This post continues a sequence that began with Being Black and I can’t breathe. and will be continued with I can’t breathe III and Drawing Breath.
The picture features Patsy Stephenson, one of a well-heeled group of women, including Kate Middleton – likely there for the photo-op – protesting the death of Sarah Everard in London, killed for walking down a suburban street at the wrong time. Whether they are black or white, young or old, Muslim, Christian, Jew or nothing, women like Sarah Everard are in a similar position to George Floyd. Patsy isn’t in this position but the photo is eye-catching.
If someone in a group said they had AIDs, others would likely get nervous. If they add, they are on Triple Therapy everyone relaxes.
If someone said they have epilepsy but manage it without anticonvulsants, everyone would get nervous. If they say ‘only joking, I’m taking an anticonvulsant’, everyone relaxes. (Even though lots of epilepsy can be managed without meds and the meds double the risk of suicidal or homicidal outbursts).
If a woman says she is taking an SSRI, everyone relaxes.
As though this demonstrates her competence and reduces the threat to everyone else – the men anyway, perhaps other women. In the case of other women, the reassurance may lie in ‘she’s one of us, she’s on the pills.’
It was a woman explained this to me, a psychiatrist, who was taking meds.
Forty years ago, saying you were on Valium was an admission of weakness. Feminists fought against the subjugation of women by drugs. Ironically the benzodiazepines were more likely to lead women to rebel against the patriarchy than any SSRI does.
SSRIs are Stepford drugs blunting awkward emotions – all emotions that is.
But saying you take an SSRI, if you are a woman, is a statement of competence.
Among a younger generation of white women taking an SSRI has moved beyond being a statement of competence. Good for you if along with eating the right foods, spending hours in the gym, you not just admit but declare you are taking Zoloft, Lexapro or whatever. Their 800,000 followers cheer Influencers on Instagram who make declarations like this.
The word depression may slip in somewhere, but SSRIs don’t treat depressive illness. As Joe Davis in Chemically Imbalanced explains, really what is being said is I am treating a glitch – just like I wear glasses – that is holding me back from seeing and being seen properly. Holding me back from being my true self.
SSRIs numb us, ease the pain. They make us more authentically us in the way alcohol does. At the moment, non-white and non-Christian groups are less likely to buy into this, just as they are less likely to buy into alcohol. You are supposed to have a community for times like this when you need support.
SSRIs though give lots of people the impression they treat an illness. They do treat an illness – it’s called dependence. Miss your pills for a few days, and we feel desperately ill, which getting back on our pills magically relieves. The extreme form of this illness is called Treatment Resistant Depression.
Because so many figure the pills are saving their lives (by relieving withdrawal), if anyone questions these pills, without any bidding from pharma or their doctors, millions of defenders will march out to say these pills saved their lives. Close to 15% of the population at the latest estimate.
Close to 25% of the population of women of child-bearing years are defenders. The last group you’d expect to insist on access to meds they might not be able to get off. Meds that double the rate of miscarriages, and double the rate of birth defects. They also drastically lower libido and make love-making a chore, so maybe miscarriage and birth defects are not an issue.
The defenders of the meds, decent progressive women, portray comments like this is an attack on a woman’s right, duty, to look after herself. Women are too quick to sacrifice themselves for others and this has to stop. Calls for women to think twice before taking drugs that will make them feel better are now a touch twentieth century, second millennium even, we are told. Time to move on.
This is today’s equivalent of Edward Bernays organizing for women to march down the street smoking – as a sign of liberation, equality and access to opportunity. See
Looking after themselves conflicts with the instincts of many women (instincts put there just by the patriarchy?) to take themselves off drugs when they find out they are pregnant, even when male ObGyns are telling them its fine to stay on treatment and an untreated illness can harm their baby more than the meds.
The ObGyns are offering quintessential neo-Medicalism (aka neo-Liberalism) as outlined in Shipwreck of the Singular. There cannot be any clearer divide between how we once thought and the neo-Medical/Liberal way of thinking than the question of taking drugs in pregnancy. It runs smack into Margaret Thatcher’s ‘there is no such thing as society’.
A pregnancy is either an embryonic society or a weird and inexplicable weight gain that happens to some chromosomally compromised individuals.
That progressive women in particular should buy into the no such thing as society mantra shows how much the Left or progressivism has lost its way.
There is a lot going on in between the lines here. Sure there are women who have to insist they are diseased and need treatment, maybe never taking the drugs, in order to get benefits. Telling them they are not depressed is like whipping a lifebelt away from them. And it’s not sin to trumpet a disorder which you are now treating in order to maintain some self-respect. And there are times when the termination of a pregnancy may be the best option.
But there is very little sign of the women’s movement saying to women – sure play the game but remember it is a game. The women’s movement now buys into Evidence Based Medicine and believes the Fake literature (entirely ghost-written literature on drugs with zero access to clinical trial data) is the best evidence we have. Our Bodies Ourselves is now an outsourced marketing arm of Pharma. The movement is petrified of being branded Anti-Vaxx or Anti-Science. Settle for anything other than the full scientific deal – Us? No Way!
The medical model emerged around the same time, or just before capitalism – a movement that figured on making money out of producing goods. Capitalism was and is different to mercantilism or Free Trade and has nothing to do with neo-Liberalism. See Shipwreck of the Singular.
Capitalism was novel and successful – leading to great increases in wealth and goods so much so that, while some of us rejected capitalists, most of us who weren’t capitalists figured it was worth having a seat at this table. All could benefit from this engine which did seem to driving us ‘forward in an acceptable direction’.
Socialism (including trade unionism) was all about having a seat at the table. The communists in contrast figured we needed a completely new set up. Socialists figured there was absolutely no point in not being at the table – so much so they executed communists like Rosa Luxembourg.
