NPR had a program about another 'secret' the FDA, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have been keeping for the pharmaceutical industry: the 'serotonin metaphor.' This supposed 'metaphor' is referring to the claim that depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance...The claim that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of any kind is not based on any facts, it is a claim made so patients believe that depression is a medical condition caused by a chemical imbalance, which requires antidepressant drugs to 'correct the imbalance." It is told to gain 'treatment compliance.'
The definition of metaphor:
A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common. Adjective: metaphorical. A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar. ex. "Love is a rose"
via Mad in America Rethinking the Broken Brain:
"Revising the History of the Serotonin Theory of Depression?" a couple of excerpts:
"What if research has indicated for decades that the serotonin theory is false, yet psychiatrists told their patients the serotonin story anyway? What would this mean?"
“By 1970…[George] Ashcroft had concluded that, whatever was wrong in depression, it was not lowered serotonin.” [D. Healy, Let Them Eat Prozac]
via Phil Lawrence, NUMB a documentary director on youtube:
Vera Sharav speaking at a Press Conference prior to the 2006 FDA Advisory Committee Public Hearing on the connection between antidepressants and suicidal thoughts and actions. The press conference was put together by the family of Woody Witczak.
Vera Hassner Sharav, M.L.S.
Vera Sharav, a professional law librarian turned public advocate for human rights, is the founder and president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) which serves as an information resource, a public interest watchdog, and a catalyst for public debate whose goal is to unlock the walls of secrecy in biomedical research and to bring accountability to that endeavor.
She has earned the respect and admiration of a distinguished network of physicians and scientists including those who have agreed to serve on the Medico-Scientific Advisory Committee for a publicity campaign aimed at providing credible information to consumers about the undisclosed risks of widely and inappropriately prescribed psychotropic drugs whose hidden hazards pose severe, irreparable risks of harm.
Ms. Sharav has developed a database to track ethical violations in research and failure to disclose drug hazards. Her advocacy efforts include: suspension of EPA pesticide experiment (CHEERS) on children (2005); federal investigations on the use of children in foster care in experimental AIDS drug and vaccine trials (2004); suspension of smallpox vaccine on children (2002); suspension of "violence prediction" experiment exposing 6-11 year old NYC boys to fenfluramine (1998); organized testimonies by victims of unethical research before the National Bioethics Advisory Committee (1997). These testimonies led to a prize-winning series in the Boston Globe, "Doing Harm: Research on the Mentally Ill" (1998), the shut down of 29 clinical trials at the National Institute of Mental Health (1999), culminating in the prize-winning book by Robert Whitaker, Mad in America (2001).
Mrs. Sharav served on the Children’s Workgroup of the National Human Research Advisory Committee (2001-2002); she has testified before national policy advisory panels including: the Institute of Medicine (against prisoner experiments (2005); against human pesticide experiments (2002); FDA hearings on antidepressants and the risk of suicide (2004 and 2006), the National Bioethics Advisory Committee (1997), military ethics forums and academic forums, and consumer advocacy forums (2006). Among her recent publications: Screening for Mental Illness: The Merger of Eugenics and the Drug Industry, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry (2005); Conflicts of Interest in Biomedical Research Harm Children With and Without Disabilities,"Journal of Disability Policy Studies (2004); "The Impact of FDAMA on the recruitment of children for research," EHPP (2003); "Children in Clinical Research: A Conflict of Moral Values," American Journal of Bioethics (2003); The ethics of conducting psychosis-inducing experiments," Accountability in Research (1999).
via the FDA: Guidance Drug Safety Information
FDA’s Communication to the Public an excerpt:
snake oil image from businesspundit.com