Blows The Lid On Antidepressants
Rappoport, NoMoreFakeNews, May 27, 2005
(Posted here by Wes Penre, May 30, 2005)
the past year, I've been receiving communications from a practicing
American psychiatrist, who has an office in the southeastern US. He
sees patients privately and also works at a large hospital.
Increasingly, this man has been expressing doubts about the drugs he
has been prescribing.
Now, he has blown the lid off his own profession,
and it appears he is ready to switch careers or become an
Here is an excerpt from our recent conversation:
Q: Why do you doubt the drugs?
They're toxic and injurious.
Q: Which ones?
All of them.
Q: And in particular?
A: The antidepressants. Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft,
and so on. They are not showing, on balance, good results, and
patients have been experiencing adverse effects.
Q: Such as?
A: Sleeplessness, nightmares, erratic behavior,
highs and lows, crashes, attempts to commit suicide, exacerbated
depression, violence, dramatic personality changes.
Q: Why do you think this is happening?
A: To be honest, I don't know.
But my sense is, in general,
that the drugs interfere in unpredictable ways with various
neurotransmitter systems. I also believe they can work extreme
changes in blood sugar levels and electrolyte levels. You know, it's
not hard to create these effects with chemicals. The body is not
able to integrate them in its normal functioning. I would compare it
to suddenly setting up all sorts of roadblocks and detours and
forced lane changes on a busy highway. You will get big trouble.
Q: Have you tried to communicate your concerns to
colleagues and medical groups?
A: For a short time, I did. But I was given the
cold shoulder. I got the distinct feeling I was being treated like
some wayward child who had his facts all wrong.
Q: Who do you blame for this drugging
A: At the
moment, everybody. The doctors, the drug companies, the FDA, the
psychiatric teaching institutions, even the press. And at some
point, patients are going to have to take responsibility and not
follow the orders of their doctors.
Q: Do you believe that doctors should cut back
and give the drugs to some people and not others?
A: That sounds good, but
there is no way to know what effects the drugs will cause in any
given individual, especially as time passes. Even in the short term,
I have seen some frightening things.
Q: Do you believe the profession of psychiatry
has made some kind of overarching deal with the drug companies?
A: Yes. The drug companies are everywhere. They
stick their noses into everyone's business.
Q: What lies about the drugs have you had to
purge from your own mind?
A: The main one is that they're some kind of
miracle breakthrough. Another one is that I can rely on the
judgments and certifications of the FDA. We're playing Russian
Roulette out here. It's a very dangerous situation.
Q: Do you believe that some of the school
shootings have resulted from children being on the antidepressants?
I didn't, until one day a
sixteen-year-old patient of mine showed up for his appointment with
a 9mm hand gun. Then I began to comb back through reports on a bunch
of those shootings. I can tell you, it focuses the mind to see a
young patient sitting across from you---you've put him on an
antidepressant and now he's talking about "a new day" and he takes
the gun out of his pocket and lays it on a table next to him by the
Kleenex. You think to yourself, "I may have created a killer and his
first victim could be me." People want to outlaw all guns. I'd start
with the drugs.
Q: How about the diagnosis of depression itself?
A: I've come to realize that you can't do an
interview with a patient and then come out with a shorthand
assessment. It's wrong. It reduces all sorts of problems down to a
label, and then you have your official gateway into the drugs.
Q: Your colleagues think you're over-reacting?
A: I think I'm under-reacting. I think we have an
epidemic on our hands, but it has nothing to do with mental
disorders. It has to do with the chemicals we're facilitating.
Q: This boy with the gun---were you able to talk
A: I spent two hours with him that
day. I told him he was having a reaction to the drug. At first, it
made no sense to him. He was on a manic sort of ride. That really
scared me---that I couldn't make him see what was happening to him.
He was in the middle of an episode and he couldn't stand outside it.
Finally, he eased up a little. He began to weep in my office. It
wasn't really crying. Tears just ran down his cheeks while he was
talking. He didn't seem to notice them. He had almost stopped being
human. He was a...creature. He was on a mission of some kind. His
view of the world had totally changed. In his mind set, destruction
was the only course of action.
Q: And then?
A: He calmed down a little. I was
afraid to ask him for the gun. He just picked it up and put it back
in his pocket. After he left, I called his mother. She went home
from her job and met him. I had asked her to call the police but she
wouldn't. Later, she told me she sat and talked with him for a long
time and then he handed over the gun. It was a very tense situation.
I had her remove the bottle of pills from her medicine cabinet. Then
I had to follow up. I weaned him slowly from the drug. It took two
months. He finally sort of returned to being the person he was. Even
then I wasn't sure he'd be okay. He was definitely addicted to the
drug. Luckily, I didn't cut him off suddenly. He might have killed
people during the withdrawal cycle.
Q: Did you continue to see this boy as a patient?
A: I did a nutritional assessment
with the help of a doctor who is very good with that. We found the
boy was having strange reactions to certain soft drinks that have
speed-type boosters in them. We gradually weaned him off them. Then
we discovered he was reacting to dyes and other chemicals in junk
food. So we had to change his diet. That wasn't easy.
