The Infamous ‘Hitler’ Commenter Makes A Salient Point Once Again…


Interesting comment by the ex-Seroxat user ‘Kiwi’ who made the notorious comment on my blog the other day about David Baldwin. It seems that the off the cuff comment made national news in the UK, quite astounding considering a lot of the scandals on my blog don’t make national news, but a random comment on an obscure (but maybe not so obscure now) blog post makes headlines news. The comment was insignificant, as was the phrase, however the (planted) sensationalist story certainly muddied the waters around the context and the content. The issue was about conflicts of interest, which are rife within psychiatry, and the drugs industry that funnels money into it, and has been for at least 50 years of the pharmacological mental illness treatment-age. This bias, and blatant unethical and immoral selling out of patients for a buck has cost people their lives.

That is the real headline.

Check out the comment below by the person that made the original comment; which of course the Royal college seized upon to throw a red herring into the media. I don’t buy it, and most people won’t. It’s a game to them. The whole psych-drug charade is a game to them. They care nothing for the harm it causes. The mental illness industry makes billions for Pharma and the doctors on their payroll make a nice littler earner too (some of the top dog psychs such as Key Opinion Leaders can make hundreds of thousands from industry).

The people that suffer because of this are unsuspecting patients – because of lies from the Royal College of psychiatry and the playing down of side effects of psychiatric drugs. Conflicts of interest, fraud, and bias costs patients their lives. See the Zyprexa, Seroxat and Risperdal scandals for more on how all that happens.

How much have the members of the Royal College of UK psychiatry made from Pharma over the past 50 years? How much? Wouldn’t you like to know a ball park figure? I certainly would. That would make some headline wouldn’t it? Now imagine how much psychiatrists have made over the past 50 years- from Pharma- globally? I imagine that figure would make global headlines, not national ones…


“Drugs advisor [David Baldwin] quits after being branded worse than Hitler [on Social media]”.
Wow! Believe me this guy has done everyone a favour including himself.
The truth hurts doesnt it!
Im not as widely read on social media as some but i can think of only one person who blogged and labeled Baldwin ‘worse than Hitler’. That person being myself. And how flattered and thrilled i am to think i could have such influence to have triggerred his resignation. Brilliant.
Several points have now been proven one being that when it comes to name calling and labelling of others these people can give it but they cant take it. Maybe Baldwin was forced to look in the mirror and reflect on the millions of people that have been harmed by him. The millions of seroxat victims who at this point in time are oblivious to the future plight that awaits (the traumatising withdrawal horror show that is relentless long lasting and brutal putting people in a position where death becomes a welcome relief and thousands by the way take this option and its not because they have a mental illness) should they try to get off the drug.
Perhaps Baldwin and anyone else who disagrees with me who condemns my comments might like to try some seroxat for themselves. For no one knows a drug like the one who is taking it or has taken it or had to get off it. A person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an opinion. Heres the invitation take 40mg of paroxetine for 6 months then quit it. Dont worry about tapering [as ‘Not being given a tapering schedule is a minor issue’ response of a doctor]. Let me tell you something as for ‘withdrawal symptoms only lasting two weeks’ you may in fact have no withdrawal symptoms for several months (for they are often delayed) but then 3-4 months down the track BANG the withdrawal will hit like a train trash in the brain. You will suddenly become uncharacteristically weepy and tearful for no reason and then you will wish you had never been born.
Im 8 years seroxat free and still recovering. I am still unable to work fulltime but im hoping one day i will return to fulltime employment. The withdrawal left me nonfunctioning human for over 6 years unemployed and unemployable. Never had any psych issues in my life it was all off label pill pushing. I would be the last person in the world to commit suicide but the withdrawal left me fightng for my life daily. Its a miracle im still alive. Thankfully i am and so will continue to state the truth.
Perhaps Baldwin has now caught a glimpse of the truth and seen the horror he has caused (he should be deeply ashamed) and done the right thing. Maybe his conscience wasnt totally severed afterall!
Do i stand by my W-T-H label. Yes you bet, because its the truth.
Disagree with me?
Okay ..YOU take seroxat for ten years, get off it , then come back and comment?
Till then you have no voice just an (ignorant) opinion.
It appears the population of the UK is 63,186,000. Apparently about ten percent of people are taking these drugs. Thats a lot of people currently wearing striped pyjamas.
Keep up the good work Truthman.






What Really Killed Dolores O’ Riordain?

“….IRISH rock star Dolores O’Riordan (46) drowned in the bathtub of her London hotel room while more than four times over the drink driving limit.

The revelation came as a London coroner’s court held an inquest into the death of The Cranberries lead singer and mother of three.

Westminster Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe returned a verdict of accidental death with the singer having drowned due to alcohol intoxification

Ms O’Riordan was found dead in bedroom 2005 at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane in London at 9am on January 15….”


The death of Irish singer Dolores O’Riordain (from the Cranberries), is yet another celebrity demise that leaves us with more questions than answers. I’ve written about Dolores before (see here); in that post from 2014, I asked was Dolores on psychiatric drugs? As it turns out, according to the inquest into her death, she certainly was. She had four anti-depressants in her system at the time of her death (by drowning in a bath tub), and a high level of alcohol. Her death was recorded as accidental and alcohol was considered the culprit. She was also under the care of two psychiatrists; both quite well renowned.

“…Trinity College Dublin (TCD) psychiatrist, Dr Seamas O’Ceallaigh, and US psychiatrist Dr Robert Hirschfeld were treating Ms O’Riordan…”

If, as the article suggests, Dolores was receiving the best psychiatric mental health care available, then why did she die? Surely, if you could afford the best health care, your life should be extended not diminished? that’s usually the way it works right?

Not so, with psychiatric treatment.

Pulitzer prize nominated journalist- Robert Whitaker’s ‘anatomy of an epidemic‘ explains in detail why those who receive psychiatric care (mostly in the form of drug treatments) have shortened life spans and increased disability and disablement.

When someone gets diagnosed with a ‘mental illness’ – In Dolores’s case- Bi-Polar, it usually send them down a trajectory of psychiatric medication regimes, which can last for years, even decades. The multiple side effects from psychiatric drugs can end up being more of a problem than the original diagnosis. Often times the side effects can mimic psychiatric illnesses, leaving the person in a much worse state than if they weren’t on the drugs. It’s very hard to come off psychiatric drugs too, even if you want to, and due to their toxicity, many people are poor metabolizers of them anyhow, which means that the drugs build up in the liver, causing many physical and mental side effects to exacerbate over time.

It’s interesting to note also, that 4 anti-depressants were found in Dolores’s system at the time of her death. Why on earth would her psychiatrists prescribe her 4 different anti-depressants? This is a recipe for disaster. It’s this kind of poly-pharmacy that often kills, maims or disables psychiatric drug users because of the various interactions between the medications. I took Seroxat for a few years in my twenties, and it was a horrific experience, it changed my personality, made me unruly, aggressive, act out of character etc (these are all common well known side effects of Seroxat and other SSRI anti-depressants) so I can only imagine what it feels like to be prescribed multiple psychiatric drugs.

It seems Dolores’s story follows the same path as many of those who are prescribed psychiatric drugs over a long period of time. Usually the psychiatric diagnoses comes from a trauma. In Dolores’s case, she was sexually abused in childhood, and she became anorexic, it’s unclear when she was diagnosed with bi-polar, but it seems it was in young adult-hood or thereabouts. It’s safe to assume that she had been medicated for years because of this diagnosis. Once entered into this system of drugging it’s very difficult to get out of it, a lot of the time those who are prescribed psychiatric drugs over long periods of time, end up in a bad way.

This begs the question, who is responsible for her untimely death? Who is responsible for the prescriptions of multiple, mind-bending, personality changing, multiple-side effect psychiatric anti-depressant drugs that she was prescribed?

“…Dr Andrews conducted the toxicology tests and found Ms O’Riordan had a blood alcohol concentration of 330mg and urine alcohol concentration of 397mg.

Traces of four medications used to treat depressive disorders were found in her system but all bar one was within the low therapeutic range.

That fourth drug was found in only a slightly elevated range….”

What were the four medications used to treat depressive disorders that she was prescibed? and why were her psychiatrists not monitoring her and her prescriptions? why was she left alone in such a state with access to multiple psychiatric medications? were the psychiatrists tracking her reactions to the meds she was prescribed over the years?

One of Dolores’s psychiatrists was US psychiatrist Dr Robert Hirschfeld. When you google Hirschfeld, it’s interesting that the third link that comes up is from a blog from an ex-patient of his who seems not too happy with Hirschfeld’s apparent long links to psychiatric drug manufacturers.

See here –

“….Here’s a nice little tidbit. The questionnaire was “adapted with permission from Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, M.D.” So as an uninformed patient reading this (which I was at the time), I’m thinking, “Oh, this must be legit since they got permission from a doctor to use this checklist.”

There’s more than meets the eye here.

“….On the surface, Dr. Hirschfeld seems like an awesome doctor – and he very well may be. Dr Hirschfeld’s bio from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) extols the “Professor and Chair” of its psychiatry deparment. He has history of working with various national organizations such as the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association,  National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). He’s written all kinds of articles and blah blah blah. He’s considered a leader in his research of bipolar disorder.

In fact, because Dr. Hirschfeld is so great, he’s a member of pharmaceutical boards and has acted as a consultant for pharmaceutical companies, according to ISI Highly Some of our favorite guys appear here: Pfizer, Wyeth, Abbott Labs., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, Janssen, and – lookee here! – GSK…..”

Most people don’t realize that bio-psychiatrists, like the ones who treated Dolores, are not concerned with helping their patients deal with trauma of personal problems. They are fixated on the brain of the ‘mentally ill’ person and not their emotions, or feelings. They treat the brain, not the person. I didn’t realize this myself, until I came off psychiatric drugs some years ago, and researched psychiatry and the drugs industry. I was absolutely shocked and appalled when I realized that psychiatrists were beholden to the drugs industry and saw no problem with selling themselves to the industry to make money. I was shocked to see that drug companies have been hiding side effects for years with many of their drugs, and that many tens of thousands of people’s lives were being destroyed due to the over-medicalization of human distress.

Ultimately, alcohol was deemed responsible for her untimely death, however it would seem to me that psychiatric drugs were a massive factor also. Anti-depressants don’t mix well with alcohol, I know this from personal experience, they also can make people crave alcohol sometimes, (to take the edge off). Of course- psychiatrists and the drug’s industry play down these side effects- they play down all side effects, because it’s in their interest to keep you, and everyone else, on these drugs. It’s not in your interest, it’s in theirs.

It seems to me that Dolores was just another victim of a psychiatric system that is completely corrupted by the pharmaceutical industry, and sees patients as mere fodder. It’s very easy to entrap vulnerable people in this system of continual over-diagnoses, mis-diagnosis and drugging, and it seems that Dolores fell foul of the all too usual trajectory of :

Trauma = Psych Diagnoses = Psychiatric drug regime= lifetime of side effects= personality changes= polypharmacy= death.

This system has to change, vulnerable people like Dolores deserve better.




Professor David Baldwin’s Lovefest With The Pharmaceutical Industry….


David… did you miss the part where it says on the doctors oath’ First do no harm?.

What did you think it said, ‘First do for Pharm(a)?’ …

“…Dr Baldwin declared a personal interest in Lundbeck, manufacturers of the drug Citalopram. According to the minutes, however, he did not declare his connections with five other companies, including Seroxat manufacturers SmithKline Beecham, which is now GlaxoSmithKline…..”

The Guardian 2003..

Prof David Baldwin was instrumental in the promotion of Seroxat in the late 90’s. I hold him partly responsible for the damage that Seroxat did to me, and to many tens of thousands of others. He didn’t warn us of the serious side effects like akathisia, aggression, suicidal thoughts and withdrawals. He benefited (financially) while, I- and many others- suffered, being poisoned on a drug that should never have been licensed.

