The Greatest Failure in What used to be Called Medicine

May, 31, 2018 | 80 Comments

Comments

  1. I would say at least two cheers for the programme – I think if you were a parent you would probably have got the message this was a bad choice for your child. I don’t know that you would have gained a favourable impression of Sandeep Ranote at all with all her bureaucratic posturing – but it is true that Andrea Cipriani could have been much more seriously challenged.

    Nevertheless, it is very hard to be satisfied with this slow erosion of the official wisdom when everyday tens of thousands young people with problems are being deliberately harmed through policy and many will commit suicide. How much are we supposed to tolerate before it is simply stopped?

  2. In September this year I shall have been continuously studying/practising medicine for exactly half a century.

    I could never have believed the profession to which I was so deeply committed could be responsible for the iatrogenic morbidity and mortality resulting from denial and deception that has left prescribers of psychotropic drugs in such ignorance of the real toxicities of their alleged medications.

    Akathisia is often unheard of or denied.
    It appears to be seldom correctly diagnosed, and is likely to be passed to a psychiatrist for further misdiagnosis and a cascade of enforced psychotropic drugging with exacerbation of ADRs all mislabelled as “Serious Mental Illness”.

    It seems impossible for anyone to have a false M.H. “diagnosis” questioned – let alone corrected.
    An apology, given as required by the GMC’s Duty of Candour, is a duty from which psychiatry appears to consider itself absolved.

    Once labelled with a psychiatric “diagnosis” for an unrecognised Adverse Drug Reaction,
    a young person with everything to dream of in life is designated; “Human Reject”.

    Their educational, employment, economic, relationship, marriage, child bearing, home owning prospects are in effect exterminated.

    The enchanting, unique and charismatic personality is permanently extinguished by acute, subacute, chronic and legacy injuries caused by pointless,callous and dangerous prescription drugging.

    Some are killed.
    Those who “survive” are the living-dead, their families enduring an almost unbearable, life long iatrogenic bereavement.

    Any current or future physical illness is most likely assumed to be a consequence of their fictitious past history of “Mental Health”.

    These are words I spoke to my own GP, who has two children: –

    “Doctor, we all remember occasional words of importance shared with us by our patients”.

    “Please remember that the most dangerous thing we can do to our children is to let them see a psychiatrist”.

    He knows the respect I afford to those rare and courageous psychiatrists who do know, accept and understand the toxicology of psychiatric drugging, and who have insight into the devastation of both individuals and their entire families, where there is refusal to consider ADRs in psychiatric differential diagnosis.

    After my fifty medical years I conclude that the mainstream practice of psychiatry my family was subjected to, with all of its dogma, absence of empathy and brutality, was unrelated to any token of medical integrity.

    How truly shameful that those responsible, deny all who are so dreadfully injured, any objective discussion as to how and why they have suffered so terribly in their “medical hands”.

    • Thanks Tim. This reads like my life in relief. Today I feel physically sick, sad and anxious. Thoughts constantly err on a premature death. I realise that the drugs have incapacitated me for work and I am made to pay for telling a story of abuse and harm rather than what they want to hear. I have a tribunal hearing later this month even though I have made my appointments and not caused a scene over the injections that are making me sick and that will kill me. I had a dream of being drug free that is fading after the police assaults and hate violence and the self entitled visits from cat teams and the disgusting records they make about me. It does not matter – the defile us. Now my dream of getting onto tablets is fading. I am going to die. I live isolated, unemployed and in poverty an object of familial shame and abuse – and subject to community hate violence on a daily basis because we cannot face the shame of this gross inequitable injustice and genocide. I am disfigured, deformed and subject to blackouts – my memory is fucked and I go off from time to time and pay a terrible price for saying it is torture and worse than murder. They are such stupid, sadistic, pathological people in their desire to enact their anger and rage on patients.

    • Thank you, Tim. You have said exactly what it is like (from my experience). I’m glad there is more than one professional medical person who sees what is happening.

    • I would add that I’m not a young girl having my life wrecked by the drugs, I’m much older. It’s heartbreaking that this is the fate for a number of young girls. Makes me weep.

  3. David -thanks for letting us know -I was hoping for a programme which was going to tackle the issue in a way which would better inform teenagers especially as these days many do discuss mental health issues and share on social media – as well as informing adults but I was surprised your input was so brief. The bit of Chris riding the train to Bangor was longer than the actual discussion so to be honest thought he might just as well have phoned you..Good to know it was cut which explains a lot.. It was interesting to see how the charm slipped when Chris was told that if you were not telling the truth the drugs company would sue – and they haven’t. I was glad that you included the lack of availability of evidence but Chris didn’t follow it up enough for it to stick in viewers minds as he concentrated on the information leaflets .Which are proving to be useless because people just don’t blieve something which spells out the potential for suicide and other horrendous harms could be used in a supposedly civilised country.Again NICE showed their true colours after having made a hash of their inclusion in the first programme by revealing they have inadequate data on which to base guidelines – this time refusing to appear at all..says it all. I have tried to make an input into the consultation they are running until first week of June but have to jump through hoops to get it accepted so can predict whether they are serious in stating they welcome input by individuals. (see NICE website Consultation on updating Antidepressant guidelines for adults). Chris uses his charm to good effect but it can also be mis used as with most charmers. The programme was not as publicised – perhaps they cut so much out it had to be padded with so much about baby milk formula. I thought he was seriously negligent in promoting prozac – the common name was glossed over – when there has been so much information in the public domain about the harms caused by prozac and people are wary of it – that was ignored. It can only be wondered what input the drug company had to the programme. Chris can make outraged faces at the information leaflet which spells out that suicide is a possibility but didn’t challenge the company yet again. If NICE is being allowed to promote drugs without proper evidence this should be included on the information leaflets ie that no long term evidence is available and the data hasn’t been released. Even so that wouldn’t help much as people will still trust the prescribers – who are mainly GPs letting themselves off the hook by blaming NICE who they must know cannot be trusted. I don’t believe anybody with a conscience can be forced to follow unsafe guidelines even if none of them can prescribe wilderness therapy instead. The government should raise awareness in the same way as cigarette companies have been made to – put stark warnings n the outside cover of the box – These Drugs Can Kill. Your photo at the top of the page would be appropriate.

  4. So is Pharma content with flat prescribing rates, and still making some money from brands?

    As for Dr Cipriani, his role in the ‘final answer’ Lancet antidepressants study requires further scrutiny: drnmblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/request-and-questions-to-oxford-researchers-dr-andrea-cipriani-arcpsych-and-dr-john-geddes-frcpsych/

  5. Dear Dr Healy
    I write as someone who has been iatrogenically injured by psych meds . I agree and support all that you say until you choose to use the analogy of lynching to support your argument .

    I also speak as this years winner of the ” Keeping the Blues ” award from The Blues Foundation in Memphis .As a director of Document Records my company has sought to preserve the historic recordings of African Americans from 1890 -1942 . We work with all ethnicities to promote vintage African American music ,culture and history and in the spirit of education and tolerance I can assure you that your analogy is unwarranted and inappropriate .
    I am actively asking those I know in the drug damage groups to disassociate themselves from your post for the time being . I am asking you to reconsider your wording .
    I am asking you in a spirit of education and friendship that you remove the Strange Fruit lyrics and Lynching image .
    I look forward to your revised article
    Best wishes
    Gillian Atkinson

    • Gillian

      Thanks for your comment. I agree the analogy pushes up against the edge of acceptability. I’ll replace it if someone comes up with a comparable lyric but in the meantime here’s my thinking.

      Many Jews and other groups fell victim to pogroms in the last and previous centuries. There was an unconscionable evil here, often the evil of a mob. Sometimes the mob may have been driven by feat and insecurity. Lynch is an Irish name. One way or the other Lynching is probably an Irish thing – whether starting in Ireland or linked to Irish people in America. Far from oppression by the English making the Irish better people it twisted many of them and in settings like America this twistedness came out.

      But the Holocaust was an entirely different beast. Here bureaucratic procedure led to death on an unimaginable scale. The psychopathy scores of the people who carried it out in concentration camps were no greater, in many instances less, than the psychopathy scores of Allied troops who liberated the camps. There is an equally chilling evil here – perhaps more chilling as it looks more difficult to overcome.

      This is the fate of our children at the moment – more of whom may be dying from suicide on antidepressants in the Western world each year than the entire set of lynchings in America between 1890 and 1960 – at least as cited in Wikipedia. This is death by bureaucrat. Few if any of these bureaucrats are likely to have notable psychopathy scores.

      Something needs to be done to stop teenagers, their parents and their doctors sleepwalking into disaster. If a shock wakes some of them up, this would be good. If someone you can mobilise can write an anthem that forces change this would be even better.

      It might be worth reading the paper. These are not the words of someone against the meds – even for children. The problem is the Guidelines. What you and everyone needs to know is even the supposedly best Guidelines are largely junk. They are based on ghostwritten articles without access to the data and they are killing far more people than just our children. Life expectancy is falling across the Western world – and this is likely the primary reason. Its not a time for being polite.

      David

      • Thank you for your response .
        I always think it best to try to stick to facts where we can .As far as I understand it “The origins of the word “lynch” are obscure, but it likely originated during the American revolution. The verb comes from the phrase “Lynch Law”, a term for a punishment without trial. In the United States, the origin of the terms lynching and lynch law is traditionally attributed to a Virginia Quaker named Charles Lynch .,to suggest that lynching arose in Americans with a Irish background as a result of oppression by the English is at best fanciful and misguided.

