Monday, February 27, 2006

A Survivor of ECT Tells Her Story

(Click the article heading for the source)
My biggest thanks and appreciation to Don Weitz and the members of CAPA. Thank-you for having this event and thanks for inviting me to speak. The impact of these types of forums is far reaching and although the result is mostly - unknown - I am alive today because of hearing survival testimonies and the truth about psychiatry.

Psychiatric treatment has taken a tremendous toll on my life. I would very much like to put the entire experience of being locked up and drugged and shocked behind me and move forward with my life, but it's been 14 years, and so far I haven't been able to. ECT destroyed brain cells filled with memory. During my first ECT seizure my kneecap dislocated. The needle which held the muscle relaxant drug "slipped" out of my arm. The kneecap was surgically removed. One of my heart valves was permanently damaged and a recent head CT scan revealed irregularities.

After 14 months of being locked inside the psychiatric unit, I returned home to a family I had no memory of. I didn't know how to be a mother to my young sons or a wife for my husband. I had to learn my name, how to speak, do up buttons, brush my teeth and so on. I didn't even recognize my own parents, sisters and brothers. My social work career and law aspirations vanished.

The intent of ECT is to kill brain cells. Just the bad cells which are causing the illness, they say.

Electricity going through the head which is largely composed of fluid destroys everything in its path. Electricity hasn't changed throughout the ages - so when you hear that ECT is new, improved and safe - it's an obvious lie. When you hear that they don't know exactly how ECT works, it's a lie. But when you hear that it is effective - well, it's true. It is very effective in causing closed head injury/memory loss which inevitably alters lives..

People always want to know what was wrong with you that you needed psychiatric treatment. "Were you depressed?", "Were you having problems in your life?", "Was there mental illness in your family?"

The truth of the matter is that I wasn't depressed, didn't have unusual problems in my life, and there wasn't any mental illness in my family.

I consulted a family doctor for a throat infection expecting anti-biotics. Through the fever and pain, two tears fell down my face and as a result, I was prescribed a "new drug" Prozac instead of anti-biotics. Of course I was assured that it would be more effective.

10 days of not eating or sleeping led to the diagnosis of clinical bi-polar depression.

During the next 14 months of incarceration in a psychiatric unit, I acquired every disease listed in the DSM and was treated with drugs and ECT.

Would it matter if I HAD been out of my head crazy or had a difficult life problem to deal with? I think not! Psychiatric treatment involving incarceration, drugs and ECT constitutes abuse. Is it better to abuse people who have problems or people who don't have problems? The devastating result will be the same.

I spoke recently to a person who had read my book and was horrified
about my experience. He said that that kind of thing would never happen where he lives - Ontario.

It's likely that if I hadn't personally encountered psychiatric treatment, I would have believed the exact same thing: forced psychiatric treatment perpetrated on healthy strong people is a horrible thing that used to happen or just the stuff of horror movies, and that if it does in fact happen - it happens somewhere else.

Even if through magic I could put the ordeal "in the past" I wouldn't. I have learned some ugly things but I have also been blessed to know exceptional people doing exceptional things in order to put ECT and other horrendous abuses away for good.

I wish I could have learned the truth about psychiatric treatment in a less harmful way. For those of you who haven't learned the truth through first hand experience, I urge you to listen well today. And to those of you who have learned the truth through personal experience and have survived, I beg of you to keep telling your story. This is what saves lives and leads to laws that protect Canadians from psychiatric treatment.

Thank-you again for allowing me to share a few words from my heart.

Feel free to contact me if you Ever need a safe person to talk to, or a safe place to be.

Wendy Funk (ECT survivor)
21 Iron Horse Drive
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 6V2
867-393-3983
wendyf@klondiker.com

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Psych Busted

Psychiatrist Dr. Joe Broderson from Lexington, Kentucky prescribed large quantities of MS Contin, a morphine drug, to his co-workers. He was busted by the Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch.

So does he go to jail for dealing? Does he go down for malpractise? Does he go down for medical fraud? Well not exactly. He was asked to give up his licence. That's it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Root of Evil


Psychiatry is that root.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Chronicle of Death by Psychiatric Drugs

FDA Forgot A Few ADHD Drug Related Deaths and Injuries
February 15, 2006. By Evelyn Pringle

The numbers cited by the FDA for possible attention deficit drug-related deaths and injuries represent a gross understatement of statistics. The truth is that these drugs are responsible for and endless stream of deaths and injuries all over the country.

According to the latest investigation by the FDA, in the four year period between 1999 and 2003, there were twenty-five deaths in persons using ADHD drugs, 19 of which were children. Officials also acknowledged that more than 50 cases of cardiovascular problems had been reported, including stoke, heart attack, hypertension, palpitations and arrhythmia. There are many more documented adverse events caused by these drugs and the FDA knows it.

For instance, on November 20, 1986, after being on Ritalin since the third grade, fourteen-year-old Rod Mathews lured a classmate, Shawn Ouillette, into a wooded area near his home in Canton, Massachusetts, under the pretense of a plan to build a snow fort, and beat him to death with a baseball bat.

Although he had no prior history of violence, Rod beat Shawn until he died and just left the body in the woods. Rod took 2 friends to see the body, and threatened them with the same fate if they told anyone about the murder.

Shaun’s parents reported him missing but his body was not found until about 3 weeks later, when one of Rod's friends tipped off police.

A month before the murder, Rod wrote about some of his bizarre thoughts and actions and said:

“My problem is I like to do crazy things. I’ve been lighting fires all over the place. Lately, I’ve been wanting to kill people I hate, and I’ve been wanting to light houses on fire. What should I do?”

This 14-year-old child was tried as an adult, found guilty of second-degree murder, and went on to become the youngest inmate in the Massachusetts state prison system.

