With permission from
BEING DRIVEN CRAZY
A controversial new book reveals that antidepressants don’t work for most people and may even cause brain damage and lead to suicide. Such a book is obviously not going to be popular with Big Pharma which relies so heavily on mass medication for its profits. According to the ten expert authors of this medical bombshell of a book, The Sedated Society: “Drugs such as SSRIs and the heavyweight tranquillisers are no better than a placebo for most people.”
Assuming this is correct — and it will be hotly contested by Big Pharma — why have millions been put on these unnecessary drugs if they are no better than placebos?
The undeniably good thing about placebos is this: they actually make you feel better (1) without creating addiction, (2) without causing painful withdrawal symptoms, (3) without creating highly unpleasant side effects, and (d) without causing brain damage and suicide.
Most people would interject at this point: “Well then, give me a placebo any day!” Before we go any further, a few words on placebos. First, placebos even work when you are aware you are taking a placebo. This is extraordinary, but it happens to be true — though maybe the effectiveness of the placebo is stronger if you think it’s the genuine thing. Secondly, a doctor can cause you serious harm by giving you a negative suggestion that is known as the “nocebo effect”. This is the opposite of the placebo effect. (‘Placebo’ in Latin means ‘I will please’, whereas ‘Nocebo’ means ‘I will harm or injure’.)
I know several people who have suffered incalculable harm from their doctors by being fed toxic negative suggestions under the guise of presenting an honest and brutally frank diagnosis. I knew a woman in her forties, suffering from back pain, who was told her X-rays were “appalling” and that she had the spine of a 70-year-old woman with advanced arthritis. She was shattered to hear this and got worse initially as a result. Twenty years later, having decided to ignore the sentence of death pronounced on her by her physician, she was running marathons and was as fit as a fiddle.
My own personal experience of these dangerous substances—I was myself prescribed a variety of drugs after a serious nervous breakdown at the age of 19—has left me bitterly disillusioned with the medical profession for acting as licensed drug peddlers for Big Pharma.
This recent report in a national newspaper confirmed all my suspicions that Big Pharma is not to be trusted, and that doctors are doing grievous bodily harm to their patients by acting as drug pushers for Big Business:
More people than ever are taking antidepressant drugs — prescriptions for the most common type, known as SSRIs (serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors), rose by 165 per cent between 1998 and 2012.
But a controversial new book, The Sedated Society, claims these drugs, said to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain, are the wrong thing to give to emotionally vulnerable people — adults or children.
In an excoriating assessment of the drug industry and psychiatry, experts claim the evidence for antidepressants is flawed and say the drugs have never been shown to correct a chemical imbalance.
Yet millions are being prescribed drugs that are potentially extremely harmful.
Let’s pause here a moment and clarify the issue for people who are not too keen on scientific jargon and who ask: “What do you mean by ‘Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’?”
Let me explain briefly.
SSRIs are the most common type of antidepressants. They are said to work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical that helps to keep you cheerful, so a serotonin deficiency will leave you feeling moody and depressed. The subject is far more complex than this, but this will have to suffice for the moment, given that this article is not about serotonin and how it works but about the misuse of antidepressants by Big Pharma and the medical profession in order to mass medicate the public unnecessarily for monetary gain.
The crucial point, as stated below, is that “no research has shown a link between serotonin levels in the brain and depression.” If this is true, it destroys at one blow the entire rationale for SSRIs, i.e., antidepressants specifically designed to cure depression by boosting serotonin levels in the brain.
— § —
Antidepressants are used to cure a number of other mental health conditions apart from depression, including anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and various phobias and other assorted complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, premenstrual tension, and bulimia. They are even used, to my amazement, to cure premature ejaculation. I find this all the more difficult to understand, given that one of the side effects of taking antidepressants is to kill a person’s libido stone dead, making it impossible for some men to have erections at all.
Given that placebos are now known to be just as efficacious as these highly dangerous toxins passed off as “cures” for depression, one needs to ask what the side effects of taking these pills are. Here are some of the side effects: increased anxiety and agitation, dizziness, low sex drive, difficulty experiencing orgasms, blurred vision, feeling sick, vomiting.
I have to register some astonishment here: how can a prescription drug like this possibly cheer you up if it turns you into a vomiting neurotic who can’t even see properly and has dizzy spells?
One of the ten authors of this controversial Establishment-bashing book, The Sedated Society, is British aristocrat Viscount Hinchinbrooke (pictured). The value of his testimony springs from the fact that he has had a long and bitter personal encounter with these drugs. They were prescribed to him for a minor complaint about 20 years ago when he was a teenager: medication he didn’t need and could easily have done without.
As a result of this toxic medication, the young nobleman’s life became a needless hell.
“Viscount Hinchinbrooke,” we learn, “battled benzodiazepine dependence for years after receiving the prescription following a sinus operation when he was 19.” (See here)
Just think of that, reader. It could happen to you. You have a minor nose operation and you end up with a serious antidepressant addiction for THE NEXT 20 YEARS!
What are these Big Pharma toxin peddlers up to? Are they out of their tiny little minds? In the Middle Ages, they would have been burned at the stake for selling quack medicines and poisoning people. Today, they drive around in Rolls Royces and live in multimillion dollar mansions.
— § —
One of the Viscount’s co-authors, Professor Peter Gøtzsche of the University of Copenhagen, spells out the grisly details:
“The drugs have failed to deliver what patients want, which is for the treatment to work for specific mental or emotional problems. So, there is no justification for widespread, life-long use.
People are kept on these drugs for years.
Clinicians claim this is to prevent a relapse, but the side-effects of stopping can be so severe it is preferable to stay on them.”
