June 13, 2018

Daily Breaking News & Information

Including Links to Stories Mentioned on The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

on Live on Wednesdays at 4 pm New York time.

Dr. Breggin’s radio program is archived here


News & Information for October 20, 2018

Aerobic exercise has antidepressant treatment effects

An analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials indicates that supervised aerobic exercise has large antidepressant treatment effects for patients with major depression. The systematic review and meta-analysis is published in Depression and Anxiety. […] Also, aerobic exercise revealed moderate-to-large antidepressant effects among trials with lower risk of bias, as well as large antidepressant effects among trials with short-term interventions (up to 4 weeks) and trials involving preferences for exercise.


News & Information for October 19, 2018

Lower your risk of dementia with life choices

There is so much information out there about genetic reasons for developing Dementia. However, there will never be just one Alzheimer’s gene, and genetic predisposition for a disease is not your destiny. Although getting older is the biggest risk factor for dementia, evidence shows there are things you can do to help lower your risk. You can influence your genes with food and with your thoughts. […] Avoid medication that shows evidence of being linked to Alzheimer’s: some pain medication, sleep medication, antidepressants, and several COPD, asthma, & bladder control medicines.

Pooling data may hide negative outcomes for antidepressants

A new study, published in Psychological Medicine, found evidence for a specific type of publication bias distorting the evidence about antidepressant efficacy. Negative studies (studies that found that antidepressants were ineffective) were far more likely to be published only in pooled-trials studies, usually addressing secondary questions. On the other hand, positive studies were likely to be published as stand-alone publications touting the effectiveness of antidepressants, in addition to pooled-trials studies. This skews the published evidence for the primary question of antidepressant efficacy.

Brain scans cast doubt on ‘average patient with schizophrenia’

Vast individual differences in brain structure make the concept of “the average patient with schizophrenia” practically meaningless, suggests a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry. “The brains of individuals with schizophrenia differ so much from the average that the average has little to say about what might be occurring in the brain of an individual,” said researcher André Marquand, PhD, of Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. […] The idea of an average patient with schizophrenia, researchers concluded, “is a noninformative construct in psychiatry that falls apart when mapping abnormalities at the level of the individual patient.”

How to find yourself — whatever that means

I need to find myself,” is the type of thing that people say right before they announce a break from dating, decide to go on a silent meditation retreat, or quit their job. It’s a pretty vague phrase, but it’s also dramatic, so it often gets the point across that you need a change in some capacity. But what does “finding yourself” really mean? And how do you know when you’ve found it? “When people say ‘finding themselves,’ what they really mean is finding meaning in life,” says Jenny Yip, PsyD, board-certified clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. 


News & Information for October 18, 2018

Benzodiazepines may increase suicide risk in some patients

Long-term use of benzodiazepines may increase the risk of death by suicide in patients with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. […] Long-term use of benzodiazepines in patients with COPD who also had PTSD, they found, more than doubled the risk of suicide and raised the rate of psychiatric admissions.

Sex-crazed fish becoming super horny because of huge levels of antidepressants in water supply

Fish are becoming increasingly horny because of massive quantities of unnatural chemicals in the water, according to a study. Prozac, used as an antidepressant in humans, is making fish hellbent on reproduction, researchers from Monash University found. […] Mr Bertram wrote in Science Trends : “In one-on-one mating trials, males in the high-fluoxetine treatment performed more frequent copulatory behaviour towards females than did males in the unexposed treatment.”

3 tips for seeing the happiness you already have

Have you ever stopped to think about what it means to be happy? It’s not an uncommon question to ponder. After all, most of us are pursuing happiness in one form or another. And if we are pursuing something it should mean that we have defined it, right? […] Happiness often hides in plain sight. Seeing it, however, will require a different approach than many of us are accustomed to taking. Check out these three tips for finding the happiness that is likely right in front of you.


News & Information for October 17, 2018

The Cochrane Collaboration has failed us all

Gøtzsche has been “expelled” from the collaboration, removed from the governing board by a 6-5 vote, and ousted as a contributing member of the organization, I am slapping the side of my head, and wondering why I ever thought it would be otherwise. In his public statements about psychiatric practices and its treatments, Gøtzsche had publicly donned the cloth of the heretic, and there is a long history, at least in this discipline of psychiatry, of heretics being booted from the tribe, or at least sent out to pasture. Loren Mosher, Peter Breggin, and David Healy are some of the more familiar names that tell of such banishment.

How we experience happiness changes with age

A new study has found that the way people experience happiness can actually depend on their age. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that young people tend to link happiness with excitement and people in older age groups are happiest when they feel content. […] “When a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old express feeling ‘happy,’ they are likely feeling quite different things.” The research shows that our definition of happiness, our values, and priorities all change as we age. The findings are important to consider for people who find themselves experiencing joy differently and potentially confusing this with unhappiness.

National bans on hitting kids linked to lower rates of youth violence

A new international study has revealed that national bans on physically reprimanding children by slapping or spanking them are linked to a major reduction in youth violence. The researchers found that rates of physical fighting among young people are 42 to 69 percent lower in countries that prohibit corporal punishment at home and at school compared to countries without any such bans in place.


News & Information for October 16, 2018

Marine biologist: “Our oceans are swimming in antidepressants”

In 2009, the NYC Department of Environment Protections discovered numerous pharmaceuticals floating around in the city’s tap water. A 2010 follow-up study concluded that trace amounts of Ibuprofen, caffeine, Butalbital, DEET—yes, insect repellant—and a variety of prescription and illicit drugs, along with personal care products, posed no threat to us. […] And now, a new study published in British Journal of Psychiatry is targeting doctors and Big Pharma: marine life is suffering due to our overuse of antidepressants.

Exercise can alleviate Depression in Parkinson’s patients, review shows

The study also revealed that exercise can increase BDNF levels in Parkinson’s patients, highlighting exercise’s potential not only to treat depression, but also motor symptoms typically associated with Parkinson’s disease. […] Another study reported similar findings in depressed Parkinson’s patients who participated in a 12-week exercise program.

Sloan Kettering researchers correct the record by revealing company ties

Top researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have filed at least seven corrections with medical journals recently, divulging financial relationships with health care companies that they did not previously disclose. […] Beyond revisiting disclosures, Memorial Sloan Kettering is undertaking a broader review of its staff’s interactions with the health care and pharmaceutical industries, including whether senior leaders should sit on the boards of publicly traded companies. 

Is happiness what we think it is?

When what one is truly seeking is lasting fulfillment, but one mistakenly looks for it in the ephemeral pleasures of materialism, financial success, sex, food and other forms of instant gratification, what we are actually doing is trying to ‘pleasure our way to fulfillment’ as O’Brien suggests. We search endlessly outside ourselves, struggling with the circumstances of our lives, working harder, being busier, striving further, all for the love, belonging and wholeness – the fulfillment – that already exists inside each of us. 


News & Information for October 15, 2018

Harsh parenting may make kids antisocial: Study

Parents, take note! A harsh environment at home and less emotional warmth can make children aggressive and antisocial, a study has found. […] The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, showed that the twin who experienced stricter or harsher treatment and less emotional warmth from parents had a greater chance of showing aggression as well as a set of characteristics known as callous-unemotional (CU) traits.

Common drugs may be contributing to depression

Over one-third of Americans take at least one prescription drug that lists depression as a potential side effect, a new study reports, and users of such drugs have higher rates of depression than those who don’t take such drugs. […] About 200 prescription drugs can cause depression, and the list includes common medications like proton pump inhibitors (P.P.I.s) used to treat acid reflux, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, birth control pills and emergency contraceptives, anticonvulsants like gabapentin, corticosteroids like prednisone and even prescription-strength ibuprofen. Some of these drugs are also sold over-the-counter in pharmacies.

Hundreds of supplements are tainted with hidden pharmaceutical drugs

A new analysis of 10 years of FDA records reveals that from 2007 to 2016, almost 750 dietary supplements were found to be contaminated with secret doses of totally unregulated drugs, including prescription medicines, banned and unapproved chemicals, and designer steroids. […] Other chemicals included hidden antidepressants, a withdrawn weight loss drug called sibutramine, and undeclared anabolic steroids or steroid-like substances.


News & Information for October 14, 2018

Scotland’s secret addicts?: the patients hooked on antidepressants – and harmed by withdrawal

Mrs Duthie’s experience is one of hundreds of Scottish patient accounts submitted last week to Public Health England’s landmark inquiry into prescribed drug dependence. It also comes as figures published this week revealed that a record 902,168 people in Scotland were prescribed antidepressants last year, and new research indicates that the percentage of patients who suffer severe and long-lasting withdrawal effects is much higher that previously estimated.

Light therapy may improve sleep, depressive symptoms in perimenopausal women

Among perimenopausal women with depressive symptoms, light therapy combined with other sleep interventions improved mood and sleep scores in as few as 2 weeks, according to findings from a preliminary study […] the researchers found that light treatment combined with total and partial wake therapy improved symptoms by phase advancing women’s circadian rhythms of melatonin in relation to the sleep/wake cycle.


News & Information for October 13, 2018

Depression: Why a dog is better than Prozac

Renowned psychologist Martin Seligman says we should stop treating depression as an illness to be fixed with pills. Martin Seligman has spent decades trying to help miserable people to feel less unhappy. Now, at the age of 76 and acclaimed worldwide as “the father of positive psychology”, he believes that our approach to depression is all wrong. We are, he says, treating it as an illness when often it is not. As a result, doctors are too quick to prescribe antidepressants when other remedies, such as therapy or even getting a pet, may be more effective.

Benzodiazepines could increase suicide risk in COPD and PTSD patients

Researchers have found that long-term use of benzodiazepine medications in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could lead to an increased risk of suicide. […] They found that long-term use of benzodiazepines in COPD patients who also had PTSD more than doubled their risk of suicide. These patients also had higher rates of psychiatric admissions.

Millions addicted to benzos as overdoses skyrocket

Overdoses in benzodiazepines have grown eightfold between 2002 and 2016. That’s due in large part to a stiff increase in the amount of benzos being prescribed. The number jumped 67 percent from 1997 to 2013. Some consider benzos the other big prescription drug problem after opioids […] Once you’re hooked on benzos, detoxing from them can be a struggle. “If you think of this kind of drug to be calming, the withdrawal symptoms are the complete opposite,” Dr. Manipod says. Quitting cold turkey can cause anxiety, decreased sleep, and the possibility of seizures.

Getting off psychiatric drugs can be more dangerous that starting, so before you try, please read Dr Breggin’s, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.


News & Information for October 12, 2018

Eating junk food raises risk of depression, says multi-country study

Eating junk food increases the risk of becoming depressed, a study has found, prompting calls for doctors to routinely give dietary advice to patients as part of their treatment for depression. In contrast, those who follow a traditional Mediterranean diet are much less likely to develop depression because the fish, fruit, nuts and vegetables that diet involves help protect against Britain’s commonest mental health problem, the research suggests.

Clozaril is associated with secondary antibody deficiency

Clozapine [Clozaril] use was associated with significantly reduced immunoglobulin levels and an increased proportion of patients using more than five antibiotic courses in a year. Antibody testing is not included in existing clozapine monitoring programmes but may represent a mechanistic explanation and modifiable risk factor for the increased rates of pneumonia and sepsis-related mortality previously reported in this vulnerable cohort.

