses Liability Insurance

April 11th, 2022

Company dismisses ECT dangers and, instead, blames ECT critics and lawsuits for its financial demise; CCHR accuses MECTA of ignoring damaging adverse effects of shock treatment.

March 28, 2022 by CCHR International

MECTA Corp., one of the USA’s two manufacturers of electroshock machines, filed for bankruptcy (9/30/2021) following lawsuits related to the company’s SpECTrum device. MECTA (Monitored Electro-Convulsive Therapy Apparatus) cited lawsuits, filed by patients seeking redress over electroshock-caused brain damage and serious memory loss, as the reason for its bankruptcy. The company was thus unable to obtain product liability insurance to cover the device.

CCHR International’s website TruthAboutECT.org also provides expert statements and quotes, including successful ECT lawsuits and death findings that consumers, in the interest of informed consent and compensation for damage, should be aware of.

The other ECT device manufacturer, Somatics LLC, posted a notice admitting that patients subjected to their Thymatron® ECT device “may experience permanent memory loss or permanent brain damage.”

Neither MECTA nor Somatics have conducted clinical trials to prove the safety and efficacy of their devices.

Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that “Long-term safety and effectiveness of ECT treatment has not been demonstrated.”

Watch the CCHR documentary, Therapy or Torture: The Truth About Electroshock, which includes interviews with more than a dozen experts, including a psychiatrist, psychologists, physicians, nurses, and attorneys, as well as shock treatment survivors. The documentary provides facts demonstrating the harm done by ECT.

Psychotropic Drug Use Tied to Dementia

April 4th, 2022

Older adults taking psychotropic drugs before contracting COVID-19 are at increased risk of dementia in the year following the illness, from a study published 18 March 2022.

Results from this large study of more than 1700 patients who had been hospitalized with COVID showed a greater than twofold increased risk for post-COVID dementia in those taking antipsychotics and mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants.

The study concludes: “In this cohort study of older adults hospitalized with COVID-19 at a large health system in New York, exposure to pre-COVID psychotropic medications was associated with greater 1-year incidence of post-COVID dementia.”

The psychiatric community continues to find that there are great liabilities to the use of psychiatric drugs, yet they continue to prescribe them.

How did psychotropic drugs, with no target illness, no known curative powers and a long and extensive list of harmful side effects, become the go-to treatment for every kind of psychological distress? And how did the psychiatrists espousing these drugs come to dominate the field of mental treatment? We think you deserve to know the truth.

It’s the story of big money — drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure. The cost in human terms is even greater — these drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year. And the death count keeps rising.

Psychiatry is probably the single most destructive force that has affected society within the last 60 years.” [The late Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus]

Watch the CCHR documentary “The Marketing of Madness — Are We All Insane?” and find out what you can do about this.

Marketing of Madness
Marketing of Madness

Using Psychiatry to Punish A Federal Judge

March 28th, 2022

Sixth Circuit Judicial Council Vacates Order Using Psychiatry to Punish A Federal Judge Who Pushed for Timely Justice in Social Security Benefits Cases

Judicial Watch announced March 25, 2022 that, as part of the settlement of a historic federal lawsuit, the Sixth Circuit Judicial Council is vacating an unprecedented and entirely unwarranted order by a disciplinary panel that found U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams committed misconduct by objecting to undergoing a psychiatric examination after ordering him to submit to the examination.

Despite the complete absence of any medical evidence suggesting he suffered from a mental disability, Judge Adams was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination for attempting to impose discipline on his court’s magistrates for their timeliness of decisions in Social Security cases.

No case had ever decided whether a sitting federal judge can be compelled to undergo a psychiatric examination, but the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States held it was misconduct for Judge Adams to object to this unprecedented demand.

After over four years of federal litigation the Judicial Council finally agreed to vacate the unprecedented psychiatric orders targeting Judge Adams.

Psychiatry and the Justice System

Psychiatry’s involvement in the justice system is a colossal failure that has come at great cost to society.

In the 1940’s, psychiatry’s leaders proclaimed their intention to infiltrate the field of the law and bring about the “re–interpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong.” And they did, with the consequence that today, because of their influence, the justice system is compromised by fraudulent psychiatric efforts.