The medical model was the Table within health. It produced solid advances in our understanding putting us in a position to correct things and able to choose whether to take a poison or undergo a mutilation in order to correct something that would otherwise kill and disable us. It gave us new abilities to investigate things and intervene so that for most of us having a seat at this table was a no brainer.
Through to 1980 – 1990, medicine and capitalism increased health and wealth. Within medicine the AIDs pandemic is the best example of what could be done. An intense mobilization by activists (lay people with the disease who mostly believed in the medical model) led in remarkably short time to a life-saver if not a complete cure. The activists split into two groups – those looking for a seat at the table (mostly male) who went into FDA and got clinical trial rules and FDA culture changed and those who rejected the entire way medicine was going and called for a totally new set-up (many more women in the mix).
AIDs activism was the final flourish of medicine as was. The vast majority of people now taking poisons have nothing wrong with them – something inconceivable in medical model terms.
Medicine has given way to a neo-Medicalism just as Capitalism has given way to neo-Liberalism. Now financialization leads to money chasing money while poverty rises, and pharmaceuticalization has led to drugs chasing drugs while life expectancies fall.
Socialists hung around at the table too long and embraced the operationalism that made neo-Liberalism, figuring as Maggie said ‘there is no alternative’.
Now that the table has vanished – neither wealth nor health is increasing – socialists have no idea what do. Their ongoing defence of the once very reasonable idea that it is important to have a seat at the table now validates a system that is causing increasing harm.
The idea of a medical model that underpins the giving of a poison or performance of a mutilation within a relationship that is at least semi-genuine still offers a glimmer of what a table we could all get around might look like.
As things stand women seem among the most likely to get cut by the cutting edge of the operationalism that underpins both neo-Medicalism and neo-Liberalism. Their music, art and science vanishes as though written on water. They too can vanish and no-one much is bothered.
Women though may be better placed than men to work out what needs to happen next. For centuries, they have been forced to figure its better have a seat at the table the men are seated around than not. Even when the cost is getting abused, or vanishing while walking down suburban streets in daylight
We can’t go back to the 1980s. We have to go forward. We need to redefine what a seat at the table should look like and unless the table and seating works for women, black, white and brown, rich and poor, old and young, its not likely to be a table worth sitting at.
Drawing Breath in two posts time will offer what seems to me a crazily idealistic proposal about what the table might look like – but the only viable proposal.
Copyright © Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.
Jekyll and Hyde – Business Model and Medical ‘Model’s’ – A Time, Table …
Should we be doing trade deals with countries like China whose official line is that the BBC reproduced fake pictures of Uighurs ‘herded on to trains’. Two weeks ago.
Reminds me of the Jean-Pierre Garnier interview on Radio 4 with James Naughtie when pressed about Seroxat. Of course, Seroxat went seriously downhill from that point on…a quick intake of breath ”and that was the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline” mocked Naughtie as they faded out…
Doing deals with Pharmaceutical Companies for Drugs and Vaccines when the Companies themselves have paid billions in fines for criminal activities?
Who is taking who for a ride…
Keeping current, a recent article in The Scotsman :
Science behind mental health treatments is a powerful argument against stigma that blights this area of medicine – Professor Stephen Lawrie
Fiona French, honesty and integrity are my values Retweeted
Wear a mask & stay safe!
What I have learnt from helping thousands of people taper off antidepressants and other psychotropic medications
First Published March 16, 2021
Although psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes have been recognized since the 1950s – recent studies confirm antidepressant withdrawal syndrome incidence upwards of 40% – medical information about how to safely go off the drugs has been lacking. To fill this gap, over the last 25 years, patients have developed a robust Internet-based subculture of peer support for tapering off psychiatric drugs and recovering from withdrawal syndrome. This account from the founder of such an online community covers lessons learned from thousands of patients regarding common experiences with medical providers, identification of adverse drug reactions, risk factors for withdrawal, tapering techniques, withdrawal symptoms, protracted withdrawal syndrome, and strategies to cope with symptoms, in the context of the existing scientific literature.
It should never be too late to unwash the’ brains’ with the ‘truths’ on the table …
‘Seats at The Table’
Listen Up to Talk at the Top – Table with Q & A
Please share this talk on subject of antidepressants link to suicide by Professor David Healy speaking
Fiona French, honesty and integrity are my values Retweeted
Akathisia Awareness is Suicide Prevention
Talk from 10 years ago.
SSRIs are now likely the 2nd most common drug prescribed to young women despite the fact they don’t work, may triple #suicide risk, cause miscarriages, birth defects, #PSSD.
Nearly 360, 000 prescriptions to kids in the first 11 months of 2020…
Professor David Healy speaking (to get the ironies here you need to listen to the talk – these phrases are mostly not meant to be taken literally):
“What has medicine come to”
“We don’t want you to do that again, that was naughty”
“The deaths didn’t happen”
“you oughtn’t to glaze over” …
A Dilemma over Emma ….
South Lakes MP Tim Farron and former Barrow MP Lord Walney have both called for the Government to consider expelling the chief executive of Glaxo SmithKline from a special council designed to aid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lord Walney said Barrow-born Dame Emma Walmsley was ‘damaging’ the country after GSK announced plans to wind up its Ulverston operation.
Tim Farron described Emma Walmsley’s position on the Build Back Better Council – as well as her receipt of a damehood last year – as a ‘kick in the teeth’ for communities in South Lakeland.
MHRA Investigation into
The investigation was carried out to determine whether a criminal prosecution should be pursued into alleged breaches of drug safety legislation.
