MINDFREEDOM IRELAND

 

 MINDFREEDOM IRELAND, THE ORGANISATION THAT CAMPAIGNS FOR

 EQUALITY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ALTERNATIVES IN THE’ MENTAL

HEALTH’ SYSTEM HAS LAUNCHED A NEW WEBSITE----------

 www.mindfreedomireland.com/  THE ORGANISATION IS AGAINST FORCED

 DRUGGING, INVOLUNTARY DETENTION AND THE USE OF ELECTROSHOCK 'THERAPY'

 AS APPROACHES TO DEALING WITH 'MENTAL ILLNESS'.

 

 

 THE ABOVE WAS PRINTED IN THE FEEL GOOD HEALTH SUPPLIMENT OF

 THE IRISH EXAMINER ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY, 22, 2008.

 

HOW MUCH DO WE NEED TO HEAR BEFORE WE ACT? AND REMOVE THE SSRIs FROM THE MARKET!!!! THEY CAUSE MORE HARM THAN GOOD AND ON THOSE BASIS THEY SHOULD BE REMOVED IN THE BEST INTEREST OF MOST PEOPLE. THAT IS IF WE ARE INDEPENDENTLY SCIENTIFIC ABOUT IT BUT THE QUESTION IS: ARE WE REALLY? OR IS PROFIT BEYOND SCIENCE AND SAFETY??? Nuria O'Mahony ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTIONPromoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountabilityhttp://www.ahrp.org and http://ahrp.blogspot.com FYI Despite the abysmal failure of SSRI Antidepressants to demonstrateclinically significant efficacy above placebo, and despite the severity oftheir adverse effects--including increased risk of suicide--the drugs havetheir powerful financially invested advocates who appear to be undeterred byscience, by medicine's "do no harm" principle, or by the mountingpreventable human casualties. The news headlines garnered by the latest scientific meta-analysis of 38SSRI trials submitted to the FDA confirms that at best 82% of the drugs'clinical efficacy is attributable to the placebo effect. In another 9trials, excluded from the meta-analysis by Irving Kirsch and colleagues, theantidepressant failed to achieve the efficacy of the placebo.http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/27/mentalhealth.health1?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews Though these drugs lack clinical efficacy, they come with severe risks ofharm--most notably, suicide--which is now acknowledged in a Black Box labelwarning. An alarming report by Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare revealsthat 80% of all adult suicides (18-84) reported in 2006 to the NationalBoard of Health and Welfare, were committed by persons "treated" withpsychiatric drugs: 50% of those who committed suicide were on an SSRI, 60%had been on an antipsychotic. The number of women who committed suicide in 2006, was 377. Of these, 197(52%) had filled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days beforetheirdeath; and 29 women (8%) had filled a prescription for antipsychotics within180 days before they committed suicide. Furthermore, the number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden isincreasing. In Sweden, health care providers are required to report all suicidescommitted up to four weeks after a patient's last health care visit.Last year, the Swedish Parliament mandated that the suicide registry includea detailed record of a victims recent psychopharmaceutical history. In sharp contrast to Sweden's effort to reduce suicides by documenting theuse of psychoactive prescription drugs by those who committed suicide, toevaluate whether to encourage reduced use of these drugs, the United StatesCongress is in the process of passing a law that would surely INCREASEwomen's use of antidepressants and, hence, INCREASE suicides. The bill, HR 20, incorporating S. 1375, is promoted as "The Melanie BlockerStokes MOTHERS Act" ostensibly to combat postpartum depression.The bill would authorize "screening" and "treating" women deemed "depressed"after giving birth. The bill's covert intent is to INCREASE use of SSRIantidepressants and antipsychotics. What's scary is that HR 20, authorizing appropriations for fiscal years2008-2010, has already passed the House with ne'er any resistance! Instead, a grass roots crusader against HR 20, has stepped up to the plate:Amy Philo, a mother who became homicidally psychotic following ingestion ofZoloft prescribed by a psychiatrist who kept increasing the dose tofrightening ill effects. Her experience led her to found Children and Adults Against Drugging America- www.chaada.orgSee her story and videos on YouTube:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=W4B8I_8wz6I andhttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LQW23XCmOCw&feature=related Sign the petition to stop the "Mothers Act" which will benefit thepharmaceutical-industrial complex, but cause great harm to American women,children and their families.http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-dangerous-and-invasive-mothers-act For evidence of SSRI-linked suicide and SSRI-linked violence see: 1. Arif Khan, Shirin Khan, Russell Kolts, Walter A Brown. Suicide rates inclinical trials of SSRIs, other antidepressants, and placebo: analysis ofFDA reports.Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Apr ;160 (4):790-2. Ignore the misleading abstracts which are belied by the findings. Dr. ArifKhan conducted exhaustive analyses of FDA data documenting suicides inantidepressant and antipsychotic drug trials and the suicide and attemptedsuicide rates are staggering. See: http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/0902/06.phpBear in mind that paitnes who are actively suicidal are excluded by protocolin all such trials. Khan's work demonstrated that the phenomenon of druginduced suicide is not confined to the SSRI class of medication but can beshown in an even greater degree in antipsychotics. The suicide rates forboth antipsychotics and the SSRI/SNRI substances were massive (well over700) as opposed to the rate in the general population which is in the verylow teens (10 - 12/100,000). 2. Dean Fergusson, Steve Doucette, Kathleen Cranley Glass, Stan Shapiro,David Healy, Paul Hebert, Brian Hutton . Association between suicideattempts and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: systematic review ofrandomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2005 Feb 19;330:396 15718539 3. Healy D, Herxheimer A, Menkes DB (2006). "Antidepressants and violence:problems at the interface of medicine and law". PLoS Med. 3 (9): e372http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372 Contact: Vera Hassner This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.-8974 http://www.thelocal.se/9792/20080128/ The Local: Sweden's news in EnglishMore Swedes attempt suicide 28 Jan 08 The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing.The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figurefor young men is also up. * Baby height linked to suicide (24 Jan 08) * Young Swedish women kill themselves more often (4 Oct 07) * Sweat could reveal suicide risk (7 Aug 07) The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish NationalBoard of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attemptedsuicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group. A total of 140,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2006 for 'deliberateself-destructive action', the official term used in medical registers forsuicide attempts and other forms of self-harm. Overdoses of tablets weremost common. The number of people who succeeded in killing themselves also increased,particularly among women aged 15-24. Some 8.4 women per 100,000 in the 15-24age group committed suicide in 2006, the highest figure since 1979,according to official records. "This is a terrible development, and we have no scientific studies thatexplain why, although the social climate is tougher these days," ProfessorBritta Alin Åkerman at the Karolinska Institute's Institution for SuicidePrevention told Svenska Dagbladet.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=33878&cat=10Antidepressants behind 52 percent of all suicides among womenBy Janne Larsson This is not data from a limited study; it instead concernsinformation ona national level for ALL suicides (18-84 years) for 2006. Theinformationis unique; registries now exist in Sweden making it possible for theNational Board of Health and Welfare to see how many of the suicideswerepreceded by psychiatric drug treatment. Among a total number of 377 women who committed suicide, 197 (52%)hadfilled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days beforetheirdeath. And 29 women (8%) had filled a prescription for neuroleptics("antipsychotics") ONLY within 180 days before the suicide. This means that 229 women - 60% - of those who committed suicide(18-84)in Sweden (2006) had filled a prescription for antidepressant drugsORneuroleptics within 180 days before their suicide. Neuroleptics were involved in total in 97 (26%) of the suicidesamongwomen, (68 women, 18%, got BOTH antidepressants and neuroleptics).NOTincluded in these figures is the percentage of women who got otherformsof psychiatric