In the 1990’s Seroxat was a relatively new drug on the market, promoted and pushed heavily, by GSK and its legion of psychiatrists, academics, and doctors on its payroll at the time.

David Baldwin said of Seroxat, in 1998 (the year I was prescribed it -ironically).

“...Dr David Baldwin, senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Southampton, said it was one of the safest drugs ever made…

I find it remarkable how David Baldwin could state at the time that Seroxat was one of the safest drugs ever made, when little was known about how Seroxat would be received (in terms of millions of people being prescribed it). How could Baldwin know that Seroxat was one of the safest drugs ever made? He simply couldn’t know that, and to make a statement like that, is really quite audacious.

What Baldwin didn’t tell the public at the time (that he was making these outrageous statements to the media about Seroxat), was that he was also an utter whore to the pharmaceutical industry (and still is). He has more conflicts of interest than I’ve had hot dinners.

Of course, in the UK, there is virtually no transparency in relation to how much financial gain doctors like Baldwin get from promoting pharmaceutical products to the public whilst receiving payments from the drug manufacturers. Even when they do have to declare conflicts, it only has to be declared in relation to the topic at the time, and only in the last 3 years. Therefore, it can seem like doctors are a lot less in conflict that they usually are.

David Baldwin has blood on his hands from his promotion of Seroxat. How much money did GSK give him over the years? why don’t you tell the public, and the media, that David? and while your at it- why don’t you disclose the total sum of financial gain you’ve made from your faustian pact with the entire pharmaceutical industry (throughout your career) defending anti-depressants against criticism in the media?

What would Dr Baldwin say to all the families, parents, and friends of those who killed themselves from being prescribed a drug that is as harmful as Seroxat?

I hope Baldwin enjoys his piles of pharmaceutical money in this mortal sphere, you can’t spend it in hell David can you?

Because, for people like you, hell wouldn’t be hot enough.

Seroxat is not one of the safest drugs ever made David, it’s one of the most dangerous. You profited while people died on it. You promoted it, whilst also getting paid by the drug company. I almost lost my life on Seoxat, and it’s because of the greed and arrogance of psychiatrists like you that many people have been harmed by psychiatric medications. It doesn’t seem to matter to you that GSK are one of the most corrupt pharmaceutical companies on the planet, with a record of dodgy drugs, fraud, lies, and harm to patients.

You would take money from them despite knowing this.


For more on Dr Baldwin’s absolute prostitution of himself to the pharmaceutical industry see here-

For extensive links to Seroxat study 329, and its harms to kids, see here-

For other links to Seroxat horrors see here-

For links to a complaint made about Baldwin see here –

Professor David Baldwin MA DM FRCPsych FHEA

David Baldwin is Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Mental Health Group in the Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Unit of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton in the UK. He trained in medicine at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, in psychiatry at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and the Maudsley Hospital, and in medical humanities at Birkbeck College. He is an Honorary Professor in the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Visiting Professor at Suzhou University Guangji Hospital in China.He is current Chair of the Psychopharmacology Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Past President of Depression Alliance, a Medical Patron of Anxiety UK, Editor-in-Chief of Human Psychopharmacology, and author of over 260 full articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Professor Baldwin aims to improve clinical outcomes in mood and anxiety disorders: by investigating the role of neurobiological and psychological factors in causing and maintaining illness; through improving trial design when evaluating efficacy and tolerability of treatment interventions; by assessing the effectiveness and acceptability of treatment interventions in wider clinical practice; through identifying more accurately those patient groups at particular risk of poor outcomes; and by offering a tertiary referral specialist clinical service to patients with chronic and treatment-resistant conditions.

Declaration of interests

Personal pecuniary interests: In the last three years (September 2014–August 2017), I have received honoraria for giving educational lectures in meetings organised by AstraZeneca, Janssen, H. Lundbeck A/S, Pierre Fabre and Pfizer. I have received financial support from the Ministry of Defence relating to my membership of its Research Ethics Committee. I have also received financial support from the Wiley publishing company relating to my editorship of the Human Psychopharmacology journal.

Personal family interest: My wife has received a personal honorarium for participating in an advisory board organised by H. Lundbeck A/S.

Non-personal pecuniary interest: In the last three years, my employer has received reimbursement for my time spent in attendance at advisory board meetings organised by Liva Nova and Mundipharma.

Personal non-percuniary interest: I am a Medical Patron of Anxiety UK and the University-nominated Governor on the Board of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (April 2017 onwards).


Dr Baldwin helped the manufacturers to launch Seroxat for social anxiety disorder, when he reportedly said, “Seroxat is one of the safest drugs ever made.” He co-authored two papers on this drug (1999 and 2000) one of which disclosed sponsorship by the manufacturers; the other didn’t but probably should have done. (Baldwin D, et al, (on behalf of the paroxetine study group) Paroxetine in social phobia/social anxiety disorder, Br J Psychiatry 1999 Aug, 175: 120-126. and Baldwin DS, Clinical experience with paroxetine in social anxiety disorder Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2000 July, 15 Suppl 1; S19-24)

Dr Baldwin was principal author of a Wyeth sponsored study, published in 2002. He was also identified as a member of the advisory board of Wyeth (Baldwin DS et al., Can we distinguish anxiety from depression? Psychopharmacol Bull, 2002 Summer, 36 Suppl 2, 158-165.)

Dr Baldwin has been identified also as a member of the Bristol Myers Squibb study group on CN-104-070 (nefazodone) (Baldwin DS et al, A randomised double blind controlled comparison of nefazodone and paroxetine in the treatment of depression: safety, tolerability and efficacy in continuation phase treatment, J Psychopharmacol, 2001 Sept, 15(3), 161-165.)

In 1997, Dr Baldwin co-authored a paper on SSRIs with an employee of Pfizer (Lane R, Baldwin D., Selective serotonin reuptake Inhibitor-Induced serotonin syndrome, J Clin Psychopharmacol, 1997 June, 17(3), 208-221

David S Baldwin MBBS DM FRCPsych is Professor of Psychiatry and Head of Mental Health Group, University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine, UK and Honorary Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Competing interests: DSB has acted as a consultant to and holds or has held research grants (on behalf of his employer) from a number of companies with an interest in anxiety and depressive disorders (Asahi, AstraZeneca, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Grunenthal, GSK, Lundbeck, Organon, Pharmacia, Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Roche, Servier, Sumitomo, and Wyeth)





The antidepressant Seroxat has been linked to an increase in suicide attempts among adults. Researchers suggest that patients and doctors should be warned of the propensity to suicidal thoughts while on the drug.

Experts have already warned that Seroxat is not suitable for children and adolescents due to an increased risk of self harm.

In the new study of 916 adults on the drug, seven attempted to take their own life. Dr Ivar Aursnes and colleagues at the University of Oslo compared these findings with 550 patients taking a placebo, of whom one tried to commit suicide. Their conclusions are published in the journal BMC Medicine.

They say: “We conclude that the recommendation of restrictions in the use of paroxetine (Seroxat) in children and adolescents … should include usage in adults.”

Wendy Burn’s Baptism Of Fire: Welcome To The Twitter-Verse…



Twitter is a firestorm at the best of times. It’s a veritable inferno filled with opinions, trolls and cranks. But it’s also the primary PR tool of our times. It’s where current opinions pulsate and the zeitgeist resonates. It’s where consensus builds, and movements cause social change. It’s where the news becomes news in real time. A tweet can ruin, or make, a celebrities career, or it can start world war III; even the US president Trump loves twitter and his tweets cause global media storms daily. It’s not for the fainthearted though- that’s for sure, particularly if you want to get a message across, or if you are trying to represent an organization or ideology (or maintain the status quo). That’s why I was surprised to see Wendy Burn, the president of the Royal college of UK psychiatrists (no less), enter the fray, when she was passed the top job baton by previous president, Simon Wessely, not too long ago.

Whereas Simon was aloof, impersonal, detached, and would block any critical tweeters quicker than you could say lobotomy-Wendy (it has to be said)- has been trying her best to engage with the twitter-verse. Truthfully though, I feel that it can’t be easy for her, particularly when you have a constant avalanche of criticism coming from people who have been harmed by her profession (psychiatry), and particularly also when you have experienced bloggers, such as Bob Fiddaman and others (including myself) putting her on the spot with awkward questions about side effects, conflicts of interest, and the various other gripes us (peeved off) bloggers, tweeters and activists have been brewing on (and researching about) for years.

I never thought I would say this about a senior psychiatrist (considering it is psychiatry that harmed me in so many ways), but I genuinely feel sorry for Wendy. As I said, it can’t be easy entering such a hostile technological social media space like Twitter, particularly for a lady in her position and with her status to defend. However, it also has to be said, that psychiatry has a lot to answer for, and perhaps who better to give answers for psychiatry than the actual president of UK psychiatry?

Personally I have found engaging with Wendy fascinating. I am honestly intrigued to know her opinion on all the stuff that I have been blogging about. For instance, I’d love to know what she thinks of Seroxat/Paxil study 329? or GSK in general as a corporation. I’d like to know what she thinks of the data on psychiatric drugs, does she think it’s reliable? does she think that we can trust drug companies, considering that they have paid tens of billions in fines over the last few years. Fines resulting from misrepresenting data, corrupting doctors and psychiatrists, committing fraud and harming patients etc.

I have tried to engage Wendy with some of these topics. For instance, I asked her several times what she thought of the well documented scandal of Seroxat harming teenagers, or Zyprexa causing diabetes, or Risperdal causing breasts to grow in young men. All of these side effects have been well documented; there have been 18,000 cases settled in regards to Johnson and Johnson’s Risperdal causing breasts in boys, and Ely Lilly also settled a similar amount of legal claims in regards to Zyprexa causing diabetes. Seroxat is still under the spotlight, with a case won recently in regards to Seroxat side effects causing harm to a man (during his youth) in the Netherlands (see here). I’d love to hear Wendy’s opinions on these cases, and others, however, she has not been forthcoming as of yet.

I’d also love for her to read though my blog because I genuinely feel that she is grossly misinformed about the many topics in the arena of mental health that she works in. I feel that she is blinded by ideology and caught up in a reductionist ideological gaze (of psychiatric mindsets) which leaves little room for openness to differing experiences and opinions. For example, she didn’t know that Seroxat can cause bleeding, even though this is a common enough side effect on SSRI’s like Seroxat. In my case, my nose bled regularly, and also blood was in my stool a lot. I literally felt like my stomach lining was on fire whilst on Seroxat; it seemed to be poisoning and burning my entire digestive tract. The nose bleeds stopped when I came off it and I have no idea what kind of damage in my brain happened with Seroxat, and I’m not sure I even want to. However, what is worrying is Wendy doesn’t seem to know what side effects to expect with SSRI’s. Seroxat has a litany of side effects, that seems to grow with its PIL every couple of years (see here). As the head of the royal college of psychiatry, (and a virulent promoter, believer and prescriber of these drugs) Wendy should surely know the full side effect profiles of them?


There are many other concerns I have, and which I would like to discuss with Wendy, however so far it seems, she engages and then disengages just as quick, leaving topics unexplored, questions hanging in the air, and discussions left unsettled. At this rate, it seems that the maelstrom of tweets in the various topics unresolved will likely tangent off into something else, or just hang there. I understand that Wendy is a very busy lady, with a very busy role, but I really feel that if she is going to engage with us (the public) that she should at least address things properly.

I’d appreciate if Wendy would give her opinion on Zyprexa (an anti-psychotic) causing diabetes. In particular I’d like to ask her what she would say to those harmed by Zyprexa, or to the manufacturers Eli- Lilly, who suppressed these side effects for years?

