(1) “Mental illnesses,” even severe ones, are relational. Psychiatry, by focusing almost exclusively on biology, is making itself increasingly irrelevant.
(2) Psychoactive substances provide at best, temporary relief, but always make things worse in the long run. They make things worse directly (chemically) and indirectly by distracting from the real issues.
(3) All psychoactive substances have rebound and withdrawal-related problems. “Relapse” rates, in general, during withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, are about 10 times higher than would be expected if the drug had never been taken.
(4) “All biopsychiatric treatments share a common mode of action — the disruption of normal brain function” (Peter Breggin, M.D., Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Springer Pub. Co., 1997, p. 3). Drugs never correct imbalances. They never improve the brain. They “work” by impairing the brain and dampening feelings in various ways.
“A generation ago, psychiatrists admitted that their diagnoses were unreliable and agreed that this was a major scientific problem. So in 1980, in an attempt to eliminate this embarrassment, they created the DSM-III with concrete behavioral checklists and formal decision-making rules, but they failed to correct the problem. Psychiatric diagnoses remain unreliable, but now psychiatry no longer talks about the unreliability problem.”
1. The United States spends $113 billion on mental health treatment. That works out to about 5.6 percent of the national health-care spending, according to a 2011 paper in the journal Health Affairs.
Last year, US giant Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company by pharmaceutical revenue, made an eye-watering 42% profit margin. As one industry veteran understandably says: “I wouldn’t be able to justify [those kinds of margins].”
“There have been double-digit increases in yearly Medicaid drug spending with psychiatric drugs representing the largest percentage of that cost. [i] Psychiatric medications are among Medicaid’s most costly and commonly prescribed drugs. [ii] While Medicaid officials (many former pharmaceutical industry employees) reported concerns about the effects of restricting access to drugs for those with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, but these officials do not seem adequately concerned about the growing numbers of adverse effects, episodes of violence, fatalities and suicides on these medications. Side effects of psychiatric medications can include seizures, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia (a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movement), and other extrapyramidal symptoms (neurological side effects).”