“The introduction of psychiatric considerations into the administration of the criminal law…corrupt the law and victimize the subject on whose behalf they are ostensibly employed.” [Thomas Szasz, late professor of psychiatry emeritus]

Psychiatry As Punishment

Psychiatry’s history is strewn with false “discoveries” that were passed off at the time as the latest breakthroughs in mental treatment, but which were discovered in retrospect to be little more than brutal, debilitating punishments.

Indeed, psychiatry has been used repeatedly throughout history as a mechanism of social control and punishment, rather than rehabilitation.

In 1955, a Soviet manual entitled “Brainwashing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics” was translated and distributed as a public warning by a New York professor. The manual was based on the methods of Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychiatrist who developed “conditioned response” theories through experiments on dogs in the early 1900s.

Pavlov’s work laid the groundwork for a fundamental psychiatric misconception that remains to this day: that, like dogs, men are basically programmable animals, influenced only by fear and reward. Pavlov’s experiments established the foundation for much of the inhuman brainwashing techniques used by the Soviet Union and China in the mid-twentieth century.

Psychiatry represents a destructive instrument of social control. Methods of psychiatric and psychological mind and behavior control, such as coercive psychiatric examinations, continue to wreak misery on an international scale.

The reality is that these psychiatric interventions are designed to control people towards specific ideological objectives at the expense of the person’s sanity and well-being.

“If we recognize that ‘mental illness’ is a metaphor for disapproved thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we are compelled to recognize as well that the primary function of Psychiatry is to control thought, mood, and behavior;” and “Disguising social control as medical treatment is a deceit which conceals an abuse.” [Thomas Szasz, late professor of psychiatry emeritus]

Psychiatry’s pernicious influence is especially evident as we see here in the justice system. Citizens groups and responsible government officials should work together to first expose and then abolish psychiatry’s hidden manipulation of society.

The Bottom Line

Because of the complete lack of scientific validity, legal and medical experts recommend eliminating psychiatric and psychological testimony and intervention in the courts.

Teens are Overdosing on Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs at an Alarming Rate

March 21st, 2022

A growing number of teens and young adults are overdosing on mental health drugs, according to a study published March 2, 2022 in the journal Pediatrics.

Many of the overdoses are due to abuse of prescribed psychiatric drugs such as benzodiazepines and psychostimulants.

Benzos, or BZDs, include anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax; psychostimulants include drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta.

Between 2016 and 2018, results show 29 percent of the youths who overdosed on BZDs received a written prescription within one month of their overdose. One in four youths overdosing on mental health stimulants received a doctor’s prescription a month before the incident. The study found that young adults who intentionally overdosed on BZDs and stimulants were more likely to have a recent prescription than those who suffered an accidental overdose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,777 U.S. youths died of a drug overdose in 2019. BZD use accounted to 727 of these overdoses and 902 involved psychostimulants.

We hear renewed cries from the psychiatric industry for more funds and more screenings. Unfortunately, psychiatric screenings for potential suicide or self-harm are a total fraud.

Risk assessments, screenings, school mental health programs and more funding are often presented as solutions to suicide, and since the onset of the Covid pandemic calls for more screenings and funding are louder than ever. Yet these so-called solutions are actually contributing to the problem by masking truly effective solutions and proliferating the use of psychotropic drugs whose side effects include suicide and violence.

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable. 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. Psychiatry is not workable.

Mental Illness Manual Revision Is Criticized Over Racism Entry

March 14th, 2022

A revised mental disorders diagnostic manual being released this month already faces controversy over attempts to explain the impact of and “under-diagnosing” of racism and discrimination as mental illness.

“Oppression and racism are real, and anyone subjected to this is going to feel denigrated, upset, angry or any of a wide array of justified emotional responses to injustice. However, this is not a mental ‘disease.’ History warns us about defining the effects of racism as an illness, with claims that ‘victims’ are discriminated against by inequitable treatment.”

Rev. Frederick Shaw

By Jan Eastgate
President CCHR International
March 7, 2022

Controversy is surrounding the soon to be released revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) over its inclusion of “an analysis of the effects racism and discrimination on the manifestation and diagnosis of mental disorders.”[1] The mental health industry watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International said there is a risk that the impact of oppression on minorities will be pathologized and increase the numbers of them prescribed mind-altering psychotropics.

