The secret at the bottom of psychiatry’s rabbit hole
by Jon Rappoport
February 24, 2013
Nightmares, out-of-control aggressive behavior, extreme sadness and passivity, confusion, hallucinations, mania, brain damage, suicide, homicide—these are just a few central effects of psychiatric drugs.
Read the staggering statistics reported by Robert Whitaker, the author of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill: “The number of adults, ages 18 to 65, on the federal disability rolls due to mental illness jumped from 1.25 million in 1987 to four million in 2007. Roughly one in every 45 working-age adults is now on government disability due to mental illness.
“This epidemic has now struck our nation’s children, too. The number of children who receive a federal payment because of a severe mental illness rose from 16,200 in 1987 to 561,569 in 2007, a 35-fold increase.”
My exploration started in 1999, as I covered the Columbine school shooting.
I was already familiar with the pioneering work of Dr. Peter Breggin and his classic book, Toxic Psychiatry. I knew the drugs were toxic and that some of them could push people into violence.
It emerged that one of the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris, had been on Luvox, a violence-inducing drug, an SSRI antidepressant.
This, of course, was very troubling, because children and adults all over America were taking these antidepressants. And in Dr. Breggin’s book, I saw a summary of a review-study on Ritalin, done in 1986 by Joseph Scarnati. Ritalin, far from being a “soft” drug, was essentially speed, and it carried with it significant dangers.
It could cause hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and even psychotic breaks. Several million children in America were taking Ritalin.
What I came to call a “Johnny Appleseed specter” loomed over America. If psychiatrists dispensed enough of these drugs, seeding the population, we would be in for random shootings and killings and suicides on into the indefinite future. And psychiatrists were, in fact, handing out these drugs like candy. No one at the FDA or any enforcement government agency was ringing alarm bells.
In the wake of Columbine, I wrote a white paper, “Why Did they Do It: School Shootings Across America,” for The Truth Seeker. It gained wide online attention. The report mentioned other instances where children, on psychiatric drugs, had committed murder and suicide.
In the ensuing years, I became much more aware of the influence of drug companies in this Johnny Appleseed operation. They had, in fact, struck a deal to rescue the sinking profession of psychiatry. The arrangement was simple and potent: Big Pharma would bankroll psychiatric conferences and education, prop up flagging journals with advertising money, and generally promote the repute of psychiatry, in return for a certain kind of research:
The research would “prove” that all mental disorders were the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, and no amount of talk therapy would resolve these issues. Instead, it would take drugs, which of course would be developed and sold by Pharma.
In order for this scheme to work, the FDA, which certifies all medicines as safe and effective before releasing them for public consumption, would have to play along. That was no problem. The FDA basically serves the pharmaceutical industry.
Roughly five years after Columbine, I (and other investigators) began to see how widespread the research fraud really was. Peter Breggin was already aware of it and had published extensively on the subject.
For example, clinical trials of psychiatric drugs were being done over very brief periods of time; in some cases, the trials were as short as six weeks. This was the case with Xanax. A brief testing period would hide many of the adverse effects of the drugs.
But then I also saw how clinical trials that were failures, that revealed how badly the drugs were performing, could be hidden altogether, as if they’d never happened. The results of these trials weren’t published at all. A pharmaceutical company, running a number of studies on a drug, could cherry pick a few studies that looked good and shelve the others.
In 2009, searching the literature and interviewing several psychiatrists off the record, I came to understand that the whole idea of “chemical imbalances in the brain” was a fraud. No one had ever established a normal chemical level of balance. In other words, there was no scientific standard that, by comparison, could show what an “imbalance” was. It was a myth, and it was widely accepted, even by the public.
I began talking to parents. The full force of what was happening, on the ground, was driven home to me. Lives were being derailed and destroyed at an early age. Children were being warped by these drugs. A diagnosis of one psychiatric condition, followed by a drug prescription, often resulted in another diagnosis, and more drugs. The effects were devastating.
The time of childhood, of innocence, was being destroyed. It was all in the service of carving up behavior into categories of mental disorders and then selling drugs behind those diagnoses.
Children’s brains were being twisted.
There was a growing trend to diagnose children at six, at four, or even earlier, with mental conditions—and give them drugs. Papers and books were being written to justify this. The publications were called “breakthroughs.” A whole industry of “bipolar children” was created out of thin air, and the scientific fraud was accepted as holy writ.
This was not just fraud. It was evil. It was remorseless evil, perpetrated by elite academics and researchers. These were people who should have been put in prison for the rest of their lives. But nothing was happening to them. They were praised instead, and celebrated.
