Monday, May 07, 2007

Studies Reveal Lack of Science Behind Mental Health Industry


More Funding, Screening and “Treatment” Will Not Solve Inherent Problems in Psychiatric Field

Two studies have come out recently in the U.S. and the UK, which found that large numbers of people are erroneously being classified with a mental disorder. People suffering from normal sadness, divorce, rejection and economic misfortune are diagnosed with “depression” after answering simplistic questions such as, “During the past month have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?” Despite grossly inept diagnostic criteria—one study admits a 60% misdiagnosis rate, the other 25%—and without the use of any objective, physical tests such as blood tests, brain scans or x-rays, the person diagnosed will more often than not be prescribed powerful, mind-altering drugs.

With pharmaceutical companies spending $4 billion a year on direct-to-consumer marketing, psychiatric illnesses, and the drugs used to “treat” them, are literally marketed to the public in an advertising campaign. As a result, the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry earns more than $80 billion annually for psychotropic drugs, including stimulants, antipsychotics and antidepressants.

International regulatory bodies have issued 24 warnings in the last two years on the serious side effects of psychiatric drugs, including heart attack, stroke, suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hostility and “homicidal ideation.” On Wednesday, The New York Times published yet another article about how Eli Lilly’s top-selling antipsychotic, Zyprexa, leads to diabetes, the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. Lilly has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle 28,500 lawsuits contending that Zyprexa caused diabetes and other diseases, with at least 1,200 lawsuits still pending. A USA Today study of adverse events reported to the FDA between 2000-2004 found at least 45 child deaths in which antipsychotics were listed as the "primary suspect," in addition to 1,328 reports of serious, even life-threatening, side effects.

Another current controversy is the link between psychiatric drugs and school shooters. If toxicology results determine Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho to be the 9th recent school shooter under the influence of psychiatric drugs—a list which includes Eric Harris at Columbine, Kip Kinkel at Springfield, Oregon and Jeff Weise at Red Lake Indian Reservation—this would account for 77 wounded and 61 killed in less than a decade by school shooters on psychiatric drugs.

Despite this national crisis, there has been no official call for an investigation into the link between school shooters and psychiatric drugs. This gross oversight is a reflection of how much control the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry has over the media and governmental bodies. The Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office now states that Seung Hui Cho’s autopsy report and toxicology results will not be publicly released, which is a great injustice to the American people who are desperately seeking answers to what has caused the recent spate of school shootings, and how they can be prevented.

According to psychiatrist Peter Breggin, "The violence unleashed on the Virginia Tech campus should not lead to calls for more mental health screening, more mental health interventions, or more drugs. Instead, the violent rampage should confirm that psychiatric interventions don't prevent violence and instead they can cause it….Reliance on the whole range of this system from counseling to involuntary treatment failed."

With no standard diagnostic criteria, millions of dollars in lawsuits pending and drugs prescribed to children resulting in a running death toll, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a psychiatric watchdog group, says that the psychiatric industry should not be permitted to use the Virginia Tech tragedy to garner more funding and push for more mental health “screening” and “treatment” (i.e. drugs). Instead, the U.S. should be questioning the psychiatric treatment that the Virginia Tech shooter did get.

See also: Psychiatry: An Industry of Death

Visit CCHR’s website at www.cchr.org.uk for more information.

You can contact CCHR on 01342 313926 or email: info@cchr.org.uk

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