This article concludes our discussion on the new classes of psychiatric drugs namely the SSRI and AAP categories. Jimmy’s story ended last week-a sad ending I think. This article will show you that arrogance has no bounds and even famous doctors get snubbed. I’ll conclude with a quote from the author who exposed to the world that antidepressants work no better than placebo. Then I’ll summarize some of the main points on these new and dangerous psychiatric drugs. It’s not very long and I think you’ll really enjoy it. Let’s get started.
At about the same time that Jimmy was seen vaulting out of his DIB’s office as if by trebuchet, I stumbled upon an article Dr Russell Blaylock wrote regarding the problems he had dealing with the attending physicians treating his dying brother in a hospital, I think, in Mississippi (bear with me I am going by memory and I can no longer find the article). Now Dr Blaylock is a truly exceptional physician, whom I quote often in my book, and brilliant (a term I never use). He is the author of one of my all-time favorite books which I have added to my student suggested reading list Excitotoxins The Taste That Kills. You must read it. I also recommend Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients. He is author of a few other books, has a monthly newsletter that I prescribe to, and scores of research papers and articles. You could learn a hell of a lot from this man. In other words he deserves respect, he put in the time and effort. Furthermore, he’s one of the good guys. He’s looking out for your butt, combing through literature with the eye of a falcon and dissecting it with the sharpness of a Calais sword.
Dr Blaylock describes how he was ignored, avoided and insulted by these holier-than-thou physicians when he tried to simply talk to them regarding some details on his brother’s care especially with a certain nutrient they were giving him which, as an excitotoxin, might be causing more harm than good for his brother’s pulmonary condition. Just like in my situation, Dr Blaylock must have hit a tender spot-a lack of knowledge on excitotoxins. They would not answer or return his calls as if he were a nutcase. After days of being blackballed, as his brother lies dying, he finally had to convey a meeting through administration with all the attending physicians involved in his brother’s care-all the way to the chief of medicine. The chief turned out to be the most arrogant, sanctimonious physician of them all-claiming that if it’s not printed in one of only three journals he reads then it’s not worth knowing.
Hmmm, is that so? Well, dear reader, you probably know by now that a statement like that is naïve and reckless; pitiable in its ignorance. Recall Dr Abramson in Overdosed America and his comments in Statin Nation and Dr Marsha Angell the former editor of the NEJM for 15 years and her book The Truth About Drug Companies plus the scores of related articles on the corruption of medical studies by Big Pharma. I’ve quoted a dozen authors in this book-corruptions within science are legion as any dim-witted boor should know. Since I have already demonstrated that much of new medical science is tainted-even fraudulent-then we know with great certainty that anyone including doctors need to traverse the sea of new medical information with the skepticism of a hardened detective. You don’t brazenly, back-asswards make comments like the above unless, once again, you wish your peers to know you to be a fool. I can promise you that he IS a fool. That’s the last kind of doctor I ever want touching me or a relative. No question about it and unfortunately Commercial Sick Care breeds them like dirty rags breed mice. I spent 12 solid years in the company of doctors like him and the one thing I know for sure is when you become really sick from an unknown process such as what I discuss at the end of Welcome to the Industrial Diner, the chapter on diet and inflammation, he (this doc) will become a befuddled, muttering, hen without any solutions whatsoever. In fact, that’s usually the time a guy like him tells you you’re depressed-it’s all in your head-take an SSRI and (get out of my office) go home.
Let me ask you why do so many doctors react like they did with Jimmy or Dr Blaylock who held mainstream surgical affiliations as well? You know treating him with hostility, suspicion, and arrogance. Here’s what I think. I’m assuming the house staff at this hospital “looked him up” to find some dirt on him if possible because Blaylock probably intimidated one of them and that’s what they all do now. So they must have found something that convinced them he’s a nutcase or a kook: like being the author of the excitotoxins book or using supplements to help cancer treatments. This way none of them have to talk to a guy who will run circles around all of them without flinching which can be very intimidating if you don’t have your shit together.
It just seems to me anyway that if you are well trained, have a very good, deep knowledge base, you feel good about yourself and your fund of knowledge, you would be open to new and exciting things especially if it can help someone. Having wisdom, you would instinctively know that the more you learn of medicine’s infinite depths the less you really know. Wisdom also reminds you that you can never know everything. Similar to the person in Ancient Rome anointed to periodically whisper in the Emperor’s ear that you are not a god but a mere mortal. You should know that there will always be new and unusual cures and strangeness in medicine. Just like the newly awarded black belt: you are now truly a beginner because you can finally appreciate how little you actually know in the universe of martial arts.
Stop, stop, wait a second! Sorry, I’ m describing my feelings on the matter and I’m a nutcase and a kook with a sordid past. Therefore, real doctors-the ones with smart wool slacks, heavy starch on their frocks, perfumed fez, pencil thin mustache and a Mont Blanc pen in pocket-can’t be like me gods be damned. If I had to guess they probably have to be assholes for want of something different. It’s also the “go to” emotion when donning a tin badge and being in a petty position of authority-a trait among the insipid and unsure. Besides the real, powerful, commanding physicians act that way in the movies.
