This article presents a patient, who after the second injection of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, immediately developed anxiety, nonspecific fear, and insomnia as the prodromal phase of psychosis. Starting from the second week, the patient manifested delusions of persecution, delusions of influence, thoughts insertion, and delusional behaviour, culminating in thesuicide attempt.
… The psychological assessment of the patient demonstrated the endogenous type of thinking, and the patient had schizoid and paranoid personality traits strongly associated with schizophrenia. This case indicates a strong causal relationship between the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine injection and the onset of psychosis:
This is the first report of psychotic symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. SAR-CoV- 2 is known to trigger a powerful immune response, which includes the release of large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines. As of January 2021, 42 cases of psychosis associated with COVID-19 infection have been reported. It has been hypothesized that a COVID-19 triggered cytokine storm may increase the risk of psychosis. Coincidentally, schizophrenia has been linked to a pro-inflammatory status (Goldsmith et al., 2016).
How many similar episodes were never reported? How many reports were intentionally covered up? We can only guess…
2021, Israel: doctor censured for suggesting that vaccine-induced psychosis led to murder
The Health Ministry censured a doctor and announced that she will be summoned for a meeting after she appeared to hint that there could be a connection between the murder of Diana Raz, in which her husband Amir Raz is the main suspect, and the coronavirus vaccine, N12 reported Thursday.
“As for the murder… as strange as it sounds, there are psychotic or neurological situations because of the vaccine,” said Dr. Rotem Inbar, an obstetrician from Sheba Medical Center, in a WhatsApp group with 250 members according to N12.
This generation is having their individuality stripped from them, as they are taught to take the role of a victim and find refuge in the ever-expanding spectrum of false gender identities and stereotypes.
After facing two and half years of lockdowns, restrictions, fear propaganda, isolation, and harmful mandates, the young and aspiring Generation Z are dealing with several mental health conditions. An analysis conducted by Harmony Healthcare IT finds that millions of young adults are dealing with new mental health problems that were brought on during the covid-19 scandal.
According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z represents the generation born between 1997 and 2012, which encompasses approximately 68 million young people (ages 10-25). The latest survey finds that 42 percent of Generation Z now struggle with mental health problems, and many of these issues are treated with daily therapy and medication. These problems include anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eighty percent deal with bouts of depression, and 90 percent deal with anxiety on a daily basis.
Loneliness, uncertainty, anxiety and depression now grip most young people
A majority of young people who responded to the survey (75%) report that the pandemic (lockdown) era negatively impacted their mental health, bringing about severe loneliness and an overwhelming uncertainty about the future. Of the 1,000 respondents, 20% now see a therapist on a regular basis, and 39% get therapy for mental health issues once a week. A shocking 57% take some form of medication on a regular basis just to cope. This generation is two times more likely to struggle with emotional distress than the two generations that came before – Millennials and Generation X.
Many of these mental struggles are based on Gen Z’s beliefs about the future. A majority (85%) openly admit that they are worried about the future in general. They worry about things like the economy, having enough money to survive, the environment, and the increasingly divided political landscape. Nearly 90% believe that their generation won’t be successful at all in the future, and 75% believe their generation is at a disadvantage when compared to previous generations.
Much of the worry comes down to personal finances, as 90% fear that they can’t make ends meet each month. Sixty-six percent of the respondents don’t feel financially stable at all. About half of the respondents don’t feel ready to join the workforce, and most are concerned about the future of the economy. During the covid-19 scandal, governments destroyed the value of the currency, defrauding the public. This has driven up the cost of practically everything, making it nearly impossible for one to survive on the old minimum wage, let alone purchase a home.
Young people face constant psychological abuse and spiritual oppression
On top of the economic uncertainty, the young generation is dealing with massive amounts of psychological abuse and spiritual oppression stemming from government and pharmaceutical propaganda and abusive mandates. An entire generation is being trained to fear the unknown, to accept germaphobia as a way of life, and to live isolated on screens. This generation has been taught that coming together to worship God is a prohibited act, but charging through streets demanding social justice is an act of virtue. This generation has been taught to stay home and stay safe, while team sports, group activities, and church assemblies are shuttered. The very activities that bring people together, that promote community and achievement are replaced by a screen-driven life, dictated by algorithms and ads, where real knowledge is buried and propaganda is disseminated only to manipulate and control.
This generation is having their individuality stripped from them, as they are taught to take the role of a victim and find refuge in the ever-expanding spectrum of false gender identities and stereotypes. Young people are now expected to go along with Marxist ideals that strip them of their dignity, as they are indoctrinated to succumb to some societal cause of safety and the “greater good.” But no matter what the young people are promised – free this, free that, a more inclusive society – the dictates of this Marxist state only depress them further. Not only are they being stripped of their unique individuality, but their minds are being programmed to follow groupthink narratives that dictate their path in life. Their struggle to build character is mired by the conveniences of the screens and the droning away of artificial dopamine rushes. Their God-given potential is being suppressed by false gods, vanity, bitterness, envy, get-rich-quick schemes, and other hollow pursuits.
The next generation will see a spiritual revival, the kind that sears sin, the kind that comes from personal change and growth, the kind that brings a renewal of faith, the kind that seeks the Savior of the soul.
Dr. Gabor Maté joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss his new book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture.
Dr. Gabor Maté is a physician and childhood development specialist who has written several best-selling books, including In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection; and Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder.
This overfed man is the poster boy for narcissism, isn’t he? Oh well, people get the government they deserve, no? What I am afraid of is of a civil war that would disintegrate the States to Smithereens. Too much noise, as I live above them.
Following decades of increased life expectancy rates, Americans have been dying earlier for three consecutive years since 2014, turning the elusive quest for the ‘American Dream’ into a real-life nightmare for many. Corporate America must accept some portion of the blame for the looming disaster.
Something is killing Americans and researchers have yet to find the culprit. But we can risk some intuitive guesses.
According to researchers from the Center on Society and Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, American life expectancy has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now in fact decreasing.
The National Center for Health Statistics reported that life expectancy in the United States peaked (78.9 years) in 2014 and subsequently dropped for 3 consecutive years, hitting 78.6 years in 2017. The decrease was most significant among men (0.4 years) than women (0.2 years) and happened across racial-ethnic lines: between 2014 and 2016, life expectancy decreased among non-Hispanic white populations (from 78.8 to 78.5 years), non-Hispanic black populations (from 75.3 years to 74.8 years), and Hispanic populations (82.1 to 81.8 years).
“By 2014, midlife mortality was increasing across all racial groups, caused by drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides, and a diverse list of organ system diseases,” wrote researchers Steven H. Woolf and Heidi Schoomaker in a study that appears in the latest issue of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
At the very beginning of the report, Woolf and Schoomaker reveal that the geographical area with the largest relative increases occurred “in the Ohio Valley and New England.”
“The implications for public health and the economy are substantial,” they added, “making it vital to understand the underlying causes.”
Incidentally, it would be difficult for any observer of the U.S. political scene to read that passage without immediately connecting it to the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Taking advantage of the deep industrial decline that has long plagued the Ohio Valley, made up of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, Trump successfully tapped into a very real social illness, at least partially connected to economic stagnation, which helped propel him into the White House.
Significantly, thirty-seven states witnessed significant jumps in midlife mortality in the years leading up to 2017. As the researchers pointed out, however, the trend was concentrated in certain states, many of which, for example in New England, did not support Trump in 2016.
“Between 2010 and 2017, the largest relative increases in mortality occurred in New England (New Hampshire, 23.3%; Maine, 20.7%; Vermont, 19.9%, Massachusetts 12.1%) and the Ohio Valley (West Virginia, 23.0%; Ohio, 21.6%; Indiana, 14.8%; Kentucky, 14.7%), as well as in New Mexico (17.5%), South Dakota (15.5%), Pennsylvania (14.4%), North Dakota (12.7%), Alaska (12.0%), and Maryland (11.0%). In contrast, the nation’s most populous states (California, Texas, and New York) experienced relatively small increases in midlife mortality.