Online insomnia therapy offers round-the-clock benefits

Digital cognitive behavioral therapy (dCBT) improves not only insomnia symptoms, but functional health, psychological well-being, and sleep-related quality of life, according to a year-long study involving 1,711 people. […] Previous research has identified insomnia as a risk factor for the development of mental health disorders, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. […] “In clinical studies, dCBT has repeatedly achieved statistically significant and clinically meaningful results for outcomes including sleep, mental health, and daytime functioning.” 


News & Information for October 11, 2018

The global ‘mental health’ movement – cause for concern

On October 10th, 2018, World Mental Health Day, The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development published a report outlining a proposal to “scale up” mental health care globally. At the same time, the UK government is hosting a Global Mental Health Ministerial Summit with the intention of laying out a course of action to implement these mental health policies globally. In response, a coalition of mental health activists and service-users have organized an open letter detailing their concerns with the summit and report. The response has attracted the support of critical professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, and researchers.

Prozac-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome and liver injury

A 41-year-old female presented with a skin rash and abnormal liver function tests after the recent initiation of fluoxetine. Skin and liver biopsies showed features of SJS [Stevens-Johnson syndrome] and DILI [Drug-induced liver injuries], respectively. Fluoxetine [Prozac] was stopped, following which there was improvement in her liver function tests and skin rash, without progression to fulminant hepatic failure.

Couples who use pronouns ‘we’ and ‘us’ may be happier in love

Researchers from the University of California investigated the correlation between the use of first-person plural pronouns (such as “we”, “our”, “us”) and the health of romantic relationships. […] They came to the conclusion that “we-talk” proved beneficial in all categories, corresponding with happier relationships on all counts.

Recovering emotions after 24 years on antidepressants

The last morning antidepressant I took, I had to stop taking it when people told me how zombie-like I was. I spoke and moved very slowly. After almost 25 years of taking antidepressants, I had no emotion left whatsoever. I felt dead and wanted to be dead. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t do daily tasks, keep up on my daily chores, or manage my own house. We had 36 acres of property that I had been managing, but I couldn’t do it anymore.


News & Information for October 10, 2018

Soaring antidepressant use is turning our waters into a ‘drug soup’ and changing marine life’s ability to mate, feed and move

Rising use of antidepressants is turning our waters into a ‘drug soup’ and harming marine life, experts warn. […] the drugs can cause havoc in the natural world after they pass out of the body of the person taking them in the form of urine and faeces and enter the water supply. Effects include the chemicals causing limpets to lose their ability to cling to rocks, as well as shrimp swimming towards areas populated by predators.

Your antidepressants are bad for the environment, study shows

“Antidepressant and antianxiety medications are found everywhere, in sewage, surface water, ground water, drinking water, soil, and accumulating in wildlife tissues.” […] “Laboratory studies are reporting changes such as how some creatures reproduce, grow, the rate at which it matures, metabolism, immunity, feeding habits, the way it moves, its colour and its behaviour,” says Ford.

Soaring anti-depressant use in the North East is ‘dangerous’

North East MP Ronnie Campbell has warned that a surge in anti-depressant prescriptions has reached “dangerous” levels. Official figures show that the North East tops the league table for anti-depressant prescriptions across the UK. The number of prescriptions across the North East rose by 285,189 in one year, from 4,868,544 in 2016/17 to 5,153,733 in 2017/18, NHS data shows.

30 medical professionals on notice for overprescribing opioids

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday, Oct. 5, it identified this group of people “prescribing opioids in significantly higher quantities than their peers or to patients who may pose a high risk of abuse or diversion. […] We aim to make these medical prescribers — who are outliers — aware of their atypical practices, so that they can make informed decisions about whether their opioid prescriptions are for a legitimate medical purpose. We will also continue to monitor prescribing habits.”

Here’s why you shouldn’t take OTC sleeping pill every night

“Many OTC sleep aids—such as Benadryl and Tylenol PM—contain diphenhydramine,” says Dr. Donovan Maust, co-author of the recent study and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan Medicine. Diphenhydramine is an anticholinergic drug, which means it blocks activity of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which plays a role in muscle activation and also in brain functions like alertness, learning and memory, Maust says.

Four certified ways to get out from depression

Depression is way more than your momentarily feeling of sadness. It’s a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feeling of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. As depicted by the definition above,it’s certainly not a good state to be in,the good news is this-just as you can think yourself depressed and fearful…you can think your way out of depression. […] Real quick, Here are 4 Practical ways to deal with depression…


News & Information for October 9, 2018

Benzodiazepines linked to risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers found that use of benzodiazepines and related drugs was associated with a 6% increase in the odds of developing AD. There was a dose–response relationship between benzodiazepine and related drug use and AD risk, but this disappeared when adjusted for other psychotropic use, suggesting that the association could be partially explained by other psychotropics or concomitant use of these medicines.

5 signs you need couples’ therapy, according to experts

Inevitably, all relationships have their ups and downs — and most of the lows are things that that the two of you can work through, so long as you are a united front, and if you are both willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work. Even the happiest and most loving couples have moments of tension and friction that, if left unresolved, can quickly grow into more serious issues and turn into toxic patterns that will doom the romance. Fortunately, before that happens, you might be able to spot the signs you need couples therapy so that you can fix the situation.

Limpets under threat due to rise in antidepressant use, scientists warn

Limpets are being killed due to the rise in antidepressant use which means they struggle to cling onto rocks, scientists have warned. A new study argues that aquatic creatures in and around the UK are now “bathing in a soup” of the drugs after prescription rates doubled in the last ten years. Experts have called for doctors to consider the effect on the environment before offering medication such as Prozac, saying its presence in the ecosystem can affect everything from a creatures’ growth and shape to its movement and feeding habits.


News & Information for October 8, 2018

GPs are failing to warn millions on antidepressants about their potential side-effects

Millions of people on antidepressants are never warned about their side-effects, experts say. And many doctors are unaware of the medication’s potential dangers, according to a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence. A survey of 319 antidepressant users – all of whom were trying to quit the pills – reveals 64 per cent were given no information about the potential risks and side effects by their doctors. And 25 per cent say they got no advice on how to give up the drugs.

The Best-kept Secret of Love

Why is it that some people can stay in love for decades while others fall out of love as soon as the novelty wears off and the rose-colored glasses become clear? Surely, the attitude we bring to a relationship before it even begins contributes greatly to its longevity. We must know that love requires a lot of attention and is hard work at times. To expect magic instead of mutual growth within the connection can be a fatal mistake. It is also extremely helpful if the couple has loving habits as well as loving skills, such as rewarding the partner’s attempts to learn and grow.

New way to boost happiness and lower depression

At a recent seminar, someone asked me if there was a research finding I wished more people were aware of. There are many, I said, but here are two findings I wish more people knew about.

1.     You can have a direct impact on your well-being by identifying your core strengths and using them in your life.

2.     You can have a direct impact on your depression by identifying your core strengths and using them more in your life.


News & Information for October 7, 2018

Less than half of clinical trials comply with legislation to accurately report results

A new study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), has found that research sponsors continue to fail at reporting their results as required by recent legislation. More than half of new clinical trials in the European Union failed to comply with this legislation. […] To solve this problem, the US, the EU, and other national and international bodies have created legislation designed to force research sponsors to post their results—whether they find what they are looking for or not. 

Nonclinical factors are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults

A new study, led by Lauren Gerlach, assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Michigan, examines factors related to long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults. The results of the study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, indicate that poor sleep quality, white race, a larger initial prescription are all associated with transitioning from short-term to long-term benzodiazepine use. 


News & Information for October 6, 2018

12 ways religion can boost well-being

Benefits of religion become cliché when speaking about family, values and community building. While all those are true, there are many real, well-studied aspects of religion that don’t get enough attention. Some of these benefits, such as gratitude, don’t require religion, but the faithful will find themselves practicing it more often. So here we go:

How to start keeping a journal for increased health and happiness

Journaling has been an emotional and creative anchor for me for as long as I can remember. I got in the habit as a young girl, after coming across my poet-grandmother’s notebooks in the attic of our home, where I found her composition books filled with beautiful copperplate penmanship. […] “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection,” she said. Keeping a detailed and vivid account of your life allows you to savor and relive the moments that might otherwise disappear from memory.

Interpersonal psychotherapy helps depressed women with histories of sexual trauma

In the study, researchers compared the results of treating depressed women with sexual abuse histories with either Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Trauma or traditional clinic psychotherapy. Interpersonal Psychotherapy is a time-limited therapy that focuses on reducing psychological distress by resolving interpersonal conflicts and strengthening social relationships. Such women constitute more than 20 percent of female patients in publicly funded community mental health centers.


News & Information for October 5, 2018

Hug it out: study shows hugs really do make us happier, especially on hard days

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University say people who consider themselves huggers actually have better overall health and stronger relationships. Previous research has shown the benefits of hugs and the role of touch, but studies have typically focused on romantic relationships. This latest work sought to examine the power of hugging among various social circles.

Overlapping opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions in chronic pain: rates and related outcomes

Concurrent use of benzodiazepines and long-term opioids was found in 25% of patients with chronic pain, as well as to be associated with elevated risk of falling and visiting the emergency department, in a study published in Pain Medicine. […] After controlling for confounding factors, the presence of a psychiatric diagnosis was found to be the only variable significantly associated with concurrent prescription of opioids and benzodiazepine. […] Participants with prescriptions for both opioids and benzodiazepines vs opioids alone were found to experience 3.27 times more falls in the 3 months before the study (P <.001), and to be 1.66 times more likely to visit the emergency room in the year preceding the study period.

NICE guidelines on antidepressant withdrawal in ‘urgent need of correction’, say researchers

Researchers call for guidance to be “urgently” updated after finding that seven out of ten studies providing data on the duration of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms contradict UK and US withdrawal guidelines. […] They found that withdrawal incidence rates from 14 of the studies ranged from 27% to 86%, with a weighted average of 56%. […] It was also found that it was not uncommon for people to experience withdrawal for several months and beyond — two of the studies reviewed indicated that for 40% of people who withdraw, the effects lasted for at least 6 weeks and for 25% they lasted 12 weeks or more.


News & Information for October 4, 2018

Doctors must wake-up to patients hooked on depression pills

Stevie Lewis went to see her GP for help with insomnia after struggling with the pressures of starting up a business consultancy. […] And instead of sleeping tablets, she was given a prescription for paroxetine, a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), thought to work by increasing the level of a mood-enhancing brain chemical, serotonin. […] However, her shock at being prescribed an antidepressant was nothing compared with the horror that awaited her when she tried to wean herself off paroxetine.

My agony hooked on antidepressants and the hell of withdrawal

 There are millions of us on antidepressants — around seven million in England alone. That’s 16 per cent of the adult population — one of the highest rates in the world. […] four million face the risk of serious withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking their medication. These can include disorders such as nausea, insomnia, extreme irritability and chronic fatigue. Researcher Dr James Davies, of Roehampton University, said: ‘This new review reveals what many patients have known for years — that withdrawal from antidepressants often causes severe, debilitating symptoms which can last for weeks, months or longer.’

Antidepressants may be making your depression worse

Healy warns that regardless of what causes depression, the drugs used to “treat” the illness are not improving. He says that in some cases, the safety and efficacy of new drugs is declining. Not only may antidepressants not address the root cause of depression, but they could also be dangerously and permanently altering brain function.

