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

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

A brief interlude 2 . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

 

First Contact – Someone is “Concerned”
It usually starts like this for parents of active kids – especially parents blessed with very active kids.

There’s a call from your child’s teacher.  You were half expecting it.  About two weeks earlier you met with her about your nine year-old’s behavior in the classroom.  She said he’s a nice enough boy, very cute, however, he’s inattentive and easily distracted.  That, and he’s much too active during classroom hours.  Oddly enough, you’ve seen him at home when he’s using the PlayStation III.  That too active, inattentive kid can be so focused on the TV screen he won’t budge – even if it’s pizza for dinner.  He seems intensely attentive, to the point you have to pry him away from the game.

Nevertheless, this time the teacher tells you “. . . your child still isn’t paying attention and he continues to be up and down all day long, and we are concerned.”  She said “we,” so now you know there’s at least one other person at the school who’s concerned, and that concerns you.

The teacher said she would like to refer your child to the school psychologist for an “evaluation,” with your consent.  Your concern increases so, of course, you consent.  After all, these are the experts, you reason, and you must trust them.

They know best.

The Disease Model Indoctrination Process
You have a meeting with the school psychologist.  She’s a doctor of some kind, and you’re a little intimidated.  While you were expecting her to test your child, you’re given a behavioral questionnaire to complete too.  You didn’t expect that, but that’s good.  At least something is being done to help your son, and the experts are being thorough.

You’re beginning to learn about the process, and you’re impressed.

In a week or so, you’re informed the evaluation is done, and you’re asked to attend another meeting.  You’ve been worried and you’ll be glad to get an answer.  Then you get your answer.  The psychologist recommends you seek medical assistance for your child because he likely has “attention deficit disorder” with, God forbid, “hyperactivity.”  She uses the term “disorder” for the first time, and it unsettles you.  She tells you she can’t treat him because “this is a medical problem.”

A doctor of psychology recommends you seek help from a doctor of medicine.

Enter the MD – With Chemicals
By now, you know this is serious.  You have to inform your family too, and that won’t be easy.  You’re a conscientious parent, and you’re persistent.  You want the best for your child, so you search for a “child psychiatrist,” as others have suggested.  Maybe someone you know, or the school, makes a referral. If you’re “lucky,” you’ll find one.

You do, and you make an appointment.  The nurse takes your child’s vitals, you provide a family medical history, and they’re done with your child.  You’re a little surprised.  You were expecting something more “medical.”  Maybe an x-ray, a blood test, a “scan” of some kind, or another medical procedure that can be measured or weighed or looked at – something.  After all, that psychologist told you “this is a medical problem.”

You’re learning a little more about the process.

A Family Changing Event – The Diagnosis
You meet with the doctor and, for the most part, you do most of the talking.  You tell him about the school’s concern and the tests from the psychologist.  Maybe your child is asked a few questions, maybe not.  It doesn’t matter.  He’s not there to talk.  He really doesn’t need to be there at all.  The doctor is there to make a diagnosis based on the information you give him.  The doctor’s only function is to do nothing, or prescribe a chemical – and he can’t prescribe a chemical without a diagnosis.

Within 10 to 20 minutes, the child psychiatrist has heard enough and says “. . . I’m prescribing a chemical to help with your son’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.”  Maybe he calls it a “mental illness, or a “mental disability,” or “mental disorder,” or “psychiatric disease” or just plain “disorder.”  It’s what you expected.  You’ve talked with family and friends before this meeting. Still, hearing it for the first time from an MD makes it much too real.

There’s a brief explanation of the “disorder.”  He says something about “brain chemistry” and some sort of “imbalance,” and you know he mentioned “dopamine.”  You know you’ve read about dopamine somewhere.  It all sounded so “medical.”  The special chemical he’s giving your son, you’re told, helps to fix all this, so that your son will sit still in his chair during school hours, and so your son will do his school work when the teacher tells him to do his school work.

You’re anxious to get the treatment part of the process started.

