. . . and it's not their genes either. – Dr. C

Archive for February, 2013

How’s Business?

HOW'S BUS 2 GRAPHIC

Business has never been better, thanks for asking.

As long as the public – you and I – continue to demand newer and better quick fix chemicals, we act as a sales force for this huge industry.  Psychiatry, like any business, is subject to market pressure.  Right now, there is pressure to create more and more chemicals for more and more “diseases.”  Our demand is met, happily, by their supply.

Let’s take a quick look at “ADHD,” just one example out of hundreds of fake diseases.  “ADHD” has been a financial boon for Big Pharma.  It’s been increasing nearly 6% a year for the past decade.  In America – like no other country on earth – one of every 12 children between the ages of 3 and 17 are given this tag, most of them prescribed an amphetamine (“speed”).  That’s more than five million American teenagers, grammar school kids, and toddlers – most of them boys. (See CDC FastStat here)

And, dear parents, your doctor can choose from 61 different chemicals for “ADHD” – with more on the horizon.  There are 78 chemicals for depression, and there are 7 “kinds” of depression.  Antipsychotic chemicals?  26.  There are 12 chemicals to treat autism, the most maligned of all children, as you will see in an upcoming essay.  Anxiety disorder of some sort?  There are 188 chemicals in 9 different “topics” to help you if you are too anxious.  Anxiety “relief,” as you can tell, is a big seller.  (See Drugs.com here.)

What’s A DSM?
Let’s get a picture of the growth of this industry in the past 60 years.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is psychiatry’s modern day witches brew.  It contains all the American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved “diseases.”  If it’s not in the book, it’s not a “disease.”

In 1952, there were 106.  In 1968, the second edition of DSM was published.  There were 182 “diseases.”  The third edition, published in 1980, had 265, and then was revised in 1987 to total 292.  And, finally, in 1994, the fourth edition contained 297 “diseases” – and if you count the “disorders,” it’s over 400 (see the entire list here).  No cures, you may remember.  Treatment only, usually forever, because mental health “diseases,” once diagnosed, according to the vast majority of psychiatrists, last forever.  Ask them.  (See more about the DSM here.)

The DSM is a billing device for the profession, nothing else.  It has no other value.  Still, as a billing device, everyone must use it.  By everyone I mean government, big business, non-profits, academia, licensed individuals, public and private providers, schools – everyone.  Without a diagnosis from the DSM, no services will be given; not without a designated name and number from this book of incantations.  (See upcoming article Diagnosing for Dollars soon)

So, you can see, it pays to be in the book.

DSM V –  Progressing Backwards
The DSM is being revised again, due in May of 2013.  If you guessed there would be more diseases, you’d be right.  One addition is particularly egregious.  Grief.  If you lose a loved one, and if you don’t snap out of it after a few weeks, you are “diagnosable.”  I’m not kidding.  Complicated Grief Disorder (CGD) is in the book.  Ethical professionals from all disciplines are screaming at this “medicalizing” of human sorrow.

For the record, and full of irony, no one is screaming louder than Dr. Allen Frances, the Chairman of the DSM IV Task Force.  The irony is that the biggest foe of the fifth book of diseases is the psychiatrist who led the group that wrote the fourth book of diseases.  For many of us, editions 1-4 are just as unscientific and nonsensical as the fifth, though the latest version is now, officially, the worst. (More about Dr. Frances and the DSM V controversy here.)

Not quite everyone is screaming, by the way.

Not the DSM Task force, for sure.  They voted CGD into the book.  Certainly not Big Pharma.  They’re applauding.  Their market was increased.  Now that your new “disease” is in the book you can be prescribed one or more of those 188 “anti-anxiety” chemicals already available.  This will have to do until the new and improved “anti-grief” chemical is developed.

Then there’s this.

At first it appeared – and then it was confirmed – that 70% of the DSM V Task Force members have reported direct industry ties.”  New diseases are proposed every year.  The people making those decisions are benefitting from those decisions, as are their “industry ties,” as they decide who wins and who loses. Many professionals, including me, are crying foul about the ethics of the task force whose members openly admit their connection to Big Pharma, mostly to deaf ears. (More about DSM V here.)

Who are the winners?
The scientists and doctors from Academia and Big Pharma corporations who get their newest “disease” in the book are the winners, and it’s very competitive.  Major Universities and massive corporations – and individuals with “connections” – stand in line to present their self funded “research.”  If you can get an unwanted behavior proclaimed a “disease” by the disease proclaimers – the DSM Task Force – and placed in the book, then the doctors, universities and corporations who invented the “diseases” will be enriched because, well . . .  because we give them fistfuls of money for their products.

