July 2015 © I grow more concerned, even alarmed, as I continue to study psychotropic medications. Reliable international research more clearly documents daily that psychiatric medications — anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and ADHD meds (and the presumed “innocuous” sleep medications) — come with serious problems. These drugs, in the long run, create negative changes in brain function that make people worse, far beyond published side effects. Misinformation and societal mythology, mostly originated by drug companies, have led to still-escalating prescribing of these harmful substances, resulting in an increasingly impaired, disabled population.
Peter Gøtzsche, MD, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration (a highly regarded global research group) writes about years of research with psychotropic medications:
“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.”
Many therapists innocently continue to suggest that meds could help clients, (“You need to get a psychiatric consult.”) when stymied as to what else to do, particularly if frightened that a client may hurt self or another, or readily acquiesce to client, supervisor, or insurance company desires for a quicker fix. Sadly, too few professionals engage in deep psychotherapy anymore. Yet there is increasing evidence that Americans are faring worse today than if we took no medication at all.
Journalist Robert Whitaker and others walk us through the long history and often-unpublicized research of psychiatric medications that unmistakably proves – once again – the damage that benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, and other psychiatric medications are causing. Psychotropic medications are often both physically and emotionally addictive therefore hard to get off of; withdrawal effects can and do add considerably to clients’ difficulties.
A growing number of psychiatrists, scientists and researchers have been shining their light on this travesty, some for decades, among them psychiatrist Peter Breggin, MD; Danish researcher Peter Gøtzsche, MD; Welsh psychiatrist David Healy, MD; neurologist Fred Baughman, MD; psychiatrist Loren Mosher, MD (who courageously resigned from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in protest*).
If you (or your client) are already on “Benzos” (e.g., Ativan, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Restoril), other anxiolytics or other psychoactive meds and want or need to taper off, please go slowly and get professional assistance, as withdrawal symptoms are often quite emotionally miserable and can be physically dangerous. Please note: many physicians and psychotherapists do not know enough about withdrawal difficulties and you probably will need to get help by researching this yourself, in addition to talking with your healthcare professional. Also please educate yourself regarding the increasing evidence refuting the myth “It’s just like a diabetic’s need for insulin” (as well as “chemical imbalance”) and be aware of the dangers of long-term use!
There are better ways to treat most so-called “mental health issues” than with drugs. Other countries that resist or cannot afford medications are showing consistently better outcomes than medication-based countries. Therapists and groups of helpers who support people through life’s struggles, which usually end up being time-limited (and in some cases, yes, episodic) are getting better results than those utilizing medications. Psychotropic medications are shown to compound and ultimately prolong the challenges, often to the point of long-term debilitation.
Especially and immediately, we need more thorough education for consumers, therapists and prescribers. We need big changes in marketing drugs through television and magazines and we must help consumers and prescribers know what difficulties may accompany the drugs so casually advertized. (And why is the United States one of the few places in the world that allows direct-to-consumer advertising? New Zealand is the only other developed nation that does.) Physician prescribers must better learn and communicate the dangers of drugs they prescribe and the long-term and withdrawal effects so consumers have true informed consent.
I hope you will be inspired to learn more about psychotropic medications and the misinformation purposely peddled by pharmaceutical companies about them. We must face facts! Multiple researchers around the world are increasingly documenting that psychotropic drugs do more harm than good.
Thankfully Core Energetics and other empathic therapies work by assisting people through love, empathy, human contact, spiritual concepts – in addition Core Energetics has very effective energetic tools. (I intend to write more soon about this important, urgent issue as well as helpful alternatives to harmful medications!)
Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, & the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America ~ Robert Whitaker, 2011.
Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, & Prescriptions for Reform ~ Robert Whitaker & Lisa Cosgrove, April 2015.
Talking Back to Prozac: What Doctors Won’t Tell You About Prozac & the Newer Antidepressants ~ Peter Breggin, MD & Ginger Ross Breggin, 2014.
Deadly Medicines & Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare ~ Peter Gøtzsche, 2013.
Links of Interest:
*Loren Mosher’s Letter to APA
Pam Chubbuck, PhD – May 2014 article (VitallyAlive.com): Revitalization of the Nearly-Lost Art of Depth Psychotherapy Needed: An Antidote to Psychiatric Medication Madness
~ Pam Chubbuck, PhD, 2015