Persecution: SUI Cide In The OK Corral

November, 17, 2014 | 21 Comments


  1. Dr. Healy:

    Everyone in the situation Nancy Olivieri found herself in, will have the experience I’ve recently had of looking at documents written by people I’ve never met who seem to hate me with a passion. You can only wonder why. What drives such hatred? Have they just been fed a line by people who already do hate me? Is this coming from outside – from pharmaceutical company pressure?

    I think it goes deeper than that. I think it is a religious hatred. Modern people believe in science and technology as a kind of savior, in doctors as a kind of High Priest, and in medications as a kind of sacrament. They don’t want to understand the limitations and flaws which you have the temerity to point out.

    You aren’t merely a skeptic, or an economic threat to powerful interests, though you are certainly those things. You are also and more importantly a blasphemous heretic. You threaten the world view of a large number of modern people at a very basic level.

    Keep it up. I’ve been giving away copies of Pharmageddon like halloween candy.

  2. There may be people who you have never met who seem to hate you with a passion but they are outnumbered by people who respect, appreciate and value you.

    It must be very difficult to be in your position and feel such venom and anger directed towards you. I hope this is outweighed by the support you have from fellow academics, colleagues, patients and people like me, a mother who will always for the rest of her life be grateful for the help you gave her son.

  3. This is a crackling post.

    The soft underbelly is unbelievably insulted.

    You are so right when one protagonist starts the ball rolling.
    Tonto did not gallop in to save Toronto…

    Although – you were fired – from Toronto we kept you.

    We always kept you because right from Gun One, you wrote the books, you argued, you appeared on Panorama, you discussed all over America, you created, you wrapped IAI and you gave support, charity and sympathy to those you came across.

    John Wayne, said, “get off your horse, and drink your milk”.

    The Wild West, the guns, the bars, the ‘give me a whiskey’ and the bartender fills the glass and shoves it and it slides along and stops and the atmosphere is electric.

    He sips, he sits, he doesn’t know who is behind him. He might be stabbed in the back, but, he sips his whiskey and the atmosphere grows and, we, know, that something, is going to happen….the bar and the cowboy and the whiskey and it has gone so quiet, you can hear a pin drop, but, we know that something is going to happen and we are now on the edge of our seats………….

    Elderly academics missed their education, their picture and their sang-froid and ‘run out of town’ is the euphemism of the day.

  4. Matt, beautifully written. An understandable analogy. As an outsider one can only admire, and try to further understand, from the sidelines. Ethics are in short supply…. so too those who constantly stand for Truth. Perhaps it was ever thus. And, as an observer, I am still awaiting the chorus of voices from those who wilfully remain silent.

  5. So Paxil will help middleaged women get rid of hot flashes? Well, some of those poor sweating ladies will also loose their minds, I’m afraid.
    I could even sense an upcoming stabbing at the local bridge game.

    Perhaps Robin Williams wasn’t so wrong when he mentioned that chemo therapy can be used to remove unwanted hair!!!

    I’m male, and I have never experienced menopausal hot flashes, but there is no way any sane doctor can show me a believable risk versus benefit analysis to use Paroxetine for that!!!

  6. Matt has summed it up very well indeed. “You threaten the world view of a large number of modern people at a very basic level”. Dr Healy, you are shaking the very foundations of modern medicine. The harassment you are experiencing is, I think, akin to that experienced by climate scientists worldwide whose findings shake the foundations of a growth and fossil fuel dependent industrial society on a finite and already too small planet.
    ( Just one quick example
    You, and they, are doing honest science and raising legitimate concerns and it is reasonable to expect to be engaged with in a civilised and rational manner. Instead you are faced with outright hatred, irrational rejection and ongoing harassment. It is confusing and disorienting at first, until the penny drops. When fundamental world views are shaken to their core, self interest, fear and irrationality surface. It takes great courage and personal cost to persist.

