Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Antipsychotic drugs are doing harm

From: "News and alerts from" <>
Date: March 16, 2008 5:10:30 PM EDT (CA)
To: "News: Human Rights in Mental Health" <>
Subject: Register-Guard: Mental Health Worker vs. 'Antipsychotic' Psych. Drugs
- Hide quoted text -

Below, a courageous long-time mental health worker sounds the alarm
about the long-term use of neuroleptic psychiatric drugs which are
also known as "antipsychotics."

The daily newspaper for Eugene, Oregon, USA published Chuck Areford's
guest column which you can read BELOW. Please forward his emergency
warning about deaths and brain damage related to neuroleptics to all
appropriate places on and off Internet. Chuck is on the Advisory
Committee for MindFreedom Lane County. Opposition is expected. At
BOTTOM is how you can write a letter to editor and take other action.


_The Register-Guard_, Eugene, Oregon, USA

16 March 2008 - Commentary - Guest Viewpoint


Antipsychotic drugs are doing harm

By Chuck Areford

[It is essential to note at the outset that suddenly stopping or
reducing psychiatric medications can be hazardous. Adjustments in
medication are best done under the supervision of a medical

In the early 1990s, a new class of drugs promised to revolutionize
the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Known as
atypical antipsychotics, drugs such as Clozaril, Zyprexa and
Risperdal largely replaced older medications such as Thorazine,
Haldol and Prolixin. Research and advertising sponsored by the
pharmaceutical industry led to the widespread belief that the newer
medications were indisputably safer, more effective and well worth
additional billions of dollars in taxpayer money. Pharmaceutical
profits soared.

Since then, the life expectancy of those treated in community mental
health centers has plunged to an appalling 25 years less than
average. Life expectancy may have fallen by as much as 15 years since
1986. Indications are that the death rate continues to accelerate in
what must be ranked as one of the worst public health disasters in
U.S. history.

The toxicity of antipsychotic medications, also known as
neuroleptics, is thoroughly documented. Atypical antipsychotics
initially seemed less hazardous because they produce fewer movement
disorders. We now know that the newer drugs lead to more
cardiovascular disease, which is by far the leading killer of those
in the public mental health system.

People who need mental health services already suffer from high rates
of cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, substance abuse, poor
nutrition, homelessness and poor access to health care. Adding
medications pours gasoline on a fire. This lethal combination is
almost certainly driving the spiraling death rate.

Advances in brain imaging techniques show that antipsychotic
medications cause brain damage. Animal and human studies link the
drugs to shrinkage of the cerebral cortex, home to the higher
functions. One study of monkeys given either older or newer
neuroleptic medication in doses equivalent to those given humans
showed an 11 percent to 15 percent shrinkage of the left parietal
lobe. Drugs that cause brain damage almost invariably reduce life

Marketing campaigns for atypical antipsychotic drugs target new
groups of patients, including the elderly and children. Public
television recently reported that as many as 1 million children have
been newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and thus may receive
neuroleptic medication. This does not include children treated with
antipsychotics for other disorders.

The damage to developing brains cannot be overemphasized. Years ago,
the Soviet Union was condemned for giving neuroleptic medication to
political dissidents. We now are giving a more lethal form of this
medication to our children. Where is the outcry?

Recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and
elsewhere demonstrate that the newer drugs are no more effective than
the older ones in reducing psychotic symptoms. Patients stop taking
the new drugs at the same high rate as the old ones because they do
not like the way the drugs affect their lives.

While medications are effective in relieving symptoms in the short
run, research indicates that people suffering from psychosis recover
more quickly and completely without medication. Incredibly, one study
showed that those not taking medications had eight times the recovery
rate of those who remained medicated. Research in Finland shows that
immediate psychosocial interventions achieve far better results than
those in this country. It simply makes sense that people recover
better when not treated with medication that causes brain damage and
shortens their lives.