The decision taken by Government Legal Prosecutors, on the basis of the investigation findings and legal advice, is that the case should not proceed to prosecution.
50. This advice – which was at odds with what the Agency believed to be the scope of the legislation – meant not only that a prosecution was impossible in this case, but that there was a significant gap in the law governing drug safety. It is not uncommon for medicines to be used outside the terms of their marketing authorisation for various reasons, and safety-related information related to such use should be subject to reporting obligations in the same way as for use within the MA.
‘It is understood Minister Roderic O’Gorman wrote to Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief executive in Britain, last week seeking “appropriate action” to meet the company’s moral and ethical responsibility.’
Children’s minister asks GSK to consider ‘reparations’ for Mother and Baby vaccine trial victims
SUN, 21 MAR, 2021 – 09:11
The Minister for Children has asked GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to consider “reparations” for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes where vaccine trials were carried out by the pharmaceutical giant.
As part of the Commission of Investigation into the homes, it emerged that GlaxoSmithKline had engaged in vaccine trials in Mother and Baby homes between 1934 and 1973.
In total, seven vaccine trials and two trials on infant milk formula were carried out on more than 600 babies and children in the homes.
The trials were carried out on behalf of Glaxo Laboratories and the Wellcome Foundation which later became part of the GSK group.
The trials were allegedly carried out on children in Bessborough in Blackrock, Cork, in St Patrick’s on the Navan Road in Dublin, Sean Ross Abbey in Tipperary, and Castlepollard and Dunboyne in Westmeath and Meath, respectively.
New Bessborough revelations show wider range of products tested on children
It is understood Minister Roderic O’Gorman wrote to Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief executive in Britain, last week seeking “appropriate action” to meet the company’s moral and ethical responsibility.
In a letter obtained by The Sunday Times, Minister Roderic O’Gorman wrote that “no attempt” appears to have been made to “seek the consent of parents or guardians” in regard to the trials.
“I believe that all relevant parties, including GSK, have a moral and ethical obligation to take appropriate action in response to this report,” he wrote, adding that former residents of the mother and baby homes had been in touch with him regarding the payment of reparations in relation to the vaccine trials.
“This obligation goes beyond compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements. In the context of the specific activities of the companies that now form part of GSK, I would ask GSK to reflect on how it can respond to the failures laid bare in the commission’s report.”
A statement issued by GSK following the Commission’s report in January said it made “for difficult reading”.
The statement did not include an apology.
More than 40,000 children used in vaccine trials, Mother and Baby Home Commission found
Ex-Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui is fired from board of GSK pharmaceutical company over ‘substantiated’ sex harassment claims
‘Dr Slaoui’s behaviors are wholly unacceptable,’ the company said in a statement.
‘They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies, and are contrary to the strong values that define GSK’s culture.
‘The company expects everyone at GSK to behave in accordance with its values, especially its leaders where its standards are the highest. Sexual harassment and any abuse of leadership position are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.’
Slaoui resigned from his role as the chief adviser for Operation Warp Speed back in January.
He had managed the Trump administration’s efforts to identify, fund and develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
“However, clinical trials have established beyond reasonable doubt that antidepressants for depression, lithium for bipolar disorder and antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia are all just as effective as any other treatment in medicine”.
Can this possibly be applicable to antiretroviral drugs in HIV and AIDS?
These antiviral drugs have recognised, potentially serious ADRs, which are discussed in detail with patients who are given choices. Every possible effort is made to prevent or minimise these ADRs. Some cause changes in emotions feelings and behaviours, but were not, I believe, misdiagnosed as serious mental illness, (Unlike akathisia combined with disinhibition with antidepressants and other psychotropics).
We listened to, and learned from our patients, their loved ones and their families. The antiretrovirals clearly and unequivocally prevent opportunistic infections and prevent AIDS related cancers. In population terms, they do not shorten life expectancy.
Prophylactic use now prevents HIV infection.
These drugs prevent HIV infection from progressing to AIDS and inarguably save lives. They also prevent neonatal infection.
Few diseases had greater stigma than AIDS. Doctors joined their patients as advocates in the pandemic of the early 1980’s. We campaigned with them for resources, for care based on empathy and compassion. They became our friends and taught us so much about medicine.
So often ambitious women turn into carbon copies of so called ‘alpha’ men . Women who buy into this culture are promoted by other women as well as men who vote them into categories such as the most successful woman in a medical speciality or a ‘top’ position in the RCGP or the police force – . One way they succeed is by portraying themselves as our ‘protectors’. Such as the WHO; the medical colleges; MHRA; NICE; politicians and so on. Who are they protecting us from? What a great strategy. We have people like Clare Gerada and co. playing the tough but compassionate matriarch who protects vulnerable doctors – ‘the wounded healers’ by expanding her little empire (coined by Carl Jung) but silencing others. She is a member of the Institute of Group Analysis which studies group behaviours and how to influence them. This has morphed fom the Tavistock Institute which also led to the Tavistock Clinic which is currently wreaking havoc with the lives of transgender children. SO some of them play softly softly like uncle Jonathan Van Dam telling his ‘mum’ and therefore us all what to do re vaccination, while we have others like Matt Hancock snarling at us to ‘get the jab’ ‘. we know we are manipulated and lied to but don’t know just how much of what we are fed is reliable There are many women such as June Raine seated on these tables. There are also many but not enough decent men challenging the system so I wouldn’t rely too much on just one gender or another dominating the way forward
I wonder whether there is any information on how many men prescribe SSRIs to women compared to women precribing them to women? Or successful women prescribing to men perceived as lower down the chain? That is the hidden majority of women rather than those who get into the media . there is still an attitude of seeing women as weak albeit dressed up now not just as little women needing drugs to cope with being women but as needing ‘help’ to cope with their overhwelming multi tasking roles – for the ‘successful’ in society -or at the other end and all sections in the middle for the ‘deprived’ who are precribed crap to keep them in their place Or they can if very lucky be treated like nursery school children and join a club or draw pretty pictures on the sugery walls. Anything to keep people quiet and not discourage them to activate,Women still drink and smoke but with an attitude either of ‘stuff them’ or horrendously ‘ooh aren’t we being naughty’ Maybe it’s time to expand mental health activism , to reach out in more directions and seek to join up with others who from all parts of society are challenging systems in society which oppress so many of us.