“…..Eli Lilly and Co. announced last month that it has entered into settlement agreements with attorneys representing thousands of patients who claim they were harmed by the company’s second-generation antipsychotic medication, Zyprexa (olanzapine). All told, the settlements could amount to payouts equaling $1.2 billion…”

I’d also be interested to know what Wendy thinks of Seroxat/Paxil harming teens. GSK were caught lying about Seroxat side effects too, in particular in relation to suppression of data about suicidal side effects in teens, young people and children. What would Wendy say to the families of these young people prescribed Seroxat? What would she advise others worried about these side effects?

“…..An influential study which claimed that an antidepressant drug was safe for children and adolescents failed to report the true numbers of young people who thought of killing themselves while on it, re-analysis of the trial has found

Study 329, into the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug paroxetine on under-18s, was published in 2001 and later found to be flawed. In 2003, the UK drug regulator instructed doctors not to prescribe paroxetine – sold as Seroxat in the UK and Paxil in the US – to adolescents….”

Furthermore, I’d like to ask Wendy what she thinks of Risperdal causing breasts to grow in young boys, surely this horrible side effect would be extremely distressing for already vulnerable young men under psychiatric care? What does she think of drug companies that put profits before patients? surely the ‘mentally ill’ demographic are the most easily exploitable cohort of consumers? and if so, doesn’t this make it worse that they are treated with such callous disregard by Pharma (the main sponsors of psychiatry and individual psychiatrists)?


“….Johnson & Johnson has been fined over $3 billion for marketing the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to children. Over 18,000 boys and young men are now suing the company over a side effect of the drug called gynecomastia, which causes adolescent boys to develop female breasts….”

There are many debates currently brewing (or burning -whichever way you see it yourself) with Wendy Burn on Twitter.

I sincerely hope Wendy continues to engage on Twitter, because I feel these are very valuable debates to have, and her contribution is also very much valued and appreciated too.

But I hope also that she genuinely addresses our concerns and questions, and doesn’t just stick her head in the sand, ignore and deny, like so many psychiatrists tend to do.












Maybe Wendy will appreciate the music below. They are extremely emotional pieces of music, and perhaps that’s what is missing about how psychiatrists perceive the world, and the people in it. Emotions are the driving force for people, not brain chemistry. Attempting to modify emotions through prescribing chemicals does not fix emotional distress. We don’t love with our brains, we love with our hearts, our minds and our feelings. We don’t grieve from our brains, we grieve from our entire beings; we long from our mysterious souls, from undefinable depths in our psyches.

If an emotion triggers brain chemistry it’s still the emotion (which is unquantifiable) that comes first. Psychiatry needs to recognize emotions more not less. All this focus on the brain has not progressed our understanding of the human condition.

In fact, it has hindered it- a lot.

Maybe Wendy will enlighten psychiatry out of its darkness? Or maybe not?












Complelling Description Of Psych Drug (Paxil/Seroxat) Addiction ..

From the Deadmansvitamin Blog

Check it out here:

Psychiatry And One Brave Man

I recently came upon Michael Priebe’s blog where he tells his story of withdrawal from Paxil and Xanax.   The sheer hell he experienced while doing so and his precise accounting of the complete lack of consideration shown him by psychiatrists.  He really hits the mark on that.

His story is told in 3 parts, but I will put it up in its entirety.  Here is a link to his site if anyone wanted to get into communication with him.

The bed was soaked yet again, the sheets saturated with a pungent, urgent sweat caused by nightmares and the prescription toxins that were trying to leave my body. Once again the few restless moments of sleep I was able to “enjoy” were interrupted by the nightly ritual of my wife turning on the lights and stripping the bed so that we could lie on a surface that didn’t feel as if Patrick Ewing had just used it as his postgame massage table.

It was still dark outside—predawn hours—but I had to be up for work shortly. I lived just outside of Milwaukee in Waukesha, WI, but I commuted to my post at Madison (technical) College each day, a trip that took an hour and fifteen minutes one way in good traffic that didn’t include getting stalled by the notoriously long freight trains that passed through Waukesha.

I worked in the Testing Center at Madison College, a position that had me dealing not only with large numbers of students most days but also with the daily ups and downs of office interaction with coworkers.

I couldn’t believe I was still functioning at my job. How did people not know about my illness? When would they find out? How would they find out? How long until I had some sort of public breakdown that ended the whole charade?

Or maybe everyone already knew and was too polite to say anything. I mean, how could they miss the rapid weight loss and the sudden and persistent appearance of midnight-black bags under my eyes? I was sure I looked like a zombie, but maybe it was all in my head. I was getting trapped in my head a lot lately.

As my wife tidied up the bed and quietly cursed my relentless night sweats, I worried about the upcoming workday. How would I make the drive in my sleepless condition? How would I survive the office in my anxious condition? Even the tiniest hint of workplace stress might send my compromised system into a panic that exposed my “secret” illness. I wasn’t well-rested or well-nourished enough to survive the ups and downs that define a normal day for most people. I could barely eat or sleep and I hadn’t been able to do either of those things sufficiently for months, ever since making the decision to stop taking the Paxil that had been prescribed to me for anxiety attacks suffered as a 21-year-old college student.

I was now in my mid-thirties, and I was starting to suspect that prescription medicines were causing me anxiety and a host of other problems rather than fixing much of anything. It took me a long time to come to that suspicion, but as they say, Better late than never.

Paxil—one of the biggest rock stars among the SSRI super pills that flooded our society around the millennium—had been causing certain health issues for me, not just physical ones but emotional ones as well. I had little energy or tolerance for exercise, I dealt with stress by drinking and eating too much, I gained weight, I had elevated blood pressure, I had elevated liver enzyme levels, and I just kind of “floated” through many aspects of life, unable to fully engage with existence the way other people did.

As I found myself within striking distance of turning 40, I desperately wanted the sort of healthy, “normal” life that I suspected other people had, so I finally decided the Paxil had to go.

I thought that life would get better when I quit taking the Paxil—remove the problem and life gets better, I reasoned—but I was wrong. And not just a little bit wrong. Once the Paxil was removed from my life, all hell broke loose and I didn’t even see it coming.

And a short time later, when I began cutting out the Xanax that the family doctor had prescribed to go along with my Paxil, all hell broke loose again. And once again, I truly couldn’t have predicted the strange physical pains and extreme mental anguish that would pummel me and not let up for years.

You see, that’s the problem with antidepressant and benzodiazepine withdrawal—especially the drawn-out or ‘protracted” kind like I experienced: you don’t expect it because few people even acknowledge that it exists. Doctors will dismiss you, loved ones will have a hard time relating to you, and all across the world the gigantic pharmaceutical machine will continue to grind its profitable gears without so much as a hiccup. The lines at CVS and Walgreens never get shorter, and people are still willing to turn their emotions and brains over to the modern inventions of profit-driven chemistry.

If you tell someone in the medical establishment that you are sick because of a prescription medication or because you are trying to quit one, they will most likely tell you that it sounds as if you need a different prescription medication.

Withdrawal? What is that?

The clock signaled that it was almost time for me to leave for work. There would be no more sweating in bed wondering about what new withdrawal-related symptoms the day would bring, because it was time to experience it all firsthand again. I always hoped that one morning it would all be over, but like Groundhog Day, each morning seemed to bring more of the same.

I left the relative safety of my bed and made my way across the hall to the spare bedroom that housed the treadmill. The sun was about to rise, and I needed to get the anxiety out of my system somehow. This wouldn’t be the spiritually refreshing, five-mile morning jog of a healthy man on his way out to conquer the world. No, this would be the uncoordinated and breathless five-minute effort of a man who was hoping for a small hint of calm in the anxious storms that were becoming the norm in his life.

When my short session on the treadmill was finished, I showered, dressed for work, and resolved that I would try to survive another day in the strange and terrifying new reality that was my world since quitting Paxil.

I went into the bedroom and kissed my wife goodbye. Fear was visible in my eyes and pulsated from my fragile body language. I felt as if some demonic force (or even a strong wind) could send me through the earth’s crust and into hell at any moment.

“Pray for me,” I told my wife in a desperate voice, and then I went downstairs to get on with the commute.


November 15, 2016

I awoke to a heavy circle of pain pressing down over my heart. The day seemed pale and gloomy in a way that was out of line for even the most overcast of winter mornings in Wisconsin. My house was full of family—brothers, in-laws, and a new nephew—but I felt alone, and that strange feeling of isolation swirled around the day’s first moments like an ominous wind.

“Good morning,” my youngest brother said in a singsong voice as he lowered my baby nephew close to my face. Playing the role of good hosts, my wife and I had surrendered our bedroom and were sleeping on an air mattress on the floor of my office. I wanted to stay on that air mattress indefinitely. I didn’t want to be awake. A photographer was scheduled to come over later in the day for family pictures, and I couldn’t imagine how I would play the role of “normal human being” for that.

“Say hello to your Uncle Mike,” my brother said to his firstborn.

Baby Jackson: He was tiny and fresh, a physical manifestation of both life’s beauty and God’s genius. I responded to the sight of his cherubic little face by descending even further into my sludgy pit of depression.

The thick blanket of terror and despair that now suffocated me was unlike anything I could recall feeling before. As dull sunlight tried to creep through the blinds of my office windows—as my one-month-old nephew cooed and stared at his confused uncle—I somehow felt that death was upon me.

Life equals death: that was how my mind was working now.

I’d quit taking Paxil the month before, after almost a decade and a half of ingesting it for the “generalized anxiety” that had been diagnosed by a family doctor and a short self-assessment checklist. Ever since quitting, my life had gotten confusing and sinister in a way that seemed to speak of impending doom.

I was 35 years old, and I truly felt that my best days were behind me.

Looking back on those first months of Paxil withdrawal, I can now recognize that some characteristics of my emotions were bubbling to the surface after years of being suppressed in some way. After spending so much time under the depths of medication, the emotions were understandably waterlogged and confused, so their first attempts to speak came through as some inexplicable depression—the kind one experiences when looking at a precious newborn baby, of course.

During antidepressant withdrawal, a certain numbness slowly gives way to the tingles of normal emotional experience, but nothing feels normal for a long time. In fact, a few months after suffering that baby-induced episode of depression, my younger brother and his wife were visiting again when I was overcome by another confusing sensation, a pain really.

We were watching the movie Ted—that classic, raunchy comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and a stuffed bear—when I noticed something strange happening to my face. It hurt in a way I didn’t recognize.

I’d been having weird body pains ever since taking that last dose of Paxil, but this sort of facial discomfort was a new one. My cheeks ached in a sharp way, especially near the dimpled areas involved in smiling and laughing.

Then I realized, my face was hurting because I’d been smiling and laughing. It wasn’t used to being stretched by such spontaneous displays of joy anymore.

My face had been frozen in some painful mask of withdrawal-induced stoicism for months, but now it was becoming “unfrozen.”

Becoming unfrozen: that’s an apt way to describe the profound and painful thawing process that takes place as prescription medication fades from a person’s mind and body. There is so much blunted awareness that wants to come back to life, and there are so many repressed emotions that want to have a voice, but the person in withdrawal really isn’t ready for such a flood of activity. He or she really isn’t strong enough. The person who was taking medication was flying around the edges of life without truly feeling or noticing thoughts for a long time, and then BAM. The pills are gone, and the icebergs start to melt. It is overwhelming and confusing.

Tears flow for little or no reason—sobs can be sparked by the last few “teachable” minutes of a family sitcom or by the melodrama of a Lifetime movie, for example—and then there is the unprovoked depression, the twisted anxiety, and the legions of thoughts that race day and night.

Day and night the thoughts and emotions run wild and confused, and after several months of this, when all of those thoughts and emotions continue to gather en masse and dance and fornicate like some sleepless group of college students on ecstasy, a person starts to wonder if maybe he’s insane.

