Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Jan 3, 2011

Fishing Lessons From My Son

Todays post is written by my eldest son, Nathan.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.  For the most part, this is a widely excepted logical analogy; a truism. This Chinese Proverb can be applied to many parts of our lives and in many ways it is. There are however many places this practice is lacking, mental health is one of these areas. Study after study shows that behavioral modification and/or supportive therapeutic treatment styles(fishing classes) are in a majority of cases more effective than medication(little fishy pills).

This begs the question, why? Why would parents, the people that devote themselves to raising and educating their children choose sedation and potential brain damage over the teaching of coping strategies and social skills, basically, better survival tactics?  Every child is unique and special, some children are born with a different set of innate abilities, some of these children have trouble adapting our survival mechanisms to their lives. With enough attention and understanding you can help a child to learn to adapt. With medication you can cause permanent brain damage, induce difficult to deal with inhibiting side effects and cost families and the whole United States millions of dollars and some of our potentially brightest intellects.

Why have we made this choice?  The answer is simple education, you don't see commercials about talking with your child and maintaining a basic rapport with them. You aren't bombarded with information from television, radio and magazines on how to find special training to better adapt parenting skills for the special children. You are not told things like, "Relapse was found to be significantly related to the dose of the tranquilizing medication the patient was receiving before he was put on placebo--the higher the dose, the greater the probability of relapse."(Prien, R. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 22 (1971); 20-23) This of course doesn't only effect parents, it effects practically everyone. Our entire public perception is based on this biased information. I do hear a lot about potential side-effects. I see commercials about law suits against the makers of these drugs because of permanent disability and death caused by drugs millions of our sons and daughters take everyday.

This point of course raises another question, why is this allowed to continue?  There are two answers here, money and education. We don't know because it is profitable for the pharmaceutical companies for us not to know.  And this of course boils down to the root of the problem. Advocates for mental health rights don't have the money to make this information general public knowledge.  Most people do not know that millions of Americans are having their Constitutional Rights violated by a multi billion dollar industry. The Supreme Court decided that campaign contributions are protected under free speech. I guess since a picture is worth a thousand words and there are pictures on money, this decision must make sense?

A dangerous combination. Ignorance and the easy path. Some of the worst and perhaps funniest mistakes we have made in our lives come from, at the root, not knowing any better and trying to find a quick and easy way out of a situation.  We can no longer afford to make decisions in this fashion. The only solution is complete and total transparency in all Mental Health Services.  That is a long up hill road, a mile marker that must be passed on our road toward those who receive mental health services, enjoying the same basic Human Rights as those who don't.


Unknown said...

Thank you. We need to hear more voices like yours. Please keep it up.

Greg Oke said...

Excellent article Becky. There is no Mental Health without the realisation of Human Rights!!

Gina DeLuca said...

Nathan, please accept this with the spirit with which it is intended: you are your mother's son. Becky, I know you're proud of both of your sons! Clearly, advocacy and activism is a family affair.

Unknown said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Rossa, I am certain that Nathan could not be stopped--he has spoke his own mind before he could actually say a word!

Gina you are so right! I am very proud of both my sons--I am blessed beyond measure.

Cindi said...

I feel empowered and hopeful when I read your article Nathan. Our ranks are growing and with young minds and hearts like yours I know we will be successful in returning the minds and hearts of America back to real sanity, away from the institutionalized madness.
Can't wait to meet you all at Robert Whitaker's event in Vancouver, WA or Portland OR...hope you can make it!


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