Tavistock Institute: Social Engineering the Masses – is an intersting read , enough to get the gist can be read for free on google books review.
by Daniel Estulin
I fear that, on the whole, we have become a nation of selfish individuals – each doing whatever he/she deems necessary to promote the ‘self’ or the ‘party’ (to which one has pledged allegiance). Standards have slipped to an all-time low – ’empathy’ and ‘respect’ have become old-fashioned, replaced by ‘my right’ and ‘know you place’. Consideration for others – whether it be for their wellbeing or safety – comes way down the list of priorities; at the top is ‘my standards’ and ‘in my interests’. Those attitudes can be seen right from the top to the, so called, bottom end of our societies.
Why has it come to this? Who are the winners and who the losers? I feel that we’ve lost all sense of ‘setting an example’ which has resulted in a deep unhappiness that permeates every layer of society. It seems that every ‘win’, which should surely please its supporters, very soon turns sour – Brexit, here in the UK is a perfect example of this. Those who expected wonderful things have seen it all but disappear. Lockdown, supposedly meant to keep us as safe as possible, seems to be too much for some to manage – a death and then St Patrick’s day have seen crowds throw caution to the wind without a thought for the extra Covid cases that may be seen in about a fortnight. Who are the winners ?- certainly not the family of Sarah nor the litter pickers of Liverpool who had to clear up after the revellers there. There are no winners – just a crowd of individuals who felt that they “had the right” to celebrate a saint’s day or sympathise with the death of a young London girl even though they had been asked to stay at home that night. Where was the consideration of the police in London that night? Why could they not have been more organised and have people visit and move along as they had done during the afternoon? They saw the crowds building – suddenly they remembered about Covid and social distancing. The crowd became noisy, speakers addressed them from the bandstand – why? Weren’t they there for a ‘vigil’? They forgot all about the real purpose of their gathering and, instead, decided that the police were their new ‘enemies’.
We can see the selfishness in action on both sides. Since then, all who have been interviewed, have taken sides and very little has been heard about Sarah – other than the fact that, so far,. it has been impossible to say exactly what happened to her that night when she confronted an off-duty policeman.
Unless we start to pull together as a “humanity” and get rid of all the labels that divide us, I am afraid that our time on this earth will fizzle out rather quickly. It’s time to find out what it is that’s left to unite us before it’s too late.
See Johanna’s comment below.
I am totally with Mary here in one sense but with a worry. Mulling over the loss of decency and collective responsibility she mentions, my sense is that decency has mostly common from the bottom up rather than top down. The decent people (in the circumstances) have been black and brown and female and less well off rather than white and male and privileged who have never been in it together with the rest of us. They are good at exhorting us to do thing because we are all in it together but not so at pulling their weight or looking in anyway remotely comfortable being with real people.
I agree with your “worry” David and would add another concern of mine. I fear that, unless we can sort things out, the people ‘at the bottom’ will turn into copies of those at the top. In every society there are “the haves” and the “have nots” but that does not mean that the ‘haves’ can ignore the ‘havenots’. Things are now getting so bad in some areas within the UK that those with very little are giving up on ever seeing a better outcome for them and their families. As a result, they turn on each other with devastating results.
Whilst we have the “have a massive amount” in charge here there is very little hope of things improving. They seem blind to the state of the “havenot”‘ lifestyle. They seem unable to grasp the reality of living “hand to mouth” or of being unable to have a few quid stashed away in an account somewhere – the reality of the most ordinary without a quid going spare is lost on the top few. They are blind to the situation and choose to remain so since they can have it all by keeping the rest of us in our place.
It’s high time we made voting compulsory here – surely then we would end up with a government that better fits the society of the present – day UK …….or would we? Have too many of us ordinary folk become scared of calling out the inequalities staring us in the face? If so, then shame on us!
As a non-Brit, maybe I should not open my mouth too wide on the Sarah Everard protests and police “response.” But as someone who participated in protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and all the rest, I have to be glad they were out on the street. And I can’t put them in the same league as those who pack the pubs or party on the street, throwing caution to the winds simply for fun and to relieve frustration.
A 60-something Baptist preacher and local protest leader put it like this: If we had just had a Zoom rally, nobody would have paid us any mind — and nothing would have changed. It was not an easy decision, especially for Rev. Hatch: he’d lost his big sister and his best friend to COVID in recent weeks, and conducted way too many funerals. But it was a risk worth taking. Like the protestors in London, we wore masks and did our damnedest not to crowd shoulder to shoulder. And although the government and the media waited breathlessly for the resulting “Covid surge” from the demonstrations, it never came.
You could try to see Sarah’s horrific death as an individual tragedy the demonstrators wanted to exploit. But two issues they raised make sense to me: One, that charges for violence against women are steadily down although the crimes themselves are not — especially domestic violence. And second, that protest itself risks being criminalized by proposed new legislation that would vastly expand police powers. It provides a ten-year sentence for defacing a statue with “emotional or symbolic value” along with attacks on parole and other fear-mongering “tough on crime” proposals that seem borrowed straight from the disastrous U.S. playbook. That would be enough to scare me, and make me think it was time to defend my democratic rights by exercising them a little.
