Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Dec 14, 2016

Mental Health News, December 2016

Written by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Over the past several years, more and more people, laymen and professionals alike, have started questioning the current drug-based paradigm of mental health care.

Every day, articles, books, documentaries, blogs and other media sources challenge the science and ethics behind forced incarceration and medication, the unproven chemical imbalance theory, and the labeling of so-called mental health disorders.

As a follow up from my blog on chemical imbalances, which can also be found in the scientific FAQ section of my website, alongside a recommended reading list of mental health sources, this blog will be the first in a series called Mental Health News. Several times a year I will collect the latest information on mental health for those of you who are interested, including new or upcoming mental health legislation, scientific articles and online lectures on mental health and wellbeing.

Why do I feel like this topic is so important in today’s world? In the January/February 2017 issue of the Well Being Journal, Gwen Olsen, a former drug company sales representative and advocate for a more humane approach to mental health care, notes how 1 out of 7 school age children take at least one psychotic drug, with the numbers increasing annually.[1] In her article, Psychiatric Drugs, Our Children & Marketing Madness, Olsen describes how these statistics are not the result of raised awareness and good scientific practices; rather they are connected to the often dubious marketing efforts of large pharmaceutical companies.[2] From ghost writing scientific articles to bribing medical practitioners, these corporations will often stop at nothing to open up a new market for their products, even if this market is made up of vulnerable children who are often crippled for life due to the mind-altering effects of these drugs.[3] This is a severe problem that needs to be addressed, particularly since what happens during a child’s early years can have a lasting effect on both mental and physical development (for a more detailed overview of Olsen’s time as a drug rep and her research, we highly recommend her book Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher, which is available on Amazon and in nationwide bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble).

Yet our current mental healthcare system affects more than just our children. In the abovementioned issue of the Well Being Journal, Dr. Kelly Brogan, a holistic women’s-health psychiatrist, writes about the striking lack of scientific evidence for the chemical imbalance theory of depression (for more information see my blog on chemical imbalances).[4] According to a recent CNN report, 1 in 6 adults in the US take psychiatric drugs. Brogan, in her article Depression: Do We Need Drugs or a Lifestyle Change? and Antidepressants, Psychiatric Drugs and Violence, describes how these drugs, which are often incorrectly administered by general practitioners with little or no training, do not “correct” a chemical imbalance; rather they create imbalances in the brain that affect the patient’s mental and physical health, which can lead to weight gain, depression, suicide and even murder, to name just a few side-effects![5]

Many psychiatrists may defend their current practices, but, as Philip Hickey, PhD, shows in a recent article response, such arguments are “nonsense.” He notes how psychiatry takes the issues we all face as human beings in an imperfect world, and transforms them into medical diseases with professional-sounding labels. Subsequently, in most cases the labelled individuals are given (or forced to take) drugs that come with many negative side-effects, and may even result in death. For instance, tardive dyskinesia, which involves involuntary movement such as twitching and shaking, affects many people who take antidepressants. If you are interested in learning more about tardive dyskinesia, Dr. Peter Breggin, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and long-term advocate for a love-based, therapy approach to mental health, has an extensive database on the topic.

It is critical that we all use what we have to change the way mental healthcare is understood and practiced. In the USA, for example, the recently passed bill H.R. 34 opened the door to increased levels of forced psychiatry. If you want to learn more, Lauren Tenney, PhD, MPhil, MPA, and a psychiatric survivor, discusses this bill in-depth on Mad in America. Indeed, as Tenney herself notes, it is our duty to make a stand against the inhumane treatment of people who battle with mental disorders by voting against bills like H.R. 34, for example. We cannot ignore what is happening right before our very eyes. 

And we do have reason to hope. Individuals like Gwen Olsen, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Lauren Tenney and Dr. Peter Breggin continue to speak out against our drug-based approach to mental health care. In fact, Breggin recently published the article Rational Principles of Psychopharmacology for Therapists, Healthcare Providers and Clients, where he notes what is wrong with Psychiatry today, and how we can change it.

We have to remember that we all have a voice, and we all can do something to make sure that future generations will not repeat our own mistakes. Change may take time, but it is possible.

Blessings,

Caroline



[1] Well Being Journal, VOL. 26, NO. 1, January/February 2017, page 4.

[2] Well Being Journal, VOL. 26, NO. 1, January/February 2017, page 4-24.

[3] Well Being Journal, VOL. 26, NO. 1, January/February 2017, page 4-24.

[4] Well Being Journal, VOL. 26, NO. 1, January/February 2017, page 31-33.

[5] Well Being Journal, VOL. 26, NO. 1, January/February 2017, 31-35.

 

**This is informative and NOT individual medical advice.

**DRUG WITHDRAWAL should ALWAYS be done under the supervision of a qualified professional. These drugs alter your brain chemistry, and withdrawal can be a difficult process. There are thousands of patient-run sites on withdrawal from psychoactive substances on the Internet, and many books available in stores and online. We suggest you begin looking at the resources page on Mad in America: http://www.madinamerica.com/resources/#drug_tapering. Dr. Peter Breggin also has a brilliant book on withdrawal: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families. New York: Springer Pub. Co., 2013.

**For renewing your mind and finding out who you are in Christ please visit http://21daybraindetox.com and http://perfectlyyou.com. For my other products visit our online store: http://drleaf.com/store/

**For general information on the current state of psychiatry please visit http://www.madinamerica.com

**If you or someone you know is being threatened with drug treatment please visit http://psychrights.org

**To report any adverse psychotropic drug effects you have experienced, and for more detailed individual drug information, please visit https://www.rxisk.org

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