Yet professionals and the public widely believe that it is unethical
to treat serious mental disorders without antipsychotic medication.
The reasons for this are complex, but foremost is the enormous
profitability of the pharmaceutical industry. In the early 1990s, the
top 10 drug companies earned more profit than all the other Fortune
500 companies combined. The sheer volume of money corrupts medical
research, and misinformation is fed to professionals, clients and the

The deplorable conditions at the Oregon State Hospital are,
unfortunately, just one more indication of the failure of psychiatry
as a whole. I know many of the psychiatric professionals in Lane
County, and they are intelligent and compassionate people who want
the best for their clients. There will always be a place for
medication in the treatment of emotional disorders, yet there must be
public acknowledgement that the long-term use of antipsychotic
medication, particularly the atypicals, is a costly mistake. Silence
truly equals death.

The Oregon Department of Addictions and Mental Health has the
responsibility to confront the terrible inadequacies of the current
system and to fund the development of alternatives. We owe this to
the taxpayers, to society and especially to those who suffer from
mental illness.


Chuck Areford of Eugene has worked in the public mental health system
for the past 25 years.

- end -


*** ACTION *** ACTION *** ACTION ***

1) Please *FORWARD* Chuck's emergency warning above to all
appropriate places on and off the Internet, immediately!

2) Please consider a LETTER TO THE EDITOR of support!

Chuck's brave statement will probably elicit opposition. MindFreedom
International is pro-choice about personal health care decisions, but
human rights violations linked to administration of neuroleptics are
an emergency. Please speak out now, and anticipate possible responses.

Here is how to submit a letter to the editor from _The Register-
Guard_ web site:

"The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest.
Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to
condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month.
Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed.
Letters must be signed with the writers full name. An address and
daytime telephone number are needed for verification purposes; this
information will not be published or released."

Mail letters to: Mailbag; P.O. Box 10188; Eugene, OR 97440-2188 USA

Fax: 541-338-2828

3) THANK Chuck Areford via MindFreedom Lane County, an affiliate of
MindFreedom International, at

4) INFORM yourself and others about human rights violations related
to neuroleptic abuse!

* More info on neuroleptics including evidence of structural brain

* For books on psychiatric drugs, alternatives, information about
quitting, etc. see totally-new MADMARKET which supports MindFreedom's
human rights activism:

* Original article on RG click here (after a period of time
registration required):


Support united activism for a nonviolent revolution in mental health:


* Win human rights campaigns in mental health.
* End abuse by the psychiatric drug industry.
* Support self-determination of psychiatric survivors.
* Promote safe, humane, effective options in mental health.
* Be a part of MFI's 22 year history of united activism.
* Show your MAD PRIDE!

MindFreedom is a nonprofit human rights group that unites 100 sponsor
and affiliate groups with individual members.

MindFreedom is one of the very few totally independent activist
groups in the mental health field with no funding from governments,
drug companies, religions, corporations, or the mental health system.

All human rights supporters are invited to join MFI by donating here:

For hard-to-find books and gear go to MFI's ALL NEW Mad Market here:

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

e-mail: office(at)mindfreedom(dot)org
MFI office phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (541) 345-3737

Please forward.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Being pregnant being target as mental illness

U.S. govt 'Mothers Act' pathologizes pregnancy & postpartum depression as "mental illness"- millions of women targeted for more antidepressants - who profts? Big Pharma! another fraud/another scam (see article below)
Begin forwarded message:

From: Graeme Bacque <>
Date: March 17, 2008 2:27:26 PM EDT (CA)
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: [can-survive] Branding Pregnancy as Mental Illness

Branding Pregnancy as Mental Illness: Immediate Consumer Action Needed to Stop Mothers Act
Monday, March 17, 2008 by: Byron Richards | Key concepts: MOTHERS Act, pregnancy and Big Pharma

The Mothers Act is pending legislation that will indoctrinate hundreds of thousands of mothers into taking dangerous psych drugs. It is a great example of how the Big Pharma lobby controls Congress to the detriment of health, as well as needlessly and dramatically inflating the costs of our health care system for everyone. Like any piece of legislation it purports to address a troubling issue – in this case the mood distress of mothers following birth known as postpartum depression. It is true that 10% - 15% of women need some assistance in dealing with this topic – but the majority of them sure don't need it from Big Pharma. That is the Big Lie.

