A recent BBC File on Four program on Antidepressants in Children, presented by Paul Connolly, has drawn disparaging comments on posts here.
Here is some background detail. I was interviewed for the program. My messages were as follows:
It was clear to me that Paul Connolly, although expressing shock just like Chris van Tulleken some months before at what I laid out, was not going to include this material. Chris was somewhat the braver of the two. He rather subtly skewered NICE – but probably too subtle for most people.
A week before the programme ran, there was an email from File on Four saying that owing to space constraints I was one of several people being omitted.
What File on Four ended up was a combination of the irritatingly anodyne and bizarre.
What is the definitive answer about whether antidepressants work, Paul Connolly asked – no one knows he said. There are definitive answers the public deserve to be told about but FoF bottled it.
Doctors are all at the mercy of clinical trials, he said, before turning to Ian Goodyer, someone who has pushed antidepressants for children for years who said on the basis of the biggest trials with 475 children he could tell us that fluoxetine (Prozac) worked in 67% of cases rising to 80+ %.
I’d fail a medical student who offered me this answer if presented with the results of the TADS trial – the one Goodyer was talking about. There is no good evidence fluoxetine worked in this trial. Goodyer omitted to tell us that there were 34 suicidal events on fluoxetine compared to 3 on placebo.
Goodyer made something of the fact this was the biggest trial of Prozac which sounds good but isn’t the biggest – not by a longshot. Even if it were the biggest, Goodyer fails to appreciate that the bigger the trial the greater the chance you can show snake oil works. If drugs are worth it, small trials are all that is needed.
Prozac, fluoxetine, is in fact the drug with more negative trials than any other.
These points are irritating. The bizarre one was that FoF made Andrea Cipriani out to be the radical outlying voice. AC’s work is totally controlled by industry – he knows he has no access to the data and his work is based on ghostwritten or company written reports . He’s a very nice man but the idea that he is a voice for caution as regards the use of antidepressants is bizarre.
The media are wedded to a set of scripts.
Find a whistleblower or insider and expose the rotten practices in pharma.
Or mention doctors who are prescribing off-label or not following the Guideline.
Or advocate for increased services other than the drug delivery component – more counsellors or therapists in children’s mental health services.
These approaches all make the problem a rotten apple in the barrel problem rather than a rotten barrel problem.
They don’t convey the real problem which is the greatest risk comes from doctors who stick to the guidelines and prescribe on label than from doctors who don’t.
They don’t begin to realise that in advocating for more counsellors and therapist you increase the use of meds. Or that most of the money allocated to a service will now go into auditors and screeners and managers rather than someone who will listen.
They don’t seize the moment and cut open the fish who died because its gullet is full of plastic.
Pharma couldn’t ask for a better sales force. And they’re free.
Connolly is Irish. His accent is broad. So in terms that an Irishman can understand, here is what’s going on.
When it became clear that 4 innocent Irish people, the Guildford Four, jailed in the mid 1970s in English jails for a bombing, were innocent, Tom Denning, then the leading English legal authority, said that even so they should remain in jail because otherwise the public would lose confidence in the law and the police, which would be an appalling outcome. It could not be let happen.
In the face of what is going on in the antidepressant and children domain, File on Four and Chris van Tulleken, decent people, will not want to rock the public’s confidence in the Regulators or in the NICE apparatus. Either that or they think they are still doing some good by exposing some rotten practice or advocating apple pie for someone.
Would it stiffen a journalist’s backbone to be told about this beforehand – to be innoculated before they spread the infection to children – to be asked to watch the movie In the Name of the Father. Having tried the experiment I have to say it doesn’t look like it.
Gerry Conlon and the rest of the Guildford Four would have died in jail if the BBC had been investigating their story. And if that hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t know the truth about Hillsborough and we wouldn’t believe that people might be subject to rape charges without anyone having checked the evidence.
Denning was right we have lost confidence in the legal and criminal justice system. We need a similar loss of confidence in medical academia and the pharmaceutical licensing system.
Copyright © Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.