Rev. Frederick Shaw, a spokesperson for CCHR, founder of its Task Force Against Racism and Modern-Day Eugenics and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Inglewood South Bay branch, said that it was predictable during the massive racism protests in 2020 that efforts would be made to define racial anguish and anger as mental disorder. Rev. Shaw says: “Oppression and racism are real, and anyone subjected to this is going to feel denigrated, upset, angry or any of a wide array of justified emotional responses to injustice. However, this is not a mental ‘disease.’ History warns us about defining the effects of racism as an illness, with claims that ‘victims’ are discriminated against by inequitable treatment.”

During slavery African Americans were diagnosed with Drapetomania (drapetes, runaway slave, and mania, meaning crazy) and Dyasethesia Aethiopis (laziness and impaired sensation). Drapetomania described Blacks having an “uncontrollable urge” to run away from their “masters.” The “treatment” was “whipping the devil out of them.”[2]

In January 2021, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) publicly apologized for psychiatry’s “role in perpetrating structural racism” that “hurt Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” (BIPOC).[3] This included these two disorders and that in 1792 the “father” of American psychiatry, Benjamin Rush, declared that African Americans’ skin color was a “disease” called negritude, derived from leprosy. The “cure” was when their skin turned “white.”[4]

APA’s apology said that since its inception, practitioners had subjected persons of African descent and Indigenous people to “abusive treatment, experimentation, victimization in the name of ‘scientific evidence,’ along with racialized theories that attempted to confirm their deficit status.”[5]

The DSM has been criticized in the past for perpetuating racism.

Professors Stuart A. Kirk and Herb Kutchins, co-authors of Making Us Crazy, said: “Defenders of slavery, proponents of racial segregation…have consistently attempted to justify oppression by inventing new mental illnesses and by reporting higher rates of abnormality among African Americans or other minorities.”[6]

DSM-II was published in 1968 when civil rights protests against racism had escalated. Psychiatrists claimed such protests caused violent “schizophrenic” symptoms in African Americans, inventing the diagnosis “protest psychosis.” Ads for antipsychotics used African symbols to reflect so-called “violent traits” in minorities to increase antipsychotic prescriptions and sales.[7]

DSM-III-R was published in 1987, during the 1980s and 1990s racial riots. Researchers under the aegis of the federally-funded Violence Initiative Project theorized that violence was the hereditary characteristic of Black and Latino people. One study bogusly hypothesized that a racially inherited genetic predisposition to aggressive behavior and violence existed, which could be countered by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.[8] This meant prescribing an antidepressant to “prevent” violent behavior, yet the drug was known to cause violent and suicidal behavior.[9]

In 1992, the psychiatric head of the National Institute for Mental Health, who helped develop the “Violence Initiative,” compared Black youth to “hyperaggressive” and “hypersexual” monkeys in a jungle who only want to kill one another, have sex and reproduce.  He was forced to resign.[10]

DSM-5 was released in 2013 by psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, then president of the APA, who was recently suspended from his position at Columbia University over his racist tweet about a dark-skinned model.[11]

Shaw said that in response to the racism protests in 2020, suddenly statistics were espoused about the increasing rates of African Americans showing signs of anxiety or depressive disorders.[12] In June 2020, the APA established a Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry.[13]

In October 2021, the American Psychological Association also issued an apology for hurting many through “racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of people of color.”[14]

However, some Black psychologists responded, stating: “While the apology details many of the past racist practices in psychology, it largely omits a key portion of this history: how the fields of psychology and psychiatry colluded with the state to suppress rights, liberties and, in many cases, political freedom.”[15]

Shaw predicts the DSM-5 revision addressing racism could victimize minorities, swelling the number of his community that will be considered to be disordered and in need of “equitable” treatment, meaning potentially debilitating psychotropic drugs and electroshock. He recommends individuals sign a Psychiatric Living Will to avoid treatment being forced on them.

References:

[1] “Revisions to DSM-5 Coming in March 2022,” National Association of Social Workers, http://www.socialworkblog.org/practice-and-professional-development/2022/03/revisions-to-dsm-5-coming-in-march-2022-2/

[2] https://www.cchrint.org/2019/07/17/minority-mental-health-month-may-spell-mental-health-slavery/; Thomas Szasz, Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences, (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1987), pp. 305, 306, 307; “Dysaesthesia aethiopis,” Oxford Reference, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095737938

[3] https://www.cchrint.org/2021/01/26/american-psychiatric-associations-apology-for-harming-african-americans-rejected/, citing: Megan Brooks, “APA Apologizes for Past Support of Racism in Psychiatry,” Medscape, 19 Jan. 2019, https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/944352?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=345404PY&impID=3143084&faf=1

[4] https://www.cchrint.org/2021/01/26/american-psychiatric-associations-apology-for-harming-african-americans-rejected/, citing: Prof. Thomas Szasz, M.D., The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement, Jan. 1970, p. 154

[5] https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/apa-apology-for-its-support-of-structural-racism-in-psychiatry

[6] Herb Kutchins & Stuart A. Kirk, Making Us Crazy – DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, (The Free Press, New York, 1997), p. 200.