        As you did not mention the holocaust in your original posting I have no need to address it in my response .
        I understand and support your concerns about child suicides but the lynching analogy is unnecessary and not relevant. Indeed it is so far off the mark that I believe it makes your argument less credible and that is regrettable .

        Clearly you are concerned about the harms being wrought upon people so I ask you to consider if your use of the lynching imagery and comparison could also be harming people . ?

        I will share a couple of comments from my Facebook page with you . I hope you will consider what is being said and once again .I ask that you revise your article to remove the part about lynching .
        “Exactly, there is NO comparison, especially as someone who had a great grand uncle lynched at the age of 13 in Alabama, and the entire extended family ripped apart from the violence. We are still searching for our relatives 105 years later, who were forced to flee. Especially as a parent of a teenager who suffers from depression, had suicidal attempts, and who they tried to medicate.

        Those who have not lived in such systems, lived with such inter-generational trauma, and simply living in fear in a community, in your home, having been ripped away from your land, your language, your beliefs, everything, to a place where you can be lynched with little or no justice from the (in)justice system that excuses the violence. No, Dr. Healey should never have included that analogy. Passion to educate should be educational not misrepresentative or “tabloid savory”.

        Further
        “The analogy is reductive and harmful. Even if it wasn’t the intention, it has a very real affect of retraumatization and further minimizing the enormity and continuing problems of racism and lynching. Almost all taught history in western society is misrepresentative and Eurocentric regarding anything having to do with people of color, and further validating that misinformation or the omissions of accurate information to other disciplines directly contributes to the historical amnesia that is rising despite wider access to other peoples and cultures, the Internet and factual sources.”

        • Gillian

          I’ve waited a while before responding in order to give others a chance to come into the debate. Just for the record its an article of Irish faith that Lynching began in Ireland – in Galway. Lynch is an Irish surname.

          I work in the mental health field and chronicle its history, including the history of how we have handled the issue of trauma. The difficulties people face now in being treated decently are in my opinion more important than historic difficulties their ancestors or even older generations of their families may have had. The turn to historic grievances may be an indirect way to flag up the very real difficulties people of color or any other group may be having in the present but by being indirect it loses force.

          One of the remarkable things about current mental healthcare is how few therapists who deal with the trauma individuals may have had in their past, and the ongoing non-belief from the system, still manage to ignore the very real difficulties the people they are trying to help have from the drugs they are currently taking, and don’t make any move to help them raise these issues with those who may have put them on the meds. The failure to stand with their patients in the present in my opinion invalidates any work that may be done on the past.

          David

          • David , your response did not really address my issues . Having read what you said I can only think that you feel your beliefs simply trump the beliefs and experience of those who are (likely to be) hurt or offended .. fair enough .. it’s your blog.

            Re the origins of Lynching . an article of faith is a belief It is not necessarily a fact .Some sources say that James Lynch of Galway who who hung his son from this window in 1493 for the murder of a Spanish Youth. ” came from LInz in Austria ~Lynch , presumably being a mispronunciation and of Austro _German origin ?

            Some people really do believe that the word lynching came from that incident .. but there is no concrete evidence for that and I am certainly not persuaded.

            Thanks again for all you do in highlighting the dangers of the drugs and for speaking out on the issue of teenage suicides and drawing attention to the flawed and ghost written guidelines . I say again that the analogy with the lynching of black people is false and offensive
            I also am concerned that such a false analogy detracts from your prior argument which was strong enough to stand on its own.
            The only people, in my view , that might give the lynching and holocaust analogy any creedence will be some . (not all ) who have been damaged or who have suffered the loss of a family member .. These analogies appear to validate the enormity of what has happened to us and what is happening to ( some ) medicated teenagers . You are, in that sense, merely preaching to the converted and potentially alienating those whom we could do to get on board .
            Anyway thank you for allowing me to publicly address my concerns on your page and for your responses . I cannot share the piece myself and I will not comment again in this thread
            Best wishes
            Gililan

          • David as you know, my son hanged himself 15 days after being prescribed prozac. I found him. I am retraumatised by the pictures in this blog which cause me immense suffering and distress. Not only because they bring back in graphic detail my memories of what I saw when my child died but because the pictures of the people in the photos you used are someone’s sons too. I am assuming that you would not publish photos of my son hanging from a noose and cannot understand why you would publish photos of someone else’s loved one in this way. I’m not convinced that the best way to highlight an atrocity is to commit one yourself.

          • As somebody who cannot stand Sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism, nor exaggeration, etc – particularly when such serious issues are highlighted I, personally, have no issue whatsoever with David Healy’s analogy. Sadly I ‘welcome’ the analogy. Whether one is highlighting historic appalling racism & lynching, or current [increasingly verifiable] appalling treatment of highly vulnerable patients – in both cases by those in total positions of power over their victims – the Trauma & Havoc wrought on the lives of these victims & their families is of equal seriousness, in my opinion. Abuse of Power on these levels isn’t a competition. In both [albeit, seemingly very different] cases, in my personal humble opinion, some of the worst possible human behaviours are at play by those in positions of Power; Narcissism, Sociopathy/Psychopathy, the Pack-mentality, sheer Arrogance, etc etc, (just Evil). And then one has the inevitable rest of the population of on-lookers displaying the usual [at best] traits of Apathy, Ignorance, Indifference, Self Preservation, Look-the-other-way, etc etc, (power can’t, & doesn’t, function in a vacuum).

            I havn’t explained myself very well here, but it is the best that I can do at this point.

    • Gillian

      I guess David is trying to say that we are taking atrocities in our stride. It is not somehow some little misfunction. We are somewhere very bad. He has also had pictures of the holocaust on his blog – I remember discussing such an article with a holocaust survivor and they were not remotely put out. As a society we have found our own ways to be truly monstrous.

      Of course I was shocked, I was supposed to be. We take people who are already desperately vulnerable and we subject them to God knows what – many commit suicide, I have no doubt commonly by hanging. But ultimately it is not they who are doing it to themselves it is the state medical machine. And it is no good to say, “Oh, we followed best practice”.

    • Gillian,

      Congrats on your recent award. I disagree with your objections regarding the blues and lynching. First, the blues are spiritual ballads meant to be sung with a “full-heart and a troubled spirit.” Today anyone who has a full heart can easily recognize the horror associated with the systemic killing of innocent people (in this case, targeting children with chemical weapons of sorts, and previously in the US south, targeting African Americans with ropes).

      Second, blues music typically encompasses a call and response pattern. While readers without a music background or knowledge of blues music, might not recognize this characteristic, call and response is a key aspect of civic discussions regarding human rights.

      Third, SSRI-induced deaths are typically violent given that SSRIs disable the front lobe of the brain relating to logic and emotion. Hence, this is why SSRI-induced deaths are often violent (hanging from doorknobs with knees bent up, blowing off one’s head with a firearm, lighting one’s body on fire, etc.) It’s scary imagery, I know, but factual nonetheless.

      Fourth, I have many African American friends and, indeed, African American relatives who would appreciate their esteemed blues music is still used to promote civil rights and save lives. I myself am “white” but that doesn’t mean my ancestors-nor my offspring-haven’t been persecuted and killed by government and corporate oppression. My Ukrainian ancestors died from Stalin’s starvation program and later in WWII death camps. My own daughter, barely 19, was chemically tortured and died from medicide via #SSRI prescription in 2013. Unfortunately this is sometimes a sad fact of life, whether one is rich, poor, African American, Irish, Jewish, Catholic, Italian, Nigerian, and so on.

      I share my daughter’s prescribed torture and death at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1haYwZGcSRY and https://rxisk.org/kidnapped-natalies-story/ in hope other children might live.

      That you would actively censor and/or encourage others to not access information that can save their lives and those of their children, is deeply troubling. Of course it is your choice to find some sort of offense re. music, lyrics, graphics, etc. But please ponder what your personal choice might now unwittingly cost others.

      Regards,
      Kristina

      • I just finished reading this post, and read Gillian Atkinson’s contribution. I think she is right: it needs to come down.

        I do “get” what you are trying to do, David. You hope to shock people into awareness of the truly horrible situation we’re in. You think maybe the very shocking-ness of the analogy will wake some people up.

        But this sort of “analogizing” happens way too often here in the USA, by people who mean no good at all (in fact they mean harm) to black people. Comparing high property taxes (or Obamacare!) to slavery. Comparing being verbally shamed by some liberal professor, or dis-invited to speak at graduation, to being lynched. Etc.

        So it’s not “merely” that the comparison may strike folks as asymmetric—as diminishing the horror of lynching. The gesture itself has become toxic. Even more toxic than analogies to the Holocaust, which make people mad for similar reasons. Not because lynching and Klan terror were worse than the Holocaust. But because the Holocaust is a lot closer to being OVER, to being HISTORY, than this is.

        In this context, I’m afraid, you are stuck with being a white man in authority. (And being Irish, sad to say, makes no difference at all.) Maybe it ain’t fair, but there it is. So for you, or other white folks who support you, to “helpfully explain” to a black person why she should not feel the way she does about this appropriation of the lynching image — well, it just does not work. If anything, it tends to make things worse. Instead of provoking people into really listening, you end up provoking them to shut you out.

        So what to do?

        I’ve been trying to come up with an alternate image–a substitute horror, if you will. The one that fit the best was Willowbrook. A brutally neglectful state home for the developmentally disabled, in Staten Island NY, it was at the center of the last great scandal that really marked the beginning of the end for public mental institutions in the US.

        The reason it makes sense to me is that Willowbrook was a horror inflicted on children “for their own good.” It’s true, there were more bureaucrats at Auschwitz than psychopathic sadists. But nobody at Auschwitz thought they were looking after the poor little Jews for their own good. They knew they were exterminating people.

