There’s a reason psychiatrists prescribe drugs rather than talking therapy: the latter makes no money for pharmaceutical firms. The New York Times recently led with a front-page splash about psychiatry’s propensity to prescribe pills, “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy”. That news is already widely known in the mental health field, but it has vast ramifications for Americans trying to maintain their sanity in our market-driven and medical system for delivering mental healthcare. What does the turn to drug therapy mean for the mass of Americans?
The 10News I-Team has learned many local skilled nursing facilities are using powerful drugs to control elderly patients’ behavior.Keith Blair suffered from mild dementia, and it wasn’t until after his death that his daughter, Marian Hollingsworth, realized he’d been given antipsychotic drugs.
“CANHR is trying to end the misuse of psychoactive drugs to control seniors. The group created a website which allows anyone to see how many patients are receiving psychoactive drugs at any skilled nursing facility in California. Experts say while using these drugs is sometimes justified, there are dangers in their misuse.”When you see nursing homes that are above 90 percent of their residents are receiving a psychotropic drug, you’re wondering what the hell is going on there,” said Chicotel.
A federal judge has refused to toss out a whistleblower lawsuit backed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which accuses Johnson & Johnson of involvement in an illegal kickback scheme to push their antipsychotic drugs on elderly nursing home residents that did not need them. The DOJ filed a civil False Claims Act compliant against J&J on January 15, 2010, saying that the company paid millions to Omnicare, Inc. as kickbacks for selling Risperdal to nursing home patients.
According to a recent report from the United Kingdom, side effects of Risperdal and other similar antipsychotics, like Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify, could be linked to as many as 1,800 deaths and 1,620 strokes per year in elderly patients with dementia.
A long-awaited, 14 year magnetic imaging (MRI) follow-up study by Dr. Nancy Andreasen, involving 211 patients, documents progressive shrinkage of brain
tissue volume in patients prescribed antipsychotics when they first experienced an episode of psychosis.
“The big finding is that people with schizophrenia are losing brain tissue at a more rapid rate than healthy people of comparable age. Some are losing as much as 1 percent per year. That’s an awful lot over an 18-year period…Another thing we’ve discovered is that the more drugs you’ve been given, the more brain tissue you lose.”
(NaturalNews) “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bull___. I mean, you just can’t define it,” states Allen Frances, MD, lead editor for the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). As DSM-IV is the imperial doctrine used by psychiatrists in diagnosing mental disorders, prescribing powerful psychotropics to the masses, and commanding health care dollars, this is quite a confession. “We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” Frances concedes.
Gary Greenberg who interviewed Frances and wrote an in-depth article for Wired Magazine, describes how Frances’ conscience has been hitting him in the gut. “Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics — and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs,” writes Greenberg. DSM-IV led to a 40X increase in child bipolar diagnoses and an epidemic of dangerous antipsychotic prescriptions for children, even as young as 3.