I also don’t know the social class background of the demonstrators as a whole. But it’s a good idea to beware when those in power attack a protest as being based on “fashionable elites,” exploiting the presence of a few rich celebs or a few bratty students from posh colleges. Such attacks are seldom based on actual respect or caring for us ordinary folks–just the opposite. Our own movement, such as it is, will face all these attacks and more, as soon as it gets enough traction to be noticed.
So what has it all got to do with antidepressants? Try as I might, I can’t see them being celebrated as an “enhancement” that allows women to pump themselves up to the next level, like a new exercise routine. From what I see, the narrative of chemical imbalance, lifelong disease and trauma is embraced even more ferociously by younger users than the previous generation. Unless they are seen as having a Serious Mental Illness, they fear being dismissed altogether. For that reason alone the idea of meds as an “enhancement” they have “chosen” is bitterly resented by most.
And as David pointed out, of course, the hell they go through when they try to stop the pills is the most effective recruiter of all for the notion that they have a serious, lifelong disease.
Comment from Anne-Marie
Is Patsy Stevenson a crisis actor
There is a real issue here – Sarah Everard’s death is as shocking as George Floyd but with Kate Middleton turning up without a mask and this about Patsy Stevenson, this is no Black Lives Matter protest
Ah yes, but Meghan is in California bigging up Opera and King – Kate is in London walking around Clapham ‘Common’, so all thoughts of ‘Racism’ – are off …
Kate wanted to be noticed as ‘one of the people’ – the ‘royals’ are trying to portray themselves as less on another planet ,Charles made sure he had a pho op with a ‘black ;lady. a striking woman got a photo op..who knows how much they are genuine but the most agressive pictures on TV were of men – so called in solidarity with women. That’s not what we need. those with ‘black, brown ‘ skin who are in ‘top’ish positions are mainly from the same backgrounds as their white counterparts and are the winners in the system more than most ‘white’ or any other colour.From my own experience of protests and marches those at the top with the skills needed to organise depended which causes were being challenged eg CND mainly middle class and ‘white’ the miners strikes mainly ‘working class’ the ‘user movement’ started by middle class ‘white’ and splintered into different factions as they dismpowered ‘black’ people. Eco protests are mainly white many at least middle class with uni education. I reckon it’s not fundamentally a question of black or white Terrible atrocites are currently being perpetuated by ‘black ‘ on black’ as well as ‘white’ on ‘white’ all over the globe. But in Europe a lot as has been learned from the many decent ‘white’ people who have led protests and generated activism amongs people of all backgrounds and skin colours. As well as all the inspirational ‘black’ people. There is a move to work together ,hopefully power games won;t destroy that and ruin the gains that have been made from so many long hard struggles.
Of course without meaning to offend , I wonder sometimes if those who are running Rxisk and DH blogs are themselves inclusive of diverse communities?
They aren’t at present inclusive of race or financial status communities but one group that is heavily over-represented are those usually left outside when all races and all social groups have been brought into the Temple or Tent or whatever -and tha is the unfortunate. RxISK is a home for those who have been made lepers by drug wrecks that people of most races and many women shun.
But I would say we are not over represented as this is what the blogs are for I think it matters that the agendas which are set include a variety of people though and certainly not excluding ‘drug wreaks’ who can be from all backgrounds but mainy over represented by people under represented in society
But I would say we are not ‘over represented’ as this is what the blogs are for . I think it matters that the agendas which are set include a variety of people though and certainly not excluding ‘drug wreaks’ who can be from all backgrounds but mainy over represented by people under represented in society. This shouldn’t be misunderstood as a criticism of those who run the blogs which I contribute to because of my gratitude and admiration – but thinking maybe too far out of the box
The people who power and run RxISK have been severely injured with PSSD, protracted withdrawal, death of children or other loved ones because of drug wrecks which were foreseeable. I personally think this is the biggest injustice in our world and including other just because they are ‘diverse’ would be tokenism.
I celebrate the fact that Black and Muslim communities have managed to avoid having this kind of acid thrown in their face and worry about members of their communities who want to encourage them to leave the stigma of disease behind and start taking more meds. The system is doing its very best to ensnare them. One of the things that I am most pleased with in the course of the last year is a greater rate of success in getting Black people off meds or not putting them on meds they don’t need than I’ve had with any other group.
That said there are an increasing number of people from India and elsewhere getting in touch with RxISK with drug induced problems. It may be too late to avoid a truly representative section of the world’s population join up with RxISK because their lives or families have been blighted by drugs.
The hope is that with a roll-out of TaperMD, which is inching forward slowly, if we can get take up in all parts of the world that we will have people onboard for the right reasons.
Let me add another point – we are not preaching to the choir or interested in an echo chamber – we are trying to reach the 99% but the 99% aren’t listening.
But you are rather preaching to me I surely am allowed to think of ways forward even if unacceptable – as a member of the ‘other’
You’ve missed the point – I mean that the people who set the agendas not only those who power the blogs could be from diverse communities of people who have suffered. I already know what powers them. That;s not the question I understand tokenism all too well This is not tokenism they It’s not ‘just echo chambers stuff’ people from all groups have activated as a result of being disempowered by the most powerful activists There may be a time when there could be a coming together if ‘diverse’ groups are able through their own desire to recocnize a common purpose . You are able to see that progress from being inside the blogs – it helps to know that
You are talking about those who run rxisk – and is this group diverse. Its roughly 8-10 people. Tell me what a truly representative group that is not tokenistic would look like. We can agree it would be roughly 50-50 male – female. What would it be after that?
