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Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1

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"Over ninety percent  of persons with mental illness have no history of violence. "

Serper, M, Bergman, A. (2003)

Psychotic Violence: Methods, Motives, Madness, Psychosocial Press of Madison, CT.

Are the mentally ill really the violence problem?

A Washington State evaluation of more than 300 mentally ill offenders released from prison found that only 2% committed serious violent crimes in the first 18 months of a scheduled 5 year follow-up.

Dawson, J.M. and Langan, P.A. (1994). 1988 Department of Justice study.  

Columbine Shooting

Violence and SSRI use for PTSD and other mental conditions

No type of antidepressant is helpful in every clinical case or even indicated. These drugs can actually make the situation worse. As a class of drugs SSRIs can create a unique combination of side effects that may severely impair judgment and impulse control in individual patients. Excessive doses of antidepressants can cause brain dysfunctions including disorientation, confusion, and cognitive disturbances. In combat veterans suffering PTSD, impulsive behavior, especially if coupled with impaired cognitive functioning, can be dangerous. Antidepressants can also trigger similar, manic-like symptoms in people whose depression is part of a manic-depressive syndrome, which often gets overlooked when people are given SSRIs.

Virginia Tech Shooting

Mass Murder, Homicides & Suicide

Is public safety enhanced when “patients” are given SSRI’s and are persons on SSRI’s less likely to do gun violence? The pharmaceutical corporations would lead you to believe that a person taking these drugs is less likely to commit suicide and less likely to do gun violence to others. But is that really true? Recent cases of mass violence such as the Joseph Wesbecker in Virginia that shot his co-workers, the Virginia Tech murders, the Columbine Shootings, and the shootings at Fort Hood, all point to the fact that anti-depressant and SSRI medication are dangerous to the public. These medications can cause homicidal thinking which results in public violence and also in suicides. The pharmaceutical industry wants to use the returning veterans as a huge potential pharmaceutical drug customer base. All veterans are trained to use weapons and often have weapons easily at hand. With Post Traumatic Stress a major problem in the returning troops, we have a social problem to deal with their mental health needs. With the US government picking up the tab, the pharmaceutical companies are lobbying heavily to increase their expected profits from the sales of drugs for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers. The huge numbers of returning veterans are a prime target of their sales efforts. Big Pharma pours lots of money into the political campaigns of those who support their agenda. These huge pharmaceutical companies have persons on the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health that are pushing to do wholesale marketing of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and other mind altering drugs to veterans with PTSD. The constantly expanding prison population is another target for the SSRI drug marketing and especially those prisoners facing re-entry and who will soon have Medicaid/Medicare to pay their pharmaceutical bills.

The Violence Initiative

        

FDA Black Box Warning

When SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft were first introduced in the late 1980's and early 1990's there were reports of increasing violent behavior including suicide and homicide. There were in 2003 reports by British authorities and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about unpublished studies showing an increased risk of suicide in children and teenagers taking Paxil. Prior reports of suicidal and homicidal acts in adults taking SSRIs have been minimized by the pharmaceutical company defenders and mainstream doctors, who claim that suicide is common in depression anyway. The recent violence Nov. 5, 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas in which a military psychiatrist shot and killed 13 people and wounded 30 others gives us good reason to reconsider these psychiatric drug treatments for military personnel and veterans. This incident reminded me of the Northern Illinois University mass shootings where former grad student Stephen Kazmierczak killed 5 students and wounding dozens of others before committing suicide himself. This gunman had been taking the drug Paxil prior to his mass killings. The drug manufacturer had been deliberately withholding information about violent behavior as an adverse effect of the medication. Now the drug Paxil carries a black box warning about homicide and suicide. On Sept 14, 2004, an FDA panel voted 18 to 5 to require manufacturers of all antidepressants to add black box warnings to their product labeling. A month later, the FDA adopted the panel's recommendations.   The warning reads in part:

"Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of [Drug Name] or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior."  

The warning specifically links antidepressant use to suicidal behavior in four percent of kids on these drugs compared to two percent for kids on placebos.

Peter Breggin MD Drugging & Violence

 

 

Psycho-social treatment has better outcomes

A 11 month study compared typical hospital treatment with pure psychological treatment, noting the most severe cases went to the psychological treatment without medication.  Results were no suicide attempts, elopements or other significant acts of violence in the psycho-social treatment group; however, typical hospital drug group with a higher staffed ward had 3 suicides.

 

Diekman, A., and Whitaker, L. (1979). "Humanizing the Psychotherapy ward: Changing

from drugs to psychotherapy."  Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice. 16

 (2):204-214.

Choice in Housing - Coco's Story

Culturally Appropriate Community Supports for Mental Patients

The patient’s faith belief should be honored with what would be considered to be culturally appropriate alternatives to the medical and biochemical approaches to treatment. There should also be an effort to provide appropriate peer support or other alternatives to the traditional mental health system.

 

 

Psychotherapy is  preferable to psychopharmacological treatment, and in many studies it has shown to be more effective than drugs (especially for PTSD) without the potentially troublesome and dangerous side effects. There are proven psychosocial techniques for modifying inappropriate behavior or speech. Mind/body connecting/focusing activities can be helpful. It is valuable to “make contact” with individuals who are unresponsive to usual forms of communication. Also, the mere act of “being with” a person who is experiencing profound emotional distress can provide great solace. [See Dan Dorman’s book, Dante’s Cure, for a real-life story of a woman who made a complete recovery from psychosis, and how that journey occurred.]

