Slow news week but interesting tidbit- Doctors at a small clinic take a principled approach to drug pushers. Also some good information overall about how drugs,expensive, even harmful ones, are marketed, by health reporter Markian Hawryluk.
Perhaps the most engaging lecturer in medicine, Dr. Ben Goldacre opens up about pharmaceutical malfeasance and how it creates Doctor’s who do not have the knowledge to make informed decisions. I drove 40 miles to hear and pay for a similar lecture. Here it is available for all and well worth it as he gets right to the relevant points and supports them profoundly. The TEDMED website is also quite interesting. (Editor)
11% over the age of 12 take antidepressants. The rate of depression has doubled in the last 15 years – antidepressant use up 400% since the late 1980′s. Is there a connection between SSRI use and chronic depression? This article from an associate professor of psychiatry does not address that. Instead they make the case that social ills and lifestyle problems have occurred at the same time as the availability and heavy marketing of SSRI’s. (Editor)
James Hamblin, MD finds much to question re: psychiatry and the diagnosis of depression. For example, a recent study at Johns Hopkins found that more than 60 percent of adults who were diagnosed by their doctor as having depression actually did not meet the official diagnostic criteria for the disorder upon re-evaluation by Hopkins psychiatrists. Some of them may have been prescribed antidepressant medications when their real problem was something else entirely.”
“The next time you’re in a crowded room, look around. A scary percentage of the people in the room with you are suffering from a mental disorder. Or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe, …………….”
“Allen Frances, former head of the Duke University School of Medicine’s psychiatry department and a man TheNew York Times once called “perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America,” was chair of the APA task force for DSM-IV (issued in 1994). Frances has become the loudest and most influential public voice questioning the DSM’s latest revamp.”
“While the DSM’s text is introduced with a caveat that it’s only to be used for clinical, educational, and research purposes, the book has another key application: It’s often used as a way to make decisions within governing bodies, in court, and in the criminal justice system.”
A psychologist Bruce Levine discusses the insidious state of affairs between government, medicine, and big pharma – the “psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex” and states the practices involved need to be abolished by law.
This is the issue most ignored perhaps because the implications are the most profound. SSRI’s may be the missing link explaining all these weird violent episodes that society never experienced to this degree in the past. An intelligent discussion which begs answers and more serious consideration. (Editor)
“Recess traditionally has been a time for kids to run and play between classes, but only five or six students were playing soccer during this lunch break. The rest were gathered in clusters by the bleachers next to the soccer field, looking at smartphones.” And the answer is – more drugs??
Excerpt: ‘Harvard psychologist Dr. Joseph Glenmullen discussing SSRIs said: “We don’t know what these drugs are doing to real life human beings. When you look at all the documents, you see a pattern of misleading doctors who then unwittingly mislead patients. This is a betrayal of the public trust in physicians behind the scenes by the drug industry and it must stop.”’
Visit this site also for links to “Holistic, non-toxic approaches to mood enhancement “
“Drug overdose deaths in the United States increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2010, rising 3.6 percent from 2009, federal officials reported Tuesday. There were 38,329 drug overdose deaths in 2010. Prescription drugs were involved in more than half of all overdoses, with 22,134 deaths from them, up 6 percent from 2009…”
“With over 90% of school shooters on antidepressants, we need to have a serious discussion about the role that prescription drugs might have played in the recent Connecticut massacre and other mass killings”, says Dr. Healy, CEO of RxISK.org.
“A large study of pregnant women diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder and conducted by investigators at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston showed about a1.5-fold increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage associated with all classes of antidepressants and not just selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs).”
“Our study suggests that all classes of antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of abnormal bleeding,” the investigators write.”
“EARLIER this month, Dr. Doshi opened what he hopes will be a new chapter in his quest for greater understanding of clinical trials. He and several other researchers published what amounted to an ultimatum to drug companies: publish your data, or we’ll do it for you. ”
“The reason clinicians persist in prescribing antidepressants in this patient population when the evidence suggests they confer no benefit is unclear. However, Dr. Warner speculated that it may be due to the fact that there are so few effective treatment options for this severely ill population.”
“After controlling for anxiety, they found that patients who were discharged while receiving venlafaxine were 3 times more likely to be readmitted compared with those who did not receive an antidepressant at discharge or those who received other antidepressants “
Researchers from the University of Michigan revealed that individuals who suffer from depression and those taking antidepressants such as mirtazapine and fluoxetine had a much higher chance of contracting Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) – a life threatening infection that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the colon.
It is increasingly recognized that chronic psychotropic drug treatment may lead to structural remodeling of the brain. Indeed, clinical studies in humans present an intriguing picture: antipsychotics, used for the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis, may contribute to cortical gray matter loss in patients, whereas lithium, used for the treatment of bipolar disorder and mania, may preserve gray matter in patients.
“Both the second-generation as well as the first-generation antipsychotic agents proved independently associated with greater than threefold increased risks of sudden cardiac death, according to results from a large, population-based study.” Olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperdal implicated. Abilify- not a large enough control group studied. All classes seem to imply the same risks of SCD- sudden cardiac death.
Posted rxisk.org May 20, 2014 Finally some easilly accessible information to assist those for whom the medical establishment finds not enough financial incentive to help! This is also a great developing site. It does not cover all meds but is a great consise introduction to what is possible with the meds they do cover. Congratulations ot Dr. David healy.
The recurrence risk for depression or panic was much shorter after rapid than after gradual discontinuation of antidepressants. These findings have implications for both clinical management and the design and interpretation of clinical trials.
The brain is notoriously hard to study and won’t give up its secrets easily. In contrast, psychotherapy research can yield relatively quick and powerful results. Given the critically important value — and popularity — of therapy, psychotherapy research deserves a much larger share of research dollars than it currently receives.
Posted New York Times.com July 19, 2015 Richard A. Friedman, Prof of Clinical Psychiatry
“Psychiatry is under attack for not being scientific enough, but the real problem is its blindness to culture. When it comes to mental illness, we wear the disorders that come off the rack.” How cultural prejudice influences the DSM.
The NIMH has been developing its new framework, called the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), since 2009. The system replaces DSM diagnoses with broad research categories based on basic cognitive, behavioural and neural mechanisms.
“Anyway, I filled the prescription, came home and researched it a bunch, sat on it for a couple weeks and finally tried it because I was so sick of not being able to sleep. Turns out it’s more physiologically addictive than Adderall or coke or even speed. The pharmaceutical company that manufactures it does not authorize it for use longer than three weeks. No doctor, nurse, or pharmacist ever mentioned that to me.”
“What we call psychiatric practice,” he says, “is a certain moral tactic . . . covered over by the myths of positivism.” Indeed, what psychiatry presents as the “liberation of the mad” (from mental illness) is in fact a “gigantic moral imprisonment.”