Robert Whitaker calls himself a journalist but I believe he is one of the most important scientists in the world today based on his scientific analyses of the flaws in what passes for research in psychiatry. He is also an insightful social critic. More than that, he is a major figure in the promotion of genuinely …
The 300th airing of my PRN radio shows, and it’s a stunner. Jeanne Stolzer PhD and I draw a holistic picture of how human evolution relates to understanding good nutrition, successful early child development, the health of mothers, the sources of physical and emotional disorders in later life, and what all this means for psychotherapy and medical treatment. For me, the conversation is a high-water mark in becoming more holistic in my orientation and my career. This is one of the most important interviews for me in my career, part of a turning point in my orientation toward my work in the world. Some of the ideas may seem startling, but giving them a chance may enhance your life, too.
The best talk I have ever given about the harms of antidepressant drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, and Wellbutrin. Impassioned and yet full of devastating facts and truths about the damage done to many, and perhaps most, of people who take them. Not only children but also adults develop suicidal thoughts and behaviors on antidepressants. All ages can develop symptoms of mania and some experience a full-blown manic episode with dangerously uncontrolled, impulsive, grandiose behavior. Others become chronically depressed by these drugs called antidepressants. Many become easily frustrated (irritable) and or even violent, including many mass murders who were taking antidepressants. Ethical people become unethical. Kind people become callous and hateful. Without knowing what has happened to them, almost everyone becomes less caring and less engaged with friends, loved ones, work, recreational activities and life in general. With all that, genuinely scientific studies show that antidepressants are not even helpful, while the FDA defies commonsense and science in how it allows the drug companies to test them! I call for a ban on giving these and other psychiatric drugs to children and ask if any adults, if fully informed, would ever take them.
One of my best hours! With British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, this is a must-listen-to show. It is thoughtful from beginning to end about how psychiatric drugs really work by disrupting brain function and how they impair our ability to be “sensitive to complex aspects of the environment, such as other people.” I describe how, in my opinion, they are neurotoxins that reduce the individual’s capacity to care about anything including themselves and other people. Joanna and I do not fully agree on all the nuances of these issues, such as should antipsychotic drugs ever be used, and how common and severe are the long-term effects. These differences provide the listener with a unique opportunity to hear a genuine, informed, scientific, and caring discussion covering broad aspects and concerns pertaining to the whole range of psychiatric drugs.
A great hour with British child psychiatrist Sami Timimi. We focus mostly on children but since all of us were once children, everything is also relevant to adult life. We examine the hazards of calling “unhappiness” or “despair” by a medical term such as “depression” and then prescribing drugs to children. Ultimately we address being a human being, and what children and adults alike really need–trusting, loving relationships. You will learn and be inspired by listening to Dr. Timimi.
My guest Danish physician Peter Gøtzsche is the cutting edge of psychiatric reform in Europe. Although an internist and highly respected researcher in general medicine, he has now turned his attention to psychiatry and been dismayed. He is devoting himself to stopping psychiatric oppression and to promoting better alternatives. A researcher, educator, and politically astute man, he is turning his critique into live action on the political stage and in the delivery of services. A rousing, don’t-miss exchange between the two of us!
When I found myself without a guest, I delivered a spontaneous hour on my latest thinking about psychiatric drugs. I start out talking about antipsychotic drugs and tardive dyskinesia, and how the “miraculous revolution” in psychopharmacology began with psychiatrists and drug companies promoting neurotoxins as cures. Then I go on to examine the common neurotoxic effects of all psychiatric drugs, finally declaring that all psychiatric drugs are “not caring drugs.” With some subtle variations, psychiatric drugs as a group “work” by causing apathy, loss of interest, reduced spontaneity, and lack of caring. Because of medication spellbinding, individuals often do not realize how their personalities and experience of life have been transformed for the worse, but they feel the relief of no longer caring as much about their emotional suffering, and about the people and activities in their lives. Sometimes the personality changes are subtle in the form of mild indifference and at other times very gross in the form of apathy, catatonia, and withdrawal. Because the medicated individuals no longer care about anything as much as they once did, they often become more docile and “easier to be with.” When their families, teachers, doctors or hospital caretakers find them “improved,” it is often because the drugged patients have become disengaged from themselves and their lives, hence displaying less suffering, and causing less conflict and difficulty. Psychiatry and drug companies, now with the cooperation of all medicine, and many societal institutions, are producing an epidemic of chemical encephalitis with disastrous effects on individuals and society.
My guest Ryan Melton PhD directs a statewide Oregon program for the identification and treatment of early psychotic disorders called the EASA Center for Excellence. Within the psychiatric reform movement, there are concerns about such programs stigmatizing youth and exposing them to toxic psychiatric drugs; but I believe that Ryan Melton’s program is headed in the right direction. Together we explore what does and does not work in early interventions, as well as the field of early interventions in general, and avoiding the pitfalls created by organized psychiatry. The Oregon program is a good beginning in the direction of providing genuine human services to people who are struggling or in psychological crises.
I love this hour with my friend Jeanne Stolzer and hope you will, too. We unexpectedly spent the show talking about what psychiatric drugs, alcohol, and marijuana (and all potent psychoactive drugs) are doing to the personal lives of individual children and adults and to society, and what life would be like without these toxic chemicals. The conversation inspired me to take notes as I was listening and talking. Jeanne is a professor of child and adolescent development, and brings an enormous heart and equally enormous intelligence to questions surrounding human life.
Richard “Red” Lawhern is a brilliant, passionate, hardworking nonmedical advocate for pain patients. Listen to this show and you will never look at pain medications in same light. Unlike psychiatric drugs, we both find that opiate and opioid pain medications are often under-prescribed. The under-prescribing of opiates is partly because of the fear of addiction, and partly because drug companies push more expensive drugs that do not work as well and cause more harm. Richard explains how the DEA has intruded into the practice of medicine, setting standards for doctors that are robbing patients of adequate medication coverage for pain, sometimes causing these patients to resort to street drugs with the risk of death by unintentional overdose. Having lost the War Against Drugs, has the DEA attacked a softer target, making a War on Doctors and their Pain Patients? Maybe so.