Paper would make ‘anorexia’ biological in origin

Call it the medicalization of everything. According to Fox News, Anorexia Might Be a Disease Like Diabetes, Scientists Say.

Anorexia may be a disorder more of the metabolism than the mind, according to a new paper that argues the disease is a sort of cousin of diabetes.

We’ve managed to take self-control out of the equation so often now that one has to wonder who’s at the wheel (e.g. god, nature, or the designated chosen one)? The feeling used to be that anorexia had something to do with body image. Body image is a matter of thought and perception. Metabolism presumes that there can be no conscious control of the matter. Freedom and responsibility just flew out the window.

Obesity, the result of over eating, is a common cause of diabetes. I think it fair to say that obesity is a cousin of diabetes. Over eating changes the metabolism of the human body and one of the outcomes of this change is diabetes. Had a person practiced a little restraint when it came to his or her appetites rather than becoming grossly obese, a person would also have warded off the development of diabetes.

The review of past research on the topic, published in the June issue of the Journal Molecular Psychiatry, finds that certain genetic and cellular processes get activated during starvation in organisms ranging from yeast to fruit flies to mice to humans. The idea, said study researcher Donald Dwyer, is that in people with a broken starvation response, a few initial rounds of dieting could trigger a metabolism gone haywire.

Wait a minute…”genetic and cellular processes”, you say? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Any metabolic change you get here wasn’t the result of dad humping mom, was it? It was the result of suppressing natural appetites.

I still think, given the evidence, over eating is much more closely related to diabetes than under eating. The issue is does the word ‘metabolism’ excuse the human organism from the exercise of responsible self-control. I don’t think it does.

Where is this investigation leading?

If Dwyer is right, difficult-to-treat anorexic patients may need drugs to get their metabolisms back on track, much as diabetes patients have to take insulin shots. But so far, the idea has not been tested in humans.

This Donald Dwyer guy wants to bank in on a future pharmaceutical product, and he’s using a standard excuse that is being used over and over again by biological minded members of the psychiatric profession. This “disease” can only be “maintained” by taking this or that drug permanently, just like insulin for diabetes, even if this “disease” is a “disease” only by a far stretch of the imagination. This goes directly to my next point, the pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Look! What we’ve got here is a money-making scheme, pure and simple. Use your head, and be wary of any bogus speculative “research” of this sort.

‘Behavioral Addiction’ Weasels Its Way Into The DSM

The flood gates have been opened for listing ‘behavioral addictions’ among the hundreds of “mental disorders” in the upcoming revision of the DSM. Last I heard, of ‘behavioral addictions’, gambling addiction was slated for inclusion in the body of the DSM-V while hypersexuality (sexual addiction) and ‘internet addiction’ may make the appendixes.

We know gambling destroys lives. Calling it an addiction though is a sleight of hand if not a stretch of the imagination. The biggest casino in this country is called Wall Street. The owners of this casino made a killing recently known as the great recession and housing crisis of the early 2000s. I don’t think most of the gamblers who lost out in that crisis are ever going to receive proper “treatment”.

Just think–if psychiatrists had discovered behavioral addictions in the 1950s, maybe they could have nipped that evil rock and roll in the bud by calling it an addiction.

Television might have made a good addiction, too, if the lineup wasn’t so bad that the internet wins by default. The wasteland that commercial television has become makes television viewing too painful for any serious addictions to develop.

There are other possibilities, just think, foosball addiction, lollipop addiction, what have you addiction, pie in the sky addiction, telephone addiction, gizmo addiction, cupie doll addiction, etc. The unlimited nature of the range of possible future ‘addictions’ can be staggering to behold! You have to wonder why they are thinking of calling obesity a disease when you’ve got the ever handy ‘food addiction’.

The most ridiculous of these recently established addictions, ‘internet addiction’, recently made it’s way into the Calgary Herald with the headline asking, How many teens have ‘Internet addiction?’

‘Internet addiction’ is pretty prevalent it seems…

One in every 25 teens had “problematic Internet use” in a new study of high school students from Connecticut.

Unfortunately, nobody is suggesting we outlaw internet use among minors. They’d never get through school if we did that, now would they?

