PSYCHIATRY’S LIES

The psychiatric profession is ignoring evidence that treatment with antipsychotics can be harmful, according to a new book

Most people, on seeing Christian, would have described him as being so whacked out he was a dribbling wreck. The drug-advisory body, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) would say the neuroleptic treatment had successfully “calmed” Christian, in preparation for treating the “underlying psychiatric condition”.

Neuroleptics – such as Clozapine, Olanzapine, Risperidone and Seroquel – are the “primary treatment” for psychosis, particularly schizophrenia. Indeed, 98%-100% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia inside our psychiatric units – and 90% living in the community – are on neuroleptics, also called antipsychotics. Nice’s guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia say: “There is well established evidence for the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs.”

And now a London NHS psychiatrist, Joanna Moncrieff, has similarly endeavoured to expose the “myth” of antipsychotics. Whereas Moncrieff has already highlighted antidepressant non-effectiveness, it is her research on antipsychotics that is more shocking. The evidence shows, she says, that antipsychotics not only do not work long-term they also cause brain damage – a fact which is being “fatally” overlooked. Plus, because of a cocktail of vicious side-effects, antipsychotics almost triple a person’s risk of dying prematurely.

Moncrieff particularly strikes out at her own profession, psychiatry, claiming it is ignoring the negative evidence for antipsychotics. In her book, The Myth of The Chemical Cure, Moncrieff argues, effectively, that psychiatry is guilty of gross scientific misconduct.

Having examined decades of clinical trials, Moncrieff’s first point is that once variables such as placebo and drug withdrawal effects are accounted for, there is no concrete evidence for antipsychotic long-term effectiveness. This is a radically different interpretation of the meta-analyses and trials Nice used to arrive at its opposite conclusion. But Moncrieff is confident her scrutiny of the evidence is valid.

At the heart of years of dissent against psychiatry through the ages has been its use of drugs, particularly antipsychotics, to treat distress. Do such drugs actually target any “psychiatric condition”? Or are they chemical control – a socially-useful reduction of the paranoid, deluded, distressed, bizarre and odd into semi-vegetative zombies?

Historically, whatever dissenters thought has been ignored. So, it appears, have new studies which indicate that antipsychotics do not work long-term. For example, a US study last year in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reported that people diagnosed with schizophrenia and not taking antipsychotics are more likely to recover than those on the drugs. The study was on 145 patients, and researchers reported that, after 15 years, 65% of patients on antipsychotics were psychotic, whereas only 28% of those not on medication were psychotic. A staggering finding, surely? So where were the mainstream media yelps of “breakthrough in schizophrenia treatment”. Not a squeak.

Moncrieff’s second point is that the psychiatric establishment, underpinned by the pharmaceutical industry, has glossed over studies showing that antipsychotics cause extensive damage – the most startling being permanent brain atrophy (brain damage) or tardive dyskinesia. As in Parkinson’s Disease, patients suffer involuntary, repetitive movements, memory loss and behaviour changes. Antipsychotics cause atrophy within a year, Moncrieff says. She accuses her colleagues of risking creating an “epidemic of iatrogenic brain damage”.

Moncrieff is a hard-nosed scientist, so she is respectfully reserved. But gross scientific misconduct is her accusation. “It is as if the psychiatric community can not bear to acknowledge its own published findings,” she writes.

How worrying it is, then that the Healthcare Commission should report last year that almost 40% of people with psychosis are on levels of antipsychotics exceeding recommended limits. Such levels cause heart attacks. Indeed, the National Patient Safety Agency claims heart failure from antipsychotics is a likely cause for some of the 40 average annual “unexplained” deaths of patients on British mental health wards. Other effects of antipsychotics include massive weight gain (metabolic impairment) and increased risk of diabetes.

Two years ago, The British Journal of Psychiatry – Britain’s most respected psychiatry journal – published a study reporting that people on antipsychotics were 2.5 times more likely to die prematurely. The researchers warned there was an “urgent need” to investigate whether this was due to antipsychotics. But so ingrained is the medication culture in mental health that many psychiatrists feel that not medicating early with antipsychotics amounts to negligence, Moncrieff notes.

Moncrieff does acknowledge there is evidence for the short-term effectiveness of antipsychotics. But again Moncrieff asks psychiatry to be honest. Moncrieff points out that when antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine, were first used in the 1950s they were “major tranquillisers”. Why? Because that’s an accurate description of their effect, particularly short term. They sedate, or tranquillise, the emotions, so reducing the anxiety of paranoia and delusions. Any person on antipsychotics is likely to verify this (go to askapatient.com). Now, however, these drugs are referred to as “antipsychotics”. For Moncrieff, this is a wheeze because there’s no evidence that antipsychotics act directly on the “symptoms” – paranoia, delusions, hallucinations – of those diagnosed with psychosis. There’s nothing antipsychotic about antipsychotics.