Eight of the 10 states with the highest number of excess deaths were in the industrial Midwest or Appalachia, whereas rural US counties experienced greater increases in midlife mortality than did urban counties.
A tragic irony of the study suggests that greater access to healthcare, notably among the more affluent white population, actually correlates to an increase in higher mortality rates. The reason is connected to the out-of-control prescription of opioid drugs to combat pain and depression.
“The sharp increase in overdose deaths that began in the 1990s primarily affected white populations and came in 3 waves,” the report explained: (1) the introduction of OxyContin in 1996 and overuse of prescription opioids, followed by (2) increased heroin use, often by patients who had become addicted to prescription opioids, and (3) the subsequent emergence of potent synthetic opioids (eg, fentanyl analogues)—the latter triggering a large post-2013 increase in overdose deaths.
“That white populations first experienced a larger increase in overdose deaths than nonwhite populations may reflect their greater access to health care (and thus prescription drugs).”
In September, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, reached a tentative settlement with 23 states and more than 2,000 cities and counties that sued the company, owned by the Sackler family, over its role in the opioid crisis
Other factors also helped to drive up the U.S. mortality rate, including alcoholic liver disease and suicides, 85% of which occurred with a firearm or other method.
The United States spends more on health care than any other country, yet its overall health report card fares worse than those of other wealthy countries. Americans experience higher rates of illness and injury and die earlier than people in other high-income nations.
Researchers were perplexed but not surprised by the data as there existed clear signs back in the 1980s that the United States was heading for a cliff as far as longevity rates go.
So what is it that’s claiming the life of Americans, many at the prime of their life, at a faster pace than in the past? The reality is that it is likely to be an accumulation of negative factors that are finally beginning to take a toll. For example, apart from the opioid crisis, there has also been an almost total collapse of union representation across Corporate America, which has essentially crushed any form of workplace democracy. This author, a former member of three worker unions, witnessed this egregious abuse of corporate power firsthand, which is apparent by the total stagnation of wages for many decades.
Today’s real average wage – that is, after accounting for inflation – has about the same purchasing power it did about half a century ago. Meanwhile, in the majority of cases, increases in salary have a marked tendency to go to the highest-paid tier of executives.
In a report by Pew Research, “real terms average hourly earnings peaked more than 45 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 had the same purchasing power that $23.68 would today.”
One needs only consider the growing mountain of tuition debt now consuming the paychecks of many university graduates, many of whom have yet to land their dream 6-figure job from their relatively worthless liberal education, to better understand the quiet desperation that exists across the country.
At the same time, the exponential rise in the use of social media, which has been proven to trigger depression and loneliness in users, also deserves serious consideration. What society is experiencing with its massive online presence is a total overhaul as to the way human beings relate to each other. Presently, it would be very difficult to argue that the changes have been positive; in fact, they seem to be contributing to the early demise of millions of Americans in the prime of life.
Taken together, abusive labor practices that ignores workplace democracy, the epidemic of opioid usage, compounded by the anti-social features of ‘social media’ suggests a perfect storm of factors precipitating the rise of early deaths in the United States. Since all of these areas fall in one way or another under the control of corporate power, this powerful agency must find ways to help address the problem. The future success of America depends upon it.
Yesterday, November 19, was International Men’s Day and in 2019, the theme is “Making a Difference for Men and Boys”.
The focus of the day is to “promote the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvements in men and boy’s health and well-being,” Sadly, as Statista’s Martin Armstrong details in the chart below, suicide rates among men are significantly higher in most countries around the world.
Of the 25 looked at here, the World Health Organization estimates Russia to have by far the highest rate among men, at 48.3 cases per 100,000 population in 2016. For women, India has the highest rate, with 14.5 cases.
There are some exceptions however.
In China, the rate for women is 8.3 while for men it is 7.9.
While the US ranks 7th overall in the world, suicide rates are at their highest since World War II, according to federal data and the opioid crisis, widespread social media use and high rates of stress may be among the myriad contributing factors.
In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s a 33% increase since 1999, and the highest age-adjusted suicide rate recorded in the U.S. since 1942.
There are countless people throughout the US and throughout the world who have been steered away from a life of drug or alcohol addiction after a spiritual experience with a psychedelic drug. In fact, Bill Wilson, the co-founder of the alcoholics anonymous program, actually considered promoting LSD as a tool for alcoholics to shake their addiction. Wilson was a close associate with many early adopters of LSD and took numerous trips in controlled, scientific settings while he was involved with the AA program.
Wilson believed that LSD was not a cure-all for mental problems and diseases such as addiction, but he felt that it could be a catalyst towards understanding one’s own life and changing direction.
“I don’t believe [LSD] has any miraculous property of transforming spiritually and emotionally sick people into healthy ones overnight. It can set up a shining goal on the positive side, after all, it is only a temporary ego-reducer. The vision and insights given by LSD could create a large incentive – at least in a considerable number of people,”Wilson reportedly said after his first LSD trip in 1956.
In a later letter to Gerald Heard, one of his associates in the LSD scene, Wilson wrote, “I am certain that the LSD experiment has helped me very much. I find myself with a heightened color perception and an appreciation of beauty almost destroyed by my years of depression.”
Despite his confidence in the experience and the substance, Wilson was forced to stay relatively quiet about his experiments because he feared legal punishment and professional embarrassment. After rumors of his involvement in the LSD scene had begun to spread, Wilson asked the scientists that he was working with to omit his name in the records of their experiments.
Wilson feared becoming a pariah in the movement that he helped create because many people involved in AA were attached to the idea that all mind-altering chemicals are dangerous and should be avoided.
According to a paper called Pass It On, which was published by AA World Services in 1984, the movement was entirely opposed to his views on LSD.
“As word of Bill’s activities reached the fellowship there were inevitable repercussions. Most AAs were violently opposed to his experimenting with a mind-altering substance. LSD was then totally unfamiliar, poorly researched, and entirely experimental – and Bill was taking it,” the report read.
One of the ideas that permeate AA culture is that any mind-altering substance whatsoever is dangerous and could trigger a relapse back into alcohol addiction. However, this view was obviously not shared by AA founder Bill Wilson, who understood that different substances have different effects on people and that it is possible to have a safe spiritual experience on a mind-altering drug without slipping back into a life of addiction.
One of the most in-depth studies into Wilson’s LSD use and his connection with that realm is a book called Distilled Spirits by Don Lattin. The book features a number of thinkers, including Wilson, who both studied, and struggled with mind-altering substances. The research collected many letters that were written between Wilson and his associates in the LSD scene, giving a glimpse into the thoughts that he was so apprehensive to make public.
About the Author
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.
Trans people have lost the plot. Every day, an increasing amount of absurdity floods in as they do more harm than good. They scream for acceptance without realizing that the ones damaging their image aren’t bigots, but themselves.
From anger directed at celebrities for the rational belief that parents shouldn’t decide whether their three-year-old is trans, to a culture of outrage that freaks out at the most minor of offenses, transgender activists have become detrimental to my, and others’, very existence.
Not helping matters is the fact that these people are laying bombs within our language in the hope they trigger, so they themselves can become triggered. Saying ‘transgendered’ instead of ‘transgender’ can see you labeled as transphobic, as can saying ‘transwomen’ instead of ‘trans (notice the space) women.’ This is a linguistic minefield with the sole intent of catching people off guard. And those who are caught in its blast are branded as bigots.
’This concept is nonsensical, as it’s one thing to correct someone who made a grammatical mistake, but another thing altogether to get outright offended when someone makes a simple error, and that’s what is occurring. A turn of events which only pushes people away as no one wants to associate with a group of people who become so easily upset.
Hampering things even further is the fact that the once-radical portion of the left has seemingly taken control, and now no one can speak up lest they become a target for the vitriol and abuse of which this conglomerate is composed. How do I know this? Because I’m a trans person myself, and my reward for speaking with rationality is to be labeled a ‘self-loathing, bootlicking, trans-misogynistic terf.’