In reversal, GSK to restart limited payments to doctors

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will resume payments to doctors for promotion of its medicines in certain situations, stepping away from a 2013 pledge which had banned the practice. GSK will now allow payments to healthcare professionals who speak about its products in promotional settings, as well as pay for travel costs for doctors outside the U.S. to attend GSK-organized events. 


News & Information for October 3, 2018

Study: Limiting kids’ screen time improves brain function

Cutting back on screen time, along with the right amount of sleep and physical activity, is linked to improvements in cognition among children, a study suggests. […] “Evidence suggests that good sleep and physical activity are associated with improved academic performance, while physical activity is also linked to better reaction time, attention, memory and inhibition.” 

Carrie Ann Inaba reveals antidepressants caused her to hallucinate she was stabbing herself

Carrie Ann Inaba revealed she once suffered a hallucination she was stabbing herself after taking antidepressants. […] “I want to share something, when I took the med it caused me to have this weird hallucination of me stabbing myself over and over again […] I was lucky that I was healthy enough and had a good support system that I could say, ‘What is this? It doesn’t feel like me.’”

Notice it was critical that she realized that wasn’t her. Yet many are told by their doctor, after such adverse reactions, that now they also need an antipsychotic because the antidepressant has “unmasked” an underlying psychosis. Such a polypharmacy sink hole is frightfully common. 

AHCA members record progress in reducing use of antipsychotics

New government data show that skilled nursing facilities that are members of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) recorded a greater percent reduction than nonmember facilities in the use of antipsychotic drugs […] According to the new statistics from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 23.6 percent of residents in AHCA member centers received an antipsychotic medication in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with 14.8 percent of residents in the first quarter of 2018.

Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms severe, says new report

Half of all those taking antidepressants experience withdrawal problems when they try to give them up and for millions of people in England, these are severe, according to a new review of the evidence commissioned by MPs. […] The review, published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, focused on 14 studies of antidepressants that had relevant data on withdrawal symptoms. The studies, which were diverse, showed that between 27% and 86% of people suffered from them, with a weighted average of 56%.

It can be more dangerous to get off than on psychiatric drugs. Before you try, please read Dr Breggin’s, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.

Antidepressants were the second most prescribed drug in Halton last year

General Practitioners have called on the Government to increase the funding for psychotherapist services to rely less on these drugs as more people seek help for mental health problems. Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in Halton clinical commissioning group (CCG) went up by 17% from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the latest period with updated data.


News & Information for October 2, 2018

Study confirms link between violent video games and physical aggression

The latest in the long-standing debate over violent video games: They do cause players to become more physically aggressive. An international study looking at more than 17,000 adolescents, ages nine to 19, from 2010 to 2017, found playing violent video games led to increased physical aggression over time. […] “Based on our findings, we feel it is clear that violent video game play is associated with subsequent increases in physical aggression.”

The study’s conclusion:

On the basis of this metaanalysis, we conclude that playing violent video games is associated with greater levels of overt physical aggression over time, after accounting for prior aggression. These findings support the general claim that violent video game play is associated with increases in physical aggression over time. Furthermore, the results speak to three specific criticisms of this literature by demonstrating: (i) that violent video game play is associated with increases in measures of serious aggressive behavior (i.e., overt, physical aggression), (ii) that estimates of this effect are only slightly decreased by inclusion of statistical covariates, and (iii) by finding no evidence of publication bias.

College of Physicians should investigate seniors’ antipsychotics prescriptions

The news that one in four seniors living in B.C. long term care facilities are being given antipsychotic medication without a supporting diagnosis is appalling. […] As a society we have a responsibility to advocate for seniors’ safety and well-being in long-term care and must ensure abuse with drugs is not part of the equation.

Does the quantity of social interactions affect happiness?

These results are correlational: They show an association between interaction time and happiness, not that one necessarily causes the other. But putting all of this together, it seems reasonable that spending time around other people is a benefit. Even ordinary interactions may reinforce your bond to other people, which can make you happier and more satisfied with your life.


News & Information for October 1, 2018

  New Video Series: ‘Parenting Today’

Parents are bombarded on all sides—from mainstream media, school teachers and administrators, mental health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and their own peers—with the following message: something called “the mental disorders of childhood” exists and your child may well have one (or more) of them. Isn’t your child restless? Isn’t he squirming? Isn’t he sad? Doesn’t he say “no” a lot? All of these are symptoms of mental disorders! Watch out: your child probably has one.

Usage of depression pills almost halved among children in Denmark

Authorities throughout the world have warned against using depression pills for children and adolescents after the FDA had shown in 2004 and 2006 that these pills double the risk of suicide compared to placebo in the randomised trials.1 2 We know the mechanism of action for this effect. The pills can cause akathisia (an extreme form of restlessness that predisposes to suicide, violence and homicide), emotional numbness and psychosis.

Children who attend religious services are happier adults

While previous studies have linked adults’ religious involvement to better health and well-being, including lower risk of premature death, this one included more than 5,000 youths who were followed eight to 14 years. […] Participation in both religious services, prayer and meditation during childhood and adolescence, however, seem strongly associated with subsequent health and well-being.

Psychotropic polypharmacy is common in Alzheimer’s disease

Up to half of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) use a psychotropic drug, and one in five uses two or more psychotropics concomitantly […] Psychotropic drug use was more common among persons with Alzheimer’s disease already five years before the diagnosis, and the difference to comparison persons without AD increased at the time of diagnosis. Four years after the diagnosis, psychotropic drug use was three times more common in persons with AD than in comparison persons.


News & Information for September 30, 2018

Rise in number of antidepressants prescribed by doctors in St Helens

Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) went up by a fifth from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the latest period with updated data. Over that period, the number of registered patients in the area hardly varied, rising by 1.3 per cent. From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services prescribed antidepressants 345,565 times, 57,164 more times than three years earlier. 

Antipsychotics Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual side effects due to antipsychotics are now considered as under reported side effect all over the world. Even though incidence rates of SD [sexual dysfunction] are higher only few are reported due to various reasons. […] Physicians should aware of routinely asking about undesired treatment effects of antipsychotics including effects on sexual function, as these drugs have the potential to cause various kinds of abnormalities. 

Psychotropic drug prescribing in residential aged care homes

Sedating psychotropic drugs, including antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, are commonly prescribed in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), despite extensive evidence of their limited efficacy for treating behavioural and psychological symptoms in older people and of their potential for eliciting serious adverse effects, including death.


News & Information for September 29, 2018

Feeding seniors antipsychotic drugs they don’t need is abuse

One in four British Columbia seniors living in a long-term care facility is being given antipsychotic medication without a supporting diagnosis. It’s a horrific statistic that amounts to nothing less than abuse of seniors. It’s important to emphasize the fact that the seniors we’re talking about have no illness to support giving them these extreme medications. There is no medical reason to give them these drugs.  […] We are left to suppose that these drugs are being given to essentially dope these people into oblivion, so they snooze all day and aren’t a ‘problem’ for their often overworked caretakers.

Consumer Reports: Can your medications cause depression?

A ll medications have the potential to cause unwanted side effects, and depression is among them. In fact, one-third of Americans are now taking meds that can cause this mood disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this past June. […] 9 Drugs Types That May Cause Depression […] 2. Antidepressants: sertraline (Zoloft and generic), citalopram (Celexa and generic), bupropion (Wellbutrin and generic), and amitriptyline.


News & Information for September 28, 2018

  The secret ingredient to one nursing home’s dramatic drop in antipsychotic use 

Holly Heights Nursing Center in Denver has demonstrated dramatic reductions in the use of antipsychotic drugs in recent years. Janet Snipes, whose been with the home for more than 40 years, says there is one crucial component to their success. “The secret ingredient is staff engagement and buy-in, to get them all to have the drive, commitment and dedication to want to improve quality” […] The nursing facility has been able to drop the percentage of residents receiving antipsychotics from 19.6% in 2013 down to just 1.7% in the year that followed. They’ve been able to maintain that low rate ever since.

13 memory-boosting tips from brain scientists

Certain drugs, including some antidepressants, tranquilizers, and blood pressure medications, have been linked to forgetfulness, according to the Harvard Health Blog. […] Spending time with friends and loved ones is an important factor in slowing memory decline as we age, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, but having a rich social life is also a great way to make sure you have lots of opportunities to rehearse and relive the memories you’re forming, and thus improve your memory.

Rates of ADHD diagnosis and prescription of stimulants continue to rise

Two new articles find that rates of ADHD diagnosis and stimulant prescription continue to rise all over the world. One study found that the ADHD diagnosis has increased in prevalence in the US for the past 20 years; the other study found that stimulant medication use has increased across the world, in all of the countries studied—but with wide variation between regions.

Do you know the value of positive psychology?

The field of positive psychology has many resources to help us increase positivity in our daily lives. […] Most people want to feel good. They strive for positive emotions. Positive psychology analyzes these emotions: what they are, how they improve well-being and how to make them a bigger part of your life. They include compassion, happiness, love, gratitude and satisfaction. They are often based in relationships, achievements and a sense of purpose or meaning. Of course, none of this works if we simply ignore problems.


News & Information for September 27, 2018

Xanax abuse among San Diego teens on the rise

Institute For Public Strategies (IPS) released a report this week warning about the rise of Xanax abuse among teens. The report, compiled from several sources, found most teens gained access to the drug through the medicine cabinets of family members or friends. […] “With opioid addiction, withdrawing and coming off that is uncomfortable but not deadly. Benzos are different. You can’t stop cold turkey because doing so can result in seizures or death.”

Volunteering can greatly benefit one’s mental health

Studies have found that those who volunteer report shorter periods of sadness and depression than those who do not. When one volunteers they are guaranteed to get out of the house and meet other people. Volunteering can boost self-esteem and expand connections in a community, which have been linked to longer life expectancy and better health. Volunteering has been known to give one a sense of purpose and makes one feel good about themselves. 

Older adults being overprescribed sedatives

Older adults in Canada are being overprescribed benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotic drugs with brand names such as Ativan, Valium and Xanax, according to University of Alberta experts. […] According to a study the researchers published earlier this year, benzodiazepines make up 20 to 25 per cent of inappropriate prescriptions in the elderly, with rates of use ranging from five to 32 percent in community-dwelling older adults.

Study suggests medical errors now third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. […] According to the CDC, in 2013, 611,105 people died of heart disease, 584,881 died of cancer and 149,205 died of chronic respiratory disease — the top three causes of death in the U.S. The newly calculated figure for medical errors puts this cause of death behind cancer but ahead of respiratory disease.


News & Information for September 26, 2018

Wrongful expulsion of Peter Gøtzsche tears apart the Cochrane Collaboration

The board of the Cochrane Collaboration, a prestigious group that reviews health evidence, has been reduced from 13 to 6 members, following [protest of] a controversial vote to expel a member for the first time in its 25-year existence. On 14 September, Peter Gøtzsche, director of the Cochrane’s Nordic centre and a member of its governing board, posted a statement on the centre’s website announcing that he had been expelled as a member […] Gøtzsche’s statement says that there is a “growing top-down authoritarian culture and an increasingly commercial business model” taking root at Cochrane that “threaten the scientific, moral and social objectives of the organization”. 

