Friday, February 29, 2008

Northern Illinois University Murders Due to "Chemical Imbalances" from Psychiatric Drugs.

Article by Fred Baughman, Jr. M.D. Neurologist/Child Neurologist, as found on OpEd News. Of course, it is our own opinionthat the Northern Illinois University murders were caused by "chemical imbalances" due to the use of psychiatric drugs.

Regarding the Northern Illinois University shooter, Steven P. Kazmierczak, The New York Times (Benedict Carey, 2/19/08, A20) remarks…doctors say it is almost impossible to tell whether the spasms of violence stem in part from the drug reactions or the underlying illnesses.

A girlfriend said Kazmierczac, took Prozac to battle anxiety and compulsive behavior. While psychiatry (psychology too) and the pharmaceutical industry want anxiety, depression, elation impulsiveness, poor conduct, trouble with math, reading, writing, etc., portrayed as brain abnormalities/diseases/disorders/syndromes, so as to be able to portray their drugs as “medications” and “treatments” there is no such thing as an demonstrable physical abnormality/disease in all of psychiatry.

Diseases of the brain, MS, ALS—Lou Gehrig’s disease, stroke, meningitis, etc., are the province of neurology, my specialty. This was assured in 1948 when the two specialties were formally split with “neuropsychiatry” becoming the separate, new specialties, “psychiatry” and “neurology.” This means that the drugs/exogenous chemicals invariably prescribed by psychiatrists (and throughout mental health, by all sorts of doctors) are toxins/poisons, the first and only demonstrable abnormality/disease that they have.

But today, patients are invariably lied to—told, for purposes of informed consent, that they have an illness/sickness/chemical imbalance. This gains their consent. Whether it is true, honest, informed consent or not the psychiatry-pharmaceutical cartel doesn’t care. There is little doubt that without the “chemical imbalance” lie the epidemic psychiatric drug poisoning would be a small fraction of what it is today.

At a 1970 Congressional hearing on the drugging of school children, that at which hyperactivity was first called a brain disease, Dr John D. Griffith, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, testified: “I would like to point out that every drug, however innocuous, has some degree of toxicity. A drug, therefore, is a type of poison and its poisonous qualities must be carefully weighed against its therapeutic usefulness.”

Such a scientific, honest weighing of the risks vs. the benefits of psychiatric medications is virtually never carried out today because the psychiatric diagnosis, never a “chemical imbalance”/disease, is always portrayed as one, always needing, even requiring “treatment” with a “chemical balancer”—pill.

Think for a moment of the tens of thousands of children court-ordered to take psychiatric drugs for diagnoses such as ADHD, conduct and oppositonal-defiant disorders, lest their parents, without trial, be pronounced “medically negligent” and threatened with the loss of custody of the child—their child. Their child who’s emotional life they are no longer allowed to direct. This is what we have come to in the USA!

As in the University of Northern Illinois case, almost all of the grade school, high school, and college shooters have been psychiatric patients with psychiatric “diseases” (not real diseases) on psychiatric drugs (real exogenous chemical compounds, real brain- and body-altering poisons, real diseases). Nor is the issue of whether they still have the poison in their system or not critical. All psychiatric drugs damage the previously normal brain and body.

This is how they alter the subjective symptoms for which they are “treatment.” Even if stopped they have damaged and thus altered the previously normal individual. Eric Harris, one of the two Columbine shooters had been on Zoloft, also Prozac-like. There is no such thing as the “chemical imbalance” portrayed in the Zoloft ad. There is no such thing as the balancing of that “chemical imbalance” as portrayed in the Zoloft ad. And yet the FDA, as much a part of the pharmaceutical industry as psychiatry, lets them tell us these lies. Harris was denied enlistment in the armed forces. They knew something the public did not.

Health care providers in Sweden are now required to report all suicides committed up to four weeks after their last health care visit. 367 suicides were thus-reported for the year 2006. More than 80 percent of persons committing suicide had been “treated” with psychiatric drugs. In over 50 percent of cases the persons were on antidepressants, most of them Prozac-like, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). More than 60 cases had been on antipsychotic/neuroleptic. This information had been concealed by psychiatric officials at Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare. Does this not blow the myths of antidepressants and neuroleptics as suicide-preventive drugs to pieces?

What’s more: these drugs—SSRIs and neuroleptic/antipsychotics alike, are being given to infants toddlers and children in the US, and are being pushed hard by the psychiatry-pharmaceutical cartel around the world. Think of it: over 80 percent of persons killing themselves on treatment with psychiatric drugs.

A certain number of persons killing themselves can be expected to be suffering from drug induced akathisia – an extreme inner restlessness, a feeling of having to creep out of ones skin, a completely unbearable condition. It is created by the psychiatric drugs, not by any “underlying disease”—there is no such thing as an actual disease in psychiatry, at least, not before the “treatment” poisoning—the first and only disease. (thanks to Janne Larsson, investigative journalist, Sweden).

In December, 1994, Professor David Healy interviewed Jonathan Cole , Director of Psychopharmacology Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. Healy asked: “What about a group of patients who may get worse on it Prozac?

Cole responded: Yes. I’m one of the authors of the suicide paper. Yes, I have seen people, at least a handful, that clearly got more agitated and got weird thoughts and suicidal drive. Tony Rothschild…found three people who had jumped off something while on fluoxetine, who didn’t kill themselves, and agreed to take it again. He re-created the same desperate driven quality with fluoxetine (Prozac).

Cole: One patient…was so distressed by a thought telling her to kill herself over and over again, …I told her to take some Ativan and go to sleep and she did and within 36 hours it had passed. At the end of it she said ‘gee, I’ve been depressed for 21 years, and suicidal a lot but that was ridiculous.’ Lilly (manufacturer of Prozac) doesn’t believe it…Plus about 1-2% of the people on fluoxetine…called up and said I’ve got suicidal ideas that I haven’t had before and another 1-2% phoned up and said I’ve got crazy ideas that I hadn’t had before.

Today in the US we have been so taken in by the “chemical imbalance”/ “chemical balancer” lie of the psycho-pharm cartel that 20% of school children are on one or more psychiatric drug, 60-70% of children in foster care (who cannot defend themselves ) and a like number of those in juvenile and adult penal institutions.

At the same time we have organized psychiatry asking us to believe that half of all of us in the US will one day be afflicted with a “serious mental disorder” (read chemical imbalance) and that, of course we will need one or more “chemical balancers”/drugs.


When normal people are lied to, told they have a "disease" to make "patients" of them, their right to informed consent has been abrogated and they no longer live in a democracy. When, pursuant to that lie, they are drugged, we have not "treatment" but poisoning. This is the greatest health care fraud in modern medical history.

Study shows 80% of suicides in Sweden are by people on anti-depressants.

As reported on Natural News

A Swedish writer has accused the National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) of covering up evidence suggesting a connection between psychiatric drugs and suicide. Under a recent law, Swedish health-care providers must fill out reports on all suicides committed by patients under their care or within four weeks of a health care visit. The reports are then sent to the NBHW, which compiles and analyzes them.

Recently, the NBHW released the first report analyzing the 367 suicides recorded in 2006. "Not a single word is written about the most compelling fact: Well over 80 percent of persons killing themselves were treated with psychiatric drugs," Janne Larson writes.

According to data received via a Freedom of Information Act request, more than 80 percent of the 367 suicides had been receiving psychiatric medications. More than half of these were receiving antidepressants, while more than 60 percent were receiving either antidepressants or antipsychotics. There is no mention of this either in the NBHW paper or in major Swedish media reports about the health care suicides.

Why the truth won't be reported in the mainstream media

"It was contrary to the best interests of Big Pharma and biological psychiatrists" to expose the information, Larson writes. "It blew the myths of antidepressants and neuroleptics [antipsychotics] as suicide protecting drugs to pieces. It would also have hurt the career of many medical journalists to take up this subject; journalists who for years have made their living by writing marketing articles about new antidepressant drugs."

These statements are quite true. The conspiracy of silence between Big Pharma and the mainstream media is now so strong that accurate news about the dangers of psychiatric drugs is rarely reported. As we recently saw in the death of Heath Ledger, the mainstream media is quick to blame the victim, but slow to realize that the real cause of these behavioral problems rests with the chemicals that alter brain function (and therefore alter behavior).