And if I can be called a transphobe, then your normal human being doesn’t stand a chance – especially in an era when people are pushing an agenda that suggests you better suck d**k or you’re a bigot.
I desperately wish I was making that last bit up.
In late August, journalist – or, let’s be real – outrage merchant, Ana Valens, went on a tirade over at the Daily Dot about how it was transphobic to decline sex with a trans person on the basis that they are trans. Likewise, just last week, women’s competitive cyclist Rachel McKinnon made multiple claims that are outright audacious. In one instance, she said“genital preferences are transphobic,” and in another she boldly expressed that any sexual orientation other than pansexuality is immoral.
The media warned us that the recent release of ‘Joker’ was going to lead to an incel uprising, but I don’t think they meant it quite like this.
Trans people want all the compassion and acceptance in the world, yet in many cases they’re not willing to be equally as understanding. Last year, the flames of fury flared up when a woman named Kristi Hanna filed a human rights complaint against a women’s shelter after she was forced to share a room with a transgender woman in Toronto.
Many people took it at face value and levied all sorts of hate at her, but the actual situation is more complex. Hanna is a rape victim, and her roommate was a pre-op trans woman who wasn’t yet far enough into their transition to be passable, or even fully presentable. As was described by Ms Hanna, her roommate was male-bodied with facial and chest hair.
Now maybe it’s because I’m a rape victim who battles my own forms of PTSD, but I too would be triggered by sharing a room with a complete stranger who looks like a man. I don’t care what they identify as. In regards to Kristi Hanna, that’s exactly what happened. As was reported by the National Post, the sharing of a room with someone who looked like a man caused her “stress, anxiety, rape flashbacks, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleep deprivation.” When she reported this to the shelter staff, they offered to move her to a new room, but it lacked a door, therefore allowing no privacy, so she left the shelter altogether.
Yet to the trans community, none of that mattered, and Kristi was raked over the coals. Even I was attacked for trying to defend her. Worse still is the fact that shelters which exclude trans women are now being vandalized. Never mind that they help women who need it.
To the petulant children who make up what I call the ‘pronoun police,’ all they can think of is their own selfish and self-centric world views. Few in this ‘community,’ to which I’ve been forcefully tied, seem to have any basic understanding of the various reasons why our presence may be triggering to some, especially in a women’s shelter that houses rape victims. It shouldn’t take a big brain to see why a male-looking individual with a floppy penis may not be the best fit.
A fact of reality is that I was born a boy. Even now, post-hormone replacement therapy, I have masculine traits that will never go away. When I die, if far off into the future I’m dug up, my bones will have archeologists pegging me as male, not female.
I bring that analogy up because many trans people seem to deny they were born as the gender opposite of what they identify as. But I am not 100 percent female, and I never will be. I’ll never have a period, although some smooth-brained idiots like to argue that “some women have issues that prevent them from having periods, so does that mean you’re saying they’re not women too?” No, that’s not what that means. It means I have a d**k and no potential even exists for me to have a period. Because, unlike biological women who may have conditions that effect how their bodies work, they still have the proper bodies of the sex it happens to be.
I don’t. My chromosomes are XY, and I was born a boy. I’ll never have to worry about cervical cancer, though when I’m older I will want to have my prostate checked.
None of this means trans people shouldn’t be respected as the gender they present themselves as. We are anomalies in that our brains for some reason developed on a course which differs from what our chromosomes dictate.
I’m not going to call being trans a mental illness, but it is an issue that stems from the brain. Even scans of that organ reveal people like me have brains more closely resembling the gender we present ourselves to be, and due to that, I’m a proponent of supporting transitioning, but that support comes with some caveats.
I, for one, don’t think trans women should be competing against cis women in competitive sports. At least, not outside of specialized leagues where everyone consents to trans women being allowed. In normal events, we are seeing trans people destroy records in track, weightlifting, and other events, and that is not fair to biological females.
I’m also opposed to letting kids take various meds. By all means, if your child is trans, it’s for the best to support and love them, but growing up is a confusing time, and it’s maybe not a good idea to let them begin a full-on transition.
These days it’s simply too easy to get a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and I fear the repercussions. I have zero doubts in my mind that soon enough we will have teens and adults stepping forward who were convinced they were trans at a young age, only to grow up and realize they aren’t. Some boys are just effeminate and some girls are just a bit masculine, but today, society is going out of its way to tell them they’re trans.
A scary thought for a community that seems to already run on fear.
In 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center sent out a tweet linking an article about transgender hate murders. In a follow up tweet, they listed names of all the trans people who had been murdered that year. The placement of the names below an article about hate murders seems to imply all of the listed names were the victims of hate crimes.
As is so often the case, this isn’t true. Of the names listed, three stand out. Sean Hake, Kiwi Herring, and Scout Schultz. What’s important about these people is that they weren’t killed for anything related to their gender identities. All three were shot by police in different states after charging at law enforcement with knives. That same year, multiple non-trans people were killed by police for the very same reason.
Yet the trans individuals’ deaths are tallied and used as examples of a rising trend in the murder of transgender people – a trend that has been occurring for years. What’s most disingenuous is that, in many cases, there’s little to no proof that their murders are linked to their status of being trans. Some are sex workers in dangerous areas where cis women are also found murdered each year, or they’re just victims of normal everyday violence.
It sucks, but a lot of people just happen to get shot in the United States, and for a myriad of reasons.
Just this year, Claire Legato, a trans woman in Ohio, was shot dead after her mother got into an altercation with a man in their yard about an issue relating to theft. Jordan Cofer, also from Ohio, was tragically killed when a gunman went on a mass shooting in Dayton. These two deaths are included on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of “violence against the transgender community.”The list ends with this sentence: “HRC has been tracking reports of fatal anti-transgender violence for the past several years.”
“Anti-transgender” violence. Hmm, weird, I didn’t know the Dayton, Ohio gunman did all that for a single person.
Even in cases where a transgender person kills themselves, if an agenda can be pushed, this community will immediately take a still-warm corpse and bludgeon people with it.
This week, comedian and actress Daphne Dorman took her own life. She was cited by Dave Chappelle in his most recent Netflix standup as the person who “was laughing the hardest” at his trans jokes. In case you’re unaware, this is the standup special that caused many in the media to cry foul and call Chapelle ‘transphobic.’
Punching down requires you to consider yourself superior to another group. @DaveChappelle doesn’t consider himself better than me in any way. He isn’t punching up or punching down. He’s punching lines. That’s his job and he’s a master of his craft. #SticksAndStones#imthatdaphne
In 2017, at the HRC National Dinner, president Chad Griffin gave an eye-opening speech. He began by thanking Hillary Clinton who had a speaking role that year, before then repeatedly emphasizing how things for LGBT individuals were much brighter under Obama. This is important because the HRC is a major supporter of Democratic candidates and politicians.
He eventually went on to discuss ‘HRC Rising,’ or what he labeled as the single largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s history. This was important to him, as he proceeded to say: “It’s critical we organize and mobilize the 10 million-plus LGBTQ voters in this country. Which by the way, is a voting bloc that is larger than the margin of victory of every presidential election since 1984.”
For a couple years now, this speech hasn’t sat well with me. I look at our media landscape and watch as fearmongering rules the day. A narrative has been created which paints anyone on the right as a hateful bigot, and has gay and trans people fearful that they’re going to die.
Trans lists over-conflate and simplify the reasons people are murdered. Comedians are blamed for suicides that have nothing to do with anything they’ve done. And anyone who so much as questions the absurdity of what’s happening is torn down, and labeled every negative thing that will stick.
Why this keeps happening is clear. An environment has been created that is pushing people to conform to a particular mindset by brute-force scare tactics, and this is inevitably convincing them to vote a certain way. The left is ruling by division and fear. Browse social media and the trans-death stat is cited ad nauseam. These people legitimately believe they’re going to die. All the while, the actual issues that caused those deaths aren’t being discussed.
