In today’s society, our feelings and daily challenges are increasingly being medicalized. Sometimes people who are experiencing situational anxiety and sadness are wrongly prescribed antidepressants and psychotropic drugs. Fortunately, many mental health professionals are starting to take a trauma-informed care approach. Through talk therapy, people can explore the root causes of their stress, anxiety or sadness. Talk therapy also possess no adverse drug risk.
The statistics regarding psychiatric drug use are alarming. Consider the following:
1 in 6 Americans are on psychiatric medicines, mostly antidepressants which are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).
There are more than 328 million people in our country as of 2019.
Antidepressant usage is up 65% in the last 15 years in American alone.
Twenty million school children worldwide have now been diagnosed with mental disorders and prescribed stimulants and powerful antidepressants as treatment (Julian Whitaker, MD; Anthony P Urbank, MD; Mary Jo Pagel, MD; and Rohit Adi, MD).
Approximately 44,000 people die annually from suicide — however, it is impossible to know how many victims suffered from akathisia.
The American College of Physicians guidelines recommends that monitoring should start within one or two weeks after antidepressants are started. The risk for suicide attempts is greatest during the first month (Harvard Mental Health Letter 5/09).
Based on the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health, it is estimated that 0.5% of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to 1.3 million people.
Numbers vary according to the medicines, but between 1.7%-5% of people reporting adverse drug effects to the FDA resulted in suicide. (See section www.ehealthme.com to search for your recommended drug.)
The FDA Black Box warning is for people age 24 and under. The age range with the most reports of suicide in less than a month, as reported to the FDA, is between 39 and 60+. The FDA Black Box warning is the most serious warning any legal drug can carry.
The information below is provided from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, The Mental Health Watchdog, CCHR. This information is based on a time period of 5/88-11/14.
Fact: At least 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 169 wounded and 79 killed. The most important fact about this list, is that these are only cases where the information about their psychiatric drug use was made public.
October 9, 2017 - CCHR International
Twenty-seven drug regulatory agency warnings cite psychiatric drug side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation; 1,531 cases of psychiatric drug induced homicide/homicidal ideation have been reported to the US FDA; 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, yet there has never been a federal investigation into the link between seemingly senseless acts of violence and the use of mind-altering psychotropic drugs.
October 2018 - Royal Society of Medicine
For those taking antidepressants under the age of 24, a Black Box FDA label warning regarding suicide and SSRI’s are included. But a 2016 review of clinical trial data published by the Royal Society of Medicine determined “antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence.”
2014 study by Irving Kirsch, Associate director of Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School:
After 30 years of the new “miracle” SSRI antidepressants, psychiatrists now say that for at least a third of those taking them, the drugs don’t “work.” In one study, psychiatrists admitted the failure rate to be as high as 46 percent. Research confirms that antidepressants may not be effective at all. The study, stated, “analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits [of antidepressants] are due to the placebo effect.”
Today’s military is the most medicated in history. This is largely due to psychiatric practicing. Yet the field of psychiatry calls increased prescribing of antipsychotics to these noble individuals who serve and who have served our country. Further, with the increased prescribing there is often little, if any, monitoring. Based on the Department of Defense data, nearly one-third of the suicides in the military occurred among those who had never seen combat duty.
Based on data released by those responsible for the health and well-being of the troops, it seems that pharmacology has replaced compassion. The days of talk therapy, a kind of willingness to stand in the warrior’s boots by listening to his experiences, has been replaced by the quick pop-a-pill fix.
But these pharmacological potions may be producing unintended consequences, and evidence is piling up that the ever-increasing use of dangerous psychiatric medications may be fueling the funeral pyre of military suicides and other unexplained deaths.
From 2001 to 2009, the Army’s suicide rate increased more than 150% while orders for psychiatric drugs rose 76% over the same period. These soaring statistics cannot be attributed to the horrors of war alone, as 85% of military suicide victims had never even seen combat.
According to recent data released by the Department of Defense, in the first 155 days of 2012, 154 soldiers died by suicide—about one per day—compared to the 139 soldiers who died in combat in the same period. This is an incredible 18% increase from the previous year at a time when, with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, U.S. combat forces are at significantly reduced numbers.
Despite the enormous increase in expenditures for psychiatric drugs and the growing number of mental health professionals recruited to care for the troops, “mental illness” remains the leading cause of hospitalization for active-duty troops. With so many resources being thrown at this life or death issue, both human and financial, why isn’t anyone getting better? More to the point, why are the troops taking their lives at record levels?
(PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS AND WAR: A SUICIDE MISSION, By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, October 11, 2012.)
Dr. Peter C. Gotzsche, MD
“It is well documented that drug companies under-report seriously the harms of antidepressants related to suicide and violence, either by simply omitting them from reports, by calling them something else or by committing scientific misconduct.”
Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD, co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration. He has published more than 70 papers in the top 5 general medical journals and 5 books, most recently, Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial.
Dr. David Healy
Dr. David Healy, world renowned medical expert, pointed out in his book The Antidepressant Era, that in 1958 President Eisenhower foresaw the problem we are living with today. This was before big pharmaceutical companies had grown to be such a major economic force. The President warned, “in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must be alert to the equal and possibly opposite danger that public policy itself could become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Dr. Healy, who is also a professor of psychiatry at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, is a psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist and author. His main areas of research included the antidepressants to suicide; conflicts of interest between pharmaceutical companies and academic medicine; and the history of pharmacology. Healy has written more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, 200 other articles, and 20 books, including The Antidepressant Era, The Creation of Psychopharmacology, The Psychopharmacologists Volumes 1–3, Let Them Eat Prozac and Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder.
Healy has been involved as an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic drugs, and has brought concerns about medications to the attention of drug regulators. He has also said that pharmaceutical companies sell drugs by marketing diseases and co-opting academic opinion-leaders. In his 2012 book, Pharmageddon, he argues that pharmaceutical companies have dominated healthcare in America, often with life-threatening results for patients. Healy is a founder and chief executive officer of Data Based Medicine Limited, which aims to make medicines safer through "online direct patient reporting of drug effects.