  7. I had never heard of David Healy until a friend told me about “a psychiatrist in Wales” who had been writing about the toxic effects of psychiatric medication for many years. At the time, 2012, I was enduring horrific neurological/metabolic symptoms – after slowly discontinuing and finishing olanzapine, an anti psychotic, which I’d taken as a “mood stabiliser ” for 12 years. I could find no information online, had written to various well known psychologists (and service users) who had been critical of psychotropic medication – and had not one reply. Not one. One hot Bank holiday Monday, nearing breaking point, I googled Wales and Psychiatrist – up popped David’s blog, and email address. I wrote and asked whether olanzapine could have caused the symptoms – expecting no reply. Within 5 minutes David replied – and I cried – because someone had bothered to contact me…..Since then of course I have followed the blogs, and realised that David is fighting a major major battle for survival.

    I hope that David has many friends and colleagues who are rallying to his support. At least I comfort myself with that thought. However, heretical voices which threaten any powerful establishment: political. commercial, religious – are often silenced in the end by some means.

    But, for me, David was the one person who answered my email and made me feel that I wasn’t completely alone. For that I shall always be profoundly grateful.

  8. Is it not simply a case of “Follow the money”? The Old Guard with an eye on their retirement package and the Young Turks promotional prospects are being stymied by your relationship with the Bank of Pharma. You and others of similar mind need to be discredited in order to free up the lucre.

  9. There are plenty of reasons for the successful exploitation of the public by the health care industry. Dr. Healy has documented the detailed history in Pharmageddon, going public with the same facts he was tirelessly sharing with his colleagues. He dedicated Pharmageddon to patients and families who have been harmed by this indefensible scourge, and especially “for those who have struggled to put things right.” I am a member of the group in that last category.

    My response to feeling personally addressed and charged up with a sense of mission, was to share Pharmageddon widely amongst mental health professionals- especially psychiatry residents- doctors in training, in the Boston area. My disappointment when this breakthrough work was not immediately accepted by the *old guard* is also a matter that has a well documented history, reasons well explained in numerous stories about the inherent opposition to- even life saving advancements in medical practice. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the hideous contraction implied when there is an attempt to justify the behavior of doctors who “oppose life saving advancements in medical practice”. I am thinking and writing from the perspective of 40 years of nursing practice, as a front line witness who has had countless face to face encounters with doctors who follow in the footsteps of their *old guard* resistance – masters, when I suggest that there is but one reason for what I believe is an indefensible contradiction, it is; the bordering on pathological, arrogance of most doctors– also the subject of historical, biographical depictions of doctors.

    Over 200 years ago, evidence of this character pathology was revealed in the ranks of what I call, the *Diva’s* of physicians, surgeons. Ironically this had to do with the most fundamental life saving *surgical* practice that requires little more than common sense to understand, that is; hand washing and sterilization of surgical instruments.

    London born surgeon Joseph Lister (1827-1912) announced before a gathering of his peers in London (1867 ) the results of his *clinical trial* using phenol and aseptic techniques. His results? After nine months employing what we would commonly think of today as routine for creating a sterile field for surgical procedures, Lister reported there were no cases of sepsis amongst his patients. Zero! The leading cause of post-op death, obliterated. Guess what? No immediate acceptance was forthcoming for this major life saving breakthrough.

    The first adaptation of Lister’s techniques was in Germany– in the 1870’s!! It took *years* for British surgeons to give up believing in- what? That their hands were *touched by God”?- or that, they were completely incapable of *causing harm and death* to their unwitting patients? Blind arrogance or cognitive dissonance. Take your pick. Many very scholarly people have analyzed this — but though even I have spent, or wasted time, delving into the psyche for a reasonable explanation… I am now of the opinion that it is a waste of time.

    There may be reasons, but no more excuses, in my mind, for decades to pass before vulnerable people are protected from the harm caused them by their health care givers.

