The Myth of the Chemical Cure and the Serotonin/Dopamine Imbalance.

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As the cross party Mental Taskforce reported earlier this year;

There has been a transformation in mental health over the last 50 years. Advances in care, the development of anti-psychotic and mood stabilising drugs’

Transformation

There has been no such ‘transformation.’.

How could there have been, in light of ours, and America’s epidemic ?

The East and Third world, do not have widespread mental illness and their patients recover.

50 years ago ,the few ‘mad’ were diagnosed psychotic  and institutionalised , given ECT ,a lobotomy, and/or anti psychotic drugs ,which served as major tranquilisers and chemical lobotomy.

Now, by contrast, 1 in 15 USA citizens at 18, are diagnosed with one of  now 375, mainly ‘conduct’ disorders, created largely by the pharmaceutical industry.

1 in  4 children, and 1 in 3 teens are now according to our government and ex PM in media ‘mentally disordered’.

And developmental disorders, like intellectual impairment, and autism, are now categorised, as mental disorders and medicated.

Worse still most are conduct disorders like Oppositional Conduct Disorder and/or Conducy Disorder.

All this has made the pharmaceutical industry, the UK’s third largest industry, eating into a quarter of our NHS budget.

But these drugs and diagnoses, have not improved the outcomes for mental health suffers.

Instead, the learning disabled/autistic/ mentally ‘disordered’,  non compliant, are harvested, institutionalised, and medicated for life under the MHA and MCA by section, or court order.And 3 a day die needlessly, without independent investigation ,if any.

In 1955 in the USA , there were 267,000 schizophrenics, today there are 2.4 million suffering a psychotic disorder.

And the Mental Taskforce Report this year, was in sharp contrast, to ten years ago, when the then Health Minister Lord Warner warned;

“…I have some concerns that sometimes we do, as a society, wish to put labels on things which are just part and parcel of the human condition”.

Advances in care, the development of anti-psychotic and mood stabilising drugs’

The government’s intention, to give mental health parity with physical health, appears to want to improve the physical health of the mentally disabled.

But the reality is that their physical problems are not being picked up, as medical examinations, and tests, are costly and difficult, requiring ketamine, deprivation of liberty restraint, extra hospital facilities and staff, and not, therefore, profitable.

But the government, does not intend to change this appalling neglect, as there is no profit in it.

This sound bite parity, instead, eludes to treating our brains, as if they were just another part of our body.

With 100 billion neurons, 150 trillion synapses and neurotransmitter pathways, the brain is almost infinitely complex.

And modern neuroscience admits, poorly understood

Yet, our government intends to medicalise our minds, emotions, our very humanity, as if it were any other part of our body.

We know insulin cures diabetes, antibiotics infection, but mental ‘disorders’ are largely man made, and unless due to some physical assault/decease, have no pathology, or even detection, and therefore, cannot be, if at all, medicated.

But amazingly, the  psychiatric drugs used to cure, a deemed malfunctioning, infinitely complex brain, appear to be based on an imbalance of just two chemicals- dopamine and serotonin .

And,  more astonishing, even if there were proof, that chemical imbalances, do cause mental ‘diseases’, no one knows, how much of any particular chemical, a  brain needs to function normally, so adjustments are blind.

This imbalance, was first propondered by Schildkraut and Jacques Van Rossum, in respect to sufferers of depression in 1965..

Yet even they stated in their paper;

“[this hypothesis is] at best a reductionistic oversimplification of a very complex biological state.’

Yet, this went on to form, effectively, the basis of psychiatry, and the treatment of all mental disorders.

Depression was caused by seronergic neurons releasing too little serotonin into the synaptic gap making the serotonegic pathways underactive.

Antidepressants, brought these serotonin levels up to normal, curing the depression.

Schizophrenia was caused by overactive dopaminergic pathways.

Anti psychotics put a brake on these, appearing to alleviate hallucinations and voices.

But in 1969, Yale researcher Malcom Bowers, was the first person to report on whether depressed patients, actually did have low levels of serotonin metabolites (5-HIAA) in their cerebrospinal fluid.

In a study of eight people, his results showed that 5-HIAA levels were slightly lower, but not “significantly” so.

In 1974, he tried again – this time finding that depressed patients who had not been exposed to antidepressants had perfectly normal 5-HIAA levels.

Suggesting that anti depressants per se, actually overtime might  cause a drop in levels.

In 1974, Joseph Mendels and Alan Frazer revisited the evidence, that  led Schildkraut to suggest his theory, and found, that the drug he had tested didn’t reliably reduce depression.

In fact, it actually lifted the spirits of some people.

And, when researchers, gave patients other serotonin-depleting drugs, they didn’t cause depression.

Then in 1975, Marie Asberg, reported that 20 of the 68 depressed patients they tested, suffered from low levels of 5-HIAA.