How Soon Will It Work?
Well, you first have to know it will take some time – a few weeks, maybe more, maybe less –  for the chemical to begin to have an “effect” because it has to “build up in his bloodstream.”  Once in his bloodstream, you may begin to see some improvement, although there will undoubtedly be some “adjustments” along the way due to unpredictable yet very common “side effects.”  It’s been made clear to you:  there will be good days, and there will be bad days.

Strangely enough, you’re still a little relieved.  At least the medical doctor knows what your child “has,” and you leave the office confident this new chemical will help your child in school, and that’s all that matters.  You privately fret your child has a “disease” or “disorder,” and you’re not clear how long your son will have to take this chemical – the doctor was vague about predictions – nonetheless, you’re reassured, and optimistic.

The teacher is pleased you are taking steps to help your son.  The school is happy too, and, to some degree, so are you.  You find comfort when you hear, over and over from friends and professionals, “it’s just like diabetes.”*  That means, thankfully, your son’s “ADHD” can be “treated,” with the right chemical.

He’s Just A Little Flawed
About your child, well, at some point you have to explain to him he has a “handicap ” –  or “disorder,” or “disease,” or a “mental illness” or, maybe, “an imbalance” – and that’s why he’s not sitting still, and that’s why he’s not paying attention to the teacher in school, and that’s why he needs this chemical to help him.  It’s tricky, but with the advice of others who’ve gone through the same thing, you do it.  You make sure he understands he’s not responsible for his unwanted behavior in the classroom.  You make sure he understands it’s not him, it’s not you, it’s not his teacher, it’s not his school – it’s his “disease.”

Four months go by and you’re disappointed.  Yes, the teacher said she saw “some initial improvement,” but a month later, she began to complain again.  You’ve had two “follow-up” appointments with the doctor to “review” your son’s chemicals to find out how they are helping or not helping.  At the last appointment he increased the dosage of the chemical.  Now, at this appointment, he’s suggesting a change of chemicals “that has less side effects, and better results.”  Of course, this means this new chemical will have to “build up in his bloodstream” too, and there will be new “adjustments” to make along the way.

By this time, you’ve done research, so this wasn’t unexpected.  You’ve surfed the web for the past few months, read dozens of articles, and you’ve talked with other parents who also have children with “disorders.”  Changing chemicals, up and down doses, extra chemicals for the “side effects” is the rule – not the exception.  You’ve talked with some parents whose children are taking 3 or 4, or as many a 5 different chemicals.  You hope you don’t get there.

Don’t Worry – It’s “Normal”
You’re troubled too.  He’s not sleeping well.  His appetite comes and goes.  He’s not doing any better in school either – maybe a little worse – and now they’re talking about special classes, and you have to make some decisions.  On top of that the doctor says he can give you another chemical to help with the “side effects” of the first chemical.  You have to think about that one.  You do, and you agree.

Your child seems to be a little more distressed too, a little more unhappy, a little more frustrated, maybe a little more angry.  You are too – all of it.  It’s going to be a longer road than you expected, but you’re going to stay with it and do whatever is necessary.

You know by now from your doctor, through your research, and by talking with other parents, all of this is a “normal part of the process.”

And It’s Done
You and your child are now willing, all-in customers of the disease model of “modern” psychiatry.  You can’t stop the “treatment” now.  It’s been made clear to you, and you know it as fact, your son has a “medical condition.”  Now you’re the one who educates others that “it’s just like diabetes,” and you wouldn’t dare stop treating diabetes.

You now know everything you need to know about the process.  You’re indoctrinated.  You’re an advocate.  You’re an expert.  You’re fully prepared to indoctrinate another parent.

And so it goes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a very real, very recent example of the indoctrination process, read a mothers story about her experience with her 8-year old son – and how he’s doing now – in her article in the NY Times:  “Raising the Ritalin Generation” here.

* See “It’s Just Like Diabetes” in the forthcoming essay:  Psychi-Babble – Psycho-Babble’s Evil Twin

NEXT:  How’s Business?

This is the fourth in a series of essays on the YKAS blog.
The original article – Your Kids Aren’t Sick –  can be read here.