Evidence has emerged that a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) actually increases the risk of suicide in those who take them. While such claims have been hotly disputed by the pharmaceutical industry and many psychiatrists, experimental, epidemiological and case study evidence continues to emerge that reinforces such a link. The evidence suggests that those taking SSRIs are approximately twice as likely to commit suicide as those not taking such medications. This risk increase appears to be independent of the specific diagnosis or other underlying health factors.

Even worse, recent research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS Medicine reveals that antidepressant drugs don't work any better than placebo at reducing depression. This study looked at all the clinical trials conducted on SSRIs, not just the ones selected by drug companies for publication. It reveals that SSRI drug manufacturers committed scientific fraud in censoring studies that did not show positive results. Now, the whole world knows that the disease mongering and hype behind antidepressant drugs was based on pure scientific fraud.

Links between SSRIs and suicide

The link between SSRI use and suicide in youths has been firmly established enough that the United States and United Kingdom have licensed only one such drug (fluoxetine, marketed under the brand name Prozac) for use by those under the age of 18. In the United Kingdom, off-label use by children is blatantly illegal. In the United States, the FDA requires a "black box" warning that SSRIs may increase the risk of suicide in those under the age of 18, but that warning is routinely ignored, and hundreds of millions of doses of Prozac have been taken by children and teens.

A "black box" warning is the most severe warning the FDA can issue without withdrawing a product from the market. In December 2006, an FDA advisory panel recommended increasing the age on the SSRI black box warning to 25 years of age. In reality, the black box warning is a way for the FDA to allow dangerous drugs to remain on the market: It gives them an excuse to say, "We warned you!"

The dangers of Prozac

Prozac has been found to increase the risk of aggressive and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. When the drug was first submitted to the FDA for approval in 1985, the agency's then-chief safety investigator, Richard Kapit, suggested that the drug bear a "labeling warning [for] the physician that such signs and symptoms of depression may be exacerbated by this drug." In 2004, the FDA finally added the labeling requirement.

Antipsychotics may also increase suicide risk by inducing a condition known as akathisia — a subjective, often-misdiagnosed feeling of inner restlessness that can range from mild anxiety to a feeling of overwhelming doom. Akathisia can also be induced by certain SSRIs, including Prozac and Paxil. A 2006 study published in PLoS Medicine concluded that akathisia induced by antipsychotic use is significantly correlated with suicide, and that the condition appeared to be overwhelmingly more likely in patients taking SSRIs than in those taking a placebo, with 10 times as many patients on SSRIs exhibiting symptoms severe enough that investigators were forced to pull them from the study.

Yet Larson alleges that the Swedish government has failed to investigate any potential link between SSRIs or antipsychotics and suicide. The investigation form that the government sends to local healthcare providers to fill out after a suicide does not contain any questions about drug treatment.

According to Larson, a truly objective investigation would have to look at whether the patients exhibited symptoms that could be attributed to akathisia (which is nearly always a drug side effect) and whether suicide was preceded by an increase or abrupt drop in drug dosage.

"[NBHW] claimed: 'Every investigated suicide where one can see flaws that can be taken care of, can contribute to the prevention of further suicides,'" Larson writes. "Yet no investigation at all was done in the suicide-inducing effect of antidepressants and neuroleptics."

Suicides and violent behavior

It is important to note that nearly every school shooting that has happened in the United States over the last decade has been conducted by young males who were taking antidepressant drugs. The drugs not only cause suicidal behavior, they also seem to promote extreme violence towards other individuals. In most school shooting cases, the young men committing the violence also committed suicide after killing classmates and teachers. These are classic signs of antidepressant use.

Dr. Fred Baughman ( has spoken extensively about the link between antidepressants and violent behavior, and has accused the drug companies of lying to the public about depression in order to sell more antidepressant drugs. His most recent article is published at OpEdNews

Psychiatrist suspended for overbilling the state of California

From the Orange County Register.

A psychiatrist who once worked for the Orange County Health Care Agency has been suspended from practice for one year by the California Medical Board over false billing practices.

Dr. John Rajaratnam was found to have billed state Medi-Cal for examining patients on days when he had not seen them, according to legal documents. In one case, the state says he billed 21 hours for one day. In another, he billed 52 minutes for a 5-minute visit, the documents show.

Rajaratnam's suspension went into effect last month. Additionally, he was placed on probation for five years and ordered to take ethics and medical record keeping courses. If he violates probation, he could lose his medical license.

His Irvine attorney Bradley Garber said Rajaratnam never defrauded Medi-Cal, the public insurance program for low-income families.

"He knows he did the work. He gave his life and all of his efforts in providing care to his patients," Garber said Thursday. "Unfortunately sometimes you can't prove it in a 'he said, she said' situation where no one takes detailed records of signing in and signing out."

In the last fiscal year, 135 California doctors were disciplined for medical negligence and nine were disciplined for committing fraud. Penalties vary.

For instance, Richard Moy, a Lake Forest podiatrist, received a 30-day suspension last year in the settlement of a case where he was accused of fondling a patient's breasts.

Medical Board spokeswoman Candis Cohen described a one-year suspension as "a significant sanction."

The state documents summarized testimony that described Rajaratnam as well-liked and caring but noted that a suspension was warranted because of his lack of remorse.

"Respondent has not accepted any responsibility for his misconduct. … He has admitted to only one mistake, related to his allegedly 'collapsing' services rendered over two dates into one progress note," the papers read.

Garber said Rajaratnam, 54, suffered a debilitating stroke last month shortly before the suspension took effect. He said his client often worked on administrative paperwork late at night after carrying a heavy patient load and commuting to four different satellite offices.

"He never profited from anything about this purported medical fraud claim," Garber said. "He was never paid a dollar more than he earned in a 40-hour workweek, yet he worked himself to the bone."

Rajaratnam worked at the Health Care Agency from 1994 until he was terminated in 2004 for falsification of medical and timekeeping records, according to Medical Board documents. The records also say the county received an anonymous complaint about his billing practices that led to an audit revealing discrepancies between his medical charts and billing.

In one case, the county reimbursed Medi-Cal $2,340.76 for treatment of a minor who was not present on dates listed by Rajaratnam, the state documents say.

The matter is not the first to involve improper billing practices at the Health Care Agency.

In December, the county paid $7 million to the federal government to settle allegations that false bills were submitted to Medicare for mental health and drug addiction services from 1990 to 1999.

The health care agency admitted no wrongdoing in the matter, which centered on improperly billed Medicare for psychiatric evaluations that were not performed by appropriate medical staff. The county also engaged in a billing practice known as "upcoding," where brief office visits were described as lengthier, intensive office visits in order to receive higher compensation.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Marketing Electro Convulsive Therapy

The Last Psychiatrist Weblog has an interesting observation on the press releases that essentially spin and market ECT in the wake of some new study.

Of course, our opinion of ECT is much harsher than the dear doctors', but the insider's insight is worth taking notes on.

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the largest of its kind, finds that prior treatment failure with antidepressants did not predict lower success rates with ECT. Phew.

Well, if that was all there was, it would be a pretty pointless study. And certainly not worthy of press releases. You have to read them, to see how the authors spin the study:
They therefore conclude that given appropriate indications for ECT, "antidepressant medication resistance should not sway the clinician from providing this modality."
Read it again. Just because you failed antidepressants, it doesn't mean you shouldn't try ECT. Huh? I thought that was specifically when you were supposed to use ECT?
"The implication of our study," lead investigator Dr. Keith G. Rasmussen told Reuters Health, "is that even if a depressed patient has not responded to one or more antidepressant medication trials, ECT still has acute success rates as high as for patients who have not had a medication trial before ECT."
That's some might nice sleight of hand. Look how he phrases his comparison: "...ECT still has success rates as high as for those who have not taken meds." See? He's making your baseline clinical experience be all those patients you've put on ECT who have never been on meds, and saying that ECT in the medication resistant will be just as good.

That's the important part, read it again.

He is trying to implant in you the belief that there exists an entire group of patients for whom you used ECT first line, before antidepressants.


It's a product positioning strategy, Marketing 101. You cannot take on a market leader head on, even if your product is "better" because, as the adage goes, "first beats best." Royal Crown cola can't take on Coca Cola. In order to succeed, you need to position your product as an alternative to the market leader. How? By admitting there is a market leader.


Antidepressants occupy the "first line" position in the customer's (i.e. doctor's) mind. ECT can't compete directly with them. But Rasmussen positions ECT as an alternative to antidepressants, one of equivalent value. He doesn't say ECT is better than antidepressants-- a point which then becomes a debate-- he says there's no relationship to antidepressants. It's an alternative to antidepressants, equal. Go ahead and try, you have nothing to lose, they're all the same.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did GlaxoSmithKline trial data mask Paxil suicide risk?

