What Happened?

June, 3, 2019 | 10 Comments


  1. He got one thing right ‘the age of the drug’

    It’s all very well postumising Prozac in such flowery language, but, unfortunately, it led to companies like GlaxoSmithKline producing Paroxetine

    Unfortunately, for GlaxoSmithKline, Paroxetine, was developed and promoted as the ‘wonder drug’ to beat all others

    It did beat all others –

    In revenue, in publicity, in world ranking – once unleashed in the 90s, it wasn’t long before Paroxetine started to crumble

    The press took hold, Paxil cases abounded, a grandfather shot dead almost his entire family – the case won and Then – What Happened ..

    Children hanging themselves from Prozac, the only antidepressant licensed for children – although GlaxoSmithKline tried to get a share of this market

    GlaxoSmithKline refusing to tell adults that they run the same risks as children


    Kramer is a faculty member of Brown Medical School, where he specializes in clinical depression. He is also the author of several books. In his 2005 book Against Depression, he argues that the socio-economic costs of depression are so large and the effects so pervasive that modern societies should aim to eradicate the disease in the same fashion as it did with smallpox.

    Kramer’s most notable book is Listening to Prozac (1993). This work was grounded in the observation that, treated with antidepressants, some patients reported feeling “better than well.” This result led Kramer to consider the feasibility of “cosmetic psychopharmacology,” the use of medication in healthy people to induce personality traits that are desired or socially rewarded. In the book, Kramer considers the consequences for medical ethics and critiques the tendency of the culture to reward particular personality styles, namely those characterized by energy and assertiveness.

  2. The ego has landed for a state visit – is Trump still taking the pills? It might explain a lot.

  3. I should probably start reading books, but the one i won’t read is the the one above. How hard can it be to write a book about something that everyone prices and celebrates? Yes I know the book got alot of attention, and also that it spurred a “talking back at- book”. Some people saw the dangers, some people celebrated the success. Sounds like we are still there, the critical side is critical, while the celebrating side still celebrates, but with revised adjectives.

    If you change the descriptive text in order to be able to continue your ‘celebration’, perhaps you should take a hard look at why the critics don’t have to change theirs….

    Long gone are your ‘chemical imbalance’, and serotonin isn’t at all solely responsible for you well being.

    And Brown University has produced more ‘celebratory professors’ since, we would probably recognize what large companies have ‘sponsored’ the library and what not at Brown University.

    And yes, the medical profession should question itself, anyone knows that end of life treatment with heroine probably would cause states that can be explained as ‘beneficiary’ for the patient. But that is not how we should decide who and who not to medicate.

  4. Roy Porter wrote the History of Madness and many other books relating to ‘historical’ medicine and it was sad to die at just 55, when he was so profligate and noted as such a famous medical historian.


    ‘Georgian asylum admissions lend no support to the view that male chauvinist values were disproportionately penalizing women with mental disorders’.

    Roy Porter

    There might be something demonstrably apt, in this short sentence …

  5. No disrespect at all to the author of the article, and always good to hear that some do well, but for how long, I wonder, has Kramer himself been listening to Prozac?

    For some, it’s usually hard to hear over a previously generally ‘happy’ and healthy person’s post SSRI 20 plus years flashbacks, the permanent alternative state ‘anxiety’, the screeching of the remaining transmitters starting up before quickly screeching to a halt; over the teeth grinding, the chemical ‘Devil with Tourettes’, the gastro trumpeting and the occasional bout of tinnitus. But you can, (especially, if you ended up with no choice) really hear Prozac.

    More and more, if you listen to some people who know her personally and for more than a short time, the pale faced middle aged apparent one time siren sounds like a badly aging rock star now obviously suffering from Imposter Syndrome, DID, interpersonal intimacy issues. Determined do whatever is necessary to prevent people from seeing her teetering on the edge of a full Narcissistic breakdown.

    Sometimes she must remember (if she can and between yawns) the mass mania and hysteria of her neon yellow heydays. The good old days when she belted out ‘Shiny Happy People Having Fun’ (‘Smack my Bitch Up’ much more than an occasional hidden B Side) at 100,000 decibels. When all who suffered from the big D word – which spread like wildfire or faster than a factory slave from an improbable terrorist overnight – were relieved to know that grief, moving school, falling in love, one two many bad Mondays or redundancy, could suddenly render the brain chemically lob-sided.

    Some nights little Princess Prozac must still tuck herself safely back under a little plastic duvet and try to avoid the fading breath impression of an ‘Oh’ gape not quite wiped clean from a child’s bedroom window.

    Every eerily haunted child’s bedroom now rows and rows and rows of small wooden new homes beyond it. Not too far (but far too close for some) to a very small window where they say you could see a classroom full of distressed and agitated children; which underground legend has it someone with the key to the door of many schools was forced to look into once. Then looked away.

    Hard to read this when another victim of akathisia died as related on Twitter yesterday. Another in a Facebook group.

    However, with all the Listening to Prozac and her rivals these were the only two deaths caused by once hidden dangerous neuropsychiatric events ever heard of and at remarkable direct odds with the actual data and open medical knowledge.

    It was then unnecessary to argue that doctors should have considered insisting upon the credibility and authenticity of her papers at any time in the last 20 years. Much less to argue basic common sense with professionals that more attention, along with MISSD 101 education in akathisia for all doctors and not just the Head Psyche, should be paid to listening, and consistent listening, as the most basic competency.