Its more representative of the unfortunate that almost any other group you can think of saving the Indian women who have acid thrown in their face.
Its debateable whether anyone in their right mind would want to hook up with RxISK – want is a loose word. They have to be driven by a motivation that is born from a lot of suffering. One of the difficult things is that many people burnt in this way figure they will do their own thing – they set up a website to try and raise the profile of issues and find they burn out pretty quickly. Its proven difficult to tell people they won’t last if they aren’t linked to something that let’s them have a breather from time to time
Here is an example of what I have pointed out before on comments. Brenda D is well intentioned but sooner or later there will be a need for assistance and funds contacts to get the message out . Where that comes from will be the problem How much she will be obstructed from publishing unacceptable accounts will be a question I would need to know a lot more before submitting anything . The name of the org hasn;t been given but e mail is here This is a small extract.
What Your Patient is Thinking
The treatment terrifies me more than the diagnosis
BMJ 2021; 372 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n543 (Published 17 March 2021)
Brenda Denzler describes how earlier traumatic experiences of medical treatment continue to have an impact to this day
Help me feel involved
I am the co-moderator of a support group for people who, like me, have been traumatised by their medical treatments. The reasons for our trauma vary a lot, and include being forcibly restrained, being subject to medical mistakes, anaesthesia snafus, or being ignored or disbelieved. Sometimes it is just the fact that medical treatment can be traumatic. Medicine is often not a gentle discipline.
Susanne, thanks for the link to my BMJ essay and the mention here. I’ve had some success in publishing “unacceptable” info, but not a lot. MedPage Today and the BMJ are the two best, most high-profile venues where I’ve been able to get out our message about treatment-related trauma.
I have a book manuscript about what it is like to be totally terrified and mistrusting of your physicians and at the same time desperately afraid of dying of an aggressive form of cancer and needing the intensive help of the physicians who terrify you. I’m having some challenges in getting it in front of a qualified editor or publisher.
IMHO, people don’t like to confront the reality that medical treatment, even when done totally correctly and because of great need, can be traumatizing. And when you add in all of the mis-steps that happen in medical settings….it’s a hard and bitter pill for health care workers to swallow. Because most of them mean well. (A few are anal orifices….but most mean well.)
As for the need for assistance, funds, and movement “infrastructure” to get our message out…you’re right. But those of us who have been treatment traumatized are careful about the alliances we accept. We are adamant about keeping the focus on the behaviors of the medical profession toward and around patients–not letting our issues be reduced to being just *our* problem with anxiety, fear of our illness, etc. That focus is all too easy to lose.
Once again, on behalf of the treatment-traumatized in our little FB support group, thanks for the link to “my” essay. We appreciate every opportunity we get to broadcast the message.
Brenda I wish your group all the best, It is one of the few I would promote on the basis of what you have described. With ref to your proposed book – DH and colleagues were calling for people a while ago to contact him if interested in publishing a book on Samizdat-Health. I think The bmj has done some good work this year especially on Covid but not many people will use the opportunity to respond .
Wrote to Brenda and she has already put a comment on the rxisk blog. She shares many of the experiences so many of the rest of us have had and is not just keeping quiet Brenda has given me permission to put her letters here. With many thanks .
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Re: medical PTSD group
6:38 PM (23 minutes ago)
I’ve tried to check out the Rxisk blogs, but it’s a large group of sites/blogs! Could you perhaps link me to the one, or section of one, that you’re talking about, below?
To be fair, not everyone who has become traumatized by their medical treatment was mis-treated. The majority of us seem to have been. But a few folks here and there have not been the subject of poor decisions (made by others on their behalf), but simply the subject of the nastiness that the practice of medicine can be, even when it’s done “right.”
You can certainly put my email on the blog as a comment…though I’d appreciate a link to the blog so that I can follow it, too.
I’ve already drilled down to the fluoroquinolone page of the blog (I think it’s you guys’ blog!) and left a comment. I’m beginning to believe that despite my best efforts to prevent being harmed by my cancer treatments, I didn’t see the harm coming from the direction it may have come. I was all up in arms about the formal chemotherapy drugs, but it’s looking like I should have been equally alarmed at the non-chemo drugs I was given. Vancomycin, I suspect, may have struck a first blow. And that was followed up by Ciprofloxacin for several rounds.
I’d be interested in what Dr. Healy says about the COVID vaccines—all three currently approved for public use. I have reservations about the two mRNA vaccines. Less concerned about the adenovirus version. Not crazy about any, but it may be prudent to get one.
Let me hear from you when you can. And in the meantime, thanks for forwarding any attention you can to my BMJ article…and thanks for your offers to link me into Dr. Healy’s group. I look forward to reading more.
Oh, and in the “rants I have yet to give vent to” department, there’s the way that one doctor’s careless prescription for my elderly mother tipped her over an edge from which there was no return and led directly to her death 4 years later.
I just really hate doctors and the world of medicine. I know I shouldn’t, but I do……
BrendaRe: medical PTSD group
4:52 PM (2 hours ago)
Hi, Susanne, it’s been a little depressing to realize just how many people it does ring a bell with. I keep wanting to think that it’s “just me” because I’m not strong enough or good enough to get over it…. But it’s surprising how many people have very similar kinds of medical experiences and wind up having PTSD because of it. This means that the issue is not just personal. It’s truly systemic.
Meanwhile, those of us who have sustained treatment-related trauma are left to deal with it on a personal level. On FB, we have a group called Medical PTSD — A support group.