Big Pharma’s most important customer, by the way, is the doctor, not you.  Doctors, after all, are the ones who sell their products to us.  While these companies aim their endless advertisements to entice you, it’s the doctor who has the power to grant permission, and they are the focus of the Big Pharma’s substantial financial coffers.  From an article from Time: Health & Family, Psychiatrist Contends the Field Is Committing Professional Suicide,” October, 2012:

In 2004 alone, pharmaceutical companies spent about $58 billion on marketing, 87% of which was aimed squarely at the roughly 800,000 Americans with the power to prescribe drugs. The money was spent mainly on free drug samples and sales visits to doctors’ offices; studies find that both free samples and sales calls increase prescribing of brand-name drugs and raise medical costs without improving care.  (Read more: here.)

And talk about lucrative.  Global sales of pharmaceuticals was nearly 800 billion through 2008, and is likely to be closing in on a trillion dollars annual income now.  Thanks to their customers – us –  90% of those sales occur in the United States.

5 Million and Counting
Finally, let’s talk just a bit more about those 5 million kids given doses of “speed” for “ADHD.”  That’s a lot of kids.  For this to be true, you have to believe American kids are much less healthy than kids in rest of the world.  Or, is it that the rest of the world’s kids are just as unhealthy as ours, only they don’t know it?

Maybe it’s because our healthcare services are state-of-the-art, our workforce so well trained, the research and science from our Universities so sophisticated that we’re just that much better at “diagnosing” ADHD in kids who need medical help.  This explanation, by the way, is what both Academia and Big Pharma wants us to believe.  Our system, they say, is modern and compassionate, and that’s why we can, and do, provide so much needed medical care to “mentally ill” children.

By now, I trust, you know this isn’t true for a lot of reasons we’ve already discussed.  The most important reason?  I think you already know.

Your kids aren’t sick.

NEXT:  Here’s Where We’re Going

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A brief interlude 2 . . .

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Well, maybe not so brief an interlude.

I’ve been off my blog for several months, though I haven’t been idle.  I’m ready to get back to it.  Let me tell you why.

I’m now on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychiatrists and Psychologists (ISEPP), and I’m the newly named Membership Director.  I joined ISEPP three years ago when I retired.  It’s the only group I’ve ever joined.  We are professionals, parents, psychiatric survivors, and others dedicated to ending the use of the medical model and those abusive chemicals we take for fictitious diseases.  As a reminder, I’m here to convince you the use of chemicals to “treat” unwanted behaviors in adults and children is modern day voodoo.  We count ourselves in the hundreds at ISEPP, though our network has tens of thousands  – and we’re growing.  You can find more about ISEPP here.

By the way, here’s a recent article you may want to read.  It’s about “neuroscience,” and “neurology,” and “neurolinguistics,” and “neural pathways in the brain” – and other “neuro-babbles.”  It’s called Your Brain on Pseudoscience:  The Rise of Popular Neurobollocks. It’s written for us to read, by Stephen Poole, a British author and journalist.  He’s not a scientist and the article isn’t about science.  It’s about false science, and how we are duped daily.  It’s a little long, about 2500 words, but it’s interesting and worth your time.  When you can, spend 20 minutes here.

And if I haven’t mentioned him before, I should have. Robert Whitaker is another journalist, American born, who authored what many of us consider to be the most important book written on the subject.  It’s had national acclaim and recognition, and it’s written for you and me.  Titled Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, if you read it, you’ll never be able to view psychiatry in the same way again.  You can find it everywhere.

What’s Next?

I’ll be picking up where I left off on my blog.  My last entry was YKAS 5:  A Most Valued Customer.  YKAS 6 & 7 will be following soon.  YKAS is a series of articles that will become an iBook soon.  Your Kids Aren’t Sick has been a project for a few years, and I’ll be finishing it this year.

After YKAS 6 & 7, we’ll be talking about chemicals, starting with, of all things, snails, followed by the history of salt.  You’ll also find out about Mr. Unhappimon, my chemistry teacher when I was 19.  He was a terrible teacher, but I learned something valuable about chemicals and their effects on human beings.  Not because of what he said.  Instead, it was something he did – in front of the entire classroom.  I’ll be telling you, too, a story of a young mother’s “adrenaline rush,” and how that experience that will put into question everything you think you know about psychiatry.

Most important, we’ll get focused on all those those chemicals your friendly psychiatric doctor wants us to take for our “mental disorders.”  You may think of yourself as informed about “anti-depressant,” “anti-psychotic,” and “anti-anxiety” medication, to name a few.  If you dismiss the medical model as I do – as well as hundreds of thousands of others – then you know these terms are meaningless and worse, their names mask the true and undeniable toxic and disorienting effects chemicals have on our body.  You know them as “side effects.”  As you’ll see, there’s nothing “side” about these effects.  You’ll meet Dr. Grace Jackson, in time, who will tell us much more about these harmful chemicals and their lifelong effects on our physical well being.

