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APA Code of Conduct Hogwash

Shirley Wang posts on her Wall Street Journal Health Blog an entry about the American Psychiatric Association’s new, just released, code for working with the pharmaceutical industry, What’s Behind The New APA Conflict of Interest Code? The title of this post is actually misleading, how can it be a conflict of interest code if the APA is working with the pharmaceutical industry? A more apt heading would perhaps be, What’s Behind The New APA Mutuality of Interest Code?!

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the guidelines was the organization’s purpose in putting them out — not to eliminate a relationship with Big Pharma, but rather to develop a “collaborative relationship” with industry, APA immediate past president Alan Schatzberg, who convened the task force to develop the guidelines, tells the Health Blog. “It really is not in anyone’s best interest to shut out an industry voice.”

The most pressing question is whether this collaborative effort between the APA and Big Pharma is ever in the patient’s best interest? From much of the statistical data available on patient health, and the climbing mental illness rate in the USA, I would dare say that this collaborative venture between the APA and Big Pharma is not in the patient’s best interests at all.

Schatzberg himself has been investigated by a US Senate Committee under Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa for the under reporting of his own financial links with the pharmaceutical industry.

James Scully, CEO of the APA, agrees [with Alan Schatzberg]. “We want a good relationship with the pharmaceutical industry,” he tells the Health Blog. “They have a role to play in developing new drugs.” The APA cares less about whether doctors accept pens from drug sales reps than about larger issues, Scully says. “What we wanted to [be] clear about is that our educational programs were free of bias.”

When people connected to the pharmaceutical companies have helped pen much of the information in the APA’s educational programs, I don’t see how such programs can be free of bias. This is, at base, about greed and profit. Psychiatrists doing research, and pitches for drug companies, grow richer, while the health and well being of the patients prescribed their pharmaceutical products deteriorates. Make no mistake about it, the best product to use is not necessarily the product with the best write up by the hacks of the industry that makes that product.

What’s Gotten Into Them?

Glenn Close has a kooky sister, and so she’s going to pitch for better treatment of “the mentally ill”. She’s walking with the Namby Pamby folk trying to spread the word, be kind to your mixed up friends. Kooks are people, too, even if they are a little different, and they shouldn’t be expected to perform at the same level as the rest of us. Give them some leeway, and then give them some more leeway. Yeah.

Joey Pantoliano has found a new role talking about Joey Pantoliano and Joey Pantoliano’s struggles with depression, another “mental illness”. Joey Pantoliano adds glitz and glamour by bringing Joey Pantoliano’s Hollywood buddies in to play up the subject beside him. The message Joey Pantoliano would relay, if he could relay it, is that it’s cool and sexy to be “mentally ill”, just look at Joey Pantoliano.

Let’s hope Joey Pantoliano hasn’t got what Glenn Close’s sister has got.

Meanwhile, outside of Hollywood, psychiatric disability translates into a big burden the taxpayers are having to shoulder. Psychiatric disability is one of the most expensive health conditions we’ve got, and through public insurance programs, this is a bill that the taxpayer is footing. This burden is also growing bigger by the hour. There have been fears that the country will run out of social security before too long, and this segment of the population is one of the chief reasons why this is so.

The “mental illness” rate has been going up for years. It has risen most markedly since certain pharmaceutical products came on the market in the 1950s, and this growth has been spiraling out of control ever since. Undoubtedly this incline in the number of people labeled “mentally ill” in this country has something to do with the drugs these pharmaceutical companies have developed to contain this population. Some of these drugs used to treat “mental illness” have been known to cause even more health problems for the people taking them then they resolve. Selling drugs also involves the selling of disease.

Not only are there more “mentally ill”, but there are more “mental illnesses” for people to have caught. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, psychiatrist bible and field guide to “mental illnesses”, has expanded over time. The DSM I had categorized 106 “mental disorders”, the DSM II had 182 such disorders, the DSM III had 265 listed, the DSM III revised edition had 292, and the DSM IV has 297 “mental disorders”. The expectation is that the DSM V, set for publication in 2013 will have developed even more “mental disorders” to plague humanity with. It helps to keep in mind that this plethora of diseases is also, of course, the psychiatrist’s bread and butter.

Schools are screening children as young as 5 years old for “mental illness”. Mental health screening is notoriously unreliable. These tests have incredibly high false positive rates in the 90% range as a rule. If you screen for mental health, you’re going to raise the number of people labeled “mentally ill” in this country. The question that is not being asked here is how different is the person so labeled from any other human being. Is it possible some of these mental health professionals have made a mistake somewhere along the line? Labeling children “mentally ill” is not going to help them succeed in life.

Contributing to an epidemic in disease is not the best path for us as a nation, or even as individuals, to take. I don’t care if this organization or that says 1 in 4 people in this country are off their rockers or not. In many cases they are making a stark raving lunatic out of a simple case of the nerves. Anybody with half a brain, and that’s giving a lot of people a lot of credit, should be able to figure that one out. The idea should be to produce fewer rather than more “disturbed” people. This is an idea that just hasn’t registered with a lot of people yet. Well, let me drive it home until it finally does register.

People can and do recover from serious “mental illnesses”. The President’s New Freedom Commission Report said that. If people can and do recover, the “mental illness” rate can decline. If the “mental illness” rate rises at a rate substantially faster than the population increases, something other than heredity is involved in the rise; something environmental is contributing to this increase. If it can go up so dramatically, it can also go down. What we need to be looking at are ways to shrink the population of people labeled “mentally ill”. What we don’t need to be doing is expanding that population. There comes a time when a lack of foresight could have us looking at a problem that has gotten way out of hand.

The Sins Of The Children

A study shows a possible connection between pesticide usage and ADHD in children. This is the result of a scientific study.

In the study, researchers who measured the level of pesticide byproducts in the urine of 1,139 children found that those with above-average levels “had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD,” according to the study, which appears in the journal, Pediatrics.

Mary Winter, author of the article/interview in question, tongue in cheek, goes Hallelujah. She sees such a situation as a ray of hope for bereaved families, if she is to be believed.

One thing you wouldn’t do with this sort of information, if you were serious about doing something about the matter at all, is to pass it along to Judith Warner, and to ask for her input on the matter. Whatever input Mrs. Warner would have on the subject being a foregone conclusion.

My second thought: What would Judith Warner think? Warner, an influential writer and voice in the field of modern parenting, is perhaps best known for her “Domestic Disturbances” column for the New York Times. She is also the author of “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety,” and, more recently, “We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.”

This is the opening salvo to an interview with Mrs. Warner. What was Mary Winter thinking!? (Oh, I don’t know. Maybe we can beat them at their own game.) Even bringing up the matter of pesticides, in this instance, must have just have served merely as a ruse to be dismissive of the whole idea.

Neither Mary Winter nor Judith Warner seem to want to err on the side of science.

“I think the pesticides story could be good news, if it led to the discontinuation of these pesticides, but for parents of children with ADHD, it’s likely just to lead to guilt (if only they’d bought organic!) and who knows if the guilt will turn out to be justified, long-term, as clearly these results will have to be validated by other studies. ADHD is very highly heritable, so this is clearly just one element in a complicated picture. And, of course, it’s only the best-off parents who will be able to afford the organic produce so, as always in our country, everyone else will just have to muddle through . . .”

50 years ago there was no ADHD (i.e. It’s not highly heritable). Today we take our “problem” children, and we apply labels to them. From 0 to millions, there is no way this is a ‘highly heritable’ condition. Do the arithmetic.

Judith Warner ends her interview by claiming that stimulants and anti-depressants work for the majority of children that use them. That work would be in “controlling symptoms”, and that work would only involve “short term” outcomes. If, as the saying goes, “children should be seen and not heard”, perhaps psychiatric drugs do the trick. If, on the other hand, children should be loved and not judged, well, with psychiatric drugs you’re on the way to losing the ball game.

What she doesn’t point to is the second epidemic that stems from the use of stimulants and anti-depressants for ADHD and depression in children. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were rare to non-existent in children just a few years ago. Stimulants and anti-depressant drugs have been known to induce mania and psychosis in a certain percentage of the people who use them. The long term outcomes of people put on these drugs is not good. Now these more serious conditions are beginning to appear in children and adolescents.

There is a lesson to be learned in all this, yes. Think before you act, and be sure to read the fine print. These drugs have all sorts of devestating effects you don’t want your children to suffer from. Seek a second, third, and fourth opinion if you must. Don’t let the first shrink with a piece of paper on his office wall convince you that your child is ‘sick’. The idea of “childhood mental illness” may be becoming increasingly popular among parents these days, but make sure it is popular among other parents, and not among yourselves. Surely, you can think of better things to do with your children than labeling them “mentally ill”, and doping them up on psychiatric drugs.

“Malfunctioning brains” or rapacious drug company executives

It is amazing the extent to which the psychiatric pharmaceutical industrial complex plays upon people’s insecurities. Anxiety never was a illness, but don’t let your own anxieties spill into the ears of a psychiatrist if you don’t want to be labeled a ‘general anxiety disorder’ sufferer. Now, according to a recent study, girls at risk for depression have malfunctioning brains.

US News and World Report did a story on this study, Brain Glitch May Raise Some Girls’ Odds Of Depression.

Young girls at high risk for depression appear to have a malfunctioning reward system in their brains, a new study suggests.

You’d think they’d have the decency to wait until the girls got depressed before they started looking for broken parts.

The finding comes from research that included a high-risk group of 13 girls, aged 10 to 14, who were not depressed but had mothers who experienced recurrent depression and a low-risk group of 13 girls with no personal or family history of depression. Both groups were given MRI brain scans while completing a task that could result in either reward or punishment.

Note: The criteria for high-risk is having a ‘depressed’ mother. This is an odd version of visiting the sins of the parent’s on the children, isn’t it? I’d say that when you have a mother who relies on psychiatrists, a psychiatrized mother, an extra temptation exists to psychiatrize the kids as well.

Kids are a pain, and summer camp is over. Mom is worried. Hey, honey, I’ve got it; let’s send the kids off to the psychiatrist.

Of course, it’s the disease, acting just like any other physical disease, and nobody but nobody is responsible. A disease of the mind is biological in origin, even if this origin has never been found, and it is not subject to the laws of self-control and rationality. Responsibility would imply freedom of choice, and freedom of choice doesn’t come with a spin of the genetic roulette wheel.

Anybody who believes anything else is an evil stigmatizer.

These girls, according to this study, in the high-risk group had weaker neural responses during anticipation and receipt of reward. Little activity was seen in an area of the brain associated with reinforcing past experiences to assist learning.

The high-risk girls did have greater activation of this brain area when receiving punishment, compared with the other girls. The researchers said that this suggests that high-risk girls have an easier time processing information about loss and punishment than information about reward and pleasure.

Whoops. No smiley face. Doctor, she’s yours.

I would give these girls a few years for their brains to develop. Given a parent who is training them in the negatives of life experience, you know it’s going to be different than with a parent training in the positives. Oh, and I’d also keep them away from psychiatrists, and psychiatric researchers now that you mention it. Much of this research, as you must have noticed, is funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

See how easy the treatment rut is to fall inside. Getting out of it is another matter. We need to channel these girls towards success. Of course, it helps to have people who are concerned enough to see that this happens. Seeing ‘broken brains’ everywhere is not being concerned enough to see that this happens. Instead it is opening up a window of opportunity for drug companies to prey on a whole new generation of young people.

AstraZeneca To End Psychiatric Drug Research

The good news is that AstraZenica, the company that brought you Seroquel, is dropping its psychiatric drug research.

This just out from Reuter’s New Service.

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) is to stop researching some disease areas that form the backbone of its current business — including schizophrenia and acid reflux — in a drive to focus R&D efforts and cut costs.

Acid reflux disease, or indigestion as it is called in layman’s terms, could only be so high a priority for the company in the first place.

I can’t help thinking that this decision of AstraZenica’s had something to do with the suppressed evidence of ill health complications caused by these psychiatric drugs that are being so aggressively marketed. There also can be little doubt but that the litigation brought by people who have been harmed by their drugs must have had some influence as well.

This move will not prevent AstraZeneca from releasing a new antidepressant drug that is in the final stages of testing.

[Anders] Ekblom said he remained confident about the Targacept drug, which is shortly to start final Phase III tests, but saw limited longer-term opportunities in the psychiatric field.

His views echo those of Glaxo CEO Andrew Witty, who last month said Glaxo would stop researching antidepressants because of uncertain returns.

GlaxoSmithKline’s declining antidepressant returns may have had something to do with a recent feature in Newsweek Magazine reporting that antidepressants as a rule work no better than sugar pills. Powered sugar, I would imagine, is much more affordable than are SSRI antidepressants.

The bad news is that this closure probably opens up new money making opportunities for some relatively unknown company to break into the chemical oil boom the psychiatric drug trade represents.

Seroquel Number Two At Generating Adverse Reaction Complaints

Adverse reaction event complaints to drugs are rising according to the quarterly report of complaints for 2009.

Take the following information from a post, These Drugs Generated Most Adverse Event Reports, in the Pharmalot blog on the quarterly reports of complaints:

In the third quarter of 2009, the number of serious, disabling and fatal adverse drug events reported to the FDA numbered 29,065, compared to 26,809 in the same quarter a year earlier, an 8.4 percent rise, according to the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices. For the first three quarters of 2009 combined, the total number of reports was 8.1 percent higher than in the same period of 2008.

Seroquel, a neuroleptic drug, is number 2 among drugs that elicited adverse reaction complaints.

In the third quarter of 2009, AstraZeneca’s Seroquel antipsychotic, was the suspect drug in more possible cases of diabetes than all other drugs combined. The drugmaker explained this by saying the cases were related to lawsuits.

Interestingly enough, the numero uno adverse reaction event drug is Avantia used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

I guess the message folks in mental health treatment can take home with them from these quarterly reports is that if the Seroquel you are taking for psychosis or bipolar mania doesn’t kill you, the Avantia you are taking for the diabetes you developed while on the Seroquel will.

“Mental Illness” Labeling Has A Future

The line between disability and welfare fraud seems to be growing thinner all the time. One finds oneself chuckling over the disingenous techniques today’s professional panhandlers have developed for faking an injury. How far, one may wonder, we haven’t progressed from absolutely medieval times!

In Point/Counterpoint: Progress V. Politics from the University of Arizona’s statepress.com, the up and coming DSM-V is taken on…again. (Don’t worry; I’m just trying to get this whole boring business out of my system, a little bit at a time, outrage after outrage.)

Question: Are personality quirks turning into disorders?

Asks this author who goes on to question the sense of the book with its continual revisions altogether.

“Strong sentiments will always accompany changes in the diagnosis of mental disorders,” said Barrera, “Mental illness diagnosis is controversial even without changes to the diagnostic system. I am suspicious of claims that the sky is falling, particularly since information up to this point has not been good.”

As I’ve been trying to point out, over-diagnosis is a problem whereever ‘mental illnesses’ are being diagnosed. When the disease is being determined by a checklist of unwanted behaviors rather than by a microscope slide accidents in the conventional sense of the word cannot take place.

One of the largest concerns of such individuals is that the updates could even further inflate America’s daunting rate of psychiatric over-diagnosis through the inclusion of such new disorders as binge eating.

This editorial opinion piece that begins in such a critical fashion, after making a case for scrapping the DSM entirely, ends amazingly by erring on the side of the DSM-V. Binge eating disorder, after all, isn’t exactly Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs. Or is it?

From a Fort Lauderdale television show, Faces of Fort Lauderdale’s homeless: From one shelter to another, covering people in the homeless community there, we get this:

Amanda Cephus, 26, says being homeless in Fort Lauderdale is “pretty good.” She’s gone from one homeless shelter to another for the last couple of years.

Her aunt kicked her out of the house in 2008, she says. She’s been homeless since then.

When I caught up with her last week she’d just been put into another shelter for 90 days. She said it was a drug addiction program; she said she used to smoke marijuana and take Ecstacy. She’s hoping to get housing and start receiving checks for her disability soon. She says she’s got Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and is bipolar schizophrenic.

Whatever happened to the work ethic????

Oh, I know. If you can say, “I’m a recovering drug addict with ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia”, your future course in life is set, baby! Love them government checks!

The situation wouldn’t be so very sad if there were treatment programs that led to recovery, and job training programs that led to work. There don’t tend to be any such programs. The essential problem here, as I see it, is that our human service workers are more intent on pursuing their own ambitions than they are at seeing that their clients do well. Otherwise, they’d make the obvious connection that you’ve scripted a personal tragedy for somebody, and to have another outcome, you need to change the script that that person carries around with him or her everywhere he or she goes. If there is prejudice in other people’s scripts, those scripts will need revisions as well. In fact, that is where the most important changes have to be made.

Wouldn’t you know it? Some asinine Russ Limbaugh addict has his own addition to make to the DSM-V. Family Security Matters has published an Exclusive: The Airhead Liberal Political Disorder.

On Wednesday, February 10th, the American Psychiatric Association proposed its latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the Association’s official, encyclopedia-like catalogue of psychiatric disorders. The DSM’s certification has enormous consequences for dispensing therapy, insurance payments, future research and peoples’ self-definition. This latest DSM is, however, only a proposal designed to solicit public feedback and after preliminary trials, the final version will be published in 2013. Inclusion or exclusion can be tricky business, often reflecting both shifting politics and social conditions. DSM’s mental illness catalogue once included homosexuality; today, “Internet Addiction” and “lack of sexual interest” are candidates for admission.

Still some of the points the author of this story makes about the DSM are very astute. It has consequences for dispensing therapy—especially when therapy usually means brain damaging health destroying drugs. Also insurance payments, and with public insurance companies like Medi-this and Medi-that, that’s where the taxpayer, Joe Public, foots the bill. Future research—you can just imagine the diseases, non-existent now, that we will be studying in detail in the not so distant future. Concluding with people’s self-definition—he or she introducing him or herself by disorder as in, “Hi, I’m bipolar. What sort of disorder do you have?”

Unfortunately he has to continue.

Despite these labors, opportunities for adjustments remain and this may be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for right thinking people to confront a specific, widespread mental disorder that has long driven us crazy: what I call Airhead Liberalism Political Disorder or ALPD for short. This is not a coherent ideology like Socialism or Marxism. Rather, it is a style of political engagement whose purpose is psychological satisfaction independent of actual of costs or benefits. In a nutshell: if advocating a policy makes me feel good about myself, it’s a good policy. The disorder resembles self-medicating drug addiction where addicts will do anything, no matter how injurious, to achieve transitory “highs.” What especially drives right-thinking people to buy Maalox at Costco or take Valium is that Airhead Liberals sufferers are impervious to reason or evidence, no matter how persuasive.

I’m sure that anybody who wants to, from the other side of the political spectrum, can respond to this kind of thing with a label of their own. He claims, after all, that people with this disorder have driven “us” crazy. Perhaps the DSM-V needs a Reactive Myopic Bigot Disorder, but don’t let me go there. Pulleeeze.

Enough. I should be able to lay off now until preparations for the revisions that will become the DSM-VI begin.

Stigma the word and mental health

stigma – a generally-held poor or distasteful view associated with something – from the Roman practice of branding slaves’ foreheads; a ‘stigma’ was the brand mark, and a ‘stigmatic’ was a branded slave; hence ‘stigmatise’, which has come to mean ‘give something an unlikeable image’. Originally from the Greek word ‘stigma’, a puncture.
http://www.businessballs.com/clichesorigins.htm

1590s, “mark made on skin by burning with a hot iron,” from L. stigma (pl. stigmata), from Gk. stigma (gen. stigmatos) “mark, puncture,” especially one made by a pointed instrument, from root of stizein “to mark, tattoo,” from PIE *st(e)ig- (see stick (v.)). Figurative meaning “a mark of disgrace” is from 1610s, as is stigmatize in this sense. Stigmas “marks resembling the wounds on the body of Christ, appearing supernaturally on the bodies of the devout” is from 1630s; earlier stigmate (late 14c.), from L. stigmata.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=stigma&searchmode=none

Stigma is a Greek word that in its origins referred to a kind of tattoo mark that was cut or burned into the skin of criminals, slaves, or traitors in order to visibly identify them as blemished or morally polluted persons. These individuals were to be avoided or shunned, particularly in public places (Healthline Network Inc., 2007).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigma_(sociological_theory)

The feeling that there is a stigma attached to serious mental illness is often used to justify the biological medical theory of psychiatry. According to this theory, mental illness is a biological disorder from which there is ordinarily little to no chance of making a full recovery. If a person cannot recover their mental health after having developed a mental illness, then the best you can expect to do is to try and change people’s perceptions of the illness. The fact is that people can and do recover their mental health after having received mental disorder diagnoses. This fact flies in the face of the illusions fostered by the biological medical theory of psychiatry.

If there is a stigma attached to mental illness, there is no stigma attached to mental health. When a person recovers his or her mental well being after losing it, any stigma associated with the disorder must vanish as well. Perhaps it would be better if we hung on to this notion of stigma a little longer lest more and more people get the idea that the way to be is mentally unsound. I don’t think there is a stigma associated with mental health yet, but do we really need one? Advertisements for illness don’t really make me go all soft and gooey inside, and I don’t tend to think they should do so either.

This aversion to recovering that many of people in treatment have is the thing that really needs to be countered. The notion of being ‘in recovery’ permanently comes from the realm of substance abuse services, and although there may be an addictive element to inappropriate behavior (i.e. symptoms of mental illness), I don’t think that any compulsion to display symptoms of mental illness is of the same order as an addiction to heroin would be, for example. When the process of recovery, completes itself, and one can put one’s discomfort in the past tense, saying that one has recovered, then one has managed to get somewhere.

Unfortunately, most mental health treatment facilities are operating under the oppressive shadow of the pessimism of their professionals. The “we think you can’t” mantra transferred to their clientelle becomes the “I think I can’t” mantra. The important lesson everybody learns in nursery school, “I think I can”, in most cases, has been lost. When you teach people not to succeed, you are teaching people to fail. What people are being taught to fail at, in these instances, is recovery. The person who succeeds at recovering, succeeds in passing beyond “recovery”. Guess what, folks? This or that impasse isn’t everything. Life goes on outside the treatment facility doors.

Do Your Part To Combat Stigma

Oh, no! Imagine a 71% increase in the mental illness rate! Well, that’s exactly what we’d get if these misinformation brochures on the stigma of mental health conditions had anything to do with it.

According to an article on the subject, New leaflets to shoot down mental health misconceptions, in the Malta Independent:

“Stigma is a real problem for people who have a mental illness. Stigma based on stereotypes is a negative judgment based on a personal trait, in this case, having a mental health condition. It used to be a common perception that having a mental illness was due to some kind of personal weakness. We now know that mental health disorders have a biological basis and can be treated like any other health condition. Unfortunately only 29 per cent of sufferers seek help,” said Mr [Mario] Galea.

Excuse me, Mr. Galea, but we do not now know that mental health disorders have a biological basis. This is all purely theoretical speculation, there is absolutely no evidense to support these suppositions, and they are not a matter to be taken seriously. That is, they are not meant to be taken seriously by people who are not desparate to spend their time in the bug house.

Mr Galea pointed out that one per cent of the population suffers from schizophrenia. One of every six men and one of every four women suffers from depression. In Malta, 33,000 people fall victim to depression yearly and studies show that eight per cent of the population suffer from some sort of mental health condition at some point in their lives. A suicide is committed every nine minutes in Europe, adding up to 54,000 suicides in 2009. The EU estimates that mental health problems will become the second most common health problem after cardiovascular diseases in a few years’ time.

If you can envision the pharmaceutical company executives rustling maps, looking for new markets to break into, behind the scenes…Ahha! I think you’ve got it.

Yeah, and if only 29% of these people have been nabbed, do you really want to raise the figure 71%? If mental health problems do become the second most common health problem in a few years time, we will know who to blame.

Thanks to improvements in mental health services 12,000 patients are receiving treatment in the community without having to be hospitalised.

Of course, deinstitutionalization didn’t have anything to do with this switch to treatment in the community. Just think what our mental hospitals would look like given an increase of almost thrice the number of patients they presently hold? In some places today there is a reinstitutionalizing reaction to deinstitutionalization taking place. Just consider what happens when, after reinstitutionalizing, we deinstitutionalize again, and dump all of these freshly recruited newly sprung looney birds in your front yard.

Don’t listen to all that pro-stigma nonsense, people, go in and get help for the condition you must be suffering from today. There are 297 of ‘em listed in the DSM IV, and there will be even more in the DSM V, set to be published in 2013. If you don’t have this or that disorder, we’ll find something for you to have. Uncle Looney Bin wants you!

In the Misleading the Public Department

This is interesting. Note; the article says almost the exact opposite of what the heading claims the article to be about.

Study finds no adverse effect of antipsychotics on blood sugar, cholesterol levels.

The study, if you read a little further, is not about the “adverse effect of antipsychotics on blood sugar, cholesterol levels”, it is rather about the monitoring by doctors of those adverse effects. That is to say there may be adverse effects, in fact, there are, doctors are just not monitoring for those adverse effects the way they would be if they were concerned about their patients’ health and well being.

Despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, blood sugar and cholesterol monitoring of patients using newer antipsychotic medications remains low, a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry has found.

With funding from Pfizer, researchers in Oregon State University, Emory University and other research institutions in Colorado and Missouri analyzed data from 109,000 Medicaid patients. They found that doctors had largely ignored the FDA warning, released in 2003, to screen patients using the “second generation” antipsychotic medications, which includes a broad range of drugs such as Pfizer’s Geodon (ziprasidone) and AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate), for high blood sugar and cholesterol, which the drugs are known to increase, along with weight gain and the risk of diabetes

This story was published in Drug Store News which may help to explain the confusion a little bit. I suppose the author was expecting people to only read the headline, and skip the article.