So what are the alternatives? Moncrieff – like her fellow psychiatrists in a group called the Critical Psychiatry Network – asks services to look seriously at non-drug approaches, such as the Soteria Network in America. She believes psychiatrists such as herself should no longer have unparalleled powers to forcibly detain and treat patients. Instead, they should be “pharmaceutical advisers” engaging in “democratic drug treatment” with patients.

Psychiatrists should be involved in “shared decision-making” with patients, and would have to go to civil courts to argue their case for compulsory treatment. “Psychiatry would be a more modest enterprise,” writes Moncrieff, “no longer claiming to be able to alter the underlying course of psychological disturbance, but thereby avoiding some of the damage associated with the untrammelled use of imaginary chemical cures.”

The mental health establishment should learn from the Prozac story and pay attention. It’s about time.  The reason so many young people today are not getting help during the ‘mental health crisis’ is that the more mentally health trained a person is, the less able they are to help anyone.  They are trained to watch rather than listen.  They are so busy trying to analyze people that they have zero chance of understanding, that they fail to hear, and hence never understand.  They are trained to force ‘help’ on people who don’t want it and assume that people who ask for help don’t need it.  Well we don’t need them.  Non mentally health trained people, care workers, charity workers, counsellors do far more effective work because they listen.  And that is all distressed people need. Someone to listen, hear and hence validate them.  Not a load of idiots who think drugs and restraints, and pathetic attempts at watching and analysing behaviour and treating human beings as rats in the answer.  All they do is distress people more.  They are obsessed with boxing and diagnosing when they cannot possibly do this with any accuracy.  The mental health system needs to be abolished altogether and in it’s place a network of counsellors.  If someone is violent they should be dealt with by the courts, unless they absolutely do not have the capacity to distinguish right from wrong.  Most so called psychotic people do have capacity.  They understand that violence is against the law but they know they can get away with it.  The few that don’t have capacity should be the only ones that go to hospitals.  I have been on the receiving end of violence many times in hospital by people who absolutely do know that what they are doing is wrong but can get away with it because they have a diagnosis of psychosis.  A psychotic person has choice just like any other person.  Just because you are having delusions and hallucinations, it does not mean you can do what you want.  But idiot psychiatrists are allowing this to happen because they are obsessed by some kind of romantic notion of psychosis.  Get real shrinks.  And stop excusing people with an illness that doesn’t exist (schizophrenia) for their bad behaviour.

LEAVE OUT THE LABEL

MENTAL MYTH

THE DELUSIONS OF PSYCHIATRY

In my travels I have met a fair amount of people.  I can safely say the most deluded people I have ever met are people who think that vivisection makes sense.  Next in line as far as delusions are concerned are shrinks.  All the shrinks I have met have held completely unfounded beliefs.  I have assessed many shrinks during sessions with them and they steadfastly adhere to their warped idea of what ‘reality’ is.  One example of their many unfounded beliefs is that certain so-called mental illnesses, the functional psychoses,  are caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.  There is no proof of this.  But the drug companies make tons of money by promoting this crap and shrinks live in their pockets.  When someone is actively ‘psychotic’ (if we assume that psychosis is a valid way to describe anybody) , by definition they will not be aware they are ill.  You believe your so-called delusions with accompanying hallucinations are real. Most shrinks do not understand that if, for example, a person believes their friends and family are poisoning them, it may be because metaphorically, that IS THE CASE.  His mother may not be actually adding arsenic to his breakfast but she may well be poisoning his soul. Psychiatrists take the arrogant stance of assuming their version of reality is the only version of reality.  With their delusions they usually have accompanying hallucinations which reinforce their delusions.  They write about clients in notes and often claim that clients have said things or done things which they have not.  Sometimes it is just plain lies or mistakes.  Other times I wonder if they are seeing and hearing things.  If not hallucinations, then at least illusions.

To summarise, shrinks are deluded.  They may also have accompanying visual and auditory illusions or hallucinations.  Those of them who have actual hallucinations combined with their delusions, since they stick to these version of events and are utterly convinced by them, it appears they must be completely ‘psychotic’.  The only get out clause they have is that their ridiculous view of reality tends to concur with the accepted culture of the country they live in.  Therefore they can get away with being sick as fuck without being labelled as ‘psychotic’.

And one more thing.  On the subject of personality disorders, anyone who claims there is something wrong with somebody else’s personality needs to take a look at their own.   A shrink gives a fuck of a lot away about the limitations in his/her own personality when he assumes there is a problem with somebody else’s.  On another day I will take a look at the ridiculous arbitrary definitions of so-called personality disorders.  And how many more we could easily invent if we wanted to continue down this stupid road.  Just to take one example, emotionally unstable p.d.  If this exists then surely there must be another disorder called emotionally STABLE p.d. (i.e. those typically British anal people who never show any emotion.  Concrete upper lip).  But that would be culturally normal here wouldn’t it.  I mean showing emotion is bad isn’t it.  Italians do it.  How fucked up those continentals are.  And paranoid personality disorder.  That’s just anyone who accuses the system of being screwed up.  How about ‘Gullible’ personality disorder.  That’s anyone who believes all the crap fed to them by people in authority.