Looks like the manufacturer of Paxil may have failed to disclose that an early Paxil found that the drug was associated with increased risk of suicide.As reported by New Scientist.

An inappropriate analysis of clinical trial data by researchers at GlaxoSmithKline obscured suicide risks associated with paroxetine, a profitable antidepressant, for 15 years, suggest court documents (897kb, requires Acrobat Reader) released last month. Not until 2006 did GSK alert people to raised suicide risks associated with the drug, marketed as Paxil and Seroxat.

An analysis of internal GSK memos and reports, which were released to US lawyers seeking damages, suggests that the company had trial data demonstrating an eightfold increase in suicide risk as early as 1989. Harvard University psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen, who studied the papers for the lawyers, says it's "virtually impossible" that GSK simply misunderstood the data - a claim the company describes as "absolutely false".
More info at the link.

Court documents can be downloaded here.

Suicidal pets get anti-depressants

To be honest I had to check the calendar when I first saw this story. I had to verify it wasn't April Fools Day. While there are pets who are obviously driven mad by the humans that they live with, the solution is probably not to drug the animals, but to improve their lives.

Pets at risk of self-harm are increasingly being prescribed anti-depressants because they cannot discuss problems in their lives with others, a leading veterinarian says. Zoo and wildlife medicine specialist with the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Romain Pizzi, told the Telegraph that more pets were being prescribed Prozac.


Some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have also recognised the need for anti-depressants for animals.

Last year, Eli Lilly released a chewable anti-depressant for dogs onto the US market.

The manufacturers even gave the “Reconcile” drug a beef flavour.

Pfizer has also created a diet drug for dogs, as well as motion-sickness medicine for all pets.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Psychiatry gets it wrong about Autism

An interesting story on the Wired Website. And it is damning it the implications for the shear blindness of modern psychiatric researchers, most of whom are stunned by the implications. Part of a much longer article, at the link

The YouTube clip opens with a woman facing away from the camera, rocking back and forth, flapping her hands awkwardly, and emitting an eerie hum. She then performs strange repetitive behaviors: slapping a piece of paper against a window, running a hand lengthwise over a computer keyboard, twisting the knob of a drawer. She bats a necklace with her hand and nuzzles her face against the pages of a book. And you find yourself thinking: Who's shooting this footage of the handicapped lady, and why do I always get sucked into watching the latest viral video?

But then the words "A Translation" appear on a black screen, and for the next five minutes, 27-year-old Amanda Baggs — who is autistic and doesn't speak — describes in vivid and articulate terms what's going on inside her head as she carries out these seemingly bizarre actions. In a synthesized voice generated by a software application, she explains that touching, tasting, and smelling allow her to have a "constant conversation" with her surroundings. These forms of nonverbal stimuli constitute her "native language," Baggs explains, and are no better or worse than spoken language. Yet her failure to speak is seen as a deficit, she says, while other people's failure to learn her language is seen as natural and acceptable.

And you find yourself thinking: She might have a point.


The YouTube post, she says, was a political statement, designed to call attention to people's tendency to underestimate autistics. It wasn't her first video post, but this one took off. "When the number of viewers began to climb, I got scared out of my mind," Baggs says. As the hit count neared 100,000, her blog was flooded. At 200,000, scientists were inviting her to visit their labs. By 300,000, the TV people came calling, hearts warmed by the story of a young woman's fiery spirit and the rare glimpse into what has long been regarded as the solitary imprisonment of the autistic mind. "I've said a million times that I'm not trapped in my own world,'" Baggs says. "Yet what do most of these news stories lead with? Saying exactly that."

I tell her that I asked one of the world's leading authorities on autism to check out the video. The expert's opinion: Baggs must have had outside help creating it, perhaps from one of her caregivers. Her inability to talk, coupled with repetitive behaviors, lack of eye contact, and the need for assistance with everyday tasks are telltale signs of severe autism. Among all autistics, 75 percent are expected to score in the mentally retarded range on standard intelligence tests — that's an IQ of 70 or less.

After I explain the scientist's doubts, Baggs grunts, and her mouth forms just a hint of a smirk as she lets loose a salvo on the keyboard. No one helped her shoot the video, edit it, and upload it to YouTube. She used a Sony Cybershot DSC-T1, a digital camera that can record up to 90 seconds of video (she has since upgraded). She then patched the footage together using the editing programs RAD Video Tools, VirtualDub, and DivXLand Media Subtitler. "My care provider wouldn't even know how to work the software," she says.

The Decline of Psychiatry, Part 3

We have another report regarding the decreasing numbers of psychiatrists, this time from Alabama. See our earlier reports here

A shortage of psychiatrists, both in-state trainees and out-of-state recruits, in the state of Alabama has proved to be an increasing problem over the past decade.

In a study conducted by Dr. Richard Powers in April 2007, Alabama has only 7.1 psychiatrists per 100,000, while other neighboring states have 8.1 and the nation has 13.7, according to Understanding the Shortage of Psychiatrists and Selected other
Mental Health Professionals in Alabama.

Powers cites this shortage due to lack of funding for psychiatry programs, a shortage of in-patient beds, difficulties for physicians to obtain practicing licenses and an overall decline in the retention rate of Alabama psychiatrists.

The University of South Alabama offers one of the two only psychiatry programs in the state of Alabama. Both programs at USA and the University of Alabama at Birmingham have experienced difficulties, according to Powers' study.

Each experienced difficulties in training the maximum number of psychiatrists, many of whom practice in other states after training.

"The University of South Alabama suffered from management issues and the program at UAB suffered from a shortage of funding to support the maximum number of candidates," the study states.


The University of South Alabama College of Medicine department of psychiatry program works to combat these shortages through its funding, programs and output of trained graduates on a yearly basis.

A draft copy of the study can be seen in full here

Monday, February 25, 2008

Prozac, used by 40m people, does not work say scientists

As reported in the Guardian, an analysis of unseen trials and other data concludes it is no better than placebo. The study in question can be accessed on the Public Library of Science website

If we didn't know better it would seen that they knew this all along, one way or another. And this fits the classic definition of fraud, on some level.

Prozac, the bestselling antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and nor do similar drugs in the same class, according to a major review released today.

The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill.

When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs.

The only exception is in the most severely depressed patients, according to the authors - Prof Irving Kirsch from the department of psychology at Hull University and colleagues in the US and Canada. But that is probably because the placebo stopped working so well, they say, rather than the drugs having worked better.

"Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed," says Kirsch. "This study raises serious issues that need to be addressed surrounding drug licensing and how drug trial data is reported."

The paper, published today in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, is likely to have a significant impact on the prescribing of the drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) already recommends that counselling should be tried before doctors prescribe antidepressants. Kirsch, who was one of the consultants for the guidelines, says the new analysis "would suggest that the prescription of antidepressant medications might be restricted even more".

The review breaks new ground because Kirsch and his colleagues have obtained for the first time what they believe is a full set of trial data for four antidepressants.

They requested the full data under freedom of information rules from the Food and Drug Administration, which licenses medicines in the US and requires all data when it makes a decision.

The pattern they saw from the trial results of fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Seroxat), venlafaxine (Effexor) and nefazodone (Serzone) was consistent. "Using complete data sets (including unpublished data) and a substantially larger data set of this type than has been previously reported, we find the overall effect of new-generation antidepressant medication is below recommended criteria for clinical significance," they write.

Two more frequently prescribed antidepressants were omitted from the study because scientists were unable to obtain all the data.

Concerns have been raised in recent years about the side-effects of this class of antidepressant. Evidence that they could prompt some young people to consider suicide led to a warning to doctors not to prescribe them for the under-18s - with the exception of Prozac, which was considered more effective than the rest.

In adults, however, the depression-beating benefits were thought to outweigh the risks. Since its launch in the US in 1988, some 40 million people have taken Prozac, earning tens of billions of dollars for the manufacturer, Eli Lilly. Although the patent lapsed in 2001, fluoxetine continues to make the company money - it is now the active ingredient in Sarafem, a pill sold by Lilly for premenstrual syndrome.

Eli Lilly was defiant last night. "Extensive scientific and medical experience has demonstrated that fluoxetine is an effective antidepressant," it said in a statement. "Since its discovery in 1972, fluoxetine has become one of the world's most-studied medicines. Lilly is proud of the difference fluoxetine has made to millions of people living with depression."