Where was the national conscience? Where were the people in the Department of Justice, who should have been serving warrants and making arrests and building court cases?
What I saw was obvious, and it had been in front of my face for more than a decade. The federal government was supporting and certifying psychiatry/psychology as the single science of mental health. This wasn’t just a wink and a nod; it was rock solid.
Where in the Constitution was there any basis for that? Nowhere. The very idea, when you isolated it and held it in your hand and looked at it, was preposterous. The federal government has no conceivable right to enable psychiatry in any way.
Yet, it was happening. It was happening to such a degree that nothing was being done to punish the whole profession for destroying countless lives with toxic drugs. Indeed, this was government-approved behavior.
It still boggles my mind to think about that. Yes, one can offer many excuses and rationalizations, but at the end of it all, that’s what we’re left with: the government is certifying the destruction of millions of lives.
Read Toxic Psychiatry, and Dr. Breggin’s later book, Medication Madness. Read Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. That will get you started. You’ll find lucid evidence of the many destructive effects the drugs produce, all the way from mania to motor brain damage.
I thought I had reached the end of the road. What more was there to discover? What more did anyone need to know? No matter which way you sliced it, psychiatric destruction was a government-certified program.
But then, several years ago, I realized I didn’t know how many mental disorders existed. I knew, of course, there was a bible of the psychiatric profession. It is called the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So far, there have been four editions. A fifth is due out in the spring of 2013.
The editions of the DSM are put together by committees of psychiatrists. The DSM, published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists and defines every officially-certified mental disorder. It is used by psychiatrists to bill insurance companies.
So I quickly found out there are 297 mental disorders. This is absurd on the face of it. Reading the descriptions of these disorders, one sees they are menus of behaviors.
I assumed some of these disorders were based on nothing but speculation. They were inventions. Concoctions.
But after a few conversations with psychiatric sources, I saw I had been underestimating the extent of the fraud.
In fact, all 297 mental disorders are arrangements and clusters of behaviors. The DSM committees hold meetings and argue and hash out the composition of the clusters and the accompanying mental-disorder labels.
Then I found an article: Wired Magazine, December 27, 2010, “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness,” by Gary Greenberg. It was an interview with a psychiatrist, Dr. Allen Frances.
Frances wasn’t just any psychiatrist. He was a star of stars. He had been in charge of assembling the fourth edition of the bible, the DSM.
In an April 19, 1994, New York Times piece, “Scientist At Work,” Daniel Goleman called Frances, “Perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America at the moment…”
Long after the DSM-IV had been put into print, Dr. Frances, talking to Wired’s Greenberg, said the following:
“There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”
This was on the order of the Pope asserting there was no real reason to believe in God.
After a pause, Dr. Frances remarked, “These concepts [of distinct mental disorders] are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the borders.”
Frances might have been referring to the fact that his DSM-IV had expanded earlier definitions of ADHD and Bipolar, to permit many more diagnoses, leading to a vast acceleration of drug-dosing with highly powerful and toxic compounds, like Valproate and Lithium.
Finally, at the end of the Wired interview, Frances flew off into a bizarre fantasy:
“Diagnosis [as spelled out in the DSM-IV] is part of the magic…you know those medieval maps? In the places where they didn’t know what was going on, they wrote ‘Dragons live here’…we have a dragon’s world here [with the DSM]. But you wouldn’t want to be without the map.”
Frances was basically admitting that the nice neat definitions of mental disorders were a delusion. But to justify it, he called the whole enterprise an exercise in partial map-making.
The Wired interview was explosive, to say the least. The most influential psychiatrist in America was confessing that you couldn’t clearly define mental disorders.
But no, that wasn’t all. There were a few more steps to the bottom of the rabbit hole. They were taken by Dr. Russell Barkley, professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
In an episode of the PBS Frontline series, titled “Does ADHD Exist,” the Frontline interviewer stated: “Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker—that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.”
Dr. Barkley replied: “That’s tremendously naïve, and it shows a great deal of illiteracy about science and about the mental health professions. A disorder doesn’t have to have a blood test to be valid. If that were the case, all mental disorders would be invalid…There is no lab test for any mental disorder right now in our science. That doesn’t make them invalid.”
First of all, Dr. Barkley’s comments are not unique. I have heard his points echoed by many psychiatrists. It’s time to take this assertion apart, because it is truly staggering.
The “illiteracy about science” belongs to Dr. Barkley. The scientific method requires that when a researcher draws a conclusion, he provides the evidence for it. The burden of proof is on him.
If a committee of psychiatrists says disorder X exists, it must demonstrate that.
Barkely confirms that no mental disorder has a lab test to back up a diagnosis. It doesn’t matter what disorder you pick. Schizophrenia, ADHD, Bipolar, clinical depression. None of them can be tested for.
