Are Psychiatric Drugs Necessary?


About one in every hundred people faces being diagnosed with schizophrenia at some stage in their life. But there are questions over the quality of the treatment available, and concern that drug companies have been influencing psychiatrists over what anti-psychotic drugs to prescribe.
Dr. Herbert Meltzer, who pioneered the use of clozapine in the U.S., denies such interference is the norm. But he was challenged in a television debate by medical journalist Robert Whitaker over the need for medication.
Whitaker pointed to studies in Vermont and Illinois as evidence that too many schizophrenia patients are kept on medication for too long. In the Vermont case, patients discharged in the 1950’s and 1960’s were studied 30 years later. One-third had completely recovered and all of those ex-patients had stopped taking anti-psychotic drugs.
Controversy over alleged conflicts of interest has been dogging the world of psychiatry. In response, the American Psychiatric Association recently put an end to medical education seminars and meals sponsored by drug companies at its annual meetings.


BBC News September 4, 2009

Dr.Mercola Comment

Depression is one of the most common clinical problems in medicine. It is not just feeling blue. If you think you or someone you love might have depression please read my depression diagnosis page for information on how to know if you have it.

Psychotropic drugs are a major cash cow for the drug industry These drugs fuel a $330-billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure -- and now kill an estimated 36,000 people every year, with the death toll still rising.

Worldwide, 100 million people are taking psychotropic drugs. These powerful medications interfere with the delicate and complex workings of your brain and personality.

They have a great potential to cause a number of serious side effects ranging from somnolence and fatigue to violent behavior, hormone disruption and even suicide.

Yet, their use is growing at an alarming rate. Recent surveys show 73 percent more adults and 50 percent more children are using prescription drugs to treat mental illness now than were doing so in 1996.

Among adults over 65, use of psychotropic drugs -- which include antidepressants and antipsychotics -- doubled between 1996 and 2006.

Meanwhile, as U.S. medical journalist Robert Whitaker pointed out in the BBC News article above, there is an incredible crisis for psychiatry right now, and many are losing faith in the system.

Drugs are Psychiatry’s Primary Therapy

Mental health issues, including unresolved emotional traumas, are one of the most significant factors contributing to disease. And psychiatry is the branch of medicine that should be best suited to address this wounding.

Unfortunately, psychiatry has long ago elected to follow a drug-based paradigm in their resolution of this wounding and in so doing has done its patients an extreme disservice.

This is not a new occurrence, but rather one that has been going on for years and seems to only be getting worse. It reminds me of one particularly poignant letter written by Dr. Loren Mosher, a board-certified psychiatrist who received his BA from Stanford University and M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1961, where he also subsequently took his psychiatric training.

In his letter, which is a resignation letter sent to the president of the American Psychiatric Association in 1998, Dr. Mosher stated:

“After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association. The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association.

Luckily, the organization's true identity requires no change in the acronym.

Unfortunately, APA reflects, and reinforces, in word and deed, our drug dependent society …

APA likes only those drugs from which it can derive a profit-directly or indirectly. This is not a group for me. At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies.

The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted educational grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions.”

This type of blatant conflict of interest continues to plague the psychiatric profession today.

One of the most telling examples surrounds Dr. Joseph Biederman of Harvard Medical School, who is a world-renowned child psychiatrist. His work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children … and he earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007. However, he did not report much of this income to university officials -- a major conflict of interest.

Drugs are Not the Answer for Most Mental Illness

If you or your child is suffering from an emotional or mental challenge, please seek help, but do so from someone who does not regard psychotropic drugs as a first line of defense. Unfortunately, this now means you may need to find someone outside of the conventional psychiatric medical community.

It will be very helpful if you first adjust your lifestyle to include the 10 steps to optimal health discussed in this past article. These are the 10 basic steps that nearly everyone requires to stay healthy on both a physical and mental level.

You will also likely need specific interventions to address any emotional challenges. There are many wonderful tools out there, and one of my favorites is the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT).

For serious problems, it would be prudent to not treat yourself with tapping techniques but rather to contact a trained health care professional. Here’s a helpful list of certified practitioners worldwide to help get you started on a path to recovery.

Dr. Mercola