        The horrors of Willowbrook really were brought to us by the nice people, the caregivers. And children there were not only tied up and beaten, but deliberately infected with hepatitis so the disease and various treatments could be studied. The rationale being that 80-90% of children at Willowbrook would end up getting hepatitis anyway, due to the foul conditions. So it wasn’t as if you were really harming them … was it?

        I’m sure the UK had its own Willowbrook — a place whose name still draws shudders. Use that one, if you wish. I am attaching a couple of “iconic” pictures from the 1972 expose of conditions at Willowbrook if you want to use them.

        • Hi Johanna,

          I hope all’s well. It’s good to discuss important imagery, particularly as it pertains to the goal of preventing human suffering and saving children’s lives.

          It is ironic, but long before my child died I wrote about this very topic for a journalism ethics textbook. And I’m sincerely wondering how you and other readers might feel if articles about medicide included accurate details, straightforward descriptions, and photos of the victims, similar to newspaper reports of homicide, car crashes, explosions, etc.? These would be more timely and accurate than photos of Willowbrook or lynchings.

          But do you think the public is ready to face the modern-day horrors currently inflicted on our children? If they aren’t ready, or are disinterested, or simply don’t want to feel disturbed, is it morally justified to withhold, censor, or ban disturbing details and/or photos? Perhaps the details and images of the children who will die SSRI deaths today might be the topic of a similar ethics discussion in, say, 40 years.

          Regards,
          Kristina

          • Good questions all! In my experience, if your cause does not already have people’s support and sympathy, graphic imagery of the harm being done will not turn that around. In fact, it usually backfires. If people fundamentally do not believe you are right, then they will NOT feel they are being “confronted with the truth.” Instead, they’ll feel manipulated, and will be susceptible to the idea that YOU, not your oppressors, are the heartless ones.

            I see this as a practical issue, not a moral one. And I really don’t see it as a “censorship” issue either, at least not down here among us ordinary folks. Gillian has no power to “censor” us, and she hasn’t called on the government or the big IT companies to shut us down. She is saying she’s offended. Ordinarily she would love to hang around and talk with us, because she too has been injured by drugs. But if we insist on using those images? She’s outta here.

            She is not offended simply because the pictures are “too intense” or “too gruesome.” Rather, she takes our “appropriation” of those images as a cheapening or a dismissal of the horror of lynching and Klan terror. To put it bluntly, she thinks it shows some racism on our part.

            I think she’s mistaken about the motive. But I also don’t think we always get to choose what this or that symbol means. And particularly in the last couple of years, with the growing legitimacy of the so-called alt-right, the use of these images by folks who aren’t black has been more and more commonly associated with racist campaigns. True, we have nothing in common with such crap. But we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if people take it wrong.

            So it’s not a bad idea to stop and ask ourselves if this is the argument we want to have. Does it really advance our cause, or does it just offer us the “opportunity” to make enemies out of folks who really ought to be our friends?

            These images seem to resonate powerfully with those of us who are already passionately committed — especially if we have lost loved ones or suffered other terrible personal harm. Do we have the constitutional right to use them? Of course. Would it be “morally justifiable” for some authority to force us to stop? Of course not. Could we be shooting ourselves in the foot anyway, by using them? Yep. We could be. So it’s worth thinking about.

  6. Read every word and between the lines. It is criminal. After my husband’s suicide the coroner was supposed to write to NICE making recommendations. As yet one year on I have been unable to get a copy of the report.
    Unbelievably at the summing up the GP’s solicitor interrupted the coroner to caution her about saying more. As I had suggested that statistics should be collected around medications being used at the time of completed suicides. I think the coroner was considering this .
    Btw i have a recording of the inquest if you don’t believe me as I know a lot of the events around suicide are incomprehensible

    • Janet I am so sorry to hear what has happened. On the same issue that you raised ie of being blocked from getting information on medications – I made a Freedom of Information Request last October to ask what medications are used in settings where people are incarcerated against their will , hospital; care homes, prisons and have been given the run around ever since – mainly by being directed to different departments – info not held by NHS, told info held by Ministry for Justice , then told info held by each separate institution but each individual prison hospital etc can make their own decisions – so individual requests need to be made to each of them. Does anybody out there know which medications are used in these places including when against a person’s will? Is there data held somewhere regarding which medications were given to people who subsequently committed suicide? Either when given them forcibly in the institutions or even if the person died after being discharged? – I agree you would think that is vital Best wishes

  7. Or as King Lear with the hanged Cordelia in his arms:

    ‘Howl, howl, howl, howl! O you are men of stones’

  8. Have just finished executor duties for the estate of a close friend who died by the prescribing hand of her doctor. It took only two weeks of an antidepressant given for the adverse/depressive effect of a heart medication. She ended her own life. I arranged for the clean-up of her bodily fluids, bits of scalp and hair on the floor of her apartment. Her doctor should have been forced to clean up.

    This morning I learned of the death by hanging of an eleven-year old boy.
    Like Gillian Atkinson, I was distressed by the lynching image – but ‘doctors’ might as well go directly to lynching.

  9. “And in the programme you’re left with the impression from two other doctors interviewed that Prozac did work.”

    Why is it that just when you think the truth is finally being tabled clearly for all to see it is chopped off at the knees by always without fail wheeling out the performing (pharma) seals who have the last say enabling confusion and the muddying of the waters.
    Dont let these people have a say. They are sickening.

  10. Sadly the way too many people are dying is by the lonely horror of hanging, and people do need to know that. My friend was the one who had to cut the rope when her partner hung himself – the picture represents a stark truth. Citizens cannot rely on the conscience or morality of the medical profession – For another proven case of why we cannot rely on the regulators please if you can find time read how Paul Steven Grant was let off the hook by the GMC Medical Practioners Tribunal -after committing multiple research and publication frauds 26/9/17 ‘PDF:Paul Steven Grant mpts-uk.org. He was the previous Editor of British Journal of Diabetes; published 58 research works ; published on Erectile Dysfunction’ falsly accorded a fictitious name while endorsing pepermint tea and a whole catalogue of proven wrong doings as recorded on GMC website.
    The Medical Tribunal decided he had shown enough remorse and suspended him for just 4 months revealing that … you ‘have stepped down from a NICE Guidance Cmmittee and as an RCP College Officer – in order to protect their reputations. (!!) and have promised to refrain from publishing again. He has 58 research works still on research Gate which have 338 citations and 2645 reads. Linkedin also shows Paul Grant had worked as an MHRA Registered In House clinician to assess medical devices. And has qualifications in psychology. By 2018 another complaint was raised against him and he was this time struck off for – falsely claiming to be a fellow of the royal college of physicians. Their reputation stinks.

  11. Hi David,
    In September last year, myself and Stephanie (Lynch) traveled to Birmingham for a NICE public event. The organizers seemed fascinated that we had flown over just to attend, so introduced us to Christine Carson and Sir Andrew Dillon, who were left in no doubt of the harms that SSRIs caused to our children. While Sir Andrew seemed disbelieving or worse, uncaring (or both), Christine Carson promised to contact the Irish Medicine’s Regulator regarding the Irish recommendations for the prescribing of SSRIs in children and young adults. Although NICE guidelines are not actually intended for Ireland, they are often quoted here – usually when it suits a prescribing agenda. Anyway, as far as I’m aware, nothing was done, or if there was – we certainly haven’t heard anything back – quelle surprise.
    Leonie

  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na6ja0hPo8g
    I don’t want your diagnosis – by Daniel Mackler

    I don’t want your diagnosis,
    I don’t want your poison pills
    All I want is that you listen
    Hear my pain, now if you will

    I am not your rat or pigeon
    To test your theories and your meds
    I just need an ear for listening
    And a place to rest my head

    I can see your world is toxic
    A little game of us and them
    I can’t see an ounce of spirit
    In your book, the DSM

    I am not a schizophrenic
    a borderline or OCD
    Not bipolar or autistic
    I’m just trying to be me

    Though you think that I lack power
    I am strong and I am bold
    What’s a life that has no trials
    Drop your mask and show your soul

    So drop your books and drop your theories
    Drop your pills and training too
    Drop your list of diagnoses
    And just be human, just be you
    Just be human, just be you

  13. i think the hanging picture is very appropriate, it is the iatrogenic reality of many, i am reminded of a friend of a friend who hanged himself two years ago …he had been on citalopram and was trying to quit it. Only a few months prior a girl was found in a local motel by the cleaner… she had hanged herself she too was on an ssri recently given to her by the doctor.

    Closer to home …. in ssri withdrawal i had to survive overwhelming desires to hang myself, shoot myself, cut myself, jump in front of traffic, off bridges and to drive into oncoming traffic. I would be the last person in the world to do any of these things yet I had to use all my strength to fight off these overwhelming drug withdrawal induced urges. It was traumatising. Im one of the lucky ones…im still alive.

  14. My disastrous brush with Seroxat/Paroxetine, led my 13 year old girl to be in a place that I would not have wished on my worst enemy..I was trying to recover as fast as I could whilst she steadily went downhill. It was awful.

    What I needed most was some stability, we should have been in our home, we should have been in a position where I worked and she went to school. It was awful.

    I was racked with worry as to how we were to survive something that happened on Seroxat and how was I going to get us out of this ..

    I couldn’t send her to my doctor because this doctor had made it perfectly clear that drugs played no part in our fall from grace ..

    Years of hardship and more stress than could be imagined as I navigated her through home education.