Inner city crime and prostitution are big factors, as is poor mental health. I mean, sane people don’t go charging at police with knives. Yet those issues don’t get blamed, nor are they being adequately discussed. Daphne Dorman, in these people’s eyes, didn’t join the 41 percent because she had deep-rooted issues. No, it’s Chappelle’s fault. It’s the right’s fault. It’s the bigot’s fault.
And as a right-leaning individual myself, who also happens to be trans, I know this to be false. I’m embraced by my community. They aren’t transphobic, they don’t want me dead; they just have issues with much of the same stuff I do.
A lot of trans people call me a self-loather, but I don’t loathe myself, nor do I loathe the fact that I’m trans. I just loathe the community I’ve been forcefully grouped into, and I think it’s understandable why a lot of other people do too. Trannies and their allies are now their own worst enemies, but unlike them, I refuse to shoot myself in the foot.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Changing one’s gender is either a profound decision to live the way one truly is, or an expression of mental illness, depending on who you ask. Why then has it taken off in schools and become the Pokemon craze of our day?
Britain’s schools are facing a “transgender problem,” with schoolgirls at London’s elite St. Paul’s Girls’ School identifying as trans or “non-binary” just to be cool and rebellious. That’s what former principal Clarissa Farr told the Daily Mail. Discussing the “problem” with other teachers, Farr came to the conclusion that the girls were simply adhering to “anything that was a bit radical and might cause a little bit of turbulence in the school.”
At another school in the UK, a whistleblowing teacher claimed last year that droves of children were identifying as transgender, influenced by older pupils and transgender YouTube stars. In this case, the teacher noticed that a majority of the children were vulnerable students with autism, rather than teenage rebels.
However, many of these students follow through. Rather than merely identifying as the opposite gender, 2,590 children were referred to Gender Identity Development Service clinics in the UK last year – a network of clinics that provide support to trans kids, right up to irreversible hormone treatments and surgery.
It’s easy to dismiss the phenomenon as the rebelliousness of youth. Remember what you took seriously when you were in school but cringe at now? Twilight fan fiction. My Chemical Romance lyrics. Communism. Part of growing up is learning how to test the boundaries, to see what you can get away with as you carve out your personality before the conformity of adulthood sets in.
And a certain tiny percentage of people have always been transgender. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 manual, ‘gender dysphoria’ affects between 0.002 and 0.014 percent of the population, with more men than women exhibiting the condition.
Why such a rare condition – not classified as a “mental disorder” since early 2019 by the World Health Organization – became so popular among kids is a question with several answers.
According to one study from Brown University professor Lisa Littman, “social contagion” explains the spread of trans ideology among kids. The study says there are children exposed to peers who recently “came out” as transgender and followed popular trans YouTubers themselves before “coming out.”
As well as revealing themselves to be trans, these children also adopted wholesale the dogmas of the social justice movement. They lashed out at heterosexual people, and especially at straight white men. They played “pronoun police” at home, and parents – called “breeders” by their newly-indoctrinated children – reported that their kids’ new social justice vocabulary sounded “scripted” and “wooden,” as if it had been lifted “word for word” from the manifestos of trans activists.
Referring to the phenomenon as a “mass sociogenic illness,” cognitive scientist Samuel Veissière urged parents, educators and clinicians to treat it with caution.
Good luck with that. Educators have seemingly listened, nodded, and thrown that advice on the trash heap. From public libraries stocking books describing oral sex between transgender six-year-olds, to “transgender day”events for four-year-old students, to transgender charities instructing teachers on the benefits of giving children hormonal puberty-blocking medication to kids, Veissière’s advice is falling on deaf ears.
Even the taxpayer-funded BBC now tells preteen children that “there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now.” The “fact” that there are over 100 genders has not been established by scientists, but by trans activists.
Among them is the term “genderfuck,” used to describe people who “present a ‘clashing’ combination of gender cues that are incongruous, challenging or shocking to those who expect others to fit the gender binary. For example, combining a beard with makeup and a padded bra.”
And challenging the march of transgender acceptance and encouragement in schools can be dangerous. The whistleblower mentioned above who called out the trend in her school did so anonymously. Professors who question the trans movement get fired, and public figures who dare to suggest that three-year-olds can’t choose their gender get press-ganged into apologizing by online cry-bullies.
In our liberal society, we strive to teach our children acceptance. Yet there is a difference between accepting diversity and encouraging children who just learned how to tie their own shoelaces to swap their gender with hormone injections.
With our civilization no longer ruled by the strict morality of religion or the diktats of puritan tyrants, everything is permitted and nothing is right or wrong. But parents and teachers need to be their own moral arbiters. Speaking out against feckless transgenderism can cost you your job, but the consequences of rash gender reassignment can be a lifetime of regret and a dramatically heightened risk of suicide for the patient.
“Anyone who cares for someone with a developmental disability, as well as for disabled people themselves [lives] every day in fear that their behavior will be misconstrued as suspicious, intoxicated or hostile by law enforcement.”
– Steve Silberman, The New York Times
Think twice before you call the cops to carry out a welfare check on a loved one.
Especially if that person is autistic, hearing impaired, mentally ill, elderly, suffering from dementia, disabled or might have a condition that hinders their ability to understand, communicate or immediately comply with an order.
Particularly if you value that person’s life.
At a time when growing numbers of unarmed people are being shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety, even the most benign encounters with police can have fatal consequences.
That’s all the time it took for the two police officers assigned to check on Plack to decide to use lethal force against her (both cops opened fire on the woman), rather than using non-lethal options (one cop had a Taser, which he made no attempt to use) or attempting to de-escalate the situation.
The police chief defended his officers’ actions, claiming they had “no other option” but to shoot the 5 foot 4 inch “woman with carpal tunnel syndrome who had to quit her job at a framing shop because her hand was too weak to use the machine that cut the mats.”
This is what happens when you empower the police to act as judge, jury and executioner.
This is what happens when you indoctrinate the police into believing that their lives and their safety are paramount to anyone else’s.
Suddenly, everyone and everything else is a threat that must be neutralized or eliminated.
That’s according to a study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, which reports that “disabled individuals make up the majority of those killed in use-of-force cases that attract widespread attention. This is true both for cases deemed illegal or against policy and for those in which officers are ultimately fully exonerated… Many more disabled civilians experience non-lethal violence and abuse at the hands of law enforcement officers.”
In South Carolina, police tasered an 86-year-old grandfather reportedly in the early stages of dementia, while he was jogging backwards away from them. Now this happened after Albert Chatfield led police on a car chase, running red lights and turning randomly. However, at the point that police chose to shock the old man with electric charges, he was out of the car, on his feet, and outnumbered by police officers much younger than him.
In Georgia, campus police shot and killed a 21-year-old student who was suffering a mental health crisis. Scout Schultz was shot through the heart by campus police when he approached four of them late one night while holding a pocketknife, shouting “Shoot me!” Although police may have feared for their lives, the blade was still in its closed position.
In Oklahoma, police shot and killed a 35-year-old deaf man seen holding a two-foot metal pipe on his front porch (he used the pipe to fend off stray dogs while walking). Despite the fact that witnesses warned police that Magdiel Sanchez couldn’t hear—and thus comply—with their shouted orders to drop the pipe and get on the ground, police shot the man when he was about 15 feet away from them.
In Ohio, police forcefully subdued a 37-year-old bipolar woman wearing only a nightgown in near-freezing temperatures who was neither armed, violent, intoxicated, nor suspected of criminal activity. After being slammed onto the sidewalk, handcuffed and left unconscious on the street, Tanisha Anderson died as a result of being restrained in a prone position.
These cases, and the hundreds—if not thousands—more that go undocumented every year speak to a crisis in policing when it comes to law enforcement’s failure to adequately assess, de-escalate and manage encounters with special needs or disabled individuals.
While the research is relatively scant, what has been happening is telling.
