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Inconvenient Truths About Big Pharma and the Psychiatric Industry
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.” — Patrick Henry (1775)
“It would be good for humankind and bad for the fishes if all the drugs were thrown into the sea.” — Dr. William Osler
“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine...The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease...The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” — Dr. William Osler
“Prozac and its successor antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction in as many as 70% of people taking them.” — Dr Loren Mosher
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi “Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment”
The title of this column, The Drugs May Be The Problem is also the title of a seminar that I will be presenting Saturday morning, January 21, 2017 at the Red Herring Lounge, 208 East 1st Street, Duluth, MN. The event begins with registration at 8:30 am. The seminar, the first in a series of similar events, will start at 9 am and end at noon. There is space for 50 participants and there is no charge for attendance. Donations will be accepted to defray expenses. The hope is that individuals or groups that attend the seminar will be interested enough in the topic to be motivated to offer sponsorship of or promotion for future events.
I borrowed the main title from psychiatrist Peter Breggin’s ground-breaking 1999 book Your Drug May Be Your Problem. Thousands of Big Pharma whistle-blowers like me, along with millions of other skeptics concerning the alleged safety (now disproven) and alleged efficacy (now disproven) of Big Pharma’s often toxic and often addictive psych drugs, are justifiably concerned with the huge influence that the for-profit, essentially amoral, multinational pharmaceutical corporations have over the medical establishment, including the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) and academic psychiatry.
Many whistle-blowers that have been trying to expose the frailties and fraudulence of the psychiatric drug industry regard Dr Breggin as a mentor, and increasingly, many survivors of psychiatric drug addiction and neurotoxicity feel the same. His books occupy a significant section in my personal library.
I have spent many hours reading and studying Breggin’s books. Over and over again, I have confirmed the veracity of his evidence and applied his insights in my past practice of holistic mental healthcare, where I saw hundreds of patients who had been seriously sickened by and addicted to irrational cocktails of psych drugs, which has been prescribed in trial-and-error experimental fashions. Sometimes, when all the psych drugs and their combinations and dosages of drugs had been tried and failed (usually making the patient worse), brain-disabling and seizure-inducing electroshock, the ultimate psychiatric method of last resort, was added, with the predictable loss of employability, personality and memory – both short-term and long-term.
Sadly, because Breggin has been such a big threat to the profitability of Big Pharma and the practice of psychiatry, he has unfairly been regarded as a medical heretic, and therefore he, his courageous truth-telling and his books have been essentially black-balled by psychiatrists and the medical establishment. Despite the fact that his ideas are considered heretical in mainstream psychiatry, his books continue to be inspirational and educational for psychiatric patients who know that they have been sickened and/or made worse by the use of brain-disabling drugs and electroshock.
Breggin is a giant among psychiatric whistle-blowers and a huge thorn in the side of the super-wealthy and obscenely profitable multinational psychopharmaceutical corporations (and much of academic psychiatry). He has been influential with free-thinking physicians and feared by establishment types ever since his first ground-breaking book was published in 1991.
That book was titled Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock and Biochemical Theories of the ‘New Psychiatry’.
Last year was the 25th anniversary of Toxic Psychiatry’s publication and I dedicated a recent seminar that I did in St Paul, MN to him. It needs to be emphasized that Breggin’s books are virtually banned books in polite medical establishment circles. They are rarely found on mainstream book-seller’s store shelves, and they are absent from hospital libraries that are designed for physician education.
Brain-disabling Treatments in Psychiatry
Among the approximately 2 dozen books Dr Breggin has written during his long career as author and practicing psychiatrist (he is still curing patients at age 80) is his Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock and the Role of the FDA (1997, revised in 2008).
That book exposed the corrupted pseudoscience and out-and-out bribery that has enabled the psychopharmaceutical industry to convince the CDC, the FDA, the NIMH, and academic psychiatry (all of which have enormous power and influence in essentially every medical school and major medical clinic in the nation) to promote the widespread use of their potentially addictive, potentially brain-damaging and potentially dementia-inducing synthetic psych drugs (and their potentially brain-damaging electroshock “treatments”). This vast, generations-long indoctrination effort has resulted in a dumbing down of the often naive healthcare industry professionals and their business administrators – not to mention the equally brainwashed populace who often get their health information from drug commercials on TV!
Over 90% of the research is done by well-paid, mercenary scientists who only work on projects that have profit potential. Such Big Pharma-paid-for-and-controlled research has not been recognized as the pseudoscience that it often is. Therefore, corporate-sponsored, for-profit pseudoscience has been heavily promoted as true science, thanks mainly to the uncritical propaganda “about the latest research studies” that have not yet been replicated.
The popular press profits enormously from the advertising fees of Big Pharma and thus fails its readers by not reporting the many negative aspects of prescription drug use. The mainstream media also doesn’t report on the more reliable, more important, unbiased neuroscience research that is being done by altruistic researchers and that is being published in relatively obscure journals where it is not being read by most clinicians.