A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Seroxat, said the authors had failed to acknowledge the "very positive" benefits of the treatment and their conclusions were "at odds with what has been seen in actual clinical practice".

He added: "This analysis has only examined a small subset of the total data available while regulatory bodies around the world have conducted extensive reviews and evaluations of all the data available, and this one study should not be used to cause unnecessary alarm and concern for patients."
Here's a follow up link to another story on the study: Seems that Big Pharma is in a slight Panic

Australian Judge who spoke out against Ritalin kids ordered to shut up

This has the smell of political corruption in the Australian legal system. Report from the Daily Telegraph

The judge who accused doctors of creating a generation of Ritalin kids who become criminals has been gagged in an extraordinary move by the state's Judicial Commission.

An ADHD support group which supports the use of drugs like Ritalin complained to the commission that Judge Paul Conlon had got it wrong, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Judge Conlon criticised the over-diagnosis of ADHD, the over-use of medication and its effect on children.

Instead of dismissing the complaint, as it does in 75 per cent of cases, the commission referred it to Judge Conlon's boss, District Court Chief Judge Reg Blanch. In such cases, the chief judge is expected to counsel the judge or "make administrative arrangements within his or her court" to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Judge Conlon, a former Crown prosecutor, sparked fresh controversy about the use of Ritalin when he made his comments last year during the sentencing of a 20-year-old man who was prescribed the powerful stimulant at the age of six.

Judge Conlon, who jailed the man for 15 months for assault and an act of indecency, was told by a psychiatrist the man had become addicted to methamphetamine because of his Ritalin use.

At the time, the judge said he had huge concerns because of the "amazing tide" of cases coming before him involving people prescribed Ritalin as children who went on to commit violent crimes.

His remarks led to a review of the treatment of ADHD in NSW, which earlier this month reported that it had found no overprescribing of drugs.

However, sources say many doctors refused to co-operate with the study, which had no public input.

Three members of the committee have also served as expert advisers to drug companies, including Novartis, which produces Ritalin. The doctors all declared no conflict of interest.

At the same time, a prominent Sydney psychiatrist, Professor Joseph Rey, wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia that doctors should review their patients' need for the medications.

The Decline of Psychiatry, Part 2

Earlier we reported on the declining numbers of psychiatrists in Indiana. Now we have this report of a similar decline in Ohio:

[...]Trumbull is undergoing a psychiatrist shortage, according to those at Trumbull LifeLifes, the agency considering joining forces with Summa Health System in Akron.

‘‘It’s a perennial challenge here in Trumbull County, all over the state,’’ said James Sager, LifeLifes chief operating officer. ‘‘Finding and keeping psychiatrists is particularly a difficult challenge for us.’’[...]

According to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, Ohio had 1,019 psychiatrists six years ago, making 31st in the nation in the number of psychiatrists per capita. In comparison, Pennsylvania ranked 11th with 1,753.


Director of consultation liaison psychiatry at Summa, Tod Ivan, said he believes there is an overall shortage largely because of federal policy.

He said the government — through Medicare — has restricted funding for specialty care, like psychiatry, in favor or primary care. Also, Ivan said, policy regarding managed care makes it hard for psychiatrists to make a living, like for example, a 50 percent co-payment on mental health services through Medicare.

‘‘Nationally, for about 20 years, the numbers have remained flat,’’ he said.
Of course, they try to put a positive face on the report, citing partnership efforts with other population centers. We suspect that there is a larger long term trend that they are not at alll happy about, and that this report is just another pin in the Voodoo Doll of Psychiatry.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Century of the Self - A BBC Documentary

A BBC Documentary on Google Video, describing how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy. An interesting view into the minds of folks in government who look to sell us their agenda.

More specifically it is about the rise of the Public Relations industry, and the Role of Edward Bernaise (a nephew of Sigmund Freud) in the creation and development of this field, especially in the realm of politics.

This probably would not air in the USA, for a variety of reasons, including much footage that dates back to the early Clinton and Blair years. Has an odd conservative twist to it.

Each part is about 1 hour long.

Part 1 - Happiness Machines

Part 2 - The Engineering of Consent

Part 3 - There is Policeman Inside all our Heads He Must Be Destroyed

Part 4 - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering (Engineering politics)

There is more info here, at the Information Clearing House website.

Sigmund Freud introduced the idea that humans were in a struggle with their animalistic natures and if this goes unchecked then people will run around naked destroying things and society will fall apart. He apparently had very little confidence in humans.

This idea was widely accepted especially in the upper classes thus confirming of the fear that Democracy left unchecked could destroy their society. If the people could not be trusted to control their basic animalistic nature, then how would they know how to vote?

In steps Freud’s nephew Edward Bernaise. Propaganda during war was nothing new, but Bernaise saw an opportunity to use the unconscious desires of humans to manipulate the masses in times of peace also. Bernaise believed that by fulfilling the unconscious desires of people would change a potentially unruly population into a controlled docile one.

Bernaise invented the much used term “public relations,” and used it to turn the population of the United States into consumers. Before Bernaise worked his magic, the American population only bought goods according to their needs. It was practically unheard of to buy something for any other reason.

Bernaise made it acceptable to make a purchase based on desires.

Using Hollywood through product placement, and the media, he changed the population into an easily placated self-absorbed group where before they were actively participating. Over the years, this has changed Democracy from a function of the entire society into less than a passing diversion. It is not by accident that here in the United States we have perhaps a lower voter turnout than anywhere else in the world.

Bernaise put his methodology to the test in many areas. Bernaise, being approached by the tobacco company, effectively double their customers with one wave of his wand. He asked had a few women light up after a march in front of the press and in a movie or two prominent actresses were instructed to smoke and almost overnight erased the stigma of women smoking. After this victory and his ideas tested and proven, Bernaise was ready to move onto bigger things. He was involved in all sorts of advertising and promotion from the automobile industry to governmental agencies that needed public support.

Although there have been many attempts to oppose these methods as unethical, they have gone largely unopposed. As long as industry is making money and politicians are passing the laws they are pushing for the industry, they will continue to go unopposed.

This is pure propaganda and is intended to be a psychological attack at the essence of humanity to evoke a non-response to governmental malfeasance and other societal issues as well as to evoke a gluttonous consumer based society. If that seems to sum up much of how the world seems to consider most Americans, at least we can now tell that it is not by accident.

The methods had been used for years to promote the hard to sell policies of the government, but starting with Clinton and Blair a new use was found. Polls were taken to find out what the voter desired most. These finding were easily turned into speeches and in the cases of Clinton and Blair, won elections.

Blair took it one step farther and used it to set policy while Clinton simply did what he and his advisors thought was best after the election was won. Blair took polls and no one seemed concerned about the rail system in Britain, so little funding was appropriated until trains began derailing and killing people. Politicians soon learned that people’s concerns were not always in line with their needs.

Of course if they had studied Bernaise and the methodology of the polls, they would have known this. Now, politicians use the polls to write their speeches and continue to do what they feel is best regardless of what they say in the speeches.

This is why Bush talks about peace and wages war and all the other double speak that persists, to placate to the desires and not the needs of society which effectively placates the masses.

One would think that the population would eventually catch on to this trick, and perhaps some have, but the public relations business is stronger and more centralized than ever. Just a few short years ago, there were over 50 media stations broadcasting news to Americans. Now there are only five. This number could go lower soon, but at this point the company heads are all of one voice pounding out PR about whatever they want us to think we want.

The journalism schools in the U.S. are very few and most have switched over to public relations. Journalists will soon go the way of the dinosaur if something does not change this horrible trend.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Psychologist is expected to plead guilty in domestic violence case

Report from the Indianapolis Star

A prominent Fishers psychologist has agreed to plead guilty in a domestic violence case involving his wife, a fellow therapist, a prosecutor confirmed Friday.

Special Prosecutor Todd Meyer said David M. Buckingham, whose wife, Beth Buckingham, also is a psychologist and behavioral therapist at Buckingham & Associates, is scheduled to plead guilty March 13 in Hamilton Superior Court.

Details of the plea agreement Meyer negotiated with defense attorney Bruce Boje are expected to be filed then.

Typically, plea agreements let a defendant avoid prosecution on one or more charges. In Buckingham's case, the attorneys say, the deal would resolve two battery charges and related charges that he violated a no-contact order.