By all accounts, Shaun was a wonderful son and his mother, Jeanne Quinn, missed him terribly. Jeanne told friends that when Rod killed her son he killed her too.

So, the question remains, why isn't Shaun's name listed under Ritalin-related deaths?

There is also no mention of the prescription drug-deaths of 3 members of the McCra family from Rochester, Massachusetts.

On October 9, 1993, 15-year-old Gerard McCra, Jr shot and killed his mother, Merle, 36, his father, Gerald, 35, and his 11-year-old sister, Melanie, after taking Ritalin for nine years since he was six-years-old.

According to court documents and testimony at trial, Gerald told authorities that he was upset because his parents threatened to kick him out of the house.

On the day of the crime, Gerald said his father and sister were about to leave in the family car, and he asked them to wait so that he could go with them.

Gerald went back in the house, broke into his grandfather's room, got a loaded gun and shot his mother in the back of the head and then returned to the waiting car, and shot his father and sister in the back of the head as well.

Next Gerald drove the car to an area behind the house and dragged his mother's body into his sister's room and locked the door.

He attempted to clean up the bloody areas of the house, and then showered and called a female friend and told her to come over to visit. The two spent the night together in Gerald's room.

The next day, he drove the car up to the house, loaded his mother's body in it, and drove car away and left it sit. Later that day, police found the parked car with the 3 dead bodies abandoned along a dirt road.

After police found the bodies, Gerald admitted to the killings. He was convicted of 3 counts of first degree murder on October 23, 1995, and each carried a mandatory life sentence.

The FDA made no mention of the ADHD drug related death of little Sherrice Iverson at the hearings. On May 25, 1997, an 18-year-old high school senior, Jeremy Strohmeyer, raped and murdered 7-year-old Sherrice, in a Nevada casino. Jeremy had been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Dexedrine just days before the crime.

The former high school honor student from Long Beach, California, sexually assaulted and then strangled Sherrice in a stall in the women's bathroom at Primm Valley Casino on the Nevada-California border. Security cameras picked up Jeremy leaving the bathroom.

When police arrived at Jeremy's home and were waiting for a search warrant, his mother gave them an empty Dexedrine bottle and a suicide note her son had left that said:

"I am so sorry, I just pray that this is enough to finish me off. Please Lord let me die. I'm sorry, mom, I'm sorry dad, heather, all my friends and family. Forgive me for I have sinned. I'm sorry. Please give these things (unidentified objects) to Agnes Lee. Tell her I will always love her."

Heather is Jeremy's sister and Agnes Lee is a former girlfriend. Jeremy had taken 37 Dexedrine pills. Police took him to the hospital where his stomach was pumped and according to police reports, Jeremy gave the officers a complete confession.

Moments before his trial was set to begin on September 8, 1998, Jeremy pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder. The plea agreement would send him to prison for life with no chance of parole. Had he gone to trial, he could have gotten the death penalty.

The Ritalin-related deaths of three young Kentucky girls, Nicole Hadley, Jessica James, and Kayce Steger are not listed in the FDA report.

On December 1, 1997, 14-year-old Michael Carneal, was on Ritalin, when he started firing a gun during a prayer meeting at a high school in West Paducah, Kentucky, killing Jessica, 17, Kayce, 15, and 14-year-old Nicole, and wounding five other students, including one who is paralyzed.

That morning, Michael rode to school with his sister Kelly. He wrapped the guns in a blanket and passed the bundle off as a school project. A couple of days before the rampage, Michael had stole the guns from a friend's garage.

Michael's sister Kelly witnessed the shootings and told police that had she not seen Michael's face, she would not have recognized him as her brother.

According to his friends, at the time of the shooting, Michael suffered from severe paranoia and unreasonable fears and believed that his friends and family were plotting against him. Among his fears were people hiding in the air vents in his home which caused Michael to cover the vents in the bathroom with towels every time he took a shower.

He feared that people were beneath the floorboards waiting to cut off his feet with a chainsaw and slept with knives under his mattress in case he needed to fight off a burglar.

At the FDA hearings, nobody mentioned the Ritalin-related injuries to Shelley Schaberg, 17, Melissa “Missy” Jenkins, 15, Kelly Hard, 16, Craig Keene, 15, and Hollan Holm, 14, who were all wounded by Michael at the school that day.

Michael pleaded guilty to the charges by reason of mental illness and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years. Lucky for Michael, Kentucky law prohibits giving the death penalty to anyone under the age of 16.

The March 10, 1998, Ritalin-related deaths of Gerald and Cynthia Franklin of Huntsville, Alabama, are not noted in the FDA report, and neither are the Ritalin-related injuries to their 3 children, Sara, Timothy and Christopher Franklin

The Franklin's 17-year-old first-born son, Jeffrey was on the prescribed drugs of Ritalin, Prozac, and Klonopin, an anti-convulsant, when he killed his parents as they came home from work and then attempted to murder his 12-year-old sister and two brothers aged 9 and 6. Jeffrey's 11-year-old sister Stacey, was not at home at the time of the attacks.

A doctor maintained that that Jeff had ADHD, accompanied by depression and prescribed the drug cocktail to supposedly treat his condition.

A neighbor called the police after he found one of the children wandering around outside in a daze, all bloody and crying.

Gerald and Cynthia, were dead when the police arrived and the wounded siblings were taken to the Huntsville Hospital. "The children all had very serious head and face injuries from what looked like an ax and some sort of large, blunt force object," hospital spokeswoman Terri Bryson told police.

Police reports noted that all five victims had massive head wounds, slashes to their necks and faces, and blood-soaked clothes and that Jeff was shirtless and covered with blood when arrested.

Police said Jeff bludgeoned his family members with a bloody, hatchet found in the home that had a blade on one side and a hammer on the other.