Cochrane Collaboration in turmoil after expulsion of co-founder

Late last week, a narrow majority of the organization’s Governing Board apparently decided to end the Cochrane membership of Peter Gøtzsche […] In a phone interview with Science, Gøtzsche speculated that some foundations funding the collaboration had pressured it to get rid of him because of his highly critical views about pharma. He says he had become increasingly unhappy with what he describes as a “more commercial and more industry-friendly direction” in the organization.

Patients with panic disorder maintain long-term improvement after drug-free treatments

Patients with panic disorder who responded to treatment with either panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy or applied relaxation training maintained improvement 1 year after end of therapy, study data revealed. […] “When patients improve in a well-administered and monitored panic-focused psychotherapy, it appears that gains are maintained over the year following treatment regardless of the specific type of psychotherapy for panic disorder that is delivered.”

Before you or a loved one tries to quit psychiatric drugs, please read Dr Breggin’s, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.       

Polypharmacy associated with higher risk of dementia in nationwide survey in Taiwan

Polypharmacy, defined as the concomitant use of 5 or more medications, has a documented negative association with cognitive impairment such as delirium and is associated, potentially, with a higher risk of dementia. […] Conclusions: Polypharmacy is common in the elderly and is associated with significantly lower cognitive capacity and higher risks of MCI and dementia, especially for persons without diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or cerebrovascular diseases.


News & Information for September 25, 2018

Are antidepressants essential?

Despite increased antidepressant prescriptions in recent years, reductions in suicides or all-cause mortality did not occur. [1][13] Recent evidence reveals that administered antidepressants actually increase suicide risks by 2-5 times. [2][3][4][5][6][9] A recent meta-analysis, level I evidence, clearly demonstrated that SSRIs double the risk of suicide and violence in adults. [4]

Surge in Kiwi teens taking antidepressants, study shows

A University of Otago and the Best Practice Advocacy Centre (BPAC) study looked into the pharmaceutical use of 1.4 million New Zealand children in a bid to identify trends and areas with inappropriate prescribing. The research collected data from 2010 and 2015 and found that prescriptions of fluoxetine – an antidepressant – increased by 50 per cent in children over 12 across the five-year period. […] The use of methylphenidate to treat attention-deficit disorder, mainly in children older than six, increased by 37.7 per cent.

Why depression pills could be fueling the rise of superbugs

Antidepressants could be contributing to the rise in superbugs. Research suggests that an ingredient in the commonly prescribed antidepressant fluoxetine — or Prozac — causes a mutation in some bacteria, making them resistant to antibiotics.

Overmedication Common in Understaffed Assisted Living Facilities; Zanthion Promises to Ease Burden Ethically

In an average week, approximately 179,000 residents of nursing and assisted living facilities across the country are given unnecessary antipsychotic drugs. The technical term for this unethical “treatment” is “chemical restraint,” and it points to an endemic crisis of overstretched senior care facilities at which such medications serve to make residents “docile” and easier for a harried staff to manage. […] Chemical restraint is very common due to the fact that over 90% of nursing facilities are short-staffed, some severely so.


News & Information for September 24, 2018

Shifting from Unhappiness to Happiness

A study by Moligner et al. (2011) showed that happiness is not fixed and that across the life span, there’s a shift in the meaning of happiness. They studied 12 million personal blogs and found that younger people associated happiness with excitement, and older people are more likely to associate happiness with a sense of peacefulness. 

Running helped me beat depression AND lose 140 lbs

After more than 20 years of being on and off antidepressants, Penny has stopped taking medication for good thanks to taking up running. “Exercise has changed my life. I’ve even tried things like paddle-boarding as a new way of keeping fit.” And Penny’s children have noticed the difference too. “The kids are really happy and proud. The whole atmosphere in the house is better now.”

New York Times covers important study exposing antidepressant-study biases 

A recent study in Psychological Medicine examined how four of these types of biases came into play in research on antidepressants. The authors created a data set containing 105 studies of antidepressants that were registered with the Food and Drug Administration. […] Only half of the research was positive. Almost no one would know that. Even thorough reviews of the literature would find that nearly all studies were positive, and those that were negative were ignored. This is one reason you wind up with 10 percent of Americans on antidepressants when good research shows the efficacy of many of the drugs is far less than believed.

The study: The cumulative effect of reporting and citation biases on the apparent efficacy of treatments: the case of depression


News & Information for September 23, 2018

Antidepressant prescriptions up by 18 per cent in West Suffolk in three years

General Practitioners have called on the Government to increase funding for psychotherapist services to rely less on these drugs as more people seek help for mental health problems. […] From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services prescribed antidepressants 407,041 times, 60,894 more than three years earlier. The figures account for the total number of items prescribed by GPs in the NHS, so several of them could have been issued for the same patient.

Addicted to your smartphone? It might not be what you think it is

Johan Bollen, associate professor in the IU School of Informatics and Computing […] analyzed the group for people who followed one another on the network, creating a social network of about 102,000 users with 2.3 million connections. […] A statistical analysis of that final group found that 94.3 percent of these users had fewer friends on average than their friends. Significantly, it also found that 58.5 percent of these users weren’t as happy as their friends on average. […] This analysis contributes to a growing body of evidence that social media may be harmful to users who ‘overindulge’ in these services.

Antidepressants were the second most prescribed drug in Halton last year

Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in Halton clinical commissioning group (CCG) went up by 17% from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the latest period with updated data. […] From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services prescribed antidepressants 191,309 times, 27,923 more than three years earlier. These figures account for the total number of items prescribed by GPs in the NHS, so several of them could have been issued for the same patient.

Good news because petting a dog can reduce anxiety and lower your blood pressure

New research conducted by Tombola has shown that petting a dog or any animal really for just 15 minutes has the glorious power to reduce your blood pressure by up to 10 percent. […]  The research also showed that even traditionally hard animals like turtles had the same effect […] “Researchers found that petting a living creature, whether furry or shelled, massively reduced anxiety in the participants,” said the research.


News & Information for September 22, 2018

Antidepressant prescriptions soar across Bradford district, NHS figures reveal

The number of times GPs across the Bradford district have prescribed antidepressants has soared by almost 100,000 in the past three years, according to NHS data. […] The drugs were prescribed a total of 735,671 times across the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) between April 2017 to March this year. This equates to a 15 per cent rise from 637,736. The England average was 18 per cent.

More antidepressant prescriptions in West Norfolk

There were over 50 thousand extra prescriptions for anti depressants compared to three years ago. […] Figures from West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group went up by nearly 20 percent from 2014/15 to 2017/18. Those numbers are for the total number of items prescribed by GPs in the NHS, so several of them could have been issued for the same patient.

Derek Summerfield: NHS antidepressant prescribing—what do we get for £266 million per year?

The more that the mental health field promotes its technologies, such as anti-depressants, as necessary interventions in potentially any area of life, the more there is a downgrading in collective assumptions about the resilience of the average citizen. Ivan Illich called this “cultural iatrogenesis.” […] Can anyone seriously argue that UK society is healthier and happier as a result of our epidemic of antidepressant prescribing: 64.7 million in 2016, up from around 9 million in the 1990s? [6] Antidepressants cost the NHS £266 million in 2016, and these are only the direct costs.

Studies show happiness affects physical health

Studies have shown happiness can not only affect your mental well-being, but also your physical health. […] “The question really shouldn’t be, ‘Are you the kind of person that sees the glass as half-empty or half-full?’” Dr. Glassman said. “The question we should be asking is, ‘How long, how closely, how consistently are you looking at the half-full part?’”

Why being near water is scientifically proven to help you relax

“‘Blue Mind’ is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness associated with water,” Nichols explains. “One of the most important things is how easy it is to experience Blue Mind; being near or on the water can help you escape Red Mind and the distracted, anxious mode you might live in.” Here are four science-backed benefits of blue mind…


News & Information for September 21, 2018

B.C. seniors advocate questions why undiagnosed seniors getting antipsychotics

one in four seniors living in B.C. long-term care facilities is receiving antipsychotic prescriptions without a supporting diagnosis. It is 19.3 per cent higher than the national average (25.3 per cent vs. 21.2 per cent). The rate in the province has decreased by 31.2 per cent compared to five years ago while the national rate dropped 32.7 per cent over the same time period. 

Loneliness hurts more than our feelings — and it could be our next public health crisis

Lonely people are at risk of premature mortality at rates comparable with other well-established risk factors, including lack of physical activity, obesity, substance abuse, poor mental health, injury and violence. […] some of the most troubling spikes of super loneliness were seen amongst men, she said, particularly between the ages of 45 and 64, and in certain categories.”Single, male parents are very lonely — 40 per cent are reporting being lonely,” she said.

Antidepressant use up nearly 17 per cent across Dorset

Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group area went up by 17 per cent from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the latest period with updated data. Over that period, the number of registered patients in the area hardly varied, rising by 2.1 per cent. […] From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services in Dorset prescribed antidepressants 970,631 times, 141,623 more than three years prior.

More evidence showing exercise may be good for your mood

All types of exercise appeared to influence how often people reported poor mental health. Some of the strongest associations were found with team sports and cycling, which were associated with a 22% reduction in poor mental health days compared with not exercising, followed by aerobic and gym exercises, which were linked to a 21% reduction. Mindfulness exercises like yoga and tai chi were also linked to a 23% reduction in poor mental health days, relative to no activity at all.


News & Information for September 20, 2018

Making happiness last longer, Goal setting strategies can influence positive emotions

For most people, the sense of happiness derived from a luxurious vacation, a good movie or a tasty dinner at a restaurant may seem short-lived, but what if it were possible to extend these feelings of enjoyment? […] “Our findings suggest that people can change the amount of happiness they get out of an experience,” Ahluwalia says. “A general happiness goal can leave a longer-lasting positive emotional imprint.”

20% of children, adolescents use prescription medications

The researchers found that 19.8 percent of children and adolescents used at least one prescription medication during 2013 to 2014 and 7.1 percent used acute medications (used for no more than 30 days). Concurrent medication use was 7.5 percent overall and was highest among 6- to 12-year-old boys (12 percent) and 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (10 percent for both). Pooled data from 2009 to 2014 showed that 8.2 percent of concurrent prescription medication users were at risk for a potentially major DDI [drug-drug interactions]. Antidepressants were involved in the majority of interacting regimens, and they occurred more often among adolescent girls than boys (18.1 versus 6.6 percent); this was mainly driven by increased rates of acute medication use.

Why people lose interest in you, and what you can do about it when they do.

It’s a common experience: You meet someone new and things are going great—but after a short time, you’re left wondering, what went wrong? […] The list below provides reasons why people suddenly lose interest and suggestions to prevent it from happening again.

Report: N.H. ranks among top states for foster kids receiving psychiatric drugs

About one-third of children in foster care in New Hampshire in 2013 received psychiatric drugs, one of the highest rates in the country, according to a federal study that urges more monitoring of such children to prevent over-prescription. […] Only two other states – North Dakota and Virginia – had a higher percentage, according to the report, although a number of states had percentages close to that of New Hampshire. The figure for Vermont was 31.6 percent and for Maine was 32.7 percent; data was not available for Massachusetts. 


