“Prozac and its successor antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction in as many as 70% of people taking them.” –
The Tragic Story of the Soteria Project and the Plot to Kill it (A Conspiracy Between Big Pharma, the NIMH and Academic Psychiatry)
“The trouble began in the late 1970s when I conducted a controversial study: I opened a program — Soteria House — where newly diagnosed schizophrenic patients lived medication-free with a young, nonprofessional staff trained to listen to and understand them and provide companionship. The idea was that schizophrenia can often be overcome with the help of meaningful relationships, rather than with drugs, and that such treatment would eventually lead to unquestionably healthier lives.
“The experiment worked better than expected. Over the initial six weeks, patients recovered as quickly as those treated with medication in hospitals.
“The results of the study were published in scores of psychiatric journals, nursing journals and books, but the project lost its funding and the facility was closed. Amid the storm of controversy that followed, control of the research project was taken out of my hands. I also faced an investigation into my behavior as chief of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Center for Studies of Schizophrenia and was excluded from prestigious academic events. By 1980, I was removed from my post altogether. All of this occurred because of my strong stand against the overuse of medication and disregard for drug-free, psychological interventions to treat psychological disorders.
“I soon found a less politically sensitive position at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. Eight years later, I re-entered the political arena as the head of the public mental health system in Montgomery County, Md., but not without a fight from friends of the drug industry. The Maryland Psychiatric Society asked that a state pharmacy committee review my credentials and prescribing practices to make sure that Montgomery County patients would receive proper (read: drug) treatments. In addition, a pro-drug family advocacy organization arranged for more than 250 furious letters to be sent to the elected county executive who had hired me. Fortunately, my employers were not drug industry-dominated, so I kept my position.
“Why does the world of psychiatry find me so threatening? Because drug companies pour millions of dollars into the pockets of psychiatrists around the country, making them reluctant to recognize that drugs may not always be in the best interest of their patients. They are too busy enjoying drug company perks: consultant gigs, research grants, fine wine and fancy meals
“Pharmaceutical companies pay through the nose to get their message across to psychiatrists across the country. They finance symposia at the two predominant annual psychiatric conventions, offer yummy treats and music to conventioneers, and pay $1,000-$2,000 per speaker to hock their wares. It is estimated that, in total, drug companies spend an average of $10,000 per physician, per year, just on “education”.
“And, of course, the doctors-for-hire tell only half the story. How widely is it known, for example, that Prozac and its successor antidepressants cause sexual dysfunction in as many as 70% of people taking them?…
“Recently, it was dues-paying time for the American Psychiatric Association, and I sat there looking at the form. I thought about the unholy alliance between the APA and the drug industry. I thought about how consumers are being affected by this alliance, about the overuse of medication, about side effects and about alternative treatments. I thought about how irresponsibly some of my colleagues are acting toward the general public and the mentally ill. And I realized, I want no part of it anymore.”
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