Psychiatry and Suicide Prevention: A 30-year Failed Experiment

There’s an interesting article on Mad in America dated September 17, 2013.  It’s titled Psychiatry & Suicide Prevention: A 30-year Failed Experiment, and was written by Maria Bradshaw.

Maria Bradshaw is the founder of CASPER, an organization that rejects the medical model of suicide prevention in favor of a sociological model.  Ms. Bradshaw founded CASPER after her son’s antidepressant-induced suicide.

Here’s the gist of Ms. Bradshaw article:

Roger Mulder, MD, is head of psychiatry at Otago University in New Zealand.  For at least the last 15 years, he has supported the notion of psychiatric intervention as a suicide-prevention measure.  For instance, here’s something he wrote in 2008 in an article published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica:

“Suicide behaviours are common in depressed out-patients.  Antidepressant treatment is associated with a rapid and significant reduction in suicidal behaviours. The rate of emergent suicidal behaviour was low and the risk benefit ratio for antidepressants appears to favour their use.”

However, at a conference in Auckland, New Zealand, two weeks ago, he stated that the psychiatric model of screening people for suicide risk was not effective.  The conference was covered by Simon Collins of the New Zealand Herald.  Here’s a quote from Dr. Mulder:

“‘We’ve had a 20- or 30-year experiment which hasn’t worked.'”

In her article, Ms. Bradshaw compliments Dr. Mulder on having the integrity to alter his stance in the light of the evidence.  In his conference presentation, Dr. Mulder had pointed out that targeting groups deemed to be at high risk with psychological/pharmacological interventions has failed to impact actual suicide rates.

Ms. Bradshaw herself argues that not only has the psychiatric paradigm failed to lower suicide rates, it has actually caused them to increase.

In support of this position, she points out that the suicide rate for people who have used mental health services in the past year is 137.6 per 100,000, but only 7.6 per 100,000 for those who have not had a mental health contact.  Ms. Bradshaw doesn’t cite a source for these figures, but the study is almost certainly not a randomized controlled trial.  So to some extent, we may be comparing apples to oranges.  But the numbers are sobering nonetheless, especially since the “life-saving” aspect of antidepressants is frequently touted by psychiatrists in response to various criticisms.

Another interesting statistic that Dr. Mulder reportedly mentioned at the conference is that “only 3 percent of those labeled as ‘high risk’ actually killed themselves, while 60 per cent of actual suicides had been categorized as ‘low risk.'”  [Quoted from the Simon Collins article in the New Zealand Herald.]

DISCUSSION

It has long been recognized that a person’s risk for suicide increases in the first few weeks (months?) of taking an antidepressant.  The psychiatric explanation of this was that the putative therapeutic action of the drug gave the individual sufficient motivation to do what he had been wanting to do previously – namely to take his own life.

I’ve never been impressed with this argument, and in my view, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the so-called antidepressants do in fact induce or strengthen suicidal urges in some people.

Maria Bradshaw’s article is well worth reading.  CASPER, the organization she founded after her son’s suicide, is also worth watching.  One of the ideas they are developing is the training of potential natural helpers in how to respond to people who mention suicide.  The New Zealand Herald article describes how Ms. Bradshaw provided training in these matters to a group of hairdressers.

It’s too early to say how successful these kinds of endeavors will be, but the idea of natural helpers has, in my view, enormous potential, not only with regards to suicide prevention, but also in helping people cope with problems generally, and develop new skills.

 

  • Maria

    Hi Phil – Maria from CASPER here. My apologies for not citing the source of the rates for suicide under mental health care and suicide in the population not under public health care. They are figures published by New Zealand’s Director of Mental Health in his annual report which is available from the Ministry of Health website. Given the government’s position that all those who kill themselves are mentally ill, the key difference between these two populations is not diagnosis but the use of psychotropic drugs and involvement in the system. Thanks for encouraging discussion and debate around this issue.

  • Phil_Hickey

    Maria,

    Thanks for coming in, and for providing the source of the
    statistics.

    Please accept my condolences on the death of your son. I particularly appreciate the work you are doing in the natural helpers area. It has always been my contention that mental health workers should be striving constantly to work themselves out of a job, and I see natural helpers as a tremendous resource in this area.

    Best wishes.