News & Information for September 19, 2018

More antidepressants prescribed in Shropshire

GPs have called on the government to increase the funding for psychotherapist services to rely less on these drugs as more people seek help for mental health problems. Figures showed a total of 342,242 prescriptions in Shropshire from April 2017 to March 2018. This total is 39,004 more times than for the same period in 2014-17.

UK: How we’ve hooked a generation of children on depression pills they don’t need

Teenagers who take common antidepressants are more likely to feel suicidal, according to a study released last year. A major study concluded children and adolescents have a doubled risk of aggression or suicidal behaviour when taking one of five common drugs to combat depression. […] As I’ve described previously in the Mail, after just two days, I became dangerously psychotic; hallucinating, attacking myself with a knife and believing I had killed my ­children. Doctors didn’t realise my psychosis was caused by a reaction to escitalopram and put me on more pills. The results were ­catastrophic. 

The more drugs, the less the benefit

Anyone taking six different pills (prescription, over the counter, alternative therapies or vitamins and minerals) has a 40 percent chance of an adverse effect from the medication and once 11 are consumed, daily the side effect risk is 100 percent.  […] Often the only way to correct polypharmacy is to institute a drug holiday. Work with one physician to discontinue as many medications as possible.


News & Information for September 18, 2018

Follow-up: Treatment Planning and Medication Monitoring Were Lacking for Children in Foster Care Receiving Psychotropic Medication

medications can have serious side effects and, as ACF suggests, should be used in conjunction with treatment planning mechanisms and effective medication monitoring. […] We selected a sample of 625 children in foster care from the 5 States that had the highest utilization of psychotropic medications in their foster care populations. […] We found that State requirements for oversight of psychotropic medication did not always incorporate these professional practice guidelines.

Rise in number of anti-depressants prescribed in Worcestershire

Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in south Worcestershire clinical commissioning group (CCG) went up by 18% from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the latest period with updated data. […] From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services prescribed antidepressants 411,178 times, 61,760 more than three years earlier. 

Antidepressant prescriptions in East Lancashire have risen in three years

Figures show that antidepressant prescriptions in East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group went up by 15% from 2014/15 to 2017/18, the latest period with updated data. Over that period, the number of registered patients in the area hardly varied, rising by 2.1%. From April 2017 to March 2018, medical services prescribed antidepressants 517,947 times, 67,655 more than three years earlier. These figures account for the total number of items prescribed by GPs in the NHS, so several of them could have been issued for the same patient. 

Strengthen your mood with weight training

Pumping iron might inflate not only your muscles, but also your mood, says a study in published in the June issue of JAMA Psychiatry. The study’s authors came to this conclusion after examining the results of 33 randomized clinical trials involving more than 1,800 people. They found that people with mild to moderate depression who performed resistance training two or more days a week saw “significant” reductions in their symptoms, compared with people who did not.


News & Information for September 17, 2018

Mental health patients photographed sleeping on floor of the Royal Hobart Hospital

Psychiatric patients waiting for beds at the Royal Hobart Hospital say they were forced to sleep on the floor of the Emergency Department on Sunday night, with one man saying he felt like he was being treated like an animal. […] “I just felt like an animal. I wouldn’t treat my dog at home like I was treated in that emergency department.”

BREAKING! Few safeguards for foster kids on psych drugs

Thousands of children in foster care may be getting powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to them without basic safeguards, according to a federal watchdog’s investigation […] The report due Monday [today] from the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office found that about 1 in 3 foster kids from a sample of states were prescribed psychiatric drugs without treatment plans or follow-up, which are considered standard for sound medical care.

How Alaska’s mental health crisis finally reached a breaking point

For years, workers were terribly injured at Alaska Psychiatric Institute […] API’s safety officer sent an email to 19 state officials blowing the whistle on repeated cases of patients inappropriately restrained, secluded and punished, and whose rights were violated […] Patient advocate Faith Myers obtained state reports showing that out of 1,486 patients at API in 2017, 144 were injured. […] API discharged fragile patients directly to homeless shelters without follow-up. Another group is affected, too. Everyone who encounters the many mentally ill people wandering Anchorage streets.

18 vegan doctors who drive the plant-based movement

Following a plant-based diet can help prevent, treat, and even reverse most of today’s chronic diseases. Luckily, we know of these powerful effects thanks to a handful of passionate and famous vegan doctors without whom this huge movement wouldn’t have grown nearly as much as it already has.


News & Information for September 16, 2018

Government probe into why so many girls want to be boys

An urgent investigation has been launched into why soaring numbers of girls aged as young as four want to change gender – and whether social media is to blame. Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt has ordered officials to discover the reasons why the number of girls being referred for ‘transitioning’ treatment has increased by 4,415 percent.

Boulder County Jail sees increase in inmates placed on suicide precaution

Jail records show that 454 inmates were placed on suicide precaution in 2008. The following year, the number dropped sharply to 333. The number, however, has continued to trend upward, breaking 400 in 2014, 500 in 2015 and 600 in 2016. Last year, the number reached 681.

Dr. Breggin’s powerful talk on drugs & spirituality 

On August 2, 2018, I addressed the International Association of Biblical Counselors at their annual conference in Denver Colorado. It was the second time in more than 20 years that I addressed the group. Those many years ago, I was working closely with minister Ed Bulkley to empower families to help their children without resort to psychiatric drugs and diagnoses, and I am doing so again.


News & Information for September 15, 2018

Suicide is a public health crisis

80 percent of the individuals who die by suicide are men. Each day in the United States, 123 people take their own lives. For each of those deaths, at least 25 more people attempt suicide. The statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention support Dr. Ahmad Hameed’s opinion that suicide has become a public health crisis.

Childhood trauma tied to greater social dysfunction in adults with major mental illness

Childhood trauma is tied to impaired social cognition in adults diagnosed with major psychiatric disorders, according to a new Irish study published in the journal European Psychiatry. ‘Social cognition’ is a psychology term related to how people process and apply information regarding other people and social interactions.

Prevalence of prescription medications with depression as a potential adverse effect among adults

Prescription medications are increasingly used among adults in the United States and many have a potential for causing depression. […] In this cross-sectional survey study, use of prescription medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect was common.


News & Information for September 14, 2018

GlaxoSmithKline, Walgreen accused of negligence for allegedly selling Paxil to pregnant women

A group of mothers are suing GlaxoSmithKline […] alleging the defendant companies failed to adequately warn of the alleged dangers of taking the drug paroxetine while pregnant. […] According to the complaint, between 1998 and 2005, the mother plaintiffs were prescribed and used branded paroxetine, sold under the brand name Paxil, during their pregnancies, allegedly resulting in birth defects.

Diagnosis and use of psychotherapy among children and adolescents prescribed antipsychotics

Researchers analyzed medical records from 1,127 children (aged 0 to 17 years) prescribed antipsychotics […] Outcomes suggest that roughly half of these patients did not go to psychotherapy; 39% of the patients did not have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, or autistic disorder.

Just a few days ago (below) I asked who can believe the explosion of antipsychotic drugging is due to an explosion of psychosis. Well there it is, 39% of children given these most harmful drugs didn’t even have a related diagnostic label slapped on them.

‘Robbed of precious time’: chemical restraints and aged care

Nearly two-thirds of aged care residents are prescribed psychotropic drugs regularly. […] The overuse of sedative medication as “chemical restraints” in aged care homes is not a new problem. In the past 20 years, there have been several government inquiries into an over-reliance on medication to manage the behaviour of residents. […] Royal Australian College of General Practicioners president, Bastian Seidel, said: “Medical sedation is a foul compromise for ­inadequate nursing care”.  


News & Information for September 13, 2018

Why bad moods are good for you: the surprising benefits of sadnes

Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings. In our culture, normal human emotions like temporary sadness are often treated as disorders. Manipulative advertising, marketing and self-help industries claim happiness should be ours for the asking. Yet bad moods remain an essential part of the normal range of moods we regularly experience.

This is how to raise emotionally intelligent kids: 5 secrets from research 

Most advice on parenting focuses on how to deal with misbehavior. While helpful, this is also akin to only offering advice on how to survive after a nuclear holocaust and not talking about how to prevent one. What’s the secret to making sure your living room doesn’t resemble a scene from “Mad Max: Fury Road”?

World sinks to 10-year happiness low: survey

 World happiness levels are at their lowest level in over a decade, with the number of people who say they feel stressed and worried rising, according to a survey published on Wednesday. […] “Collectively, the world is more stressed, worried, sad and in pain today than we’ve ever seen it,” the group’s managing editor, Mohamed Younis, wrote in a foreword to the study.

Church leaders and declining religious service attendance 

Church attendance has edged down in recent years. Gallup’s latest yearly update from its daily tracking survey shows that in 2017, 38% of adults said they attended religious services weekly or almost every week. When Gallup began asking this question in 2008, that figure was 42%.


News & Information for September 12, 2018

Happiness and religion

We use four ways of the European Social Survey, covering 2000 to 2008, to analyze the effect of religion on happiness. Our findings confirm that religious individuals are generally happier than non-religious ones.

Scientists discover a link between antidepressants and superbugs 

Superbugs are pretty much just as terrifying as they sound. Over time, these strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, making them incredibly hard to kill even with the most reliable, commonly used treatments. And according to new research, one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants could be contributing to the problem.

Millions of elderly Americans are hooked on Xanax

Millions of elderly Americans are becoming highly addicted to anti-anxiety medicines that treat depression, anxiety and sleep issues, a new study had warned. […] Of the close to 50 million US adults aged 65 or older, about nine percent are prescribed benzos such as Xanax and Valium – more than any other age group – and the rate of use only increases with age. 

See the video there of people reporting devastating effects of benzos, like causing panic attacks and agoraphobia for the first time. 

Before you or a loved one tries to quit psychiatric drugs, please read Dr Breggin’s, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.

Happiness hinges on personality, so initiatives to improve well-being need to be tailor-made

Psychologists have conducted hundreds of studies of the correlates of well-being. You might think well-being is determined by your circumstances — such as the size of your social circle or your pay cheque. These factors are important, but it turns out a far stronger role is played by your personality.


News & Information for September 11, 2018

A history of human guinea pigs 

Medical science has always had a lax relationship to consent – especially with the marginalized

Religion and depression: a review of the literature

People who are involved frequently in organized religion and who highly value their religious faith for intrinsic reasons are at substantially reduced risk of depressive disorder and depressive symptoms. They also appear to recover more quickly from depressive episodes and are less likely to become depressed over time.

Sharp rise in young people overdosing on painkillers and antidepressants

Soaring numbers of children, teenagers and young adults have been deliberately poisoning themselves with overdoses of drugs such as painkillers and antidepressants as a response to feelings of distress, according to a new study. […] The study also found a threefold to fourfold leap in people aged 10 to 25 being poisoned by antidepressants.

Antidepressants don’t work for people with dementia 

Dr. Robert Dudas from the University of Cambridge, in the U.K., told Reuters Health by email. “The findings are in line with our clinical experience, which is that antidepressants don’t always work well for patients who have dementia in addition to their depression.”

Antidepressants also don’t work for the rest of us


News & Information for September 10, 2018

Religious affiliation linked to nearly 4-year longevity boost

A new nationwide study of obituaries has found that people with religious affiliations lived nearly four years longer than those with no ties to religion. […] The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer.

Happiness and Religion

Modern happiness research makes it possible to empirically measure the impact of religion on subjective well-being. There is a positive correlation between religion and happiness, with a robust effect of churchgoing and Protestant confession.

