Happy pills: Hundreds of thousands of healthy people, many of them children, are needlessly being drugged
By Peter Hitchens
How easy it is for bad things to go on under our noses. How many people in Cleveland, Ohio, must have wondered if something odd was happening in the house of Ariel Castro, but did nothing about it because, well, everyone else seemed to think it was OK?
And so three women were imprisoned there for ten years, a few yards from the normal world, but ignored by all who passed by.
Well, here’s a chance for you to prove that you would not have been one of the people who failed to see that anything was wrong.
For, smack in the middle of our society sits a great and dangerous scandal, which you can help to stop by protesting against it and by refusing to be taken in by it any longer.
At present you are paying for it (at least £250 million a year) out of your taxes. Somebody you know, perhaps a close neighbour or a relative, may be the victim of it.
It involves the needless drugging of hundreds of thousands of healthy people, many of them children. It also involves one of the greatest confidence tricks ever attempted, and some of the most shocking greed.
It is exposed this week in a new book that should be read by every doctor, and also by everyone in politics and the media, not to mention any concerned citizen.
The book, Cracked – Why Psychiatry Is Doing More Harm Than Good, by James Davies, published by Icon, is calmly and clearly written in straightforward layman’s English.
The author has serious academic qualifications which entitle him to take a view on the subject. He has spoken to a wide selection of experts.
And he shows that most of what we believe about modern mental health medicine is wrong.
I plan to put a much longer review on my blog, but in the end the book’s the thing. You will gasp with amazement at the sheer nerve of the medical profession, as you turn its pages. Here is what it shows:
There is no objective scientific diagnosis (and so no objective treatment) for almost all so-called mental illnesses.
They are defined every few years by a committee, which once described homosexuality as a sickness (and now doesn’t).
It is currently seriously considering creating an illness called ‘Complicated Grief Disorder’, for those who grieve over a bereavement for more than six months.
There is no scientific proof, repeat, none at all, repeat none whatever, for the idea (still believed by millions) that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, though this is the whole basis for most antidepressant prescriptions.
Drug companies control the research into their own products. They fail to publish results that suggest their pills don’t work. They doctor results to make their pills look better than they are.
In most cases, there is no significant difference in effect on depression between antidepressant pills and dummy sugar tablets.
But the pills do have potent side effects (often these are most radical when people stop taking them, which is why they should only be given up under medical supervision).
Government regulation of this behaviour is feeble.
Many of the medical experts who recommend these pills, in the media and to other doctors, receive large fees from the drug companies, without disclosing this.
Many of the medical experts who recommend these pills, in the media and to other doctors, receive large fees from the drug companies, without disclosing this
Many medical journals gain substantial income from large orders for reprints, which come from the drug companies. The profits from this industry are colossal.
Doctors who fail to toe the line lose valuable consultancy work, and in one case a leading psychiatrist had the offer of a major professorship withdrawn after he delivered a lecture criticising antidepressants.
There it is, going on near you, a grave disgrace that you can help to end. Will you? Or will you walk on by?