  • cledwyn bulbs

    The question with “suicide prevention” is, whose interests are truly best served by this program? Cui bono?

    This is one of those things that begets the very thing it purports to remedy.

    Psychiatry is no more about fighting suffering than the Inquisition was about fighting evil.

    Advocates of “suicide prevention” are generally people who through their attitudes promote suicide.

    I mean take me. I suffer from regular bouts of suicidal despair, yet because I advocate a man’s right to kill himself in a world and a society indifferent to his plight, I am denied a voice on certain sites moderated by advocates of “suicide prevention”. If you deprive a man of his need to be heard, to be listened to, then you promote suicide for that person. The notion that people who advocate such grossly exclusionary policies are “against suicide” is just preposterous.

    When you encounter these people they usually have nothing of any interest to say beyond the simple regurgitation of the platitudes current in their idiotic movement (if movement is a term that can be used here), and the depth and profundity of our views, and the erudition found therein, is usually a pretty reliable yardstick of the passion we feel for a subject.

    I mean, they even call it “suicide prevention”, as if this were a simple matter of disease prevention, thereby trivializing this most tragic of acts. The absurd pathologization of this act ultimately robs it of its dignity and its tragic grandeur, trivializing what is often a protest against existence and human society. Such people can’t be taken seriously as advocates of people who stand poised on the juncture between life and death.

    Anyone who advocates attaching stigmatizing labels to people that drastically reduces a man’s range of opportunities in life, can’t be taken seriously as an advocate of suicidal people.

    They have no interest in creating a fairer society, because they are part of the bloody problem.

  • cledwyn bastardo

    I really hate suicide prohibition, and the whole foundation of lies, stupidity, depravity and hypocrisy upon which the whole grisly edifice has been erected. Be it in its current avatar, or throughout history, one always encounters the same lies and hypocrisy.

    One of the arguments supporting the coercive prohibition is that the person who wishes to exercise this right has an obligation to the community.

    There’s a number of problems with this.

    First off, the abstract generality, “the community”, actually, at least in the modern age, denotes merely a bunch of people who happen to share the same geographic space, and little else. Modern society is characterized by all sorts of centrifugal forces that makes the word mostly meaningless, unless used with irony.

    To say a person has a communal obligation to go on living in a society made up almost entirely of people at best indifferent, and often hostile, to your existence, is patently absurd.

    I mean, if society was half as compassionate and caring as it is, this argument might carry some weight, but in a society as atomized and selfish as ours, it just sounds preposterous.

    You can pretty much gauge society’s general indifference to suicide by how little people actually take an interest in the subject, including the average proponent of suicide prohibition, who, beyond the regurgitation of the usual platitudes, has very little to say on the subject, betraying a fundamental lack of interest or passion for a subject that Camus rightly described as the one truly serious issue (which is why it fails to command the average man’s interest which seemingly increases in proportion to how trivial a subject is, as can be seen by the general viewing, conversational and reading habits of most people, whereas his interest wanes the more interesting and important a subject is), although the regurgitation of cliches, requiring no exertion of the faculties, further confirms this.

    In such a society as ours, a society that displays such a cavalier attitude towards human suffering, such an argument is untenable. I’m also uncomfortable with this argument because of its collectivism. It reduces the individual to a mere instrument of the community. Collectivism basically states that the individual has no rights, that he belongs to the group. Traditionally, the logic of collectivism, and appeals to the common good, have regularly been put in the service of oppression. Suicide prohibition, in its contemporary avatar, seems to be continuing this tradition.

    I agree with Sartre when he defined conflict as the foremost characteristic of interpersonal relationships, with its concomitant vision of a world in which we all of us practically hate each other, apart from the small amount of people we feel some sort of bond with and who, alas, in quantity are completely outweighed by the amount of people we hate (though for most people, such hatred operates below the threshold of awareness, allowing them to utter such patent idiocies as, “I love everyone”).

    The problem is, this hostility man feels in relation to his fellow man, no longer expresses itself through the channels it once did and that made it easier for the observer to discern its existence. It now expresses itself in ways more difficult to detect, because of the deterrents and instinctual checks of law, custom, cowardice, and self-interest, although alcohol tends to bring this hostility out into the open (in vino veritas). Men now stare intensely at each other (much in the same way that an animal stares intensely at its prey before it pounces), trying to exert their power through this means; they grimace, smirk, and guffaw at one other, and through this means find an outlet for their predatory instincts.

