In his new book, “Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry”, Breggin discusses his beliefs on many kinds of psychiatric drugs.
“ Antidepressants cause emotional anesthesia and numbing or sometimes euphoria, providing a fleeting, artificial relief from emotional suffering.”
“ Neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs disrupt frontal lobe function, causing a chemical lobotomy with apathy and indifference, making emotionally distressed people more submissive and less able to feel.”
“ Stimulants blunt spontaneity and enforce obsessive behaviors in children, making them less energetic, less social, less creative and more obedient.”
Dr. Lawrence Diller, author of Should I Medicate my Child? and Running on Ritalin says, “Unfortunately when parent’s don’t know other choices they turn to medicine first. Too often we underestimate the effectiveness of sound discipline.”
It is easy to medicate a child and harder to change the environment
In the case of preschoolers, such developmental phenomena as normal separation anxiety, negativism, developmental hyperactivity, and imaginary playmates obfuscate the usual boundaries of psychopathology at this age.
Because normal development at this age proceeds at a rapid pace, it may be more difficult to separate treatment effectiveness from the process of emotional and behavioral maturation.
Five times as many children and adolescents were prescribed antipsychotics in 2002 than in 1993 through 1995
In that same period of time, the number of doctor’s visits at which the medications were prescribed jumped from 201,000 to 1,224,000
2007- 389,000 children were on Risperdal
Risperdal prescribed to children has seen a 10 % increase from 2006 to 2007 while there was a 5% decrease prescribed to adults
Breggin states that some of the negative physiological side-effects of Ritalin include growth suppression (both in height and weight), tics, skin rashes, nausea, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, headache, stomachache, and psychosis
Some of the negative emotional side effects of Ritalin are sadness, depression, psychotic depression, abnormal thinking, hallucinations, social withdrawal, flattened emotions and emotional instability, and loss of energy
Stimulants such as Ritalin interferes with normal growth-hormone production which can impair and even stunt the growth of the entire body
The impact is so dramatic that researchers have observed that growth-hormone levels can be used as a marker for whether or not children are taking their medication
Parents are told that their children’s bodies will catch up when the stimulant is stopped but nowadays children are kept on stimulants for months or years at a time so there is no opportunity for a growth spurt
There is great tendency in the medical literature to minimize adverse drug effects in order to support or promote their medication in general
Few, if any sources fully address the brain damage and dysfunction produced by these drugs including strong evidence for stimulant–induced brain shrinkage, cell death, and persistent biochemical changes
Stimulants that “suppress” the behaviors of ADHD often make children more compliant but does so at the expense of their imaginations, creativity, capacity to generate activity and their overall enthusiasm for life
There is no evidence that stimulant drugs actually improve academic performance but do sometimes lead to improved grades because many teachers reward more submissive, unobtrusive behavior with better grades
Children with the disorder may rate their improvement less than the clinician. What importance is the rating of the clinician? Children’s opinion is being discounted by clinicians by saying that the children are too affected by their disorder to make accurate judgments about their own improvements.
Usually when using a placebo in a “double-blind” study, the participants is given a sugar pill instead of the medication. It is actually quite easy for both clinicians and participants to be able to tell if they are taking the drug or the placebo solely by the presence or absence of side-effects, such as nausea, dry-mouth and dizziness. “As a result, the ‘double-blind’ study is immediately ‘unblinded’ for the those rating outcomes, a fact that seriously compromises any conclusions that can be drawn.”
Many drug studies are performed over short periods of time, even though many drugs are prescribed for longer periods of time. The studies do not allow enough time for adequate measures to be taken on the differences between control and experimental groups. Usually, differences between the groups disappear around 16 weeks of using the drugs.
Many of the researchers that are conducting drug studies that find positive results with drugs are being funded by the pharmaceutical company the produces the drug that is being tested. Obviously, this may skew the results of the studies to favor use of the drug in children.
The pharmacological action of any psychoactive drug is demonstrated by how it disrupts the normal function of an animal’s brain
Which is then applied to the human brain
When the drug companies and the experts get ready to present this information the fact that the drug disrupts normal brain function will be ignored and the drug will be falsely promoted as correcting biochemical imbalances
Deliberate deception to make the drugs look positive
Once an agency approves a medication for a particular condition, doctors are free to prescribe it even if it has yet to be approved by the FDA
Some events in a child's life can trigger acting-out or other symptoms
Doctors often face time pressures that prevent them from finding out what's going on in kids' lives, knowledge that might suggest alternative treatments
Insurance coverage rules may encourage the use of antipsychotics as most will reimburse for medications and there is less funding for labor intensive psychotherapy especially for programs such as medicaid
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