Just one hug a day prevents the common cold

Back to school time means more exposure to viruses and bacteria that can make our families ill. Handwashing is an effective measure for reducing exposure; however, there is a simple method to boost your immune system:  Hugging! […] It is important to hug our children when they are young and continue as they age. Lack of physical contact when young inhibits the ability of hugs to increase oxytocin later in life. Studies involving Romanian orphans have found the “lasting impact” on the vagus nerve and underdeveloped oxytocin system from lack of touch.


News & Information for September 9, 2018

Study: 1 in 4 college students diagnosed with mental health condition

Researchers looked at survey results from 67,308 students across 108 American colleges and universities during the spring of 2015.  […] The results showed alarming rates of mental health issues and a significant risk for suicidal thoughts among all students, though minorities, whether racial, sexual, or gender, were especially prone.

Association between dementia and benzodiazepines: a systematic review and meta-analysis

The use of benzodiazepines and the development of dementia is controversial […] Our objective was to identify whether such an association exists. […] The results of the main meta-analysis suggest that benzodiazepines can be a risk factor for developing dementia.

Multiple psychiatric drugs may underlie the association between benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between benzodiazepine and related drug use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) […] Benzodiazepine and related drug use in general was associated with modestly increased risk of AD […] it is possible that the association may partially be due to antidepressants and/or antipsychotics, or concomitant use of these medications.


News & Information for September 8, 2018

Antipsychotic Drugs Market Set to Surge Significantly During 2016 – 2024

The global market for antipsychotic drugs is witnessing significant traction owing to the global rise in prevalence of psychotic disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, delusions, hallucinations, and very severe depression (called “psychotic depression”). Recent studies have stated that antipsychotics are one of the top-selling and most widely prescribed drugs for managing psychotic conditions in the United States. Although earlier prescribed only for such psychotic conditions, a vast variety of antipsychotics are also prescribed as a supplement to antidepressant medications and for routine complaints such as insomnia.

Who actually believes psychosis is surging significantly?! Nonsense! What is surging is the push to prescribe antipsychotics for ever more non-psychotic mental states and to treat the side effects of other psychoactive drugs like antidepressants.

Want to live longer? NIA study links intermittent fasting to longevity

Intermittent fasting is a diet cycling between regular periods of eating and fasting, and has been linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and aging. […] a new study by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) suggests that intermittent fasting could be the key to longevity. 

Dementia caused by benzodiazepines and other acetylcholine inhibitors

 The correlation between long-term treatment with anti-anxiety medication and sedatives from the benzodiazepine group such as diazepam (Valium) and the onset of Alzheimer’s is particularly striking […] Using diagnostic imaging techniques such as PET and MRI (fMRIT), she examined the brains of a total of 451 study participants […] Most of them had reduced brain volume and larger ventricles (cavities inside the brain). 


News & Information for September 7, 2018

Antidepressants may cause antibiotic resistance

A key ingredient in common antidepressants such as Prozac could be causing antibiotic resistance according to new University of Queensland research. A study led by Dr Jianhua Guo from UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre focused on fluoxetine, a prescription drug used to help people recover from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or eating disorders.

Gardening ‘can be better for your health than pills’ says Health Secretary who wants balance shifted from tablets to social activities

Doctors should prescribe more gardening, ballroom dancing and art rather than reaching for medication, the Health Secretary has said. Matt Hancock, appointed in July, said he wants the ‘balance shifted’ from pills to social activities to improve the nation’s health. Studies show taking part in anything from fishing to dance classes can improve a person’s physical and emotional health.

As Animal-Assisted Therapy Thrives, Enter the Cats

The use of animals for therapeutic purposes is flourishing. Dogs, miniature horses, cats, rabbits and even llamas are increasingly being used to help heal and elate the sick in hospitals, cancer clinics and other settings, even though research to support the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy is largely in its early stages.

How Technology Is Hacking Love — As Well As Our Happiness

The scientists found, curiously, that potential partners they had rated as less attractive or moderately attractive were far more likely to get increased ratings after a face-to-face meeting that were potential partners they had rated as attractive. So evaluating a potential partner solely on visual attractiveness is a poor predictor of what you will think of that person once you meet in real life.


News & Information for September 6, 2018

Former GSK cancer scientist admits attempt to steal trade secrets

A scientist who worked at GlaxoSmithKline’s R&D unit in Philadelphia has pleaded guilty to attempting to steal confidential research and funnel it to conspirators in China.

New study finds more people dying from self-injury than diabetes

A new study using information released by the Center for Disease Control indicates that more people are dying from self-injury than from Diabetes. Since 2000, there have been 30 percent more cases of suicide, and 80 percent more involving drug and alcohol abuse.

Adolescent Suicide and The Black Box Warning: STAT Gets It All Wrong

STAT has presented itself as a reliable publisher of health news, and it has a number of first-rate, experienced journalists who write for it. However, on August 29, it published an opinion piece on adolescent suicide and antidepressants that revealed, once again, how regularly the mainstream media publishes information about psychiatric treatments that is misleading and easily debunked. 

Listening wins again: Music therapy for dementia care

Listening to music appears to be more effective in reducing agitation, behavioral symptoms and anxiety for older adults with dementia than does singing or playing along with music, according to a study in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.


News & Information for September 5, 2018

Most nursing-home residents on antipsychotics began “treatment” in the facility 

Most residents initiated antipsychotic therapy in NHs [nursing homes], confirming that NH providers are appropriate primary target of interventions to reduce antipsychotic initiation in their residents. However, many antipsychotics were continued from other settings, indicating a need to evaluate the necessity of continued antipsychotic treatment after such transitions of care.

Most of the rest began antipsychotics in hospital prior to going to a nursing home. What are the odds that they all became psychotic after they became institutionalized? Certainly the institutions use the behavior-suppressing antipsychotics to control residents masquerading under the guise of “therapeutic treatment,” like psychiatric drugging generally. We live in a cradle to grave drug-controlled society.

The happiness habit: small actions to improve everyday wellbeing

From practicing gratitude to seeking the good in others, Mark Williamson from Action for Happiness suggests five habits for happiness

Dutch doctors fight pharma company’s 500-fold drug price rise

A group of Dutch doctors and health advocates are taking action against an Italian pharmaceutical company, which has pushed through a 500-fold price increase of a life-saving drug. 

Happiness is… The most popular class in Yale University’s history

A class titled Psychology and the Good Life at Yale University in the US is so popular that one in four undergraduate students have enrolled. […] Due to demand, the course is now being offered free to the public through


News & Information for September 4, 2018

How to improve your memory in less than 15 minutes

Can physical exercise improve cognition (e.g., learning and memory)? If so, when should one exercise: Before, during, or after a learning task? According to new research by Haynes and colleagues at the University of Mississippi, a short period of exercise prior to learning improves both short and long-term memory.

Preventing muscle loss among the elderly

“Sarcopenia can be considered for muscle what osteoporosis is to bone,” Dr. John E. Morley, geriatrician at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, wrote in the journal Family Practice. He pointed out that up to 13 percent of people in their 60s and as many as half of those in their 80s have sarcopenia.

Lawsuit in Niagara County takes aim at drug companies for addiction

A class action lawsuit in Niagara County is taking aim at more than a dozen drug companies, claiming the pharmaceutical giants are to blame for a 13-month-old’s medical complications. The child, identified in the suit as “Baby C.E.” was born addicted to opioids, having been born to an addicted mother, identified as “A.M.H.” […] The suit wants the drug companies to held financially liable for Baby C.E’s ongoing medical costs, among other things. 

Gardening for health and happiness

Research shows conclusively how good gardening is for us. […] Gardeners in their 60’s and 70’s have a 36% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, and the physical exercise helps prevent heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. […] A Netherlands study found that 30 minutes gardening relieved stress more effectively than 30 minutes reading and showed lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.



News & Information for September 3, 2018

The high rate of antidepressant use is driven in part by addiction and doctors need to inform patients about this

The findings are consistent with the idea that high rates [of antidepressant use] are largely explicable by chronic usage, which in turn is partially explained by withdrawal symptoms. Prescribers should strive to establish collaborative relationships in which patients are fully informed about withdrawal effects and their views, about starting and finishing medication, should be explored and valued. 

The addictive nature of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs has long been known and reported by Dr. Breggin. Anyone contemplating withdrawing from psychiatric drugs should first read his book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, a guide for prescribers, therapists, patients and their families.

Antidepressant prescribing to teens rises almost 15% in Scotland

New figures have revealed more teenagers across Tayside are being prescribed pills to help them deal with mental health issues. Statistics obtained using a freedom of information request showed the number of dispensed antidepressants in the 13-18 age group increased by almost 15% over the last three years.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Exercise linked to improved mental health, but more may not always be better

A study of 1.2 million people in the USA has found that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise. The study found that team sports, cycling, aerobics and going to the gym are associated with the biggest reductions.

Notice that the most effective types of exercise involved building human relationships. While antidepressants can’t outperform placebo, basic human connection consistently proves itself. Pills versus love, no contest! 


News & Information for September 2, 2018

“ADHD” label given to more and more children

One in ten children and adolescents in the U.S. had been diagnosed at some point with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to 2015-2016 data from a large federal survey.

Parental love reduces suicidal ideation for a lifetime

Regardless of whether or not they lived with two biological parents during childhood, individuals who perceived love from caregivers during childhood had significantly 42-43% lower odds of lifetime suicide ideation as compared with those who did not perceive love from caregivers. 

Parental Religiosity May Lower Risk for Suicidal Ideation in Offspring

Parental belief in religious importance was associated with lower risk for suicidal behavior in children, according to study data published in JAMA Psychiatry. […] This study suggests that parental spirituality may affect offspring mental health, particularly regarding suicidal behaviors. Such information may be useful to clinicians in assessing and treating patient risk factors for suicide ideation.

The study’s conclusion

In this study, parental belief in religious importance was associated with lower risk for suicidal behavior in offspring independent of an offspring’s own belief about religious importance and other known parental factors, such as parental depression, suicidal behavior, and divorce.


News & Information for September 1, 2018

Antidepressants cause serious adverse cardiovascular events

The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical manifestations and the age and sex distribution of cardiovascular adverse events (CVAEs) related to antidepressants […] The two most frequent CVAEs were “ventricular arrhythmias and cardiac arrest” and “rate and rhythm disorders” in the FAERS [database], while “hypotension”, and “oedema”, were found in the KAERS [database]. […] The serious AEs associated with antidepressants might have a significant impact on older patients.

7 Ways To Get Nature Therapy, Even If You Live In The City

And let’s get real: In our increasingly screen-driven, urban lives, we’re lucky if we even see a tree every day, let alone have the opportunity for a full-blown mindfulness experience in the “Great Outdoors.” Should we write off nature therapy as one of those “I wish” sort of practices?

Psychotropic prescriptions increased for adolescents, remained static among children and decreased overall during 2004 – 2014.

In the last 10 years, in toddlers there was a decrease in the prescription [of psychotropics]; in children there was no change; and in adolescents there was a slight increase. The prescription of antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers has decreased overall. 

Sleep: Essential to Intelligence, Health, and Happiness

Curious, imaginative, and anxious children can have a hard time getting the sleep they need. So can kids who are experiencing change, stress, or disruption. For all children, and for these children especially, their intelligence, health, and happiness depend on their getting enough sleep.