    We were drug free but the doctors had made our lives intolerable, not just with Seroxat and then without Seroxat, but, to publicly disgrace us and leave us flailing around trying to find an anchor to latch on to, to get through the sunken mess of the destruction they had caused and then the very nasty reactions when I tried so hard to seek some sort of redress ..

    All the child suicides from antidepressant drugs have parents who have no idea that it was the drugs.

    The antidepressant is such a strong brand now, that no adult, let alone a child, will find it easy to accept that the brand antidepressant can do the exact opposite of what it is professed it should do and this brand antidepressant will continue to cause havoc and suicides as debranding brand is one of the most difficult marketing switches than even a Saatchi and Saatchi could do …

    It’s not enough to try and give potential victims, medical professionals, data, it goes deeper than that, it goes to the heart of all great campaigns “you can have any color you want, so long as it is black” …

    • Not so long ago the phrase ‘in my clinical judgement’ was more often used rather than ‘i followed NICE guidelines’ which too often meant ‘in my clinical ignorance and inexperience I simply did as i was taught and got it wrong’ but couldn’t face apologising. Sometimes there were/are genuine ‘mistakes’ of course albeit with awful consequences but the rot has set in and persists from the start by the inability to treat people with respect as partners and owners of their own health – Most of us had no idea that part of the reason for keeping people subjugated increasingly by the use of prescriptions was to benefit commercial interests.. The attitude of dehumanising contempt is still ingrained throughout society in many ways. It shows so obviously in the two threads of how people who have been damaged cry out in anger and distress – the contemptuous way we are treated causes so much pain together with the actual physical damage which , thanks in part to the internet, has lead to the rise of activism to replace the passive trust which was (still is )a legacy of the feudal medial system. Society cannot leave the action to the medical and allied ‘professions’ some are corrupted too far but others seem to be asleep. Not sure what the ‘story’ behind the phrase is but something like ‘forgive them, they know not what they do’ may apply to the sheep but those who do know act like a collective tyrant to dupe what used to be called ‘the masses’ (still hear that description now from some politicians who let it slip), Beneath the smooth talk and never ending farcical ‘consultations’ there is a robotical self serving group with massive egos and hearts of stone , .

  15. Children and their parents are in a ghastly position in their first meeting with psychiatrists. You will be told the situation is very serious (thanks very much, we knew that) but that medication will straighten out the way you think. You haven’t slept and although outwardly composed you are confused and distraught. Everyone’s lives are in the balance.

    You need to ask important questions and laboriously note down the answers:
    – “What do the NICE guidelines say?” The guidelines aren’t perfect but the psychiatrist may try to push beyond them, going off-label without warning, not providing full information on side effects, and not obtaining adequate consent.
    – “What is the evidence for this?” and, if you are up to the technicalities “What is the effect size and NNT (Number Needed To Treat)?” Don’t settle for phoney response rates and other indicators, they must know those two parameters.

    I don’t think you can change the outcome of the medication onslaught because you will be told gravely of your “responsibilities” – but you can make the psychiatrist think.

    • Dear CC

      This is completely wrong. The point behind the post is you are much more at risk from doctors keeping to the Guidelines than from doctors not. Medical error is not what is killing teenagers its doctors being Good Doctors in the way Good Germans kept to orders in the 1940s.

      NNT is a junk idea. If there are trials where lives are actually saved but only there has it some place. In the Antidepressant trials more lives are lost overall on active treatment but yet lots of experts say the NNT is as good for antidepressants as for penicillin. This is lunatic.

      DH

      • Dr David
        What I’m saying is that, in 2018, Doctors are not EVEN keeping to the guidelines you consider reckless, and informed consent would be start. Asking good questions would also help. Or do you think there is nothing that can be done?

        • I think Guidelines are one of pharmas greatest marketing tools. They have learned how to game the system wonderfully. How can a guideline based on ghostwritten articles and no access to the data be better than a doctor who listens closely to you and pays more heed to you than the guideline even at the risk of losing his or her job? I don’t keep to any guidelines.

          What we need are guidelines for people. Among the key elements to these would be don’t engage in polypharmacy of any sort. Refuse to prescribe drugs where there there is no access to the data. Never follow a guideline that is a disease based guideline.

          There is lots that can be done. One of the key things would be for doctors to develop a backbone. The incentive for them to do this is that they are going to be out of business soon if they don’t.

          D

          • Doctors aren’t daft, they know they hold all the Aces and they are more than happy, mostly, to play along as in the Doctor and Patient relationship, the patient is not game enough to win their hand, more so, with little or no systematic backing … and as is pointed out, if this all carries on, perhaps doctors will become the victims of their own demise and shunned as being rather dangerous and somewhat cavalier ..

          • At a regulatory level, yes there is lots to do and lets get on with it. No coercive treatment and the right to change psychiatrist, and more rights to appeal/review treatment would loosen the hold. But thats for the powers that be.

            I just wanted to draw your attention to the plight of those who don’t want the drugs but find it very difficult to resist the pressure.

            I might be fooling myself, but I feel that asking probing questions and referring to the, albeit, flawed guidelines can help push back the relentless pressure. I’m really not sure that enough folk understand whats its like to be on the receiving end of this system – I’m still in a state of disbelief frankly at the flagrant use of BS to further an ideological, not evidenced-based, agenda.

            One thing, you say that guidelines are essentially corrupted, but you suggest some good alternative guidelines. So really, we do need some form of guidelines.

          • What i said was a guidelines for people which would pay no heed to the illness guidelines which you seem to think will offer you a shield against injury. I’m sorry for everyone who finds this as difficult to understand as all those people who climbed on trains taking them East in the belief that if they kept to the rules everything would work out in the end. The system delivers the outcome it does because it can depend on most belief to behave the way you are advocating.

            D

  16. One of the most interesting twists in relation to the SSRI induced suicide scandal (which in itself has been going on for decades) can be found in the Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals In Chicago.

    See Fiddaman’s audio here :

    https://fiddaman.blogspot.com/2018/05/seventh-circuit-court-of-appeals.html

    What is astounding about this audio is- the lawyer from GSK’s side – Lisa Blatt- exasperates herself to the point of semi-psychosis trying to defend GSK because it failed to warn that Paxil can cause suicides in adults of all ages. She almost brings herself to the point of upset, her voice getting louder and whinier as she tries to desperately convince the Judges that GSK have no liability for the labeling of generic drugs (whose manufacturers) adopt their compounds (in this case Paxil).

    Why is Lisa getting her knickers in a twist about Paxil? why is it so emotional for her to defend a drug company like GSK? Surely the emotion should come from the victims side?

    Does Lisa’s (misguided) passion come from her impending paycheck from GSK?

    There is a multi-billion dollar gravy train built on the backs of the SSRI class of drugs alone. There are lawyers who get paid hundreds of thousands (and some lawfirms earn millions) to defend drug companies against liability for deaths from crap meds. There are academic psychiatrists who have climbed their own ladders in the psychiatric pyramid on the backs of drug company funding and research. Entire careers in psychiatry and academic medicine are built from Pharma-cash. There are doctors who hold the idea of ‘medicine’ as sacred as religion and they just don’t want to hear criticism of the drugs they prescribe because to absorb it would be anathema to their core beliefs, and even their entire identity- in some cases. To accept that medicine is broken- corrupted – is unacceptable to their egos.

    Doctors and psychiatrists, for the most part, live relatively comfortable lives. Vulnerable people on SSRI meds- often don’t.

    The sad fact is- the SSRI scandals are a by-product of the greed which has infected the whole world. People are disposable. Money rules.

    The teen suicides are collateral damage. The billion dollar gravy train must thunder on.

    That’s the gist of it.

    • I agree with you, Truthman. Sometimes when people ask what caused my daughter’s death, I simply reply “money.” It’s a sad but true one-word answer.

      Thanks for including the link to last week’s Dolin/GSK’s rebuttal. The Illinois court website did not make this audio available in an easy format. I’m glad Fiddaman found a way to do so.

  17. Cook County Record – ‘troubling’ questions

    Blatt argued finding for plaintiffs in the case would create an environment in which brand name drug manufacturers would be left to “insure the whole market,” leading to a reduction in innovation and harming patients by denying them new medications.

    Judges peppered Blatt with questions about the responsibilities of GSK and the FDA in determining the proper label.

    Judge Wood observed: “In the world of drugs, federal law places the labeling responsibility on the brand manufacturer.”

    She later added, it seemed the FDA and GSK were “talking past each other” in communications concerning the content in the warning label pertaining to suicide risk.

    Blatt denied that was the case, maintaining the FDA has the final say under federal law when it comes to the contents of a label. She said GSK would have “acted illegally” if it had unilaterally changed the label. Blatt asserted plaintiffs were attempting to use those communications between GSK and the FDA to “muddle” the issue.

    Lisa S. Blatt/Partner

    Lisa Blatt heads the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. She has argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court, prevailing in 33. The National Law Journal called her a “visionary” and one of “the 100 most influential lawyers in America.” The Washingtonian has listed her as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Washington” four times, and Chambers USA has noted her “meticulous oral argument preparation and ‘great presence before the court.'”

    Her oral advocacy is cited as exemplary in the Supreme Court Clerk’s Guide for Counsel.

    Ms. Blatt has an active practice in the federal and state courts of appeals. She has argued and briefed more than 22 significant appeals on a wide-range of business law issues. The American Lawyer Litigation Daily has twice named her “Litigator of the Week”: for her work in Price v. Philip Morris, Inc. in overturning reinstatement of $10 billion verdict against client Philip Morris in a “lights” cigarette case; and SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, a landmark case on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline finding that the Equal Protection Clause bars peremptory challenges of jurors based on sexual orientation. Most recently, Ms. Blatt represented the Washington Redskins in the long-running dispute with the government of the Team’s trademarks.