    Only by denying that most men are fundamentally our enemies, and that “hell is other people”, can we maintain that we have a communal obligation to people at large.

    I also reject the postulate that suicide is tragic and life worth living. I agree with Schopenhauer that we have this a priori will to live which we confuse with an a posteriori love of life.

    A logical corollary of Schopenhauer’s conception of life is that suicide is eminently desirable.

    To him, “the will to live appears not in consequence of the world, but the world appears in consequence of the will to live.”

    The love of life is the quintessential delusion, insofar as is denoted by delusion a belief not formed on the basis of a rational consideration of the facts.

    For example, men of faith and science regularly extol the “wonders” of nature and the world we live in, presumably under the misapprehension, all too common amongst the optimists, that it confers moral distinction to praise that which is not deserving of praise. This is analogous to people praising a government that routinely oppresses and abuses its citizens (pretty much all governments then!).

    Yet even a cursory examination, free from the influence of the will on the intellect, shows that nature for example, has a somewhat sinister aspect. If pantheists are right that god is in nature then, given its sinister aspect, god is actually the devil. Everywhere creatures prey upon each other and preyed upon, and to what end?
    Most are mercilessly exposed to the elements. Aristotle once said, “nature is not divine, but demonic”. All the way down the food chain, as Twain pointed out, you encounter murderers. Those who don’t subsist on flesh, who aren’t murderers, are as mercilessly preyed upon as any other creature.

    As for human life, as Schopenhauer pointed out, the yield is in no way commensurate with the effort expended. For our all too fleeting moments of happiness, an extortionate price in toil and suffering is exacted, and to what end?

    The most stupid, corrupt, and egocentric, are generally found to be the happiest, for they live in accordance with nature. This is why children are generally happier than adults; the child possesses the requisite stupidity, selfishness, and all-round nastiness upon which happiness depends for its existence.

  • cledwyn bulbousons

    The other thing that bothers me about the suicide prohibition brigade, is the way some of them keep on harping on about suicide being a selfish act. Don’t get me wrong, they are right, but that’s because we are selfish creatures, and nothing is more selfish than the act of childbirth, apart that is from forcing someone to go on living, which is as selfish as it gets!

  • cledwyn blubs

    Whatever the varying precedent conditions and circumstances of suicide, they all have a common substratum; to wit, the desperate desire for asylum. All other avenues of possibility in this regards having been exhausted, and finding nowhere above ground where true asylum can be sought, the individual takes refuge in the one true sanctum sanctorum available to us; the grave.

    We can try to localize this desire to some fixed point in our environment, or in our biology, or whatever, fanatically advancing one or the other in accordance with our interests, or, much more rarely, because of a genuine compassion for those who seek solace in Death’s icy embrace; but the fact will remain that we all of us contain within ourselves an inexhaustible reservoir of suicidal despair, waiting to be tapped into under the right conditions!

    One thing is for sure; to voluntarily extinguish the flame of life is a very bad compliment to those who kindled it in the first place, and who enjoin their unfortunate progeny to show gratitude for something that entails so much senseless suffering.

    As I said hereinbefore, the circumstances wherewith we tap into these vast inner resources of suicidal despair all have for their common essence the desperate desire to escape life, and more specifically, some aspect therein.

    These are too numerous to enumerate, yet rarely do we see a focus on anything other than trivial, and usually false, occasions of this desire. Attribution to faulty brain chemistry seems to hold sway, whereas more philosophical perspectives are routinely ignored. As well as this you find an obsession over things like the climate, or the even more irrational belief in contagion theory, which postulates that suicidal desire is like some sort of pathogenic organism, a belief that would rightly have been deemed mad in an age saner than ours, and in one in which a high cultural valuation is put on personal responsibility.

    Rarely mentioned is the role of passionate love, yet clearly few things bring men to the precipice of their own annihilation with a higher degree of probability than the lack of requital thereof. Nature has so designed us that the failure to find a sexual partner (specifically the one to whom our amorous desire attaches itself) torments us to such an extent that life becomes insufferable. For this reason, love and its requital assumes the greatest importance in men’s lives, and its innermost kernel, lust, is one of the prime movers of human endeavor, and assuredly the primum mobile of intersexual relations, which takes place almost entirely on carnal grounds, whereupon the odious business of child-rearing is transacted.