And that’s when beginning the prescription madness anew starts to seem like a reasonable idea. Maybe the old pills were necessary. Or maybe some new ones are needed.

I had wanted so badly to be free of the medication, but shortly after quitting Paxil, I began to wonder if maybe it wasn’t time to admit defeat. Maybe I simply had to accept that I was broken in a way that could only be fixed by the contents of little orange bottles. I thought that I’d been making progress—painful progress in small increments, but progress nonetheless—but maybe I’d just been kidding myself.

Maybe the doctors—the ones who had played no small role in creating my current lunacy—really did have the answers, and maybe those answers only existed as 21st-century pills. Despite my misgivings, maybe I needed to go see one of them again, at least to make sure that I wasn’t dying. What was the worst that could happen if I went back to the “experts” in white coats, or maybe even went back to the Paxil or something similar?

I was about to find out.


January 18, 2017

As the world around me enjoyed a pleasant Saturday afternoon, I sat on my bed trembling, wondering if I was dying or going insane. While other people sipped lattes at coffee shops and ran casual errands or watched movies or college football, I fought to keep a faint grip on some sense of normalcy and well-being. I was 35-years-old and I felt utterly alone, as if I were some unfortunate astronaut whose tether to the mothership had been tragically severed while he was performing exterior maintenance on the craft.

Whoosh. Away I flew into a vast, empty darkness. As I careened by the occasional burning star or foreign sun, I could still see, faintly, the people and the life that I’d left behind. However, like a ghost, I could no longer touch my loved ones or share with them a laugh or a bit of sunny enjoyment on a weekend. I could only wonder about my murky place in the universe and hurt.

Two months or so earlier, I’d quit taking the Paxil that had been prescribed to me in college for that nebulous, modern affliction known as Generalized Anxiety. Since taking my last dose of those pink pills, the world had become a ghoulish place indeed. The physical symptoms of the drug withdrawal were uncomfortable—the constant nausea, chronic insomnia, and damned fatigue were draining—but it was the mental and emotional troubles that were truly frightening.

I could no longer make sense of or enjoy a normal day because my system was a toxic stew of depression, guilt, and dread. And I was routinely getting “trapped” in my own head, sequestered in uncomfortably close quarters with a motley mix of intrusive and negative thoughts. I was alone in such a way even when surrounded by loved ones. I was constantly slipping further and further into that empty darkness, and there only seemed to be one solution: I needed to get back on the Paxil.

Despite all the hard work I’d done up to that point to quit the potent medication—and despite the physical and emotional side-effects that had compelled my decision to quit in the first place—I reluctantly ran backward, back toward the prescription bottle that I still kept in my office, ostensibly in case I needed to pursue an emergency reinstatement such as this.

I fished a little pill from the orange, plastic bottle that had become such a familiar sight over the years, and I swallowed the bitter pharmaceutical hopefully. However, almost immediately I knew there was a problem. My bedroom started spinning and shifting, and I felt a nausea so profoundly upsetting that it seemed as if I were receiving some divine punishment from above—a punishment for crawling back to the devil instead of seeking God in my hour of need.

Because my body had fought so valiantly to rid itself of paroxetine’s chemical intrusions—after my tired mind had perhaps seen some reprieve in the near future—the entirety of my being protested the medication’s sudden return. My systems began to kick and scream, yelling at me, What have you done? My world seemed to be crashing down quickly, so I did what any married man in his midthirties would do under such duress: I called my mom.

“Please, please don’t think less of me for taking the pill,” I cried into the phone. “If I really need this medication because I’m sick, then please don’t think less of me.” I’d said that I was going to stop the medication and get healthy, but now I wasn’t sure what healthy was. Was it quitting the pills or taking them? Was I now sick because I’d been duped into taking the pills, or had I really needed the pills all along because I was born sick, the woeful and unlucky recipient of a deficient serotonin or norepinephrine supply.

As my mother listened to me cry and ramble, I felt like a scared little child who just pretended to be a man at times. Maybe I would never accomplish anything in life, not even the basic goal of sorting out my own wellness.

“You know that your dad and I would never think less of you,” my mom reassured me as only a mother can. Her words made me feel a little less like a failure, but I still felt gut-wrenchingly sick from the pill I’d swallowed. I wondered when the effects of that pill would subside, and I wondered when my wife would be getting home.

Dr. Feelgood was tanned and confident. He had a nice haircut and a paunch that seemed to speak of nice restaurants. He smiled often through the adornment of his goatee, and he often tried to reassure me that we were buddies more than anything. He acted casual and cool by throwing me winks and even the thumb-and-index-finger gunshot on one occasion, and he always gave me more pills when I asked for them.

Now that I was trying to get off the pills, Dr. Feelgood didn’t seem to fully understand me anymore. Either that or he didn’t want to admit to playing any part in the gruesome scene I was now presenting to him. I was in pain, all the time, and I was looking for answers and reassurance.

“Well, any withdrawal effects from the Paxil should have been relatively minor,” Dr. Feelgood said, “and they should have been over after a week or two.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d been off the Paxil—with the exception of that one, ill-advised reinstatement dose—for about four months, and nothing felt close to being over. If my harrowing pains and mental fog weren’t withdrawal, then I was seriously ill with something that seemed willing and able to kill me.

“It sounds like your pains are mostly stress related,” Feelgood said. “We all channel stress in different ways. If you don’t want to take an SSRI antidepressant, then maybe you’d have some luck with Wellbutrin.”

During that first, confusing half year of withdrawal, I ended up trying Wellbutrin, a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor that can apparently be prescribed for just about anything. I would later learn that the medication is marketed as both an antidepressant and as a smoking cessation aid (in addition to being used in an “off-label” manner for ADD and anxiety), and at Feelgood’s suggestion I took the multitalented pharmaceutical for about a week, until I could no longer stand how it filled me with useless adrenaline and agitation.

After the Wellbutrin, I almost tried other prescriptions, too. Every so often at work—when the withdrawal had me feeling as if I were about to lose my mind or go into cardiac arrest—I’d step outside and place a frantic phone call to Feelgood’s office. “Maybe Pill X or Pill Y will help,” I’d suggest to his nurse hopefully, but I never followed through on those suggestions, because the thought of eventually having to tackle yet another pill withdrawal was more than I could stomach. In addition to quitting the Paxil, I’d begun a tapering schedule to quit the Xanax that had been prescribed alongside the Paxil so many years ago (for acute instances of panic), and it was starting to seem like more than coincidence that my body pains and mental confusion increased as my levels of medication decreased.

After a while, I wanted nothing more to do with medications. I just wanted my doctor to define my situation and offer me hope that it would get better. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t dying, really. I wanted expert guidance that would take me through the prescription drug withdrawal process, but unfortunately, Dr. Feelgood didn’t have much to offer in that department.

“You should have quit the Xanax first,” was about all Feelgood had to say when I outlined my situation for him and pressed for withdrawal-specific information. I’m still not sure of the logic behind that statement, but I think he was giving a sly nod to the pain he knew I was yet to endure if I continued to cut my Xanax dosage. I’m almost certain that he had seen my sort of situation before (how could he not have?), but he never came out and said so. Instead, he acted a little confused.

I was starting to feel hopeless. Was I somehow imagining it all? Where besides the Internet could I find information regarding the strange physical and mental symptoms that had been torturing me for months? Where could I turn for help?

Oh, how I wished that I’d never left my first doctor. Some time earlier, when that primary care physician whom I’ll call The Good Doctor had started to get squeamish with my Xanax levels and refused to increase them any further, I’d sought a replacement for him and quickly found a sympathetic goatee in Dr. Feelgood. But now I desperately wished that I’d never switched loyalties.

The Good Doctor was a man who truly cared about his patients. He had a healthy BMI, a clean-shaven face, and a compassionate demeanor. He’d truly seemed to care about me. The Good Doctor had preached about the need to attack anxiety and other illnesses with methods other than pills, and when he didn’t understand something—as was the case when he admitted to being a little green about clinical levels of anxiety—he acknowledged his ignorance and tried to make a wise referral (in my case, a referral to a therapist whom I don’t remember ever calling).

The Good Doctor had been so kind and concerned. He’d talked about total wellbeing and things like exercise and a healthy diet. Appointments with him might last upwards of 40 minutes—well, well past the 15 minutes or 20 minutes that I’m sure the clinic held as sacrosanct “best-practice” parameters—and he was not a man who relished reaching for the prescription pad, which seemed to be a last resort for him.

The Good Doctor was the opposite of Dr. Feelgood in nearly every way—you would never be able to picture him going on the lecture circuit for big pharmaceutical companies or complying with calloused appointment time limits—and after a while, I think he was forced out of the medical establishment because of his unique posture.

One day, after I’d already been seeing Dr. Feelgood for some time, I received a letter from The Good Doctor, a communication he must have sent to all current and former patients. The letter said that he was leaving the medical profession to teach middle school. The Good Doctor said that he was looking forward to helping children learn about the planets.

Because my interactions with Dr. Feelgood had been disappointing—because the medical establishment didn’t seem to recognize prescription drug withdrawal as a condition that might last for months or years—I stayed away from doctors for a while, hoping that my situation would resolve itself so that I wouldn’t feel the need to talk to people in white coats anymore. However, when every new cut to my Xanax dosage brought with it otherworldly pains that left me searching for answers, I relented and made an appointment with Dr. Dipstick, a colleague of Feelgood’s who worked at a clinic across town.

By this time my situation had become more confusing than ever. I was often depressed, perplexed, fatigued, paranoid, and anxious, and new and fantastical body pains arrived on my doorstep regularly like taunting packages that had been sent by GlaxoSmithKline or Pfizer.

When I arrived for my appointment with Dr. Dipstick, I was broken, fragile, and nervous. I was desperately looking for someone to help me, but would he be the one? I tried to remain optimistic. Maybe he would smile and tell me, “The truth is that we see this all the time. We prescribe A LOT of these medications, so we have to help a lot of people get off them, too. Don’t worry, you’re not dying (friendly chuckle), you’re just going through withdrawal. You’re going to be all right, and I’m going to help you until you are fully recovered.”

But Dr. Dipstick didn’t say any of that. Instead, he was at first indifferent and then insulting. He actually made me feel foolish and ashamed for coming to him, and he often seemed confused as to what I wanted out of the visit. I tried to explain to him how I’d been suffering since quitting Paxil and then embarking on a Xanax-reduction schedule, but my words hit a wall. Maybe he was ignorant of prescription drug withdrawal, but if he was, he could have admitted that ignorance and providing a referral to someone else like The Good Doctor would have. Instead, he began to fill the void with blame.

“Do you ever need an eye-opener?” Dipstick asked me accusingly. His full beard made him appear gruff and even menacing.

“I don’t know what that is,” I told him.

“It’s when you need a drink to get going in the morning,” he explained, certain that he wasn’t telling me anything new.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“Well, you said on your intake form that you drink beer pretty regularly, and just going through your medical history here, I see that you’ve had some elevated ALT and AST liver function numbers in the past.”

I tried to steer the conversation back to the Xanax taper that I was in the midst of—back to the anxiety and pains that increased with each step in that reduction schedule—but he just didn’t seem interested.

“Maybe you could refer me to someone who could guide me through this?” I asked, shaking. “Maybe to someone in your psychiatry department who specializes in anxiety and the medications used to treat anxiety.”

“I don’t know of anyone like that in particular,” Dipstick said flatly. “I can give you the general triage number for psychiatry, and they’ll probably have you speak with a social worker who will assess your needs.”

“How would a social worker help me?” I asked desperately.

“Well, maybe they’d refer you to a substance abuse treatment facility.” Dipstick answered, and my stomach sunk to previously unknown depths of despair.

I was beginning to see a disturbing picture emerge. When I’d been dutifully taking the medications, I’d been a valued patient. The doctors had happily provided with information about “transition periods” and side-effects. But now that I was quitting the medications, I was nothing to them but an addict or neurotic who needed to help himself. They had no medical information for me, and they seemed to have no insight into the many symptoms that were making my life hell.