    + More

    https://www.arnoldporter.com/en/people/b/blatt-lisa-s

    Appeal judges mull ‘troubling’ questions on potential fallout from $3M verdict vs GSK over lawyer’s suicide

    by Dan Churney |

    May 31, 2018, 10:06am

    https://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/511436350-appeal-judges-mull-troubling-questions-on-potential-fallout-from-3m-verdict-vs-gsk-over-lawyer-s-suicide

    With one judge saying he found “troubling” the potential harm to patients from decreased incentives for drug makers to develop new breakthrough medications, a federal appellate panel in Chicago hashed out some of the legal questions surrounding the appeal of jury’s verdict ordering GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 million to the widow of a Chicago lawyer who committed suicide, and whose family has accused the pharmaceutical company of failing to warn that a generic version of its drug Paxil could raise a patient’s risk of suicide.

    United Kingdom-based GlaxoSmithKline, with American headquarters in Philadelphia, made and marketed Paxil from 1992-2014. Paxil is a brand-name medication prescribed to treat major depression and other psychiatric disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Paxil for use in the U.S., and regulated the text in the warning label available to consumers and doctors.

    GSK appealed to the Seventh Circuit. In its written arguments, GSK reiterated points it made at trial, asserting the claims presented about the contents of its warning label should be preempted by the FDA’s regulation of its product and label. Two federal district judges had rejected those arguments before and during the Dolin case trial.

  18. “My hands are tied, what else am I supposed to do?”

    This is the new line one will hear today when a doctor is questioned about the prescribing of antidepressants to minors.

    It’s a line that is, in essence, completely correct.

    If a Dr sees a patient presenting a depressive illness/state then he/she has to be seen to be doing something, particularly if there is a long waiting list for ‘talk therapy’.

    If the patient leaves the doctor’s office with nothing then the doctor could be deemed as not doing their job properly.

    So, they have a get-out clause – namely, antidepressants.

    If a patient dies from suicide and the treating physician didn’t prescribe an antidepressant then the physician may feel under threat. However, if he prescribes an antidepressant and that patient still dies by suicide, the physician sits comfortably because he/she did what he/she was supposed to do.

    Nobody can condemn the good doctor for doing what he/she was supposed to do, even if the drug in question wasn’t recommended for use in his/her patient.

    One could paint the walls of a doctor’s surgery with the words, “These drugs didn’t work in clinical trials.” The doctor would still utter, “My hands are tied, what else am I supposed to do?”

    • ‘My hands are tied, what else am I supposed to do?’ – my answer to that would be to stop, throw away the thought of a prescription and enter into a dialogue with the patient; involve parents/ carers and discuss the importance of discussion and, in particular, listening to each other within family life. Yes, the doctor is in a tricky situation but let’s also remember that the patient is too. Carers, and there I include parents/friends, can help so much in rooting out the underlying concerns and worries with a little support from their doctor. Many young (and not so young) people hate feeling that they are a ‘burden’ and keep their worries bottled up for this very reason. No pill on this earth is going to support their worries – but it may well sort out their fear of being a burden by letting them throw caution to the wind and end their lives. We ALL have a duty to support each other – especially to support the vulnerable in their hour of need. If we fail to do that then we are no better than the doctor who exclaims ‘my hands are tied’.

      • The ‘pill paradigm’ has clearly failed, it’s time for a new paradigm. We all know this, however the pill paradigm works for the psychiatric industry, and of course the pharmaceutical industry (its bed-fellow). Calling psychiatry an industry might conflict with how most people perceive it, but we really must begin to see the reality of what psychiatry is: it is an industry awash with pharmaceutical cash and influence, and has been for decades. Some career paths in psychiatry can make psychiatrists very rich, particularly if they team up with drug companies, which many of them do. The industry of psychiatry keeps its members well fed, with nice salaries, status as ‘specialized professionals’, and a strong academic/sophist component which propagates, and perpetuates, a mystique about ‘mental illness’ that really is only smoke and mirrors. It’s the wizard of Oz- there’s nothing behind the curtain, just a charade.

        Your ordinary garden variety GP, on the other hand, is often driven by his allegiance to conventional medicine, and his blind trust in the little pills (mother’s littler helpers/teens little helpers).

        I lost trust in doctors, and psychiatrists 20 years ago. One day GP’s and psychiatrists will be held responsible for ignoring the fact that the SSRI drugs that they prescribe are based on junk trials, doctored drug company propaganda and a zealous trust in ideological medicine. In the meantime, patients are being harmed daily…

  19. The problem with this argument Bob is nobody is listening.

    I was not depressed.
    I was not anxious.

    I was concerned about something and there is a huge gulf between this and a false diagnosis.

    Of course, I was pushed down the psychiatric route like so many teens who go to the doctor with concerns about boyfriends, exams, fits of the blues, and loads of other stuff that young people take to heart.

    I found the pressure enormous from several medical parties to take Seroxat as he described it as a new wonder pill which would sort me out. I told the gp, after they received his instruction that I wasn’t keen on pills. She became aggressive and told me to do as I was told.

    The psychiatrist worked in a mental asylum a long way from anywhere in rural Scotland.

    How did he hear about Seroxat?

    Either a rep called, or he received promotional material or he read about it in a medical journal.

    This was 1999.

    The chain occurred because he and the gp believed in what they were told.

    I doubt the drugs work better for mild problems or serious problems.
    We are told they don’t work at all.

    I am sure a lot of people go to visit a doctor not expecting a prescription, not all patients demand drugs.

    I think we can blame their judgement because so many of us did not have an illness to treat.

    And so recommendation from NICE in their SSRI Learning Module don’t apply to us and it becomes a seriously mistaken decision to allow any one medical person to give out psychotropic drugs like candy.

    An ENT consultant recently wrote to my doctor advising him to give me amitriptyline, off label.
    The doctor swivelled his monitor so I could read the letter.
    I read it, he looked at me, he swivelled it back, and nothing was said about it.
    No fuss, no pressure, no prescription..

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and teenagers are so deliberately misguided by doctors that it is the picture of children hanging that always stays in the mind ..

    Young minds, don’t deserve this trick played on them and all you hear are excuses and these are not palatable to us or the poor grieving parents ..

  20. The greatest failure in what used to be medicine is the perfect way to sum up our approach to helping young and old with mental health issues

    I am someone who has been severely harmed by antidepressants and nothing but lied to from our medical profession who have known for years that these drugs don’t work and cause awful physical and mental problems to so many people whilst on them and even more so coming off . When I was young I was given a antidepressant by my doctor for a chemical inbalance that I did not have , 3 days after taking the pills I became suicidel and was admitted to a hospital where I was multi drugged to counter act these feelings as a younger person I believed the doctors as they were the professionals with all there knowledge on my chemical inbalance I couldn’t go wrong could I , all the evidence provided to me was that I was low on chemicals but what ones as nobody could tell me as we have no way of measuring them so how do you know I’m low I asked to which I was told we have all the data backing it up . Fast forward 30 years I am now worse than I ever have been since the first day of taking that medication and the suicidel thoughts I have been chasing the fix to put me right I have had over 30 medications and I am now off them all for 4 years and living in hell suicidel thoughts everyday now about hanging myself for 2 years constant I am sicker than these doctors will ever know and I pray for death as a relief to be honest.

    But the worst of it all is that I am not believed and called a liar , my doctors and phyciatrist say that there is no harm from these drugs insist that there are no long term withdrawels that they are mild that becoming suicidel when withdrawing is the old problem coming back my chemical inbalance ,the one I never had , children are given these meds on false claims the parents are misinformed to thinking that there children are safe and these will help then when sadly they are lost to suicide the drug is never to blame nor is the medical proffesion . Suicide is a ever increasing thing and many of those that take their lives seem to be on some sort of antidepressant but the out come always seems to fall on the victim , they were depressed , the drugs are seldom questioned

    The data for all these drugs should be made a available before any drug is allowed to be prescribed showing actual proof that they work . Doctors phyciatrist and pharmaceutical company’s should hang there heads in shame . It’s not about covering ones back it’s about firstly doing no harm . My life has been stolen from me because of these lies and I am living in a world of unimaginable suffering because things are kept from patients by doctors who have no knowledge of how dangerous these drugs really are , many more children will die as we hand more and more antidepressants out for prophit rather than wanting to heal them . 50 years on and the chemical inbalance is still being used by doctors as a excuse to get people on them when they really know that there is no proof and no data .

  21. Jo

    Thanks for this. I was not trying to provoke. The images were thrown up in desperation. A provocateur is just trying to have fun.

    Willowbrook is chilling and practices like this are ongoing throughout the Western World as Vera Sharav has done so much to bring to wider attention.

    But while there were “carers” involved, and the practices are not uncommon, Willowbrook is a horror because it falls outside the norm. Its like a pogrom rather than a Holocaust.
    A bunch of doctors and nursing staff did the same in Germany on a much greater scale, terminating the lives of those not worthy of life. These were among the most ethical and sophisticated healthcare staff in the world. They did it because they were obeying orders. The Churches didn’t defend the children. Science didn’t defend the children.

    It was only later when the apparatus had been tested on children that we ended up with the Holocaust. While there might have been madmen at the top wanting to remove vermin from German soil by any means, Germany had in fact been the most Jew friendly country in the Western world. Much more friendly to Jews than France or America. American Jewish doctors could get a medical training in 1930s Germany where they couldn’t get it in America. The Jews that got on the trains regarded themselves as German, and expected that keeping to the rules would save them.