I thought you had been deliberately excluded but yet again unpalatable facts were deliberately cut – just as with the programme presented by Chris, The public have been denied the truth yet again and can have no way of knowing that ,unless another media outlet will publicise how the dirty business is being covered up by BBC producers and journalists as well as the medical profession and drugs companies and incompetent NICE and pathetic MHRA . The likes of Chris and Paul cannot be constantly let off the hook, They heard the truth from you and went along with what at best left a mish mash of confusion and lies and at worst will lead to more deaths. Are producers too impressed by eminent world renowned blah blah to expose them ? Surely anybody doing a piece on this topic would have heard of the outrage against Cipriani recently? BBC 2 could have exposed Jimmy Saville before he did more harm but kept quiet – ‘learned lessons’ and all that crap will be repeated over and over again.
Doctors and all those colluding with this scandal are spineless they are contributing to the deaths and ruination of countless peoples’ lives with the knowing assistance of the college of psychiatrists who are preventing the truth from being told . .
How very useful then to have Nick Hodgson in post as media manager for the college of psychiatrists – when he happens to be the son in law of Clare Gerada Wessely recent ex chair of GPs and member of IGI and other influential psotions and Simon Wessely recent ex president of coll of psychs and member of media science group who Nick describes as the ultimate power couple. Even though they have no official position at the college they are the constant face on the media. Raging nepotism and silencing of independant voices – in UK? yes.
Nick and his media savvy team have a list of 200 compliant spokesperson approved of by the college who can be relied on to give the required spin. They also have a list which journalists can subscribe to for access to the college and it’s spokespersons. ie spokespersons chosen and controlled by cliques of narcissistic self serving individuals at the college and journalists approved and controlled by the college. How spineless can the members of the college get?! There are people in a so called democratic decent society whose lives are seen as dispensable and at the mercy those who lack any moral compass – it’s indescribably horrible
All so tragically true Susanne – added to which is the sad fact that the ordinary ‘person in the street’ STILL prefers to believe the ‘cosy’ stories rather than the ‘true life’ facts. We hear more and more about the death of young people who are on a variety of drugs, young people suffering mental health problems and put on ADs etc. – but STILL the penny does not drop. Have we, as humans, really become so hard that we don’t care about young (or old!) lives any more? Shouldn’t we expect every decent person to start asking questions about these rising numbers?
The File on Four programme, as I commented before, was hardly worth a listen in my opinion. It was easy to see where we were heading almost from the beginning – and where it took us is simply nowhere! It neither helped those already suffering nor opened the minds of those who may suffer in future. It was a file without a purpose – or so it seemed to us. If we sat on the other side of the fence, of course, it was probably the best thing since sliced bread. A whole programme without anyone defending our rights to hear both sides of the story.
The only comfort for us, I guess, is that David, and others who hold the same beliefs, remain solidly on the side of truth. I think it’s absolutely disgusting that the BBC get away with producing such biased programmes – especially when they are produced using the general public’s money.
We are back to the old question – how do we fight back against this tide of biased opinions? I have no new ideas – but I do know that it’s more important than ever to always show our true colours to support the work of those who never let us down – and to do it in the name of all those who’ve already been harmed due to these half-backed truths circulating about the need for evermore prescriptions of these evil drugs in order to create a ‘happier society’.
This may be somewhat related to dr. Healy’s post above as it also involves the media telling a story about depression and antidepressants that is not necessarily the truth. Still, most people believe it to be true because the media are powerful and tend to influence our thoughts.
An ‘anti-stigma’ campaign gone terribly wrong:
I have ample proof that a large “anti-stigma” campaign that is currently running on a national level in Belgium is promoting the idea that depression is a biological/chemical illness, and that antidepressants are always the best treatment. They make it also clear that the campaign targets adolescents.
They are using a young and internationally succesful Belgian celebrity to make their point, publishing regular interviews with the singer, and having her appear on tv, where she talks about her “biological” depression and how she deals with it. She sees herself as a role model for other youngsters, and obviously, so do the people who run the campaign.
This particular article is in French but Selah Sue is Flemish. I translated a few quotes into English. Ironically, the statements below were made in a magazine called “Psychologies”.