No blood test, no urine test, no saliva test, no brain scan, no genetic assay.
That is a titanic fact.
And being a fact, it destroys the whole DSM and everything it stands for. It destroys the validity of every one of the 297 official mental disorders.
Science requires that the claim for the existence of a mental disorder must be backed up by hard evidence. Since there is no evidence, and since the burden of proof is on the psychiatric profession, the inevitable inference is clear:
Retract every one of the 297 mental disorders. Erase their names. It’s over. There is no proof any of these disorders exist. They only have the status of fictions. Psychiatry doesn’t have some special dispensation to do “a different brand of science.”
When this was finally made clear to me, I knew I had reached the bottom of the rabbit hole. There were other paths to follow, concerning the issue of conscious intent to do harm to millions of people, but as far the science was concerned, that was It.
Of course, those who are confused by this bottom-line revelation will say that many people are suffering from mental illness. They will say it is obvious.
No, what is obvious is that many people have problems. Many people suffer. Many people are desperate. Many people experience emotional and physical pain. The actual causes for all this can’t be neatly categorized and labeled. To make a meaningful diagnosis or assessment involves much deeper investigation—and also an appreciation of what is front of one’s own eyes.
When it comes to human suffering and emotional distress, we could be talking about causes ranging from severe malnutrition to brain lesions; from environmental poisoning to a history of toxic medical drug and vaccine-use; from extreme poverty and hopelessness to false arrest; from oxygen deprivation at birth to physical abuse and imminent danger in the immediate household, or in the community; from massive food sensitivities and other allergies to blood-sugar problems; from guilt at having committed crimes to being on the receiving end of political oppression. The list goes on.
This is a partial collection of real causes—instead of the false, non-existent mental disorders, which are excuses to drug people.
The whole profession of psychiatry is an outright fraud and an ongoing crime of the highest order.
At the same time, as long as psychiatrists sit in offices and the drugs are available, and no one is prosecuted and sent to jail for dispensing these “medicines,” adults have the freedom to choose to take the drugs or not. And if some of them say they have benefited, that’s also their decision.
But without knowledge and authentic informed consent beforehand, the landscape is rife with danger.
When it comes uninformed or uncaring parents dealing away their children’s lives to psychiatrists, that is an ever-expanding tragic nightmare.
Each day that the profession of psychiatry continues to practice its sophisticated brand of poisonous fakery, and each day that the federal government of the United States continues to back it up and support it and fund it and give it primacy and monopoly, there is an ongoing RICO crime in progress. A crime of gangsters and thugs organized as a mob.
It is as if the Mafia declared its shootings and beatings to be scientifically based. It is exactly like that.
Here are several quotes, out of hundreds I could offer, on the subject of the adverse and chilling effects of psychiatry:
Dr. Peter Breggin, the eminent psychiatrist and author (Toxic Psychiatry, Talking Back to Prozac, Talking Back to Ritalin): “With Luvox [an antidepressant] there is some evidence of a four-percent rate for mania in adolescents. Mania, for certain individuals, could be a component in grandiose plans to destroy large numbers of other people. Mania can go over the hill to psychosis.”
Dr. Joseph Tarantolo is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington DC. He is the past-president of the Washington chapter of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. Tarantolo states that “all the SSRIs [including Prozac and Luvox] relieve the patient of feeling. He becomes less empathic, as in `I don’t care as much,’ which means `It’s easier for me to harm you.’ If a doctor treats someone who needs a great deal of strength just to think straight, and gives him one of these drugs, that could push him over the edge into violent behavior.”
In his landmark book, Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Breggin mentions that the Donahue show (Feb. 28, 1991) “put together a group of individuals who had become compulsively self-destructive and murderous after taking Prozac and the clamorous telephone and audience response confirmed the problem.”
Breggin also cites a troubling study from the February 1990 American Journal of Psychiatry (Teicher et al, v.147:207-210) which reports on “six depressed patients, previously free of recent suicidal ideation, who developed `intense, violent suicidal preoccupations after 2-7 weeks of fluoxetine [Prozac] treatment.’ The suicidal preoccupations lasted from three days to three months after termination of the treatment. The report estimates that 3.5 percent of Prozac users were at risk. While denying the validity of the study, Dista Products, a division of Eli Lilly, put out a brochure for doctors dated August 31, 1990, stating that it was adding `suicidal ideation’ to the adverse events section of its Prozac product information.”