    For the sake of time management, I am also foregoing any and all rehashing of unjust persecutions that bring little comfort but plenty of sardonic cliches, like ;”No good deed goes unpunished.” AND, I am not counting on the calvary to ride in, not depending on the kindness of strangers nor am I expecting a grand showing of solidarity from doctors, who aside from arrogance are also well known for their inability to hold their peers accountable — worn out stories there , too. I’m seeking something new-

    On October 23, Simon Wessely, MD, a British psychiatrist, published an article, “The real crisis in psychiatry is that there isn’t enough of it”, at the online site ,”The Conversation”. Dr. Wessely is the Professor of Psychological Medicine at King’s College, London, and is also the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    Starting with a letter writing campaign– a reality check for Dr. Wessley- from a diverse group of people –. Questions, concerns and complaints ??

    address them to:

    Professor Sir Simon Wesseley
    21 Prescot Street
    E1 8BB

  10. Meanwhile, back at the ranch…meet the real world…..

    In the Real World *patient’s lives are complicated*

    In the Real World *patients are all individuals*

    In the Real World *patients may have a number of conditions or characteristics; they may smoke, take a number of medicines, not always remember when to take those medicines or not take them as often as they should*

    In the Real World *RCTs are in a highly controlled setting…..scientific and robust*

    *….driving GetReal and Real-World Data…*

    In the Real World, as opposed to the Unreal World, we have Rumpelstiltskin, and, spinning-straw-into-gold.

    In the Real World, pernicious preaching, as above, is rife in the entire medical establishment.

    Is the rampant condescending attitude acceptable from both Pharmaceutical copywriters and academic copywriters?
    Filtering down to the innocent prescribers?

    A particular bug-bare of my own is the Daily Mail and, in particular, their health section on Tuesdays. A resident, top chosen GP with his own weekly page. This GP never fails to promote anti-depressants to the reading public.

    Last week he received a letter from an over 70’s man who was embarking on a new love affair and who said he couldn’t ejaculate. He advised him to take Paroxetine. The week previously an entire page was devoted to a lady who loved her anti-depressant. There was a highlight in the article saying Prozac and Seroxat were the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants.

    Peter Hitchins, on the other hand, has come up trumps with his constant questioning of why no one is questioning violence and/or suicide from anti-depressants.

    I wrote a letter a couple of years ago describing the dangers of anti-depressants and The Mail telephoned me and wanted it to be Letter of the Week. They wanted to send a photographer to my caravan and I would have been exposed as a voice against anti-depressants. However, I declined their invitation; the letter was not published as my feeling was that Paroxetine was such a scandalous subject and that it was not appropriate to do this at that time.

    The story of Seroxat/Paroxetine is immensely newsworthy, mainly, from the perspective of how it arrived on our laps.

    I am not a lawyer and I am not a doctor, but would the whole reckless fraudulent nature of this subject hurt anyone by being exposed?

    A few leading lights in the academic world also need shocking out of their complacency.

    Which takes us back to the beginning….meet the real world….

  11. Anonymous – details available on request.

    Documents of hate. Do such painful texts identify the degree to which those of “less pure motivation” feel threatened?

    After three years of addressing and struggling to understand the ignorance and cruelty relentlessly raining on my daughter after she sought help for a minor problem but didn’t respond in the expected way – the position of “mainstream psychiatry” appears more and more difficult to justify.

    It appears to me that the perpetrators of her persecution were and are adherent to a pseudo-scientific delusion – that they are “master physicians of the mind” who address known and clearly understood pathophysiology with drugs of equal specificity to the anti-retrovirals which addressed key biochemical processes in the entire and complex retro-viral life cycle.

    Until Dr. R. agreed to titrate her off all psycholeptic Rx, she was progressively damaged in a vortex of arrogant denial and “certitude.”

    Those who write with hatred do not “take questions” Their delusions justify themselves. Where that places the individual with serious drug toxicity mis-diagnosed as “psychotic -depression” is a terrifying place to be.

    Not – – the GMC.

    Here’s the irony. On November 3rd 2014 the GMC launched “a joint consultation on openness and honesty when things go wrong”

    “The Professional Duty of Candour.”

    Things went terribly wrong for my daughter. It is known how, when and why things went wrong. Specific drugs, dosages, dates, decisions. I fear it will be a long time before my daughter benefits from the GMC’s current Candour Vision.

    Do the GMC believe that dangerous and dysfunctional psychopharma prescribing, with it’s policing and enforcement, is compatible with mea culpa?

