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Podcast    H2'ed 10/17/10

Robert Whitaker-- Drugging Kids to Disability and Death / Ideology of America On Drugs

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Broadcast 10/17/2010 at 8:02 PM EDT (99 Listens, 95 Downloads, 2909 Itunes)
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This is a horror story, a tragedy, perhaps even a holocaust.Â
This is my second interview with Robert Whitaker, talking about his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic
Here are rough notes I took during the interview. If anyone wants to transcribe all or part of this, it would be much appreciated and we'll publish the transcript, with a credit to you.Â
The long term story with psychiatric medications is that they increase the risk that you will become chronically ill.

You see varying degrees of cognitive decline-- mostly with benzodiazapenes and anti psychotics.

When you look longterm, in the aggregate.

We as a society need to re-think this paradigm of care.

Rob; How? How do we re-think it?

Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies have been really effective at selling us a story... that these drugs fix known brain diseases... that puts doctors in a position where they are obligated to to prescribe.

Story-telling atmosphere where pharmaceutical companies give money to teachers and researchers to be their speakers and consultants.

We have these mechanisms, driven by money, which create these societal beliefs.

The problem is... Â

The medical literature is pretty poisoned... didn't publish or publicize negative findings, would spin things another step.

I blame academic society, because they're the one's we're supposed to trust.
They've been bought out.

In 1930's stimulants used with organic brain dysfunction

Medicating of children is such a national moral question-- we should be holding congressional hearings on this.

Though the sixties, kids were not being medicated because there wast the thought that it was too dangerous to give kids psychotropic drugs.

In 70's began to use drugs with kids diagnosed with minimal brain dysfunction.

In 1980, in DSM3, they said, let's create a manual that uses the medical model for psychiatric disorders, say that these are brain disorders.
The identified attention deficit disorder as a discrete medical diagnosis-- any kid who fidgeted in class.

By 1987 was redefined as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Drug companies helped fund CHADD-- it becomes a mechanism to inform the public that this is a real disease, a brain disease-- that kids need to take medication like insulin for diabetes.

As that happened, were they finding that this was helping kids.
They found it WOULD still there behavior in class, so it made the kids more manageable
Did it help grades, studies, socializing, No.
Sense of self, kids felt defective, not quite normal.
Didn't help creative thinking, problem solving.

In early 1990s NIMH National inst. of mental health.
MTA long term study initiated.
Biased study by design in favor of medication group
Short term some benefits. But after three years, kids on drugs were worse, ADHD symptoms were worse, growth suppression,
after six years adhd symptoms worse, growth suppression, functional.... greater delinquency, more likely to get in trouble with police.

There was no benefit, none.
With no benefit, what you have is all the risks.
Another study done in Western Australia-- no benefits.
Oregon study-- no good quality evidence that there was no long term evidence that drugs are helping. The question is why are we using these drugs. There are considerable risk.

Many kids on stimulants convert to bipolar. Â 10-25% become bipolar.

Before stimulant prescribing there were no reports of kids with bipolar illness.

then in 76 there were case studies-- but kids were on stimulants.
Some say that drugs "unmask" bipolar

Biederman, paper in 1995, says that many kids with ADHD actually have bipolar illness. His paper sets the stage for the extraordinary rise in bipolar illness.

He's saying that ADHD kids treated with stimulants are comorbid with bipolar.
State attorney general asks Biederman how he came up with juvenile bipolar illness.
He answered, he re-conceived of ODD oppositional defiance disorder. as bipolar disorder.
That makes kids eligible for drugs-- a-typical antipsychotics.

jansen makes risperodol.
Jansen paid a lot of money to Biederman to help promote.
Says, I will help prove that these kids need to be on risperodol now and will also give data that these kids will become chronic.

At least a half a million kids-- something like 2% of kids are on anti-psychotic medications.

Biederman has gone into hiding because he has run into some ethical problems at Harvard and their ethical standards for taking money.

The medicating of kids wi th antipsychotics can be a real, real long term problem.

He is an extreme example of a larger current in American psychiatry, especially child psychiatry.
They got paid to create a market for anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers.
he (Biederman) was the great pied piper of this disease.

12 of 15 Â pediatric anti-depressant trials failed.
25-50% of youth put on antidepressants  are at risk for becoming bipolar.

you see one top child psychiatrist after another...

Are now saying that 20% of children, have a mental

3.5 million children and adolescents being prescribed stimulants
SSRIs at least two million children and adolescents on those.

At least a million children turned into bipolar because of drugs. It's n ot that they just become bipolar. They become severely bipolar-- rapidly cycling.
These people are going to become chronically ill...

You can be sure that these kids-- they're going to die early.
the future-- severe disability, cognitive decline, obesity, diabetes, shrinkage of frontal lobes. When you really put this whole story together, what you see.. is, we have created a situation where we take behaviors-- that parents don't like-- that puts a person on a path that you're really talking about taking that kid's life away.

One in ever 15 young adults is seriously mentally  ill, expected to be seriously mental ill for life. That gives you a sense of the extraordinary wrong being.

The Rise of An Ideology
there was a lot of competition in the marketplace for people feeling emotional distress and wanting help. Psychiatrists were facing competition.

States are going broke. They can't afford this story any longer.
Spending on psychiatric drugs is a big part of the problem.

have we created a s ociety that is able to raise children in a healthy way? No.

What we're talking about is a society that doesn't k now how to raise kids anymore.

Providers are beginning to talk about rethinking this whole paradigm of care.

Doing a lot of keynote talks-- behavioral therapy groups, grand rounds at Harvard,
Hillside, in Western NY, ISCPP international center for study of psychiatry and psychology,

Other voices
Dr breggin, Dr. Grace Jackson, Paula Kaplan has written how bad the DSM is.

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One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)

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