Antidepressants strive to increase the levels of a “coping” molecule known as serotonin in the brain. It supposedly helps us find happiness when it’s covered in an avalanche of nastiness. But, it’s never been proven.
Steven Soderbergh’s “psychological thriller,” Side Effects, very clearly demonstrates two things: the fraud and criminality of psychiatric diagnosing.
The “cat’s out of the bag” about the numerous convoluted twists and turns that make up what Rex Reed called “a tank of twaddle called Side Effects.” And, rather than guess, much to his credit, Reed was honest enough to admit, “I have seen it twice, and I still don’t know what it’s about.” Fair enough. It’s easy to see how anyone could be confused about the underlying story line.
Aside from the razzle-dazzle of yammering on about every antidepressant known to man (including a new and fictitious antidepressant called Ablixa), some very brief blather about the adverse side effects of the new psychiatric drug, psychiatrist/patient sexual abuse and, oh yeah, a bloody murder scene, there really isn’t anything new to get excited about.
Experts have suggested a controversial psychiatric “disorder” may have been misdiagnosed in a large percentage of cases, according to a new study. The disorder is the highly lucrative ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The study suggests three out of four cases may be wrongly diagnosed. On the basis, however, that ADHD has never been scientifically proven to exist, and on the basis that ADHD came into being after it was unscientifically voted into existence, it would be entirely accurate to say four out of four cases are wrongly diagnosed.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders, which is used in the United States and to some extent internationally, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers. The DSM is produced by a panel of psychiatrists, many of whom have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. It is considered the “bible” of American psychiatry. The latest edition — DSM-IV — was published in 1994.
In 1952, the DSM was a small, spiral-bound handbook (DSM-I), but the latest edition (DSM-IV), is a 943-page magnum opus. Over time, psychiatric diagnoses have increased in the American population and in turn, drugs that affect mental states are then used to treat them. The theory that psychiatric conditions are caused by a biochemical imbalance is often used as a justification for their widespread use, even though the theory in unproven. Since there are no objective tests for mental illness and what is normal and abnormal is often unclear, psychiatry is a particularly fertile field for creating new diagnoses or broadening old ones.
Whether the “chemical imbalance” theory is true or not, the real question is, Do antidepressants work better than placebos? Psychologist Irving Kirsch, one of the authors reviewed by Angell, used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain drug companies’ records of their negative studies from the FDA. Unlike the positive results, negative results are normally not published. (Incredibly to this writer, negative results are considered proprietary and therefore confidential.) Taking both positive and negative results into consideration, Kirsch discovered that six popular drugs — Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor — scored unimpressively when compared with placebos. Yet, as Angell writes, “because the positive studies were extensively publicized, while the negative ones were hidden, the public and the medical profession came to believe that these drugs were highly effective antidepressants.” It gets more surreal. When depressed patients were prescribed drugs such as opiates, sedatives, stimulants and even herbal remedies, Kirsch and others found their symptoms were relieved to about the same degree as with SSRI-type antidepressants.