    Our grotesque experience of and misplaced trust in “mainstream psychiatry” have taken us perilously close to the situation outlined in “Dear Luise”.

    It was only when we found a doctor with knowledge, wisdom, courage, empathy and compassion that we turned a corner – in short someone who fulfilled the GMC’s “Duties of a Doctor” to the letter of the law.

    Elsewhere in our exposure to an Alice in Wonderland horror story, it appeared self evident that: Psychiatry Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry.

  12. I found this last post very very moving.

    A couple of points about medics: a very close friend, whom I’ve known for 30 years, retired from general practice two years ago. She is deeply kind and caring. After a year of retirement she said “whew! Now I can be honest about what I really think about some consultants”. There is a cast iron professional “etiquette ” which prevents doctors speaking up about colleagues – even when really bad practice is well known. This may be a factor for David – unwillingness by colleagues to overtly criticise other medics who are behaving shamefully. And it indicates a profession which closes ranks very quickly and firmly to protect their own, Young Turks and the Old Guard alike.

    And, in today’s Guardian, a pertinent article about whistleblowers. Shocking, but also a useful brief look at why whistleblowers often find themselves isolated, as support melts away. (sorry, I’m hopeless at posting links..)

    It also occurred to me, that the stories posted here and the messages of support are so diffuse. The web is a wonderful way of sharing knowledge but does little to gather people together in a concrete way – we feel a tremendous sense of solidarity but in the end are just a series of electrical impulses. A sense of palpable comradeship, and optimism about making a difference happens when people are actually, physically together: remembering famous protest movements of the past.They may not achieve their goals (The Iraq war still happened) but marching, agitating, challenging, debating must surely be more powerful than commenting online? Or maybe I am woefully old fashioned.

    • I agree. I did a 300 mile round trip for my son to see Professor Healy and I would do the same again if there was a protest on his behalf. We cannot afford to lose Doctors like David Healy.

  13. David, in the above responses to this post, Linda referred to climate scientists. Recently I saw a documentary called “Merchants of doubt” at a film festival. This documentary mainly addressed the dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns that have been waged against climate change scientists and their work. The ad hominem attacks used against the scientists was shocking. The people paid by big business to orchestrate these campaigns are paid thousands of dollars to do so.

    Anyone reading the evidence you have outlined in you recent blog posts can see the way you have been treated is terribly unjust. I hope the GMC can see the truth of the matter and act accordingly.

  14. Personally I don’t think it helps Dr. Healy’s cause to entangle it – entirely unnecessarily – with other political causes.

    • I disagree. David has called this story the “persecution of heretics”. Any debate necessitates looking at the wider issues: what happens to people who challenge, bravely and doggedly, the status quo and powerful vested interests. In any sphere of society. Looking beyond the detail of one awful example of persecution, and thinking about how power is misused can only be good. David’s fight is ultimately political.

      • Sally Macgregor:
        If anything the “climate change” issue cuts the opposite way that folks are spinning it here: it is not treated as a question of objective fact, and “deniers” are ostracized as heretics.

        As I suggested before, muddying Dr Healy’s message by confounding it with other modern religious disputes is counterproductive, at least in my view.

  15. I am only sorry not to have met David when my son was alive. Perhaps he would still be alive, not dead from Zyprexa.

    However, I am proud to know him now, proud to have shared his books and his work as widely as I have been able, proud to support through donations to The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.

    If I thought it would help, I would hop a plane and carry a picket sign in front of various “Official Offices” on behalf of Dr. Healy and his colleagues. He just has to say the word.

  16. Dear Anon,

    Your post really hit me hard and touched my heart.

    My son is in serious trouble because of venlafaxine withdrawal but thank god still alive but your post could have been mine. When the police phoned me in June a week after he stopped venlafaxine I remember dropping the phone and crying as soon as they said it was the police. I was so convinced they were going to tell me my son had took his own life.

    He is now in trouble but at least we still have him with us. I will never forget that day in June or that gut wrenching pain. I’m truly feel for you that you have to live with that pain every day.

    Like you I am proud to know Dr Healy and will be grateful for the rest of my life for the help he has given my family.

    Sincere condolences for the loss of your son.

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