According to legal documents, Jeff told police that he had snorted crushed Ritalin pills and had not slept for days. Police investigator Chester McCutcheon told the judge in the case that Jeff had described an out-of-body experience and hallucinations in which he believed that horns were growing from his head.

Police reports said that prior to his arrest, Jeff lead police on a high-speed car chase and that he spat, cursed and made obscene gestures when police and news crews caught up with him after he crashed into a fence, in a residential neighborhoods in southeast Huntsville.

In the early stages of court proceedings, the press reported that a quiet, docile Jeffrey Franklin seemed like a different youth than the teen arrested on March 10, 1998. Police interviews with classmates and neighbors turned up no leads as to what may have triggered the murders.

In 1999, Jeff was found mentally incompetent to stand trial but a couple years later, following treatment, it was determined that he was able to stand trial. The defense entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect. Three days before the trial was set to begin, Jeff pleaded guilty to killing his parents and attempting to murder three siblings.

This young man who obviously experienced a severe adverse reaction after being placed on a daily cocktail of 3 dangerous drugs, was sentenced to 5 life terms in prison. His name should be included in the list of people having adverse effects.

The names of Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson should also be listed in FDA records under ADHD drug-related adverse effects.

On March 24, 1998 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, 11-year-old Andrew Golden and 14-year-old Mitchell Johnson shot and killed one teacher, four students, and wounded 10 others people. According to published reports, the boys were on Ritalin.

Andrew Golden and Mitchell staged a false fire alarm and then began shooting students and teachers as they exited the building. An Arkansas judge found the 2 children guilty of 5 counts of capital murder and 10 counts of battery. The boys received the maximum sentence possible under Arkansas juvenile laws: placement in a juvenile facility until they turn 18, possibly until they turn 21, if a facility is built for 18-21 year olds.

Young Kip Kinkel's name should be listed on the front page of FDA reports on adverse drug reactions.

On May 20, 1998, Kip was only 14-years-old on the night that he murdered both of his parents. When he got up the next morning, he went to Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon and shot and killed two students and wounded 22 more people.

After being diagnosed with dyslexia, Kip had been was placed on Ritalin and was later prescribed Prozac as well.

On the day he killed his parents, Kip was arrested at school and charged with possession of a firearm in a public building and receiving a stolen weapon. According to Detective Al Warthen who interviewed him, Kip was very upset and worried about what his parents were going to think while waiting for his father Bill to come to the station and get him.

According to Kip's confession, at about 3 that afternoon, his father was sitting at the kitchen counter drinking coffee when Kip took a 22 rifle from his room, got ammunition from his father's room, and shot his father once in the back of his head.

After that, Kip told police detectives, "I didn't know what to do so I dragged him into the bathroom and then put a white sheet over him."

After killing his father, Kip said that he waited for his mother to come home. According to his taped confession, when she drove in the garage at about 6:30 pm, he told her that he loved her, and then shot her twice in the back of the head, three times in the face and one time through the heart. He then dragged her body across the garage floor and covered her with a sheet.

After killing his parents, Kip apparently wrote a note that police found on the coffee table in the family living room that said:

"I have just killed my parents! I don't know what is happening. I love my mom and dad so much. I just got two felonies on my record. My parents can't take that! It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves. I'm so sorry. I am a horrible son. I wish I had been aborted. I destroy everything I touch. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I didn't deserve them. They were wonderful people. It's not their fault or the fault of any person, organization, or television show. My head just doesn't work right. God damn these VOICES inside my head. I want to die. I want to be gone. But I have to kill people. I don't know why. I am so sorry! Why did God do this to me. I have never been happy. I wish I was happy. I wish I made my mother proud. I am nothing! I tried so hard to find happiness. But you know me I hate everything. I have no other choice. What have I become? I am so sorry "

The next morning, Kip filled his backpack with ammunition and carried 3 guns. He taped a hunting knife to his leg, wore a long trenchcoat to conceal the weapons, and drove his mother's car to school.

Security cameras showed him walking down the hall towards the school cafeteria when he shot Ben Walker and Ryan Atteberry, before entering the cafeteria and firing off what remained of the 50 round clip of a 22 caliber semiautomatic and one round from a handgun. By the time five classmates wrestled Kip to floor, 2 students were dead and 25 others were injured.

Theresa Miltonberger, was the most severely injured student to survive and spent 65 days in the hospital. She has bullet fragments permanently lodged in her brain causing cognitive and memory impairment.

Kip pled guilty to four counts of murder and 26 counts of attempted murder even though he had no idea of what caused him to commit the crimes.

On November 2, 1999, after a 6-day hearing that included testimony by psychiatrists, a statement by Kip's sister's asking for leniency, and statements by victims, this 14-year-old children who was placed on a daily cocktail of dangerous drugs through no fault of his own, was sentenced to 111 years in prison, without the possibility of parole.

In requesting leniency, Kip's sister, Kristin explained to the judge how she had tried to prepare Kip for when he would have to listen to statements from victims and told him to "just tune out ... to a safe place in his memory, and not listen to the victims when they talk, because they are angry and going to say things they really don't mean."

Kristin relayed how Kip stopped her and said, "No, I owe it to them to listen."

The name of every student harmed at the school that day, should appear in the FDA report under drug-related adverse events.

The Adderall-related death of an infant in Grand Forks, North Dakota was not listed in the report either. On January 30, 1999, Ron Ehlis killed his 5-week-old daughter Tyra, ten days after his doctor wrote him a prescription for Adderall.

As a child, Ron was put on Ritalin and when he went to see a psychiatrist at age 26, because he was having a hard time with his college studies, without conducting any type of tests, the doctor prescribed Adderall.

After a few days, he did as the doctor instructed and doubled the dose, and Ron's nightmare began.