As already mentioned above, the same beneficial effects of these dangerous drugs can be derived from placebos, so they are totally unnecessary in the first place, whereas their toxic side effects, not to be found in placebos, can be truly horrendous and ultimately lead to suicide.
The report continues grimly:
They also lower libido and could cause a deeply unpleasant muscular condition called tardive dyskinesia.
Furthermore, they claim the drugs are capable of inflicting long-term damage that lasts even when the patient has stopped taking them.
Research on animals has found that antidepressants can shrink the connections between brain cells and that these don’t grow back after the drugs are stopped.
Now that’s serious. These drugs, even after you stop taking them, have done something to your brain cells. Your brain cells are never going to get back to normal. We are talking about permanent structural changes in the brain — some might even say brain damage.
The argument is that depression is due to low levels of the feel good chemical serotonin, so SSRIs slow the rate the brain breaks it down so there is more to boost mood.
However, no research has shown a link between serotonin levels in the brain and depression.
“The disease model has been a disaster,’ says Professor Gøtzsche. “I have never seen any convincing evidence showing a psychiatric disease is causing brain damage, but have seen plenty that medication causes brain damage.”
Apart from brain damage, the drugs are addictive. According to Viscount Hinchinbrook, withdrawal symptoms can last several years. Prescribed antidepressant medication he didn’t need for about 20 years, the young English aristo “went through hell coming off them.”
Prescribing killer drugs that cause addiction, medicating millions into mass misery for monetary gains, is bad enough. But Professor Gøtzsche maintains that it’s worse than that. The drug companies knew in advance that what they were doing was wrong—and indeed criminal—but they went ahead anyway in the full knowledge that they could act with impunity. That no one would dare to prosecute them for their crimes. That they were beyond the reach of the law.
As the disturbing news report points out:
Another reason to be suspicious . . . is the extraordinary lengths the drug companies were prepared to go to get favourable results, such as hiding unfavourable ones or fudging the statistics, as Professor Gøtzsche sets out in the new book.
A basic principle of randomised controlled trials (RCT) — the gold standard for testing any new drug — is that no one involved, doctor or patient, knows which group of patients is getting the drug and which the placebo.
But within two weeks of the main trial for Prozac starting, researchers for the manufacturer had ignored this principle and switched patients between groups, which improved results.
Even worse, to reduce the risk that Prozac raised the risk of suicide (a side-effect that had emerged in earlier trials), 25 per cent of the patients getting Prozac were given a tranquilliser — though this information didn’t emerge at the time.
When U.S. drugs watchdog the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) discovered what had been done — according to another of the book’s authors, Dr Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who has written books on Prozac — it calculated the benefit of Prozac without the tranquilliser was no better than a placebo.
On the basis of such flawed evidence, Prozac launched in 1987. Other brands followed, and one — Seroxat — ran trials to get a licence to treat childhood depression, but it emerged they were misleading.
In 2002, the BBC’s Panorama revealed that some of these trials had found Seroxat increased the risk of suicide in children, but the manufacturer had put these embarrassing results in a bottom drawer and never published them.
There were no penalties for the company concealing the suicide risk.
The end result of recent research is to prove that Prozac, the most commonly prescribed antidepressant, is little better than a placebo. However, while there was no suicide risk from taking a placebo or receiving cognitive therapy (“talking it through” plus meditation etc.), there was a clear link to increased suicide risk from taking Prozac.
In addition to the raised risk of suicide and the serious problems that some patients have with withdrawal, there is the risk, though rare, of a deeply unpleasant side-effect from long-term use of anti-depressants known as tardive dyskinesia (TD), the result of permanent brain changes.
Sufferers lose control of muscles, especially around the head and neck and in the arms and legs.
Trying to come off SSRIs can produce a similar condition known as akathisia, which Dr Breggin describes as ‘an extreme form of restlessness, where patients can’t sit still and that predisposes to suicide and homicide’.
(Full report HERE)
This is all very depressing.
I have no medical qualifications and am therefore not entitled to speak authoritatively about these matters, but I have a personal stake in this which gives me a right to speak out.
Like Viscount Hinchinbrooke, I have had personal experience of these drugs. Unlike him, however, I came off them very quickly before they could do me any serious damage. I don’t remember the drugs’ names. It all happened so long ago. One drug made my neck keep twisting round to look over my shoulder. Nothing I could do to stop it. I believe this condition is called torticollis (‘twistneck’) or retrocollis in my case (‘backward neck’). I dumped this drug within a week.
It was such a relief to have my neck back in the right position once again, facing forward, instead of twisted round forcibly to one side — as if I were trying to examine a bruise on my shoulder.
Another drug made it impossible for me to understand and appreciate what I was reading. I was reading Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo at the time in a hospital bed. Two weeks I kept reading that extremely long and convoluted novel, propped up on pillows, and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t have a clue what was going on in the book. Who were these characters? What were they doing? What was the name of the hero? Where was the book set? I had no idea. I’d lost the plot. The entire reading experience was like groping one’s way through a black fog or mental pea souper.
The fact that reading had always been my main pleasure in life, my only addiction since early childhood, alerted me to the fact that these drugs were doing me no good. That they could be damaging my brain and chipping away at my IQ. I took a look at some of the other people in the ward who had been on these drugs for years. They had vacant expressions. They were fat, bovine, moon-faced. They looked like sleepwalking zombies.
The next time the nurses brought the pills round I jumped out of bed and hurried to the bathroom, flushing the deadly toxins down the toilet.
From that day on I got better. I was to spend another month in the hospital. Reading The Count of Monte Cristo — I had to start against from Chapter One — became a pleasure. I knew exactly what was going on now and could savor every twist in the plot. I almost wept with delight.