    The Germans meanwhile screened psychopaths out of their personnel in concentration camps – just as in America the Department of Justice makes sure there are no psychopaths among staff on Death Row. Whoever planned all this figured they could depend on the Jews, especially German Jews to keep to the rules and police themselves, so while there was Aryan brutality, there was as much if not more from Jews and Poles keeping their own brethren in line, which the Germans exploited to paint those about to die as vermin.

    I am not aiming at provocation, when I say we are witnessing the same now. It’s a keeping to the rules that’s the problem – what else are the guidelines especially when written in contracts so doctors have to keep to them. American and Western life expectancies are now falling – for the first time ever. Almost certainly in my opinion because of doctors keeping to the rules

    The opioids are contributing to this but only a very small fraction compared to other drugs. One of ironies of the opioid deaths and falling life expectancy more generally is that white communities are affected even more than people of color. While some may smile grimly at this, there will be very few who do so. Others may think there is someone up there aiming at population control, who regards us all as vermin. I don’t. I think this mindlessness is at the heart of modernity, and now that it is killing us we need to work out what to do about it. This is where we need some people to take to the woods rather than get on the trains.

    Children’s health generally, but children’s mental health in particular, is the most visible example of just what is being done to us. Here the entire literature is junk, the iron fist of refusal to allow access to the data so clear and the bureaucrats – all nice people – are so supine. As you know more than anyone, things are rapidly getting worse with doctors of color just as likely to feed children of color in US foster-homes into the machinery that increasingly leads to deaths more horrific than lynching of all children whatever their color, or creed or country.

  22. Hi Fiona -It’s a hell on earth you are going through ,please try to hang on – the way you have the courage to speak the truth in such horrendous circumstances shows such great character and is invaluable when you also give others the courage to do the same -and adds to the roll of those who are honoured amongst survivors of abusive medical ‘treatments’ and the cruelty of others.. You don’t need advice, you can more likely give it, but a solicitor who used to sit on tribunals once told me that there is a trade off in his area whereby those who play along and give them what they want to hear are more likely to get a positive result from tribunals – those with just as much right can be sacrificed to show there is no bias in favour of ‘patients’. He admitted it was immoral but decided people were better off with someone like him keeping checks on the tribunals and getting as many people out as possible. This is how grotesque the system can be in the UK All the very best when it comes up in a few weeks time. Susanne

  23. Hi Fiona -It’s a hell on earth you are going through ,please try to hang on – the way you have the courage to speak the truth in such horrendous circumstances shows such great character and is invaluable when you also give others the courage to do the same -and adds to the roll of those who are honoured amongst survivors of abusive medical ‘treatments’ and the cruelty of others.. You don’t need advice, you can more likely give it, but a solicitor who used to sit on tribunals once told me that there is a trade off in his area whereby those who play along and give them what they want to hear are more likely to get a positive result from tribunals – those with just as much right can be sacrificed to show there is no bias in favour of ‘patients’. He admitted it was immoral but decided people were better off with someone like him keeping checks on the tribunals and getting as many people out as possible. This is how grotesque the system can be in the UK All the very best when it comes up in a few weeks time. Susanne apologies if this is a duplicate.

  24. A woman in the US, made a terrible mistake …

    Allen Frances has just written an article on a recent story about a racist tweet sent out by the actress, Rosanne; a hugely popular tv series in the US whose comeback has just been axed with huge financial losses.

    Simon Wessely Retweeted

    Allen Frances‏ @AllenFrancesMD May 30

    For once, Pharma speaks truth. Roseanne: “I’ve done weird stuff while on ambien”. Drug company rebuttal: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

    https://twitter.com/AllenFrancesMD/status/1001935489467904000

    The devil didn’t make me do it — it was Ambien. Nice try, Roseanne

    By Allen Frances

    May 30, 2018

    https://www.statnews.com/2018/05/30/roseanne-tweet-ambien/

    The problem I have with this episode, is that two well known psychiatrists feel it appropriate to wade in to a media story which really has nothing to do with them. Psychiatrist, Allen Frances spends his entire life promoting his book ‘saving normal’, his twitter feed is a complete, rant, about the US President, while, on this side of the pond, a UK psychiatrist feels it appropriate to spread the story.

    The quip by Sanofi got their interest, and in this instance, everybody will be assured that Ambien, won’t make you racist, but, it might make a few more dollars with the publicity …

    • This episode with Roseanne Barr, who blamed “Ambien tweeting” for the really grotesque racist insults she sent out on Twitter, was an absolute triumph of PR. Sanofi, the makers of Ambien, managed to come out 1) against racism and 2) for “personal responsibility” while 3) defending their drug and 4) making people laugh at the mere thought that it could influence behavior. All in 60 seconds or less! It doesn’t get much better than that.

      The truth of it is–while I’ve got very little sympathy or respect for Roseanne Barr, she does have a certain valid point about Ambien. Of course it doesn’t “cause racism.” But what it does do, in a very powerful way with some people, is erase inhibitions. And dull memory. People can find themselves not just sleep-walking but sleep-talking, sleep-driving, sleep-eating … sleep-Tweeting doesn’t surprise me a bit.

      The result? Well, if you’ve never *wanted* to go on Twitter and compare various black public figures to apes, Ambien won’t make you start, of course. But have you ever had a passing urge to eat a whole pizza, or drive down to the lake and go skinny-dipping on a stifling summer night? OK. On Ambien, this may come to pass.

      The same goes for any other rude, foolish or strange thing you occasionally think about doing while awake — and easily manage to suppress the impulse. Often this is merely embarrassing, but it can be downright dangerous. Ambien can also be habit-forming very quickly, so that people who start taking it soon find they cannot fall asleep without it.

  25. It’s all very well psychiatrists saying they are ‘following the Guidelines’ but they seem to lose any common sense. In my daughter’s case, she was put on an off-label drug (Mirtazapine) that she’d agreed to take (being over 16, but not given all the facts and not actually in a great state of mind to make that decision). Despite the drug not providing any benefit to her over several months and causing suicide attempts at the start and each time the drug was increased (up to maximum adult dose), they added Sertraline (as per ‘Guidelines’) to ‘augment’ the Mirtazapine which caused a far more serious suicide attempt. No amount of my asking why Mirtazapine was still being given when it clearly had no benefit changed their minds. Fortunately the Sertraline was stopped at the point where it was obviously to blame, but Mirtazapine continued… Why? Luckily she was an inpatient, but at that point was sectioned and moved to a high-dependency unit and forced to continue with the medication, no longer having a choice in the matter. Who’s crazy? In my opinion it’s those wielding the prescription pen.

    • Totally understand where you’ve been. I hope your crisis has past, it’s heartache of vast proportions. And the dangerous thoughts on these drugs are deadly real. Dr David has blasted me for saying guidelines have any use whatsoever, all I can say is that we eventually resisted sertraline because of failure to know the license and get informed written consent, and mirtazapine because even the Maudsley guidelines said it just made you fat and sleepy. When you read the nice guidelines, it’s clear that even fluoxetine only has grudging acceptance. As you know, you have so little influence on these situations, I’ll take support from wherever I can get it, even guidelines. I can’t see any support on the nice guidelines for poly-antidepressants in adolescents by the way, i would be furious about that.

  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aB4AlU1pvE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB9CK2IxhXc

    Here are a couple of very short clips that are worth listening to. There are plenty of longer ones by Dr Bill Pettit, a Psychiatrist with plenty to share on this topic if you find yourself interested to learn more. This understanding that he shares is something that, if taken notice of will have more and more people questioning this current drive to hand out medication – which can only be a good thing. Those ‘following the Guidelines’ are doing so out of a general misunderstanding of what they are actually doing and am confident that if they were to become aware, they too would be compelled to ask questions that they are not asking at the moment. With knowledge they could see that medication is not the ‘go to’ answer.

    How much of our talk of ‘mental health’ is little more than talk about ‘mental illness’?

  27. Pharmaceutical companies have invented the mental illness brand and have strategically taken over the entire medical profession, the patients, the guideline factory and the regulators. Who needs expensive ad agencies when they have an entire population doing their job for them … it’s a runaway train ..

    Caroline Harroe‏ @CarolineHarroe 3h

    Replying to @DrDavidHealy

    Apalled yo see such a horrendous image on your article- given your position, operating outside of suicide media guidance is irresponsible.

    https://twitter.com/DrDavidHealy/status/1002321311467757571

    What is suicide media guidance. There are several media guidance – for journalists – available

    file:///C:/Users/user/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/media-guidance-for-reporting-suicide%20(1).pdf

    https://www.imediaethics.org/media-regulator-will-expand-guidance-for-reporting-on-suicide/

    Given your position operating outside .. it would be a very dangerous doctor who failed to warn parents that black box warnings are there for a reason and if my child hung herself from ads, at the very least I was warned.

    If sensibilities are affected, I would much rather be warned “that could be my child” rather than “that was my child”.

    That is the stark reality, yo see … how will wrapping this up in cotton wool make even the slightest dent ..

    The Billiam James illustrations were world-shatteringly awesome … perhaps people need a reminder

    https://www.billiamjames.com/tag/rxisk/

  28. I’m not sure if she declared on twitter (i don’t have an account but had a quick look ) but for those of us who hadn’t heard of her Caroline Harroe is CEO of ‘Harmless’ see ‘Nottingham’s Self Harm and Prevention Organisation’ (9th Oct 2017). There is no mention on her publicity of the harms being caused by prescribed drugs , including risk of suicide or as far as I can see, any mention of prescribed drugs on the information elsewhere on the web about this organisation. I consider this negligent in the extreme when even drug companies and regulators flag up the possibility of suicide with , even if with inadequate warnings. Surely it would be very surprising if no clients had raised the issue about medication and ‘self harm’ ? Not sure how they get funded.