The visit to Dr. Dipstick was beyond disheartening. I could have gotten more sympathy for my situation by talking to the clerks at the corner gas station, and I could have gotten more information by staying at home and using Google, which would ultimately prove to be an invaluable resource during my ordeal.

The visit to Dipstick was bad, but the paperwork I received from his office several days later was almost worse. Under Reasons for Visit, Dr. Dipstick had written Alcohol Abuse. My mind raced, wondering why he was doing this. Was he a friend of Dr. Feelgood? Was he trying to protect his friend—the one who had seen my Xanax prescription balloon under his watch—from some sort of lawsuit? Whatever the case, the comments he’d added to my official medical record had just further muddied the waters of my situation at the clinic. Those comments would be the first thing that a new doctor would read (if I went to one), so there was now zero chance that I’d get any educated help.

A few days after my visit with Dr. Dipstick, I called his office and spoke with a nurse, relaying to her my concerns about the Reasons for Visit remarks that Dipstick had stamped onto my record. I asked her if she could please have the doctor remove those remarks, and a short while later she got back to me.

“Dr. Dipstick says that he won’t do that,” she said, not unkindly. I was both heartbroken and furious. I wanted to drive to the clinic and confront the doctor in person, but of course, withdrawal had left me too timid and weak for such a heroic effort. Instead, I wrote a letter to the clinic a few months later.

As I wrote my letter, I tried to channel my frustration and righteous anger. I told the clinic about Dr. Dipstick’s dismissive and judgmental demeanor, and I told them about how the increase in my liver enzyme numbers—the increase that Dipstick had attached, along with my withdrawal pains, to beer drinking—appeared to have been just another dangerous effect of the medications I was quitting. Those numbers had returned to normal once I’d quit Paxil and started reducing Xanax dosages, so I felt that such a fact needed to be entered into some official record. I wanted to enter every last bit of my situation into some official record so that future withdrawal cases wouldn’t be dismissed so easily.

But I never sent the letter, just in case I needed an appointment in the future.

As it turned out, I did make another appointment with the clinic, a final visit to Dr. Feelgood that would be my last doctor appointment to date. By that time I’d been off Paxil for nearly 16 months and completely free of Xanax for about four months. New physical and mental pains were still arriving every week, and although I doubted Feelgood had any new insights for me, I wanted him to run some tests to make sure that I wasn’t seriously ill with something other than withdrawal.

“I could prescribe you something for Fibromyalgia pain,” Feelgood suggested almost sheepishly, “but it doesn’t seem like you want to go the medication route anymore.”

I shook my head. “I just want to make sure I’m not dying,” I said.

“Well, we can definitely run some tests,” Feelgood said. “We will definitely try to rule things out.”

 “And I want to start cutting back on my blood pressure medications, too,” I said. “Now that I’m getting healthier, I just don’t think I need them anymore. Certainly not three of them.”

“We can start reducing those and see how it goes,” Feelgood said without much hesitation. He demeanor was friendly, and I even thought I sensed a newfound respect coming from him. I don’t know if he’d ever seen a patient of his successfully quit multiple medications or not, but now that he’d seen me do it, maybe he would have something hopeful to tell future patients who were suffering through similar scenarios. Or maybe I was just imagining increased attention and thoughtfulness on his part. Maybe I just wanted to see something positive in the situation.

Thankfully, my lab results from that last visit to Dr. Feelgood all came back normal. However, the pain of prescription drug withdrawal continued for a good while. Even the blood pressure medications that I was able to give up after getting back to a healthy lifestyle came with a ridiculous amount of withdrawal effects, things that could lead a person to believe that he was losing his mind or dying if he didn’t know better.

Pills do have consequences, even if a trusted doctor is prescribing them and even if health insurance is paying for them. Prescription drug withdrawal is real, even if a relatively small number of people are talking about it. It’s as real as any purported benefits of the medications that are so readily given out nowadays for every ailment under the sun. Think about it: if a designer mix of chemicals is introduced into a person’s system with the intent purpose of altering how the mind and body function, then why wouldn’t there be severe physical and mental repercussions when that mix of chemicals is taken away? I’m now of the opinion that patients should almost always look at prescriptions as a last resort: there are simply too many known instances of modern drugs making people’s physical, emotional, or mental health worse.

Recovery from prescription-drug withdrawal is possible: that’s important for people to know. I’ve now been free of Paxil for almost four years and off of Xanax for a little more than three. I consider myself mostly “cured” of withdrawal (time and healthy self-care habits seem to be the only remedies, by the way), but I still occasionally wonder if I might have some lingering fatigue, confusion, or other symptoms that are the result of taking or quitting the medications (although I realize that such complaints might also just be a common part of approaching 40 in a competitive and stressed-out society). And about the anxiety? I still get flustered and worried at times, but I’ve found that there are ways to fight through such emotions (or avoid them) without making a Faustian deal that involves sacrificing parts of my greater well-being.

I often wonder how different my life might have been if I’d never taken those damned pills in the first place. But such wondering is useless, as useless as the idea that doctors and their pills can keep a person healthy in the first place. True health requires nutritious eating, regular exercise, adequate downtime, meaningful relationships, spiritual enrichment, and professional fulfillment. The Good Doctor would probably tell you that, but unfortunately, he’s not practicing anymore.

Dr Terry Lynch: Psychiatry: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Psychiatry: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Terry Lynch, MD


Contrary to their claims of doing so continually, psychiatrists do not treat known organic illnesses.

Organic illnesses come under the care of the medical specialties relevant to a particular organ or biological system. Known brain diseases and disorders come under the remit of neurology and neurosurgery. Emotional and psychological distress comes generally under the realm of psychology and the counselling professions. So where exactly does psychiatry fit in?

Psychiatrists have invented terms such as “mental illness” and “mental disorder,” the diagnosis and treatment of which is their bread and butter, their supposed area of expertise. They have fed the public with unsubstantiated ideas about neurotransmitters, chemical imbalances and brain disorders, ideas which the public have generally believed wholeheartedly. People generally trust doctors.

Most people – including the majority of doctors working in real medical specialties – are happy to let mental health doctors get on with it, assuming that they have the public interest primarily at heart. Few people realize that psychiatry is a house of cards without a solid scientific foundation that could easily crumble if properly and independently examined, and psychiatry’s position with it. One can therefore understand why psychiatrists might resist the questioning of their profession; there is a great deal at stake for them.

Mainstream psychiatry finds itself between a rock and a hard place, somewhere between the medical specialties that treat known brain diseases – neurology and neurosurgery – and the various forms of so-called “talk therapies”, including psychology and psychotherapy. The challenge for psychiatry has been to carve out its own distinct identity. Claims that depression and other psychiatric diagnoses are biological illnesses are crucial to psychiatry’s identity and its unmerited position at the top of the mental health pyramid. These assertions separate psychiatry from the talk therapies and ensure that psychiatry has first claim to these “diseases” and the people they diagnose as having them.

It is in psychiatry’s interest to be more closely aligned to neurology than to talk therapies, given neurology’s respected standing as a scientific branch of medicine dealing with biological brain disorders. But to maintain its own identity, psychiatry needs to be perceived as distinct from neurology. Specializing in “mental illnesses” and “mental disorders” provides the needed distinction, since neurologists do not treat “mental illnesses”. Mainstream psychiatrists have convinced the public – and perhaps themselves – that what they refer to as psychiatric disorders are biological illnesses. They get around the fact that there is no reliable corroborative scientific evidence for this by employing a number of strategies. These include misleading the public and perhaps themselves regarding the current state of medical knowledge through exaggeration and distortion of the facts, misrepresenting theories as facts, and confidently claiming that the assumed biological basis of depression will definitely be established at some time in the near future.

For over a century, psychiatry has reassured the public that both the necessary understanding and more effective solutions lie just around the corner. “Bear with us, we are almost there”, psychiatry’s catchphrase for the past 100 years and more, buys them more time, every time.

Positioned precariously between a rock and a hard place, psychiatry has so far managed to straddle this position with impressive dexterity. Actually, the current situation suits mainstream psychiatry’s priorities perfectly. Psychiatry has succeeded in persuading the public that it is different from psychology and psychotherapy, so that’s one side of the equation sorted. Maintaining their position in regard to neurology and other medical specialties is more delicate. Psychiatrists claim that the “diseases” they treat are fundamentally biological and that biological evidence is just around the corner. But psychiatrists know that it is neurologists and neurosurgeons – not psychiatrists – who treat brain diseases with known abnormalities of brain structure and function.

If brain abnormalities were ever actually identified in relation to psychiatric diagnoses, psychiatry would be presented with a potential nightmare scenario. If structural or functional brain abnormalities were ever found in relation to the psychiatric diagnoses, care of these people would immediately transfer away from psychiatry to a specialty that deals with known brain abnormalities, that is, to neurology or neurosurgery. As a member of the medical profession for over thirty years, I know that precedent rules within medicine. Precedent within the medical profession would dictate that the responsibility for these patients would immediately shift to neurology or whatever the relevant specialty might be. Regarding the experiences and behaviours that doctors have convinced the public should be called “depression”, this would mean that psychiatry would lose the majority of the patients who currently attend them. This would represent a catastrophe for psychiatry.

The most beneficial position for psychiatry is therefore the one that currently pertains. By claiming to nail its colours to the biological mast, psychiatry has successfully set itself apart from talk therapies. As long as no biological abnormalities are reliably identified, there is no threat that their bread and butter will be removed from them to other medical specialties. Maintaining the myth that biological solutions are just around the corner satisfies the public and maintains psychiatry’s position quite satisfactorily from psychiatry’s perspective, albeit between a rock and a hard place. This position has no solid scientific foundation, but as long as the public do not realize this and psychiatry does not attempt to encroach on the territory of other medical specialties such as neurology, psychiatry’s position is secure.

Psychiatry’s survival in its present form requires the delusion that is the disease-focused model of mental illness to remain supreme. Only then can psychiatry remain at the top of the mental health pyramid. The current biologically-dominated psychiatric model can only dominate if biology is accepted as the core issue without this actually being established. Having such a vested interest in and being so tied to a biological façade, the widely assumed scientific objectivity of mainstream psychiatry is in truth a mirage.

The bias in favour of biology that pertains within psychiatry is linked to psychiatry’s desire to stand out in the public mind as the experts on mental health. After all, if biology isn’t seen as central to the experiences and behaviours that have become repackaged as so-called “mental illnesses”, what special expertise can mainstream psychiatrists claim to possess?

When doctors defend their pronouncements on depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and other psychiatric labels, they are not just defending a diagnosis. They are defending themselves, their ideology, their modus operandi and ultimately, their status and role in society as the perceived prime experts in mental health. For doctors who have vehemently promoted the notion that, for example, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance or another brain problem as a fact or near-fact, belatedly acknowledging that this is not the case risks losing credibility.

GPs, or family physicians, also find themselves in a difficult situation, but it too is of their own making. The medical jacks-of-all-trades and masters-of-no-specialty other than general practice itself, within the medical hierarchical system family physicians are subservient to the supposedly superior expertise of psychiatry. Family physicians are often accused from many directions including some psychiatrists of overprescribing antidepressants and prescribing them for the wrong people. Conversely, some psychiatrists assert publicly that depression is a significantly underdiagnosed and undertreated condition, sometimes criticizing GPs for underdiagnosing depression.

Such contrasting positions do not occur with real biological diseases like diabetes, where objective clinical tests are a prerequisite to diagnosis, making the diagnosis of diabetes watertight scientifically. Family physicians are further criticized from several quarters for being a main driver of the explosion of antidepressant prescribing.