According to the five counts of invasion of privacy filed July 3, Buckingham sent five text messages to his wife after his May 29 release from jail pending trial in the battery case.

Authorities filed the charges after deciding not to pursue evidence that he had also made threatening phone calls to his wife from the jail before his release on $10,000 bond.

Buckingham, 53, initially was arrested May 26 after Beth Buckingham accused him of attacking her.

"The accused slapped her in the face with an open hand, slammed the car door on her right foot and stomped several times on her left foot," Fishers police officer Tom Weger reported.

Sgt. Gerry Hepp said the incident involved an argument and the woman's attempt to leave home for the weekend.

The couple lived in the 9800 block of Sugarleaf Place in Rosewood.

He was charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony, and domestic battery, a misdemeanor, and ordered to avoid all contact with his wife.
The subsequent invasion of privacy charges were filed after Buckingham sent her text messages in June.

In seeking a special prosecutor from another county, Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp notified the case judge that she and her administrative chief deputy are friends of the couple and worked with them professionally.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Update: Viral Marketing Campaign with an Interesting Twist

Looks like somebody is going to come forward and own up to the Obay Viral Marketing campaign. As reported in the Torontoist

Since fake pharmaceutical ads for a drug called "Obay" starting appearing across Ontario (and elsewhere) last week, everyone from street artist Frank Shepard Fairey (aka OBEY) to Scientologists to comedian Maggie Cassella has been fingered as the culprit behind them.

Last Friday, three days after the ads seem to have launched, we traced them, with no small amount of confidence, to a substantially less dramatic source––Colleges Ontario, an advocacy organization representing twenty-four colleges across the province. The organization would neither confirm nor deny their involvement to either Torontoist or, several days later, to The Star, but still told us all to wait a few weeks for...something. As far as mysterious ad campaigns go, this one was almost perfect: only breadcrumbs to trace back to the source, a city left to talk about the ad and its message and what it all meant (which, of course, was precisely the point).

But it's finally official: Rob Savage, Colleges Ontario's Director of Communications, called Torontoist moments ago to confirm that Colleges Ontario is indeed behind the ads, and the organization just sent out a press release with information about a media launch event next Monday that promises to reveal "the news behind Obay and its side effects on Ontario’s Post-secondary Education."

Idaho Psychiatrist blames energy drinks for psychosis

We think the shrink is going out on a limb here, although who knows what weird side effects could be going on. Shrinks have seen enough weird side effects from their own concoctions. Some of the effects might be psychosomatic, given that one potion's name was "Full Throttle Blue Demon". As seen in this report.

After an Idaho teen last week complained of demonic possession and threatened to harm herself with a knife, her psychiatrist blamed her actions on energy drinks.

“She held a knife to herself and was going to kill herself,” Dr. Craig Denny told Idaho Falls and Pocatello, Idaho -based KIFI ABC affiliate Tuesday. “This all started when she was drinking this new energy drink that’s more powerful than all the others.”

That energy drink, as it turned out, wasn’t an energy drink at all. It was an energy shot called Zantrex-3 Insta-Shot, according to one of Denny’s colleagues at the hospital.

Denny said the girl was consuming several of the five-hour energy shots each day, and his colleague said the youth was simultaneously consuming Zentrex’s diet pills – which also claim to supply energy.

The patient demonstrated symptoms about a week after she started consuming the energy shots, Denny said, and the symptoms subsided within days after she stopped.

“There’s no limit to what these kids can buy and drink,” Denny said. “I don’t want to see this happen to any other kids and we as a society can be more responsible with what we market to children.”

Denny said he didn’t have animosity toward the companies that make energy drinks and energy shots, but said parents should more closely watch what their kids consume – whether It’s energy drinks, soda or fast food.

“If it were up to me you wouldn’t be able to buy anything in a store until you’re 18,” Denny said.

Denny also spoke to KPVI, the NBC affiliate based in the same cities, and noted a sharp increase in energy drink consumption among his patients.

The reporters, for their part, noted that dozens of students at Idaho Falls High School use their lunch break to trek a block and a half down to the Texaco station to buy energy drinks. KPVI’s story quoted one student as purchasing a Rock Star energy drink, and KIVI’s story featured a picture of Full Throttle Blue Demon – neither of which are energy shots.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Loose Screw Awards -- psychology's top 10 misguided ideas.

As seen in Psychology Today.

The mental health fields have, now and then, spawned and nurtured some completely crazy ideas. Physicians in the 18th and 19th centuries, for example, inflicted strange and extremely cruel treatments on their mentally ill patients based on equally bizarre theories of human nature. To try to shock schizophrenics into "regaining consciousness of the true self," for example, doctors bled them until they fainted, or blindfolded them and allowed them to fall through a trapdoor into cold water -- the so-called "Bath of Surprise." It's unlikely that such techniques had any therapeutic value.

Our own era has also produced theories and techniques of dubious worth. In the 1990s, for example, practitioners by the thousands began "facilitating communication" with nonverbal children by strategically guiding their clients' hands over keyboards. Some of these children appeared to claim that they had been sexually abused, and one even wrote a novel this way. A barrage of research soon demonstrated that the technique was nonsense; all of the ideas came from the facilitators, not the children. Unfortunately, no matter how persuasive the evidence, people often cling to bad ideas, including facilitated communication.

Here are 10 faulty concepts from the mental health professions that have yet to disappear. Sometimes their effects have been benign; other times, put into practice, such ideas have harmed many people.
We are providing a quick summation, for the full details, see the full article at the link.
    Psychology's top 10 misguided ideas.

  1. Projective Tests - Things like the Rorschach test, and Skinner's muffled audio tests with similar results.
  2. Recovered Memories - which lead to the recall of hundreds of memories of satanic child sex abuse and other monstrosities which simply did not occur.
  3. Correctional Boot Camps for the misbehaving teen
  4. The Cult of Self-Esteem - rewards without accomplishment.
  5. Codependency, Enabling and Tough Love
  6. Mozart Babies - music education for the very young does not make them geniuses.
  7. Stages of Dying never was scientifically tested, and many people are unique, any how
  8. Rebirthing Therapy which led to the deaths of a few innocents.
  9. Adolescent Angst - the trauma of growing up
  10. Catharsis - rebirthing therapy for all the other traumas of your life, stirring up much, accomplishing nothing.
As with every thing, there is probably a kernel of truth that inspired each of these, but the kernel was so buried by the time they got rolling, nothing good came out of these efforts.

Viral Marketing Campaign with an Interesting Twist

UPDATE: Seems like there is more news on this viral campaign.

As first seen here:

It’s obvious that the product doesn’t actually exist and that it’s some sort of viral marketing campaign. As for what the campaign is meant to promote, most people with whom I’ve spoken to about the ads think that it’s some kind of jab at parents who are following the disturbing trend of medicating their teenage kids out of normal teenage behaviour and into Stepford adolescence.

One person on the TorCamp mailing list wrote that a colleague doing consulting work for a nearby college says that it’s an ad campaign for Ontario colleges.

I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.
Of course, what would it be without the pictures (Link 1) (Link 2) You can also click on the pictures below for your own full size copies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Psychiatrist accused of trying to use one patient to threaten another,

UPDATE: we have a report that the former shrink has been sentenced for his misconduct:

A former Launceston psychiatrist has been sentenced to 18 months jail for hiring a former patient to intimidate another patient.

A criminal court jury this afternoon found Ian Anthony Martin guilty of attempting to interfere with a witness.

The Chief Justice Peter Underwood says the crime struck at the well being of society and the court must send a clear message that it will act to protect the judicial system.

He gave Martin a 10 month non parole period.
Original Report: As seen in these reports from ABC News in Australia

Report 1
The trial of a Launceston psychiatrist, accused of trying to use one patient to threaten another, will continue in the Launceston Criminal Court tomorrow.

Ian Anthony Martin has pleaded not guilty to attempting to interfere with a witness and to an alternative charge of perverting the course of justice.

Martin has denied that in 1998 he asked a female patient to withdraw a charge against him of maintaining a sexual relationship.

Another former patient, Gregory Shane Kirkland, has told the court that he damaged the woman's car after Martin asked him to threaten her and her family.

A third former patient, Raymond Henry Wells, said he helped Martin burn the woman's medical files.

Tomorrow the jury will continue watching a recorded police interview with Martin, before the Crown sums up its case.
Report 2
A man has told the Launceston Criminal Court how his doctor asked him to threaten a Launceston family in 1998.