Let’s Call Them Chemicals
If you’ve read my prior essays, you may have noticed by now.  I don’t refer to them as “medications” or “drugs.”  I call them what they are: chemicals.  I’ll continue to use that term, so, please, while you may consider Valium or Xanax or Mellaril as medication, I refer to them as chemicals.  Likewise, you may think of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana as drugs.  Here, all illicit drugs are called chemicals too.  In that way, we don’t have to be concerned about why you take them or where you get them, and whether they are legal or illegal.  Instead, we only need to know what effects these chemicals have on people.

Does it Work?
The selling of psychiatric diseases and the chemicals that treat them is as much a political issue as it is a for-profit commodity.  A Big Pharma company prepares a sophisticated and detailed application to seek approval from the United States Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  New cancer chemicals, for example, must provide some evidence of success, or what is referred to in scientific circles as “efficacy” – as in “efficient.”  Doctor’s and their clients – you and I – need to know if the chemical is “efficacious.”  In other words, does it work?  After all, we pay taxes to make sure the chemicals created by business really do what they say they do, and to ensure business and government work together to produce safe products.

That’s the good news.

Off-Label Use.
However, and maybe you don’t know this, once a chemical is approved for cancer, for example, the newly approved “efficacious” chemical can be prescribed by a doctor for any human malady, regardless of what it was originally designed to treat.

If a pharmaceutical “rep” shows the doctor a “study” that “suggests” this same cancer chemical is effective for, let’s say carbuncles, then the doctor can prescribe the cancer chemical to his patient to battle carbuncles.  Despite the fact the chemical was thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA specifically for cancer treatment and nothing else, once approved a doctor can prescribe it for anything, and no one will bat an eye.  In the business, this is called “Off-Label Use.”  From Wikipedia here:

  • The FDA does not have the legal authority to regulate the practice of the medicine, and the physician may prescribe a drug off-label. Contrary to popular notion, it is legal in the United States and in many other countries to use drugs off-label, including controlled substances such as opiates.

What does this mean to you?  While the FDA is strident to ensure any new chemical they approve meets very rigid standards, once approved, any chemical can be prescribed for any human need by any doctor, anywhere, anytime.

So much for “efficacy.”

You can thank Big Pharma lobbyists and our bought-and-paid-for legislators working in tandem for this too clever and excessively obvious tactic to get around FDA scrutiny.  Together they made this practice “legal,” and there is no recourse for you or me.  Why do they do it?  Why do you think?  To widen their customer base.  Here’s an example.

Zoloft – The Miracle Chemical
If you’re not familiar with Zoloft, you should be.  In 2007, nearly 30 million prescriptions for Zoloft were written.  The chemical name is Setraline Hydrochloride.  It was created by Pfizer and approved by the FDA in 1991 as an “antidepressant.”  Once approved to treat depression, and thanks to that beneficial law, Pfizer got busy.

In the mid 90’s, by way of their self-financed “studies,” they “discovered” Zoloft was “better than a placebo” for treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The “discovery” of this new use didn’t need the FDA’s approval or oversight.  Pfizer just declared it, and their sales force provided doctors with their “evidence.”  (By the way, the phrase “better than a placebo” is common in these studies.  More about that, and an explanation of the scientific-sounding-yet-phony phrase “double-blind studies” will follow in the essay “Psychi-Babble.”)

Pfizer was just getting started.  From the late 1990’s through the present, other amazing “discoveries” were made about this chemical – through Pfizer financed “studies.”  Take a look:

  • By 2000, they tell us, “in four large double-bind studies setraline was shown to be superior to a placebo for the treatment of panic disorder.” 
  • By 2003, “studies” showed setraline was “successfully used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.” 
  • Around this same time, and through the same means, setraline was found to be “effective” for Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • And, though not nearly done, this same miracle chemical was subjected to two “double-blind studies” that “confirmed the efficacy of setraline for severe chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) in civilians.”

