Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

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 Hoax of Antidepressants

Monday, July 4th, 2022

Over time, using antidepressants is not associated with significantly better health-related quality of life (HRQoL), compared to people with depression who do not take the drugs.

These are the findings of a study published April 20, 2022 in the journal PLOS ONE.

The study included all noninstitutionalized U.S. adults (?18 years) who had depression documented in their medical condition files during the first year of the two-year follow-up. Over the duration of the study (2005–2016), on average there were 17.47 million adult patients diagnosed with depression disorder every year with two-year follow up. About 57.6% of these patients received treatment with antidepressant drugs.

The researchers recommend that “Physicians, mainly primary care providers who are caring for most of these patients, may need to reconsider referring patients with depression to receive some kind of non-pharmacological therapy.”

The research study concludes with this quote:
“The ultimate goal of using antidepressant medications or psychotherapy is to improve patients’ important outcomes, such as HRQoL. The real-world effect of using antidepressant medications does not continue to improve patients’ HRQoL over time, as the change in HRQoL was comparable to patients who did not use any antidepressant medications.”

This is not even to mention the potentially horrific side effects of antidepressant use. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has this to say about antidepressant side effects: “Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with MDD [major depressive disorder] and other psychiatric disorders.”

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

If you are taking any of these drugs, do not stop taking them based on what you read here. You could suffer serious withdrawal symptoms. Click here for more information about harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Psychiatrists euphemistically call withdrawal side effects “discontinuation symptoms” to disguise the addictive nature of these drugs.

You should seek the advice and help of a competent non-psychiatric medical doctor or practitioner before trying to come off any psychiatric drug.

Contact your local, state and federal officials and let them know your viewpoints about harmful psychiatric treatments.

Suicide Attempts Increasing In Children

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Responding to federal data on increased suicide attempts by children taking antipsychotics, CCHR reiterates warning that psychotropics are linked to suicidal and homicidal acts, requiring government action.

Suicides among young people have been on the rise with federal data reporting that among those 10 to 24 years old, overall rates of deaths by suicide in the U.S. increased 57% from 2000 to 2018. More and more of these attempts are from ingesting toxic substances or overdosing on medications, a study finds. 

Astonishingly, from 2015 to 2020, researchers found suicide attempts using chemicals, including antipsychotics, soared by 28% among those aged 6 to 9 years old. The increase in children being prescribed mind-altering chemicals in the U.S. is a shocking reflection on the risks being taken with such young minds because many of the prescriptions carry a risk of suicide and violent behavior. These can drive individuals to committing irrational acts of violence and suicide.

Researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that the most commonly abused substances are the pain relievers acetaminophen and ibuprofen, but these were followed by atypical antipsychotics—like aripiprazole (Abilify)—the latter increasingly prescribed not only for psychosis, but also for depression. Atypical antipsychotics are added to an antidepressant, despite benefits on functioning or quality of life ranging between very small and zero, according to a PLoS Medicine study.

CCHR has consistently warned about prescription drug abuse, especially as around 21% of patient visits to psychiatrists for anxiety disorder treatment involved an antipsychotic prescription in 2004–2007, double that of 1996–1999. Children behaving badly became a target market from the early 2000s. Clinical trials recruited preschoolers to test antipsychotics for purported bipolar disorder. Psychiatrists prescribe antipsychotics to children in one third of all visits, which is three times higher than during the 1990’s, and nearly 90% of those prescriptions written between 2005 and 2009 were prescribed for something other than what the FDA approved them for. Antipsychotics have been described as a chemical lobotomy because of their ability to disable normal brain function.

All antidepressants now carry the FDA’s “Black Box” warning, alerting that they may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and young adults. The increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions has also brought an increase in acts of violence being committed.

The greatest increase in self-poisonings between 2015 and 2020 occurred among 10 to 12 year olds, increasing 109%. In the 13 to 15 age group, the increase was 30%; and among 16- to 19-year-olds, it was 18%. Girls were hugely overrepresented, accounting for nearly 78% of cases.