“Although new recruits typically spend nearly 60 hours learning to handle a gun, according to a recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum, they receive only eight hours of training to de-escalate tense situations and eight hours learning strategies for handling the mentally ill. Otherwise, police are taught to employ tactics that tend to be counterproductive in such encounters, experts said. For example, most officers are trained to seize control when dealing with an armed suspect, often through stern, shouted commands. But yelling and pointing guns is ‘like pouring gasoline on a fire when you do that with the mentally ill,’ said Ron Honberg, policy director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.”
In the end, while we need to make encounters with police officers safer for people with suffering from mental illness or with disabilities, what we really need – as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People – is to make encounters with police safer for all individuals all across the board.
A single inhalation of the psychedelic drug 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is associated with sustained improvements in satisfaction with life, mindfulness, and a reduction of psychopathological symptoms, according to preliminary research published in Psychopharmacology.
“5-MeO-DMT is a lesser known psychedelic compared to, for example, ayahuasca and psilocybin — and thus very limited research exists,” explained study author Malin Uthaug (@malin.uthaug), a PhD candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
5-MeO-DMT occurs naturally in the venom of some toads and in a variety of plants species. It can also be produced synthetically.
“Essentially, I saw this as a niche area, and brought it upon myself to investigate its effect and therapeutic potential further as part of my doctorate work at Maastricht University. This specific article summarizes the first study I did on the topic, but there are more to come,” Uthaug said.
In the study, 42 participants completed a battery of psychology tests before inhaling vapor from dried toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT. The participants completed the tests again about 24 hours later and 24 participants completed the tests yet again at a 4-week follow-up assessment.
“This study was a so-called ‘naturalistic observational study.’ This means that as a researcher, I simply observed what was occurring at sessions where toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT was administered to participants by facilitators, and distributed questionnaires to the participants,” Uthaug explained.
“Although there are limitations with this design (no placebo-control, participant bias, etc), it has an advantage in the sense that it allows researchers to get a better look at drug effects than what the current legality status of psychedelics permit.”
The researchers found that subjective ratings of life satisfaction, depression, anxiety, and mindfulness improved on the day after the session, and this effect persisted for four weeks. The findings are in line with a previous survey of 362 adults, which found that approximately 80& of respondents reported improvements in anxiety and depression after using 5-MeO-DMT.
But there also does not appear to be anything particularly special about toad venom compared to synthetic 5-MeO-DMT.
“Another important take-away from the study is that 5-MeO-DMT is the main compound in the toad secretion as demonstrated by our lab-analysis,” Uthaug said.
“This finding, as well as the outlined ethical and ecological consideration of toad secretion use, make a clear and strong argument for the discontinuation of toad secretion as a means of obtaining and consuming 5-MeO-DMT. In other words, ‘save a toad – exploit a chemist.‘”
Previous research has indicated that 5-MeO-DMT has a relatively safe profile of use and is predominantly used for spiritual exploration. But there is still much to learn about the psychedelic drug.
“The results of the present study are in no way conclusive, and more research is warranted to investigate 5-MeO-DMT further. The rest of our studies on 5-MeO-DMT (from my dissertation as well as other collaborations) are yet to be published, and include one study outlining the effects of 5-MeO-DMT on biomarkers (salivary cortisol and IL-6), and another comparing the effects and experiences following vaporization or intramuscular injection,” Uthaug told PsyPost.
“These will all amplify the current literature, but future clinical research and safety assessment of 5-MeO-DMT, specifically through the intramuscular route, is highly warranted before a clinical trial can commence.”
“Additionally, none of the facilitators have the necessary expertise (clinical background) to properly hold a safe space where altered states of consciousness can be entered, nor to screen for contraindications in participants that are included in a session,” she said. “This is dangerous as it puts people at unnecessary risk for having an unpleasant and even traumatic experience, which can impact them as well as those around them negatively.”
Its authors said they were “shocked and surprised” by the results, and called for the development of new classes of medication.
However, in the absence of better drugs, they do not want current prescribing practice to be changed because the trial also showed sertraline is effective in reducing anxiety, which often accompanies depression.
The new trial is by far the largest to be conducted without the involvement of the pharmaceutical industry.
It is also the most in-depth examination of sertraline – a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) – in patients with a range of depression severities, rather than just in severely depressed patients in specialist mental health units.
The study included 654 people aged 18 to 74 who were given either the antidepressant for 12 weeks or a placebo.
The results showed depressive symptoms were five per cent lower after six weeks in the sertraline group, which was “no convincing evidence” of an effect.
After 12 weeks, there was a 13 per cent reduction, a finding the experts described as “weak”.
But the drug did offer clear benefits in reducing anxiety, with a 21 per cent reduction in symptoms at six weeks and 23 per cent at 12 weeks.
This is likely to explain why patients taking sertraline were twice as likely to say they felt generally better compared to the placebo group, even once questioned on specific symptoms of depression the benefit was far weaker.
Symptoms of depression include poor concentration, low mood, trouble with sleep, lack of enjoyment, whereas anxiety is presents as worry, nervousness, irritability and restlessness.
In the U.S., an estimated 17.3 million American adults (7.1% of the adult population), experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2017.1 The highest rates are reported among those aged between 18 and 25.2 However, not only is there evidence that depression is vastly overdiagnosed, but there’s also evidence showing it’s routinely mistreated.
With regard to overdiagnosis, one 2013 study3 found only 38.4% of participants with clinician-identified depression actually met the DSM-4 criteria for a major depressive episode, and only 14.3% of seniors 65 and older met the criteria.
As for treatment, the vast majority are prescribed antidepressant drugs, despite the fact there’s virtually no evidence to suggest they provide meaningful help, and plenty of evidence showing the harms are greater than patients are being told.
According to a 2017 study,4 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs, most of them antidepressants, and 84.3% reported long-term use (three years or more). Out of 242 million U.S. adults, 12% were found to have filled one or more prescriptions for an antidepressant, specifically, in 2013.
According to data5 presented by a watchdog group, hundreds of thousands of toddlers are also being medicated with powerful psychiatric drugs, raising serious ethical questions, along with questions about the future mental and physical health of these children.
Recent studies are also shedding much needed light on the addictive nature of many antidepressants, and demonstrate that the benefits of these drugs have been overblown while their side effects — including suicidal ideation — and have been downplayed and ignored for decades, placing patients at unnecessary risk.
The Chemical Imbalance Myth
One researcher responsible for raising awareness about these important mental health issues is professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, a Danish physician-researcher and outspoken critic of the drug industry (as his book, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare,”6 suggests).
Over the past several years, Gøtzsche has published a number of scientific papers on antidepressants and media articles and a book discussing the findings. In a June 28, 2019 article,7 Gøtzsche addresses “the harmful myth” about chemical imbalances — a debunked hypothesis that continues to drive the use of antidepressants to this day. He writes, in part:8
“Psychiatrists routinely tell their patients that they are ill because they have a chemical imbalance in the brain and they will receive a drug that fixes this …
Last summer, one of my researchers and I collected information about depression from 39 popular websites in 10 countries, and we found that 29 (74%) websites attributed depression to a chemical imbalance or claimed that antidepressants could fix or correct that imbalance …
It has never been possible to show that common mental disorders start with a chemical imbalance in the brain. The studies that have claimed this are all unreliable.9
A difference in dopamine levels, for example, between patients with schizophrenia and healthy people cannot tell us anything about what started the psychosis … [I]f a lion attacks us, we get terribly frightened and produce stress hormones, but this does not prove that it was the stress hormones that made us scared.
People with psychoses have often suffered traumatic experiences in the past, so we should see these traumas as contributing causal factors and not reduce suffering to some biochemical imbalance that, if it exists at all, is more likely to be the result of the psychosis rather than its cause.10
The myth about chemical imbalance is very harmful. It makes people believe there is something seriously wrong with them, and sometimes they are even told that it is hereditary.