There was an earlier version of the group, but when the group admin changed the name of the group and called it “illness-related,” a lot of people objected. It’s not our illnesses or injuries that have traumatized us—or at least, not those alone (if at all). More to the point is that the treatments we received because of those illnesses or injuries traumatized us, sometimes because of mistakes that were made, sometimes because of gross insensitivity, and sometimes because medical treatment just is not always nice and sweet and easy. It can be violent.
So those of us who objected set up a new group—the medical PTSD group. (The moderator of the old group got so much flak about her change that she just shut the group down.) We have been in existence for a little over a year, and we get 2-3 new members every week. There is always a steady trickle of people wanting in. Our objective is to just be a place where we can rant, rave, moan, sob, get angry, be afraid, be depressed….and people will hear us and understand us and be supportive. It’s also a place to offer ideas and support, when/if those seem appropriate. With the proviso, always, that we are not professionals. We’re just folks, and anything we suggest must be run past a qualified medical professional if it’s that kind of issue at hand.
If I see you on FB asking for an admit, we have 3 screening questions. Sometimes people see the “PTSD” in our name and think that we’re a group for all kinds of PTSD. Not so. We’re specifically about treatment-trauma PTSD (medical PTSD), so we try to make sure that there is a good fit between what the person is looking for and what we can offer. That means we do gently exclude folks who have been traumatized by their diagnoses or injuries. There should be other groups for those folks. We mPTSD folks have talked about it within the group a couple of times, and the feeling is that we want a safe place where we can express our negative feelings about the medical world and the people in it, and not be judged for doing so. (It’s also important, IMHO, to not taint the mindsets of those who do have perfectly wonderful interactions with the medical world. God knows we don’t want to influence people to be more like us!)
Hope this helps. May I ask if your interest is personal or professional…or, as is so often the case, both?
> On Mar 20, 2021, at 6:08 AM, Susanne
> Dear Brenda
> Your article in thebmj will ring a bell with a lot of people. Could you give me some information about your group/organisation please?
> Best wishes
I may be way off the mark with this but my feeling is women are fed up of having to modify their behaviour to be safe when really the onus should be on the men who prey upon, harass, intimidate and assault them and the authorities whose job it is to hold these men accountable. From a young age women are told how to keep themselves safe. The protest in London from what I could see was a push back against a system which seems to see this as a woman’s issue when really it’s anything but. This issue of safety and accountability seems to extend to some of what we are seeing in healthcare. We are preaching to women about their mental health problems when really we should be paying closer attention to what the treatments we prescribe are doing. We’ve become so focused on improving mental health outcomes and encouraging women to come forward and into services that the real cause of the harm- for many of us the drugs we are given, gets off scot free. What chance have we of improving this situation when we deny its existence?
We are repeatedly viewing declining mental health as a woman’s issue rather than a drug related issue. We can install lights on dark streets and send women off with rape alarms but what are we doing about the men who stalk and attack these women? Just as it may be seen as a great thing to give women better access to mental health services and free mindfulness sessions every Monday at the local community centre what is the point if the perpetrator of our distress is at home in a blister pack on our bedside table? Its screwing with our minds and bodies and no one, no one wants to talk about this.
We don’t seem to realise what we’re doing. It’s outrageous that not only are we failing to recognise the enormity of this issue we won’t even engage in conversation about it. So these women who have been encouraged into services (by magazines, charities and social media amongst others) are now on their own, trapped on meds they can’t safely get off of because those who claim to care for them and champion women’s voices won’t engage in a conversation that could potentially save their lives.
We have spent so much time and energy campaigning about stigma and shame and encouraging people to come forward, that to be a young woman now with a mental health diagnosis and a prescription is a sign of strength and empowerment. We have a culture around this idea of ownership where to ‘own it’ is a symbol of independence, confidence and responsibility. This includes owning your own diagnosis. I saw an Instagram post recently from a woman who described herself as “medicated and mighty.” Its not my place to argue with anyone who feels helped by these drugs but I do worry about what happens in the future if their life circumstances change or they decide they want to come off. There is a surge on Instagram of young women embracing antidepressants the way they do their new Nike trainers. My only hope for them is that by the time they choose to come off we are better equipped to support this and have conjured up something a damn sight more honest to say than anything we’ve given so far.
This is a fabulous comment
I agree that this comment is powerful and points to many of our present “ills” as a society. I particularly like the phrase “the perpetrator of our distress is at home in a blister pack on our bedside table”. That may well be so true but shouldn’t we also consider whether or not the men who commit these crimes have the same blister pack on their side of the bed too? Many of us who have seen the destruction caused, to men, by these drugs know very well that their thoughts and actions fall way outside their normal patterns when these drugs are in charge.
I feel that we need to unite, as ‘men’ and ‘women’ of every race and creed, and work TOGETHER to bring to the public’s notice exactly how the human race is being affected by prescribed medications. One of the main issues must be that judges/ coroners fail to support the rest of the human race – look at the way that Brian (AntiDepAware) has worked diligently over the last eight years to bring to the public’s notice the number of cases of deaths ( mainly suicides) where these prescribed drugs were possibly connected to the deaths. If Brian could find these facts, why could the courts not have linked the possibility too? Where there seems to be acceptance that the drug was, in fact, the reason for the unusual behaviour, what then? Well, it seems – NOTHING gets done about it. When we then make enquiries about the resulting apathy we are regularly told that ” all that needs to be in place already IS in place here in the UK”. Changing this mindset of “I’m alright Jack” into a thought of “I care because it happens” is an uphill struggle which is probably impossible unless we can get many more “Jacks and Jills” to care about the reality of our fragility when we ingest the poisons that are “in blister packs on the bedside tables” in so many of our homes.
