Not only did the DSM become the bible of psychiatry, but like the real Bible, it depended a lot on something akin to revelation. There are no citations of scientific studies to support its decisions. That is an astonishing omission, because in all medical publications, whether journal articles or textbooks, statements of fact are supposed to be supported by citations of published scientific studies. (There are four separate “sourcebooks” for the current edition of the DSM that present the rationale for some decisions, along with references, but that is not the same thing as specific references.) It may be of much interest for a group of experts to get together and offer their opinions, but unless these opinions can be buttressed by evidence, they do not warrant the extraordinary deference shown to the DSM. The DSM-III was supplanted by the DSM-III-R in 1987, the DSM-IV in 1994, and the current version, the DSM-IV-TR (text revised) in 2000, which contains 365 diagnoses. “With each subsequent edition,” writes Daniel Carlat in his absorbing book, “the number of diagnostic categories multiplied, and the books became larger and more expensive. Each became a best seller for the APA, and DSM is now one of the major sources of income for the organization.” The DSM-IV sold over a million copies.
In the wake of the Jared Loughner shooting in Arizona, we pointed out that the press seemed more interested in featuring Pharma-funded mouthpieces speculating on why Loughner wasn’t “treated” (drugged) and using this tragedy to start banging the drum for more government funding for more mental health treatment, (drugs) before even bothering to find out whether or not Loughner was, or had been, on psychiatric drugs. The logical question for anyone concerned with mental health would be; Was Loughner yet another in the long list of mass shooters already under the influence of psychiatric drugs documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, homicidal and suicidal ideation that have resulted in 54 dead and 105 wounded in 10 such similar massacres? Isn’t that something we should know before spending billions more dollars on a pharmaceutically based mental health agenda? Shouldn’t we be investigating that instead of using this tragedy to get more funding for mental health “treatment”? So let’s just cut to the chase. The most prominent “mental health” groups using this shooting to cry out “give us billions more funding,” are themselves, funded by Pharma. Perhaps that answers the question of why despite the overwhelming evidence psychiatric drugs cause violence and even homicide, groups such as the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), which claims to be a “patient’s rights” organization for the “mentally ill”, are not calling for an investigation of what, if any role, psychiatric drugs played in this or any other mass shooting in the last 10 years, we are.
FOR decades, antipsychotic drugs were a niche product. Today, they’re the top-selling class of pharmaceuticals in America, generating annual revenue of about $14.6 billion and surpassing sales of even blockbusters like heart-protective statins. Lawyers suing AstraZeneca say documents they have unearthed show that the company tried to hide the risks of diabetes and weight gain associated with the new drugs. Positive studies were hyped, the documents show; negative ones were filed away. According to company e-mails unsealed in civil lawsuits, AstraZeneca “buried” — a manager’s term — a 1997 study showing that users of Seroquel, then a new antipsychotic, gained 11 pounds a year, while the company publicized a study that asserted they lost weight. Company e-mail messages also refer to doing a “great smoke-and-mirrors job” on an unfavorable study.
With a seemingly altruistic agenda, the fact is the campaign to end the “stigma” of mental illness is one driven and funded by pharma, psychiatry and pharmaceutical front groups such as NAMI and CHADD to name but a few. For example, take NAMI’s campaign to stop the “stigma” and “end discrimination” against the mentally ill—the “Founding Sponsors” were Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.
Despite the public relations campaign aimed at “de-stigmatizing mental illness,” scores of permanent, stereotyping labels are assigned to what are basically annoying habits: clicking a pen repeatedly (anxiety), talking fast (hysteria), repeating a favorite song over and over (obsessive-compulsive disorder), wiggling in a chair (hyperactive). Even crazes like text-messaging are not immune from diagnosis. Attitudes that may be in bad taste or out-of-fashion, but certainly not “dangerous” or “wrong,” are also viewed with suspicion and sometimes criminalized.