    • Have just contacted Harmless and suggested that prescribed drug use should be a consideration when dealing with self harm etc. It seems that they fund raise as a group from what I can make out, rather than be funded as such.

  29. I have read the comments on this piece with enormous admiration and gratitude for the honesty with which people speak out about young people and the risk of suicide. On the Facebook page of the website we started in memory of our son Olly, who died we feel because of a long mix of various of these prescribed drugs, the sister of one young man who died in 2010, but whose birthday it is today, has written a beautiful description of him. We are now a large group of parents and siblings bereaved by suicide. And these suicides were caused, we strongly believe, by first of all, the prescription of the acne drug RoAccutane isotretinoin, and then, to counter the low mood it causes, a plethora of different psychotropic drugs. The youngest lad we know of to get RoAccutane and then SSRIs was 13. Our son was 21. Seroxat SSRI was added to the acne drug he was taking, and synergistically, fleeting intermittent paranoia and psychosis and akathisia became his everyday waking existence for 11 tortuous years, that’s if of course he could sleep peacefully at all ever when not awake, because he was plagued by nightmarish horrific dreams. And then there were the voices, which never left him after the acne drug began, telling him to kill himself. Which in the end he did.

    A lot of our group’s children did die by hanging themselves. Our son didn’t. He’d obviously thought a great deal about how and where we and emergency services would find his body and he made sure, in his own meticulous way, even in the moments of planning his final exit, that we and they would be shocked and distressed as little as he could manage. Olly definitely did not want to die. But he was in a prescribed drug-induced hell, and he simply couldn’t go on. (Fiona Smith has described this graphically, but please Fiona, don’t give up, because you have insight and can overcome, whereas he didn’t and couldn’t). When we identified his drowned body, resting in its unzipped black bag, I remember he had a smile on his face, as I bent to kiss his forehead. It was no doubt rigor mortis but for a second I thought “ thank God he’s happy, at peace” because he hadn’t been able to smile like that for months. He used to say, in his final days, when I tried to make soothing and hopeful suggestions, “ I love you for trying to help but you just don’t get it Mum, my brain is totally fucked, I can’t think, I can’t remember, I can’t sleep, I am lost, there’s no hope for me.”

    As Tim put it so well in an early comment, these enchanting young souls who just initially needed a little reassurance and kindness from a consultation with a wise doctor (someone as I feel sure he was when practising) end up drugged, iactrogenically damaged beyond belief, demonised and ruined forever, whilst the world turns away in denial. As Annie says, ‘ no one is listening’….

    We write on the Olly’s Friendship Foundation website Facebook page each week about the lives of our children, about the good times, their dreams, their achievements, the people they were before they received prescriptions so young for such unsuitable and damaging medications, given to them by medics they trusted to be wise and have their best interests at heart. The site helps the growing band of parents to bear things, knowing we are not alone, and keeping the memories of our youngsters very much alive. They were all wonderful youngsters in their way, they suffered horribly and they were totally betrayed. Psychiatrists, the ultimate fount of supposed wisdom, were the worst betrayers of them all. As Tim says, keep your youngsters safe, never take them near a psychiatrist.

    • Thank you Heather.

      We found your comment to be profoundly moving.

      You so clearly define the absence of empathy that surrounds the individuals and their families who have been destroyed by prescribers denial of the toxicities to these drugs.

      Why does my profession appear to have widely abandoned listening to our patients and their loved ones?
      How can we dismiss reports of potentially lethal ADRs from patients and families who are clearly more accurately informed in the pharmacology of these alleged “medications”?

      I believe that major adverse influences on a medical practitioner’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours result from the almost complete command and control exercised by Pharmaceutical Marketing on our “Continuing Medical Education”.
      The “C.M.E” that we are compelled to undertake in order to maintain our license to practice.

      It would appear that psychiatry, through its absolute power and its hugely successful propaganda machine, and an ever greater influence on Primary Care has resulted in GPs who are programmed in their subservience to psychiatrists believing that they, and their dangerous and evidence de-based “guidelines” protect them professionally from their patients committing suicide.

      It also appears to me that this creates a mindset where it is impossible for the prescriber to observe that these drugs are causing akathisia, medication induced self harm and the iatrogenic destruction and /or termination of the exquisitely precious lives of our children.

      Via “Guideline” dominated prescribing, it is concluded that we doctors are increasingly failing our patients, their relatives and our profession.

      At some time, the scale and consequence of this failure and naivety will be widely understood.
      I was taught many years ago that the listening, empathetic consultation itself was one of the most powerful and safest therapeutic interventions we could achieve for our patients.
      Drugs were not always necessary or desired by patients.
      The “not prescribing” reinforced the patient’s belief that their doctor had listened to them, understood them, and recognised their anguish.

      Why should those of us who have suffered the very worst of this abandonment of the basic tenets of ethical medical prescribing ever forgive those who took our children, our loved ones and then refused to understand our agony?

      “You have a DUTY to understand the drug you are prescribing including any adverse side effects, contraindications and appropriate monitoring”.

  30. Heather – had another look at the ‘Harmless’ site . It is fine to be doing good work in some ways but unless they are going to raise awareness about prescription drugs it undermines their credibility.The reason why the organisation does not mention doing any awareness raising about prescription drugs (although street drugs are mentioned) might have something to do with that they are sponsored by the Nottingham Healthcare Foundation Trust (and a few others inc, Children in Need). ‘Harmless’ has ‘secured a contract to provide mental health training across the wonderful county of Derbyshire’ – the web site doesn’t say who gave the contract. Are they likely to continue securing contracts if they fill in the gap in the training they provide by including an honest discussion about potential harms? (One useful outcome to their twitter which criticised Davids blog regarding suicide though, may be to actually direct more of their clients to the blog site. Hopefully.

  31. Talking about ‘hanging’ i’d really like to know what famous designer Kate Spade was/or had been swallowing from her doctor.

    • What usually happens when we hear of a hanging is within a short time we hear the phrase…struggling with m.i. Or struggling with d . Then we later hear the ‘was being treated by a doctor’…then the phrase ‘ had been taking medication’ sometimes the diagnonsense word bipolar is also attached to their name.
      Do you think this was Kate’s spades story…..we all knew it.
      What is tragic is the medical profession going on these talk shows and the news simply have a free voice to push even more people into the very same fate.

    • Forgot to mention something that is also so very common.
      Often after one of these (iatrogenic) tragedies well-meaning but ignorant family or relatives decide to donate to mental health causes to ‘help’ others with this so -called ‘disease’.
      What they are totally oblivious to is that these funds will no doubt be used to herd other innocent trusting vulnerable people down this diagnonsense drugged horror story scripted by a doctor. These actions are sadly adding to the harm. If only they knew what they do!

      Pharma have many secret weapons and one of them is family members.
      see link :

      https://www.msn.com/en-nz/entertainment/celebrity/david-spade-donates-thousands-following-his-sister-in-laws-death/ar-AAyJRec?ocid=spartanntp

  32. Tim, to try to understand why, as you put it, your profession has abandoned listening to their patients and their loved ones, I think it’s something to do with ‘modernity’. DH had a brilliant phrase for this and I can’t find it to reproduce it, but I think he was bang on right. Doctors nowadays are trained to be drug dependant and to rely on their prescription pads and not on their inquiring problem-solving minds. They are probably more in the job for money and status and much less because they are driven by a need to help their fellow man. They don’t listen because they’ve acquired an inbuilt arrogance that tells them they don’t NEED to listen, they know all the answers anyway.
    Also, the quickest way to turn off any lurking empathy they have is to date to appear clever, well read, inquiring, polite, and intelligent. This makes them feel insecure. And when they make a mistake, they hate you all the more if you’ve noticed it. To be fair, we know that time allocated to each patient is short and I guess they feel they must find quick fixes. The ideal patient is the one who goes in to see them, almost touches her forelock and smiles with gratitude when she sees the prescription pad and pen dragged forward. The doctor knows best. “Thank you for your time doctor, we know how busy you are,” uttered as they almost genuflect as they back out of the door.
    But these are not gods, these are people like you and me, who decided to study hard and be a doctor. And yes, they deal with blood and bone and guts and grizzly things that we would probably not feel keen to do. But when it comes to psychiatry, this is about understanding the mind, listening to worries that have made the mind overtired, and it is their job to help, not drug, to listen, to uplift, to give hope. Drugging whooshes the patient away, so they can’t be a time consuming bother, and if one doesn’t quite them down and shut them up, another will.

    Our son Olly considered becoming a doctor like many in my side of the family before him. He had the qualifications and the ability. But he told us that he knew he would worry too much over each patient, in case he didn’t help them enough, and he wouldn’t therefore be much use. I think he was right, he was not cut out to be arrogant or robotic. He did veterinary work experience as he loved animals but he decided against that because the mark up on prescribed animal medicines was so high and he felt it was criminal. He wasn’t a softie but he had standards and a moral compass. And that was his undoing. To follow DH’s analogy, he got on the train instead of heading out to the woods. He trusted these ignorant medical pieces of work because he couldn’t believe that they were as empty, devoid of human compassion and decency, as they were.

