Why has mental illness, and disability from mental illness, skyrocketed alongside the introduction of psychiatric drugs in the 1950’s? If drugs worked to solve our mental challenges, wouldn’t we see a different pattern?
Consider these quotes:
“For many reasons now, going to a psychologist is probably the most dangerous thing you can do in the western world, other than do something illegal.” – Dr. Peter Breggin
“Instead of the medications fixing pathology, what we really learned is they create abnormalities in neurotransmitter function. As soon as you understand that science it becomes fairly easy to understand why over the long term these drugs are not gong to improve functioning, they’re more likely to impair functioning.” – Robert Whitaker
Here are 3 ways the psychiatric industry is creating the mental health epidemic.
The DSM Isn’t A Scientific Manual
The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It was created with the stated intention of standardizing psychiatric diagnosis, and standardizing treatment.
The problem is the diagnosis are not based on the scientific method — where you start with a hypothesis and test it with the scientific method. There is no scientific consensus behind these diagnosis.
These diagnoses were created by a “task force.” This group of psychiatrists came together in a room and voted on the creation of psychiatric diagnosis, and the symptoms that made up those diagnosis.
Dr. Paula Caplan was in some of those task force meetings and she said, “psychiatric diagnosis are not scientific, they’re not reliable, and they’re not valid.”
Here’s one example. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the DSM until it was voted out in the 1970’s. This shows us that the inclusion, and then exclusion, of gayness as a mental disorder reflected the shifting personal biases and cultural beliefs of the time. It wasn’t science, it was simply what people believed and then what people didn’t believed.
So we have to ask ourselves: how are we repeating that pattern today?
Have you been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, hoarding disorder, binge eating disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, or 95% of the other “diagnosis” in the current DSM-5? Consider, first, there is NO scientific backing that those issues originate in the brain at all.
Second, there is no scientific evidence these conditions are mental disorders. Third, there is the possibility these are normal emotional expressions that may result from factors such as trauma, upbringing, lack of spiritual maturity, and/or poor nutrition.
There are only known biological causes for about 5% of the disorders in the DSM, such as Alzheimers. When it comes to common diagnosis like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, there is no identifiable biological cause — we have no proof these problems are brain problems!
More than 50 mental health associations have petitioned for an independent scientific review of the current DSM due to its lack of scientific backing for its diagnosis. For example, going by the book, a practitioner would categorize normal grief as “major depressive disorder” or poor focus as ADHD.
Now, predatory Big Pharma comes in. When there are new diagnosis added to the DSM, Pharma looks at ways to create new drugs, or repackage old drugs, for these issues.
Here’s an example: in the DSM-4, there was a new diagnosis for PMDD — premenstrual dysphoric disorder. This was literally really bad PMS. PMS is not a brain problem, or a mental illness, it’s a hormonal disorder. Really bad PMS is a bad hormonal disorder… you fix it on a hormonal level.
Yet seeing an opportunity, Eli Lilly started marketing a drug called Serafem. They launched series of commercials showing women suffering from PMS symptoms. The commercials suggested the symptoms may not be PMS, but PMDD, and encouraged women to talk to their doctors about Serafem.
So what was Serafem? It was literally Prozac, repackaged in a pink and purple capsule.
2. Psychiatric drugs create chemical imbalances rather than solving them
Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance or lack of serotonin. That “chemical imbalance theory” was first proposed in 1965, but since then, there have been experiments showing people with good moods can have high or low levels of serotonin, and that depressed people have serotonin levels all over the board.
Similarly, research shows if you depress serotonin levels in chipper people, it doesn’t change their mood. This may be why antidepressants are shown to be no more effective than placebo when we consider non-pharma funded studies. Other research shows antidepressants work as much as the patient expects them to work.
The same goes with the high dopamine theory of schizophrenia. There is no research showing schizophrenia is a chemical imbalance or even a problem that originates in the brain. (See below reading list for the citations/research.)
So why are drugs that change neurotransmitters “working” for some people? Why do some people like the experience they feel taking these drugs?
First, it’s important to understand these drugs are not creating balance in your brain. They are creating neurotransmitter imbalances. These imbalances may feel useful or preferable for some people. It may feel useful to be numbed out and less attached to your pain.