drugs, like benzodiazepines. The data are revealed just after the news broke that pharmaceuticalcompanies have systematically hidden negative and exaggeratedpositiveresults in their clinical trials of antidepressants (see articleAntidepressant Studies Unpublished in NYT), thus misleading patientsanddoctors for many years. In general, pharmaceutical companies have used a "blackmailstrategy" toget doctors and sad patients to believe that they MUST use the drugs- orelse. In ads with pictures of gravestones they have proclaimed: "Adepression can end unexpectedly fast" (Wyeth for Effexor.) Leadingpsychiatrists with financial interests in increased sales have beenwriting endlessly in medical journals about the "protective effect"ofantidepressants against suicide. Shamelessly false statements thatthepsychiatric drugs correct a chemical imbalance (like a lack ofserotonin)in the brain are still part of the official drug labels: "Indepressionthe normal access to these [chemical] substances is lowered.Antidepressants can restore the deficits [of chemical substances]and givea normal function of the brain" (label for Remeron; Organon/Schering-Plough). "These medications help restore the normal levelsofserotonin in the brain" (Cipramil/Celexa; Lundbeck/ ForestLaboratories). But the new data from Sweden tell the real story: Antidepressants doNOThave a positive effect in preventing suicides - they were part of 52percent of all cases of suicide among women (18-84) for the year2006;they did obviously not correct any form of "chemical imbalance" inthebrain for those women. An earlier investigation 2007 of documents, gotten via FOI requests,gaveinformation about suicides (2006) committed IN health care and UP TOfourweeks after last health care visit. The information was madeavailablewhen a new law was enacted making it mandatory to report all suchsuicidesto the National Board of Health and Welfare. 367 suicides werereportedper this law for 2006: More than 80 percent of the persons whocommittedsuicide were "treated" with psychiatric drugs; in well over 50percent ofthe cases the persons got antidepressants, in more than 60neuroleptics orantidepressants. Senior officials at the Board were not interested in revealinganythingmore about this. They had adopted the marketing lines ofpharmaceuticalcompanies and relied on evaluations from well-known SwedishSSRI-proponents, (like psychiatrists G. Isacsson and A.L. vonKnorring)who for more than a decade have touted the new antidepressants as"lifesaving". A senior official even said that "evidence based treatmentof theunderlying psychiatric disorder can reduce the risk for suicide",referring to the "protective effect" that he believed antidepressantdrugshad. The data about the large percentage of persons who hadcommittedsuicide, after having been "treated" with psychiatric drugs, werebrushedaside by the official, saying the data "cannot currently be seen asarepresentative source for a discussion about these questions" (!).Whenthe agency published its first analysis of cases from 2006, reportedperthe new law, there was not a single word written about the mostcompellingfact: Well over 80 percent of the persons who killed themselves weretreated with psychiatric drugs. A lot of requests have been made to get the Board to publish ALLdataabout suicides and preceding psychiatric drug treatment. They havebeenturned down. Decisions have been taken at the very top of the Boardnot tolet the public know. But now data have leaked out about ALL suicides (18-84) for 2006.Forwomen the results are as above. For men the figures for 2006 are: Among a total of 878 men (18-84)who hadcommitted suicide, 291 (33%) had filled a prescription forantidepressantswithin 180 days before their death. And 41 men (5%) had filled aprescription for neuroleptics ("antipsychotics") ONLY within 180daysbefore the suicide. This means that 332 men - 38% - of those who committed suicide(18-84) inSweden (2006) had filled a prescription for antidepressant drugs ORneuroleptics within 180 days before their suicide. Neuroleptics were involved in total in 119 (14%) of the suicidesamongmen, (78 men, 9%, got BOTH antidepressants and neuroleptics). NOTincludedin these figures is the percentage of men who got other forms ofpsychiatric drugs. Thus it can be said that 561 (45%) of ALL 1255 persons (18-84) whocommitted suicide in Sweden 2006 had filled a prescription forantidepressant drugs OR