News & Information for August 31, 2018

Polypharmacy Therapy for Schizophrenia Increases Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Patients with schizophrenia who take a combination of 3 or more different psychotropic medications have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in BMC Psychiatry.

The Dark Side of Facebook: How to Spot Dangerous “Friends”

You meet a charming new acquaintance at a social event hosted by a mutual acquaintance. The next morning, you receive her Facebook friend request.  Recalling the enjoyable conversation from the night before, you quickly hit “accept” without giving it much thought. She seemed nice enough.

Prozac induces fat-metabolism abnormalities by disrupting liver function

Antidepressive therapy with FLX [Fluoxetine, aka, Prozac] is associated with lipid metabolism abnormalities, which are in part mediated by disturbances in hepatic lipid metabolism homeostasis. The findings contribute to the uncovering of metabolic adverse reactions in the pharmacological therapy of depression.

Comment: In light of that study, notice studies below reporting antidepressants cause weight gain. The likely truth of those results is strengthened by this result pointing to a causal mechanism of lipid-metabolism impairment. See Dr. Breggin’s book, Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry for an overview of the psychiatric medications and their risks. 


News & Information for August 30, 2018

How Unsecured, Obsolete Medical Record Systems and Medical Devices Put Patient Lives at Risk

A team of physicians and computer scientists at the University of California has shown that it is easy to modify medical test results remotely by attacking the connection between hospital laboratory devices and medical record systems.

Try This Military Meditation Routine to Fall Asleep Fast

Need to fall asleep fast? One mid-century relaxation technique, developed in the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School, supposedly works within minutes. It may not be magic, but it seems like a pretty good way to relax your body and mind.

Consumer Reports finds banned drugs in U.S. meat supply 

Ketamine, a hallucinogenic party drug and experimental antidepressant. Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory deemed too risky for human use. Chloramphenicol, a powerful antibiotic linked to potentially deadly anemia. All these drugs are prohibited in beef, poultry, and pork consumed in the U.S. Yet government data obtained by Consumer Reports suggest that trace amounts of these and other banned or severely restricted drugs may appear in the U.S. meat supply more often than was previously known.

Study: Antidepressants may be promoting the global obesity epidemic

Initiation of antidepressant drugs shows a strong temporal association with weight gain, which is greatest during the second and third years of treatment. […] These associations are consistent across a wide range of clinical, social, and demographic characteristics. The increasingly widespread use of antidepressants is of concern in the context of the increasing prevalence of obesity.


News & Information for August 29, 2018

Six facts about deadly prescription medications

While prescription opioids, such as oxycodone and codeine, are to blame for most accidental drug deaths, the number of people overdosing on benzodiazepines has risen dramatically. […] Benzodiazepine-related deaths have soared from 200 a year to more than 600 since 2013.

5 easy ways you can boost your energy levels

Feeling more tired is a natural effect of aging – except when it isn’t. A number of factors can contribute to lowered energy, from diet and exercise to illnesses or medication. […] Medications for pain or nausea and antidepressants and antihistamines can also cause tiredness. 

Medicalizing Society, psychiatry is a top-down tool of social control 

Psychiatry explicitly offered its industrial patrons tools for controlling labor. Only a few weeks after Black Tuesday in 1929, Yale opened its Institute for Human Relations funded by a $7.5 million grant (equivalent to $105 million today) from the Rockefeller Foundation. The goal of the institute was, by its own description, “to carry on research upon the basic problems of human nature and the social order,” splicing economics, anthropology, and sociology into a unified field of “human relations” affiliated under the capstone of psychiatry.

On the science of happiness and the benefits of positive psychology

These studies are proof, said Johns Hopkins psychologist Justin Halberda, that positive psychology can help us become happier, healthier, and closer to our ideal selves.


News & Information for August 28, 2018

Jacksonville gaming tournament shooter had been hospitalized for mental illness, documents show

The gunman who opened fire on a “Madden NFL 19” tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday was hospitalized previously for mental illness […] as a teenager he was hospitalized twice in psychiatric facilities and was prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications.

The right way to take away the car keys

It’s a difficult conversation many families today face. The number of Americans age 65 and older has grown from 35 million in 2000 to 49.2 million in 2016, according to the United States Census Bureau. These seniors are living longer than generations before and this means more older drivers on the road — many of whom will need to stop driving at some point.

7 Mental Health Changes To Look Out For As Your Mom Ages

No one can be in control of another’s mental health. But, with aging parents comes an increased responsibility to look out for the needs of the people who raised you. Aging and mental illness sometimes go hand-in-hand, so, as your mom or any other loved one gets older, you can give back by keeping an eye out to make sure they’re as healthy as possible.

Commonly used drugs are rarely studied in primary care patients

The finding suggests primary care patients are being treated with drugs that have not been tested in settings where they are being seen, precluding the possibility that equally effective, less dangerous drugs are not being used. […] “When a patient is at the point of seeing a specialist, their condition is usually much more severe than what a primary care physician would typically see.” 


News & Information for August 27, 2018

Polypharmacy — taking multiple drugs at once — increases risk to children

about one in five children regularly use prescription medications. […] the findings not only provide valuable insight on how many young people in the U.S. regularly use prescription medication, but more importantly show that polypharmacy — the use of multiple medications simultaneously — is also common and comes with a potential risk.

Bulgaria’s mentally ill battle for dignity

Of the 12 public hospitals treating people with psychiatric disorders, 11 are in remote locations like Kurilo, in a legacy of the communist era when patients were hidden away lest they mar the image of a socialist paradise portrayed in official propaganda. […] Inside, the conditions are dire, with two toilets for every 20 patients, …

Association of Maternal Insecticide Levels With Autism 

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with a largely unknown etiology. To date, few studies have investigated prenatal exposure to toxins and risk of autism by using maternal biomarkers of exposure. […] These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring.


News & Information for August 26, 2018

Suicides Are Increasing – And So Are Antidepressant Prescriptions

 There has been a lack of research updates on the trend of increases in suicide rates as prescriptions of antidepressants have risen. 

How exercise affects your brain and could help ease stress and depression

In fact, a British neuroscientist says if GPs could prescribe exercise, we might be able to halt the mental health crisis. Ben Martynoga, of the National Institute for Medical Research in London (UK), says: “If we could put exercise into a pill, that would solve a lot of problems.”

Teen Xanax abuse is surging

This school year, addiction specialists say they’re expecting an onslaught of teens addicted to Xanax and other sedatives in a class of anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos.” Many teens view Xanax as a safer and more plentiful alternative to prescription opioids and heroin —with similar euphoric effects.


News & Information for August 25, 2018

Want to Feel Happy? The Simple Way to Improve Your Mood

For many people, happiness remains one of life’s elusive pursuits. Yet according to research, improving your mood is easier than you think. 

The Shock Treatment Without Consent

Electroconvulsive therapy remains a popular but controversial treatment, especially for older women and a growing number of patients receiving it without consent under BC’s outdated Mental Health Act.

How to instill happiness in kids

In a time when kids seem happiest when they’re connected online, parents can find other ways to instill happiness. […] Undivided attention is an effective and sincere way to help a child generate their own sense of happiness […] This could be a simple 15 minutes to have a conversation, set the table together, read a book, etc.

Publication Bias Inflates Perceived Efficacy of Depression Treatments, Study Finds

A recent study, published open-access in Psychological Medicine by a team of researchers out of the Netherlands and the UK, analyzes the cumulative impact that publication biases have on the apparent efficacy of antidepressants and psychotherapy for the treatment of depression. 


News & Information for August 24, 2018

Lawsuit: Did ADHD Treatment Lead To A Maui Boy’s Suicide?

There is no definitive test to prove whether a fidgety boy or an inattentive girl has ADHD. Muddying the line between a child with ADHD and one who chronically misbehaves or has some other syndrome is the fact that the diagnosis is inherently subjective.

An 80-Year Harvard Study Says This 1 thing Will Make You Happier and Healthier

Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist and is currently directing the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the most comprehensive studies of emotional well-being in history. […] “When we gathered together everything we knew about [these participants] at age 50, it wasn’t their middle-age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old […] It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”

Alcohol: One drink a day is one too many, scientists say

A study of drinking around the world warns that even an occasional glass of wine can increase your chances of disease and an early death. Scientists say there’s no such thing as a “safe level” of alcohol consumption.

Early treatment with talk therapy or antidepressants in severely bereaved people

We aimed to study the effect of early treatment in primary care with talk therapy (TT) or antidepressants (AD) in severely bereaved people. […] TT was associated with a lower risk of a serious mental health condition […], whereas the results were inconclusive for AD.


News & Information for August 23, 2018

Missouri judge affirms $4.69 billion talc verdict, Johnson & Johnson vows to appeal

(Reuters) – A Missouri trial court judge has affirmed the massive $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a case involving 22 women and their families who alleged the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Resistance Matters: The Activism of Don Weitz

By building communities based on freedom and the acceptance of difference, all of us can help end psychiatry’s reign of terror. It’s time to de-stigmatize and reclaim our selves. It’s time to assert our credibility. It’s time to celebrate and be proud of our victories and our power.

Dozens of children abused at former psychiatric hospital

More than 100 people who were child patients at Aston Hall, Derbyshire, in the 1960s and 1970s claim Dr Kenneth Milner gave them drugs which left them in a zombie-like state and unable to move.

Frequent Home Moves May Increase a Child’s Risk of Psychosis

Children whose families move homes frequently may be at increased risk for serious psychiatric illness. Researchers followed 1,440,383 children from birth to age 29, including data on residential moves. They found 4,537 cases of psychosis, symptoms of which can include hallucinations and delusions.

Mom’s Depression May Negatively Impact Child’s Overall Health

Depression among mothers seemed to negatively affect their children on several levels, researchers in Israel reported.


News & Information for August 22, 2018

Antidepressants Are Risky and Ineffective — So Why Are We Prescribing Them to Children? 

So it’s common sense: the right treatment for staring at a screen too much isn’t a pill that increases the risk of suicide, it’s to get some exercise, preferably with friends.

JAMA Study: Antipsychotics Increase Risk of Obesity and Premature Death in Youths

Adverse changes in adiposity [obesity] and insulin sensitivity were observed during 12 weeks of antipsychotic treatment in youths, with the greatest fat increases on olanzapine. Such changes, likely attributable to treatment, may be associated with risk for premature cardiometabolic morbidity and mortality. The results inform risk-benefit considerations for antipsychotic use in youths.

7 Ways to Grow a Love That Lasts

A major factor in love cut short is the belief that love is a magic thing that just happens (or doesn’t) and requires little, if any, maintenance. The fact is, whether the relationship is romantic or a long-time loving friendship, it requires a good amount of tender loving care through the years. 

Another way to grow a love-filled life is reading Dr. Breggin’s book, Guilt Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Your Negative Emotions

Margaret Sanger’s Racist Eugenics. Confirmed. 

Speaking at the world fellowship of faiths, Mrs. Sanger asserted billions were spent annually “in the bottomless pit of so-called charities to keep alive the delinquent, the defective, the dangerous classes that—in all compassion—should never have been brought into the world.”