He was addicted in several ways
right. There was peer pressure for him to keep eating junk. All his
friends did. They called him weird for going off the food they were
eating every day. Finally, I discovered that,
five years before I saw him,
he'd been on Ritalin for a year. You know, for ADHD. He'd been
driven into depression by that. He basically felt, at eleven, that
his life was over. All paths and interests were closed to him.
Q: How is he now?
A: Much better. But he's not all the way back.
Q: Do you think there is permanent brain damage?
A: I don't know. He's now living outside the US
with his father. I get reports once in awhile.
Q: How does he feel about his own experience?
A: He wants it to be an example to other
Q: You didn't go into medicine to deal with this.
A: No. In school, my ideals were
high. But I allowed myself to be led down the garden path. I fell
for the sales pitch. I'm telling you, this is not a good situation.
We are a society on the brink. Something has to be done.
Q: How do you feel about Bush's
mental health screening program for all children?
A: All in all, it may turn out to
be the worst thing he's done as president. It's just a tip of his
hat to his pharmaceutical supporters. But the consequences---if this
plan gets rolling---will be devastating.
Q: Is there some underlying principle at work
here? Some paradigm that everyone is accepting that is putting us
into a bad situation?
A: You know the answer to that. It's the
combination of easy diagnosis plus the drug fix. The pill craze for
everything. Take a drug and everything will work out. I see it as
the classic street-drug promotion. Feel good. Take this drug and
you'll feel different and better. Combine that with the basic
immaturity of most people and you have the interlock. Why work out
your problems and strive to have the life you want when you can
arrive at the best destination with a pill? I'd take this a step
further. If you stacked up all the tranquilizers and
antidepressants, for adults, next to, say, marijuana, as a way of
dealing with stress, I'd say that a very modest amount of a mild
marijuana would be more successful than all those other drugs at the
levels they're normally prescribed. If I were forced to recommend
one or the other, I'd go with the marijuana. And I'd say the drug
companies know this. Which is one reason why, in the US, the
enforcement on marijuana has been stepping up. But again, you're
always dealing with an individual. Each person is different. I've
seen people who react very badly to pot. It affects them like a
Q: You're saying the science behind the
antidepressants is false.
A: Absolutely. Judging by the
effects of the drugs, it has to be. It may sound good and proper.
All the right words are used. But I don't care about that anymore. I
go by results. My eyes have been opened.
Q: Then why are the drug companies pushing these
A: I'm not an
expert to speak to about that.
Certainly there is the profit
motive. But I think there is also the myth of progress.
Q: What do you mean?
A: That myth states that technology must keep
making advances. It's the legend of forward motion. If technology is
to be seen as good, it has to keep turning out better
advances---otherwise something is wrong. And there can't be anything
Q: It's like a hectic race.
A: Yes. If you stop, you might fall down. Secrets
might be exposed. Shortcomings might show up. So you have to keep
pushing. You have to keep saying you're doing better and better. I'm
sure you can see where this gets you. You make new mistakes to cover
up old mistakes. You become careless. You lie. You hire promotion
people to tout your work. You keep the whole thing rolling forward,
no matter what. That's where we are.
Q: And you were carried on that wave.
A: For many years. But now I've stopped.
Q: Is it uncomfortable?
A: Not so much anymore. But at first I was very
upset and angry. I was blaming everyone but myself. I felt like I
was in chains, that my whole education and career were at stake. And
I was my career. What else did I have? Getting off the boat was
quite difficult. I had every advantage this society has to offer. I
Q: The expert.
A: Yes. That's a powerful
feeling. People come to you with questions and you have the answers.
If you don't, then you're thrown down in the pit with everyone else.
Part of being a doctor is being above the pit, out of the problem.
You're the solution. You don't want to fall.
And the only thing that keeps you from falling is what you've
learned. Your knowledge. When you see that that's based on
lies, you don't know what to do.
It's like being a priest and
realizing that everyone gets to the far shore by his own means. You
don't want to let go of the doctrine that put you on the pulpit.
Q: So what would a new paradigm look like?
A: For mental health? We have to get rid of all
the old classsifications and disorders. We have to let all that sink
into oblivion. That was wrong. That was largely fantasy.
Q: It was a story.
A: We told it, and now we have to stop telling
it. Because we've ended up intervening in people's lives in a very
Q: Part of the story necessitated that kind of
A: Yes. And, not to take myself off the hook, but
people want that kind of story, as you say. They want that "expert
story." They want someone else to come in and tell them what to do
and what to think and what drug to take.
Q: Why do you think that is?
A: Because people have taken the
easy path. They have opted for what I would call a flat version of
reality. If they started adding dimensions on their own---
Q: They would be forced to tell their own story.
A: In the terms you're using, yes. That's what
Q: And how would society look then?
different. Much more risky, perhaps, but much more alive. Psychology
and psychiatry don't allow for that kind of outcome. All mental
disorders are constructs. They're named by committees, as I'm sure
you know. They're a form of centralized pattern. In this context,
the word "shrink" is very appropriate. That's what we've been doing.
Shrinking down the perception of what reality and the mind are all
Q: Can you imagine what would happen if the lid
were taken off?