He described delusions, hallucinations, and out-of-body experiences, including talking with God and his dead grandfather after he upped the dose. Believing to be acting under God’s orders, Ron shot his five-week-old daughter and then shot himself in the stomach. The baby did not survive.

Ron was charged with murder, but the charges were dismissed after several doctors testified that he suffered from an amphetamine-induced psychotic disorder, caused by teh Adderall and did not have the necessary criminal responsibility. Angie Moreno, the baby's mother, testified that Ron did not act like himself from the first day he took the Adderall.

The name Tyra Ehlis should definitely be listed under Adderall-related death.

Shawn Cooper was 15-years-old and on Ritalin, on April 16, 1999, when he took a 12-gauge shotgun to his high school in Notus, Idaho, and held the entire school hostage for about 20 minutes. Shawn fired two shotgun rounds, wounding one student, and narrowly missing other classmates and teachers. Prior to that fateful day, Shawn was best noticed in his position of outfielder on the school baseball team.

There was nothing mentioned at the FDA hearings about Shawn Cooper's Ritalin-related adverse event.

Thomas Solomon's name is nowhere to be found either.

In 1999, Thomas Solomon Jr, or TJ to his friends, was a 15-year-old sophomore on Ritalin when he brought a rifle to Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia on May 20, and shot six students. The event happened one month to the day after the Columbine school massacre.

His classmates said TJ had a dazed expression on his face as he began firing the gun. He was known to be a good shot, but did not seem to be aiming at people. If he was trying to imitate the Columbine shooters, TJ was apparently a bad actor.

The press noted that he had access to his stepfather's high-caliber guns but brought a low-powered rifle to the school.

The shooting ended quickly and TJ backed out the door and dropped the rifle. He then kneeled on ground, pulled a 357 magnum out of his bookbag, and put the barrel of the gun in his mouth.

The assistant principal, Cecil Brinkley reportedly calmed TJ, by saying: "It's going to be all right, put it down."

TJ removed the gun from his mouth and collapsed in Mr Brinkley's arms sobbing and said: "Oh, my God, I'm so scared."

TJ's classmates expressed total disbelief over his behavior. "He'd be the last person I'd think would do something like this," classmate Ryan Rosa told Time Magazine. "He was normal. Just like me," Ryan said.

At the time, the press described TJ as a quiet, teen who was literally a Boy Scout, who attended church regularly and played baseball on a county league.

School Superintendent, Donald Peccia, told reporters that school records contained no warning signs. "The disciplinary record would not indicate he had been any significant trouble," Peccia said. "We had no reason to suspect this student at all."

In addition to the injured that were shot, there were 2 other very lucky students that day. When the shooting began, one girl held a book to her chest and later discovered that a bullet had penetrated the book to page 162. Another girl found bullet fragments in her bookbag the next day but the spiral binding of a notebook had stopped the bullet.

This never-before violent, Ritalin-drugged child, was sentenced to 40 years in a Georgia State Prison, where at 17, he attempted suicide by swallowing antidepressants.

The name of every student injured by TJ at the school that day should be listed in FDA records under adverse drug events.

The death of young Jessica Curry in Spokane, Washington is also not mentioned in the FDA report.

In late September 1999, Jessica was a happy, 8-year-old third grader as she sat on her mother, Sharon's lap in the passenger seat of her mother's Mustang convertible, discussing what she wanted to wear for Halloween.

After she told her mother that she wanted a princess costume, Sharon who was on Adderall at the time, stabbed Jessica 5 times and then stabbed herself. A short time later a policeman found Sharon and Jessica still sitting in car in the driveway, all covered in blood. The mother lived, but Jessica did not.

When the officer asked Sharon what happened, she asked him for a cigarette.

Sharon was found not guilty of all charges, by reason of insanity brought on by the Adderall. Doctors for the state and the defense agreed that she was insane when she killed Jessica and that her mental state was so acute that she could not distinguish between right and wrong.

Sharon sued her doctor alleging he prescribed an excessive dose of Adderall and caused her to kill her daughter. The lawsuit was settled out of court, but neither side would reveal the details.

The death of three-year-old toddler, Nathaniel Branson, is also not mentioned in the FDA report.

On March 18, 2000, Nat's mother Dawn was driving in Scottsdale, Arizona with her son in the car when she suffered a psychotic episode while on Adderall.

According to court documents, Dawn heard a voice saying: "Let go of the steering wheel and gas. God will drive the car don't you trust him?"

She did as the voice said, and a car accident followed which resulted in her son's death and serious injuries to Dawn. Prior to being prescribed Adderall, she had never been psychotic and since she quit taking the drug, there have been no further psychotic episodes.

The FDA did not include the Adderall-related death of Errol Beumel, Sr in the report.

On the evening of April 25, 2003, Errol Beumel Sr and his wife, Janet, went to their son, Errol Jr's home near Lafayette, Indiana, to check on Jr because the father and son had argued the night before.

According to court testimony, Errol Jr was on Adderall when he met his father at the door with a gun and began shooting, while Errol Sr fled, and eventually collapsed in a ditch across the road.

The son then reloaded the gun, got a flashlight and went and shot his father several more times as he lay bleeding in the ditch, while his mother watched in horror.

At the criminal trial, Dr John Pless, a forensic pathologist from Indiana University, testified that Beumel Sr was shot 10 times. Dr Pless testified that seven of the most severe injuries were to the chest and abdomen and that one bullet entered his skull.

Errol's Jr's sister, Carly, testified that she believed her brother's addiction to Adderall caused him to develop a mental illness in the 6 months leading up to the murder. "I watched him growing up by my side in a good home and a good family, and he was a good boy," she said. "It was complete chaos in our lives for six months before this event."

At the trial, two court-appointed psychiatrists testified that Errol Jr was insane and unable to appreciate right from wrong at the time of the murder. Dr Stephen Berger identified the problem as drug-induced psychosis brought on by Adderall.