    It was Sertraline and Olanzapine that finally drove his poor mind into that series of voids that made him leave. He wrote us goodbye letters, full of love, not wanting to go, but ‘wanting to give us our lives back’. He is such a loss to the world, he had spread humour and kindness and brilliant insightful ness wherever he went. And yet, the medications had, as he put it, permanently it seemed, fucked up his mind so badly that each day was agony to get through. As a parent, even now when I hear the little Vodafone tune on the mobile, which we hardly use, fear makes my stomach lurch. It’s because in those 11 years, it would have been him, calling for hope to go on. Or to say goodbye.

    This situation, as you Tim, and Fiona Smith and all the other contributors here have so graphically described, as the crime of the century. It is easily as bad as the Holocaust, because it’s done under cover of being socially and medically acceptable. So, what to do?

  33. All the news on Kate Spade on CNN, except the drugs she was on ..

    https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/kate-spade-suicide/index.html

    Akathisia is usually the prelude to ‘hanging’ and it would be nice if journalists will ever get a handle on it as the doctors don’t seem to grasp how to recognise it and if Kate Spade had akathisia it is unlikely we will ever know until ‘medical records’ are deemed part of ‘any thorough investigation’ ..

    Isn’t this crucial so that her young child doesn’t spend the rest of her life wondering how and why her mother has gone and also stop the endless speculation that happens when some one rather well known ends their life by ‘hanging’ ..

    • Annie,

      It would be great if all prescribers and journalists, patients and parents/loved ones could all get a handle on AKATHISIA.

      Surely this dangerous lack of awareness is medically, ethically and socially unacceptable?

      I

  34. This is key Tim.

    No one really wants to die. Organisations with prevention of suicide as their aim, like the excellent Suicide Crisis in Cheltenham, know this, from all their clients tell them.
    It’s AKATHISIA THAT MAKES LIFE IMPOSSIBLE, all else can be fixed, turned around, with reasoned discussion and support.

    This is THE most important message we have to get out there, in front of everyone. It’s horrifying how many people working in the sphere of mental health, have never even heard of the word, and one NHS Patient Forum shot me down for raising it, saying ‘oh, we don’t like acronyms, ie they assumed the letters in the word stood for something. I guess I should have said, the whole word does. It stands for impending self administered death if not understood and caught fast, drugs changed to a benzodiazepine for a short time, to get normality back, and then maybe careful tapering. Most of all, getting cause and effect understood by prescribers everywhere. But NEVER more and higher doses of what caused it.’

    I think we should all be wearing AKATHISIA tee shirts with some eye catching slogan, or even just the word. We’ll then be asked by interested observers to spell its meaning out for them.

    • Heather – Why don’t we re-use the AIDS message that was so successful in the 1980’s?

      “DON”T DIE OF IGNORANCE”

      Then add: –

      “UNDERSTAND AKATHISIA”

      I’d be delighted to live in that Tee Shirt 24/7.

      AKATHISIA is a massive, ignored, un-addressed and misunderstood, iatrogenic PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER which is taking and destroying lives in a global AIDS-Scale “Epidemic” – perhaps even greater than AIDS.

      With AIDS, the then Government listened to the wisdom of their Chief Medical Officer – Sir Donald Atcheson. Then they acted on his advice.

      Does the current occupant of that post know that 20% of those who take SSRIs have clinically significant AKATHISIA? – 50% On antipsychotics?

      Does the CMO know what akathisia is – what it does, how to diagnose, manage clinically, and prevent death?

      If they do not know it is unforgivable.
      If they do know, why aren’t the public being protected?

  35. Brilliant Tim. With you all the way.

    Now, how about RXISK.org using their contacts and commissioning a white cotton tee shirt emblazoned with Tim’s slogan on the front and the illustration on the back. We will all, I feel sure, be delighted to send £10 or equivalent in dollars to get one. Have two sizes, medium and large, maybe an extra large as well. Maybe RXISK could even make a profit out of it. Like Tim, I will wear it everywhere. Even to St Paul’s, where my husband and I are shortlisted end of June for an Award for the Olly’s Friendship Room we’ve built in a church we renovated, to be used for getting communities together, with a special emphasis on helping and supporting those suffering mental unwellness. Our aim was to make sure churches that are becoming run down and redundant, can be revitalised and as well as having normal services as before, now additionally used for the greatest need that our society is presently manifesting, the need for us to get together, look out for each other, support each other through companionship when we are feeling lonely, damaged or ‘down’. If we are wearing our AKATHISIA tee shirts, there will be a lot of questions and a lot of education to those who will listen.

    Let’s get on with it!

  36. My son is about to finish his F2 year having done two degrees to become a doctor. Last October he came home and told my husband and me that he had been given a couple of weeks off work as he was suffering from “anxiety”.

    Like many parents we were completely poleaxed as we had no idea, particularly when he went on to say that this had been going on for 5 years (since he started his post-grad degree in medicine) and that he had been taking anti-depressants on and off all that time.

    I appreciate that he is an adult and also better qualified than we are to make considered decisions about how to treat his mental illness, but I lost my mother to anti-depressants, not that she died, but she was never the same after she was given them. So I would really like to be able to get my son to fully understand the danger that continued use/dependence on these drugs is not the answer. I have tried to interest him in things such as going back to singing, mindfulness, yoga, etc but just get blocked and told that he is sticking with the psychiatrist’s treatment.

    Can you recommend a short and definitive article that I can get him to read and believe? I can’t bear the thought of losing my loving, kind, considerate and beautiful son to these useless drugs.

    • Cassie sorry to hear of your sons iatrogenic plight.
      What about Agents of trauma by Whitfield.
      Also a great little easy to read book by Whitaker called Anatomy of an epidemic.
      I suspect your sons on again off again use was due to the fact he couldn’t get off. The withdrawal trauma was such he had to go back on. It wasn’t the person it was the poison.

  37. Every time I hear of a seemingly fortunate person killing himself or herself (and it is often, nowadays), I look to see if that person has been taking ‘antidepressants’. Their friends and relatives will say ‘we had no idea she felt this way’.

    In a week when doctors were told to stop using homeopathy because there is no proof it works, people need to understand how little hard medical evidence exists that ‘antidepressants’ help people who are depressed.

    But the correlation between suicide and their use is very strong indeed – so much so that in the USA a warning about it is sometimes printed on the packaging.

    Peter Hitchens

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

  38. I didn’t have anything to add to this discussion a few weeks ago. It was interesting to observe and to consider all points of view.

    But this evening I watched the evening news for the first time in a week or so, and one of the stories was about migrant children being separated from their parents. Small children could be heard crying, and one child’s weeping triggered me deeply — it was too much like my own after I’d been separated from my mother at four.

    That weeping has played over in my head, and each time, I go back to feeling as I did at age four. I wish I’d never watched the news, or at least not the clip of the small child weeping.

    The thing I don’t wish is that no one had recorded and played it on national television. I don’t give a royal shit that I’m retriggered. I’m an adult. What’s essential is that the plight of these families gets exposure, that they receive help, that they be reunited quickly.

    Is it any different for teens who are blindsided by medication and at risk of dying? Shouldn’t every attempt be made to jostle people into awareness to prevent this? From my perspective, the images were shocking, sad, and thought provoking. Just what was needed.

  39. This image, by Time Magazine, did the same for me Laurie and I am so with you with all you have said.

    In a different way, I will never erase from my memory my little girl on the sofa, so still, so silent, so small, the tears running down her little cheeks – when the local doctor told me to drive myself to a mental hospital when Akathisia was beyond endurance.

    We had never been separated, and although she was left in the safe hands of her dad, who miraculously had a day off flying that day, the image is etched in my mind.

    And, like you, retriggered, and the GP was so hasty in picking up the phone and my heart was further broken when I received a little letter ‘please come home mummy’ and not one person in this whole sordid drama which went on for a very long time asked me anything at all about the child.

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/the-crying-honduran-girl-on-the-cover-of-time-was-not-separated-from-her-mother/ar-AAz2tMw?ocid=spartandhp

    “The image showed a moment in time at the border, but the emotion in the little girl’s distress has ignited a response. As a photojournalist, my job is to inform and report what is happening, but I also think it is important to humanize an issue that is often reported in statistics.”

  40. David,
    I am surprised by people complaining about your mention of “Strange Fruit”. It is our daily diet on TV of films, depicting in realistic gore, the numerous ways people die. The crime thrillers seem to be thriving and the war films constantly remind us of fearful horrors that had occurred with monotonous regularity. The news items have scoured the globe for every barbaric atrocity that take place, not to mention all the disasters that afflict so many. Therefore, to mention a song that drew attention to the racial abuse in America is hardly something that is so insensitive.

    It is important to try and understand and work out the best ways to prevent mental illness and the destructive and senseless loss of life in all aspects of society. There is a need to question the nature and processes leading up to people ending their lives. We can’t be squeamish and pretend that death in all its manifestations must not be discussed. It would be, however, constructive to be kinder and more caring in this “insular” and devisive world. Perhaps minds become more fragmented when society ceases to be a community.
    Barry Broadmeadow

  41. Dominic Lawson

    June 24 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

    Gosport scandal: Make a fuss and it’s the death syringe for you

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbe47906-76ed-11e8-bc7b-5fc0ce8b4638

    ‘Exactly the same cause of death was routinely given by those doctors involved in the “life-shortening” of the mentally incapacitated in Germany in 1939-41. This programme of extinguishing what the Nazis termed Lebensunwertes Leben (life unworthy of life) came to an end when another bishop — Galen of Münster — heroically thundered from his pulpit that fellow citizens were being eliminated merely for being a burden to society, as if their lives had no intrinsic value.

    And yet more than 50 years later the same chilling disregard for the intrinsic value of life, however “difficult”, was manifested in an NHS hospital. Is Gosport an isolated case? I wouldn’t count on it.

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