[7] https://www.cchrint.org/2019/07/17/minority-mental-health-month-may-spell-mental-health-slavery/, citing: Jonathan M. Metzl, The Protest Psychosis, How Schizophrenia became a Black Disease, (Beacon Press, Boston, 2009), pp. 101, 102

[8] Mitchel Cohen, Beware the Violence Initiative Project — Coming Soon to an Inner City Near You, Spring 1999, http://greens.org/s-r/19/19-07.html

[9] https://antidepressantadversereactions.com/antidepressants-and-suicide/; https://antidepressantadversereactions.com/hostility-and-aggression/

[10] https://www.cchrint.org/2020/06/16/naacp-inglewood-executive-educates-about-psychiatric-racism/ citing “U.S. Hasn’t Given Up Linking Genes to Crime,” The New York Times, 18 Sept. 1992, https://www.nytimes.com/1992/09/18/opinion/l-us-hasn-t-given-up-linking-genes-to-crime-153192.html; https://www.breggin.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/abiomedical.pbreggin.1993.pdf

[11] “Psychiatrist’s Racist Tweet About Model Nyakim Gatwech Draws International Condemnation & Resignation,” https://www.cchrint.org/2022/02/25/psychiatrists-racist-tweet-about-model-nyakim-gatwech/

[12] “Depression and anxiety spiked among black Americans after George Floyd’s death,” The Washington Post, 12 June 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/12/mental-health-george-floyd-census/

[13] https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/structural-racism-task-force

[14] “Apology to People of Color for APA’s Role in Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Human Hierarchy in U.S.,” American Psychological Association, 29 Oct. 2021, https://www.apa.org/about/policy/racism-apology

[15] “Why the APA’s apology for promoting white supremacy falls short,” NBC News, 21 Nov. 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/why-apa-s-apology-promoting-white-supremacy-falls-short-ncna1284229

DSM BS

Is Overthinking a Mental Illness?

March 7th, 2022

Overthinking is the habit of thinking too much or too long about something, or making something more complicated than it actually is. Overthinking is also known as “analysis paralysis” because by thinking too much one is getting stuck and stopped from taking action.

Overthinking is a favorite topic for psychiatric and psychological review, as a symptom of a possible mental health issue like so-called depression or anxiety, with recommended treatments of psychotropic anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs, or other harmful psychiatric interventions.

Sometimes the word “rumination” is used as a scholarly euphemism for overthinking. It means “obsessive or abnormal reflection upon an idea or deliberation over a choice.”

Overthinking may also be a symptom of justified thought, which is one’s futile attempt to analytically explain an irrational reaction to something.

Another word for this is a “via,” as in “They took a via instead of a direct approach.” That’s a Latin word meaning “way.” In this sense it means a roundabout way, instead of just a straight A to B. A via is a relay point in a communication line, and represents some interference between a cause and an effect. A totally rational activity strings a straight line between cause and effect; the reasons one cannot are vias. Enough vias between cause and effect make a stop. Almost all anxieties in human relations come about through an imbalance of cause and effect.

Well, how does one determine if one’s route is A to B, or if it is A to C to X to B? In other words, to B or not to B?

That is indeed the question!

We’d like to emphasize that overthinking is not a mental illness. However, psychiatrists have many ways to call this phenomenon a mental disorder, so that they can make a buck, and a patient for life, off of an unsuspecting and vulnerable person.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is used to diagnose a number of related symptoms that could be presented by one’s overthinking:

  • Intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder)
  • Unspecified intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder)
  • Unspecified mental disorder
  • Unspecified neurocognitive disorder
  • Unspecified communication disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Other specified anxiety disorder
  • Unspecified anxiety disorder

Basically, if you think at all, you can be diagnosed with a mental disorder and prescribed harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Back to the question. How does one effectively deal with this?