neuroleptics (not at all counting otherpsychiatric drugs) within 180 days before their suicide. A certain number of the persons killing themselves can be expectedto besuffering from drug induced akathisia - an extreme innerrestlessness, afeeling of having to creep out of ones skin, a completely unbearablecondition. It is CAUSED by the psychiatric drugs, not by any"underlyingdisease". Akathisia is a condition that can make a person commitviolentacts - against self or others. It is a condition officiallyrecognized andtaken up in the warning texts for the drugs. A number of the personscanalso be expected to be affected by mania or hypomania - again CAUSEDbythe drugs; conditions also officially recognized; conditions thatcan leadto suicide. Some of the valid questions in an objective investigation ofsuicides,where psychiatric drugs preceded the tragic event, would be: Was thesuicide an effect of an unbearable condition created by the drugs(likeakathisia)? Had the drug dose been increased - with a catastrophicresult- when the worsened condition in actual fact was caused by the drug(whilebeing blamed on the "underlying disease")? Had the patient beensubject toan abrupt discontinuation (with severe withdrawal symptoms as theresult)?Was the catastrophic result very likely caused by concomitant use ofpsychiatric drugs? Had the patient been informed about all theseriousharmful effects that these drugs can cause? None of these questions are part of the form used when investigationsuicides, worked out by senior officials at the National Board ofHealthand Welfare. These questions would - if asked and the answers used- savelives. But they would also threaten the profits of pharmaceuticalcompanies and the careers of their hired psychiatrists. Thereforetheycannot be asked. The Swedish government has been notified about the concealment ofdata atthe National Board of Health and Welfare (the hiding of data andneglectof analysis of drug induced harmful effects is decided at the verytop;despite lower officials at the Board wanting to do a good job andlet thepublic know the real story). The Minister for Elderly Care andPublicHealth (Maria Larsson) has not at all acted to make the hidden dataknownto the public. The Minister for Health and Social Affairs (GöranHägglund)has been asked in parliament, the Riksdag, to start a formalinvestigationinte the violence inducing effect (against self and others) ofdifferentpsychiatric drugs, but his answer shows - at best - that he isliving farfrom the real world. This is his view about the effectiveness ofmedicalagencies, the adverse event reporting system and the speed ofactionstaken to protect the public: "If new data somewhere in the worldindicatethat a medical drug in use can have up to now unknown harmfuleffects, analarm goes out that reaches responsible authorities over the world.TheMedical Products Agency [the Swedish medical agency] fast conveystheinformation to prescribers and to pharmacies in Sweden." (Answer inSwedish parliament, the Riksdag, December 2007.) Well, now "an alarm" goes out, that data buried in the registries attheNational Board of Health and Welfare - very close to the Minister -showthat psychiatric drugs are behind an incredible amount of suicides.Willdoctors and patients be told about it? And what consequences will ithavefor the "treatment guidelines"? ---------------------- (Very much is NOT KNOWN about the psychiatric treatment precedingthesuicides above. For example the use of other psychiatric drugs orECT inthese cases is still completely concealed. The National Board ofHealthand Welfare has not published any documents about this. Some persons might want to verify some of the figures above. Theycanactually do so in a newly published English article. The astonishingdataabove are made part of a published letter about "ethnic differencesinantidepressant treatment". This subject is of course of relativedisinterest - especially as no differences were found - compared tothefacts revealed that 52% of all women who committed suicide hadgottenantidepressant drugs and 26% had gotten neuroleptics. See article:RickardLjung, M.D., Ph.D., Charlotte Björkenstam, M.Sc. and EmmaBjörkenstam,B.Sc; Ethnic Differences in Antidepressant Treatment PrecedingSuicide inSweden, Psychiatric Services 59:116-a-117, January 2008 http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/59/1/116-a Janne Larssonreporter - investigating psychiatrySweden ma