The result of this is that patients continue to take harmful drugs, year after year, perhaps even for the entirety of their lives. They fear what would happen if they stopped, particularly when the psychiatrists have told them that their situation is like patients with diabetes needing insulin.”
Real Cause of Depression Is Typically Ignored
According to Gøtzsche, there is no known mental health issue that is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. In many cases, the true cause is unknown, but “very often, it is a response to unhealthy living conditions,” he writes.11
He also cites the book,12 “Anxiety — The Inside Story: How Biological Psychiatry Got It Wrong,” written by Dr. Niall McLaren, in which the author shows that anxiety is a major factor in and trigger of most psychiatric disorders.
“A psychiatrist I respect highly, who only uses psychiatric drugs in rare cases … has said that most people are depressed because they live depressing lives,” Gøtzsche writes.
“No drug can help them live better lives. It has never been shown in placebo-controlled trials that a psychiatric drug can improve people’s lives — e.g., help them return to work, improve their social relationships or performance at school, or prevent crime and delinquency. The drugs worsen people’s lives, at least in the long run.13“
Gøtzsche rightfully points out that antipsychotic drugs create chemical imbalances; they don’t fix them. As a group, they’re also somewhat misnamed, as they do not address psychotic states. Rather, they are tranquilizers, rendering the patient passive. However, calming the patient down does not actually help them heal the underlying trauma that, in many cases, is what triggered the psychosis in the first place.
As noted in one 2012 meta-analysis14 of studies looking at childhood trauma — including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, parental death and bullying — and subsequent risk of psychosis:
“There were significant associations between adversity and psychosis across all research designs … Patients with psychosis were 2.72 times more likely to have been exposed to childhood adversity than controls … The estimated population attributable risk was 33% (16%-47%). These findings indicate that childhood adversity is strongly associated with increased risk for psychosis.”
Economy of Influence in Psychiatry
A related article,15 written by investigative journalist Robert Whitaker in 2017, addresses the “economy of influence” driving the use of antidepressant drugs in psychiatric treatment — and the “social injury” that results. As noted by Whitaker, mental disorders were initially categorized according to a disease model in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association.
“We’re all familiar with the second ‘economy of influence’ that has exerted a corrupting influence on psychiatry — pharmaceutical money — but I believe the guild influence is really the bigger problem,” he writes.
Whitaker details the corruption within the APA in his book “Psychiatry Under the Influence,” one facet of which is “the false story told to the public about drugs that fixed chemical imbalances in the brain.” Other forms of corrupt behavior include:
The biased designs of clinical trials to achieve a predetermined result
Spinning results to support preconceived conclusions
Hiding poor long-term outcomes
Expanding diagnostic categories for the purpose of commercial gain
Creating clinical trial guidelines that promote drug use
In his article, Whitaker goes on to dissect a 2017 review16 published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, which Whitaker claims “defends the profession’s current protocols for prescribing antipsychotics, which includes their regular long-term use.”
As Whitaker points out, there’s ample evidence showing antipsychotic drugs worsen outcomes over the long term in those diagnosed with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
The review in question, led by Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, was aimed at answering persistent questions raised by the mounting of such evidence. Alas, their conclusions dismissed concerns that the current drug paradigm might be doing more harm than good.
“In a subsequent press release and a video for a Medscape commentary, Lieberman has touted it as proving that antipsychotics provide a great benefit, psychiatry’s protocols are just fine, and that the critics are ‘nefarious’ individuals intent on doing harm,” Whitaker writes.17
The Scientific Bias of Psychiatric Treatment
Five of the eight researchers listed on the review have financial ties to drug companies, three are speakers for multiple drug companies and all eight are psychiatrists, “and thus there is a ‘guild’ interest present in this review, given that they are investigating whether one of their treatments is harmful over the long-term,” Whitaker notes.18
Not surprisingly, the review ignored studies showing negative effects, including studies showing antipsychotics have a detrimental effect on brain volume. What’s more, while withdrawal studies support the use of antipsychotics as maintenance therapy over the long term, these studies do not address how the drugs affect patients’ long-term health.
“They simply reveal that once a person has stabilized on the medication, going abruptly off the drug is likely to lead to relapse,” Whitaker writes.19 “The focus on long-term outcomes, at least as presented by critics, provides evidence that psychiatry should adopt a selective-use protocol.
If first-episode patients are not immediately put on antipsychotics, there is a significant percentage that will recover, and this ‘spontaneous recovery’ puts them onto a good long-term course. As for patients treated with the medications, the goal would be to minimize long-term use, as there is evidence that antipsychotics, on the whole, worsen long-term outcomes.”
Vast Majority of Psychotic Patients Are Harmed, Not Helped
In his deconstruction of Lieberman’s review, Whitaker details how biased thinking influenced the review’s conclusions. It’s a rather long article, but well worth reading through if you want to understand how a scientific review can be skewed to accord with a preconceived view.
Details I want to highlight, however, include findings relating to the number needed to treat (NNT) and the percentage of patients harmed by the routine use of antipsychotic drugs as a first-line treatment.
As noted by Whitaker, while placebo-controlled studies reveal the effectiveness of a drug compared to an inert substance, they do not effectively reveal the ratio of benefit versus harm among the patient population. NNT refers to the number of patients that have to take the drug in order to get one positive response.
A meta-analysis cited in Lieberman’s review had an NNT of 6, meaning that six patients must take the drug in order for one to benefit from the treatment. The remaining five patients — 83% — are potentially harmed by the treatment. As noted by Whitaker:20
“The point … is this: reviewers seeking to promote their drug treatment as effective will look solely at whether it produces a superior response to placebo. This leads to a one-size-fits-all protocol.
Reviewers that want to assess the benefit-harm effect of the treatment on all patients will look at NNT numbers. In this instance, the NNT calculations argue for selective use of the drugs …”
Antidepressants Are Not Beneficial in the Long Term
While typically not as destructive as antipsychotics, antidepressants also leave a trail of destruction in their wake. A systematic review21 by Gøtzsche published in 2019 found studies assessing harm from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fail to provide a clear and accurate picture of the harms, and therefore “cannot be used to investigate persistent harms of antidepressants.”
In this review, Gøtzsche and colleagues sought to assess “harms of SSRIs … that persist after end of drug intake.” The primary outcomes included mortality, functional outcomes, quality of life and core psychiatric events. In all, 22 papers on 12 SSRI trials were included. Gøtzsche found several distinct problems with these trials. For starters, only two of the 12 trials had a drop-out rate below 20%.
Gøtzsche and his team also note that “Outcome reporting was less thorough during follow-up than for the intervention period and only two trials maintained the blind during follow-up.” Importantly, though, all of the 22 papers came to the conclusion that “the drugs were not beneficial in the long term.”
Another important finding was that all trials either “reported harms outcomes selectively or did not report any,” and “Only two trials reported on any of our primary outcomes (school attendance and number of heavy drinking days).”
Antidepressants Are More Addictive Than Admitted
In a June 4, 2019, article,22 “The Depression Pill Epidemic,” Gøtzsche writes that antidepressant drugs:
“… do not have relevant effects on depression; they increase the risk of suicide and violence; and they make it more difficult for patients to live normal lives.23 They should therefore be avoided.
We have been fooled by the drug industry, corrupt doctors on industry payroll, and by our drug regulators.24 Surely, many patients and doctors believe the pills are helpful, but they cannot know this, because people tend to become much better with time even if they are not treated.25
This is why we need placebo-controlled trials to find out what the drugs do to people. Unfortunately, virtually all trials are flawed, exaggerate the benefits of the drugs, and underestimate their harms.26“
Addictive Nature of Antidepressants Skews Results
In his article,27 Gøtzsche reviews several of the strategies used in antidepressant drug trials to exaggerate benefits and underestimate the harms. One little-known truth that helps skew study results in the drug’s favor is the fact that antidepressants tend to be far more addictive than officially admitted. He explains how this conveniently hides the skewing of results as follows:28
“Virtually all patients in the trials are already on a drug similar to the one being tested against placebo. Therefore, as the drugs are addictive, some of the patients will get abstinence symptoms … when randomized to placebo …
These abstinence symptoms are very similar to those patients experience when they try to stop benzodiazepines. It is no wonder that new drugs outperform the placebo in patients who have experienced harm as a result of cold turkey effects.