Let’s Keep Score
This one miraculous chemical can treat 1) depression – the original approval – as well as; 2) obsessive-compulsive disorder; 3) panic disorder; 4) social phobia; 5) premenstrual dysphoric disorder and; 6) posttraumatic stress disorder.  You’d think that would be enough, as ridiculous as this already is.

Think again.  There’s more to come.

There are “indications,” we are told, from the latest “placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trials,” that Zoloft may also be useful for: 7) Generalized Anxiety Disorder; 8) binge eating disorder; 9) night eating syndrome; 10) bulimia nervosa; 11) syncope (fainting) in children and adolescents and – who would have thought; 12) premature ejaculation.

That’s six official uses now, with six more on the horizon.  An even dozen.  We’re told more “studies” are needed to confirm these “indications.” Do you think Pfizer will make sure the studies get done?  What do you think the outcomes will be when they do?  (For more information about Zoloft, see Setraline here.)

 Business As Usual
This is how it’s done.  It’s an “efficacious” business practice for all of Big Pharma.

If you create a toothpaste and you “discovered” a little later that the toothpaste was good for cuts and bruises too, as well as a lubricant for doorknobs, and it’s a good quick drying glue on top of that, my goodness, think of all the customers you’d have.

You’d be rich.

(You can read about PsychRights and attorney Jim Gottstein’s ongoing strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging, electroshock and off-label use in the United State here.)

 NEXT:  A Most Valued Customer – Your Child

Meet . . .

Madness, then, has a job to do, that is, to conceal our dark secret, so that we have an excuse for failing to live up to our expectations and for setting aside one or more of the tasks of life—working, communing, mating. The function of absurd rituals—madness—is thus concealment.                                         D. W. Keirsey

You may know him as the world-renowned author of Please Understand Me, Please Understand Me II, and his recent seminal work, Personology.  If you don’t, you should.  You can read more about David Keirsey here.  You can also go to his website here.  And you can visit his blog too.  Yes, at 91, he has a blog, here.  If that weren’t enough, believe it or not, his newest work – a treatise on madness – will be released soon.  It will be, I believe, historic.

I first met David West Keirsey 30 years ago.  He was my first professor at Cal State Fullerton.  I was 37 years old, a father of four, in my profession for about 8 years.  I had a middle management position at a Mental Health facility for children in Corona, California.  I wasn’t expecting much from school.  I just wanted to get my Masters degree and get out.

Well, much to my surprise, that first class – the only class I took from him – was life altering.  Like no one else I heard before or since – I’ve been a lifelong critic of educators and what they call education – this professor made sense.  The best part was that he didn’t speak psychobabble.  After 8 years in the business I had my fill of psychobabble.

I used to stand at the doorway of his office at school and ask him questions.  Why?  Because of his answers, that’s why.  Those answers, by the way, changed the way I did my business from then until now.  I’ll be talking about those useful answers – and a lot more – in future blogs.

For now, here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote a few years ago. It‘s about that first class.  (See Your Kids Aren’t Sick here.)

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.  .  .  My first class in my first semester was counseling 735.  It was also the last class for Dr. David Keirsey before he retired from a long career.  He had already written Please Understand Me with Marilyn Bates.  Since then he has written several other books, including his seminal work, Please Understand Me II.  He is the preeminent temperament theoretician in the world.  If you want to understand human behavior, and yourself, read this book.  Millions of others have, around the planet.

 As the Department Head for the Counseling/Psychology Department he developed a unique program based on the practice of doing therapy rather than learning the various theories of therapy.  He was also a walking bibliography when it came to the history and evolution of human psychology.  That made it easy for me.  Why go through all the pain of reading this stuff if he already had, I reasoned to myself.  Better to see if he had anything worth saying.

 Turns out he did.  A number of things.  A few that changed my entire view of psychology, including an orientation to Holistic Theory that I will reserve for another time.  It was at one of his initial lectures that my ear perked for the first time.  There were only fifteen of us in the class, so it was comfortable.