“I am the godmother of a new project by the Flemish organisation Te Gek!? (www.tegek.be) which tries to break the taboo around mental problems in adolescents.”
“With the risk of shocking some people: as soon as I started to take the drugs, my world opened up. It was a true revelation. Wow, this is what life is all about! It’s awesome! I can feel the sun! Before, I was always a bit unhappy. Whatever happens, there was always this shadow zone.”
“According to [my psychiatrist], I have a shortage of a particular substance, which the medicine supplements.”
The same singer Selah Sue has repeatedly stated in other interviews that her depression is 100% biological and only responds to antidepressants. She has always said that she is 100% who she is thanks to the drugs (as if antidepressants solve all of life’s problems). She firmly denies that the placebo effect even exists. She is convinced that anyone who recovers without drugs cannot possible have had a depression. Whenever she talks about her pills, it’s as if she is having an orgasm, that’s how great they work (ironically, sexual dysfunction is probably the number one side-effect of these drugs).
She was already saying all these things long before the campaign was launched, so it is clear to me that she was deliberately chosen to represent the campaign because of her biological understanding of depression. She was put on the drugs when she was 18, possibly earlier (she has been known to change her story whenever it suits her; e.g. she only admitted to taking antidepressants when she was 22; before that, she kept saying she was in psychotherapy with a psychologist, even though she was definitely seeing a psychiatrist since the age of 14, as becomes clear from later interviews).
She is 29 now so she has been on the drugs for at least 11 years, if not 15. Two attempts to come off them failed. According to the singer herself, they failed because her “biological” depression came back. Of course, the campaign uses this element to show the public that some people just need to be on antidepressants for life.
When I made a complaint through the website of the campaign, a few years ago, I was told that I should not be attacking people for needing antidepressants as a temporarily crutch until the therapy kicks in. All well and good… except that Selah Sue is clearly not using them as an aid but as THE treatment for her depression, and 11 years non stop is not “temporary” use. I even doubt that she was ever in therapy. Going to see your psychiatrist for a prescription renewal does not equal therapy in my book.
This has all the elements of a girl who was put on drugs at too early an age and now can’t come off them anymore. Even if she did take her first antidepressant when she was already 18, that really doesn’t make much of a difference, because the brain is not fully developped yet at that age. It’s not like it suddenly changes over night when you turn 18. Doesn’t the FDA warn against using antidepressants until the age of 24?
Regardless of whether Selah Sue is a victim of her antidepressants or not, the national campaign she is the patron of should not be promoting the chemical imbalance theory and separate depression from its psychosocial context, nor glorify antidepressants while ignoring all side-effects. It is also wrong to approve and promote long-term use of these drugs (in Selah’s case life-long).
I compiled a few more articles (most of them in English) that talk about Selah Sue’s depression and how the solution for her has been 100% pharmacological. You will notice that her story is full of inconsistencies and that it actually proves that her depressive episodes are triggered by life’s circumstances rather than being “biological”.
In this English article from 4 years ago Selah Sue is denying the placebo effect of antidepressants (although proven by science), and she says her depression must be genetic because all her grandparents are mentally ill (for some inexplicable reason, the illness skipped a generation because her parents are normal):
The final paragraph says that the solution has been ENTIRELY pharmaceutical and it has made her 100% who she is… only to finish with the advice that treatment must include talking therapy. (if that’s not a contradiction, I don’t know what is)
In this article, she repeats the “inherited depression” thing:
Notice that she talks about therapy and psychological help even though we know from later interviews that she was seeing a psychiatrist from the age of 14 (the same one who told her that she has a chemical imbalance and put her on drugs when she was 18). Also note how she constantly confuses sadness and unhappiness with clinical depression and than goes on to call it an “illness”.