    The failure to be with the person our procreative drive singles out as the one for us, who it surrounds with such illusions as to trick us into begetting children and adding to the world’s ever-burgeoning ranks of victims and victimizers; this failure, following from the fact of the great stress Nature lays on the propagation of the species, to which end it presses Cupid into service, this failure becomes the scene of the worst torment imaginable, against which the prescription of an attitude of Stoical indifference, and all the combined homilies and insipidities of the self-help movement and the cult of positive-thinking (whose members attribute all the world’s problems to negative thinking, instead of attributing negative thinking to all the world’s problems, which would be the more correct attitude to take, given the inevitability of negative thought in a profoundly negative world) are useless.

  • cledwyn “against everything”

    That should be “take”, not “takes”.

  • Rob Bishop

    The “desperate desire for asylum” is, I assume, a desire to escape from oneself. For a person overwhelmed by their negativity and anger, the grave is seen as a peaceful option. The world’s problems don’t create people’s negativity, it’s the mind’s tendency to create “problems”. We’re the only creature who has “problems”. Regarding love’s role as a motivation for suicide, many put the blame on the ego, which is the birthplace of jealousy, anger, and self-loathing. The “self-help movement” is people trying to reduce their misery. The subject brings up chuckles. Misery is so in vogue, we mock any idea of giving up being miserable. The ego is strengthened by negativity, and weakened by a lack of it, which is why we tend to be so negative. The age of The Power of Positive Thinking is over. Now we are looking at The Power of Negative Thinking. It’s a fun exercise to count how often the mind churns out crap. So far today I’ve had 435 negative thoughts.

  • cledwyn bulbs

    As I’ve said before, people need to adapt their stance in this respects to the reality of human existence. No-one can promise a man happiness, only suffering. Indeed, as I’ve shown in numerous comments, happiness, as an abiding state of sublunary bliss, is an impossibility, a will-o-the-wisp, and the pursuit thereof an exercise in futility of Danaidean dimensions.

    The paltry pleasures that Nature doles out to the individual, like pennies to a beggar, depend for their existence on the presence of pain, which pleasure is mere suspension of. To borrow from Leopardi, all pleasure is animated by contrast, and languishes without it.

    Yet some would have me believe that they have attained to a state of Nirvana-like bliss.

    Indeed, people like few things more than to announce their supposed happiness to the world, putting it on display to torment others with, consistent with the egotism and want of discretion people generally exercise in relation to others, a disregard for the feelings of others largely traceable either to the fact of some people’s heads being too firmly lodged up their own backsides; or because experience tutors us that nothing sweetens the passing pleasures that afford brief respite from the misery that is our common lot, like flaunting them in the presence of others, a sinister spectacle that can be viewed in any city, where men and women parade their prosperity for all to see (which can only be enjoyed by rubbing it in other people’s faces), luxuriating in the contrast, and the pleasure reaped therefrom, between themselves and the processions of cadaverous wretches visibly bowed under the weight of their misery, especially the contrast afforded by the sight of the homeless, the favorable comparison of our ourselves with which affording an especial delight, introducing a stray note of harmony into the general discord of a man’s existence.

    Yet the myth of happiness, returning to my point, nevertheless persists. Stupidity, self-deception and ignorance largely accounts for this, in the study of which new discoveries are always being made.

    Edgar Saltus once said;

    “There are few who, save to an intimate, have the courage to acknowledge their own misery; at work within them is the same instinct that compels the wounded animal to seek the depths of the bushes in which to die…it is largely customary to mock at the melancholy; and in good society it is an unwritten law that every one shall bring a certain quota of contentment and gayety, or else remain in chambered solitude. Added to this, and beyond the insatiable desire to appear serene and successful in the eyes of others, there is the terrible dread of seeming to be cheated and outwitted of that which is apparently a birthright.”

    For which reason people have to be paid to take an interest in the wretched and humiliated, which people, of course, never acknowledge as a motive for the work they do. Yet this is besides the point, which is that in a world where happiness is obligatory, that is, the appearance thereof but not the substance, the myth of its existence is assured.