Such mixed messages put GPs in an invidious position. One can understand how some family physicians might feel they cannot win, being damned if they do and damned if they do not diagnose and treat depression. This uncomfortable juxtaposition is a case of the chickens coming home to roost, a direct consequence of assigning disease status to depression by deviating from longstanding medical standards regarding the definition of disease. Doctors created this problem by insisting that so-called “mental illnesses” are medical illnesses like any other, for which only doctors have the expertise to lead the way.

The vast majority of doctors do not possess anything like the expertise in mental health that the public believe they possess. Maintaining this delusion – a delusion of expertise – in the public mind is essential in order for medical mental health doctors to maintain their unmerited position as society’s most expert mental health experts.

It Was Only In The Cooling Towers!… HAHAHAHAHAHA…


It Was Only In The Cooling Towers!… HAHAHAHAHAHA…

On Tuesday (August 11), pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) closed down a manufacturing plant in Zebulon, North Carolina, and sent employees home after the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease were discovered in a cooling tower. The pathogen was subsequently found in a second cooling tower. But after concluding that the contamination posed no risk to its employees or products, the pharma company announced it would reopen by the weekend, after both towers have been cleaned.

Separately, company spokesperson Jenni Ligday told FiercePharma that all drugs produced in the facility before the contamination was discovered are fine to use. “The cooling towers are external units with no contact with product or employees. Our products are safe and effective when used as prescribed.”

GSK are hilarious!.. They really are funny…

But this blog is much better!..

Check it out!


Brilliant article on James Holmes and the myriad of psych drugs he was prescribed, by his psychiatrist, prior to the cinema shooting spree in Aurora

The Best Reason to NOT Execute James Holmes: He May Have Been a Victim of Both Medical and Legal Malpractice

The Colorado

Q: If Bartenders can be Held Liable for Violent acts Committed by their Customers, Shouldn’t the Suppliers/Prescribers of Intoxicating Psychiatric Drugs be Considered Accomplices to Crimes Committed by Their Customers/Patients?

The mass murder trial of confessed “Batman Shooter” James Holmes is almost over. The grossly ill-informed jury was somehow convinced by the prosecution that Holmes’s increasingly psychiatric drug-intoxicated brain and the resultant drug-induced insanity had nothing to do with the irrational mass murders at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20, 2012.

And now this same ill-informed jury, who rejected the insanity plea a couple of days ago, will decide whether or not this victim of Big Pharma and Big Psychiatry (and the tragic “misdiagnosis and over-medication roller-coaster” that he and millions of others in America are on) will either be put to death or imprisoned for life in a non-psychiatric hospital – without possibility of parole. How the most pertinent facts of the case – and the cause of his obvious insanity have been over-looked or willfully ignored by the legal and psychiatric professionals would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. One doesn’t laugh at a comedy of errors.

It is highly possible that the most important details in the Batman Shooter trial have been willfully overlooked by the legal and psychiatric professionals involved in the case. Whether or not there is legal malpractice involved I will leave to ethical legal professionals, if any can be found; but a strong case can be made for psychiatric malpractice – or at least medical malfeasance – in the case of Holmes’s prescribing (University of Colorado health center) psychiatrist, Dr Lynne Felton.  The possibility of either legal or medical malpractice by the involved professionals has not been raised by the journalists who have been breathlessly covering the emotionally-charged aspects of the case since the crime was committed exactly three years ago.

Tough on Crime Prosecution vs. Ill-informed Defense

The lead prosecuting attorney, District Attorney George Brauchler is, as is the norm for most politically motivated, tough-on-crime DA’s, going for the death penalty. The jury rejected the defense’s assertion that Holmes was insane at the time of the infamous shootings and should not be executed Anybody who saw the dazed and drugged look on Holmes’s face at his first hearing will know that he was intoxicated with some drug at the time. Brauchler was the individual who held back the identity of Holmes’s drugs for as long as he legally could. Apparently he even had possession of the pill bottles that had been taken from Holmes’s apartment, thus derailing the defense’s ability to plea insanity or to understand what had altered Holmes’s mind so drastically.

Holmes’s lead defense attorney was Dan King. As with all court appointed lawyers, King was a poorly-reimbursed court-appointed lawyer who never denied that Holmes was the shooter but he also never had the monetary resources to obtain a well-informed psychiatrist of the stature of Dr Peter Breggin, Dr David Healey or Dr Joseph Glenmullen to testify for the defense. He stated in his closing arguments that Holmes is/was schizophrenic, is therefore “not guilty by reason of insanity” (I prefer the phrase “guilty but insane”) and should not be executed. Holmes’s understandably distraught parents agreed.

King argued throughout the trial that Holmes was insane at the time of the shootings and should have been locked up in a long-term psychiatric facility rather than in a penitentiary, where, unfortunately, he would have been subject to the same “treatment” he received before his shooting rampage. He would have been under the care of prescribing psychiatrists with beliefs and prescribing habits similar to Dr Fenton.

It is common knowledge that virtually all American psychiatrists reflexively “treat” with psychotropic drugs over 95 – 98% of their out-patients (and 100% of their in-patients) in various combinations of neurotoxic and psychotoxic, brain-altering chemicals like Holmes’s sertraline (generic Zoloft {Pfizer}, which is known to cause homicidal impulses, suicidal impulses, agitation, mania, psychosis, etc) and the benzodiazepine clonazepam (generic Klonopin {Roche}, which acts on the same brain synapses that the violence-inducing drug alcohol does).

Either one of those two drugs could have easily caused Holmes’s intoxicated brain to become psychotic and homicidally insane. Fenton had prescribed them for Holmes for the past several months, resulting in a state of chronic inebriation which likely caused his decline from a brilliant neuroscience grad student (he graduated with a 3.94 GPA as an undergraduate) into a paranoid, zombified loner who failed an important oral final exam a few weeks before the killings. His failure caused him to drop out of school, a shameful failure in his eyes and the eyes of others. Intolerable shame induces acts of violence, particularly in the isolated, the drug-intoxicated and the hopeless.

In my research about this case (of court records, media reports or testimony from “expert witnesses”) I have found not the slightest hint of anybody’s awareness of what is commonly known about the cocktail of drugs that Dr Fenton had prescribed for Holmes. In addition to the sertraline and clonazepam, Fenton had also prescribed propranolol [generic Inderal, a “beta-blocker” drug which can cause depression and should be used with extreme caution with psychotropic drugs], drugs that Dr Fenton testified under oath that she had increased (to toxic levels, in the case of sertraline) at Holmes’s last clinic visit a few weeks before he did the deed.

Holmes’s Irrational “Under-the-Influence” Weapons Purchases – a Sure Sign of (Probably Drug-Induced) Insanity

Wikipedia detailed the weapons and ammunition that the psychiatric drug-intoxicated Holmes had irrationally purchased in the two months before the massacre. This is clear evidence of how abnormal was the neurological-psychological state of his brain.

On May 22, 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22 at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora. Six days later, on May 28, he bought a Remington 8870 Express tactical shotgun at a Bass Pro Shop in Denver. On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle from a Gander Mountain store in Thornton, and bought a second Glock 22 pistol in Denver on July 6. All the weapons were bought legally and background checks were performed.  In the four months prior to the shooting, Holmes also bought 3,000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3,000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet. On July 2, he placed an order for a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, two magazine holders, and a knife at an online retailer. He also purchased spike strips, which he later admitted he planned to use in case police shot at him or followed him in a car chase.

Every So-called Expert in Court, Except Holmes, Was Clueless About the Brain/Drug Connection

Among all the “smartest people in the room” only Holmes seems to have suspected that his psych drugs could have been part of the problem. In a pre-trial interrogation (and in a tone that sounded like he was offended by Holmes having the temerity to suggest that the psych drugs had anything to do with the murder spree), an investigator asked about that notion. Holmes replied: “I’m only saying that I think it is a possibility.”

If there was any thought of Holmes being accused of never showing remorse after having his drug doseages reduced in jail, the jury was shown a videotape of Holmes saying “I kind of regret that she (Dr Fenton) didn’t lock me up so that everything could have been avoided.”

Nobody in a position of authority in the courtroom, the legal “experts” or the psychiatric “experts”, seemed to have a clue about some of the most important issues. And therefore the laypeople on the jury are about to make another life or death decision about the fate of the publicly despised Holmes, who is just another one of the millions of innocent victims of involuntary drug intoxication. How can we feel good about the first of their verdicts if they haven’t been given all the facts?

Justice is not going to be done. And the accomplices to these murders (Big Pharma and the American Psychiatric Association, for starters) will probably go scot-free.

Alarmingly, none of the above “experts” seem to comprehend the serious consequences of Dr Fenton’s decision to, first of all, prescribe three (!) psychoactive drugs to a stressed-out grad student who was suffering a traumatic breakup with his girlfriend; and then, secondly, incrementally raise the doses to increasingly toxic levels (rather than lower them) when the previously brilliant Holmes was losing his cognitive abilities and, suffering the final insult, failing to pass his oral exams.. Dr Fenton testified that, at the last visit, she increased the dosages of all three of Holmes’s drugs, admitting to actually bumping up the sertraline/Zoloft dose to150 mg per day, a potentially lethal dose!! (The normal starting dose for Zoloft is 25 – 50 mg per day.)

Dr Fenton (who was a board-certified specialist in psychiatry) obviously hadn’t heard of (or at least failed to consider) the well documented possibility that a significant minority of Caucasians (10%) are deficient in one of the Cytochrome P 450 liver enzymes that metabolizes/degrades SSRIs into supposedly less potent forms of the chemical. Therefore, not having tested the already suicidal/homicidal, drug-intoxicated Holmes for the possible absence of that enzyme (and the predictable increased toxicity of the drug), there was a 10% possibility that she was lethally poisoning her patient’s brain and body.

But Fenton was very likely an over-busy and therefore a likely over-prescribing psychiatrist who was unaware of the “pure and uncontaminated” (non-pharmaceutical company-influenced) neuroscience literature that has established the above facts.

One wonders if even the budding neuroscientist James Holmes (or his intelligent RN mother and scientist father) was aware of what the drugs were doing to his brain and how dangerous they could be. He showed some awareness of the toxicity of psych drugs in that he refused to accept a fourth prescription for Seroquel offered by Fenton. (Seroquel [AstraZeneca] is a heavily sedating so-called “antipsychotic” drug that is commonly prescribed for insomnia, mania and psychotic symptoms like hallucinations.) Holmes refused this fourth drug because he didn’t want to be too sedated when he was studying for the oral exams that were coming up.

Choosing to not take the witness stand (standard advice given by many lawyers for fear of having their clients chewed up by opposing attorneys) we may never know what serious drug effects he was suffering.

Foolishly Trusting the Corrupted Science of the Multi-national Pharmaceutical Corporations

Instead, Fenton, like the vast majority of her psychiatric and medical colleagues around the nation, believed (and blindly trusted) the corrupted science of the cunning multinational psycho-pharmaceutical corporations who pay for the rat lab experiments (as well as all of the human clinical trials) that lead up to the huge profits the companies hope to make selling their dependency-inducing (aka addictive) blockbuster drugs at criminally inflated prices.

Dr Fenton was probably a true believer in the well-propagandized (and mistaken) notion that Big Pharma’s highly profitable psych drugs (and their equally profitable vaccines) are safe and effective and can be passed out like candy. She, like all the other court psychiatrists (apparently even those that testified for the defense!) did not seem to be aware of the sobering fact that no combination of two or more psych drugs has ever been tested – even in the rat labs – for either long-term safety or efficacy.

Tragically, for the drug-intoxicated brain of James Holmes, Dr Fenton had placed her trust in the psycho-pharmaceutical industry’s pseudoscience – and Holmes will be the one who will suffer from her willful ignorance and misplaced trust. (It should be mentioned that there are charges pending against Fenton for her failure to properly alert authorities about Holmes’s clearly expressed homicidality.)