Here she does it again: teenagers are under a lot of pressure, she says, which can only be handled by taking medication, apparently (here, her depression started at age 18, whereas in other articles she was already depressed 4 years earlier):
Also in English, she wrote on her Facebook page on 7 December 2015 about her relapse when trying to lower her medication:
“Second time I tried to lower my anti depressives, with the idea of being well prepared and ‘clean’ for future pregnancies. 4 months later the dark atmosphere was there again. DEJA VU with 2 years ago. Life got impossible again. I called my amazing shrink who knows me already for 10years and to him it was also clear. So I increased my medication, hoping it would work soon: Feel the sun again, enjoy eating again, sleep better, and feel less anxious, hoping I didn’t had to cancel all future shows and commitments..
After a few weeks it got better.. It’s almost magical. Today I’m still a bit unbalanced, but it gets better everyday.”
In this article (in French) she says she will need to take antidepressants for the rest of her life, despite admitting in the next paragraph that finding love and her significant other has made her happy again (which obviously contradicts her own therory that she’s biologically depressed):
Finally, here she actually admits that it was love sickness or some kind of rejection that triggered her “biological” depression when she was 14, and that she was treated for it with medication (she usually denies she was already on antidepressants at that age).
It’s remarkable that we are still having this debate at all. I am always dismayed when I see people like Cipriani, or Pariante on national TV, or quoted in newspapers about their views -without the slightest mention that they are both tied (through research grants etc) to the drugs industry. They might not see this as a conflict of interest, but as a blogger, and ex-Seroxat user- I certainly do. I also don’t believe a word that comes out of either of their mouths, that’s not to say that they are lying, I don’t think that necessarily, I think often they believe what they are saying to be true, but that doesn’t mean that it is true. I think they really want to believe that SSRI’s don’t harm people, and are beneficial. This is perhaps why- they omit the most important detail: They Haven’t Seen The Data!…neither of them ever tell the public, or interviewers that their research they present in favor of SSRI’s is not based on the data either. This is grossly misleading, and to be honest personally I believe it is also grossly unethical and immoral. If people like Cipriani, or Pariante, go on national TV, and are touted as experts and an authority on these things- the lay person (the average joe public) would likely believe them, because they seem to have the credentials. I would have believed them 20 odd years ago, before I started on this journey, but after analysing so much of this stuff over the years, I can cut through the BS like a hot knife through a slab of butter. I don’t believe an ‘expert’ until I have thoroughly researched them…
On a different note, although on topic- Wendy Burn of the Royal College of Psychiatry has been having a baptism of fire (of sorts) on Twitter. It’s really fascinating to hear her views on all things psych drug, SSRI, and mental illness related, it’s also worrying how out of touch and misinformed she is on these things too. She has dug for herself several (or more) holes in which I don’t see how she can dig out of. The gulf between us (the informed ex-SSRI/patients) and mainstream psychiatry like Burn couldn’t be bigger it seems. However, at least she is engaging, that’s something to be appreciative about I guess..
Wendy Burn @wendyburn 6m
I think you are right. Going to take a break from talking about antidepressants for a while. Thanks for the engagement.
Wendy Burn @wendyburn
Replying to @Truthman30
I am cautious about what I read and hear as there is so much emotion around antidepressants. Some of the stuff doesn’t ring true, for example the Panorama programme that said antidepressants could trigger murder.
Up and down the alley.
You might like to read the twittersphere atmosphere about engagement..
Then I spoke to psycho-pharmacologist and long-time campaigner on the potential dangerous side effects of antidepressants, Prof David Healy.
Healy had been hired as an expert witness in the James Holmes case and had visited him in jail before the trial. The public defender appointed to represent Holmes wanted Healy to evaluate whether the antidepressant sertraline (also known as Lustral in the UK and Zoloft in the US), which Holmes had been prescribed, could have played a role in the mass murder.
I have worked with David Healy in the past on a number of investigative films for the BBC’s current affairs programme, Panorama.
These films revealed cases where people with no previous history of suicidal thoughts or violence went on to seriously harm themselves or others after being thrown into a state of mental turmoil by the newer generation of SSRI antidepressants, such as paroxetine and fluoxetine.
Before meeting Holmes, Healy doubted the pills had played a part. But by the end of his prison visit he had reached a controversial conclusion.