The witness was a patient of Launceston psychiatrist Ian Anthony Martin.

Martin has pleaded not guilty to one count of interfering with a witness and an alternative count of perverting the course of justice.

This morning witness Gregory Shane Kirkland told the court that his psychiatrist Martin offered him $1,000 to go to a Launceston house and threaten a family to get them to drop a lawsuit against Martin.

Mr Kirkland said he damaged two cars at the house and made a threatening phone call.

Martin's lawyer Adrian Hall asked Mr Kirkland whether he had made the story up to get back at Martin for writing a report that resulted in the witness losing his son to child protection.

Mr Kirkland rejected the suggestion.

The trial is continuing.

Speaking out Against Psychiatric Drugs

We came across this letter to the editor from the training of a local health services clinic in Sheboygan. While the letter concerns local matters, the following snippets speak to our broader issues. this also has implications regarding the impact of psychiatric drugs on the rise in School shootings:

If Mental Health America wishes to reduce suicide; they should place their resources at psychological "treatment," not psychiatric control. [...]

It is widely known in the psychiatric research community if you take 1,000 depressed people, split them in two equal groups, equal out the level of sadness and depression in each group, then give one group any of the most widely used SSRI anti-depressants and the other group sugar pills (e.g. placebo), you will find the drug group will have two to seven times more suicides than the sugar pill group.

And, the reduction in sadness or depression by each of the two groups will be clinically unrecognizable.

In a world when one out of every 10 boys going to an doctor for any reason walks out with a psychiatric drug, and nine out of 10 people in general walk out with a psychiatric drug if they go for any mental health concern, do the drug companies really need more help from our own MHA to get people on or to assist people in continuing to take psychiatric drugs?

Based upon peer-reviewed data, taking a drug to fix a psychological problem unquestionably causes more people to suppress their humanity (e.g. control via drugs) and act inhumanely (e.g. committing more suicides and acts of aggression). Taking psychotropic drugs often leads to an exacerbation of the very problem on a neurological level (e.g. down/up regulation leading to supersensitivity), an increase in disability and an increase in hospitalization, all while decreasing one's own self of control and self reliance.

This is good for the counseling and psychiatrist business, but bad for our neighbors.

Speaking against my own field comes with much criticism from my colleges. However, our staff and I have continually extended offers to present this data and educate the non-professional staff that makes up MHA and the suicide walk group.

I welcome any in-service or forum, by professional or lay person, to discuss the numerous problems that plaque our field.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Victims of Psychiatrist Come Forward

Report from the Rutland Herald, out of Vermont.

Additional charges could be coming against a Bellows Falls psychologist who pleaded innocent last month to charges he molested and sexually assaulted one of his mentally ill clients.

Bellows Falls Police Sgt. David Bemis said police had received a couple of calls from other potential victims after news about Donald E. Sanborn III became public.

"We're looking into that; I'm not saying they are victims, they are potential victims," said Bemis.

Meanwhile, the Vermont attorney general's office filed amended charges against Sanborn which took note that he was a "caregiver" and thus could face a more severe penalty if convicted.

Linda Purdy, an attorney with the Medicaid fraud and residential abuse unit, said the charges called for a slight increase in the potential jail sentence, from five to seven years.

Purdy refused to comment on whether additional criminal charges might be filed against Sanborn because of the continuing investigation, and she declined to say whether Sanborn would be facing charges of Medicaid fraud.

"I can't confirm or deny that," Purdy said, but she noted the victim in the original case was a Medicaid recipient and that Sanborn was a Medicaid provider.

Sanborn, 65, of Bellows Falls, is charged with having the woman engage in sexual activity during a one-on-one individual mental-health treatment session in Sanborn's office in Bellows Falls.

The complaint against Sanborn became public when the woman's lawyer reported to Bellows Falls police last year that Sanborn was doing "naughty things" with her during her sessions.

The woman, who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and agoraphobia, had been seeing Sanborn since 2003. According to court records, the woman's husband said she acts like a 5-year-old when she is threatened, because of those disorders.

Around November 2006, Sanborn suggested the husband not attend the therapy session, and that continued for about six to seven months. The husband told police his wife would often act like the 5-year-old after sessions with Sanborn.

The husband found socks balled up and shoved into the back of a drawer, where they shouldn't have been and his wife told him they were socks "dirtied" by Sanborn.

The woman's lawyer, Robert Fisher of Brattleboro, later turned over the socks to the Bellows Falls police, who found they tested positive for Sanborn's DNA, according to court records.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Illinois gunman 'stopped his medication'

The Furious Seasons weblog has, as usual, some excellent commentary

As noted in the Telegram, and elsewhere.

Officials have said that the man who killed five students and injured many more before turning the gun on himself at Northern Illinois University had become erratic in the past two weeks after stopping his medication.

Campus police chief Donald Grady said that the motive of 27-year-old Stephen Kazmierczak motive was not known and that there were no indications that he had a relationship with any of his victims.


Mr Grady refused to name the medication Kazmierczak had been taking, but said that he was "a fairly normal, undistressed person".

"There were no red flags," he said. "He was an outstanding student".
ABC News has this information:
Though Kazmierczak seemed friendly and normal, he had a troubled past. After high school, Kazmierczak's parents sent him to Thresholds-Mary Hill House, a psychiatric treatment center for teens, where he lived for a year while getting therapy and medication for what was described as "unruly" behavior.

Louise Gbadamashi, a former employee at the Chicago treatment center, told the Associated Press that he used to cut himself, and had resisted taking his medications. "He never wanted to identify with being mentally ill," she said. "That was part of the problem."

Apparently in recent weeks Kazmierczak's problems were re-emerging. "We have spoke to people who are close to him and apparently he had been taking medication. He had stopped taking those medications and had become somewhat erratic in the last couple of weeks," said NIU Police Chief, Donald Grady.

The chief declined to specify the type of medication the gunman was on.
We wonder why the medications the gunman was on were not identified. It seems like there may have been a PR push to get the release of this information delayed as a general policy, so that that the drugs in questions would not be so strongly tied to the killing. We need to know which drugs are responsible for these deaths.

We note the history involving a psychiatric treatment for "troubled teens". These have been controversial in the past, especially those which are best labeled Psychiatric Boot Camps for Breaking Minds and Spirits, as noted in our earlier stories:The Thresholds Mary Hill House does not seem to be in this class of facility, but there is precious little information available online about it. There have been recent scandals at other Illinois facilities.

The Thresholds chain of psychiatric facilities are oldest and largest of their type in Illinois. We are sure they will be getting many questions from investigators and reporters.

We also note the following items located at the SSRI STORIES website documenting the connection of Psychiatric Drugs such as antidepressants and other SSRIs to school shootings, among other things.

Sadly, we expect this this will be a similar case. Between the possible combination of the two factors, this could be revealed as an especially grim case.