He somehow got onto the subject of medicating children.  Before academia, he had a career as a child psychologist.  He worked with troubled kids in a variety of settings.  He had an opinion.  He expressed it, and when someone pressed him as to what, exactly, did he mean, he turned, looked at his student, and declared:

 “I said I think it (the practice of medicating children), should be criminalized.”

 Did I hear him right?  Did he just say that giving these chemicals to children should be against the law?  Yes he did.  I sat up in my chair.  He didn’t sound at all like that doctor from UCLA.  If I were hearing him right, he would have had that doctor locked up.

This was affirming.  Though he was unknown to me, this was Dr. David Keirsey, Clinical Psychologist, and the head of the Counseling Psychology Department at Cal State Fullerton .  .  .

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So, thirty years later, about a year after retiring, I thought I’d look him up.  Maybe he was still around, I wondered, and maybe he could answer a few more questions, I hoped.  I was able to locate his son, Dr. David Mark Keirsey – an accomplished scientist himself – and he gave me his father’s email address.

I was delighted to find out that not only was he around, he was available.  I asked to see him, and for the past several months I’ve been meeting with him every week.  Our four-hour conversation usually begins with him asking “any questions?” to which I eagerly reply “yes.”

It’s a little different now though.  He’s not just my old professor anymore.  He is, I’m proud to say, my friend.

If you continue to follow this blog, it’s very likely you will hear a lot more about David West Keirsey.

Meet . . .

There I was, minding my own business, when someone sent me a “link.”  People are always sending me links.  Especially when it comes to the abuse of chemicals.

There are a growing number of like-minded professionals who are opposed to the medical model, and that means we’re opposed to all those ridiculous chemicals.  I’m an active member in one organization (ISEPP:here), and I’m on the email list of a few others. I’ve also had a career spanning five decades, and my professional opinion and practice is well known among those who worked with and for me.

So, as often as once or twice a day, I’ll get an email from a friend or colleague or organization that will link me to a “study,” or to an individual, or to an organization that either furthers our cause, or stands in the way of our cause.  I’m used to “links.”

This was different.  It had an impact on me.  So much so that now I’m “linking” you.

In a matter of six minutes Eleanor Longden – there’s a video below – dismantled the medical model and the “medication” that goes with it.  On top of that, she emphatically “cured” schizophrenia – her own – and she turned her “disease” into what it really is –  metaphorical insight.

This is Eleanor Longden, the first and one of the most significant “psychiatric survivors” you will meet.  If you have an extra six minutes, use them here:

(Eleanor is a member of the Hearing Voices Network.  You can learn more about HVN here.)

Eleanor calls herself a “voice-hearer.”

I call her courageous.

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 NOTE:  I have been working on a story that I’ll publish soon about a little girl I counseled a few years ago.  Evie was also hearing a voice – just one.  One can be more than enough for a 14 year old living in a mental health facility.  There was a good ending to her story too.  It’s called “Goth Girl.”    – Dr. C

Meet . . .

“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”    – Thomas Szasz

Dr. Thomas Szasz recently celebrated his 92 birthday.  He hasn’t slowed down a bit.

Born to Jewish parents in Budapest, Hungary, on April 15, 1920, young Thomas moved to the United States when he was 18 years old.  He was awarded his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, and he did his residency at Cincinnati General Hospital.  Since then – except for the 24 months he served on active duty in the United States Navy – Szasz has been an historic – and heroic – figure in the continuing battle to bring common sense back to psychiatry.  He has written dozens of books and papers revealing this false “science.”  You can see more of his lifelong works at his website here.

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Men are afraid to rock the boat in which they hope to drift safely through life’s currents, when, actually, the boat is stuck on a sandbar. They would be better off to rock the boat and try to shake it loose.”    – Thomas Szasz

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Dr. Szasz wrote his first exposé –  The Myth of Mental Illness – in 1960.  He has written dozens of books and papers in the past half century.  Perhaps you’d like to hear from him directly.  Below is a 3-minute video of Dr. Thomas Szasz:

Since 1990 Dr. Szasz has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York and the leading critic of “modern” psychiatry.  On behalf of like-minded colleagues and nonprofessionals, Dr. Szasz, we salute you.