CCHR reiterates its call for mandatory toxicology tests when mass shootings and acts of violence are committed and for a database to register drug use found in the blood system of the perpetrator.

Is That Adderall There Is?

Monday, May 9th, 2022

The Wall Street Journal (April 28, 2022) wrote “Some of the nation’s largest pharmacies have blocked or delayed prescriptions over the last year from clinicians working for telehealth startups that have sprung up to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,” over concerns that too many prescriptions are being written for Adderall and other stimulants and benzodiazepines, suggesting that the drugs are being abused or being fraudulently prescribed from a 30-minute telephone or online interview. Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse.

Adderall is a psychostimulant of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that has been linked to suicide and violent behavior and can be habit-forming. The FDA requires stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall to carry a boxed warning that states the drug is “a federally controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence.”

Approximately 15 million Americans are getting high on prescription drugs, painkillers and psychiatric drugs such as Xanax and the stimulants Ritalin and Adderall. A growing number of teens and young adults are overdosing on the abuse of these “mental health” drugs.

Adderall and other psychostimulants generally increase dopamine levels in the brain by a variety of mechanisms. The body must strictly regulate dopamine levels since both an excess and a deficiency can be problematic. Thus drugs which mess with dopamine are playing Russian Roulette with your brain.

Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. Further, there is no credible evidence that mental health is linked to dopamine transport; this is just a public relations theory to support the marketing and sale of drugs. The manufacturers of every such drug state in the fine print that they don’t really understand how it works. These drugs are fraudulently marketed as safe and effective for the sole purpose of earning billions for the psychiatric industry.

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

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.

Alien Mind Wipe

The Truth About Drugs

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.

A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.

This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

But many drugs have another liability: they directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.

[Drug — Derivation from Middle English drogge, from Old French drogue, perhaps (no one is sure) from Middle Dutch droge, dry.]

Why Do People Take Drugs?

People take drugs because they want to change something about their lives. They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.

Psychiatric Drugs

If you are taking any psychiatric drugs, do not suddenly stop taking them based on what you read here. You could suffer serious withdrawal symptoms.

We use the term “drug” instead of “medicine” because medicines are drugs intended to make the body work better. Psychiatric drugs are intended to blunt sensations, not to cure any trauma.

Drugs can lift a person into a fake kind of cheerfulness, but when the drug wears off, he or she crashes even lower than before. Eventually these drugs will destroy one’s creativity.

Psychiatry’s bogus theory that a brain–based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness was invented to sell drugs. Misled by all the drug marketing efforts, 100 million people worldwide—20 million of them children—are taking psychotropic drugs, convinced they are correcting some physical or chemical imbalance in their body. In reality, they are taking powerful substances so dangerous they can cause hallucinations, psychosis, heart irregularities, diabetes, hostility, aggression, sexual dysfunction and suicide.

While not everyone on psychotropic drugs commits suicide or uncontrolled acts of violence, the effects of the many other side effects can be horrendous.

But what about those who say psychotropic drugs really did make them feel better—that for them, these are “lifesaving medications” whose benefits exceed their risks? Are psychotropics actually safe and effective for them? What else aren’t they told?

Psychotropic drugs may temporarily relieve the pressure that an underlying problem could be causing but they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition. This relief may have the person thinking he is better but the relief is not evidence that a psychiatric disorder exists.

The drugs break into, in most cases, the routine rhythmic flows and activities of the nervous system. Human physiology was not designed for the continuous manufacture of euphoric, tranquilizing, or antidepressant sensations. Yet it is forced into this enterprise by psychiatric drugs.

Once the drug has worn off, the original problem remains, and the body is worse off from the nerve damage. As a solution or cure to life’s problems, psychotropic drugs do not work. Sometimes real physical conditions can produce mental symptoms. The correct action on a seriously mentally disturbed person is a full, searching clinical examination by a competent medical (not psychiatric) doctor to discover and treat the true cause of the problem.

Teens are Overdosing on Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs at an Alarming Rate

Monday, 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.