In Defense of Dr Fenton and Mr Holmes

If being a too-busy doctor is any defense (in a court of law [it is not]), Dr Fenton probably can be forgiven for not taking the time to read between the lines of Big Pharma’s powerful disinformation campaign that affects both prescribers and American consumers of drugs.

The ubiquitous attractive pharmaceutical sales reps that often get in to see the doctors ahead of patients are often able to seduce opposite–sex physicians to prescribe their unaffordable new miracle drugs, by giving them free samples, pizzas, pens and post-it notes that reinforce the messages of the absurd but seductive drug commercials on TV. (By the way, America is only one of two nations on the planet where it is legal to advertise drugs directly to consumers; New Zealand is the other one.) Those commercials create many dumbed-down patients to trust in the drugs that they are then advised to obediently swallow by their equally dumbed-down physicians. Of course we physicians are also easily influenced by the equally absurd medical journal advertising that cunningly shapes our belief systems and prescribing habits.

Was an Informed Consent Form Signed by James Holmes?

There is no reason to think that James Holmes was fully warned by Dr Fenton that taking high doses of sertraline (with or without clonazepam and propranolol) could result in violence, aggression, psychosis, apathy, suicidality or homicidality. Failure to obtain fully informed consent – about serious adverse effects of a drug – is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Similarly, because Holmes was a struggling student under the neurotoxic and psychotoxic influence of three brain-disabling drugs, he also may have lacked the time, inclination or cognitive ability to be sufficiently suspicious of his cocktail of synthetic chemicals that were obviously disabling his brain.

If any person was inebriated, sleep-deprived, stressed-out, malnourished and strung out by months of daily ingesting some combination of illicit drugs (that were once upon a time legal substances) such as alcohol, amphetamines, methamphetamine, Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, morphine, Quaaludes, barbiturates, rape drugs or LSD (with all the adverse effects that could be expected to occur), nobody would question the role of such intoxicating substances if the inebriated person perpetrated some act of aggression.

But Holmes was swallowing legal prescription drugs (that have not yet been declared illegal, as perhaps many of them should be); but we brain-washed sheeple have been led by powerful forces to disbelieve the connections between criminal activities and legal drugs, even though the illegal drugs have molecular structures and mechanisms of action that are indistinguishable from the legal ones.

What the psychiatrist Fenton and the budding neuroscientist Holmes should have been aware of is the fact that the drug industry has never done any long-term safety or efficacy studies on the so-called SSRI (“Selective” [which is a lie] Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) antidepressants prior to their achieving FDA approval for marketing. Certainly the combination of an SSRI and a benzodiazepine (Klonopin) were never tested in combination for any outcome, even in the rat labs – where the microscopic, neurotransmitter and immunofluorescence studies of drugged brains are done.

Readers of the non-Big Pharma-influenced neuroscience literature (including many of my Duty to Warn columns over the years (available at, are well aware of the overwhelming evidence that brain-altering psychoactive drugs like Zoloft and Klonopin can cause serious neurological/mental aberrations in the otherwise normal brains of people (who might be temporarily sad, nervous, inattentive, hyperactive, sleep deprived, shy or lonely and therefore are at risk of being labeled permanently mentally ill if they ever enter the  mental health “system”).

The range of psych drug-induced abnormalities include this short list: acts of aggression. violence, homicidality, suicidality, akathisia, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, an “I don’t give a damn” attitude, apathy, loss of memory, dementia, disruptions in academic performance, loss of cognitive abilities, loss of IQ points, remorselessness, manic psychosis, hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusion, depression and other signs, symptoms or behaviors that are irrational or viewed by concerned observers as atypical for the person taking the drug or drugs.

No More Fake News Please

Read what Jon Rappoport, of No More Fake News ( wrote on his blog (at a couple of years ago, shortly after the Aurora shooting.

People don’t get it. The media doesn’t get it and they don’t want to get it. Billions of dollars are riding on the drugs Dr. Lynne Fenton … prescribed to her patient, James Holmes, the accused Batman shooter.

And when billions of dollars in potentially lost revenue are hanging in the balance, the interested parties take action. They’re serious about their money. They don’t screw around.

You see, if James Holmes was, for example, taking Prozac, all of a sudden no one wants to take it. If doctors prescribe it to patients, the patients say, ‘Hey, wasn’t this the drug that nutcase took before he killed all those people in the theater?’

“The bulk of American media is afraid to go after psychiatric drugs as a cause of violence. This fear stems, in part, from the sure knowledge that expert attack dogs are waiting in the wings, funded by big-time pharmaceutical companies.

For much more on the tight connections between the unique American epidemic of school shootings among our over-drugged (and over-vaccinated) males and their psychiatric drugs, go to Rappoport’s “The School Shooting White Paper” at or my column on the issue at: Also go to for a sobering list of >5000 reports of irrational behaviors among people who were taking SSRIs.

Prescription Drugs and Iatrogenic Violence

“Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Toward Others” is the title of a study that was published in 2010 in the Public Library of Science ONE.

The breakthrough study named sertraline and clonazepam as two of a group of drugs closely linked to violence, aggression, physical assaults, physical abuse and homicidality (homicidal ideation and homicidal actions). Dr Fenton probably didn’t read it, nor, in her defense, did many of her colleagues in the industry. If any of them did see the paper, most of them may have deferred to the opinion of their trade organization, the American Psychiatric Association that would likely discredit it.

The authors of the study (Thomas J. Moore, Curt D. Furbert, and Joseph Glenmullen [author of “Prozac Backlash”]) reviewed nearly 2000 cases of violent adverse drug effects that had been reported to the FDA from 2004-09. They found that 31 commonly prescribed drugs, including sertraline and clonazepam, accounted for 79% of all reported cases of violence.

Twenty of the violence-inducing drugs were psychiatric drugs (11 so-called antidepressants (including sertraline), 6 sedative/hypnotics (including clonazepam), and 3 drugs for so-called ADHD). (See my Duty to Warn column on the subject, which includes a ranking of the 31 culprits at

The authors concluded, “These data provide new evidence that acts of violence towards others are a genuine and serious adverse drug event that is associated with a relatively small group of drugs.” If Dr Fenton and Mr Holmes – and perhaps James’s parents – had been aware of this peer-reviewed study, there may have been no Batman Shooting. We need to find out why this study was not widely circulated, why was it suppressed and who did the suppressing?

In 2007, Health Canada, the Canadian drug regulatory authority issued a warning on clonazepam. The agency warned that clonazepam (nearly identical in molecular structure as the notoriously addictive Valium) can make addicts of patients within weeks or months of its use. The agency emphasized that the benzodiazepine drug’s “adverse” effects included hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusion, loss of memory, and depression, all symptoms that James Holmes suffered from.

Dr Fenton and her colleagues probably missed (or ignored) this warning as well, but so did Holmes, his parents, his lawyers, the psychiatric “experts” and all of the journalists covering the trial.

Of course, many other international agencies have issued warnings about psychiatric drug-induced mania, psychosis, aggression, violence, homicidality, suicidality, etc, notably those agencies in the United States, the European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The information is usually ignored by busy or inattentive medical professionals (who may NOT want to know about such unwelcome truths, which then fails to be forwarded to their drug-consuming patients. Big Pharma, with the help of the corporate-controlled media and the medical and psychiatric industries, sees to it that such information stays submerged.

Join me in mourning the totally preventable tragedy of the Aurora mass murder and the loss of a once-brilliant neuroscience student who got tied up in an unforgiving psychiatric system, whose brain was severely disabled by legal neurotoxic drugs and who is now unjustifiably the most hated man in America. And please join the efforts to save James Holmes’s life by forwarding this information widely, especially to ethical lawyers and healthcare journalists who might send it to responsible persons involved in the case.

Dr Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic mental health care for the last decade of his career. He writes a weekly column for the Reader Weekly, an alternative newsweekly published in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Many of Dr Kohls’ columns are archived at

Psychiatry Through the Lens of Institutional Corruption By Robert Whitaker

When you write a book, you usually do so in response to a prompt of some type, and in the process of researching and writing the book, you will come to see your subject in a new way. Psychiatry Under the Influence, a book I co-wrote with Lisa Cosgrove, provided that learning experience, and this is what I now know, with a much greater certainty than before: Our citizenry must develop a clear and cogent response to a medical specialty that, over the past 35 years, has displayed an “institutional corruption” that has done great injury to our society. In fact, I think this is one of the great political challenges of our times.

The specific “prompt” for this book can be traced back to a phone call. In 2011, Lisa Cosgrove, who is a professor at UMASS Boston, was finishing up a year as a fellow in a research lab at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University that had been set up to study “institutional corruption.” She called and asked if I would be interested in jointly applying with her for a fellowship at the Safra lab in the coming year. The thought was that we would investigate the American Psychiatric Association through this lens of institutional corruption (a subject I admittedly knew nothing about), and write a monograph as our fellowship project. However, midway during the fellowship year, we settled on a larger book-length project. We would investigate the “institution” of psychiatry, and we conceptualized that institution as being comprised of the American Psychiatric Association and academic psychiatry. We thought that our book, in addition to investigating the institution of psychiatry, might also serve to illustrate how the framework of institutional corruption provides a way to see the corruption in a clear light, and illuminate possible solutions.

The Framework of Institutional Corruption

The Safra lab on institutional corruption, which just completed its five-year run, was the brainchild of Lawrence Lessig. A professor at Harvard Law School, Lessig is known for his creative thinking and political activism on a number of issues fundamental to our society’s democratic well-being. He was a founder of Creative Commons, which has sought to expand and protect the public’s access to creative works, and he also founded Rootstriker, a citizen’s group devoted to fighting political corruption in the United States. In his 2010 book Republic Lost, he told of the corrupting influence of lobbyists and special interests on Congress.

As Lessig and others have developed this field of study, they have noted that it is important to distinguish individual, quid-pro-quo, corruption from institutional corruption. The former is a story of “bad apples.” For instance, a politician takes a bribe in return for a political favor. That is quid-pro-quo corruption. Institutional corruption is of a different—and more societally damaging—type. Institutional corruption is a not a “bad apple” problem, but a “bad barrel” problem.

The basic concept of institutional corruption is this: There are “economies of influence” that create “incentives” for behaviors by members of the institution that are antithetical to the institution’s public mission. When this happens, the “corrupt” behavior may become “normative,” and even go unrecognized as problematic by those within the institution. Institutional corruption is of a systemic type, subtle, and yet ultimately corrosive to our democracy.

For example, politicians running for office must raise money to finance their campaigns. They may get such funding from industry lobbyists and from political action committees (PACs) established by special interest groups. As a result, the elected officials may develop an “improper dependency” on the funding from the special interests and will become subtly beholden to these funders, even though the members of Congress are supposed to be beholden to the citizenry. Moreover, politicians know they need to raise campaign funds, and taking PAC money has become an accepted method for doing so. This is just the way that the system works.

“These are not bad souls bending the public weal to private ends,” Lessig wrote. “We can presume that the individuals within the institution are innocent; the economy of influence that they have allowed to evolve is not.”

The framework developed at the Safra center also provides a concise guide for investigating institutional corruption. First, identify the economies of influence that may be creating “perverse” incentives. Then document the corrupt behaviors by members of the institution (which, although unethical, can be expected to be legal.) Next, detail the resulting social injury, and explore why the members of the institution remain largely unaware of the corruption. This investigatory process  is designed to illuminate possible solutions to the corruption: the economies of influence that have led the institution astray must be neutralized, either through government regulation or some other means.

Our Study of Institutional Corruption

In our study of the “institution of psychiatry,” we focused on psychiatry’s behavior since 1980, the year that the American Psychiatric Association published the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This was the moment that the APA adopted a “disease” model for diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders, and it is easy to identify two “economies of influence” that have been present ever since.