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“People often say that this person is or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates.”    – Thomas Szasz

 

 

The Judge Rotenberg Center 

Artist: Kim Noble 

The JRC

Have you ever heard of the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC)?  Probably not.  They are, well, infamous to most of us in the profession.

The JRC has been around for nearly 40 years.  About 20 years ago they started doing something only they can do.  I’ll show you a link to their site a little further down, but first let me tell you a little more about the JRC.  You likely won’t believe it.

Believe It

What’s are the chances, in 2012, that American children are being electrified on a daily basis by “professionals,” sanctioned by medical doctors, with the written permission of their parents, in a facility that charges $220,000 a year for their services?  The chances are excellent if you visit the Judge Rotenberg Center.

The GED (no – it’s not about high school!)

It’s called a Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED).  It was “invented” by the founder of JRC “to administer the skin-shocks by remote control through electrodes worn against the skin.”   You read it right.  It’s strapped onto a child who has been continually defiant to the adults who care for him.  Take a look:

They strap this “device” to children and zap them from a distance when they don’t do what they are told.  The “inventor,” a psychologist, had the GED patented, and he found medical doctors who called it a “procedure.”

How to “Psycho-Babble” Torture

First, call it “therapy.”  You can call anything “therapy.” You already know that.  Second, use the word “aversive” instead of painful.  It sounds more “scientific.”  Third, find doctors to proclaim this is a “medical procedure,” charge an exorbitant amount of money for this offensive bodily invasion, and invoke the child’s “disease” as the “clinical justification” for this “treatment necessity.”  Finally,  blame the child – and often the family – for the terrible, long-term results when they go bad.  And they always go bad.

The actual “psycho-babble” that justifies this medieval torture?  Here:  “Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort.  The “stimulus” they mention is the electric jolt. The “discomfort” is the pain that immediately follows the electric jolt.  (See more about Aversion Therapy here.)

These professionals certainly know this is a “controversial technique.”  However, they say, given everyone’s past failures with different programs and chemicals, at least they have the “courage” to use the GED because, “it works, dammit!  It just works!”  I imagine if I was so inclined, I could use  this device on one of those “professionals” and have them clucking like a chicken in less than 10 minutes – because “it works, dammit!  It just works!”  What do you think?

The Parents

Who are among the most ardent, vocal supporters of JRC?  Who defends this “practice” with a fervor?  Who stands up in court and testifies under oath that JRC has done wonders for their child?  Who writes lavish testimonials thanking the Center for electrifying their child?

The parents of these children do.

Because they have been mislead and duped for years by all those professionals with all those letters after their names.  Because the people who were supposed to help their child a long time ago failed miserably.  Because they trusted the professionals who filled their child full of chemicals.  Because parents know chemicals made everything worse.  Because, at least at JRC, they don’t use chemicals.

Because these parents have “tried everything else.”

Because they are told repeatedly from the very beginning by a laundry list of professionals their child is “severely handicapped.”

Because they can’t be wrong about this too.  Not this time.  They love their children dearly.  They just can’t be wrong about this too.

Regardless of their honest, heartfelt intentions and the failures by the trusted professionals in their lives, parents do not have the right to sanction someone else to abuse their child anymore than they are allowed to abuse their child themselves.

See for Yourself

Please go here to see the JRC website if you like.  Google Judge Rotenberg Center and you’ll find lots of information about their historic, ongoing court battles.  The JRC has an annual budget of 56 million dollars.  Read about the lawsuit that was just settled in April of 2012 here.  You can also read about another mother who is just now suing, also as of April 2012, here.

The UN is on Board

Just a few days ago (June 2012) the UN – that’s right, the United Nations – decided to make a statement. Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, told the Guardian of London he is “very concerned,” about the use of electric shocks as aversive treatment on children with disabilities at JRC.

“I feel very strongly that electricity applied to a person’s body creates a very extreme form of pain. There are a lot of lingering consequences including mental illness that can be devastating,” Mendez said.  You can see this whole story here.

A Petition

There’s a petition online.  I signed it months ago.  Please consider signing it as well. See it here.

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It’s 2012, and there are some powerful adults using electricity to manage kids in these United States.

It’s something . . .  you should know.

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*EDITOR’S NOTE:  

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 3 days after this blog was posted, the leadership of the Massachusetts House of Representatives chose not to support a bill that would ban the use of electric shocks on disabled people in the state.

Massachusetts remains, apparently staunchly so, the only state in the country where this unthinkable abuse is legally protected by its constituents.

We are addicted to our chemicals, you and me, and that’s a problem.  Not just for you or me.  It’s a problem for our kids.  Equipped from birth to imitate us, what do we show them?

Got a headache?  Grab an aspirin or an ibuprofen, or something else for pain.  We have many choices.  Seems harmless enough.  And it is – most of the time.  After all, they sell “baby aspirins” for babies.  They seem to work too, if given properly, and not too much.  Makes sense.  A headache isn’t, really, behavior.  The chemical we take works on our physical body, right?

Sometimes, though, when we’re too tense, or there’s too much stress in our life at the moment, a headache – or a backache, or a soreness somewhere else in your body – can occur.  We say it’s “stress-related.”  That’s what our doctors, friends and family members will tell us.  Even in the modern world, stress and tension affects all of us.  You too?

We’ve found out, over time, that some kind of sedative – a Xanax or two – will give us relief – and if we plan on it, we probably won’t need an aspirin for pain.  Pain relief is important, of course.  Relief allows us to get on with the day, minus the headache, backache, or soreness.  It’s something going on in human tissue – maybe our blood vessels are “constricted,” maybe our muscles are “tense,” or maybe we just need to calm down.  Anyway, it doesn’t matter.  The pill seems to help.

Maybe you know someone who’s been in a funk for a while.  You’re informed.  Why not give a friend a Valium if you think it will help her?  After all, why suffer the “symptoms” of this “disease” when relief is a pill away?  No need to go to a doctor, except for that damn prescription.  You know your friend is depressed.  You know her story.  She needs a “boost” to get over the funk.  It’s obvious.

Or, instead of sharing your chemicals, you provide your own diagnosis, and you make a referral.

“Bob, you’re bi-polar.  Maybe you need some medication.  It’s really helped me.  Please call my doctor.”

Bob does.  The psychiatrist provides the right diagnosis within the first ten minutes, he suggests a chemical, and Bob agrees.  Bob says he finds comfort in that pill. He becomes convinced he has a “chemical imbalance” of some kind, and the fix is in.

Not only is Bob relieved of his symptoms, he is now among the informed, and an advocate.  Why wouldn’t he be?  By the way, Bob’s doctor has a host of chemicals to “treat” bi-polar disorder.  There are 52 to choose from, including Zyprexa, Zoloft, Wellburtrin, Tegretol, Seroquel, Risperdal, Lexapro, Geodon, Effexor, Depakote, Abilify – and 41 others.  (See the rest here)

Maybe you had a recent tragedy you can’t seem to get over.  There’s relief for you at the drug store too.  Oddly enough, if one of your problems is abusing an illegal chemical, you can find a legal chemical to help you shake your chemical addiction.

There are chemicals, we are told by our doctors, for anxiety, depression, too much activity, or not enough activity.  There are mood elevators, mood depressants, and chemicals for hallucinations.  You can get a chemical to help with bedwetting, obsessing or compulsing too much, as well as lack of hunger or too much hunger.  Chemicals are sold to help you sleep, to mute your aggression, or to help you with social isolation.

And, ladies, there’s more to come, though you’ll have to have a “disease” if you want the chemical.  Big Pharma companies are sprinting as fast as they can to be the first to offer a chemical to “treat” the recently created new “disease”:  Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in Women.  (Don’t believe it?  Check it out here.)

It’s the race to develop “female Viagara,” and Big Pharma is drooling.

The prize goes to the first one to get approval by the FDA.  It will be worth billions worldwide, and it’s a business response to customer demand.  After all, if men can have Viagara, why can’t women have something too?  You will.  I’m confident you’ll have many choices from which to choose.  “Love Potion #9” seems like it might be a good name – and a big seller.  Look for the ads.

For some convoluted but alarmingly convincing reasons, we have, in the past 25 years in particular, gotten accustomed to going to a medical doctor for help for behavioral problems, as if difficult behavioral problems are medical in nature.  They are not, but it really doesn’t matter.  There is relief found in those chemicals.  Even when there isn’t, at least you’re “in treatment.”  You have an imbalance of some kind, and you feel better taking your chemicals.

Psychiatrists are more than willing to help, of course.  There’s no pretense anymore.  You see a psychiatrist, and a psychiatrist sees you, to prescribe you a chemical to relieve your discomfort.  You go to someone else for therapy.  More than that, you soon become a disciple, adept at diagnosing and prescribing all at the same time.

The chemicals seem to work so well, we reason, we should give them to our children.  After all, we give them chemicals for the flu or asthma, why not for their “disorders.”  And it’s on the rise.  The use of chemicals to address these false “diseases” has risen four fold in 20 years.  No cures, mind you.  Just lots of “diseases,” and lots and lots of chemicals.

You may have to lower your expectations too, just a little bit.  Many believe children with these “diseases” are “handicapped” or “disabled.”  Maybe you believe it’s true too.

It isn’t, of course.  It’s nonsense.  Your kids aren’t sick.

Selling chemicals is a business. You, me – and our kids – are customers.

NEXT YKAS ESSAY:  The Business of Selling Chemicals

(NOTE:  I recently published an article I wrote back in 1988.  It was about the growing chemical culture nearly a quarter century ago.  It’s eerily relevant.  When you can, please see The Era of Chemicals – Redux.   – RC)

A brief interlude . . .

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I’m learning about blogs, bloggers, and blogging.

Experienced bloggers, I’ve been told over and over, are on Facebook and Twitter.  I didn’t know this.  So, I asked my circle of friends, family and colleagues:  how do I get this done?  Who’s the best person I found to help me with Facebook and Twitter?  Who has the skills, experience and knowledge to assist me with these marvelous 21st Century communication tools that are used worldwide?  After a careful process of elimination, it was clear my 13-year-old grandson Vincent is the person up to the task.  So, I’ll be working with him, and I’ll be “tweeting” and ” facebooking” soon.

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I have a number of essays planned that will be part of the “Your Kids Aren’t Sick” (YKAS) series.  As you know by now, this is a story about “modern psychiatry” and the growing travesty committed on our children.  Like any chronicle, there’s order to it.  I’ll call these blog entries YKAS 1, YKAS 2, and so one.  The next one in the series will be YKAS 3:  Our Chemical Culture, later this week.

By the way, about this subject, I just published an article at BestThinking called The Era of Chemicals – Redux.   I wrote it 24 years ago and it’s been hanging around in my computer since.  It’s about our chemical culture as I saw it in the late 1980’s.  I’m sorry to report it’s still true, and then some.  You can read it here.

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This sub-title of this blog is “. . . and it’s not their genes either.”  I published another article this week at the same site about genes and behavior.  The Gene Fool is about the myth you may be participating in about genetics.  You likely think human behavior is “influenced,” or “caused” by your genes.  Most people agree with you.  Don’t be a gene fool.  You can read about that here.

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There will be two new additions to the blog.  Meet . . . will be an introduction to someone I think you should meet.  The second will be You should know . . . and it will be, surprisingly enough, about something I think you should know.

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Finally, I’ll be blogging about temperament and children.  If your kids aren’t sick, and it’s not their genes either, what is it?  The short answer:  temperament.   This began as the Kids Korner in YKAS 1.  I’ve since changed the name to Kid Forms (KF).  I’ll be blogging KF 2 soon.  In case you forgot, here are the four forms of childhood temperaments:

Thanks.

Dr. C