    And Schopenhauer once said;

    “Certainly, human life, like all inferior goods, is covered on the outside with a false glitter; what suffers conceals itself. On the other hand, everyone parades whatever pomp and splendour he can obtain by effort, and the more he is wanting in inner contentment, the more he desires to stand out as lucky and fortunate in the opinion of others. Folly goes to such lengths, and the opinion of others is a principal aim of everyone.”

    So normative social influence plays a role here, and I might also add that he who practices to deceive others, often ends up deceiving himself.

    It is true that sometimes a person’s pleasures are not so fleeting, but nature always here demands, in the form of an accumulated debt, payment in pain in exchange for these, and as if this wasn’t bad enough, and being the original extortionist that she is, the bitch always adds interest.

    The few drops of honey wrung from Mother Nature’s otherwise poisonous bosom (which poison flows therefrom so plenteously) offer scant compensation for our sorrows. Life’s pleasures are like the kind faces in a crowd, or like pearls scattered here and there in an ocean of shit; there aren’t many of them.

    Yet life is always a good, that must be preserved at all costs, under the pretence of saving from a worse fate he who dispenses with it like so much refuse, who desires to cast off his existential yoke and forget his sorrows in the oblivion of nothingness. Yet even Dante, in writing his “Inferno”, failed to conceive of a worse fate than this.

    The one thing in life though that outdoes even tragedy and sorrow, is humiliation, which runs like a leitmotiv throughout the life of man. Optimists may not see this (but then again, they see little), led as they are by the thread of appearances which the world, in its boundless hypocrisy, uses to conceal its wickedness, but for those of us who’ve torn the veil of Maya from the world, penetrated the fog of illusion, human life reveals itself as a scene for a veritable orgy of humiliation.

    Like actors in a farce we think is a tragedy, we try to assert our dignity, but this only sets us up for another pratfall.

    The humiliation of rejection by the one we love; of being laughed at by idiots; of being the delusional, conceited creatures that we are (a reality against which most men are able to protect themselves, of such sturdy material is their amour-propre made, but for the rest of us, the humiliating reality seeps in through the pores of the defences we erect thereagainst, and comes washing over us like a tidal wave of shit) etc., all is humiliation!

    May I never inflict this humiliation on another potential being; may I never cast another poor sod into this glorified gladiatorial arena (at work in which is a similar desire as is to be found in the man with a contagious disease who wishes to pass it on to someone else), in which one must always fend off predators, and the sinister gaze of spectators making sport of one’s misery.

    Psychiatrists, of course, dismiss this kind of talk as paranoia. One can’t expect those who are in the business of humiliating others to possess insight thereinto, and, accordingly, they don’t.

    If one were to conduct a tour of the innumerable haunts of Humiliation, the psychiatric ward and the asylum would most certainly feature. Yet these are the people in whose orbit the suicide falls.

    In the warped universe of the coercive psychiatrist, such is the lowly position to which said coercer assigns the suicidal mental patient in that universal order, being subjected to the humiliation that is part of said quack’s stock-in-trade and from which said patient is seeking deliverance within the sanctuary of the tomb; this is good for the patient, much like a whipping was good for the slave irreconcilable to his servitude.

  • cledwyn “against nature”

    To understand just how absurd the obligatory optimism of the age has become, just look at photographs. Everyone’s bloody smiling in the things! That is, pretending to smile. Set these beside the daguerreotypes of the nineteenth century, in which no-one felt the same pressure to conceal their misery, and a sense of just how fanatically intolerant society has become of pessimism and misery can be felt.

    Pretty soon we’ll be sending pessimists off to labor camps like happened in Communist Russia, and all for what? For daring to speak out against a cruel, terrible, unjust world, yet in the warped moral universe of optimists (white-washers of the scandals of creation) and the votaries of Nature, the denial of creation’s crumminess somehow confers moral distinction, which occupies the same logical status as the proposition, which most would recognize as absurd outside of modern-day Russia, that to deny the evils of Stalinism is somehow the morally right thing to do, when in truth, optimists and Nature-worshipers are no better (and actually much worse) than propagandists for totalitarian regimes. I can almost forgive the latter, but I cannot forgive the man who dares to say, in a travesty upon words, that life and nature are beautiful, and that we should be grateful for the gift of existing in such a world as ours.