Apparently we have another kiddy disease like Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder and, once upon a time, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I say ‘once upon a time’ because the drug companies are expanding their markets to include the adult market for drugs (i.e. speed) used in the treatment of ADHD. ADHD has finally come of age in the form of its “adult” variant.

Students who were problematic Internet users according to the survey also tended to be more depressed and would get into serious fights more often. And boys in that category had higher rates of smoking and drug use.

Bad obsessive internet user children versus good more moderate internet user children. It goes with the flask in the pocket I guess. One thing, heavy internet users didn’t do any worse on school work, and so their internet use must be paying off.

“When you start using (the computer) 30 hours a week, it becomes a container for emotion,” he [Oregon psychiatrist Dr. Jerald Block] said. “It occupies time. The computer itself becomes a significant other, becomes a relationship.”

The problem with too much time on the internet is that often that seems to mean that something vital must be missing. Surely you’ve heard the expression, “Get a life!” There’s a reason why that expression isn’t, “Get a virtual life!” Be careful though, you wouldn’t want to develop hypersexuality while you’re at it, would you?

Alright, maybe you would.

Let me go on to say that these behavioral addictions are not a total loss. I envision a day when Psychiatric Treatment Addiction will be included in the DSM. Once that day arrives, maybe we will have found an answer to the current “mental illness” craze that is sweeping this nation and swamping its responsible citizenry. Rather than encouraging people to seek treatment, maybe we should be encouraging those that are in treatment to seek treatment for their treatment addiction. There’s all too much of that treatment addiction, in my humble opinion, in the world today.

The Drugging Of Juveniles in the Justice System in Florida Investigated

The Palm Beach Post has conducted an investigation on the drugging of juveniles in the juvenile justice system. It seems that Medicaid fraud, or so called “off label” prescribing practices (i.e. prescribing drugs for purposes other than those approved by the FDA), is rampant in the state of Florida. As explained in the first of a two part series for that newspaper, Huge doses of potent antipsychotics flow into state jails for troubled kids.

Reacting to the newspaper’s findings, the head of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice ordered a sweeping review of the department’s use of antipsychotic medications. As it stands now, DJJ doesn’t track prescriptions and has no way of telling whether doctors are putting kids on pills simply to make them easier to control.

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice seems to be overdoing the chemical control bit. The idea that there is more serious mental illness in our juvenile justice facilities than fever is absolutely ludicrous.

In 2007, for example, DJJ bought more than twice as much Seroquel as ibuprofen. Overall, in 24 months, the department bought 326,081 tablets of Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal and other antipsychotic drugs for use in state-operated jails and homes for children.

That’s enough to hand out 446 pills a day, seven days a week, for two years in a row, to kids in jails and programs that can hold no more than 2,300 boys and girls on a given day.

The second article in this two part series deals with conflict of interest, and the kickbacks doctors who prescribe to juveniles in criminal detention often receive from drug companies.

In all, 52 psychiatrists who have worked for DJJ combined to bill Medicaid for at least 175,247 prescriptions for psychiatric medications in 21 months, a span that ended in March 2009. The doctors who took payments, a group that numbered 17, accounted for more than half of all those prescriptions, records show.

Florida is not one of those states requiring drug companies to disclose the amount of money they give to doctors. Enacting such legislation could help safeguard the health of kids in the juvenile justice system. The reach of such legislation, in fact, would extend well beyond the juvenile justice system alone. It would also help protect children in foster care, people in the mental health system, and seniors in nursing homes.

May Is Out And Out Bullshit Month

May isn’t Mental Health Month, judging from the literature, May is actually Out And Out Bullshit Month. Here’s where the obediently compliant mental health consumer, who has had his or her backbone extracted, comes out and talks about the wonders of treatment. It’s the wonders of treatment versus “disease”. The treatment is pharmaceutical. The disease is a “broken brain”. This brain is broken by genetics. This is biological psychiatry which explains itself in the most un-biological of terms, the circuitry in this or that brain isn’t working the way it should work. Psychiatric drugs, it’s supposed, allow these individuals afflicted with “broken brains” to manage in society. They…”fix it”.