Unfortunately this is the case often enough in medicine, just look at poor Jimmy’s DIB for grand examples of basal brainstem and solid Sasquatch meeting together for the umpteenth time. I still occasionally try to picture myself doing that to some hapless, ill patient and guess what? I can’t imagine it under ANY circumstance period; underneath it all is a sad, lonely, sick, patient looking for some kind of relief from his misery, not an adversary to be triumphantly crushed. I’m genetically different-right at the cellular level-and thank God for it. Have they heard of empathy and humility? These traits seem lacking in many of our doctors these days. Blaylock’s story is very touching and sad but it also made me feel a little better knowing that even famous doctors get snubbed right along with their patients. If these doctors with half the IQ of Blaylock’s, treated him-a world-class physician and author-that way then it’s not Jimmy or me or Dr Blaylock it’s the system. A deeply rooted psychiatric predicament within the medical establishment and not just my or Jimmy’s little Rodney Dangerfield problem of no respect.
In the end I have to leave you with a comment from Dr Kirsch in his Epilogue from his book The Emperor’s New Drugs Exploding the Antidepressant Myth.
In 2004 the FDA issued a statement to various drug companies to adopt a don’t ask don’t tell policy when it comes to antidepressants and children. The clinical data clearly show that antidepressants are no better than placebo in treating depressed children. The FDA felt that if this information came to light with the general public it might lead doctors to stop prescribing antidepressants for kids. Imagine that, stopping drugs with massive side effects that don’t work, suggesting exercise and proper nutrition instead.
An FDA spokesperson was reported to have said to a Washington Post reporter “Even if the clinical trials show negative results, it doesn’t mean that the drugs are ineffective.”
Kirsch comments that “the assumption seems to have been that doctors should prescribe medications that have not been shown to work, until it has been proven that they don’t work.”
In summary the entire class of new drugs called the SSRI antidepressants (and similar drugs like the SNRI, SSNRI classes) do not work any better than a placebo. This has been conclusively shown in Dr Kirsch’s new book and the other materials I’ve sourced in this chapter. Exercise, proper nutrition and cognitive therapy work as good or better than drugs in the acute setting and easily outperforms drugs in the long run. AAP’s and SSRI’s are not benign; in particular when you consider that there is no endpoint for these drugs like there is for an antibiotic course. Most patients will be on these forever. They are fraught with side effects some of which can be life threatening. They also have been shown to incite murder, suicide and generalized mayhem in a significant number of users. Witness 18 American servicemen committing suicide every day, horrific family mass murders and appalling numbers of school shootings; all of them emerging at the same time as the SSRI’s were introduced in the mid-eighties. If the media didn’t have a blackout on every important issue we have, such as SSRI induced school shootings and such, it would be as obvious as a hippo emptying her bowels in your swimming pool. Instead an agenda driven institution is firmly in place insuring that the public never grasp the dangerousness of these drugs.
Patients on SSRI’s and AAP’s for long periods of time become “spellbound” to use a term coined by Dr Peter Breggin, a state which disallows the user to see herself objectively and assess the effectiveness of her medication. Even while deteriorating the patient may actually think she is better. The AAP’s have their own unique profile with some of the worst side effects that any drug could ever have such as tardive dyskinesia or prolonging and worsening of the psychotic state through upregulation of dopamine receptors as I explained earlier with chronic use. A chronic, depressive condition called tardive dysphoria often results from long-term use of an antidepressant. For about half of the users it’s almost impossible to stop taking these medications which can lead to profound psychiatric disturbances if withdrawn too quickly. Furthermore, it is often the acceleration or deceleration phase of drug dose adjustment that precipitates intense personality changes, mania and the acts of violence that accompany these changes. A perfect example is Andrea Yates. She cracked when her Haldol dose was stopped and Effexor dose doubled-overnight. This does not include the more subtle personality changes that accompany nearly every person who takes any of these newer drugs which includes the “autism of antidepressants,” among others.
The past theory that depression stems from low brain serotonin levels has been debunked decades ago in the late eighties. The theory of how antidepressants work through increasing brain serotonin no longer fits the theory of depression since we now know that depression does not evolve out of low brain serotonin. Yet, direct to consumer drug advertisements persist in telling you this lie in order to increase sales of ineffective drugs. Depression itself may not be a disease at all in the same sense we define other physical diseases since we have yet to see one well conducted study in the last 60 years showing irrefutable proof of physical = mental in any psychiatric disease.
With far safer options available these drugs should be eliminated from the market place or only selectively prescribed. This however will not happen since they are the second most profitable drugs in pharmaceutical history. It is up to you the informed public to resist the promise, the hype and seduction of these medications and to follow the principles laid out in this book to help alleviate permanently the anguish that depression and anxiety cause.
Next week I’ll surprise you. I am trying to decide between letting you all in on the statins issue or vaccines issue or maybe I’ll go another direction altogether. Both my statins and vaccines chapters are complete with nearly 500 references between them. Golly gee dad that’s a lot of references! Yes, Billy I know and they are all just for you.
Later Al Gator