    Coming back to the point about sending people off to labor camps, of course, we still kind of do that, only we don’t call such people pessimists, but mentally ill, and send them off to psychiatric wards.

    Frank Capra once made an absurd work of fantasy called “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Might as well have made a film called “It’s a Wonderful Suicide”, or “What a lovely disease!”. Life doesn’t just fuck you, it gangbangs you. It’s a big cluster-fuck (that is, it fucks you in clusters. I’m using the term unconventionally).

    If anyone is offended by my language, then I’m sorry, but you can just fuck right off. You have no right to be offended by a word that isn’t even aimed at you. You people are control-freaks, and language is merely one of the fronts whereupon you wage your odious war against those whom you seek to control.

  • Rob Bishop

    Never say, “I’m sorry if I offended you” because being offended is the creation and responsibility of the offended.

  • all too easy

    “To understand just how absurd the obligatory optimism of the age has become…” cleddie
    Clod, no one has a gun to your head. You be as miserable as you can possibly be. By all means. Wallow in your horror all you want. It is your constitutional right.

  • all too easy

    Clodiepoops,
    Just want to say “hey” and to let you know I’m thinking of you, bro. I sincerely hope you are miserable and are despising feeling that way. Even more, I hope no positive, upbeat, uplifting, pleasant, beautiful, kind thoughts enter your mind. Above all, I wish you continued success at embracing all the depressing, horrible, sad, disgusting, emotionally draining, dark, disturbing, melancholic thoughts and attitudes and feelings that you possibly can.
    Finally, thanks for stickin it to the man. Who is he to force you to be happy? Who does he think he is, demanding that you not be absolutely despondent 24/7? You know!? Good job, bro. Good job!

  • Cledwyn Pus Poetics

    I’d gladly commit suicide just to escape the trauma of re-enacting birth on a daily basis by waking up in the morning; for when I awaken from my nocturnal slumber, the hope that died in me many years ago, yet whose cadaveric spasms prevent my expiring completely and breathes some weak semblance of life into my frame, bestirs itself much too late, and the fog through which we see the world when hope obnubilates its utter vanity and nullity, disperses, immediately whereafter, crippled by the trauma of the recommencement of my daily doom, the hours gather on the horizon like the members of a chorus in a Mass for the dead, whose plaintive chants anticipate the events of a day terrifying in its banality and monotony, in its puke-inducing pointlessness.

    When you are young, and your illusions are in full bloom, the sight of a graveyard terrifies you, but as you get older, and they wither and die under the oppressive weight of the years, and the flow of the river of time, upon whose currents we are all borne inexorably to our final destination, brings with it its silt of shattered illusions and hopes, of frustrated ideals and desires, then the graveyard takes on the allure of an Eden, in which the corpses gambol amongst their own headstones, and from which we have been cruelly barred. That is, assuming that you’ve learned anything from life.

    Men expend so much energy trying to create paradise on earth when in our graveyards we already have it, it being little wonder that many people expedite their journey thereto, impatient to return as they are to the paradise they lost when they were born.

    The only way to prevent suicide is to stop having children; it is the true panacea for all of life’s ills.

  • all too easy

    Introducing: The ADHD Hall of Shame, a new ADHD Roller Coaster department.

    Inaugural inductees: HBO show host Bill Maher and his guests Arianna Huffington, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Two liberals and two conservatives who could agree on one thing only: It’s okay to bash ADHD.

    As someone who has the disorder and benefits from taking Vyvanse, I feel an obligation to point out that equating a genetically-caused mental health disorder like ADHD with an avoidable excess (over-medication) cheapens the discussion of both. In fairness, most people only know ADHD by reputation, so I thought that I’d share something of the reality. Hopefully, it will explain why medication is so very important to so many people with the condition.

    One, the ADHD brain develops in an atypical fashion when compared to the population at large. Those of with the condition are literally wired differently. As a result, many things which most people take for granted are difficult for us.

    Two, everyone experiences ADHD symptoms — e.g., impulse control, inattention and organizational deficits — at least some of the time. The different for those of us with ADHD is the frequency, duration and depth of these states. In our case, the symptoms are very likely to disrupt our ability to succeed in rather important arenas like school, work and long-term personal relationships.

