Harmful Nature Of Psychotropic Drugs.

Posted on July 7, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-7There are perhaps no men or women who read this that do not know of someone who has committed suicide while taking prescription antidepressant or similar drugs. Is this to jump to the conclusion that the drugs are the cause of suicides, or can there be an argument made that depressed people are more often the ones who end up taking their own lives? Seconds after the last keystrokes an ambulance with sirens blaring sped up the local highway. Probably only a coincidence but does add some deepening of intensity here.

The primary reason for this writing comes from talking with a person whose son/daughter committed suicide while on antidepressant drug(s). The talk occurred over the Fourth of July weekend. As someone who is childless, it is impossible to fully describe or feel what that person went through, but obviously a parent losing a child to suicide must be one of the most absolutely painful experiences any human being has to endure.

So, the reason for focusing on this information is the hope that some other parent(s) will become spared the pain of such an experience. Now, if the parents’ pain isn’t overwhelming enough, there is the shared pain felt by brothers and sisters, relatives and friends that occurs. And then there is an ongoing “ripple” effect where each person who knew the person who committed suicide experiences small to large levels of guilt illustrated by the self-questioning: “could I have done more to prevent his/her doing this?”

Each man and woman, friend, relative or acquaintance, depending on how much time they spent with the deceased, will suffer a form of soul-shattering from guilt on what can now never occur. And, because the event is so powerfully tragic, these kinds of questions and feelings will likely remain for the rest of the associated persons’ lives. Simply put, suicide or murder caused by ingestion of mind-altering drugs are extremely consequential and extremely harming in a multiple of ways including psychologically, spiritually, and physically.

This is essentially the point here: if – and it’s a colossal if – psychotropic drugs, evidently the most ingested being Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) for depression and/or “ADHD”, play a real part in the suicides or violent actions toward others, then these drugs need a very serious second look for the harmful consequences of their use.

Probably the question, “has human health been sacrificed on the altar of profit?” best describes the focus of this writing. At this point, with the limited amount of contact with the information, my reply to that question is strongly in the affirmative, and being perfectly honest it is disturbing that government agencies responsible for health safety – namely America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – have failed to adequately address concerns.

Not being an expert – having no degree in psychology, pharmacology, etc. – or practicing psychiatrist, it’s somewhat of a leap to write about these drugs, but provocative information from filmmakers, psychiatrists like Peter Breggin whose talk can be viewed at the end of this, and other concerned citizens leads one to feel that there is a “there there.”  Is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?) really a disease?

According to 77-year-old psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, pharmaceutical corporations invented ADHD. He believes what occurred was that pharma companies found out what upset teachers about students’ behavior the most, then matched their products (drugs) to “solve” the “disease”/ student activities which upset teachers. He gives examples like not staying in line, speaking out of turn, answering the teacher’s questions before he/she fully asks it, and the “I know, I know!!” of students who are probably attention-deprived at home.

So, the typical behaviors of growing children then became a new psychological “disease” – ADHD – and sales of drugs to control children’s behavior began to skyrocket. Is the child bored with his or teacher, so engages in activities that disrupts the classroom? ADHD. Does the student receive poor or no discipline from his or her parents so acts like a “free spirit” saying and doing whatever strikes them at the moment? ADHD.  On the other hand, perhaps the child has been taught to live creative, spontaneous, and free by his or her parents, been reading complex books from an early age, or involved in artistic activities leading to more gregariousness than other students. ADHD.

The problem is that “being a kid” was never seen as a disease before ADHD became imagined/invented. Some kids get taught manners such as never interrupt an adult while they’re speaking, no running around in stores, or always respect your elders – and some kids are not. So, because there are kids who don’t know about manners and self-control they end up diagnosed with ADHD, start taking the drugs, and become basically zombies without any spontaneity. For teachers the problem gets solved, just like for parents who sit their children down in front of the television.

For WordPress users, by typing “SSRI” or “antidepressants” in the tag search box of Reader you’ll find many articles. After reading a few it became apparent that one in twelve Americans are taking one or more antidepressants, and that psychotropic drugs have the highest profit margins of nearly all products. An example would be a pill that costs $.20 to make and sells for $20 or a 10,000% profit, so this explains the tremendous power that pharmaceutical corporations exert over the political process and drug-related legislation.