Errol Jr testified at the trial and said that spirits convinced him that his father was the devil and that he needed to be killed.

The jury took less than two hours to reject the insanity defense and find him guilty of murder and the judge imposed the maximum 70-year prison sentence allowed.

A formal statement issued by Errol Jr's mother and two sisters said: "On behalf of Janet, Erica and Carly Beumel, we were surprised and deeply saddened that Errol did not receive guilty but mentally ill so that he could have the medical care he needs. It is clear to us that this is necessary, and in the face of this tragedy, we still love him."

At the February 10, 2006 hearing, the FDA advisory panel recommended black box warning labels for ADHD drugs and said that a medication guide should be provided to parents and patients when the drugs are prescribed.

In light of the tragedies above, and the rapidly spreading addiction to these drugs all across America, any warning by public health officials in 2006 is too little too late.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Only 1% to 10% of Serious Drug Reactions Reported to FDA

Experts estimate that only 1% to 10% of serious drug reactions are reported to the FDA, so the deaths and serious adverse effects are undoubtedly much higher.

(I-Newswire) - On Thursday, February 9, 2006, an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) urged the most serious FDA warning, the “black box”, be placed on all drugs prescribed to treat the so-called psychiatric disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ).  The recommendation followed evidence that these drugs are linked to deaths and cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and strokes. 

The FDA’s database documents 25 deaths and 54 cases of serious cardiovascular problems in children and adults treated with ADHD drugs. 

These cases included heart attack, stroke ( sudden loss of brain function ), hypertension ( high blood pressure ), palpitations ( rapid, strong heart beats ) and arrhythmia ( irregular heart beats ). 

Experts estimate that only 1% to 10% of serious drug reactions are reported to the FDA, so the deaths and serious adverse effects are undoubtedly much higher. 

There are six million U.S. children who have been prescribed ADHD drugs including Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta.  Government figures show that about 10% of all 10-year-old boys in the U.S. are on these drugs.  Prescriptions of ADHD drugs for adults has increased 90% in the last three years. 

Brian Beaumont, President of the Vancouver chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights stated, “Adderall, methylphenidates ( sold as Ritalin ), Concerta, Methylin and Metadate are all drugs prescribed for a condition know as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder but the fact is; there is nothing in any medical or scientific literature that confirms the existence of ( ADHD ). It was invented by a handful of psychiatrists by a show of hands at an American Psychiatric Association meeting in the 80’s. Since that time psychiatry has turned it’s invention into a multi-billion dollar industry. Thus, psychiatrists are labeling and drugging a non-existent malady which are indictable offences, fraud and child abuse.”

The advisory committee’s recommendation for the “black box” warning took FDA officials by surprise.  The committee’s original purpose was only to recommend ways to study the effects of ADHD drugs.  However, after reviewing the deadly effects of the drugs, the committee urged immediate action. 

Peter Gross, chairman of the advisory committee, stated the reason for the recommended warnings were, "No. 1, because of the seriousness of the side effects – the sudden deaths. No. 2, there is a sense maybe the diagnosis of ADHD is being applied where it shouldn't be applied."

Advisory committee member Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist, explained the urgency, "This is out-of-control use of drugs that have profound cardiovascular consequences.  We have got a potential public health crisis. I think patients and families need to be made aware of these concerns." 

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.  Scientologists’ stand on psychiatry comes from a deep concern about the brutality that is the hallmark of this practice.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Yet Another Psychiatrist Busted for Fraud

Psychiatrist Roman Ostrovsky of Harwick Court in the Mount Washington area of Baltimore county has been charged with seven counts of felony Medicaid fraud, and one count of felony theft from the Medicaid program.

The attorney general’s office announced that Ostrovsky is accused of defrauding the state and federally funded health program of more than $300,000 from 2002 through to 2004.

The fraud charges carry a sentence of up to five years in jail and a $100,000 fine, in addition to repayment of up to three times the amount stolen. The felony theft charge is punishable by up to 15 years in jail and a $25,000 fine

Friday, February 10, 2006

Psychiatrist Speaks Out Against Psychiatry

From: Los Angeles Times, 1st January 2006
Psychiatry's Sick Compulsion:
Turning Weaknesses into Diseases
by Irwin Savodnik,
Irwin Savodnik is a psychiatrist and philosopher who teaches at UCLA.

IT'S JAN. 1. Past time to get your inoculation against seasonal affective disorder, or SAD - at least according to the American Psychiatric Assn (APA). As Americans rush to return Christmas junk, bumping into each other in Macy's and Best Buy, the Psychiatric Association ponders its latest iteration of feeling bad for the holidays. And what is the Association selling? Mental illness. With its panoply of major depression, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, the Association is waving its Calvinist flag to remind everyone that amid all the celebration, all the festivities, all the exuberance, many people will "come down with" or "contract" or "develop" some variation of depressive illness.

The Association specializes in turning ordinary human frailty into disease. In the last year, ads have been appearing in psychiatric journals about possible treatments for shyness, a "syndrome" not yet officially recognized as a disease. You can bet it will be in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-V, published by the Association. As it turns out, the Association has been inventing mental illnesses for the last 50 years or so. The original diagnostic manual appeared in 1952 and contained 107 diagnoses and 132 pages, by my count. The second edition burst forth in 1968 with 180 diagnoses and 119 pages. In 1980, the association produced a 494-page tome with 226 conditions. Then, in 1994, the manual exploded to 886 pages and 365 conditions, representing a 340% increase in the number of diseases over 42 years.