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EXPOSE FORCED'TREATMENT' IN PSYCHIATRY.

 

FORCING PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS CAN INCREASE VIOLENCE. 

 

 

For immediate release:                NEWS RELEASE                                4 March 2008 Media contacts: Krista Erickson - 541-345-9106                                      Daniel Hazen - 315-528-3385 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        "Forcing Psychiatric Drugs Can Increase Violence," Warns New              Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism   Promising to fight what they call pervasive and harmful violations of mental health clients who are involuntarily drugged and electroshocked in the United States, The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) and the MindFreedom Shield Campaign announced today a joint Task Force on Mental Health Legal Advocacy & Activism. The new partnership of law and nonviolent direct action has an initial focus in the states of California, Massachusetts and New York. PsychRights' President Jim Gottstein declared, "People's rights in forced drugging proceedings are ignored as a matter of course, resulting in great harm to them and decreased public safety." David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International (MFI), noted, "Violence by a few individuals labeled 'mentally ill' has led to a backlash calling for a massive increase in forced psychiatric drugging." Mr. Gottstein added, "Contrary to public perception, forcing people to take psychiatric drugs can often increase violence, rather than decrease it. If people were warned that both taking and withdrawing from these drugs can at times contribute to committing terrible acts, they and their loved ones can be alert to the possibility and tragedies averted." Krista Erickson, MFI board member and Chair of the MFI Shield Campaign, said, "I'm excited about MFI and PsychRights expanding our partnership and focusing the combined power of legal advocacy and activism on specific cases." The MFI Shield Campaign supports the wishes of a member to be free of involuntary mental health intervention with an international "Solidarity Network" of advocates. The new Task Force plans to use both the court of law and the court of public opinion.  Task Force organizers say the combination of PsychRights' expertise for strategic litigation and the "people power" of MindFreedom activists around the country will bring a synergy and geographic reach to their demands for people’s legal and human rights. Daniel Hazen, Northeast Coordinator with PsychRights, added, "In the United States the 'mental health' industry is a labeling system that often dismisses self- determination, legal capacity and alternatives. 'Treatment' can be forced through the court systems. People ought to 'have their day in court' but this is often far from what actually occurs." MFI is an independent nonprofit coalition defending human rights and promoting humane alternatives in mental health. The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing what they call the "horrors of unwarranted forced psychiatric drugging and other forced psychiatric procedures." PsychRights office is in Anchorage, Alaska: www.psychrights.org. The MFI office is in Eugene, Oregon: www.mindfreedom.org                                                                # # # http://psychrights.org/PR/080304PsychRights-MFI-Shield.pdf James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq. President/CEO Law Project for Psychiatric Rights 406 G Street, Suite 206 Anchorage, Alaska  99501 USA Phone: (907) 274-7686)  Fax: (907) 274-9493 jim.gottstein[[at]]psychrights.org http://psychrights.org/   Psych Rights ®             Law Project for        Psychiatric Rights The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging.  We are further dedicated to exposing the truth about these drugs and the courts being misled into ordering people to be drugged and subjected to other brain and body damaging interventions against their will.  Extensive information about this is available on our web site, http://psychrights.org/. Please donate generously.  Our work is fueled with your IRS 501(c) tax deductible donations.  Thank you for your ongoing help and support.

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Myth of the antipsychotic

The psychiatric profession is ignoring evidence that treatment with antipsychotics can be harmful, according to a new book

Adam James

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Antipsychotic drugs don't work, are causing a brain damage epidemic and almost triple the risk of dying early, a new book claims. Yet the mental health establishment, as it did with Prozac, is failing to take the evidence seriously. Christian was slouched in a chair in Bradford psychiatric unit. He was, seemingly, only half-conscious, half alive. He could hardly speak, let alone raise his head. Christian had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Two days before, in a haze of paranoia, he had punched a colleague of mine at a day centre. So Christian was sectioned and medicated, heavily, with neuroleptic drugs.

Most people, on seeing Christian, would have described him as being so whacked out he was a dribbling wreck. The drug-advisory body, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) would say the neuroleptic treatment had successfully "calmed" Christian, in preparation for treating the "underlying psychiatric condition". Neuroleptics - such as Clozapine, Olanzapine, Risperidone and Seroquel - are the "primary treatment" for psychosis, particularly schizophrenia. Indeed, 98%-100% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia inside our psychiatric units - and 90% living in the community - are on neuroleptics, also called antipsychotics. Nice's guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia say: "There is well established evidence for the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs." A similar efficacy used to be claimed for Prozac and other SSRIs in the treatment of depression. But a study published last Tuesday could well have pulled the plug on Prozac.

And now a London NHS psychiatrist, Joanna Moncrieff, has similarly endeavoured to expose the "myth" of antipsychotics. Whereas Moncrieff has already highlighted antidepressant non-effectiveness, it is her research on antipsychotics that is more shocking. The evidence shows, she says, that antipsychotics not only do not work long-term they also cause brain damage - a fact which is being "fatally" overlooked. Plus, because of a cocktail of vicious side-effects, antipsychotics almost triple a person's risk of dying prematurely.