Speaking of chemicals, here’s 497 chemicals you can find for just 14 of the 400+ “psychiatric diseases” found in the latest incantation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V), psychiatry’s bag of tricks:

  1. ADHD (62 drugs in 2 topics)
  2. Agitation (19 drugs in 3 topics)
  3. Anxiety (117 drugs in 7 topics)
  4. Autism (11 drugs in 2 topics)
  5. Bipolar Disorder (65 drugs in 4 topics)
  6. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (9 drugs)
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder (10 drugs)
  8. Depression (101 drugs in 7 topics)
  9. Intermittent Explosive Disorder (4 drugs)
  10. Neurosis (2 drugs)
  11. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (23 drugs in 4 topics)
  12. Paranoid Disorder (5 drugs)
  13. Psychosis (14 drugs in 2 topics)
  14. Schizophrenia (55 drugs in 2 topics)
                                      (Source:  drugs.com here)

You may remember, at YKAS, there are only four kinds of chemicals:  stimulants (“uppers”), depressants (“downers”), hallucinogens (“confusers”), and tranqulizers (“calmers”).  Imagine, if you will, that it’s possible to take all those different chemicals that Big Pharma cleverly sells to us for every uncomfortable emotion and experience imaginable, and place them into one of these four categories.  It’s that’s simple, and you’ll be surprised how useful.

I’ll also be adding to the “Meet .  .  .” series as well.  There are a number of people I’d like you to know.  The next one you’ll meet, Tom Bratter, was a kindred spirit.  My one and only conversation with him last year was over the phone for half an hour.  We were going to meet, and talk, at the conference in Philadelphia.  He died last August.  You’ll meet him and you’ll understand why.  Likewise, I’ll be continuing the “Here’s something . . .” series as well.  These will occur as I find interesting information and sources for you to ponder.

The Tales of the Lone Arranger

I’m adding a new series of articles too, dubbed “The Tales of the Lone Arranger.  Why that name?  Two reasons.

The first and most important is David West Keirsey.  I learned in my continuing talks with Doctor Keirsey that, in temperament terms, I’m an “arranger.”  He continues to fine tune his theory, tinkering with his words every day, precision and simplicity his goal.  Thirty years ago I was an “INTJ Skeptic,” then an “INTJ/Mastermind.”  He has since abandoned the letters and metaphors, replacing them with words that describe what a person does. In his own inimitable way, Dr. Keirsey has settled on “arranger” for my type.  And, not surprisingly, the term fits like a glove.  It’s what I do.

The second reason?  My favorite TV Saturday morning cowboy show in the early ‘50’s – and there were lots of them – was The Lone Ranger.  I’ll tell you a little more about both of them soon.

The Tales of the Lone Arranger will be about children I knew and counseled, from a temperament point of view.  To remind you, I use the terms Stars (Artisans), Squares (Guardians), Spheres (Idealists), and Cubes (Rationals) to describe the four Keirseyan temperaments of children.  I’ll tell you more about those names, and their “nicknames” too.

The first tale – Goth Girl – is about a 14 year old Sphere (Idealist) who was heavily medicated.  After a “72-hour hold” in a psychiatric hospital, Evie was placed in my facility.  She was “goth,” she was hearing voices, and she was a “cutter.”  She purposely took sharp objects and scratched her arms and legs until they bled.  Like all Spheres, it’s about their feelings – or abscence of them.  The story has a good ending – at least from the last contact I had with her mother a few years ago.

There will be more temperament tales to follow.  While so-called “normal” childhood behaviors follow observable temperament patterns to trained eyes, so too are the patterns of troubled and troublesome children.  Children “act-out” their shame in ways consistent with their temperament, and therein lies clues for adults who want to intervene.

I’m working on some other articles as well that I will likely post at a different site, only because of the length. Diagnosing for Dollars is about our Medicaid system and how professional providers are mandated to diagnose “mental diseases,” so they can be paid for their services.

I’m just about done with an article titled Sergeant Bales.  You may remember Sergeant Bales.  He was responsible for the slaughter of 17 innocent Afghanistan villagers.  He is just now coming to trial.  The article is about the rush of some of my colleagues to declare that the “cause” of this horror was the “psyche meds” the Sergeant may or may not have been taking.  I believe this idea suffers from the same false logic and science of those who declare that there’s a “chemical imbalance” that “causes” violent acts.  Many of my like-minded colleagues do not agree with me about this.  We’ll see if you do.

I’m also beginning another article I’m calling It’s A No-Brainer I’m more convinced than ever that modern neurology, psychiatry, and other “brain sciences” has nothing to teach us about human psychology.  I voraciously look for information daily.  Based on speculation, tired theories, and unproven science, the fundamentals of how the brain works is simply not known when it comes to personality, psychological distress, and human behavior.  Well, at least that’s what I’ll be saying.

I’m also about done with an article about Sandy Hook.  I don’t know of another incident in my lifetime that shook our country as deeply and as profoundly as the news of the twenty children, six educators, and one mother who were murdered on December 14, 9:30 AM, EST.  It changed our culture, and our national conversation.  I’ll have some thoughts about guns and violence and mental health and Hollywood.  I’m calling the article 300,000,000.

Finally, just a reminder:  You’re kids aren’t sick, and neither are you.

Now, back to work.  I have a lot of writing to do.

Dr. C

If we want a child to change his direction, we must understand what makes him move.

                                                                                         –  Rudolf Dreikers, M.D.