He was never called to give evidence at the trial of James Holmes, but he told me in August 2016 that he would have told the court:
“These killings would never have happened had it not been for the medication James Holmes had been prescribed.”
The Batman Killer – a prescription for murder? – BBC News
a prescription for murder? By Shelley Jofre 26 July 2017. James Holmes, a young man with no record of violence, … Prof David Healy.
Thank you for publishing this David. There are similarities in your article with the work our group have been doing to raise awareness of concerns about HPV vaccines.
Many times over the last 8 years, we’ve worked with journalists and news editors to raise our concerns. Every shred of evidence we hand over is fact checked and verified, and either from scientific journals or acquired from Freedom of Information requests. But still at the eleventh hour the article, interview or news item is pulled or cut, presumably because of an intervention from one of the health agencies, a big advertiser who is close to the vaccine manufacturer or someone at the top with vested interests. Whoever intervenes, the result is the same, the story is killed and the information never reaches the wider public. Instead the public is fed insipid drivel from PHE and all is well with the vaccination schedule, no major panics and no decrease in public confidence. The efforts to protect the ‘public interest’ was successful.
Of course there is social media to vent frustrations and disseminate our facts and information, but it won’t take long before social media is also more tightly controlled and censored. It’s already started.
A couple of years ago articles began to appear complaining that ‘anti-HPVvaccine’ sites and stories often ranked higher in Google searches than the ‘official’ health sites giving government approved information to the public. It wasn’t long before the Google algorithm was very obviously changed and the first page of HPV vaccine searches is now usually wholly pro-vaccine sites.
The latest trend is to call for a clamp down on ‘Fake News’ on social media – apparently Facebook needs to be regulated and ‘Fake News’ sites taken down. But who decides what Fake News is? In the world of the HPV vaccines, anything I post would be considered ‘Fake News’ because it isn’t verified by officialdom – that it’s verified by real data and statistics and FOI work just wouldn’t cut it and I’d be forced off social media. The impact on freedom of speech and the consequences is actually quite frightening.
The comments I get, usually from relatively (and supposedly) intelligent people, are that if my concerns about the HPV Vaccines were true, it would be all over the news and that they would have heard more about it. If I attempt to explain, they look at me like I have two heads, each wearing a tin foil hat!!
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses” (Malcolm X)
BTW Regarding HPV vaccines:
The judge in my trial I know did believe I had been suffering the effects of my medication because at the end of my trial he specifically addressed my Barrister and asked him to personally contact my GP to tell them what had been happening to me. He also asked why my case was even in a courtroom??????? He looked very concerned. He then apologised for finding me guilty.
Why are Psychiatrists allowing this to happen??????
I don’t think the drug-naive segment of the public can possibly understand what is underneath a statement like “Fluoxetine doesn’t work.” When I see that, it barely registers because I’m thinking of the unconscionable suffering that can accompany the bland-sounding anti-platitude.
Cipriani! That huge analysis of studies that included a large and influential number of studies in which subjects were allowed benzos or Z drugs for sleep problems. We don’t need a clinical trial of benzos + antidepressants, but that is what Cipriani is.
Can you expand on your no one can understand the fluoxetine doesn’t work statement. There is something right about what you’re saying – am trying to pin down exactly what
I remember a ministerial ranked politician told me at the time of the Swine Flu fiasco when I argued about the danger and inappropriateness of the interventions that you could not be seen to do nothing, or as the prominent French vaccine critic Dr Marc Girard remarked on their national TV “In the middle ages they would have burnt some Jews”. It is a matter of acting in irrational way rather than do nothing when there is pressure to do something. Somehow, it is supposed to be a contribution even though it is known that the intervention will be completely ineffective or harmful, while maintaining the status of those in charge and reassuring people that action has been taken. Immediately speaking it is not important that it is effective, only that it has been done.
I don’t think the drug-naive segment of the public can possibly understand what is underneath a statement like “Fluoxetine doesn’t work.” When I see that, it barely registers because I’m thinking of the unconscionable suffering that can occur whether the drug works or not. To put a family through it despite knowing the drug won’t work is sociopathic.
