You have the dubious honor of being my blog’s ‘Dick head of the week‘. Why do you deserve such an ominous accolade I hear you say? Well, Dr Lieberman, it seems that you think that taking anti-depressants for distress is akin to taking ‘insulin for diabetes’, and you also apparently think that psych-drug critic, and best-selling and award winning author, Robert Whitaker, is a ‘menace to society’. Jeffrey- are you saying these outrageous things because he highlights psych-drug dangers? and perhaps because he speaks up for vulnerable people? (People damaged by your profession).
Robert Whitaker is a patient advocate. He speaks for me, and for many others, and as a former psych-drug addict, and former client of your profession, I can vouch that all that Mr Whitaker says about psych-drugs is true. Psych drugs do damage people. They are immensely harmful- particularly if taken long-term. They are hideous drugs, and they are grossly over-prescribed. Furthermore, psychiatric diagnoses are in themselves stigmatizing to the sufferer. The psychiatric profession is a whore to the pharmaceutical industry, yes that’s what I said- it’s a whore to industry– biological psychiatry is particularly bad when it comes to prostituting itself to the monetary tentacles of Big Pharma. Personally, as a former psych patient, and ex-psych drug user, I am sick to my back teeth of reading bullshit opinions like yours. There is a growing movement against your profession from former psych service users because we are all fed up with how psychiatry demeans all criticism. We have had enough of psychiatry refusing to engage with us. We have had our fill with psychiatric lies. You and I both know Dr. Lieberman, that taking an anti-depressant is nothing like taking insulin for diabetes, so why would you utter such misleading nonsense on the airwaves? Why would you do that?
Nobody has a Paxil or Prozac deficiency, therefore- your analogy is horse-shit. It’s an outdated pharmaceutical marketing sound-bite- we both know that’s all that it is. It’s misleading and absurd to compare depression with diabetes but since when has that stopped people like you from doing it? Why is Whitaker a menace? Was that a Freudian slip? do you think he is a menace to psychiatry? That must be what you meant is it? By standing up for patients, and speaking the truth, Whitaker is being a pest isn’t he? and a menace to your psychiatric ideology. He’s a thorn in the side of the gravy train. He must be stopped from undermining the paradigm which psychiatry has been creaming off for decades (at the expense of patients’ lives). How dare he question the unquestionable…
The psychiatric profession needs to begin to listen to people like Robert Whitaker, and ex-psych drug addicts like me, because it is psych-survivors, in particular- Dr Lieberman, who have experienced the side effects from the drugs you peddle. It is us who also experience the diagnosis which your pseudo-profession depends on in order to survive. If you dismiss us, you are dismissing your clients, and we all know, that it’s us- the psych service users- who keep the psych-pharma gravy train afloat don’t we? And a very profitable train it is… isn’t it? Very lucrative indeed.
I wonder how much money you have made over the years Dr Lieberman.. are you a millionaire? Did the ‘mental health industry’ make you rich? and then I wonder how have the majority of psychiatric services users fared? Have they been cured? are they now functioning, productive, members of society, in good jobs with good pay, good pay like yours? Or are they on disability payments, welfare, on the bread-line, barely functioning because of drug side effects, damaged beyond repair from agonizing withdrawals, enslaved to toxic meds which are destroying their quality of life, day by day, year upon year. How many became homeless because of psych drug side effects creating havoc with their minds and lives? how many are now destitute? How many never recover? How many experience Akathisia? Or SSRI-induced suicide? Do you give a crap about those kinds of statistics involving psych-services users? or are these types of questions a little inconvenient for you?
Are most psych-service users getting progressively worse from the psych-drug merry go round, which you and your ilk promote? That’s the question isn’t it Jeffrey? Answer me that… (comment below if you like).
In 2006, Lieberman co-signed a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal with about thirty other doctors. With this, he disclosed honoraria, consulting fees, research grant support from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Upjohn Pharmacia, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Hoechst AG, and AstraZeneca. He also listed as corporate speakers bureaus AstraZeneca, Janssen, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer.
Lieberman disclosed in 2007 in the journal Primary Psychiatry that he was a consultant to Eli Lilly and Pfizer. He was on the advisory boards of AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck,Organon, and Pfizer. He has a patent from Repligen Corporation. Lieberman received research support from Acadia, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck, Organon, and Pfizer. In 2009, Lieberman disclosed grants from Allon, Forest Laboratories, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Otsuka, Solvay, and Wyeth to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology for their annual meeting in which he participated.
In 2011, his disclosure at Medscape of relevant financial relationships says he served on the advisory board of Bioline, GlaxoSmithKline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Eli Lilly, Pierre Fabre, and Psychogenics, and that he received research grants from Allon Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Sepracor, and Targacept.
He also disclosed in 2013, as a member of the psychiatry editorial board at Medscape, that he received research grants from Allon, Novartis, Sepracor, and Targacept; and he served on the advisory boards at Bioline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Pierre Fabre and Psychogenics. In additional disclosures at Medscape in 2013, he received research grants from Allon, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Psychogenics, Hoffmann-La Roche, Sepracor, and Targacept, and he served on the advisory board of Alkermes, Bioline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Pierre Fabre, and Psychogenics.
On Canada’s popular national CBC radio program The Sunday Edition, psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman today described Robert Whitaker as “a menace to society.” Lieberman is the Chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University, a former head of the American Psychiatric Association and author of the new book Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry. Whitaker is the publisher of this website, whose 2010 book Anatomy of an Epidemic focused on what science is showing about the long-term effects of psychiatric medications.
During the interview, CBC host Michael Enright asked Lieberman if he was familiar with Whitaker. “Unfortunately I am,” answered Lieberman. Enright then played a clip of Whitaker discussing medication withdrawal problems and research showing that long-term outcomes for people taking psychiatric medications were on average worse than for people who never received any treatments.
Asked for his reaction to Whitaker, Lieberman said, “I have nothing against him personally.” Lieberman then added, “What he says is preposterous. He’s a menace to society because he’s basically fomenting misinformation and misunderstanding about mental illness and the nature of treatment.”
Lieberman then compared taking antidepressants to taking insulin for diabetes.
“Whitaker, he ostensibly considers himself to have been a journalist,” added Lieberman. “God help the publication that employed him.” (Whitaker’s CV is publicly available.)
Enright then asked, “What about his contention that the unmedicated patients did better than the medicated patients?” After a pause, Lieberman responded, “I’d say that’s absolutely wrong. If you do a controlled study with various illnesses, whether it’s schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and you do a randomized study, assign one group to receive whatever the state of the art is in psychiatry including medication, and you assign the other to some innocuous, non-medical type of supportive therapy or whatever, and you follow the people for a period of time, the outcomes will be extraordinarily superior in the treated group… There’s no doubt about it.”
Lieberman did not point to any of the actual studies of long-term outcomes that have been done, and it’s unclear if he was using the conditional future tense as a way of acknowledging that the evidence to support his assertion does not currently exist. It’s also not clear how much time Lieberman meant when he said that treated patients would fare better for “a period of time.”
The Sunday Edition (CBC Radio, April 26, 2015) (Interview with Jeffrey Lieberman begins at 40 minutes, and discussion about Robert Whitaker begins at 51:30.)
A Challenge to Dr. Lieberman — Robert Whitaker Responds (Mad in America, April 26, 2015)