I wonder how much Feminist Guilt plays into women’s attraction to SSRIs
Under liberalism, I think most women grow up being told that women and men are equals. We’re told to look beyond the typical gender roles and to value our brains over our beauty. Maybe our parents even let us play with toys typically meant for boys or let us play around in the mud or build dens or climb trees – nowadays they may even opt to buy us the Scientist Barbie to reinforce the idea that we do in fact have brains;.
A lot of us are specifically encouraged not to associate traditional femininity (which sees women as weak-willed, emotional and irrational) with womanhood. But I think this creates a sort of an echo-chamber because sadly, society still holds the traditional view; whilst being told by our parents that we’re Strong Independent Women that can take whatever path we choose to take in life and be whoever the hell we want to be, Society acts as the devil on our shoulder, whispering in our ear an entirely different script. One where beauty matters more than anything else because that’s how you gain Male Approval – and how you gonna find your Prince Charming when your hairs a mess or your skin is blotchy or you act ‘Unfeminine’ and you have more than one pound of fat on your body?
And the devil never stops talking so we internalize his script until these lines become so entangled with our own desires that we can’t tell separate them.
Even though we know beauty standards are a stupid misogynistic, bigoted conspiracy put in place to control us and capitalize off our insecurities and give men something to get their rocks off too, a lot of women (I would argue the majority) still desperately want to be Beautiful and live up to those stupid impossible standards – (the programming runs deep I guess)
Of course, this directly conflicts with what we’ve been told by our parents and also even by, you guessed it, Society!! which, not only pressures women to be Beautiful and to literally define our self-worth purely on how we look but simultaneously shames us for being Shallow when we care about meeting these impossible standards…. (we literally cannot win lol)
And then when you throw Male Privilege into the mix things get even messier because isn’t our society supposed to be Equal? Aren’t we supposed to feel Safe? Well No apparently not lol – I mean obviously it’d be asking too much of men to maybe Not Abuse and Harrass and constantly Objectify us – or of law enforcement to, you know, Keep Us Safe – or for our education system to teach men about the history of feminism so they don’t have to learn about it from Jordan B Peterson – oh no, the responsibility’s on us to Take Precautions – If you get raped, well, you must have been asking for it right? Or you shoulda brought your Rape Alarm or not been out by yourself that late…
Ultimately you could be the most hardcore feminist imaginable but if, after preaching to a crowd of women about how you will not be influenced by patriarchy, you have to walk home by yourself in the dark well… you’ll probably still walk with your keys between your knuckles or your perfume or pepper spray at the ready…
As women, we never really feel Safe when we’re out in public because honestly most of us can’t afford to. And we’re not being paranoid – most of us have experienced firsthand what can happen when you let your guard down. Of course this doesn’t mean we live in fear or feel oppressed – for most women, I think it’s just second nature.
I guess my point is being a woman is weird and confusing and honestly (at the risk of attracting the Wrong Kind of Audience) kind of sucks….
Well for a lot of women they probably do decrease the level of Suckery – they numb you, make you less afraid and less insecure whilst also making you appear Rational – which means men are probably more likely to Respect you and take you Seriously and Not Rape you which is definitely a bonus…
But feminism isn’t supposed to be about getting women to think or act like men (if that happened then mother earth is definitely going up in flames) – aren’t we supposed to be out here dismantling the patriarchy instead of trying to live up to its stupid ideals?
Instead, so many feminists waste their time victimizing trans women because apparently, they are now the Greatest Threat to Western Civilisation because they don’t fit the ideals of Womanhood – Because they Trivalise feminity whilst simultaneously looking like men in dresses… – ( um, gender oppression Really isn’t a great look for a rich white conservative, J.K Rowling – watch out, your Privilege is showing…)
Like womanhood isn’t some Exclusive Club lol – isn’t that kind of the point…..
But feminists (like basically everyone on the Left right now) just waste their time fighting and arguing with each other about gender metaphysics and semantics like come on people… don’t we have Real Work to be getting on with… the patriarchy ain’t gonna dismantle itself…
It’s about finding a way to phrase the problems with SSRIs that leave women feeling empowered – like they’re gaining something rather than having something taken away from them
Ironically trans-exclusionary radical feminists will probably be the most open to this message (as long as it came from a woman) – they’re supposedly working towards abolishing gender anyway and a lot of them are Pretty Outspoken on their hatred of men (not even the patriarchy, literally Men in general lol….) – but they are often Pretty Nasty and Very Transphobic sooo… they may not be the Greatest allies…
Womens’ lives are being messed with as much as they ever were mainly by men in positions of influence using them to make more filthy lucre and We need all the Parsy’s we can get if they can publicise what goes on The red hair so many have commented on is colour favoured by many women who dye their hair whether for aesthetic reasons or as a show of strength
Servier found guilty of fraud, manslaughter in long-running case over deadly weight-loss pill
by Angus Liu | Mar 29, 2021 10:45am
Gavel money handcuffs fraud
French pharma Servier was found guilty of “aggravated fraud” and “involuntary manslaughter” for marketing amphetamine-derived diet drug Mediator despite its heart safety problems. (Getty Images/alfexe)
A major pharma scandal in France has culminated in a ruling against domestic firm Servier for its role in the hundreds of deaths caused by weight-loss drug Mediator.
In a landmark ruling wrapping up decades of controversy around the amphetamine-derived drug, a Paris court found Servier guilty of “aggravated fraud” and “involuntary manslaughter” for marketing Mediator, Deutsche Welle reported.
The court handed Servier a €2.7 million ($3.2 million) fine and issued former Deputy Chairman Jean-Philippe Seta a suspended prison sentence of four years. The court further fined France’s drug regulator, Agence nationale de securite du medicament (ANSM), €303,000 for failing to act promptly on the drug’s safety risks.