Cipriani! That huge analysis of studies that included significant number of studies in which subjects were allowed benzos or Z drugs for sleep problems.
We don’t need a clinical trial of benzos + antidepressants, but that is what Cipriani is.
That’s not all Cipriani is. Its an analysis of ghostwritten material. It does not have access to the data and AC knows this. The key to it is the Prozac trials – he says Prozac works because the ghostwritten articles present it this way – when the FDA reviews of the trials say it didn’t work
Thank you David for explaining what was not included in recent BBC programmes on antidepressant prescribing. The power to edit is power itself.
You are absolutely right, we do have a ‘rotten barrel problem’. Thank you for outlining this so clearly.
I try to do what I can. As a Member of the College I speak up. I have not found this easy but I will not stop. My primary interest is in ethics and in my view the Royal College of Psychiatrists has taken an unethical approach to science.
We need the Royal Colleges and other Learned Societies to speak up on the corrupting influence of industry.
I recently put some thoughts together on Professor Wendy Burn’s contributions on social media. It is most welcome that she is engaging (not with me, I am not on social media) but it is concerning to learn of such a narrow appreciation of what constitutes evidence and the lack of awareness of vested influences that distort science and lead to real-world harm.
I am a great fan of yours and live in rural Argyll.
I have watched most if not all of your films and am so very impressed at what a rounded and good thinker you are!
You manage to impart such wonderful philosophies and you are extraordinarily polite when it comes to thinking through what you are imparting, and, what is relevant. I love how you master editing..
Scholarship might have to reassess all sorts of certainties
Another taster ..
I am so happy you follow David’s blog and are able to participate with us, as you are such a professional in this game and have your own experience of Paroxetine, to share.
I have this experience of hospital.s with Paroxetine and would like to hug your little bear.
You are in the same class, as Mickey Nardo, coming at life from differing angles, he would have been fascinated by your wee art as much as you would have been fascinated by his sharp shooting..
I could put so many of your wee films up, but, it is up to anyone to take a look at
I collect my films under the name “Omphalos”. Alexander McCall Smith wrote to me to say “your films are very beautiful”. In the making of these films I have …
Propaganda from the BBC !
Here in France France inter and France culture are just as institutional as the BBC, it’s a real problem. I like this publicity slogan,’propaganda from the BBC ! ‘
TRIAL BY ERROR The title of a blog which has published letters from David Tuller Senior Fellow in Public Health and Journalism Uni. of California to Fiona Godlee 2nd July 2018 ,and a follow up letter ,is well worth a read, including the comments to his published letter on The Virology Blog -where he castigated Fiona Godlee and the bmj –
‘….the only conclusion I can draw from recent efforts to address the methodological and ethical violations in the two BMJ papers on Children with ME/CFS is that concerns about reputational damage have overridden other concerns…..’
Just listened to this.
Did anyone notice the Cipriani linguistic riddle?
“Only fluoxetine better than placebo”
“Fluoxetine not significantly better than sertraline or citalopram”
The answer is that clearly Fluoxetine is NOT SIGNIFICANTLY better than placebo – that’s the only way both statements can be true.
This should not surprise us, the better brains here know that if stopping re-uptake inhibition is going to work , then loads of them will achieve that. If only one does, it’s even obvious to me that it’s fishy, especially so when Cipriani’s own league tables have fluoxetine going from top to near the bottom on your 18th birthday, I think he smells a rat but daren’t say so.
Incidentally, that heart-wrenching first story could have been us. Lots of similarities. Same drug, same lack of consent.
Thinking about this problem in the round. I’m not apologising for the BBC, I am as angry as all hell, but I’m just trying to understand.
It takes time to uncover the depth of the scandal, I’m not sure reporters have enough time. I have no doubt that what you say is true , Dr Healy, no doubt whatsoever, and I’m so grateful that after all these years you and others campaign to save lives. But the implications are so massive that each point needs a decent chunk of time to demonstrate. I find myself constantly trying to figure out the single killer argument that will make people listen.