Shrinks are inventing more and more mental illnesses.  The more illnesses they invent, the more people will be labelled as mentally ill.  It is similar to the process we have with criminal laws.  The more laws we make, the more laws there are to break and consequently the more crimes we have and the more criminals.

Shrinks need to be stripped of their power and the whole mental health system needs to be scrapped and rebuilt from scratch.  The amount of money they are now throwing at young people’s mental health is too little too late. It is a drop in the ocean and money alone will not solve the problem.  The problem is an institution which tried to build a brick building on shifting sands.  With no foundations.  There is a wise old Indian saying which goes as follows:

‘When you are riding a dead horse the best strategy is to dismount.’

Those currently trying to improve existing services, although well meaning, are simply feeding, grooming and watering a dead horse.    The answer is to bury the horse.  Then stop riding horses and start making friends with skunks.

 

 

for groddle’s sake

The year 2199 and the known laws of physics no longer apply.  Aliens are playing black hole golf with planets and the Earth is in the grip of a perpetual winter causing worldwide seasonal affective disorder.  Due to her ridiculously dysfunctional childhood Madi has no respect for anybody and her complete lack of shame and ability to exploit the hypocrisy of the privileged will have you in fits of laughter.

This book pokes fun at the ludicrous assumptions that often form our view of reality.  Institutions on Earth are still as archaic as ever and the absurdity of the way they operate is hilariously portrayed, as is the transitory way we arrive at moral and philosophical truths.

           Will Madi ever be anything other than a selfish bitch?

            Will the pain of unrequited love be too much to bear for the sad, lonely alien who is stalking her?

Scenarios that would normally leave you in tears will instead have you giggling long after you put the book down.

Living on the fringes

LIVING ON THE FRINGES

I see so many books on the market that cater for the masses and which contain material which agents and publishers believe the public wants. I myself prefer books that depart from the mainstream and take a leap of faith into hitherto unchartered territory. That is what my most recently published book, ‘For Groddle’s Sake’ does.

My next project, the title of which I want to keep to myself at the moment, will be a kind of warts and all confessional.  My aim is to take a very deep look into the human condition, but particularly at obsession.  It will be autobiographical to some extent, since I have a long history of destructive obsessions, but more in terms of a thinking diary rather than an events one.  I will look at the causes of obsession, in what ways it can be useful as well as destructive, and I want to try and explain associated behaviours and the serious consequences that can result from such modes of thinking, particularly in regard to fixation on a person.   I want to explore  the similarities and stark differences between the meaning of the words passion and obsession.  I, for example, see passion as a largely positive thing and obsession as a more negative thing but I know not everyone will agree with me on this.  I want to look at the compulsive behaviour that is often a direct consequence of obsessional thoughts.  Ultimately I want to attempt to describe honestly the ridiculous things that go through my head on a daily basis in the hope that others will relate to some extent, rather than try and paint a picture of myself as someone that I want you to think I am.  All through this book I am going to attempt not to edit to make things sound nicer or more acceptable or less stupid and pathetic than they actually are.  Because believe you me my thinking and behaviour can be unbelievably pathetic and I know that there will be people out there who can relate to me.  The book will also look at the state of the mental health system and the ridiculous scenarios that take place within psychiatric hospitals and for that reason it will also be a tribute to my partner.  She and I never had a chance to ever actually have a proper relationship  in the outside world before she died in one of those places.   Ultimately it will be about extreme loneliness.  I know what it is like to constantly live in your own head year after year without human companionship. It takes its toll in the end and damages you. You cannot repair that damage, you can perhaps glue yourself back together, like you might be able to do with a broken cup, but you will never get rid of the cracks.

OFF THE AVENUE … I was living in a high rise in London once and I used to look out the window and watch people going to work and think they were stupid being part of the rat race. I used to think to myself don’t they know, don’t they realize what they are missing, they could get stoned like me, just take drugs and space out. How pathetic I was. But then again there are very valid reasons why people take drugs. There is apparently now an epidemic in the States of people being dependent on prescription opiate painkillers. Due to the cost of these many people are turning to street heroin instead because it is actually cheaper now due to the influx of cheap supplies from Afghanistan etc. People use heroin because it works. It is the most effective painkiller, both for emotional and physical pain. These days I take psychiatric medication. Anti psychotics, mood stablilisers and anti depressants mostly have side effects, some of which are frankly unbearable. Many people put on ridiculous amounts of weight on these drugs and get illnesses such as diabetes. Opiates cause no such problems and people often self medicate with them as I have done in the past. The trouble with them is that they are highly physically addictive. I believe in the legalisation of street drugs because illegality causes far more problems and does not stop people taking drugs. I would rather take a prescription of diamorphine than the medications I am on and I think it would be extremely effective, though I don’t think it would prevent depression, since personally I have never found any drug which actually effectively cured depression. People are always going to take drugs. They have been taking them since time immemorial. Rather than policing the situation, we need to look at how to improve mental wellbeing so that people will not be so inclined to look for chemicals to make themselves feel better.

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