The Suicide Risk Assessment Fraud

Monday, 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

Monday, 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/

Drug-Smart St. Louis Month

Monday, October 11th, 2021

The St. Louis Metro region continues to be the epicenter of the drug overdose epidemic in Missouri and accounted for approximately 55% of all drug overdose deaths in Missouri in 2019 and 2020.

While the majority of these drug-involved deaths involved opioids in St. Louis City and County in 2020, we observe that illegal stimulants were also a major contributor. Unfortunately, legal stimulants, depressants and other prescribed psychotropic drugs can also share in the shame, as violence, suicide and heart attacks are known potential side effects of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.

Recreational use of prescription drugs is a serious problem with teens and young adults. National studies show that a teen is more likely to have abused a prescription drug than an illegal street drug. Depressants, opioids and antidepressants are responsible for more overdose deaths (45%) than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and amphetamines (39%) combined.

To promote drug education, October 2021 has been proclaimed “Drug-Smart St. Louis Month in St. Louis County, Missouri“:

[L-to-R Stephen Forney, Ellen Maher-Forney, Dr. Sam Page, Moritz Farbstein]

“I, Sam Page, St. Louis County Executive, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2021, as Drug-Smart St. Louis Month in St. Louis County, Missouri, and do hereby recognize the Foundation for a Drug-Free World – St. Louis Chapter, volunteers and St. Louis drug educators and encourage the citizens of St. Louis County to participate in drug education activities.”

The fact missed by most is that psychiatric, mind-altering drugs have been found to be the common factor in an overwhelming number of acts of random senseless violence and suicide. On the surface, the idea of psychiatric treatment, tranquilizers or antidepressants creating hostility and violence may not make sense. After all, they are supposed to make people better, calm and quiet. But the reality is that they can and do create such adverse effects. This is called “Drug Induced Psychosis.”

It could be dangerous to immediately cease taking psychiatric drugs because of potential significant withdrawal side effects. No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a competent medical doctor.

Psychiatric treatments such as drugs, electric shock and involuntary commitment are supposed to assist people who need help, not kill them. Too often, delinquency, suicide and violence have been falsely attributed to someone’s “mental illness,” when in fact the very psychiatric methods used to “treat” such “illness” are the cause of the problem. In addressing the rise in drug overdoses, senseless violence and suicide in society, the role of psychiatric drugs must be investigated.

Chantix is in Trouble Again

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

We’ve been regularly warning about the dangers of Chantix since 2009, and now it’s causing trouble again.

The FDA warned in 2009 that Chantix (generic Varenicline), a psychiatric drug made by Pfizer, can have serious side effects, namely suicide.

Chantix is a benzodiazepine-based anti-anxiety drug promoted for smoking cessation. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks, typically for a few weeks to six months; an estimated 50% of patients take them for two months or longer. These drugs have significant risks, because they are highly addictive and can have severe side effects, including heart problems, violence and suicide.

However, in 2016 the FDA removed the Black Box warning, after heavy lobbying from Pfizer claiming that additional data showed that the benefits of Chantix outweighed its adverse side effects (oh, and since its sales had significantly dropped.)

But the adverse side effects did not go away; only the Black Box warning went away.

Chantix Recall

Now (9/17/2021), Pfizer has issued a voluntary recall for all lots of Chantix 0.5mg and 1mg tablets due to the presence of unacceptable N-nitroso-varenicline levels, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

If you smoke, you are susceptible to cancer. If you take anti-smoking drugs, you are susceptible to cancer. But what’s the real danger here?

Chantix was developed to specifically affect nicotinic receptors in the brain, under the unproven theory that this would reduce nicotine craving and block the rewarding effects of smoking. As we’ve warned before, messing with neurotransmitters in the brain is playing Russian Roulette with your mind.

The psychiatric industry considers that smoking cessation therapies are their territory, however this drug masks the real cause of problems in life and debilitates the individual, thus denying one the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future.

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems, apparently such as smoking, as a “mental illness”, and stigmatize this unwanted behavior as a “disease.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.