School ShootingAnafranil AntidepressantMay 20, 1988Illinois**29 Year Old WOMAN Kills One Child: Wounds Five: Kills Self
School ShootingProzac AntidepressantJanuary 30, 1992Michigan**School Teacher Shoots Kills His Superintendent at School
School ShootingAntidepressantsSeptember 20, 1992Texas**Man, Angry Over Daughter's Report Card, Shoots 14 Rounds inside Elementary School
School ShootingZoloft AntidepressantOctober 12, 1995South Carolina**15 Year Old Shoots Two Teachers, Killing One: Then Kills Himself
School Stand-OffZoloft AntidepressantApril 13, 1998Idaho**14 Year Old in School Holds Police At Bay: Fires Shots
School ShootingProzac Antidepressant WithdrawalMay 21, 1998Oregon**Four Dead: Twenty Injured
School Shooting ThreatAntidepressantApril 16, 1999Idaho**Teen Fires Gun in School
School ShootingLuvox/Zoloft AntidepressantsApril 20, 1999Colorado**COLUMBINE: 15 Dead: 24 Wounded
School ThreatsProzacOctober 19, 1999Florida16 Year Old Threatens Classmates With Knife Fake Explosives
School ShootingPaxil AntidepressantMarch 10, 2001Pennsylvania**14 Year Old GIRL Shoots Wounds Classmate at Catholic School
School ShootingCelexa Effexor AntidepressantApril 19, 2001California**Teen Shoots at Classmates in School
School ShootingAntidepressant?January 17, 2002Virginia**Possible SSRI Withdrawal Mania: 3 Dead at Law School
School Shooting ThreatAntidepressantMay 31, 2003Michigan**Teen Threatens School Shooting: Charge is Terrorism
School ShootingPaxil AntidepressantFebruary 9, 2004New York**Student Shoots Teacher in Leg at School
School Shooting ThreatMed for Depression*October 19, 2004New Jersey**Over-Medicated Teen Brings Loaded Handguns to School
School ViolenceAntidepressantsFebruary 9, 2005Pennsylvania**Teen Uses Knife to Attack Fellow Classmate
School ShootingProzac AntidepressantMarch 24, 2005Minnesota**10 Dead: 7 Wounded: Dosage Increased One Week before Rampage
School/AssaultZoloft AntidepressantFebruary 15, 2006Tennessee**Teen Attacks Teacher at School
School ShootingCelexa AntidepressantAugust 30, 2006North Carolina**Teen Shoots at Two Students: Kills his Father: Celexa Found Among his Personal Effects
School ShootingMed for Depression?September 19, 2006Canada**Young Man Kills 1 Self : Injures 19: Being Teated for Depression
School ShootingAntidepressantSeptember 30, 2006Colorado**Man Assaults Girls: Kills One Self
School ShootingAntidepressant?April 18, 2007Virginia**Possible SSRI Use: 33 Dead at Virginia Tech
School ThreatAntidepressantsApril 23, 2007Mississippi**College Student Arrested for Making School Threat Over Internet
School ThreatWellbutrin AntidepressantApril 24, 2007Tennessee**Young Boy, 12, Threatens to Shoot Others at School
School SuspensionLexaproJuly 28, 2007ArkansasStudent Has 11 Incidents with Police During his 16 Months on Lexapro
School ShootingAntidepressant Withdrawal?October 12, 2007Ohio**14 Year Old School Shooter Possibly on Antidepressants or In Withdrawal
School ShootingAntidepressantsNovember 7, 2007Finland**Student Shoots 8: Wounds 10: Kills Self: High School in Finland
School ShootingMedication WithdrawalFebruary 15, 2008Illinois** 6 Dead: 15 Wounded: Perpetrator Was in Withdrawal from Med Acting Erratically

Another Sad Death Associated With Anti-Depressants

The sad story of a very sweet girl who died as the result of complication of side effects of medications she was on, which included Antidepressants. From this report

Emily Maurand had a vision.

It might not have been a vision others could see. But to her, it was clear and it was vibrant.

“She started drawing once she could hold a pencil,” recalled Emily’s mother, Jeanne Maurand. “I have drawings from when she was 3 years old.”
Through her early years, her artistic ability and vision grew.

“She could see things other kids didn’t and could put it on paper,” said Jeanne. “She loved movement and color.”

Flipping through a portfolio of her work, Jeanne can see her daughter in the drawings of angels and self-portraits. Others ­ such as a cartoon sketch of an old woman watching television with a sock puppet covering one hand ­ leave her wondering what her daughter was thinking.

After graduating from Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in 2000, Emily went on to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., where she earned a degree in computer animation.

Jeanne said Emily loved color so she was naturally drawn to animation, where she could scan her illustrations onto a computer and then add and change the color until she was satisfied with the result. Animation also allowed her art to take another form through movement.

During her time at college, Emily sketched in many different genres, such as classical, medieval and whimsical. She also enjoyed designing clothes and cakes. Her senior thesis, entitled “The Field,” included a series of animated flowers and plants that seem to come alive off the page.

Jeanne said her daughter never seemed satisfied with dreaming small, instead always going after the big ideas ­ such as the dream of one day writing, producing and acting in her own feature film.

“She wanted to do it all,” said Jeanne. “She was highly motivated.”

When Emily was 9 that dream was realized on the small screen ­ she wrote a story, had her sister, Lauren, tape it, and Emily and her younger brother, Jordan, acted in it. She would also write scripts for her friends to act out, such as “Conversations at a tea party,” said Jeanne.

At the Regional, Emily had taken some film and editing classes, and after graduating college in 2005 had been helping Bill Melvin tape local concerts on the town’s Comcast network. She had decided to attend the Academy of Art Film School in San Francisco and was to attend in the fall of 2007.

Emily’s dream, however, came to an abrupt end on Feb. 13 of last year, when she was 25.

Jeanne described her daughter’s accidental death as “out of the blue” and “traumatic.” Emily was looking forward to so many things and was very busy. But her many self-portraits show a young woman of many moods. She had been taking an anti-depressant, unbeknownst to her family, and her mother said the cause of her death was related to a complication from the prescription medication she was taking.

She loved her time at the Ringling School and so her family has set up an art scholarship in her memory to help future students there.

They are hosting a benefit on Sunday, Feb. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, 284 Bay Road, Hamilton.

The event hopefully will begin the process of raising money for the scholarship, but it is also intended to “show people her artistic vision with an art show,” said Jeanne. “The second part of the evening is dedicated to music.”

The event will feature an art show of Emily’s work, both her visual art and her animations shown on the movie screen. Her aunt, Chris Van Dyke, will play her Celtic harp, along with musical performances from other friends and family. Her uncle, Curtis, will play a John Denver tune and the Solstice Singers, of which Jeanne is a member, will also sing.

For Jeanne and the rest of her family ­ her husband, David, and their two other children ­ organizing the event helps them to work on something positive.

“We have been grieving hard this past year,” she said. “With the anniversary of her death coming, I feel like I have to do something special.”

The family has also kept the wonderful memories of Emily alive, such as the fact that Emily liked to dress up and wear costumes. Her favorite time of the day was the morning because a new adventure was about to begin.

“She was the sunshine in the morning,” said Jeanne.

Refreshments will be served at the event, where all ages are welcome.

Donations will be accepted for the scholarship that evening or can be sent to Dennis Barnett at Salem Five, 2 Bay Road, South Hamilton, MA 01982.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Married prison psychologist fell pregnant after affair with mentally-ill inmate

Just in time for Valentine's Day: A female psychologist falls in love. She's pregnant, she wants to marry her lover and keep the child. The Twist? He's her crazy patient serving time in the prison where she works. A report from the Daily Mail

A married psychologist is about to have a baby by a mentally ill prisoner after one-to-one therapy sessions, a court heard yesterday.

Stephanie Reeves, 30, had sex with the convicted criminal in the lavatories of a secure hospital unit while escorting him to the gym.

Reeves - whose husband also worked at the unit - said she loves the prisoner and plans to raise the child with him if he is ever considered safe enough to be released.

He is currently being treated for paranoid schizophrenia at Ashworth secure hospital, where patients include Moors murderer Ian Brady.

A judge told her she had committed "a grave breach of trust" by having sex with the patient, but because of their feelings for one another he decided to have "mercy" and not jail her.

She was given a 12-month suspended sentence after admitting sexual activity with a mentally-ill person in her care.

The heavily-pregnant defendant sobbed in the dock at Preston Crown Court as details of her bizarre relationship unfolded.

A psychology graduate, she was a highly-regarded counsellor at Guild Lodge medium secure unit when rumours began to spread about her relationship with the prisoner, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

After being jailed for offences including burglary, the man, a 20-year-old from Fleetwood whose father has a conviction for manslaughter, had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to Ashworth in Merseyside.

But his symptoms had improved and he was transferred to Guild Lodge, near Preston. There he had therapy sessions with Reeves, who had recently separated from her husband of one year, support worker David Lea.

She denied having a sexual relationship with the prisoner when confronted by managers in June last year.

But a few days later she resigned, handing bosses a written confession that they had sex on June 23.

Records confirmed there was a 25-minute period when he was in her sole care.

"He made advances towards her," said her barrister, Bill Swalwell.

"He went to kiss her, she immediately stood back, he went to kiss her again, and then she responded."

Reeves - now using her maiden name - was arrested and charged under the Sexual Offences Act.

She reportedly told colleagues: "I want a baby - I don't know why my husband doesn't. I am keeping this child."

The court heard that the father of the baby, a boy due in two or three weeks, had since been sent back to Ashworth after his mental health worsened and he became increasingly difficult to control.

Nevertheless Mr Swalwell said Reeves intended to set up home with him if and when he is released and raise the child together.

He was said to regard the relationship as "the best thing that has ever happened to him", giving him an incentive to work with those treating him.

His mother, who sat in the public benches during the hearing, is supportive of their relationship, added Mr Swalwell.