    Three, discipline and routine can help people to control the symptoms of ADHD but are not always sufficient. That’s why Vyvanse (similar to Adderall) was such a revelation to me: it has helped me to achieve the capacity to focus that most people take for granted. That’s why I take it daily.

    Four, ADHD is subtle and therefore easy to dismiss. This is because: there’s no single, clear-cut test for ADHD; it’s popularly regarded as a childhood disorder; and it’s over-diagnosed.

    Unfortunately, none of this changes the fact that over 10 million adults have ADHD or the reality that medication can help many of them to lead happier, more fulfilled lives. Of course, if you don’t have ADHD, it’s hard to imagine what a difference the right medication makes.

    Mr. Maher and Ms. Huffington, please continue to discuss ADHD, but first consider using your prodigious and powerful network of experts to get the facts right first. So much focus on abuse can obscure the reality that ADHD medication can help many people lead happier, fuller lives.

    THEY WILL NOT LISTEN. BUT, THANKS, ANYWAY

    Follow Michael B. Laskoff on Twitter:

    Phil Hickey belongs to the Hall Of Shame club, too. He is an honorary, lifetime, proud, and particularly heinous offender. His heroes Baughman, Breggin, and Berezin join him among the most vile abusers. Congratulations!

    oh, btw, “It has long been recognized that a person’s risk for suicide increases in the first few weeks (months?) of taking an antidepressant. The psychiatric explanation of this was that the putative therapeutic action of the drug gave the individual sufficient motivation to do what he had been wanting to do previously – namely to take his own life.”

    Well, we all know that antidepressants have no influence on one’s mental condition/mood, (not one biological test confirms their thesis) so the statement above is ridiculous, preposterous, untrue, false, a joke and pathetic.

  • cledwyn the obscure

    In a world not so providentially arranged as ours is, where there is no benign foreordained pattern to which all events conform and according to which by the dispensations of a divine and merciful providence the happiness or misery of each individual therein is duly proportioned according as his conduct, always freely chosen, so deserves; in such a world as ours, how can one justifiably deprive another individual of egress therefrom?

    For in a world governed by the laws of contingency, whose events everywhere make a mockery of the notion of a providential dispensation and which crass, unfeeling laws make dependent thereupon the fate of each, be it favorable or otherwise, is it not true that those who are, so to speak, born under a malign star, and whose fate those who would assume the prerogatives of a deity and play god with the lives of others are at least for the most part powerless to altar, is it not true that there can be no justification for bringing into this world a child and a fortiori blocking his path when it seeks to leave such a world?

    Anti-natalist and critic of non-egalitarian feminism David Benatar rightly said that bringing a child into this world is like playing Russian roulette with someone else’s life. I would also say that it is casting someone adrift in an ocean of shit whereupon the individual must perforce struggle amongst the other trillions of creatures for survival in an absurd, contingent universe. To deprive it of an exit is even worse.

  • Cledwyn Pus Poetics

    In a sane society, statues would be erected consecrated to the bravest amongst us, the suicides, statues commemorating the superhuman feats of this aristocracy of courage.

    I once thought Nature set a limit to the extent of human stupidity and hypocrisy. Of this I was disabused when I came to realize that everywhere men and women, who for the most part lack even the courage to touch a burning flame without recoiling in terror, believe suicide to be an act of cowardice. Ha, the sour grapes of suicides manque.

    Yet as long as men are at the mercy of the will to hump like incontinent rabbits, to populate the cosmos to infinity and beyond with fallen apes, and lack the courage of the felo-de-se, then there are some truths which must remain buried.

    May I never bring another fallen ape into this world, and shed oceans of tears, lacrimae rerum, for every turd… every drop of pus and urine… and every belch… brought thereinto, and may I slay a saint afore I author flesh!

    Self-willed corpses, I salute you!

  • Anonymous

    Benatar is interesting and probably correct in many things he believes but sadly he’s pro male genital mutilation. He’s written extensively about his support for the right of parents to hack 30-40% of a helpless male infant’s penile tissue off.

  • Anonymous

    Given he doesn’t support bodily integrity rights for kids I would hate to find out his views on brain rape / forced psychiatry.