Nowhere in the rest of medicine has such a proliferation of categories occurred. The reason for this difference between psychiatry and other medical specialties has more to do with ideology than science. A brief peek at both areas makes this point clear. All medicine rests on the premise that disease is a manifestation of diseased tissue. Hepatitis comes down to an inflamed liver, while lung tissue infiltrated with pneumococcus causes pneumonia. Every medical student learns this principle. Where, though, is the diseased tissue in psychopathological conditions?

Unlike the rest of medicine, psychiatry diagnoses behavior that society doesn't like. Yesterday it was homosexuality. Tomorrow it will be homophobia. Someone who declares himself the messiah, who insists that fluorescent lights talk to him or declares that she's the Virgin Mary, is an example of such behavior. Such people are deemed - labeled, really - sick by psychiatrists, and often they are taken off to hospitals against their will. The "diagnosis" of such "pathological behavior" is based on social, political or aesthetic values.

This is confusing. Behavior cannot be pathological (or healthy, for that matter). It can simply comport with, or not comport with, our nonmedical expectations of how people should behave. Analogously, brains that produce weird or obnoxious behaviors are not diseased. They are brains that produce atypical behaviors (which could include such eccentricities as dyed hair or multiple piercings or tattoos that nobody in their right mind could find attractive).

It's a natural step from using social and political standards to create a psychiatric diagnosis to using them to influence public policy. Historically, that influence has appeared most dramatically in the insanity defense. Remember Dan White, the man who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978? Or John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan in 1981? Or Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon? White, whose psychiatrist came up with the "Twinkie defense" - the high sugar content of White's favorite junk food may have fueled his murderous impulses - was convicted and paroled after serving five years, only to commit suicide a year later.

The erosion of personal responsibility is, arguably, the most pernicious effect of the expansive role psychiatry has come to play in American life. It has successfully replaced huge chunks of individual accountability with diagnoses, clinical histories and what turn out to be pseudoscientific explanations for deviant behavior.

Pathology has replaced morality
Treatment has supplanted punishment. Imprisonment is now hospitalization. From the moral self-castigation we find in the writings of John Adams, we have been drawn to Woody Allen-style neuroses. Were the psychiatric association to scrutinize itself more deeply and reconsider its expansionist diagnostic programs, it would, hopefully, make a positive contribution to our culture by not turning the good and bad into the healthy and the sick.

The last thing the United States needs is more self-indulgent, pseudo-insightful, overly self-conscious babble about people who can't help themselves. Better, as Voltaire would put it, to cultivate our gardens and be accountable for who and what we are.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Psychiatrists Caught Ripping off the System

Psychiatrists Joseph Sutera and Eric Ressner, both 51, were arrested on Monday and taken before a federal judge in Fort Pierce, Florida.

They are charged with almost $10 million worth of insurance fraud. Federal prosecutors who charged the pair claimed they operated out of a Palm Beach Gardens pharmacy.

Sutera laundered money from the fraudulent prescription claims and spent it on luxury goods, including four Palm Beach County residences, commercial property, a $16,000 Rolex watch, a $55,000 Steinway piano and more than $90,000 in electronics, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors claim that Sutera provided Ressner with "cash payments delivered in envelopes on a regular basis".

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Real Axis of Evil

Government, Big Pharma and Psychiatry

Why does psychiatry exist? What is its function? Who are the mentally ill whom psychiatrists are supposed to cure? With the ever-expanding reach of psychiatry into all aspects of society these are valid questions that deserve answers.

The term ‘mental illness’ implies a pathological condition, some sort of organic origins. The implication is completely wrong and has no foundation in any fact(1). The term ‘mental illness’ is a subterfuge, at best a misnomer. The very acceptance of the term gives de facto recognition to attempts to medically address the situation. The reality is that the term is used to express a disapproval of someone’s mental state; a disapproval of the way they are.

The question ‘who is mentally ill’ really poses the question what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, what is correct conduct and what is incorrect conduct. At its core it is a simple matter of society's perceptions of right and wrong. Psychiatry is not really concerned with so-called illnesses of the mind; it is concerned with morality. There is no such thing as the ‘mentally ill’(2). Those so classified are not ill. What they are is different. Psychiatry basically defines mental health in terms of behaviours and thoughts that conform to cultural norms. (This of course begs the question of what happens when the cultural norms are insane such as in the Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and Hitler’s Germany?)

Why and which people are placed into the category of “mentally ill” varies from age to age, from culture to culture and even from psychiatrist to psychiatrist. Until 1973 homosexuality was officially classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental illness and was subject to electroshock and/or lobotomy.

Homosexuals were not all suddenly cured of their mental illness in 1973. What happened was that their different behaviour was no longer disapproved of by sufficient numbers of people to qualify it as a mental illness. A change in society’s mores led to a greater acceptance of homosexual behaviour, and it was simply crossed off the list of mental illnesses. In some cultures though homosexuality is still widely disapproved of and thus is still considered a ‘mental illness’.

Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), known as the Father of American Psychiatry, believed that an over-enthusiastic passion for freedom held by some of the settlers of America was a mental illness... in other words he disapproved of it. He labelled this behaviour ‘Anarchia’(3). Mind you, he also believed that being a Negro - having a black skin - was a hereditary disease (honestly... I’m not making it up).

In the last few decades the term ‘mental illness’ has been expanded beyond the point of that which is not acceptable by the majority to include that which is deemed less than optimum. Thus we have new entries into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-the official psychiatric reference book) such as ‘Mathematics Disorder’ and ‘Male Orgasmic Disorder’(4).

We have reached the stage now where even the adverse medical reactions to the prescribed toxic, psychiatric drugs are called mental illnesses. Psychiatrists prescribe cocaine category stimulants (to young children as well as adults) for made up mental illnesses, and then announce a whole new category of ‘mental illnesses’ to describe the subsequent addiction; namely, ‘Substance-Induced Mood Disorder’, ‘Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder’, ‘Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder’, ‘Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction etc.