I’ve read about a movie featuring 3 of what are described as people with schizophrenia paid for by a pharmaceutical company. Now when a pharmaceutical company makes a movie, it’s going to feature relatively treatment compliant people. Despite any disclaimers, and there are those, too, we’ve got a blatant instance of conflict of interest going on here. I would not think that the directors of this movie had a small pool of potential people to draw their 3 “winners” from. By “winner”, in this instance, we mean brown nose, or kiss ass. There are many more persons who are not being showcased as blue ribbon mental cases. You will probably be crossing paths with a few of them every now and then.

There is also the matter of the ex-politician member of one of America’s leading families who is doing his part to promote this sort of invalidism. This man recently stated that he empathized with the Tuscon shooter whom he felt was in need of treatment. I think you could say the same thing for the recently “treated” Osama bin Laden. This ex-politician is busy promoting brain research for the sake of a better understanding of non-existent and future “brain diseases”. He himself was given a “bipolar” label early on, but he says this label was recently switched for another label. He is chiefly known for his substance abuse issues that got him into hot water with the police and his constituency. The “mental illness” excuse for scrapping self-control, moral integrity, and responsibility is not an excuse which I choose to honor.

If you want the truth about so called “mental illness” you will have to wait until Mad Pride is celebrated in July. Bullshit is bullshit, but Mad Pride celebrants, at least, are honest about it. The maddest people in the world are those purporting to be most sane. These are the presumed reasonable people who run our countries, ruin our economies, and get us into wars. When you lock up a man or woman thought to be mad, in most cases, you’re locking up the wrong person. These people don’t have power, means, money, or position. They aren’t going to lead our nations down a path that leads to nothing but death and destruction. In fact, they are much less likely to do so than the powers that be. The value of life still cries out to be affirmed, and the victim of your mental health/illness system is not the one who is doing everything in his or her power to diminish that value.

Fixating on “mental illness” is just another way of avoiding insight into the damage wreaked by just such a fixation. The “mental illness” label is another term for lack of power, privilege, and means. “Mental illness”is an expression that means “bad luck”, lack of good circumstances, or “absence of opportunity”. Power disparities, and the situation of the human scapegoat, are not determined by biology, and there is no need to pretend that this is the case. You change the circumstances a person lives and works under, and you’ve changed everything. This is a matter of taking people who have been maneuvered onto a failure track, and redirecting them back onto a success track. When this realization is reached, “medication management” and “stigma reduction” ceases to be the aim and end all of mental health treatment. Full and complete mental health recovery again becomes the objective, and the result, of such treatment.

2 anti-depressants no more effective than 1 anti-depressant research shows

Mixing two SSRI anti-depressants will not give you better results than going with one SSRI anti-depressant according to an article in MedPage Today, APA: Two Drugs No Better than One for Depression.

In a large trial sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), patients who received either of two dual-drug combinations were no more likely to achieve responses or remission at 12 or 28 weeks than those treated with a single agent, said Madhukar Trivedi, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

People taking two drugs were no more likely to see a remission of symptoms than people taking a single drug. Patients did register one kind of difference from the use of 2 drugs, but it could hardly be characterized as a positive difference.

In the current trial, Trivedi said, the only difference for patients with combination therapy was to “increase the burden of side effects.”

A person taking 1 SSRI anti-depressant is no more apt to suffer a relapse than a person taking 2 SSRI anti-depressants. The hope that 2 drugs might prove more effective than one has proven unfounded.

The federally sponsored STAR*D trial — which Trivedi helped lead — shocked many psychiatrists by showing that only about 30% of depressed patients given standard single-drug antidepressants achieved remission, and that substituting other drugs increased remission rates by progressively smaller increments.

Prescribing patients multiple drugs, or polypharmacy as it is called, is a formula that is notorious for its negative outcomes. These studies involving the coupling of anti-depressants show us that in adding anti-depressants one is not increasing positive results. Clinicians need to take note.

The lack of improvements seen in the use of 2 anti-depressants demonstrate yet another reason why more drug-free treatment options for depression need to be explored and developed. If 2 anti-depressants work no better than 1 anti-depressant, who knows how much more effective 0 anti-depressants might prove to be in the long run. If anti-depressant drugs are not the psychiatric panacea they were once taken to be, certainly it is time to look at how more people might be able to better cope without hobbling along on the crutch of a ‘happy pill’.

Entering the DSM, adult ADHD

Some children never grow up

Here it comes, here it comes! In the forthcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is likely to be listed as a disorder.

Hocus pocus is expanding. 30 or so years ago doctors came up with the ADHD tag in order to get kids to display behavior less typical of childhood, and to buckle down for schoolwork.

Kids labeled with ADHD grow up. These kids labeled with ADHD often grow up into adults labeled with ADHD. Duh! What other role would you expect for them to assume in life?

Doctors want to change the disorder manual to take care of this deficit in their sweep for human beings bearing this label. As an article in Boomer Health & Lifestyle, titled ADHD Becoming More Prevalent Among Adults, explains:

Currently, the DSM describes ADHD as a disorder of children. According to Dr. Steven Cuffe of the University of Florida, the proposed changes to the DSM will describe what ADHD looks like in older teens and adults, the Times reports.

What did I say about buckling down for schoolwork?

Children with ADHD exhibit such symptoms as failing to complete schoolwork and being disruptive in the classroom. Symptoms in adults with ADHD can include trouble meeting deadlines at work and interrupting someone who’s speaking.

If you’re a bad student or a bad worker, have no fear, you can get an ADHD diagnosis, and once you have one, your ADHD must have made you perform poorly! As parents are no longer responsible (i.e. “mental disorder” did it), here’s another reason for taking a permanent vacation from good child rearing practices. How bosses will manage without state subsidies for their ADHD impacted workers, you tell me.

The number of adults expected to be diagnosed after the proposed changes go into effect is not yet known, but it’s likely that number will go up. A few years ago, ADHD was said to affect an estimated three to five percent of children. That figure is now up to six to eight percent.

So, folks, now you have an excuse for any sloppy job you happened to have pulled off in a totally unsatisfactory manner. A “brain disease” must have made you do it like that.

Adults with the ADHD label are going to be counted, and out of this count they will get a statistical number, and it will be a number that can only rise. The future of ADHD seems assured. As if there had ever been a doubt.

Alright, now what this has to do with real disease and real medical treatment, again, you tell me.

Neuroleptic drugs over-used in California nursing homes

You simply can’t be wishy-washy about using neuroleptic drugs on elderly dementia patients. Unfortunately, many people in the media don’t seem to understand this fact. Take the article, Audit: Common psychiatric meds can be deadly for elderly, about how a government audit led to a report on the damage caused by neuroleptic drugs.

The report released Monday by the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office shows that 88 percent of the second-generation antipsychotic drugs prescribed at U.S. nursing homes are for patients with dementia, despite a government warning that such patients face an increased risk of death on such drugs.

Why would the government issue such a warning if patients didn’t face an increased risk of death on such drugs? It wouldn’t.

In California the situation is alarming.

Such medications are prescribed daily to 24,000, or about a fourth, of the 99,000 nursing home residents in the Golden State, federal data shows.

There is absolutely no way that ¼ of the nursing home residents in California have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the disorders these drugs supposedly were designed to treat. The use of these drugs is therefor primarily “off label”, or for uses that have not been approved by the FDA.

The report was based on a review of nursing home patient medical records from the first half of 2007. The findings include:

• Fifty-one percent, or $116 million worth, of claims for the medications were “erroneous,” meaning they were not given to patients or did not meet Medicare nursing home prescribing guidelines.
• About 83 percent of claims were for “off-label” uses, meaning they were given to patients for conditions other than the serious mental disorders the drugs were developed to treat.
• Of the 2.1 million elderly nursing home residents, 14 percent had a prescription for an atypical antipsychotic drug between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2007.

The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform has launched a “Campaign to Stop Drugging” because of this very problem. The advocacy group has published a guide to the public on the subject of protecting the elderly from this kind of drug abuse. The CANHR has also held a conference for elderly advocates, and attempted but failed to pass legislation calling for more rigorous informed consent.

This is not a localized problem, and people in other states need to pay close attention to it. Nursing home residents in all likelihood are being drugged into a premature grave in their states as well.

“Anytime anyone takes a hard look at this, they find terrible things,” [CANHR lawyer Anthony] Chicotel said. “They need to focus attention away from just looking and focus on finding solutions.”

This article ends with a trade group doctor arguing for the use of these deadly chemicals. Relatives need to take note. If you want your elderly relatives around awhile longer, ignore the end of this article. This last word is a drug company promotion that has the potential to kill your loved one. Look for substance in it, and you will find none. Equal time for rich and powerful drug companies is not equal time in actuality. All you have to do to get some idea of what I mean when I say this is to turn on the television set. Direct to consumer advertising has made for a very slippery slope between anybody and truly health-conscious information based decision making. It’s not a good idea to kill your elderly relatives if you have any positive regard for them, and if you can help it. Neuroleptic drugs will do just that.

Canadian Psychiatrists and Sugar Pills

You want statistics? A survey in Canada found that 1 in 5 Canadian physician respondents have prescribed sugar pills. What this press release, The Power of Placebos, doesn’t go into is the ineffectiveness and damaging capacity of almost all prescription psychiatric drugs.

A recent survey, led by McGill Psychiatry Professor and Senior Lady Davis Institute Researcher Amir Raz, reports that one in five respondents – physicians and psychiatrists in Canadian medical schools – have administered or prescribed a placebo. Moreover, an even higher proportion of psychiatrists (more than 35 per cent) reported prescribing subtherapeutic doses of medication (that is, doses that are below, sometimes considerably below, the minimal recommended therapeutic level) to treat their patients.

Maybe, just maybe, the minimal recommended therapeutic doses are too high.

The survey, which was also designed to explore attitudes toward placebo use, found that the majority of responding psychiatrists (more than 60 per cent) believe that placebos can have therapeutic effects. This is a significantly higher proportion than for other medical practitioners. “Psychiatrists seem to place more value in the influence placebos wield on the mind and body,” says Raz. Only 2 per cent of those psychiatrists believe that placebos have no clinical benefit at all.

Psychiatric drugs have been known to impede the process of mental health recovery in some instances. When the drugs don’t work, of course, sugar pills work better. Also when drugs, falsely claiming to be medicine, are harmful, as they all too often actually are, poof, ‘mind over matter’ magic can look sooo goood!

I see an argument against psychiatric treatment coming.

Raz’s own interest in placebos grew out of his work in three very different areas: his explorations into how people’s physiology is influenced by their expectations of what is about to happen, his work on deception; and the time he spent as a former magician. Together, these three separate areas of experience have led Raz to explore what remains an uncomfortable hinterland of medical practice for many practitioners – the use of placebos in medicine.

This line of pursuit has got to lead eventually to some kind joke starting with the line, “What’s the difference between a confidence man and a psychiatrist?” Obviously, the answer is not going to be so much as people might have once thought there was.

Canadian psychiatrists prescribing sugar pills? Considering the 25 years of life lost for the patient, according to some recent studies, because of psychiatric drugs usage, I think they should be commended for doing so.

Oregon psychologists still pressing for a license to harm mental health consumers

The article in the The Lund Report bears the headline Psychologists Continue Push for Prescribing Rights.

Psychologists are attempting to pass legislation allowing them to prescribe psychotropic drugs after Governor Ted Kulongoski vetoed such a bill in 2009. This is their fifth try.

5 strikes doesn’t seem to signal an out in this game. Where, pray tell, is the umpire!?

Only Lousiana and New Mexico, thus far, have granted psychologists a license to harm their clients in this fashion. Let’s hope interest groups and legislators can continue to keep psychologists from gaining the upper hand in their pursuit of the prescribing edge.

The battle is still raging in Oregon over prescription privileges. Psychologists want the same so-called “rights” that psychiatrists have to prescribe psychiatric drugs. At the hands of psychiatrists these prescription drugs have created an epidemic in iatrogenic (physician caused) disease.

The psychiatric drugs that these psychologists would be able to prescribe are known to cause a movement disorder and progressive neurological disease. There is also a metabolic syndrome associated with them that has been credited with being the chief reason people in mental health treatment are dying, according to one study, on average at an age 25 years younger than the rest of the population.

Granting privileges to psychologists to dispense drugs, and thereby harm patients, will certainly not lessen the amount of iatrogenic disease there is in the mental health field now. It is also not likely to appreciably increase recovery rates as drug maintenance invariably adds to the overall disability rates.

As John McCulley, a lobbyist for one of the chief offenders, the Oregon Psychiatric Association, puts it.

These are “powerful drugs,” he said, that can cause liver and kidney impairment, effect the brain, and other parts of the body. “It’s a prescription of medicine and should be done by those who have medical training.”

Opponents of the bill dispute the claim that proponents have used to support it that it will increase mental health care access in rural areas.

Why do it? Well, because psychologists want the same megalomaniacal sort of power that psychiatrists have.

I didn’t say it was a good reason.

The good news…

[Psychology professor Tanya] Tompkins is fairly confident the bill won’t pass this session. “It doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate this time,” she said, adding that it “will be close” in the House, which is split between 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans.

Let’s hope the electoriate of Oregon can prevent psychologists from being granted this license to maim and kill people in mental health treatment in years to come. Psychiatrists acting alone have managed enough destruction and devestation. We certainly don’t want to increase the numbers achieved through this damaging capacity by permitting another profession to damage people’s physical wellbeing, too.

Oregon, the eyes of the nation are upon you. Psychologists in other states are antsy for this devestating power. Do the right thing, and don’t let them have it.

Perhaps It’s Time to Change Models

The DSM, through DSM-V revisions, is being restructured according to the latest reports. This restructuring is based on the latest scientific discoveries.

You can believe that if you’re naïve perhaps, or if you’re a convert to the “mental illness” religion, but it doesn’t really hold water. The most apt analogy for this revision process that I can think of is with a woman going to her beautician for her scheduled ‘make over’.

This is an instance of bad science approving itself.

Why bad science? Well, essentially because the science of specifically medical model psychiatry, the very psychiatry behind the manual, is based primarily upon premise. Good science isn’t based upon such premises. Good science is based upon evidense.

What premise do I mean? I mean the premise that “serious mental illness” is biologically determined. Theory has it that “serious mental illness” is 70 % or so determined by hereditary, and that the other 30 % is determined by environmental and social factors.

Biological determination of this sort allows our psychiatrists to see “chronicity”, “incurability”, or “non-recovery” as a matter of biology rather than as a matter of professional and systemic failure. Were the case the way they’d have it, then the situation becomes less rather than more mutable.

Whether what is conventionally thought of as “serious mental illness” is determined by this, that, or the other hasn’t really been clearly established. The scientific method is not truth; the scientific method is merely a method for arriving at the truth.

The reason that “serious mental illness” is seen as 70 % determined by genes is because the people doing the seeing are biological medical model psychiatrists. Were another premise used, by another school of treatment, you’d get a different estimation.

In the case of an estimate like this you have to have well over 50 % of the determination to ground your theory. Biological medical model psychiatry wouldn’t be viable if its theory attributed more than 50 % of the basis for “serious mental illness” to the environment or society.

The key word here, folks, is theory.

This is an instance of theory guiding science rather than science guiding theory. Given another theory these estimates would reverse themselves with “serious mental illness” being 70 % determined by environment or society, and only 30 % or so determined by heredity.

The numbers 70 and 30 are, of course, purely arbitrary. It could be 80 and 20. It could be 60 and 40. The idea is that your estimate must support your theory.

The statistics you are not getting here are those dealing with the growing numbers of people labeled by doctors using the DSM. The number of those who become casualties of this labeling process, and the prescription drugging that goes along with it. These numbers are growing, and the revisions put in the upcoming version of the manual are not likely to reduce this incline one iota. In fact, if anything, the revision is likely to increase the numbers of people psychiatrically labeled and harmed.

Someday biological medical model psychiatry is going to have to look in the mirror, and the truth will be out. No amount of cosmetic effort is going to make this school of practice desirable.