A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes: “Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”
“Emergence of self-destructive phenomena in children and adolescents during fluoxetine treatment,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1991, vol.30), written by RA King, RA Riddle, et al, reports self-destructive phenomena in 14% (6/42) of children and adolescents (10-17 years old) who had treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The well-known Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics states that Ritalin is “structurally related to amphetamines … Its pharmacological properties are essentially the same as those of the amphetamines.”
In Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Breggin discusses the subject of drug combinations: “Combining antidepressants [e.g., Prozac, Luvox] and psychostimulants [e.g., Ritalin] increases the risk of cardiovascular catastrophe, seizures, sedation, euphoria, and psychosis. Withdrawal from the combination can cause a severe reaction that includes confusion, emotional instability, agitation, and aggression.”
In 1986, The International Journal of the Addictions published a most important literature review by Richard Scarnati. It was called “An Outline of Hazardous Side Effects of Ritalin (Methylphenidate”) [v.21(7), pp. 837-841].
Scarnati listed over a hundred adverse affects of Ritalin and indexed published journal articles for each of these symptoms.
For every one of the following (selected and quoted verbatim) Ritalin effects then, there is at least one confirming source in the medical literature:
• Paranoid delusions
• Paranoid psychosis
• Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis
• Activation of psychotic symptoms
• Toxic psychosis
• Visual hallucinations
• Auditory hallucinations
• Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences
• Effects pathological thought processes
• Extreme withdrawal
• Terrified affect
• Started screaming
• Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphatamine-like effects
• psychic dependence
• High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug
• Decreased REM sleep
• When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia
• Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.
In commenting on Dr. Lawrence Diller’s book, Running on Ritalin, Dr. William Carey, Director of Behavioral Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has written, “Dr. Diller has correctly described … the disturbing trend of blaming children’s social, behavioral, and academic performance problems entirely on an unproven brain deficit [ADHD]…”
The 1994 Textbook of Psychiatry, published by the American Psychiatric Press, contains this review (Popper and Steingard): “Stimulants [such as Ritalin] do not produce lasting improvements in aggressivity, conduct disorder, criminality, education achievement, job functioning, marital relationships, or long-term adjustment.”
In his book, Talking Back to Ritalin, Peter Breggin expands on the drug’s effects: “Stimulants such as Ritalin and amphetamine … have grossly harmful impacts on the brain-reducing overall blood flow, disturbing glucose metabolism, and possibly causing permanent shrinkage or atrophy of the brain.”
Dr. David Healy, professor of psychiatry and former Secretary of British Association for Psychopharmacology, author of Let Then Eat Prozac and Mania: “I approached ACLU about the fact that there are people in prison who are likely there because their drugs caused them to become violent but didn’t even get an acknowledgment from ACLU that I had written.
“In the same way the Boston Women’s Collaborative don’t want to hear that antidepressants could cause birth defects or mental handicap in children. They only want pregnant women to have access to antidepressants and are part of a movement that has pushed the use of antidepressants in pregnancy up to record levels.”
Dr. David Healy: “In the case of prescription [antidepressant] drugs, what defence does a doctor have to fall back on? The risk of violence on these drugs has been known for 50 years. It’s known that even giving these drugs to healthy volunteers can cause them to become violent. The data has been out there in warnings in many countries for 10 years. It may be disputed but there is no doctor who can say that they simply couldn’t have been aware of this issue. If there are, they are simply not professional.”
Dr. David Healy: “About 4000 families in the US have children born with major birth defects each year because of antidepressants taken in pregnancy. Up to 20,000 women per year have a miscarriage because of these drugs and a large number have voluntary terminations linked to antidepressants.”
Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic: “…the prescribing of psychiatric medications to children and adolescents took off during this period (1987 to 2007), and as this medical practice took hold, the number of youth in America receiving a government disability check because of a mental illness leapt from 16,200 in 1987 to 561,569 in 2007…”
Robert Whitaker: “[See] Coryell, W. American Journal of Psychiatry 152 (1995):1124-9.NIMH-funded investigators tracked the outcomes of medicated and unmedicated depressed people over a period of six years; those who were ‘treated’ for the illness were three times more likely than the untreated group to suffer a ‘cessation’ of their ‘principal social role’ and nearly seven times more likely to become ‘incapacitated.’ The NIMH researchers wrote: ‘The untreated individuals described here had milder and shorter-lived illness (than those who were treated), and, despite the absence of treatment, did not show significant changes in socieoeconomic status in the long term.’”
Dr. Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist and author of The Myth of Mental Illness: “Psychiatrists look for twisted molecules and defective genes as the causes of schizophrenia, because schizophrenia is the name of a disease. If Christianity or Communism were called diseases, would they then look for the chemical and genetic ’causes’ of these ‘conditions’?”
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com