The first is the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, which, following the publication of DSM III, dramatically increased the amount of money it provided to the APA and to academic psychiatrists, who were paid by pharmaceutical companies to be speakers, advisors, and consultants. This “economy of influence” is well recognized by the public, and there has already been considerable societal discussion about how it could be neutralized. The amount of money flowing from industry to the APA and to academic psychiatrists has also diminished in recent years (partly because of that public attention), and so this corrupting force may be somewhat on the wane already.

However, the second “economy of influence,” which isn’t as well recognized by the public, is much more problematic. This is the influence of psychiatry’s own guild interests.

Once the APA adopted a disease model in 1980, it laid claim to having societal authority over three domains: diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, research into their biological causes, and drug treatments. As such, from a guild perspective, it had a need to inform the public that its diagnoses were valid, that its research was producing an understanding of the biology of psychiatric disorders, and that its drugs were safe and highly effective treatments for such problems. Moreover, unlike many medical specialties, psychiatry has to compete for patients with those who provide alternative therapies (psychologists, social workers, and so forth), and thus it could be said to have a particularly pronounced need to protect the guild interests that allow it to prosper in this marketplace.

If science subsequently supported telling such a story, one that informed the society of great progress being made in this field, than there would be no problem. Our society would simply be well informed of this advance. But if science did not support it, then the potential peril was this: Psychiatry, because of its guild interests, would be tempted to tell a story to the public that was out of sync with science, and in that way, betray its public mission.

With that potential for “corruption” set up, we then ask in our book: is there a historical record of such influences “corrupting” the behavior of the institution? And now this is what is great about the institutional corruption framework, when it comes to this particular topic of psychiatry. We tried to answer that question by applying an ethical standard that all of society can embrace. The inquiry does not need to focus on whether psychiatric disorders are “real,” or on the risks and benefits of psychiatric drugs, which are topics that can produce such an immediate division in readers. Instead, the inquiry focuses on whether the institution has filled its duty to the public.

So we need to ask: what does the public expect—ethically speaking—of a medical specialty? The public expects that it will put the interests of patients first, and that this moral obligation will guide the institution in its conduct of research, its reporting of research results, its development of clinical practice guidelines, and its pronouncements to the public. This is a well-understood expectation, and corruption is revealed when the institution, as it performs such tasks, privileges the interests of pharmaceutical companies, or its own guild interests, over its duty to the public.

Many of the specific examples of corruption detailed in Psychiatry Under the Influence will be familiar to readers. I have written about a number of them in Anatomy of an Epidemic and other writings; Lisa has written about some of this corruption in her journal articles; and numerous critics of psychiatry have written about some of them as well. Still, presenting this behavior in a historical way, as stretching across three decades and present in every domain of psychiatry’s activities, is rather breathtaking.  And it also becomes quite clear that this behavior, within the institution, became the norm.

As I noted in the beginning of this post, co-writing this book led me to “see” this subject of psychiatry and its influence on our society in a new way. It puts the focus on society as the injured party, and it is easy to see that the social injury arising from this corruption is vast and profound.

The institution of psychiatry, with its disease model, has dramatically changed our society over the past 35 years. It has given us a new philosophy of being, and altered how we view children and teenagers, and their struggles. It has touched every corner of our society, and this societal change has arisen because of a story told to the public that has been shaped by guild and pharmaceutical influences, as opposed to a record of good science. That is the nature of the harm done: our society has organized itself around a “corrupt” narrative.

Prescriptions for Reform

 Now, what can be done about this? The first thought is that once this corruption is revealed, then perhaps the institution can reform itself. After all, institutional corruption is conceived as a problem of “good people” doing “bad things” because of the corrupted environment. Good people within the institution might be expected to lead the reform. However, cognitive dissonance theory predicts that it is difficult for people within the institution to see their own actions in this light. Our favorite quote to sum up this perception problem comes from Sinclair Lewis: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Given that internal reform isn’t likely, the responsibility lies with society to develop a solution. In many cases of institutional corruption, the solution may be regulatory reform that legally constrains the behavior of the institution. In this case of psychiatry, it is evident that society must find ways to neutralize the two corrupting economies of influence: the pharmaceutical influence and psychiatry’s own guild interests.

There are many strategies being proposed for neutralizing the pharmaceutical influence, which, as noted above, has waned in recent years. However, there has been little public discourse on how to neutralize the guild interest. While we offer a proposal in our book—we believe that the only possible solution is that psychiatry’s authority over this domain of our lives must be diminished, and that such societal authority must come from a broader, more diverse group of professionals and thinkers—the truth is that solving this problem requires a societal discussion about this corruption, and what we, as a society, can do about it.

As I think about this, I am personally inspired by Lessig’s own activism. He wrote about the corruption of Congress by PACs, and subsequently launched “Mayday, U.S.” a crowd-funded, non-partisan Super PAC that provides funding for political candidates who promise to enact campaign-finance reform designed to eliminate the influence of lobbyist-driven PACs. His may be a Quixotic battle, but it is a fight, in essence, to save our democracy and create a Congress that is beholden to the people, as opposed to one that is beholden to special interests.

And with that example of activism in mind, I am now thinking of whether MIA could host a public discussion on “solutions,” and also mount a public campaign to publicize this issue. The institutional corruption framework, which puts the focus on whether psychiatry has met its ethical obligations to the public, even provides the possibility of creating a non-partisan campaign. All of the public wants a medical specialty to fulfill that obligation.

More on these possibilities shortly.

Robert WhitakerIn the News:  A journalist’s review of reports in medical journals and the media on psychiatric disorders and treatments.

Disillionioned By The Psychiatric System, Mental Health Worker, Gary Sidley, Speaks Out..

My 33-year personal journey to disillusionment with Western psychiatry

In 1980, at the age of 21, I successfully applied for a nursing assistant job on an acute-admission ward at the local District General Hospital. Eager to learn, and harbouring a heady mix of excitement and apprehension, I donned my white tunic, decorated on each shoulder with a brown epaulette, and stumbled into the surreal world of the mentally ill and their professional guardians. Thirty-three years later I opted for early retirement from the National Health Service, so ending a long and turbulent relationship with the murky world of psychiatry.

My first role as a nursing assistant allowed me to observe and interact with an assortment of deeply troubled people who psychiatry had defined as mentally ill. The middle-aged lady with ‘schizophrenia’ and a piercing stare who spent much of each day sitting alone in the corner of a quiet room, her incoherent mumblings punctuated only by shouts of ‘piss off’, directed at anyone who ventured into the three-yard virtual exclusion zone that she had erected around herself. The 60-year-old ‘manic depressive’ with constant dribbles of spittle seeping out of the corners of his mouth, on an unrelenting mission to dismantle every bed in the dormitory so he could reconstruct them to his own superior design. And the young woman pacing the ward corridor, avoiding the cracks between the floor tiles and counting in multiples of seven, engrossed in her ‘obsessive-compulsive’ efforts to prevent harm befalling her loved ones.

At 21, and armed with my recently completed biochemistry degree, I willingly bought into the notion that these oddities of behaviour and emotion were the products of a brain illness. After 12 months as a nursing assistant, I left to pursue psychiatric-nurse training at a large hospital (Prestwich, near Manchester) that had, at the beginning of the 20th century, been recognised as the biggest asylum in Europe. During the first six weeks of training I learnt essential nursing tasks, like how to read a medication prescription card as well as practising my injection technique on oranges (as a prelude to being let loose on human buttocks).

Throughout this initial phase of my relationship with psychiatry, I colluded with the traditional ‘illness like any other’ practises. During my six years in nursing I poured out copious quantities of chlorpromazine syrup, (at the time referred to as a major tranquilliser but later regarded, somewhat misleadingly, as an ‘antipsychotic’ drug), routinely syringed oily liquids known as depots into the rumps of the inmates, and assisted with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involving electrocution of the brain to produce a seizure – an event that would necessitate a visit to the Accident and Emergency Department if it occurred in any other setting.

I’m not proud of my behaviour during this phase of complicity with biological psychiatry. I did, however, learn a lot about human suffering and misery.

Despite administering treatments consistent with the assumption that mental health problems are the direct result of a brain defect, I harboured embryonic ideas about alternative ways of responding to distress. Keen to learn more about non-medical approaches to mental health problems, I left nursing in 1987 to train as a clinical psychologist and entered the second phase of my relationship with psychiatry which could be described as ‘seeking change from within’.

During the 1990s I developed the skills to deliver talking therapies and offered these approaches within the psychology silo, a sort of parallel world to the dominant psychiatric method of diagnosis, medication and mental state monitoring. I and like-minded colleagues tried to liaise with, and nurture, the pockets of innovative practice scattered across the psychiatric arena. At this time I believed that enduring improvement in psychiatric services – the achievement of a response to human suffering that was optimistic, respectful, empowering and helpful – could be achieved within the existing system. But I was frustrated by the speed of change, slow at best and often unsustainable. My psychology colleagues urged patience, advising me to seek ‘evolution not revolution’.

By the turn of the century my disillusionment deepened and I entered my third, and final, career phase: the recognition of the need for a paradigm shift, a revolution.  Conflicts with psychiatrists, managers and some senior nurses became commonplace. I was saddened to witness the efforts of some committed individuals (from a range of disciplines), struggling to promote more humane, person-centred practices only for them to be ultimately defeated by a medical culture dominated by the assumption that mental health problems were the products of brain diseases and required hefty medication regimes to resolve them. Any innovative practices – recovery-orientated approaches, normalising interventions for voice hearers, service-user involvement in staff training – would ultimately be crushed when the mental health services were under financial pressures, the regime instinctively defaulting to the damaging ‘illness like any other’ approach where the expectation was for the patient to swallow chemicals and follow expert instruction.

Those staff who did try to promote more psycho-social practices sometimes buckled under the pressure of unrelenting opposition, as indicated by the deterioration in their own mental health or by the development of a hardened, non-compassionate shell that mirrored the management style of their superiors.

As one might expect from an institution ideally tailored to deliver treatments for physical illnesses like cancer and heart disease, NHS-led psychiatric services remain wedded to medical model assumptions: disorders labelled as ‘schizophrenia’, ‘bipolar disorder’ and ‘major depression’ are brain diseases; medical specialists possess the appropriate expertise to lead service planning and delivery; and any psycho-social initiatives might help around the edges of the disorder, but will always be an optional add-on to medication.

During the final years of my career in NHS psychiatry, 2009 to 2013, I witnessed many absurdities, including: a senior management team determined to axe an innovative ‘early-intervention for psychosis’ service primarily because the values and philosophy of the team did not correspond to those of the lead psychiatrists; managers feeling so threatened and disempowered that no one was willing to make a decision as to whether a service user could engage in four hours per week of voluntary work alongside the hospital caretaker; the insistence of senior managers that all staff on a new (and supposedly innovative) psychiatric rehabilitation unit should wear the same uniform as their counterparts on the medical wards; and psychiatric professionals refusing to participate in a mindfulness-training group alongside service users because of concerns about showing their charges that they, too, might sometimes feel stressed and vulnerable.

Thirty-three years continuous service, and a favourable pension scheme, provided the opportunity for me to opt out by taking early retirement, aged 55, and escape from the fundamentally flawed and pernicious psychiatric arena. Subsequently, I have written a book based on my experiences – Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services – a project that has provided the opportunity to express the nonsense and injustices endemic within professional psychiatry. As well as being cathartic, I hope the book can make a contribution to the emerging protests about the way Western societies make sense of human suffering.

Despite my experiences, I remain hopeful. The array of dissenting voices against traditional psychiatry has never been more compelling. The next five to ten years offers an exceptional opportunity to transform the way we, as a society, respond to mental health problems. And as I state in the last sentence of my book, ‘The prize of a more compassionate and effective response to human suffering could not be more worthy’.