It can’t hurt to address it as a manifestation of anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion, and is really a conflict, or the restimulation of a conflict, or something containing indecision or uncertainty — in other words as above, obsessive deliberation over a choice. It is exemplified by a conflict between something supporting survival and something opposing survival. It is rooted in an inability to assign the correct cause to something, which itself is rooted in an inability to observe. The cure is not a drug, but in observing the correct cause.

Opposing ideologies, violent revolutions and a frail social economic structure have subjected more than one-third of the world’s population to oppression, poverty and brutal human rights violations. Terrorism and a global economic crisis rips at the very fabric of society, propagating a mindset governed by hysteria, fear and anxiety. It’s no small wonder why some are gripped by anxiety and its attendant overthinking.

The Bottom Line

Anything one can do to improve one’s condition in life, enhance one’s ability to get along well in life, to make good judgments and decisions, to reduce anxiety, and to relieve stress in the environment and in society, can likely help. But however one addresses the condition, the wrong way to deal with it is with psychiatry.

Overthinking is not a mental illness.

The Suicide Risk Assessment Fraud

February 28th, 2022

“A disappointing, and perhaps the most telling, finding was that there has been no improvement in the accuracy of suicide risk assessment over the last 40 years.”

Suicide Risk Assessment doesn’t work. In fact, research suggests it not only doesn’t help, but also it may hurt.

One study looked at the last 40 years of suicide risk assessment research. They found no statistical method to identify patients at a high-risk of suicide in a way that would improve treatment.

Another study of people who had already harmed themselves found that there was no evidence to support the use of risk assessment scales.

Combined with ineffective suicide risk assessment, patients labeled with depression or suicidal ideation often receive prescriptions for dangerous psychotropic drugs laden, and even labeled, with side effects that encourage the exact symptoms they are marketed to treat.

Suicide prevention is a social issue, rather than a medical one. A psychiatrist prescribing an antidepressant is thus not really providing a valid treatment, and the widespread use of suicide risk assessment diverts social and health care practitioners from engaging with patients to find out and handle whatever is really the problem.

Risk assessments, screenings, school mental health programs and more funding are often presented as solutions to suicide, and since the onset of the Covid pandemic calls for more screenings and funding are louder than ever. Yet these so-called solutions are actually contributing to the problem by masking truly effective solutions and proliferating the use of psychotropic drugs whose side effects include suicide and violence.

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable. 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. Psychiatry is not workable.

New Study Tells Consumers the Truth of Potential Lethal Electroshock and Antidepressant Risks

February 21st, 2022

Over 14,800 ECT patients were 16 times more likely to try to commit suicide than a control group of 58,369; antidepressants can also induce suicidal feelings and frightening long-term withdrawal effects.

By CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
February 7, 2022

A new study published in Psychological Medicine questions the two principle physical treatments recommended for depression: antidepressants and electroshock therapy (ECT) and raises the alarm about their adverse effects on the brain.[1] Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, a 53-year mental health industry watchdog, says the study contains vital information for consumers recommended for ECT, including the risk of suicide, all of which adds weight to the argument that the potentially brain-damaging practice should be prohibited as a mental health treatment.

The study by two UK experts, John Read, Ph.D., a psychologist and Joanna Moncrieff, M.D., a psychiatrist, discusses the need for non-harmful alternatives that are safe and effective. They cite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that ECT machines have signs stating: “The long-term safety and effectiveness of ECT treatment has not been demonstrated.” Yet, the practice is given to an estimated 100,000 Americans every year, including, in some states, children aged up to five years old.

Antidepressants can also cause long-term sexual dysfunction and severe withdrawal effects, the study shows.

The authors wrote: “With the World Health Association and the United Nations calling for a paradigm shift away from the medicalization of human distress, new evidence about millions of people struggling to get off antidepressants, and ongoing debate about the value and safety of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT),” and questions “biological psychiatry’s ‘medical model’ when we become sad or depressed.”

The authors debunk the theory that chemical imbalances cause depression and that treatments work by correcting underlying biological dysfunctions, triggered, for example, by a supposed genetic predisposition. They point that “there is no evidence that there are any neurochemical abnormalities in people with depression, let alone abnormalities that might cause depression.”

Many medical experts confirm there are no medical tests (X-rays, blood or urine tests, MRIs, etc.) that can prove a physical source for people’s emotional issues.[2]

Yet, the authors add, until January 2021, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) website advised: “Psychiatric medications can help correct imbalances in brain chemistry that are thought to be involved in some mental disorders.” This is not true.

