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How Psychiatric Drugs Made America Mad

Many casually prescribed drugs are fully capable of disabling – often permanently – bodies, brains and spirits.

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Jackson’s most powerful book, in my opinion, is her second one,  Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime, which proves that any of the five classes of psychotropic drugs that are commonly used to alter the brains of psychiatric patients (antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, tranquilizers and anti-seizure/”mood-stabilizer” drugs) have shown microscopic, macroscopic, radiologic, biochemical, immunologic and clinical evidence of brain shrinkage and other signs of brain damage, especially when used long-term.

Long-term use can result in clinically diagnosable, probably irreversible dementia, premature death and a variety of other related brain disorders that can mimic mental illnesses “of unknown cause.”

Dr. Jackson’s first book,  Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent, was an equally sobering warning about the many hidden dangers of psychiatric drugs, dangers that are commonly not mentioned to patients when they get their first prescriptions.

The sad truth is that the prescribing of potent and often addicting (dependency-inducing) psychiatric drugs has become the standard of care in American medicine since the introduction of the so-called anti-schizophrenic “miracle” drug Thorazine in the mid-1950s. (Thorazine was the offending drug that Jack Nicholson’s character Randall McMurphy and his fellow patients were coerced into taking — to keep them from revolting — at “medication time” in the Academy Award-winning movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”)

Thorazine and all the other “me-too” early “antipsychotic” drugs are now universally known to have been an iatrogenic (doctor or other treatment-caused) disaster because of their serious long-term, initially unsuspected, brain-damaging effects that resulted in a number of permanent and incurable neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Thorazine and all the other knock-off drugs (like Prolixin, Mellaril, Navane, etc.) are synthetic “tricyclic” chemical compounds similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic “antidepressants” like imipramine and the similarly toxic, obesity-inducing, diabetogenic, “atypical” anti-schizophrenic drugs like Clozaril, Zyprexa and Seroquel.

Thorazine, incidentally, was originally developed in Europe as an  industrial dye . That doesn’t sound so good although it may not be so unusual in the closely related fields of psychopharmcology and the chemical industry.

For example, Depakote, a popular drug approved initially only as an anti-epilepsy drug is now being heavily promoted as a so-called “mood stabilizer.” Depakote, known to be a hepatotoxin and renal toxin (potentially poisonous to liver and kidney), was originally developed as an  industrial solvent capable of dissolving fat - including, presumably, the fatty tissue in human livers and brains.

There are reports in the literature of patients who had never had a seizure in their lives but had been prescribed Depakote for other reasons, who suffered withdrawal seizures when discontinuing the drug!

Some sympathy and understanding needs to be generated for the various victims of BigPharma’s relentless drive to expand market share and “shareholder value” (share price, dividends and the next quarter’s financial report) by whatever means necessary.

Both the prescribers and the swallowers of BigPharma’s drugs have been influenced by cunning marketing campaigns. Prescribers have been seduced by attractive opposite-sex drug company representatives and their “pens, pizzas and post-it note” freebies in the office.

Patients have been brain-washed by the inane and unbelievable (if one has intact critical thinking skills) commercials on TV that quickly gloss over the lethal adverse effects in the fine print while urging the watcher to “ask your doctor” about getting a prescription for the latest unaffordable blockbuster drug.

Mental Illness Disability

For a quick overview of these issues, I recommend that everybody read a long essay written by Whitaker that persuasively identifies the source of America’s epidemic of mental illness disability (a phenomenon that doesn’t exist in Third World nations where costly psych drugs are not prescribed as cavalierly as in the developed First World).

 
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