America’s Dementia and Mental Ill Health Epidemic: It Turns Out That the Drugs May Be the Problem

Gary G. Kohls, MD

Tens of millions of unsuspecting Americans who are mired deeply in the mental “health” system have actually been made crazy, homicidal, suicidal, and neurologically disabled by the use of or withdrawal from brain-disabling, brain-damaging neurotoxic psychiatric drugs that have been cavalierly handed out like candy, with false assurance from a co-opted FDA. These synthetic prescription drugs are often prescribed in untested and unapproved combinations by unaware but well-intentioned physicians who have been under the mesmerizing influence of slick propaganda campaigns bankrolled by obscenely profitable multinational pharmaceutical corporations.

That is the conclusion of a multitude of courageous psychiatric and pharmaceutical industry whistleblowers (see some pertinent websites below), including many authors of books on the subject. Most of these whistleblowers have been blacklisted by BigPharma, psychiatry, medical journals, and even the mainstream media because of the magnitude of the unwelcome information they have revealed. In defense of most prescribing physicians, many of the revelations about the dangers of these synthetic drugs have been intentionally hidden from them. In any case, the whistleblowers’ revelations should be shaking up physicians, their drug-taking patients, and the drug industry, as well as Wall Street.

I highlight two of these courageous whistleblowers here.

Practicing psychiatrist and scholar Grace E. Jackson, MD has written two important books that should alert psychiatric drug prescribers and the consumers of those drugs about the many dangers of those drugs. Dr. Jackson has done meticulous review and interpretations of the voluminous neuroscience research literature as well as the clinical neuropsychiatric literature and has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how dementia-causing and brain-damaging many of the drugs are that the drug industry has falsely reassured us are “safe and effective.”

Drug-induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime

Dr. Jackson’s most dramatically groundbreaking book, “Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime,” was published in 2009.  She has documented the often disastrous consequences of the chronic ingestion of any of the five major classes of psychiatric drugs (antidepressants, antipsychotics, psycho-stimulants, tranquilizers, and anti-seizure/”mood-stabilizer” drugs).
“Drug-induced Dementia” presents compelling evidence that any of the psychotropic drugs that target brain and nerve cells can cause microscopic, anatomic, biochemical, clinical, and radiological evidence of brain shrinkage and other signs of brain damage, which can result in clinically diagnosable dementia, premature death, and a variety of other related brain disorders that can even mimic diagnosable mental illnesses “of unknown cause.” Jackson’s first book, “Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent,” was an equally sobering warning about many of the hidden dangers of psychiatric drugs.

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

Investigative journalist and health science writer Robert Whitaker has devoted many years of his life to researching the serious downsides of psychiatric drugs. He has reported his groundbreaking results in two books, the first of which was titled “Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill” (2002). In that book Whitaker explored the published literature and discovered that since psychiatric drugs (the first one being Thorazine) began being widely prescribed in the U.S. in the mid-1950s, there has been a 600 percent increase in the total and permanent disabilities of millions of psychiatric drug-takers in the United States. This uniquely First World epidemic of “mental health” disability has resulted in lifelong, taxpayer-supported Social Security disability payments to the rapidly increasing numbers of psychiatric patients who are now unable to live happy lives or be productive, taxpaying members of society.

In Whitaker’s second book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America” (2010), he provides additional, overwhelming proof of these sobering realities. He documents the history of the powerful forces behind the relatively new field of psychopharmacology and its major shapers, promoters, and beneficiaries, namely BigPharma and the medical and psychiatric industries. Psychiatric drugs, whose developers, marketers, and salespersons are all in the employ of the giant drug companies, are far more dangerous than these industries are willing to admit. Psychiatric drugs, it turns out, are fully capable of disabling body, brain and spirit—often permanently.

Jackson and Whitaker have done powerful services to humanity by presenting previously hidden but very convincing evidence from the scientific literature to support their theses, that it is the drugs and not the so-called “mental illnesses” that are causing the epidemics of dementia and “mental illness” disability in America.

Aware, compassionate physicians and their aware patients should now be motivated to be wary of any synthetic chemicals that can cross the blood/brain barrier from the circulation into the brain. All of them are capable of altering the brain, sometimes permanently, in ways previously unknown to medical science and unsuspected by the FDA, especially in cases of polypharmacy and/or long-term or high-dose use.

It is getting harder and harder to fly over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Tragically, the prescribing of psych drugs “for life” has become synonymous with standard mental health “treatment” for almost every one of the 374 fabricated mental illness labels in the last version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. And putting people on pills (while rarely taking them off) has become the community standard of care in American medicine, increasingly so ever since the introduction of the so-called “anti-schizophrenic” “major tranquilizer” “miracle” drug Thorazine in the mid-1950s. (Thorazine was probably the drug that Jack Nicholson’s character Randall McMurphy was coerced into taking at “medication time” in the Academy Award-winning movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”)

Thorazine and all the other first-generation antipsychotic, “zombification” drugs are now universally known to have been an iatrogenic (doctor-caused) disaster because of their serious long-term, brain-damaging effects that resulted in a multitude of forms of permanent brain damage manifesting as tardive (delayed) dyskinesia, dysmetria, dystonia, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease, all of which are commonly caused by antipsychotic drugs, even the newer “atypical” ones. Young children on such drugs are now developing Parkinson’s disease in childhood!
Thorazine and all the other “me-too” drugs like Prolixin, Mellaril, and Navane are synthetic “tricyclic” chemical compounds similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic first-generation “antidepressants” like Elavil and the similarly toxic, obesity-inducing, diabetogenic, “atypical” “anti-psychotic” second-generation drugs like Clozaril, Zyprexa, and Seroquel.
Just like most ruthless corporate groups, BigPharma has a compulsive drive to make as much money as possible by continuously expanding market share, raising prices and increasing “shareholder value” (share price, dividends, and the next quarter’s financial report) by whatever means necessary.