America stands almost alone in regard to allowance of prescription drug advertising, as most developed nations have passed laws that disallow television commercials. Those are the ads that have no real message but that you invariably end up relaxing on a nice sunny beach, free of worry, in some drug-induced paradise. Whoever was behind the law which requires the speaking of potential adverse side effects in TV ads deserves some credit at least. Comedians are thankful for the side effects legal measure and have made hay by contrasting the fantastic claims of drug makers against possible suicide, stroke, death…

One could find a parallel between psychotropic drugs and genetically modified organisms (GMO) in that both have powerful corporate interests influencing politicians and passage of laws without full scientific study. Another similarity can be seen in both being “quick” fixes. GMOs offer farmers the opportunity to avoid the work needed to remove weeds from their crops, while teachers get spared having to deal with free spirit young people who have no malevolent motive, but like Cyndi Lauper “just wanna’ have fun.”

But both have a real, dark, flipside to their coins. With GMOs, there is the risk posed by genetic drift into the natural environment with little (if any, conducted by the GMO companies themselves) or no long-term study before FDA approval, a gamble of profoundly large consequences, as well as the health effects of Roundup/glyphosate – including decreased production of humans’ 90% of total serotonin made in the gut, perhaps leading to the depression, which then leads to taking antidepressants, or anti-psychotic drugs if serotonin levels fall too low.

With SSRI/antidepressant drugs, the dark consequences include suicide, violence against others, loss of spontaneity, and unknown natural, body/brain defense reactions to the drugs that result in imbalances, among others. As mentioned at the start of this writing, everyone probably knows someone who was on psychotropic drugs and committed suicide. The persons who pulled the triggers in America’s most well-known mass-shootings were all on some type of psychotropic drugs.

Veterans upon returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, because of what they saw and experienced in those war zones that contradicted what they believed the wars were all about, suffered physical, emotional, and spiritual harm which became almost impossible to bear without some form of drug treatment. Most people, including myself until recently, are unaware that the suicides of American veterans didn’t just begin after the soldiers returned to the US. Many soldiers took their own lives while in Afghanistan and Iraq, a fact that was probably intentionally kept from the American public to avoid protest against the wars and demands for their ending.

Some 22 veterans per day are taking their own lives according to recent reports, and the number who were taking antidepressants/SSRI/psychotropic drugs has not been widely reported. Mainstream media companies make a ton of money from drug advertising. The similarity between school students and soldiers could be envisaged after thinking about the large number of soldiers who became extremely disillusioned with their elected government and representatives/leaders. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans could be called “adult onset ADHD”, like “ADHD” treated in the easiest, quickest manner through writing the prescription, as opposed to looking further for the real source of the conditions.

ADHD was created to primarily serve the purpose of selling drugs and making profit, secondarily to settle students in overcrowded schoolrooms. PTSD is a more scientific-sounding name for “shell shock”, sharing with ADHD a disease name that is more amenable to the sale of drugs. Both have been treated with drugs sold by corporate sales representatives trained in only talking benefits and never about tragic, adverse side effects. ADHD and PTSD drug treatments are both dangerous to human health, the adverse side effects far outweighing any benefits experienced by patients.

There are many more “diseases” than just ADHD and PTSD where psychotropic drugs are doing damage to human health at physical, psychological, and spiritual levels. Being a kid is not a disease. War is a disease. Psychotropic drugs are a symptom of greed and what Martin Luther King called “spiritual bankruptcy” of societies which continue to spend more on weapons of war than social uplift.

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This very important issue will be the subject of more posts in the future. Please research, think about, and act according to conscience in defense of family, friends, and neighbors who may fall into the psychotropic drug nightmare. For what it’s worth, I have never taken antidepressants or other forms of psychotropic drugs, my addiction in years past was brain harming alcohol, the views of 77-year-old psychiatrist/author Dr. Peter Breggin are valid and worthy of further research, and the debate over psychotropic drugs needs to occur in Congressional hearings.

For powerful, important information please visit then forward on as widely as possible ssristories.com.

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(Thank you to Peter Breggin @ YouTube)

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8 thoughts on “Harmful Nature Of Psychotropic Drugs.

  1. bginbama

    Your post reminded me to take down from my bookshelf two books by Robert Whitaker (which I have been meaning to read for some time): Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. Apparently he touched a nerve in the psychiatric community by asking the question, “Why had schizophrenia outcomes worsened in the past twenty years?…And why did those diagnosed with schizophrenia fare so much better in India and Nigeria than in the United States?” He “examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects.” Great post!