The full title of Dr Breggin’s 1999 book, co-authored with Dr David Cohen, is Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications.
Psychiatrist William Glasser wrote the following in the forward to the first edition:
“Nowhere does the false medical thinking (that there is a drug cure for almost all common diseases) do more harm than in the modern psychiatric argument that mental illness is easily diagnosed and then cured by a side-effect-free drug. Nowhere is the correct psychiatric thinking more evident than in the books by Peter Breggin. In them he explains clearly that patients with mental illnesses are in almost all instances suffering from their inability to connect with important people in their lives and need help in making these vital connections. He supports safe, drug-free counseling as a more effective way to help people, and I enthusiastically agree with this premise.”
Psychiatrist Douglas C. Smith endorsed the book with this:
“Breggin and Cohen provide us with critical information we need to know in order to make informed decisions about psychiatric drugs, including when and how to stop taking them. They present it all within a coherent philosophy of life and health that makes the routing use of psychiatric drugs obsolete. If you have reached that inevitable point of being disillusioned with your psychiatric drug, this book will be your best friend and guide.”
In 2008, another of Breggin’s ground-breaking books was published. It was titled Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-altering Medications. The liner notes say:
“Medications for everything from depression and anxiety to (so-called) ADHD and insomnia are being prescribed in alarming numbers across the country, but the “cure” is often worse than the original problem. “Medication Madness” is a fascinating, frightening and dramatic look at the role that psychiatric medications have played in 50 case histories of (drug-induced) suicide, murder, and other violent, criminal and bizarre behaviors…
“Psychiatric drugs frequently cause individuals to lose their judgment and their ability to control their emotions and actions. The book raises and examines the issues surrounding personal responsibility when behavior seems driven by drug-induced adverse reactions and intoxication.
“Many categories of psychiatric drugs can cause potentially horrendous reactions. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Xanax, lithium, Zyprexa and other psychiatric medications may spellbind patients into believing they are improved when too often they are becoming worse. Psychiatric drugs drive some people into psychosis, mania, depression, suicide, agitation, compulsive violence and loss of self-control without the individuals realizing that their medications have deformed their way of thinking and feeling. The book documents how the FDA, the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry have oversold the value of psychiatric drugs. The book serves as a cautionary tale about our reliance on potentially dangerous psychoactive chemicals to relieve our emotional problems and provides a positive approach to taking personal charge of our lives.”
It May be Impossible to Fly Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Drugs
What about the good old days, before there were the hundreds and thousands of psychiatric drugs, before the psych drug-related suicide epidemic, before the psych drug-related school shooting epidemic or the psych drug-related mass shooting epidemic (incidents that never happened prior to the widespread use of psych drugs in children)? Wasn’t that a simpler time?
To address those questions, one needs to recall the important lessons of the 1975 Academy Award winning film adaption of Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, where all the patients in Jack Nicholson’s psych ward were forced to take the authoritarian Nurse Ratched’s Thorazine at “Medication Time” – or else submit to electroconvulsive shock “treatments” or lobotomy. Nothing good happened to any of those locked up, drugged-up, shocked or lobotomized patients, except perhaps for the liberated Chief in the dramatic conclusion of the film, and, since he was appropriately docile and didn’t act out, he probably wasn’t being medicated.
Neither Nurse Ratched, the psychiatrists nor the treatment staff working on Randle McMurphy’s ward had any idea back then that the anti-psychotic drugs that were routinely administered to in-patients at the time commonly caused permanent brain damage, including tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia, Parkinson’s disease, brain shrinkage and sexual dysfunction, not to mention a high incidence of the following anti-psychotic drug-induced signs and symptoms: akathisia, depression, suicidality, homicidality, disability, unemployability, homelessness, loss of IQ points, chronic constipation, dry mouth, premature death, brain shrinkage and general feelings of zombification.
Thorazine, and its sister “first generation” anti-psychotic drugs like Mellaril and Haldol, and every other so-called anti-psychotic drug ever made since then (including the second generation/“atypical” antipsychotics that wouldn’t be coming to market until the 1990s) has been found to cause diabetes, obesity, gynecomastia, pituitary dysfunction, cardiac rhythm disturbances, sudden death, etc.
The important warnings from courageous, whistle-blowing psychiatrists like Peter Breggin are there waiting to be heeded. His lessons are there waiting to be learned.
There is a desperate need for people to wake up and act on their doubts about what Big Pharma and its sycophants have been propagandizing us about. Joseph Goebbels knew what he was talking about.
In the decades that I practiced medicine, I was victimized by Big Pharma’s Big Lies too many times to count. Being the sociopathic entity that it is, Big Pharma never apologized to me nor did it repent of any of its many deceptions; so it would be foolish of me to start believing anything it says now about the safety or efficacy of their brain-altering drugs. It has proved itself incapable of truth-telling.