The sex took place when Reeves was "lonely, vulnerable, had low self- esteem and was not thinking clearly".

Judge Norman Wright said sentencing guidelines for such a "grave breach of trust" required him to jail her.

However the circumstances were so exceptional that he was suspending her sentence for two years, "mercy still having a part to play".

He added that the supposed victim was in reality "far from aggrieved - he's only aggrieved by you being prosecuted.

"He's proud that you're expecting his child and wants to continue his relationship with you once he regains his mental health."

Standing in the dock with one hand cupped beneath her prominent bump, Reeves, from Wigan, tearfully nodded as the judge said he was confident she would not offend again.

She was ordered to sign the sex offender register.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the unit, said it regarded such cases as "extremely serious" and had co- operated fully with police.

Outrage over psychiatric patient's files mix-up

From the Australian Herald Sun

Geelong Hospital is under investigation after sending a psychiatric patient's confidential medical records to the wrong person.

The documents -- wrongly included in a Freedom of Information response provided to another mental health patient -- detail extremely sensitive medical records of a woman with schizophrenia living in the same region.

Privacy Victoria and the Victorian Ombudsman have been notified of the breach and Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson has confirmed she is investigating an incident of psychiatric records going to the wrong person.

But the woman who received the files said she was outraged by the careless record-keeping and worried her records could fall into the wrong hands.

She has visited the patient named in the files to inform her of the incident and both have lodged complaints with authorities.

The Herald Sun will not reveal their names to protect their privacy.

"I can't trust the system," the woman who received the files said. "I have no confidence in a system that dismisses this as a filing error and vague assurances that something will be done about this."

The woman placed a Freedom of Information request with Barwon Health to gain access to her psychiatric records.

She was shocked when she received five pages about the second woman, including details of an examination by a psychiatrist, an Involuntary Treatment Order, a Community Treatment Order and a treatment plan.

The documents detailed a diagnosis of schizophrenia, that the woman has a history of psychosis and does not believe she has a mental illness, suffers hallucinations and hyper religiosity.

The pages also had the name of the woman's psychiatrist, case manager and register.

The papers were returned to the hospital last Friday.

Ms Wilson said complaints about medical records being sent to the wrong person were rare but must be taken very seriously.

"Psychiatric records are particularly sensitive because of the propensity for misuse and discrimination," she said.

"This is one of the reasons why we have health-specific privacy legislation in Victoria."

Mental health charity SANE Australia's deputy director Paul Morgan said the Geelong case was "mind-boggling irresponsible incompetence" and health services needed to better protect patients.

"It doesn't matter if someone had schizophrenia or prostate cancer or anything else," he said.

"It is very private information and when people are handling files they need to understand that the whole person's life is documented there and it needs treating with respect.

"It's not enough for the response to be, 'Sorry, and we won't do it again'. There need to be systemic steps to make damn sure this doesn't happen again.

"If something is being sent out FoI there needs to be somebody going through every page to make sure there is not misfiling."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Psychiatrists to the Stars: Killing them softy with their drugs

Psychiatry has a major problem when it comes to Hollywood celebrities. Too often, they wind up killing them. This is a conclusion we reach after reading this report:

Heath Ledger's family and friends celebrated his life at the actor's favorite Australian beach this past weekend. What makes Heath's death so tragic is that it didn't have to happen.

Prescription drug abuse among stars has increasingly become more of an issue, but are doctors bending the rules? Access investigates VIP docs.

"Well I think we need to understand that all of us are fans," Dr. Joseph Haraszti told Access Hollywood. "Doctors are no different from anyone else."

Celebrities can experience a VIP effect when obtaining medication. Even for physicians, it's not easy to tell these powerful people no.


It is a problem that dates back to stars such as Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, both of who died from prescription drug complications while under a doctor's care.

Many believe Anna Nicole Smith was too friendly with both of her prescribing physicians.

Dr. Sandeep Kapoor is one of two doctors under investigation for allegedly improperly prescribing drugs, including methadone, to Anna Nicole — a charge he denies.

The doctor, who was captured in a snap partying with Smith at a gay pride parade in 2005, admitted to a close relationship with his patient.

"I was a physician, but I also became her friend," Kapoor previously told Access.

Smith may have been even closer to her other doctor, Khristine Erosevich, also under investigation. She allegedly prescribed Smith medication under a different name. Erosevich denies this.

Smith's bodyguard Big Moe claims Erosevich was not immune to the lure of celebrity.

"I think she's a very nice woman who got manipulated really, really bad," Big Moe told Access. "Saying you know, 'Anna really likes you, this, that and the other, so we need you to really look out for us for, by giving her the things that she need as far as medication and stuff like that. She was very worried about losing her license."

Dr. Jules Mark Lusman did lose his license back in 2002 when it was revealed he was over-prescribing painkillers and narcotics to his patients, who included Courtney Love and Winona Ryder.

In fact, Ryder only got some of her drugs from Dr. Lusman. Practicing an increasingly popular phenomenon known as "doctor shopping," Ryder had 37 prescriptions filled by 20 doctors in a three-year period.

"Right now we don't have a central data bank that keeps records of what type of medication has been prescribed from what doctor to whom," Dr. Haraszti said. "There's opposition to that by civil rights groups because it's a privacy issue. On the other hand, without something like that, a physician really does not know whether or not a celebrity or any of his other patients are receiving drugs from multiple doctors."

Psychiatrist Accused Of Putting Price On Prayer

Report from News Channel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee

Many people believe in the healing power of prayer. But should that power come at the expense of taxpayers?

NewsChannel 5 Investigates learned one local doctor may have billed Medicare for more than just medicine.

Investigative reporter Ben Hall tracked down the doctor who was apparently taking taxpayer money to pray with patients.

The power of prayer can get people through tough times and people have traditionally given it freely, but investigators said a Midstate psychiatrist and minister paid church members to visit nursing home patients and then charged taxpayers.

When asked if he used unlicensed people to bill Medicare for psychotherapy services, Dr. Cupid Poe said, "No comment."

Poe declined comment, but court documents obtained by NewsChannel 5 indicate that agents raised questions about whether he fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $250,000.

Poe often used well-meaning church members to provide psychotherapy.

"I observed them as a therapist and a counselor, a medical therapist and a medical counselor," said Delano Avent.

Court documents indicate Avent was one of Poe's former patients. Poe invited him to church.

Avent said Poe paid him to meet with nursing home patients.

Investigators said Poe billed Medicare as if the patients received psychotherapy services.

When asked what type of training he had, Avent replied, "I have training with my family."

Despite the lack of training, investigators said he treated six residents at the Briley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

"I would ask them how they are doing. ‘How do you feel? Did you like your lunch? Did you like your dinner?'" Avent said.

That, federal agents said, does not constitute psychotherapy.

But Avent was not alone.

"We don't bill nobody. What we do, we just pick and sing and go home," said J.D. Russell, a minister.

Russell and his wife said they didn't know Poe was billing Medicare. They visited nursing home patients and held worship services.

When asked if what they did was considered to be psychotherapy, Russell said

"No picking and singing, I don't think, comes nowhere near it," Russell said.

Court documents showed that Poe told federal investigators he used "extenders" to treat patients - "people operating under his supervision."

Poe used people such as the Russells, Avent as well as his daughter, a licensed cosmetologist. She is not a licensed psychiatrist.

Investigators started looking into Poe when they noticed that he billed Medicare for more than 24 hours of psychotherapy services in a single day 50 times.

There were other concerns as well.

In his own counseling sessions Poe told investigators "he asks if the patient would like to sing a song; reads a verse or two of scripture; and closes with a prayer." He also said he "generally spends 20 minutes" with a patient instead of the required 50.

"I don't believe we are going to find therapy that can substitute for the healing power of God," Poe said during a television interview with Dr. James Haney, who hosts a program on local television.

Poe has done many television interviews talking about Christian counseling.

"My job and concern was to observe them and sing hymns with them," Avent said.

He believes anyone was qualified to do it.

But should taxpayers pay for it?

"Do you think taxpayers deserve an explanation?" Hall asked Poe, who did not answer.

His attorney said his client is cooperating with the investigation and he hopes to reach some kind of resolution with the federal government.

Poe billed Medicare between 2004 and 2006.

His attorney said there has been a lot of negotiating back and forth. The federal government wants to send a message that it's cracking down on Medicare fraud.

Medicare fraud by doctors and patients has grown in recent years. Last year, federal officials said investigators discovered more than $3 billion in fraud.