On April 7, John Read, PhD, a psychologist at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, published a short article on Mad in America. The title is: Largest Survey of Antidepressants Finds High Rates of Adverse Emotional and Interpersonal Effects. The article presents the results of a survey conducted in New Zealand and published online in February, 2014 in Psychiatry Research. The survey involved 1,827 individuals who were taking antidepressants. Dr. Read is widely published.
Here are some quotes from the MIA article:
“Eight of the 20 adverse effects studied were reported by over half the participants; most frequently Sexual Difficulties (62%) and Feeling Emotionally Numb (60%).”
Note that more than half (60%) of respondents reported feeling “emotionally numb” as a result of taking antidepressants. In a clinical trial, these people would probably be counted as treatment successes!
“Percentages for other effects included: Feeling Not Like Myself – 52%, Agitation 47%, Reduction In Positive Feelings – 42%, Caring Less About Others – 39%, Suicidality – 39%, and Feeling Aggressive – 28%. If one had to imagine a combination of feelings most likely to increase the chances of a tragedy involving the loss of multiple lives it would be hard to do better than emotional numbing, agitation, aggression, suicidality and caring less about others.”
“It is worth mentioning that even a group of people who had accepted a biological treatment for their difficulties and had (mostly) found it helpful, did not unquestioningly swallow the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of depression (and everything else) espoused by biological psychiatry and the drug industry. The most strongly endorsed causes were: Family stress (90.8% ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’), Relationship problems (89.9%), Loss of loved one (87.5%), Financial problems (86.9%), Isolation (86.3%), and Abuse or neglect in childhood (85.4%), with Chemical imbalance (84.8%) coming in 7th, Heredity 12th, and Disorder of the brain 13th.”
“Finally, we gave participants ten possible reasons that prescription rates of antidepressants are so high (in 2013 the number of prescriptions in England – 53 million – surpassed the total population – 52.6 million). Among the more commonly endorsed explanations were: ‘Drug companies have successfully marketed their drugs’ (61%), ‘Drug companies have successfully promoted a medical illness view of depression’ (57%), ‘GPs don’t have enough time to talk with patients’ (59%), and ‘Other types of treatments are not funded or are too expensive’ (56%). The least endorsed explanation for high prescribing rates was ‘Anti-depressants are the best treatment‘ (20%).”
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The reality is that depression is not an illness, and antidepressants are not medication. They are drugs that provide a transient feeling of well-being, or at least a feeling of numbness or “something different”. They in no way address the root causes of depression, which are what they always have been: the sad things that happen to us in our lives and/or a joyless, unfulfilling, treadmill-type of existence.
And it has long been my contention that in their “hearts”, both the psychiatrists and the recipients of these drugs know this. The psychiatrists know that they are drug pushers, and the “patients” know that what they are getting is “a fix.” And so the dance goes on. The psychiatrists continue the pretense that they are real doctors; the “patients” settle for the fix; the APA invents the diagnoses; the psychopharma business booms; and the damage accumulates.
Psychiatry is not something good that needs some minor corrections. Rather, it is something so fundamentally flawed and rotten as to be beyond redemption or compromise. The blatant falsehood, that depression is an illness, has not only destroyed individuals, but eats at our personal and cultural resilience like a cancer. It is time to put this lie to rest. Please, if you’re not already doing so, speak out against this insult to human integrity and decency.