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    1. bginbama,
      Nice to meet you and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Psychotropic drugs are an immense issue, which is challenging to discuss because there are so many factors, and extremely important. An aspect that came to mind after reading your comment is the connection between the “quick fix” nature and how this leads to a halting of introspective effort undertaken by the men and women who are swallowing the pills. In particular, introspection of the reasons why one has become depressed along with so many others. Persons who come to the point in their life experience where depressing thoughts occur should be clearly seen as persons who possess a sensitivity to the tragic events and situations they are seeing and thinking about, just as all humans. Honestly, someone once said something like “if you’re not crazy after seeing what goes on in the world, then you must be insane”, so for that reason taking the route of drugs is an escape of sorts from the potentially positive breakthroughs on a variety of personal, familial, societal, and global levels which would come from soberly dealing with the source of disappointment. In other words, going the drug route halts the natural maturation/growth process of an individual’s lifetime, and robs one of perhaps spectacular insights which would when shared greatly benefit any number of other people in one’s family, community, and world.
      Thanks again for the comment and peace be with you.
      Jerry

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  2. I would prefer cannabis, which is the biggest threat to Big Pharma, be legal and publically endorsed. I would love to see people responsibly using magic mushrooms, DMT and LSD legally, guided by experts in the field of getting to know oneself and travelling the corners of Consciousness. If weed went up against Prozac, Big Pharma would lose. So I’ll do it illegally and if I get caught I’ll help make some money for the privatized prison system. lol –

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    1. David,
      How are you. I knew a fellow whose work required drug testing who, after he retired, shared how after smoking some pot said to himself “why in the world is this against the law?” Can’t remember the last time I smoked weed but, it was inhaled as compared to Clinton, anything that results in an irremovable grin logically can’t be considered harmful. On the other hand, James Taylor went from drug addiction to “being straight is the best high.” Then there’s Lily Tomlin: “sobriety is just a crutch for people who can’t deal with drugs and alcohol”, so each person will make their decisions, hopefully resulting in improved quality of life. In 100% agreement about the weed/Prozac statement, so it’s obvious why weed has been suppressed and illegal: profits of Big Pharma.
      Thanks,
      Jerry

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  3. As a psychiatrist, I find 4 things extremely troubling about the excessive prescription of SSRI’s, not only in psychiatrist but in primary care settings: 1) more than 3 decades of outcome studies show that statistically they are no better than placebo in alleviating depression. 2) they have a marked tendency to trigger rapid cycling mood states associated with uncontrollable aggression and severe suicide ideation 3) one of the main reasons they are so heavily used is that the private insurance companies that fund health care in the US refuse to fund either psychotherapy or nutritional support or supplements, even when depression is caused by dietary factors and 4) even though all antidepressants were designed for short term treatment of depression, far too many doctors allow their patients to continue them indefinitely (which is enormously profitable for drug companies.

    With 33+ years of clinical experience in child and adolescent psychiatry, I disagree with Peter Breggin’s assertion that ADHD doesn’t exist. I would also question whether he would be qualified to make this assertion without specific training or clinical experience in child and adolescent psychiatry. I’m also troubled by his links with the Scientology front group the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. For people unacquainted with the Church of Scientology, they have their own reasons for trashing psychiatry and have lured many vulnerable patients with serious mental illness into their cult.

    I think a distinction needs to be made between ADD, attention deficit disorder, and ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Anyone with experience working with children with learning problems can attest to the fact that a small percentage of children (less than 5%) have innate problems with attention and focus. This condition appears to have multiple causes – genetic anomalies, malnutrition during pregnancy, subtle brain injury during birth and epigenetic factors that influence gene expression, etc.

    The problem, in my view, isn’t that the condition doesn’t exist. The problem is that both ADD and ADHD are massively overdiagnosed, particularly in the US.

    The conventional treatment – stimulants – are massively over prescribed in the US. Any child or adult who takes stimulants in low doses will experience an improvement in concentration and focus – whether or not they have a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD.

    All children will learn better if you give them stimulants, which is why it’s so tempting for parents to seek prescriptions for stimulants. They cause serious appetite and growth suppression in most children who take them. This is why the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends they only be prescribed as a last resort and for the briefest period possible.

    Clearly these recommendations aren’t being followed.

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    1. Stuart,
      How are you. Thank you for the insightful comment. Your reference to Mr. Breggin and Scientology caused concern as the last thing I want to do is present any information that is either fraudulent or in error. My first impression of the doctor was he must be respected because the South Carolina meeting where he was keynote speaker seemed about as straight as can be. Went to Wikipedia after reading your comments (some say Wikipedia is suspect and perhaps not credible) and Breggin’s page mentions the Scientology connection, Breggin claims Eli Lilly and Co tried to discredit him with Scientology, Breggin admits a higher level association with Scientology from 1972-74, when he left because his wife was told by Scientologists to disassociate from him (evidently pre-1972, not certain), and after leaving he wrote an article critical of Scientology in “Reason” magazine. I just came across Breggin in the past few days when searching for information on antidepressants, so have close to zero knowledge of his motivations.
      Peter Breggin aside, are there one or two psychiatrists (preferably retired without any fear of retribution) who in your view would be excellent to feature in future posts on this issue? Thank you for sharing your insights, Stuart.
      Jerry

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