Both the prescribers and the swallowers of BigPharma’s drugs have succumbed to cunning marketing campaigns. The prescribers get seduced by attractive drug company representatives of the opposite sex and the free “pens, pizzas, and post-it notes” in the office, and the patients get brainwashed by the inane and unbelievable (if one has intact critical thinking skills) commercials on TV that urge the watcher to “ask your doctor” about the latest unaffordable wannabe blockbuster drug while quickly glossing over the lethal and sub-lethal adverse effects in the fine print. If one gets a prescription for a drug that still has patent protection, prepare to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 per month, no matter if the production costs are pennies per pill.

There is no mental health
disability epidemic in the third world

Interestingly, Whitaker points out that there is no such epidemic of mental illness disability in Third World nations because costly psych drugs are not prescribed as cavalierly as in First World nations. Third World poor people with first episodes of any serious mental health problem are not seen by psychiatrists. Rather, they are first nurtured and cared for by caring families in local communities (and not drugged). If drugs are used, they are only used short-term—before the patient’s brain structure has been altered. Third World psychiatric patients are often cured without the use of any drug whatsoever, and therefore those populations have far less chronic mental health problems than their counterparts in First World nations.

Jackson and Whitaker—and any number of other whistle-blowing authors and practitioners who have been questioning the knee-jerk use of potentially neurotoxic drugs for decades now—are understandably widely ignored by mainstream entities that somehow benefit from the highly profitable, pro-drug culture. Avoiding psychiatric drugs, although decidedly best for keeping brains healthy, is not best for the prescription psychiatric drug business.

The good news is that many critically thinking scientists, holistic practitioners, and assorted “psychiatric survivors” are coming to the realization that it is the drugs, and not the so-called “mental disorders,” that are the major causes of our nation’s epidemics of dementia and mental illness disability.

FDA approval doesn’t mean a drug has been
well-tested or is safe or effective long-term
I know that most health caregivers working for modern medical facility businesses are over-worked and often double-booked and therefore may be too busy giving their attention to BigPharma and its paid academics to absorb the sobering news related above. But this issue is too important to ignore. After all, these drugs are potentially lethal substances but are administered in sublethal doses and some (maybe most?) are known to accumulate in brain tissue. In a four-week animal study from the 1990s, for example, Prozac was found to accumulate in the brain at a concentration 20 times higher than its concentration in the bloodstream! And yet, these drugs are still being cleverly marketed as non-toxic and “safe and effective” (but only marginally so and only in short-term studies).

The captains of the drug industry know that their patented psychiatric drugs, when they are presented for FDA approval, have only been tested in animal labs for days or weeks and in clinical trials on human subjects for only 6 to 8 weeks. They also know that many clinical trials involving psychiatrists use current drug-treated psychiatric patients who will then be in the process of going off—and therefore withdrawing from—their previous drugs. Industry executives also know that long-term trials of most psych drugs are never done prior to FDA marketing approval.

The fine line between “normal” and “mentally ill”
The truth is that people diagnosed as “mentally ill” for life are often simply those unfortunates who have found themselves in acute or chronic states of potentially reversible crises or have been temporary overwhelmed due to any number of preventable, treatable, and even curable bad luck situations such as being in bad company or being a victim of poverty, abuse, violence, torture, homelessness, discrimination, underemployment, malnutrition, addictions/withdrawal, electroshock “therapy,” or exposure to neurotoxic chemicals in their food, air, water, or prescription bottles.

Those labeled as the “mentally ill” are not much different from those of us who call ourselves “normal.” But we “normals” have just been lucky enough to have not yet decompensated because of some yet-to-happen, desperation-inducing life situation. And thus we may not have yet been given a billable diagnosis with a billable code number, and not yet been prescribed some unaffordable prescription drug that could put us on the road to permanent disability and institutionalization. In other words, if we are lucky enough to remain unlabeled, we are also likely to remain off brain-altering drugs. Therefore we may remain away from the clutches of “the system,” within which it is very difficult to “just say no” to drugs.

My experience with over a thousand “mentally ill” patients has led me to agree with Jackson’s and Whitaker’s assertions. I fully agree with their warnings that the chronic use of psychiatric drugs is a major cause of cognitive disorders, dementia, loss of memory, loss of IQ points, loss of creativity, loss of spirituality, loss of empathy, loss of energy, loss of strength, loss of impulse control, and a multitude of metabolic adverse effects (like psych drug-induced obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia). There is no question in my mind that these drugs can sicken the body, brain, and soul by causing adverse drug effects such as insomnia, somnolence, increased depression, mania, anxiety, delusions, psychoses, and paranoia. So before filling the prescription, I strongly urge pill-takers to read the product insert information under WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE EFFECTS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, TOXICOLOGY, OVERDOSAGE and the ever-present BLACK BOX WARNINGS ABOUT SUICIDALITY.
America has a dementia and mental ill health epidemic on its hands that is so obvious but so grossly misunderstood, and because of that blindness, the epidemic is worsening. It is happening not because of the supposed progression of “mental illness,” but because of the continued chronic use of neurotoxic, non-curative drugs that are, in America, erroneously used as first-line “treatment.”
For more information on these extremely serious topics, check out these websites:,,,,,,, www.quitpaxil, org,,,,

Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal symptoms that can occur in patients who have been taking any dependency-inducing psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. He advises close consultation with an aware, informed physician who is familiar with treating drug withdrawal syndromes, who will read and study the appropriate literature and become aware of the dangers of psychiatric drugs and the nutritional needs of the drug-toxified and nutritionally depleted brain.