Moncrieff particularly strikes out at her own profession, psychiatry, claiming it is ignoring the negative evidence for antipsychotics. In her book, The Myth of The Chemical Cure, Moncrieff argues, effectively, that psychiatry is guilty of gross scientific misconduct. Having examined decades of clinical trials, Moncrieff's first point is that once variables such as placebo and drug withdrawal effects are accounted for, there is no concrete evidence for antipsychotic long-term effectiveness. This is a radically different interpretation of the meta-analyses and trials Nice used to arrive at its opposite conclusion. But Moncrieff is confident her scrutiny of the evidence is valid. At the heart of years of dissent against psychiatry through the ages has been its use of drugs, particularly antipsychotics, to treat distress. Do such drugs actually target any "psychiatric condition"? Or are they chemical control - a socially-useful reduction of the paranoid, deluded, distressed, bizarre and odd into semi-vegetative zombies?

Historically, whatever dissenters thought has been ignored. So, it appears, have new studies which indicate that antipsychotics do not work long-term. For example, a US study last year in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reported that people diagnosed with schizophrenia and not taking antipsychotics are more likely to recover than those on the drugs. The study was on 145 patients, and researchers reported that, after 15 years, 65% of patients on antipsychotics were psychotic, whereas only 28% of those not on medication were psychotic. A staggering finding, surely? So where were the mainstream media yelps of "breakthrough in schizophrenia treatment". Not a squeak. Moncrieff's second point is that the psychiatric establishment, underpinned by the pharmaceutical industry, has glossed over studies showing that antipsychotics cause extensive damage - the most startling being permanent brain atrophy (brain damage) or tardive dyskinesia. As in Parkinson's Disease, patients suffer involuntary, repetitive movements, memory loss and behaviour changes. Antipsychotics cause atrophy within a year, Moncrieff says. She accuses her colleagues of risking creating an "epidemic of iatrogenic brain damage".

Moncrieff is a hard-nosed scientist, so she is respectfully reserved. But gross scientific misconduct is her accusation. "It is as if the psychiatric community can not bear to acknowledge its own published findings," she writes.

How worrying it is, then that the Healthcare Commission should report last year that almost 40% of people with psychosis are on levels of antipsychotics exceeding recommended limits. Such levels cause heart attacks. Indeed, the National Patient Safety Agency claims heart failure from antipsychotics is a likely cause for some of the 40 average annual "unexplained" deaths of patients on British mental health wards. Other effects of antipsychotics include massive weight gain (metabolic impairment) and increased risk of diabetes.

Two years ago, The British Journal of Psychiatry - Britain's most respected psychiatry journal - published a study reporting that people on antipsychotics were 2.5 times more likely to die prematurely. The researchers warned there was an "urgent need" to investigate whether this was due to antipsychotics. But so ingrained is the medication culture in mental health that many psychiatrists feel that not medicating early with antipsychotics amounts to negligence, Moncrieff notes.

Moncrieff does acknowledge there is evidence for the short-term effectiveness of antipsychotics. But again Moncrieff asks psychiatry to be honest. Moncrieff points out that when antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine, were first used in the 1950s they were "major tranquillisers". Why? Because that's an accurate description of their effect, particularly short term. They sedate, or tranquillise, the emotions, so reducing the anxiety of paranoia and delusions. Any person on antipsychotics is likely to verify this (go to askapatient.com). Now, however, these drugs are referred to as "antipsychotics". For Moncrieff, this is a wheeze because there's no evidence that antipsychotics act directly on the "symptoms" - paranoia, delusions, hallucinations - of those diagnosed with psychosis. There's nothing antipsychotic about antipsychotics. So what are the alternatives? Moncrieff - like her fellow psychiatrists in a group called the Critical Psychiatry Network - asks services to look seriously at non-drug approaches, such as the Soteria Network in America. She believes psychiatrists such as herself should no longer have unparalleled powers to forcibly detain and treat patients. Instead, they should be "pharmaceutical advisers" engaging in "democratic drug treatment" with patients.

Psychiatrists should be involved in "shared decision-making" with patients, and would have to go to civil courts to argue their case for compulsory treatment. "Psychiatry would be a more modest enterprise," writes Moncrieff, "no longer claiming to be able to alter the underlying course of psychological disturbance, but thereby avoiding some of the damage associated with the untrammelled use of imaginary chemical cures."

The mental health establishment should learn from the Prozac story and pay attention. It's about time.

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