Two of the dozens of harmful, physiological effects of antipsychotic drugs are Tardive Dyskinesia - which produces involuntary movements of the tongue, lips, face, trunk and extremities; and Tardive Dystonia which produces sustained muscle contractions resulting in twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Both are now pronounced as mental illnesses under the heading of ‘Medically-Induced Movement Disorder’. First psychiatrists medically treat a made up mental illness, then they pronounce the horrible physiological side effects of their treatment as another ‘mental illness’. It really does raise the question as to who it is that is really mad here?

The list of offences grows ever larger. In 1952 the first edition of the DSM listed 112 mental disorders. By 1980 that number had doubled to 224. By 1994 the number had increased again to 374 mental disorders.

Are these new ‘mental illnesses’ scientifically based on any standard medical procedure or test? Not at all, in a ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’ scenario, they are brought into being by a show of hands at a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party of psychiatrists. No blood test, no scan, no aetiology, no science of any sort whatsoever. Just opinions.

Many people accept without question that the ‘mentally ill’ are predisposed toward violence. It is probably the primary reason that the public tolerates the psychiatric powers of arbitrary and enforced detention and treatment. But is it true?

Not according to studies which continue to show that people labelled ‘mentally ill’ are no more violent than the general population. It is also evident that those violent acts that are committed are likely to be highly publicised by the media. Such violence tends to be sensationalised to the point where the fact that it is but an insignificant amount of the overall violence in our society is overlooked(5).

The injustice created by this media stigmatisation is further compounded by the criminal justice system. More and more the defence of those who commit criminal acts of violence relies on the testimony of a psychiatrist who solemnly pronounces that the perpetrator of the crime is suffering from a mental illness that caused the action.

This process, which is wide open to abuse, swells the ranks of the ‘mentally ill’ with criminals who are predisposed toward violence. The result is that those whose only crime is behaviour that is seen to be at odds with that which society views as normal become swept up in the same perceptions that categorise the violent criminal.

Not many governments could admit to arbitrarily locking up someone simply for being different. There has to be a justification for the total abrogation of all Human Rights for these people. That justification is treatment... the pretence that these people, whose only crime is being different, or judged less than optimum, are being treated for an illness, mental illness. It is both a mockery of real illness and a mockery of real treatment... and also of course a mockery of human rights.

Psychiatry has readily admitted that they have no cure for mental illness(6). How can they cure something that doesn’t exist? They are also well aware that their treatments are damaging. In the years prior to 1973 not one single homosexual psychiatrist turned themselves in for an ECT or lobotomy cure.

What psychiatry is able to do very effectively is modify the victims. If neurotoxic, psychotropic drugs don’t do the job then they can always use electroshock. Either one or the other of these ‘treatments’, or both in combination, is almost certain to inflict enough neurological damage to subdue the victim.

The ideal situation for psychiatry and governments is that the patient becomes ‘normal’... or to put it more truthfully, ceases to bother ‘normal’ people (7). Psychiatrists are the tools used in the attempt to achieve the unobtainable and undesirable goal of conformity.

Psychiatry is a social institution tasked by governments with the removal and warehousing of those who frighten or cause unease to society at large. They are removed as an expression of society’s disapproval... so that they will not cause the majority to feel uncomfortable. A psychiatrist is no more related to medicine or healing than was a camp guard at Auschwitz.

Psychiatrists are an independent branch of the State police. Their task, for which they are equipped with extra judicial powers, is to implement and enforce moral cleansings. Their current weapons of choice are psychotropic drugs and electroshock machines.

As stated by the Foucalt Tribunal: “Functioning as an arm of the state and with state powers, psychiatry has created a category of subhuman from whom every protection and right is withdrawn.”(8)

Which brings us to the final member of the Axis of Evil... Big Pharma. ‘Follow the money’ is the mantra of the age, and it does not let us down here. Who stands to profit from all this? The rise in the number of the ‘mentally ill’ parallels the rise in profits of the pharmaceutical companies. The manufacturers of the neurotoxic drugs that are used to chemically shackle the ‘mentally ill’ make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in profit out of their vile trade.

1955 was the start of the era of psychiatric, mind-altering drugs. Prior to that date the number of people classified as ‘mentally ill’ was one in 300. By 1987, after 32 years of psychiatric drugging, the number had reached one in every 75 people. In 1987 the 2nd generation of psychotropic drugs such as Prozac went into circulation. The result? By 1994, after only seven further years, the number of ‘mentally ill’ had risen to one in 50. And now, without so much as a blush, psychiatry informs us that 20% to 25% of the population will become ‘mentally ill’... one in four or five people.

Is this appalling deterioration in the mental health figures due to the psychotropic drug regime of 20th century psychiatry not only demonstrably failing to cure those they have branded as ‘mentally ill’, but also apparently seriously exacerbating the situation? Or is it simply a result of the re-branding of criminality, and human foibles and emotions and unusual behaviour into mythical mental diseases? It would appear to be a macabre combination of both.

To quote the bioethicist Carl Elliot: "The way to sell drugs is to sell psychiatric illness.".

For governments it has all got badly out of control. At first they only wanted to get rid of troublesome people who disturbed their perceptions of good order (government control). To achieve that they sanctioned and financed a system that has caused an epidemic of psychotropic drug use leading to our streets being full of some very troubled people. Mentally ill they are not, but brain damaged they are. Governments of the world in collusion with Big Pharma and psychiatrists have turned a minor problem of some troublesome nonconformists into a pandemic drug problem with its accompaniment of brain damage, violence and criminality. Their attempts at social engineering have brought disaster, and worse for them; the problem has finally become so obvious as to cause the public and media to start scrutinising their actions.