That raises the question: is being numbed and less attached to your pain helpful or empowering? It’s also crucial to consider these drugs are correlated with worse mental health outcomes in the long-term, and carry common side effects (such as a tanked sex drive, creative drive, and spiritual drive.)
Psychiatric drugs have the same impact as recreational drugs: they create an altered state that some people find preferable to experiencing their un-drugged emotional state.
If there is a biological cause of the most common mental disorders, it seems linked to inflammation, poor nutrition, and trauma, all of which are addressed with nutritional, spiritual and lifestyle changes.
3. Informed consent for psychiatric drugs is virtually impossible
Informed consent means the medical provider is informing the patient of the risks of any treatment, as well as the alternatives and what happens if the patient might opt out of any treatment. When it comes to psychiatry, as with the rest of Western medicine, this is simply not happening.
Patients aren’t getting the full scientific research on psychiatric drugs, for example, because pharmaceutical companies routinely don’t publish any studies that show bad effects. 30+ studies on antidepressants were simply not published because they showed no efficacy or bad side effects for example.
Pharmaceutical companies use highly nuanced methods to lie with statistics when running drug trials. This includes testing the drug on group of people who aren’t the target customer base, yet would respond more positively to the drug. Or, testing a new drug against an improperly prescribed old drug to make the new one look good. Or, drug companies throw out anomalous data, or simply run trials with different testing methods until they get the desired results… and they don’t publish the undesirable results.
Here’s what fully informed consent around psychiatric drugs might sound like:
“Research shows this drug is no more effective than placebo and that the use of this drug is correlated, long term to worse mental health outcomes. That means people who use these drugs are more likely to end up with recurring mental health episodes and more likely to be disabled by their mental health issues. These drugs work by creating neurotransmitter imbalances that will affect your brain over the long term.
With long-term use, these drugs can be more addicting than heroine and have literally ruined people’s lives. The drugs can create a slew of side effects which your medical practitioner might confuse as other mental health symptoms, and so you may be prescribed more medications.
Your normal human pain is not mental illness, but using these drugs can create mental illness and even mental disability.
Additionally, there is also a spiritual component to your mental challenges that we, doctors and psychiatrists, are completely unequipped to address because many of us are completely numbed to the spiritual dimension of the world. If I was able to give you fully informed consent, it would include a discussion about the spiritual influences that can alter a person’s mood and the ties of the pharmaceutical industry to a dark spiritual agenda to dehumanize humanity.
Your alternative is to address your pain and dysfunction using nutrition, belief changes, and spiritual practices. Using that approach, People have fully healed from your diagnosis, whether that’s major depression or schizophrenia or debilitating PTSD. The individuals who take this approach not only heal, but go on to live lives filled with more love, purpose, and spiritual connection than they had previously.”
Have you ever heard a doctor say that, or anything close to that? Of course not, because doctors are simply NOT providing informed consent.
Taking any pharmaceutical drug is like being the battered woman who keeps going back to her abusive partner. If we look at the track record of every single pharmaceutical company, we find they are pathological liars. Their criminal fines, hospitalization and death rates from drugs, buried research, and cherry-picked studies show this.
These companies are a psychopath in a corporate form. You wouldn’t trust a person with that kind of history.
So why do people know Big Pharma isn’t trustworthy, yet they keep taking pharmaceutical drugs? It’s the same reason a battered woman go back to her abusive partner… she doesn’t think she has any other choice, and her suffering has become normalized to her.
I’m speaking from experience here, because I used to believe that pharmaceutical drugs were my only choice. By the time I was 18, I had been on antidepressants, sleep drugs, autoimmune drugs, and even anti-cancer drugs to treat an autoimmune disease. Yet I fully healed my “mental diagnosis” and “incurable” autoimmune disease, and have been medication free for a decade.
If I could break up with the pharmaceutical industry and fully reclaim my health… you can too!
FURTHER RESOURCES AND READING
Dr. James Davie’s presentation on the development of the DSM and corruption of Big Pharma in psychiatry
Psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff debunking the “chemical imbalance theory” and how psychiatric drugs create altered brain states rather than creating neurotransmitter balance
The GAPS Diet, a nutritional protocol used successfully to reverse “mental illness” like schizophrenia, autism, and ADHD