The authors went on to say, “At present, most drugs are assumed to work according to a ‘disease-centered’ model of drug action, which proposes that they act on the biological processes assumed to underpin symptoms, in the same way as drugs do in most medical conditions.” However, “Like other psychiatric drugs, [antidepressants] are psychoactive substances that cross the blood-brain barrier and alter normal mental processes and behavior by changing the normal functioning of the brain.” [emphasis added]

“That long-term antidepressant use may lead to persistent brain modifications is also evidenced by the prolonged and severe withdrawal state they can induce…around 56% of people experience withdrawal effects after discontinuing antidepressants, and for 46% of those the effects are severe. In general, the longer someone takes an antidepressant, the more likely they are to experience a withdrawal reaction, and the more severe it will be.”

The study also discloses:

  • Hundreds of placebo-controlled trials suggest that antidepressants are marginally better than placebo at reducing depressive symptoms as measured by depression rating scales.
  • The majority of placebo-controlled trials have been conducted by the pharmaceutical industry, which has an investment in inflating results, but government-funded research also fails to confirm that antidepressants have beneficial effects.
  • SSRI antidepressants cause “sexual dysfunction in a large proportion of users, and more worryingly, some people report that this persists after stopping the drug.”
  • “The adverse effects of withdrawal can be so intolerable that some people trying to discontinue treatment have to reduce by tiny amounts over many years, and accumulating evidence suggests that the effects may even persist for months or years after the drugs are finally stopped.” 

Electroshocking Harms Mental Health

As is the case for antidepressants, the various biological deficits that are supposedly corrected by ECT have never been demonstrated, the authors continue. “[T]he story of ECT appears to be one of a biological intervention being claimed to correct biological deficits, but in reality having negative effects on healthy brains, some of which are misconstrued as signs of improvement.” 

A neutral observer would assume that the effects on the brain of repeatedly passing sufficient electricity through it to cause seizures are likely to be negative. ECT advocates, however, “tend to interpret abnormal brain changes caused by multiple electrocutions as beneficial, sometimes even linking them to reduced depression. They don’t consider that the changes might be negative or might be characterized as brain damage.”

The authors further discuss inequities in ECT studies:

  • In the 84 years since the first ECT there have only been 11 randomized placebo-controlled studies (RCTs) for its target diagnosis, depression, all before 1986. A recent review, involving Dr. Irving Kirsch, Associate Director of Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School, highlighted the poor quality of the 11 studies.
  • Only four studies describe their processes of randomization and testing the blinding (procedure in which one or more parties in a trial are unaware of which participants are subjects of the treatment and those who are not, and helps to reduce bias). None convincingly demonstrate that they are double-blind. Five selectively report their findings. Only four report any ratings by patients. None assess Quality of Life. The studies are small, involving an average of 37 people.
  • No studies showed that ECT outperforms placebo beyond the end of the treatment period.
  • Nevertheless, all five meta-analyses of these flawed studies somehow conclude that ECT is effective.
  • The meta-analyses failed to identify any evidence that ECT prevents suicide, as often claimed. Numerous studies have found ECT recipients are more likely than other patients to kill themselves.
  • In a 2020 study, 14,810 ECT patients were 16 times more likely to try to kill themselves than a matched control group of 58,369. Other studies cited so-called reduce suicides were so small as to be negligible and were not even for depression.
  • A 2021 U.S. study found that 1,524 homeless US veterans who received ECT had made significantly more suicide attempts, at 30 days follow up, than 3,025 matched homeless veterans who hadn’t had ECT. The difference remained significant at 90 days and 1 year.
  • A review of 82 studies found that one in 39 ECT patients (25.8 per 1000) experience ‘major adverse cardiac events,’ the leading cause of ECT-related deaths.
  • As well as the short-term memory loss, which is widely acknowledged, between 12% and 55% of ECT recipients suffer persistent or permanent memory loss (typically defined as six months or longer).
  • Even the APA acknowledges that “ECT can result in persistent or permanent memory loss.”

The fact that discrepancies and bias in ECT studies are exposed draws strong opposition from advocates of the procedure, as doctors Read and Moncrieff point out. The advocates’ “defense” is to “shoot the messenger.”