Thus have our governments unwittingly allowed society to be brought almost to its knees. They set out to achieve their ideal society of mindless robots, but what governments try to engineer is rarely what is achieved. What they wanted was bad enough, what they have achieved is a catastrophe. Those with hidden agendas have used them.

The goal of governments is a subdued and docile population led by wise and benevolent masters (themselves). The goal of Big Pharma is unlimited profits from a world on drugs. What the goal of psychiatry is God only knows.

© Philip Barton 30/12/05 All rights reserved

1 In 1992 a panel of experts assembled by the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment concluded: "Many questions remain about the biology of mental disorders. In fact, research has yet to identify specific biological causes for any of these disorders. ... Mental disorders are classified on the basis of symptoms because there are as yet no biological markers or laboratory tests for them" (The Biology of Mental Disorders, U.S. Gov't Printing Office, 1992, pp. 13-14, 46-47).

2 ‘The Myth of Mental Illness’ Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry Thomas S. Szasz (1960) First published in American Psychologist, 15, 113-118.
(There are many other books covering the same topic.)

“When we don't understand the real reasons (for different behaviour), we create myths to provide an explanation. In prior centuries people used myths of evil spirit or demon possession to explain unacceptable thinking or behavior. Today most of us instead believe in the myth of mental illness. Believing in mythological entities such as evil spirits or mental illnesses gives an illusion of understanding, and believing a myth is more comfortable than acknowledging ignorance. Lawrence Stevens J.D.

3 "The excess of the passion for liberty, inflamed by the successful issue of the war [of independence], produced, in many people, opinions and conduct, which could not be removed by reason nor restrained by government... The extensive influence which these opinions had upon the understandings, passions, and morals of many of the citizens of the United States, constituted a form of insanity, which I shall take the liberty of distinguishing by the name of anarchia." -- Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), Father of American Psychiatry.

4 See the full list at:
http://www.psychnet-uk.com/dsm_iv/_misc/complete_tables.htm#)

5 R Gelles, "Violence in the Family: A Review of the Research", Family Violence, Second Edition, Sage, 1987.
Henry J. Steadman, Edward P. Mulvey, et.al, "Violence by People Discharged From Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Facilities and by Others in the Same Neighborhoods", Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 55: 393- 401, 1998.

6 “The time when psychiatrists considered that they could cure the mentally ill is gone. In the future the mentally ill have to learn to live with their illness.” A 1994 quote by Psychiatrist Norman Sartorius, President of the World Psychiatric Association (1996-1999)

"It is generally unrecognized that psychiatrists are the only medical specialists who treat disorders that, by definition, have no definitively known causes or cures.” from ‘The New Psychiatry’ by Professor of psychiatry Jerrold S. Maxmen, M.D., Columbia University.

7 “Most if not all psychiatric drugs are neurotoxic, producing a greater or lesser degree of generalized neurological disability. So they do stop disliked behavior and may mentally disable a person enough he can no longer feel angry or unhappy or "depressed". But calling this a "cure" is absurd. Extrapolating from this that the drug must have cured an underlying biological abnormality that was causing the disliked emotions or behavior is equally absurd.” Lawrence Stevens J.D.

8 “Foucalt Tribunal Indicts Psychiatry” (http://www.oikos.org/ectcomments2.htm):

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Psychiatrist Tries to Sodomize Boy

Kerala, India
Forensic Lab psychiatrist booked for sexual harassment
Chandigarh: The city police has registered a case against Dr Paul Ramesh, a senior psychiatrist at the Central Forensic Lab here, on the charges of attempt to sodomise and sexually harass a boy during the lie detection test in a murder case.
Dr Ramesh was booked under sections 377, 292, 511 IPC following the FIR lodged against him by city-resident Vikas Pawar.
According to the FIR, Dr Ramesh had allegedly shown a porn film to Vikas Pawar and tried to sodomise him during the lie detection trial, a police spokesman told UNI here today.
He also stated in the FIR that he was forced by the psychiatrist to agree that he had a hand in the murder while he was being shown the pornography and also asked to take off his clothes.
Pawar was called to the lab for the lie detection test in the case of a murder of one Naresh of village Nadha near here.
The investigations were on, police added.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Psychiatric Therapy

Psych pressured patient to invest in high-tech company during “therapy” sessions

(I-Newswire) - Dr. Michael Dietrick surrendered his license to practice psychiatry after the California Medical Board’s investigation found him guilty of two counts of Gross Negligence and one count of Negligence.
Among the many crimes Dietrick was found guilty of, it was discovered that during therapy sessions, Dietrick pressured his victim into investing over $150,000 in a company that the psychiatrist worked for as a consultant.  Dubbed the “Matrix Director”, Dietrick helped write the business plan for the company that he was coercing his patient to invest in.
When the victim complained to the CA Medical Board, Dietrick sent a threatening email pressuring for a withdrawal of the suit.  In the email, Dietrick threatened to have the victim arrested and that the victim’s family would be, “drawn into it” and “a lot of bad things will become public”.
The victim, Steve Peter, said, “The therapy…it had me going sideways.  The [12} step AA program helped me resolve the problems.”
One of the charges Dietrick was found guilty of was Grossly Negligence.  Dietrick prescribed an addictive benzodiazapine drug ( Loazepam ) to the victim who was a recovering substance and alcohol abuser.  The Medical Board stated in its report that, “addiction prone individuals should be under careful surveillance when receiving Lorazepam.  The report shows Dietrick failed to keep any patient notes or charts during the 2 years of their involvement.
Dr. Karl Hoffower, President of the S.F. Bay Area Chapters of CCHR said, “Our investigation of Psychiatrists finds they routinely commit fraud and abuse.  That Dietrick misused his position of authority should not be surprising.  Dietrick bilked Mr. Peters of $24,000 and prescribed dangerous drugs.  This is just another example of what the pseudo-science called psychiatry is about: money and drugs”