 


People labeled with psychiatric disabilities should be able to select from a menu of independently available services and programs, including mental health services, housing, vocational training, and job placement, and should be free to reject any service or program. Mental health treatment should be about healing, not punishment. Accordingly, the use of aversive treatments, including physical and chemical restraints, seclusion, and similar techniques that restrict freedom of movement, should be banned. Moreover, in part in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L C., state and federal governments should work with people labeled with psychiatric disabilities and others receiving publicly-funded care in institutions to expand culturally appropriate home- and community-based supports so that people are able to leave institutional care and, if they choose, access an effective, flexible, consumer/survivor-driven system of supports and services in the community.

 

SSRI's and Suicidality and Violence

SSRI's and Suicidality and Violence, The Kauffman SSRI Study: Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of the Sciences, 600 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495, Contact: kauffman@bee.net. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 14 Number 1 Spring 2009 11 Potential conflicts of interest: The author has neither a financial interest in any drug mentioned, nor in any alternate treatments for treating any mental illness.

References:

Richard DeGrandpre.  The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World’s Most Troubled Drug Culture Durham, N.C.: Duke UniversityPress; 2006.

The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became theWorld’s Most Troubled Drug Culture.

Bridge JA, Iyengar S, Salary CB, et al. Clinical response and risk for reported suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in pediatrican tide pressant treatment. 2007;297:1683-1696.

Jørgensen AW, Hilden J, Gøtzsche PC. Cochrane reviews compared with industry supported meta-analyses and other meta-analyses of the same drugs: systematic review. doi:10.1136/bmj.38973. 444699.0B (publ Oct 2006).

Cohen JS. New York, N.Y.: Tarcher/Putnam; 2001.

Mackay FJ, Dunn NR, Wilton LV, et al. A comparison of fluvoxamine,  fluoxetine, sertraline and paroxetine examined by observational cohort studies. 1997;6:235-246.

Park L, Covi L. Nonblind placebo trial. 1965;336-345.

Cole JO. Therapeutic efficiency of antidepressant drugs: a review. 1964;190:124-131.

Kirsch I, Moore TJ, Scoboria A, et al. The emperor’s new drugs: an analysis of antidepressant medication data submitted to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. 2002;5(1):23-33.

Kirsch I, Deacon BJ, Huedo-Medina TB, et al. Initial severity and antidepressant benefits: a meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. 2008;5(2):e45. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045.

Healy D. One flew over the conflict of interest nest. 2007;6(1):26-27.

Healy D. New York, N.Y.: New York University Press; 2004.

Healy D. FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee hearings. Available at:: www.healyprozac.com/PDAC. Accessed May 13, 2007.

Wolfe SM, ed. SSRIs can have dangerous interactions with other drugs. 2008;14(1):2-5. www.citizen.org/hrg/. Accessed Feb 4, 2009.

 

IF YOU NEED HELP

IF YOU NEED HELP  

National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy Phoenix Rising Therapy Suicide Prevention   (800) 273-TALK

Vietnam Veterans of America, Crisis Phone Number. Special Notice: If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number 1-800-273-8255 available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential. http://www.vva.org/.

Veterans’ Crisis Intervention Hotline: 1-888-899-9377. A Crisis Intervention Hotline has been established by the VA Heartland Network to assist veterans who may be dealing with a mental health crisis or difficult issue in their lives. The hotline will also aid family members or friends of veterans who need help in assisting a veteran in crisis.

On line Therapy National Center for PTSD

International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP)

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights - Attorney Jim Gottstein

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

SMART International Survivors Action Committee Fighting International Child Abuse Network

Mind Freedom

The Road Back — How To Get Off Psychiatric Drugs Safely

Soteria House — Alternative & Non Drug Solutions for people diagnosed schizophrenic  

The Icarus Project - Navigating the Space between Brilliance and Madness Plato, Not Prozac — Applying Philosophy to Every Day Problems, Lou Marinoff, Professor of Philosophy University of New York

DrugFreeChildren.org — Informational Website on Issues Surrounding the Use of “Chemical Restraints” on Children

AbleChild — Parents for A Label and Drug Free Education European Network of (ex) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

Safe Harbor includes links to find medical doctors (by zip code) who can assist with helping people safely get off of psychiatric drugs and medical personnel who will treat people without the use of psychiatric drugs.

Institute for Progressive Medicine — Conventional and Complementary Therapies Whitaker Wellness Institute — Health Care for a Longer, More Active Life with a focus on elderly care

The American College for the Advancement of Medicine — A Non-Profit Medical Society Dedicated to Improving Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

MedlinePlus — Information on Drugs, Supplements and Herbal Information

Medwatch — The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Mind Freedom

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

The Antipsychiatry Coalition Stop Shrinks!

Association for Mental Health Alternatives

The Alliance for Human Research Protection

A list of crisis help lines and service providers can be found in your phone book, or contact any of the organizations listed below.  

National Suicide Hotline 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)

National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWER ADVOCACY NETWORK

P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at) gmail.com

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"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910