News & Information for August 21, 2018

Survey reveals that 61 per cent of aged care residents are being given psychiatric drugs every day

The University of Tasmania survey of more than 11,000 residents in 150 audited homes found two-thirds were taking tranquillizers, anti-psychotics or anti-depressants – despite research showing that they have limited benefits for residents and are linked to serious health risks including strokes, falls and seizures.

Brief psychosis induced by Ritalin in a child

We present the case of a nine-year-old child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, who exhibited visual and auditory hallucinations and delirious ideas about harm during methylphenidate [Ritalin] treatment. The patient’’s symptoms regressed after drug removal. 

Mothers on antidepressants do pass the drugs to their infants by breastfeeding 

Findings suggest that breastfeeding under antidepressant treatment constantly exposes children with measurable drug concentrations. 

Love at first sight IS real: Study finds we register beauty in less than a second

Love at first sight is real – and it triggers a rush of pleasure akin to the euphoria triggered by sugar, psychologists have found.


News & Information for August 20, 2018

Are Your Medications Making Your Life Worse?

Polypharmacy—taking a combination of medications that does more harm than good—is a national epidemic, and it’s getting worse. The truth is, our medical system is a lot better at prescribing medications than at stopping ones that are no longer needed—deprescribing

Is there a friendship crisis? 

People with strong friendships survive 7.5 years longer than those with weak or few social ties, according to a Brigham Young University report that covered 148 previous studies, which included more than 300,000 participants. Friendship, it concluded, extends life.

Suicide In The Age of Prozac

The Prozac era, once heralded as a great scientific advance, has turned into a bust in so many ways. Mood disorders today exact much more of a toll on our society than they did in 1987, with soaring disability numbers due to mood disorders one example of that toll. The rising suicide numbers are more evidence, tragic in kind, of the failure of that vaunted “revolution” in psychiatric drugs.


News & Information for August 19, 2018

AstraZeneca to pay $110 million to Texas for defrauding Medicaid and illegally marketing drugs

After years of litigation, AstraZeneca (AZN) agreed to pay $110 million to settle allegations of illegally marketing two best-selling drugs and, subsequently, causing the Texas Medicaid program to overpay for the medicines.

Exposure to Antidepressants in Utero May Affect Childhood Motor Development

There may be a slightly increased risk for poorer motor development in children whose mothers are exposed to antidepressant medications during pregnancy, according to research published in Pediatrics.


News & Information for August 18, 2018

Call to Monitor Adverse Effects of Antipsychotics in Youth

…the researchers monitored the metabolic effects of antipsychotics (aripiprazole, olanzapine, and risperidone) in a group of nonpsychotic youth diagnosed with behavioral disorders. The results showed adverse metabolic effects across the 12 weeks with the most significant effects found for the antipsychotic olanzapine. The researchers associated these adverse effects on premature cardiometabolic morbidity and mortality.

Study: Newer Antipsychotics Are Not Safer 

A recent review of tardive dyskinesia (TD) epidemiology found that the incidence of this often-intractable condition is similar between first- and second-generation antipsychotic drugs (APDs), despite the newer agents having been termed “atypical” for fewer extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) and presumably less liable for TD than older neuroleptics.

The study is @, notice that only drug-company backed studies reported that newer antipsychotics were safer…

In contrast to industry studies using haloperidol, there were no significant differences among groups in the CATIE trial receiving perphenazine or four SGAs [second generation antipsychotics] in the incidence of TD defined by scores of two or more on the AIMS global severity score


News & Information for August 17, 2018

Antidepressant Mimics Opioid Effects After Withdrawal, CDC Report Says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said tianeptine, an antidepressant, has caused a variety of effects including neurological, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal symptoms, and even death. Tianeptine, also labeled as Coaxil or Stablon, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is used as an antidepressant in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

More than 70 Overdoes on Synthetic Marijuana in Park 

As many as 76 people overdosed on what’s believed to have been synthetic marijuana at or near a Connecticut city park as fellow parkgoers watched in horror.

Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup?

Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG.


News & Information for August 16, 2018


Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017

Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths.

Early Weight Gain on Antidepressants Predicts Later Weight Gain

People taking antidepressants who gain weight a month after starting treatment are more likely to put on even more extra pounds as they continue to take the medication.

Study finds Australian Nursing Homes Use Psy-Drugs to Control Residents, Called ‘Horrifying’ 

Branding the survey findings “horrifying”, RACGP’s president, Bastian Seidel, said: “Medical sedation is a foul compromise for ­inadequate nursing care. People think they’re in a safe place in residential care and everything (will) be fine, but the reality is what’s being reflected in this research.”


News & Information for August 15, 2018

5 Doctors Are Charged With Taking Kickbacks for Fentanyl Prescriptions

“These prominent doctors swore a solemn oath to place their patients’ care above all else,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Instead, they engaged in a malignant scheme to prescribe fentanyl, a dangerous and potentially fatal narcotic 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, in exchange for bribes in the form of speaker fees.”

Lax state ethics rules leave health agencies vulnerable to conflicts

POLITICO identified health officials in California and Minnesota with investments related to industries they help regulate, or for which they set policies. But because many states have such loose rules, it’s impossible to know whether such conflicts are more widespread.


News & Information for August 14, 2018

Four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants

Data obtained by the Guardian shows that one in six people in England were prescribed antidepressants in 2017. […] The figures also show the number of such “new” users of antidepressants is falling. Month-by-month figures show an overall decline from just over 179,000 “new” starters in April 2016 to just over 132,000 in March 2018.

When Bragging on Social Media Can Be a Good Thing

In a nutshell, the key to boasting effectively is this: Provide useful information in the boast. Boast about a topic that is close to your self-identity. Make a claim that is specific and narrow, and signal your competence in the domain that matters.


News & Information for August 13, 2018

Antidepressants and Bleeding Risk: What’s the Link?

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) appear to increase the risk of bleeding, especially in patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to a review published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The study: Clinical Management of Bleeding Risk With Antidepressants.

Clinicians must be aware of the risk of bleeding with SRI use, especially for patients taking NSAIDs. Patient education is prudent for those prescribed NSAIDs and SRIs concurrently

SRIs in that study include: fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), clomipramine (Anafranil) and others.


News & Information for August 12, 2018

Love – what is it good for? A lot, says evolutionary psychology

“Although we do not have a videotape of our ancestors, abundant evidence tells us that the capacity for love is a human universal,” says Buss. “Love evolved over many eons in the context of long-term mating. To paraphrase a popular song from many years ago, ‘Without love, where would we be now?’ ”

Buss is one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology and believes all our emotions and behaviors can be explained in the context of evolution.

Compassionate Love Buffers Stress-Reactive Mothers From Fight-or-Flight Parenting

This study examined whether mothers’ compassionate love for their children supported positive parenting and buffered against adverse parenting under stress. […] In summary, our findings suggest that fostering compassionate love may help mothers, and particularly those who experience strong physiological arousal during difficult parenting situations, to establish positive socialization contexts for their children.


News & Information for the August 8, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

BBC: Antidepressant prescriptions for children on the rise

“The number of antidepressants prescribed to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has risen over the past three years, figures obtained by BBC’s File on 4 reveal.”

Male birds sing less to females on antidepressants from eating worms in sewage

“Female starlings who have ingested dilute concentrations of antidepressants while feeding on worms, maggots and flies at sewage treatment plants appear to be less attractive to the opposite sex.”

Antidepressants in municipal-waste water also harms fish, see Antidepressant Drugs Scientific Resources, Section 3(c) Animal Studies.

AP Exclusive: Washington psychiatric hospital called ‘hell’

“Behind tall brick walls and secure windows, hundreds of patients at Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital live in conditions that fail U.S. health and safety standards, while overworked nurses and psychiatrists say they are navigating a system that punishes employees who speak out despite critical staffing shortages.”

Depression and antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of VTE

“In the first review of its kind, new research has found that depression and the use of antidepressants are each associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).”



News & Information for the July 11, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

Suicide Deaths Climb Dramatically in U.S., Nearly Double for Women

“Suicide rates in the United States have risen 30 percent over the past decade and a half, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

As ECT Marks 80th Birthday, Experts Reflect on Its Future

“It has been 80 years since electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was first used on a human patient. A group of ECT researchers and practitioners marked the anniversary during a session at APA’s 2018 Annual Meeting in May, where they reflected on the past, present, and future of the first member of the neuromodulation family.”

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Builds Strong Case for Third-Line Use of ECT

“Clinicians may want to consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients who have failed to respond to two trials of pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy, according to the authors of a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry on May 9.”



News & Information for the June 27, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers

“The suicide rate in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people—more than five times that of the population as a whole. That’s even as the nation overall has seen an increase in suicide rates over the last 30 years.”

According to the CDC: “Previous research suggests that farmers’ chronic exposure to pesticides might affect the neurologic system and contribute to depressive symptoms.”

Cipriani (2018) study repeats false claims for antidepressants

But many experts refute Cipriani…

50% of subjects in long-term Ritalin study drop out

“Of the 112 participants assessed, 57 (51%) were still on treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) at follow-up and 55 (49%) had discontinued. The 3 leading reasons for discontinuing treatment with MPH were lack of effect (29%), elevated mood or hypomania (11%), and losing contact with the prescribing physician (9%). The most common adverse effects in subjects still on treatment with MPH were decreased appetite (28%), dry mouth (24%), anxiousness/restlessness and increased pulse frequency (19% each), decreased sexual desire (17%), and perspiration (15%).”

FDA and researchers monitor social media for adverse reactions and compliance

“Named entity recognition combined with signal detection and topic modeling have demonstrated their complementarity in mining social media data. An in-depth analysis focused on methylphenidate showed that this approach was able to detect potential signals and to provide better understanding of patients’ behaviors regarding drugs, including misuse.”

National Advocacy Organization Condemns Forced Drugging of Immigrant Children.

“‘We who have psychiatric labels, many of whom have experienced trauma at the hands of the psychiatric establishment, are horrified by the forcible drugging of immigrant children in U.S. custody with powerful and toxic psychiatric medications,’ said NCMHR board president Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. An article in Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting cites affidavits filed April 23 in U.S. District Court in California.” (These abusive practices of drugging children began years ago under earlier administrations.)

Psychiatric hospital loses certification and federal dollars

“Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital has lost its federal certification and $53 million in annual federal funds after a recent unannounced inspection discovered a list of health and safety violations.”



News & Information for the June 13, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

  High Rate of Burnout Among Psychiatrists (May 25, 2018)

“To date, we have had nearly 1,500 participants take the survey. And what have we learned about our members? We have learned that well over half of us [psychiatrists] show signs of burnout as measured by this tool.” 

  Suicide Rates Escalating Across America (June 7, 2018)

“Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state […] In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.”

  Antidepressant Use Linked to Weight Gain Even Years Later (May 31, 2018)

“Researchers at King’s College London found that all twelve of the leading antidepressants […] increased risk for weight gain for up to six years after starting treatment.”

  Patient referrals temporarily halted at Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry (May 28, 2018)

“She was healing from a broken wrist during the spring of 2013 when she fell into a manic episode of bipolar disorder. […] she was transferred to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, a private, for-profit facility.     Dye said she was restrained on a bed, put into an “adult high chair,” denied food and water, and overmedicated. In the process, her wrist was re-broken — setting the stage for four additional surgeries — and she developed a large bruise and a dangerous blood clot before finally being taken by ambulance to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.”