The Mothers Act (S. 1375: Mom's Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act) (( has the net affect of reclassifying the natural process of pregnancy and birth as a mental disorder that requires the use of unproven and extremely dangerous psychotropic medications (which can also easily harm the child). Urgent consumer action (see below) is needed to stop this atrocity, as the Senate could now vote any day.

It is my understanding that the process of birth, the intimate bonding of mother and child, and the placing of significant responsibility on the father is all part of a healthy culture and the backbone of the fabric that makes strong families and consequently our great nation. I fail to see why we need laws that force health care professionals to emphasize the idea that the process is some type of mental illness affecting 80% of all women – what a bogus pile of crap.

The Mothers Act proposes sweeping and dramatic changes in the delivery of pregnancy care by all health professionals. It demands that health professionals indoctrinate pregnant women into mental health treatment options for mild depression-like symptoms experienced during or following pregnancy, including moderate symptoms they call "baby blues" which they say affects 80% of pregnant women. In other words, this is a massive federate health mandate to get the majority of pregnant and nursing mothers on psych drugs – a new target market for Big Pharma.

The bill was obviously written by the Big Pharma lobby and its passage into law would be considered laughable except that it is actually happening. The bill seeks to require taxpayer-funded grants to treat postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, as defined in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. For those of you who don't know, this is the manual of vaguely defined mental health issues used by Big Pharma to allow the sale of their expensive psych drugs and get payment from Medicare and Medicaid at taxpayer expense. While some people certainly need help, this system racks up billions in fraudulent sales per year – including the sale of dangerous antipsychotic medications to our children. The Big Pharma lobby last year spent tens of millions to ensure the government would continue to cover vulnerable children so they could capitalize on this blatant scam.

As far as the Mothers Act goers, how can taxpayers be expected to pay for drug treatments when the problem that isn't even understood? As the bill freely acknowledges "The causes of postpartum depression are complex and unknown." In a mysterious leap of faith the bill says that this condition requires medication to treat it even though such medication has never been proven clinically effective and carries serious side effect risks for the mother and baby, including cardiovascular birth defects.

The bill goes on to set up a system of taxpayer-funded grants to pay for the treatments. It even commits you the taxpayer to funding "clinical research for the development and evaluation of new treatments for postpartum conditions, including new biological agents." This means taxpayers will now foot the bill of Big Pharma drug development including the most dangerous new category of totally unproven pie-in-the-sky biological drugs that cost hundreds of billions of dollars to develop and can irreparably injure within minutes!

Yes, and once you have paid a fortune to develop these biological gene-altering agents then you will pay the drug companies price so that they can be freely dispensed to hundreds of thousands of pregnant and nursing mothers. Taxpayers will be on the hook for tens of billions of wasted dollars.

Immediate Consumer Action is Needed
The Mothers Act has already passed the House (H.R. 20, the Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression, Research and Care Act). Word has it that it is being snuck out of the HELP committee on Thursday or Friday of this week and may be rammed through the Senate without any debate before the Easter break.

Rather unbelievably up to this point is that the cause of defeating this legislation has fallen onto the shoulders of one young mother, Amy Philo. When she struggled with postpartum stress she was placed on the very same psych drugs advocated for use in the Mothers Act legislation. She began having violent thoughts towards her child and suicidal thinking. Her not very bright doctor had her double and then triple her dose, nearly killing her. She is lucky to be alive today and wants to warn other mothers of the dangers inherent in the Mothers Act. Link to her You Tube post:

Immediate consumer action is needed to stop the Big Pharma-crafted Mothers Act. Here are the two action steps you can take right now to help make a difference:

1) Go to my CapWiz page and with two clicks of a mouse send an opposition letter to your Senators.

2) Sign the petition against this legislation, which is being used to pressure Senators on the HELP committee.

About the author: Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources (, is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and nationally-renowned health expert, radio personality, and educator. He is the author of Mastering Leptin, The Leptin Diet, and Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA's Betrayal of America.