Antipsychotic Drug Is A Misnomer

I have been using the language of the oppressor too often for convenience and communications sake, and now I have to publish a retraction of sorts.

I’m not going to refer to neuroleptic drugs as medicine because there is nothing medicinal about these drugs. Not only are these drugs not medicine, but antipsychotic is not an adjective that describes these pills at all. Not only do these drugs not cure schizophrenia, but these drugs have been credited with impeding the actual process of recovery from any psychosis that a person may have developed.

Neuroleptic is the older term. Neuroleptic comes from the Greek, and means ‘take control of’ and specifically ‘the nervous system’. These drugs then take control away from the person who takes them. When it comes to the newer atypical neuroleptic drugs, this lapse in personal self-control translates into those metabolic changes—resulting in obesity, heart disease, etc.—that have contributed to the average age at death for mental health consumers being 25 years younger than that for the rest of the population.

Let’s look at what these drugs do. Neuroleptic drugs block receptors of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Doing so, these drugs impair the functions of the brain. The functions of the brain that these drugs impair are:

1. Motor function—the drugs make people uncoordinated, and the drugs make their bodies shake.
2. Emotional function—the drugs mute or blunt the emotions, numb the patient, and bring about what is described as a lack of affect.
3. Cognitive function—the drugs make people stupid, disrupting the higher thought processes that separate humankind from beasts.

Although the doctors say they are trying to target the emotions with these drugs, the drugs themselves are not so discriminate.

Much research has accumulated over the past few years to indicate that these drugs change brain structure. Long term use of neuroleptic drugs has been found to shrink the frontal lobes, that area of the brain that makes us human, and to enlarge the basal ganglia, an area of the brain thought to have much to do with psychosis. Animal studies reveal that much of the damage found in autopsies and MRI scans, and often attributed to mental illness, is in all probability a result of these drugs being given to treat the disease.

Mental health consumers and the general public are being deceived when they are not told about these matters. No consent is informed consent if it is consent given without perusal of all the facts. People as a rule are not informed when it comes to the damage done by these neuroleptic drugs. You are not likely to find the truth about these drugs in pharmaceutical company advertising literature, but you can get some idea that things are a little off kilter just by reading the fine print on the so called side effects. The list of things that can wrong with these drugs, even the companies selling them admit, goes on and on.

Studies have found these drugs to be effective as anti-schizophrenic drugs only in the short term. Long term use of these drugs is always detrimental. These drugs have addictive qualities, and to quit cold turkey could lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, including rebound psychosis. The longer an individual has been maintained on neuroleptic drugs, the less promising that individual’s chances become to ever make a complete recovery. Given the facts, there is very little about neuroleptic drugs that can be said to be at all antipsychotic.