“Researchers and ECT recipients who question the efficacy and highlight the adverse effects of ECT, are often publicly denigrated, by ECT advocates, as ‘anti-psychiatry ideologues’, ‘extremists’ ‘Scientologists’ and ‘non-medical zealots,’” or “part of a ‘guild war’ between professions.” [See CCHR’s report, Why Psychiatry Sees Itself as a Dying Industry.]

Read and Moncrieff continue: “The President and Chair of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation recently accused authors (including two ECT recipients) who had published some inconvenient findings of being ‘ideologically driven,’ of ‘spreading misinformation’ and of having ‘questionable motives.’”

Of note, the Church of Scientology established CCHR in 1969 as an independent organization, along with eminent professor of psychiatry, the late Dr. Thomas Szasz. CCHR comprises members of the church and people of various faiths or none at all. It has been outspoken against electroshock since its inception and has been pivotal in obtaining laws that either introduced safeguards such as informed consent to treatment (and the right to refuse it), as well as banning use of ECT on minors. In Australia, CCHR obtained a ban on deep sleep treatment (DST) that involved ECT and drugs, with criminal penalties, including jail, should anyone administer it. Indeed, in 2002, U.S. psychiatrist Richard Abrams, co-owner of Somatics LLC, which manufacturers an ECT device, wrote: “Absent Scientology there would hardly be an organized anti-ECT movement in the United States or anywhere else.”[3] This, from a “doctor,” who egregiously and misleadingly claims that ECT is about ten times safer than childbirth![4]

A Call for Alternatives

Read and Moncrief call for non-harmful alternatives: “We propose an alternative understanding that recognizes depression as an emotional and meaningful response to unwanted life events and circumstances.” This alternative view, they say, “is increasingly endorsed around the world, including by the United Nations, the World Health Organization and service users who have suffered negative consequences of physical treatments that modify brain functions in ways that are not well-understood.”

Furthermore, “believing you have a brain disease requiring medical intervention can be profoundly disempowering. It encourages people to view themselves as the victims of their biology, to adopt pessimistic views about recovery, increases self-stigma and discourages people from taking active steps to improve their situation.”

“Common sense,” they add, “suggests that the conditions needed to lead an emotionally balanced and fulfilling life, relatively free of major ongoing worry and distress, include a dependable income, housing, secure and rewarding employment, engaging social activities, and opportunities to form close relationships. Some people may need relationship counselling or family therapy, others support with employment or finances. People who feel severely depressed for a long time may simply need to be cared for, reassured with kindness and hope, reminded of times when they have felt good, and kept safe until they feel better, which they often do with time. There is no scientific evidence for some of these suggestions. We learn how to support our fellow humans through our life experience, through being cared for ourselves, and sometimes through art and literature.”

As the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Dr. Dainius P?ras, a Lithuanian psychiatrist, wrote: “Current mental health policies have been affected to a large extent by the asymmetry of power and biases because of the dominance of the biomedical model and biomedical interventions. This model has led…to the medicalization of normal reactions to life’s many pressures, including moderate forms of social anxiety, sadness, shyness, truancy and antisocial behavior.”

In 2021, the World Health Organization echoed these sentiments in its “Guidance on Community Mental Health Services” which says the biological model has resulted in “an over-diagnosis of human distress and over-reliance on psychotropic drugs to the detriment of psychosocial interventions.”[5] The document offers 22 examples of alternatives to drugs and electricity, Read and Moncrieff stress.

CCHR’s has a strong position against ECT; it wants it prohibited. Over 125,000 people have supported its online petition calling for the ban. Sign here.

References:

[1] John Read, Ph.D., Joanna Moncrief, M.D., “Depression: why drugs and electricity are not the answer,” Psychological Medicine, Cambridge University Press, 1 Feb. 2022, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/depression-why-drugs-and-electricity-are-not-the-answer/3197739131D795E326AE6913720E6E37

[2] “No Medical Tests Exist,” CCHR International, https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-disorders/no-medical-tests-exist/

[3] Richard Abrams, M.D., Electroconvulsive Therapy, Fourth Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 10

[4] Richard Abrams, M.D., “The Mortality Rate with ECT,” Convulsive Therapy, 1997

[5] Jan Eastgate, “World Health Organization New Guidelines Are Vital To End Coercive Psychiatric Practices & Abuse,” CCHR International, 11 June 2021, https://www.cchrint.org/2021/06/11/world-health-organization-new-guidelines-are-vital-to-end-coercive-psychiatric-practices-abuse/