As a side issue, the GP was a waste of space: we’ll prescribe a drug known to induce suicidal ideation but it’s OK we will ring you in a week, my clinical experience blah. They are useless, if you do call them out of hours, they just say dial 999. I found myself ringing suicide charities instead.
The BBC did not give airtime to a single critic of antidepressants – shocking. Instead they let a knowledge-less GP give personal opinions about “having to do something” – and I thought she was a Doctor.
The big picture to me is this:
1. This whole class of SSRI drugs are quite similar and don’t work in under 18’s, and have effects in adults so minor as to indicate that the whole pharmacological approach is a red herring.
2. They do increase the risk of suicide significantly initially and there is no evidence that they decrease suicidality subsequently. You therefore cannot dream of prescribing them to someone who is already suicidal, you would have to be out of your mind.
Incidentally, for us, once Sertraline failed , their next brain wave was Mirtazapine, which according to Carol Coupland has over 3 times the suicide rate of fluoxetine or sertraline. But they said they felt they “should do something”.
The journalists, their producers and editors are all harassed by government/pharma through people within the organisation with Science Media Centre and Sense About Science hovering in the background. They will always blow it in the end.
The part that I fail to understand about the BBC is this :- they must have their reasons for asking for David’s point of view in the first place; they must have had an idea what his views would be as he’s not exactly new to this game is he?
Since they didn’t include anyone else with the same viewpoint as David, can’t they see that this would fail to sit very comfortably with some of us? If they had no plans whatsoever to use David’s replies then why on earth waste OUR money and HIS time asking for his comments in the first place? I reckon the puppets’ strings were tightened before it went to air for fear of reprisals from other directions. As we know, a puppet hasn’t a backbone – it’s just a loose bag of joints!
@Mary, I think you are right, the BBC was influenced by the establishment , probably the RCPsych or the phoney SMC. They can easily discount critics like Joanna Moncrieff or Irving Kirsch because they are not “child” clinicians. In Dr Healy’s case they try and fallaciously make him out to be extreme and shooting from the hip. He is the obvious counter-weight to Ian Goodyer. I think on reflection it is simply institutional corruption.
We have the model of what happened at the Observer when in 2007 they tried to report on the rising autism numbers. The journalist and the editor found themselves surrounded: Goldacre agitating within the organisation, Fiona Fox and SMC backed up by loads of angry health officials from outside (result: article withdrawn, editor dismissed within months with the incident hovering in the background):
But, of course, the report though not well done was correct.
Now, of course, the situation is hugely worse (possibly x3) and no one dare say a peep (effectively the can’t if they wanted to because they will never get the institutional support, and who wants to argue with “experts”). There is corruption but there is also a terror which prevents people from even thinking.
When the child autism rate is 1 in 1 it will still just be better recognition – everyone was like that all along only no one noticed before!
There is a little more room for manoeuvre with psychiatric drugs but not much.
Another example was a senior journalist and current affairs editor on a national newspaper, who wanted to report a vaccine damage case. They battled for weeks with colleagues to be allowed to do it, did in the end, but that was the last time -the effort for them became disproportionate.
Dr Peter Gotsche – co founder – Nordic Cochrane
the books also printed in English but Amazon wont sell it… you will need to contact the Author
I am puzzled by your claim that Amazon won’t sell it since you have linked to it on their website and it seems to be available with a price.
We too were recently approached by a journalist from File on Four to help with info on a piece they are doing on Suicide and RoAccutane. I gave the journalist info and am awaiting a call back to discuss further. Having heard the recent programme as described here, in all its disappointing lack of balanced insight, I will not be surprised if anything we say will either not be used, or will be significantly watered down. Working previously several times as contributors with the BBC on other inquiry programmes, I feel that their intentions are mostly good, ie you offer them stuff in answer to THEIR questioning, they express shock and horror and genuine sympathy for what’s going on, but they are running scared of the BBC Corporation being sued by Pharma.
They seem particularly terrified of Roche. But then, so are many of us, being well aware on a personal level, what lengths Roche can go to to ruin you if you become a pesky little irritant by spreading awareness of what neurological and other damage their drugs (Accutane and Lariam to name just two) can do. (Read ‘Roche v Adams’ available still as a secondhand book on Amazon, to get an idea of what power they wield and what they can do, with the aid of the authorities no less, to whistleblowers).