    As they have been listening to Prozac etc. of course.

    Not quite the billion dollar money spinner but perfect, as was already known, and if a proper and full ‘U-Turn’ may later be needed, for present patients who simply don’t appear to be able to get enough of a good thing – or off the last good thing. The niche markets: perfect for the Paul Bloom Anti-Empathy crowd, the erotophobics, the benign masochists, the emerging market of young men who always wanted to be mermen, the very high risk nymphomaniacs (never before compassionately listened to and believed…).

  6. Patrick D Hahn says:

    January 30, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Dr. Kramer argues like a defense lawyer, as if Prozac were a person whose civil rights we are bound to respect. And he does a very good job indeed of kicking up reasonable doubt, going on for chapter after chapter identifying potential confounding effects in clinical trials. Funny how all the potential confounders he can think of seem to work against the drug and in favor of placebo. Are there any that work the other way around?

    Or do the Ordinarily; well, dream, on …

  7. On Wikipedia – P Kramer suggests that ‘depression should be eliminated -just like any other disease’….and he has the key to the drug cupboard ….

    A song – dedicated to Peter the Wolf who wants to make people better or is it better people…

    If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
    if you’re happy and you know it
    and you really want to show it
    clap your hands
    if your happy and you know it
    and your face will surely show it (fixed drug induced grin)
    clap your hands

  8. I have described the dirty tricks and scientific dishonesty involved when drug companies and leading psychiatrists try convincing us that these drugs protect against suicide and other forms of violence (1). Even the FDA was forced to give in when it admitted in 2007, at least indirectly, that depression pills can cause suicide and madness at any age (1, 9).

    Prof. Peter Gøtzsche‏ @PGtzsche1 2h

    The depression pill epidemic. A two-page summary of the most important issues by me. The pills do not cure, lead to much harm, and should be avoided.

    The Depression Pill Epidemic

    By Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche

    June 4, 2019


    In some countries, including the United States, about 10% of the entire population is in treatment with depression pills. This is a tragedy. These drugs do not have relevant effects on depression; they increase the risk of suicide and violence; and they make it more difficult for patients to live normal lives (1). They should therefore be avoided. We have been fooled by the drug industry, corrupt doctors on industry payroll, and by our drug regulators (1).

    CrossFit …

    AntiDepAware‏ @AntiDepAware 1h

    Many thanks to @DrDavidHealy, @shanecooke and others present at Prestatyn yesterday for an interesting and informative evening.

  9. recovery&renewal Retweeted

    Michael P. Hengartner, PhD‏ @HengartnerMP 2h

    Research topic on pediatric antidepressant use in Frontiers in Psychiatry edited by Irving Kirsch, David Healy and myself. We welcome all kind of papers, e.g. commentaries, reviews, original papers, etc. Share with your colleagues and submit now: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/10101/antidepressant-prescriptions-in-children-and-adolescents …


    The prescription of antidepressants to children and adolescents is a controversial topic.

    With respect to depressive disorders, to date no single pediatric antidepressant trial found efficacy on the pre-specified primary outcome (Healy et al., 2019). However, when meta-analytically pooled across all trials, antidepressants appear to have a statistically significant albeit marginally small benefit over placebo (Locher et al., 2017). It also appears that antidepressants are more effective for anxiety disorders than for depressive disorders (Locher et al., 2017).

    On the other hand, the risk of suicidal events in antidepressant recipients is about twice that seen in placebo recipients, indicating that antidepressants increase the suicide risk in children and adolescents (Sharma et al., 2016).

    Another issue related to the risk-benefit conundrum is the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on the design, conduct and publication of pediatric antidepressant trials (Leo, 2006). Systematic biases and even research misconduct have been documented in several industry-sponsored trials, and these flaws further complicate the interpretation of published findings on the usefulness of antidepressants in children and adolescents (Jureidini et al., 2004).

  10. More than likely what I say here won’t make a difference, many herein will discount it. A few will understand..

    After a long history of work in this field, and having done, approximately 60,000 reviews, I have developed grave concerns about what is given out to people in the name of medicine.

    My question at this point is. Is it better to have an entire nation in a manic episode, or a few hundred thousand? Because certainly here in the USA, that is where we are heading.

    We here consume more drugs than all the rest of the world combined, and that includes street drugs, as well as psychiatric medications. One would think they are different, psychiatric meds, different than street drugs, and would work at cross purposes, however that is not the case. Few drug users, inform their prescribers, they are on street drugs, and many of those psychiatric medications are used, to potentiate the high that comes from street drugs.

    Many institutions, in this country have been courted to encourage psychiatric drug prescriptions like the grades schools prescribe ADHD medications, unaware of exactly what those drugs do or don’t do. Yet seem unconcerned of exactly what happens, to those prescribed once they are intoxicated on them.

    Its very easy to credit symptoms to a disease, than to credit it to a medication. Which often results an an entire cocktail of many multiple drugs, when symptoms aren’t obligingly controlled, that turn the brain into a chemical stew pre disposed to mania.

    Which brings me back to my point. All psychoactive drugs, do similar things, they disconnect feelings from consciousness. They make connections of feelings and behaviors difficult for those who are prescribed them. In some sense they all disassociate.

    Much the same as street drugs.

    This may be why so many of us do not have a firm grip on reality.

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