To find out how long patients need to continue taking drugs, so-called maintenance (withdrawal) studies have been carried out, but such studies also are compromised by cold turkey effects. Leading psychiatrists don’t understand this, or they pretend they don’t.
Most interpret the maintenance studies of depression pills to mean that these drugs are very effective at preventing new episodes of depression and that patients should therefore continue taking the drugs for years or even for life.”
Scientific Literature Supports Reality of User Complaints
Over the years, several studies on the dependence and withdrawal reactions associated with SSRIs and other psychiatric drugs have been published, including the following:
• In a 2011 paper29 in the journal Addiction, Gøtzsche and his team looked at the difference between dependence and withdrawal reactions by comparing benzodiazepines and SSRIs. Benzodiazepines are known to cause dependence, while SSRIs are said to not be addictive.
Despite such claims, Gøtzsche’s team found that “discontinuation symptoms were described with similar terms for benzodiazepines and SSRIs and were very similar for 37 of 42 identified symptoms described as withdrawal reactions,” which led them to conclude that:
“Withdrawal reactions to selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors appear to be similar to those for benzodiazepines; referring to these reactions as part of a dependence syndrome in the case of benzodiazepines, but not selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors, does not seem rational.”
• Two years later, in 2013, Gøtzsche’s team published a paper30 in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, in which they analyzed “communications from drug agencies about benzodiazepine and SSRI withdrawal reactions over time.”
By searching the websites of drug agencies in Europe, the U.S., UK and Denmark, they found that it took years before drug regulators finally acknowledged the reality of benzodiazepine dependence and SSRI withdrawal reactions and began informing prescribers and patients about these risks.
A significant part of the problem, they found, is that drug agencies rely on spontaneous reporting of adverse effects, which “leads to underestimation and delayed information about the problems.”
In conclusion, they state that “Given the experience with the benzodiazepines, we believe the regulatory bodies should have required studies from the manufacturers that could have elucidated the dependence potential of the SSRIs before marketing authorization was granted.”
• A 2019 paper31 in the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal notes “It took almost two decades after the SSRIs entered the market for the first systematic review to be published.” It also points out that reviews claiming withdrawal effects to be mild, brief in duration and rare “was at odds with the sparse but growing evidence base.”
In reality, “What the scientific literature reveals is in close agreement with the thousands of service user testimonies available online in large forums. It suggests that withdrawal reactions are quite common, that they may last from a few weeks to several months or even longer, and that they are often severe.”
Antidepressants Increase Your Risk of Suicide and Violence
In his June 4 article,32 Gøtzsche also stresses the fact that antidepressants can be lethal. In one of his studies,33 published in 2016, he found antidepressants “double the occurrence of events that can lead to suicide and violence in healthy adult volunteers.”
Other research34 has shown they “increase aggression in children and adolescents by a factor of 2 to 3 — an important finding considering the many school shootings where the killers were on depression pills,” Gøtzsche writes.
In middle-aged women with stress urinary incontinence, the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine, which is also used to treat incontinence, has been shown to double the risk of a psychotic episode and increase the risk of violence and suicide four to five times,35 leading the authors to conclude that harms outweighed the benefits.
“I have described the dirty tricks and scientific dishonesty involved when drug companies and leading psychiatrists try convincing us that these drugs protect against suicide and other forms of violence,36“ Gøtzsche writes.37“Even the FDA was forced to give in when it admitted in 2007, at least indirectly, that depression pills can cause suicide and madness at any age.
There is no doubt that the massive use of depression pills is harmful. In all countries where this relationship has been examined, the sharp rise in disability pensions due to psychiatric disorders has coincided with the rise of psychiatric drug usage, and depression pills are those which are used the most by far. This is not what one would expect if the drugs were helpful.”
Drugmaker Lied About Paxil’s Suicide Risk
In 2017, Wendy Dolin was awarded $3 million by a jury in a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil. Dolin’s husband committed suicide six days after taking his first dose of a Paxil generic, and evidence brought forth in the case convincingly showed his suicide was the result of the drug, not emotional stress or mental illness.38
The legal team behind that victory, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, is also representing other victims of Paxil-induced violence and death. At the time, attorney R. Brent Wisner said:39
“The Dolin verdict sent a clear message to GSK and other drug manufacturers that hiding data and manipulating science will not be tolerated … If you create a drug and know that it poses serious risks, regardless of whether consumers use the brand name or generic version of that drug, you have a duty to warn.”
GSK’s own clinical placebo-controlled trials actually revealed subjects on Paxil had nearly nine times the risk of attempting or committing suicide than the placebo group. To gain drug approval, GSK misrepresented this shocking data, falsely reporting a higher number of suicide attempts in the placebo group and deleting some of the suicide attempts in the drug group.
An internal GSK analysis of its suicide data also showed that “patients taking Paxil were nearly seven times more likely to attempt suicide than those on placebo,” Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman reports, adding:40
“Jurors in the Dolin trial also heard from psychiatrist David Healy, one of the world’s foremost experts on Paxil and drugs in its class … Healy told the jurors that Paxil and drugs like it can create in some people a state of extreme ’emotional turmoil’ and intense inner restlessness known as akathisia …
‘People have described it like a state worse than death. Death will be a blessed relief. I want to jump out of my skin,’ Dr. Healy said. Healthy volunteer studies have found that akathisia can happen even to people with no psychiatric condition who take the drug …
Another Paxil side effect known to increase the risk of suicide is emotional blunting … apathy or emotional indifference … [E]motional blunting, combined with akathisia, can lead to a mental state in which an individual has thoughts of harming themselves or others, but is ‘numbed’ to the consequences of their actions. Drugs in the Paxil class can also cause someone to ‘go psychotic, become delirious,’ Dr. Healy explained.”
Hundreds of Thousands of Toddlers on Psychiatric Drugs
Considering the many serious psychological and physical risks associated with psychiatric drugs, it’s shocking to learn that hundreds of thousands of American toddlers are on them. In 2014, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a mental health watchdog group, highlighted data showing that in 2013:41
274,000 babies aged 1 and younger were given psychiatric drugs — Of these, 249,699 were on anti-anxiety meds like Xanax; 26,406 were on antidepressants such as Prozac or Paxil, 1,422 were on ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall, and 654 were on antipsychotics such as Risperdal and Zyprexa
In the toddler category (2- to 3-year-olds), 318,997 were on anti-anxiety drugs, 46,102 were on antidepressants, 10,000 were prescribed ADHD drugs and 3,760 were on antipsychotics
Among children aged 5 and younger, 1,080,168 were on psychiatric drugs
These are shocking figures that challenge logic. How and why are so many children, babies even, on addictive and dangerously mind-altering medications? Considering these statistics are 6 years old, chances are they’re even higher today. Just what will happen to all of these youngsters as they grow up? As mentioned in the article:42
“When it comes to the psychiatric drugs used to treat ADHD, these are referred to as ‘kiddie cocaine’ for a reason. Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (amphetamine) and Concerta are all considered by the federal government as Schedule II drugs — the most addictive.
ADHD drugs also have serious side effects such as agitation, mania, aggressive or hostile behavior, seizures, hallucinations, and even sudden death, according to the National Institutes of Health …
As far as antipsychotics, antianxiety drugs and antidepressants, the FDA and international drug regulatory agencies cite side effects including, but not limited to, psychosis, mania, suicidal ideation, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even sudden death.”
Children Increasingly Prescribed Psych Drugs Off-Label
Making matters even worse, recent research shows the number of children being prescribed medication off-label is also on the rise. An example offered by StudyFinds.org,43 which reported the findings, is “a doctor recommending antidepressant medication for ADHD symptoms.”