To whistleblow or not to whistleblow, that is the question – we just read an article by Charles Hymas in the D.Telegraph 28.7.18 headed ‘Facebook accused of reviving junk MMR science’ which is more than disappointing. No balance there. Very strong and authoritatively written. If we whistleblow to the BBC but their hands are tied, then Facebook is all some of us have, but like John says, we will possibly soon be shut down there too.
In the name of balance, and answering Mary and others about why the public don’t seem to want to hear that these SSRI meds and others DO NOT WORK (generally speaking), you have to stand in the shoes of someone caring for another who is appearing distressed due to mentally being out of kilter. The carer/relative whatever, is desperate for the doctor to DO SOMETHING. There is trust in the medications because they have to get their loved one relief from distress and the doctor has no time/resources to offer anything else. And the wheel spins faster and faster, more meds, more damage, more money and power for Pharma. Until we really find a way to support not just the patient but remove the fear from the nonplussed carer, the meds will be a welcome quietener and no one on that frontline will want to hear that they don’t work. Because if they don’t, then what the hell are they to do, wait for a Suicide? They are on duty 24/7. ‘ Out of hours’ help is scarce and fragmented and often ineffectual.
This is a societal problem so vast that no one dares really acknowledge it. Surely we need places where Carers and unwell loved ones can go together, like day hospitals but not the same, cheery places for learning and mutual support, where people help each other, and where psychiatrists are irrelevant, saving their services for only the very severely mentally ill, who really want and ask for them. We’ve run a pilot project voluntarily like this for almost a year. It works. We’ve proved to the NHS it works. But there will be no money for it, because all their budget is going on managers and pharmaceuticals. How blind is that, but are
they blind because they daren’t allow themselves to see the huge elephant filling the system?
I am totally with you.
“Waiting for suicide” ….I get it….
Are you able to say where in the NHS that project is or what the nature of it is?
It is essential that it does not feed back to the psychiatrist.
In my experience , it was the psychiatrists that rather stupidly felt they “had to do some thing” and it was us carers who said “hang on, we could easily make this even worse”.
Thank you for being so kind about my creative work.
It is lovely to hear that you live in rural Argyll. I was fortunate to spend most of my childhood summers with my Granny at Lochawe.
I have a few more posts now on some of the ‘key opinion leaders’ in UK psychiatry. The Royal Colleges and Learned Societies should be ashamed that they have not addressed the pervasive influence of financial interests in distorting science and “Evidence Based Medicine”.
This is from “Corridors of Power” by C. P. Snow: “In the long run, big business, with the scientists, usually won”. We cannot let this happen or lives will continue to be harmed and the name of science stained indelibly.
Back in 2004 the BBC were already clearly lying about Wakefield, courtesy of Richard Horton making the impossible claim that they didn’t know that Wakefield was working as an expert in the MMR litigation – indeed, although it was already known they had published a letter from Wakefield saying so in May 1998. Anyhow, when I drew this to the attention of the head of BBC news, Richard Sambrook, he tried to divert me to Tom Feilden of the Today programme I seem to remember mentioning his association with SAS. Feilden simply didn’t reply to numerous emails. No correction was ever made – it still hasn’t.
Interesting to note that the head of BBC news responded – if memory serves a number of times – but if anything he was frightened of Feilden who never replied. I was also in touch with the File on Four team that year, initially interested in what I had to say, then going silent – I am sure they understood there were matters of substance but they were warned off. Not sure whether it was the same people as now.
Also, it may be recalled that in 2011 the BBC produced the Jones report (Prof Steve Jones). If FakeNews has been buzz word recently in those days it was “false balance” and the Jones report seems have been a formal step in excluding non-consensus voices from broadcasting. Actually the BBC news barely mentioned the report except to say it had been praised in it.
Now btw the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have produced their Fake News report which looks to more bureaucratic controls on the web though mercifully there is no particular focus on public health.