This, at last,  appeared to be the confirmation of Schildkraut’s theory,  the pharmaceutical industry was desperate for.

However, researchers noticed a flaw, as Asberg had failed to note,  that even though 29% of her depressed patients, had low 5-HIAA levels, 25% of her normal group did too.

There was a bell curve for each group (normal and depressed), and both showed about the same variability.

And,  worse still 24% of the depressed group, actually had high levels of serotonin.

Numerous follow-up studies continued to disprove the theory.

Causing the Essential Psychopharmacology textbook to state;

“There is no clear and convincing evidence that deficiency accounts for depression; that is, there is no ‘real’ monoamine deficit”.

But Ely Lille, was determined to make billions out of the chemical imbalance myth, and marketed it voraciously, and in 1988, Prozac//fluoxetine hit the shelves.

A pharmaceutical manager at Ely Lille, Dr John Virapen, has written a book exposing this corruption.
‘ Side effect death: corruption in the pharmaceutical industry”

https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/former-manager-of-eli-lillyblows-whistle/

And despite all this, antidepressant use has doubled in the last decade
.
Last year the NHS spent 285 millions on 61 million prescriptions in the UK.

So this must warrant the most lucrative quackery ever marketed.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/05/antidepressant-prescriptions-in-england-double-in-a-decade.

And graphically illustrates, the awesome power, PR, and state and professional influence  of the pharmaceutical industry.

Ronald Pies, Editor in Chief Emeritus of Psychiatric Times – one of the most widely read psychiatric publications. Summed it up;

‘I am not one who easily loses his temper, but I confess to experiencing markedly increased limbic activity whenever I hear someone proclaim, “Psychiatrists think all mental disorders are due to a chemical imbalance!”

In the past 30 years, I don’t believe I have ever heard a knowledgeable, well-trained psychiatrist make such a preposterous claim, except perhaps to mock it.

On the other hand, the “chemical imbalance” trope has been tossed around a great deal by opponents of psychiatry, who mendaciously attribute the phrase to psychiatrists themselves. And, yes — the “chemical imbalance” image has been vigorously promoted by some pharmaceutical companies, often to the detriment of our patients’ understanding. The legend of the “chemical imbalance” should be consigned to the dust-bin of ill-informed and malicious caricatures’

This dangerous myth, has now made trillions for the pharmaceutical industry and largely justifies the psychiatric profession.

For the latest experts dispelling the myth read here.
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392#pmed-0020392-b22

But in the Western world, it is still accepted and promoted, that such imbalances exist and cause a pathology in the brain, that can be fixed..

If depression, and schizophrenia cannot be detected, as a pathology, how can ADHD, ASD, Bipolar, Anxiety or PTSD ?

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. It is the sign of the times that most people who feel down or depressed want an instant ‘fix’ and the big Pharma companies are always willing to oblige. especially if they can convince us that they have the magic cure.

    However the magic ‘fix’ sometimes does the opposite. It makes the person worse. If that person has a learning disability and is unable to accurately tell the doctor how they feel then the outcomes can be catastrophic.

    Imagine being so unhappy with what is going on in your life and yet unable to properly communicate this properly to your loved ones or the people tasked with looking after you. It must be hell. How do you tell them? The only remedy is to kick against what is happening to you, usually by being ‘challenging’ as they call it.

    Instead of stimulation you get medicated, usually with a drug that makes your brain turn to mush and you live now in a sleep filled haze. The people who did this to you now do not need to find out why you are sad. They need not stimulate you because you now are so far gone that you are a trouble to know one.

    This is care in the community. A community so bent on making money that no one, not even the most weakest, must get in the way.

    Reply

  2. Pauline, I can’t bear to think about the hell that our deemed mentally disabled/disordered must spend their often short lives in, for profit.

    All, are put automatically on a cocktail of both antipsychotics and antidepressants, this controls them, to make them easier to wash, feed and drag around in their ‘community’ living, which does not even allow them to have any friends, or even see their parents when they want to.

    But, it makes millions for pharma, psychiatrists and care providers .

    This is not treatment, to enable a life, it is use of people, as pharma and care cash cows.

    And as you saw from my last post, more and more victims, are sought and ensnared in the state’s net, anyone who has eating disorders, anxiety, self harm are often removed to St Andrews etc for private profit, and then community living, and become a source of income for life.

    At a huge cost to our public purse, so much for decreasing defecit and costcutting.

    All is lies, and we are all hoodwinked by the evil of now successive governments, who have been planning this since well before the MCA .

    And all are funded for this one purpose- charities, research, experts,social services, education, community action groups……

    How can we help our most vulnerable ?

    Thank you for your comment it is very much appreciated.

    Best Wishes,
    Finola

    Reply

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