The study,44 published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at trends in off-label drug prescriptions made for children under the age of 18 by office-based physicians between 2006 and 2015. Findings revealed:
“Physicians ordered ≥1 off-label systemic drug at 18.5% of visits, usually (74.6%) because of unapproved conditions. Off-label ordering was most common proportionally in neonates (83%) and in absolute terms among adolescents (322 orders out of 1000 visits).
Off-label ordering was associated with female sex, subspecialists, polypharmacy, and chronic conditions. Rates and reasons for off-label orders varied considerably by age.
Relative and absolute rates of off-label orders rose over time. Among common classes, off-label orders for antihistamines and several psychotropics increased over time …
US office-based physicians have ordered systemic drugs off label for children at increasing rates, most often for unapproved conditions, despite recent efforts to increase evidence and drug approvals for children.”
The researchers were taken aback by the findings, and expressed serious concern over this trend. While legal, many of the drugs prescribed off-label have not been properly tested to ensure safety and efficacy for young children and adolescents.
As noted by senior author Daniel Horton, assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric rheumatologist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, “We don’t always understand how off-label medications will affect children, who don’t always respond to medications as adults do. They may not respond as desired to these drugs and could experience harmful effects.”
Educate Yourself About the Risks
If you, your child, or another family member is on a psychiatric drug, I urge you to educate yourself about the true risks, and to consider switching to safer alternatives. When it comes to children, I cannot fathom a situation in which a toddler would need a psychiatric drug and I find it shocking that there are so many doctors out there that, based on a subjective evaluation, would deem a psychiatric drug necessary.
‘If we don’t control it, we will lose people,’ says Elizabeth May
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says it’s time the federal government declared the opioid crisis a national emergency and decriminalized illicit drugs to prevent deaths.
“This is not a criminal issue. This is a health issue, and we have to adequately support people in our society who are dealing with illness and ill health,” May told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC’s The Early Edition.
The CBC has asked all federal parties to comment on the issue of a safe drug supply. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has declined to comment. The NDP and Liberal parties have not yet provided a response.
During the CBC interview Tuesday morning, May, who is also MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands on Vancouver Island, did not explicitly support the idea that the government should provide a safe supply of opioids, which are increasingly contaminated with fentanyl.
“If we don’t control it, we will lose people,” May told Quinn. “You can die from a very small amount of fentanyl, so our position as the Greens is we have to decriminalize.”
Late Tuesday, May’s spokesperson clarified in an email to CBC that she does in fact support a safe supply, as well as decriminalization of illicit drugs across Canada.
May acknowledges Canadians and politicians have been resistant to the idea of government providing illicit drugs to those struggling with addiction. She believes part of the reason is due to the framing of the issue.
“I think we mischaracterize it when we refer to the deaths as overdoses. These are poisonings.”
She adds that the cost of investing further in harm reduction is also a factor in the lack of political will.
The Green Party leader says her party’s election platform will identify new revenue sources to fund mental health and addiction treatment.
With pharmaceutical and even robotic “cures” in the works for loneliness – a condition once considered part of the normal human emotional range but now framed as a health risk – we risk losing the ability to be alone at all.
The pathologization of emotion has been on the march for decades, especially in the US, where fully one sixth of the adult population takes an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug. Now the mental-health industry has a new target – loneliness.
Nearly half of Americans polled last year by health insurer Cigna said they lacked meaningful relationships or companionship. A solutions-based society might examine why so many people feel alienated from their peers despite the constant connectivity of smartphones and internet. A symptom-focused model, however, simply looks to stop them from feeling that way by any means necessary.
Loneliness is “worse than obesity,” according to a raft of studies that have emerged linking the emotion to increased risk of premature death, and even rivals smoking. And like obesity – big business for Big Pharma, gastric bypass surgeons and weight-loss gurus – it requires medical intervention.
THERE’S A PILL FOR THAT
The University of Chicago’s Brain Dynamics Laboratory recently began an eight-week trial of the hormone pregnenolone, rounding up volunteers with “off-the-chart” scores on a psychological loneliness scale. Based on animal studies suggesting the chemical can reduce the exaggerated threat reactions that researchers say characterize loneliness, they hope to normalize the lonely person’s self-centered hyper-vigilance that drives them to both desire human connection and deal poorly with it.
Researchers insist the intention is not to cure loneliness with a pill, but the trial sets a precedent for doing just that – with another psychiatric drug, if pregnenolone doesn’t work out. Antidepressants, for example, have for years been used (and abused) to treat conditions other than depression, with the largest pharmaceutical industry lawsuits targeting overprescribing and off-label prescribing.
And unlike most regular medical patients, individuals deemed mentally ill tend to remain on medication for years, if not for life.
Mental health professionals writing about the loneliness epidemic discuss behavioral interventions, community programs, and therapy, but the introduction of a pharmaceutical solution may prove too tempting for a profession that has learned to love the quick fix a pill provides. Like depression, loneliness has an infinite number of possible causes, some of which are natural and healthy reactions to major life changes. Other types of loneliness have clear behavioral causes that would (before the magic pill, at least) necessitate clear behavioral solutions. Would a psychiatrist reach to medicate the loneliness of a person who only socializes through Facebook with a pill rather than encourage them to talk to real people?
Studies have shown that just a week away from the platform can bring “significant” improvements in well-being, suggesting that in this case, at least, correlation may indeed equal causation. But why force the patient to change his life when a pill will do the trick?
In a quick-fix society that prefers to treat the symptoms while ignoring the disease, a pill for loneliness may be embraced with all the fervor with which antidepressants were greeted before people began to realize that they cause suicidal and homicidal behavior, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, and a host of other problems – and that they don’t actually cure depression.
A loneliness pill will also not address Americans’ emotionally unhealthy digitally-addicted lifestyles. After all, human contact, including real-life socializing, has become a luxury – so says the New York Times, explaining that humans are expensive, screens and robots are cheap, and expecting the unwashed masses to be able to afford access to living, breathing humans like themselves is simply unrealistic.
BRIDGING THE UNCANNY VALLEY
Because if the “loneliness pill” doesn’t work out, AI is waiting in the wings. Already seen as the future of at-home healthcare for aging populations under the care of cash-strapped governments, friendly, helpful robots could find their way into the homes of the lonely. And while snooping AI “digital assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa tend to creep people out, this new wave of robo-buddies would be framed as medical help. As lonely humans become accustomed to conversing with their robot pals, their expectation for real human contact may diminish, and their sense of loneliness with it. After all, you can’t miss what you never had. Already, given the stunted level of discourse on social media, many of us have found ourselves tricked into talking to bots, sometimes exchanging several messages before realizing our interlocutor is not human.
As the bar for “meaningful relationships” is lowered to the point where chatting with an AI can qualify, the loneliness epidemic vanishes – on paper, at least, and in US public health policy, sometimes that’s all that matters.
LONELY OR JUST ALONE?
The pathologization of loneliness will inevitably elide the difference between being alone and being lonely, as the mental health industry runs out of lonely people to treat with whatever therapeutic weapon wins this particular arms race and is forced to seek more patients. “Loners” – those dangerous types who actually enjoy solitude – are stigmatized as unpredictable weirdos who need to be brought into the fold. The man who shot up a Walmart in El Paso earlier this month was an “extreme loner,” according to media reports. Would we be reading about it if he was an “extreme extrovert”? The myth of the “introvert killer” pops up every time, even though it has been thoroughly debunked.
With no anti-loneliness pill on the market – yet – it is impossible to predict what’s next for the creeping pathologization of the human emotional experience. But Amazon’s Alexa has moved one step closer to the companion-robot model, rolling out a medical feature earlier this year which could conceivably be deployed to “check on” individuals at risk for loneliness.
And with implantable devices like Elon Musk’s Neuralink on the horizon, bringing that AI directly in contact with your mind, you’ll never be able to feel lonely again. Solitude – like privacy and human contact before it – thus becomes the ultimate luxury good.
Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator, working at RT since 2018
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone