Antipsychotics Feed

Longing for the "Good Old Days" in Mental Health

Stanton Peele has written an amazing article, "Nervous Breakdown: Remember When People Used to Overcome Mental Illness?"  His point?  Our treatment of mental illness may have been better in the past, before modern psychiatry and Big Pharma.  

Granted, our treatment of mental illness in the past included lobotomies and Thorazine.  Still, Peele makes an interesting point - that people do have some ability to recoup from a "nervous breakdown" if given the time and support.  Putting people on medications for the rest of their lives may be a benefit for the pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatrists paid to administer and monitor these medications, but are they the panacea they promise?  And what is the cost?  The antipsychotics, in particular, are heavy duty tranquilizers which numb a person's emotions and dull their thoughts.  The chances of a person returning to a fully functioning life on these medications is slim.  What if clients were provided more support and therapy instead of making medication the first line of treatment?

It's an interesting read.




The Drugging of Abused Children

Foster children, traumatized by abuse and/or neglect, are frequently prescribed psychiatric medications at a much higher rate and at much higher doses than children in the general population.  But psychiatric medication is not the treatment for trauma, psychotherapy is.  

As these children grow up and age out of the foster care system, what will they have to say about their psychiatric treatment and the medications they were given?   

Documentary film makers Karen De Sa and Dai Sugano asked that very question in their film, "Drugging Our Kids".   The documentary examines the over-prescribing of psychiatric medications for children in California's foster care system.  The issues discussed in this film are not isolated to California.  Texas, the state in which I practice, has one of the highest rates of psychiatric medication prescribed for children in foster care.  This is a problem across the United States.   

The film examines the practice of using psychiatric medications as a chemical straight jacket to tranquilize problem behaviors.  I have seen the very long lists of medications prescribed to these children, as well as, the long lists of diagnoses that are given to them.  Rarely do these diagnoses contain Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  For children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect you would expect PTSD to be the primary diagnosis.  However, I more frequently saw;  ADHD, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional behavior disorder, depression and anxiety disorders.  Rarely is consideration given that the behavior these children are exhibiting is most a result of the violence and neglect they have experienced.  They are simply labeled as behavior problems and medicated.  

Generation RX - The Effects of Capitalism on the Practice of Medicine

"To call normal children diseased, abnormal, chemically imbalanced.  To make patients out of them for profit.  This is not only anti-scientific, it is contrary to our Hippocratic oath.  It is immoral, and it should be exposed and stopped."

Dr. Fred A. Baughman, MD
Neurologist and Author
As quoted from the movie, "Generation RX"

Continue reading "Generation RX - The Effects of Capitalism on the Practice of Medicine" »

Psychiatric Medications as a "Crutch"

Throughout the years I have worked with several clients who were criticized or rebuked by family members or Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors for using psychiatric medications as a "crutch".  Yes.... and?

Continue reading "Psychiatric Medications as a "Crutch"" »

Alcoholics Anonymous and Psychiatric Medications

Throughout the years I've agonized when working with dual diagnosis clients who attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or any of their sister programs.  Too often there are well-meaning people in the groups who take it upon themselves to give psychological or medical advice.  All too often, this results in tremendous damage.   One of the major offenders is the idea that any member of AA, CA or NA who is taking psychiatric medications is not "clean and sober".  Not only is this bad advice it's not the official policy of AA.

Continue reading "Alcoholics Anonymous and Psychiatric Medications" »

Great Blog Find - Furious Seasons

Furious Seasons is a great blog about mental health issues, especially the effects of Big Pharma on psychiatric practices.  The author is a journalist who is not only fighting for his own mental health, but providing valuable information for others battling the same issues.  His coverage of the pharmaceutical companies and prescription medications is especially well-documented and worth your time.