Prescription drugs do not help in everyday problems, quite the contrary: excessive medication causes more harm than good.
Are most people mentally ill? This is a recurrent question every time we see behaviour that seems extreme by today’s standards or that is defined as insane in clinical psychology books.
The definition of insanity is not clear mainly because according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or DSM V, there are more and more “conditions” that need to be given attention to and treated with prescription drugs.
We know that much of what is written on DSM V is pseudoscience, and that many of the symptoms cited in the book are as common as they were decades ago, when the concept of mental insanity was much more narrow and precise.
So, if we have not become more insane, why are more so-called “mental conditions” found and added to DSM and many other mental health publications?
It is due to the pharmaceutical industry’s focus on selling more drugs to treat non-existent mental disorders, says Allen Frances, who managed and dealt with updating the DSM bible.
Based on Big Pharma’s desire to sell more drugs, new conditions are added to the DSM every time it is updated, so more “mental disorders” can be diagnosed and more drugs can be sold.
Today, we live in a highly medicated society, where the default position is to assume that people have some kind of mental disease.
Symptoms of these supposed mental disorders are added to the DSM bible so mental health practitioners can consult, diagnose and quickly recommend prescription drugs manufactured by Big Pharma.
“We were very conservative and only introduced two of the 94 new mental disorders that had been suggested. When we finished, we congratulated ourselves, convinced that we had done a good job. But DSM IV turned out to be too weak a dam to stop the aggressive and diabolically astute push of the pharmaceutical companies,” explains Frances.
He says that those responsible for updateing the DSM bible did not anticipate Big Pharma’s push to make doctors and patients believe that psychiatric disorders were something common.
The result of Big Pharma’s push was a wave of artificial diagnoses that resulted in a lot of damage, especially in child psychiatry.
Now, the expansion of syndromes and pathologies in DSM V converted the current diagnostic wave into a tsunami.
Under more recent psychiatric guidelines, most ir not all of us will soon be diagnosed as mentally ill, says Frances.
“I often forget things, so surely I have a predemence; from time to time I eat a lot, so I probably have compulsive eater syndrome, and since my wife died, the sadness lasted more than a week and it still hurts, I must have fallen into a depression. It’s stupid. We have created a diagnostic system that converts everyday and normal problems of life into mental disorders.”
Pharmaceutical companies have been deceiving the public by making believe that their problems are solved with pills. But it’s not like that. Drugs are necessary and very useful in severe and persistent mental disorders, which cause a great disability. But they do not help in everyday problems. There is no magical treatment against discomfort.
According to Frances, there must be better control of the industry and better education for doctors and the public. He highlights that both doctors and patients accept, in a very uncritical way, the convenience offered to medicate, which is also causing the emergence of a very dangerous clandestine market for psychiatric drugs.
There is a type of narcotics that create a lot of addiction and can lead to cases of overdose and death. At this time, there are already more deaths due to drug abuse than drug use.
As a simple example of the current overmedication campaign, in 2009, a study conducted in the Netherlands found that 34% of children between 5 and 15 years old were treated for hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, one of those mental conditions that only exist in the heads of very astute Big Pharma’s corporate board members.
Is it believable that one in three children is hyperactive?
The answer is of course not. The incidence of hyperactivity, if such disorder can be qualified would be of around 2% of the child population.
Such a great difference, does not stop Big Pharma from pushing prescription drugs on children who are not hyperactive. In the US 11% of children are diagnosed as such and in the case of male adolescents, 20% are said to suffer of hyperactivity. Half of them are treated with drugs.
Another surprising fact is that among children under treatment for supposedly being hyperactive, there are more than 10,000 who are under the age of 3 of age. That is something wild, ruthless. The best experts, those who have honestly helped define the pathology, are horrified. It has gone out of control.
But hyperactivity disorder is not the only condition favored to sell pharmaceutical drugs. There is of course, Autism, which appears to have a wide range of symptoms that make it look, in many cases, as Asperger syndrome. Since Asperger was added to DSM, diagnosis of autism tripled.
The same happened with hyperactivity. Under newly added criteria, diagnoses increased by 15%. In 1997, when Big Pharma launched new and very expensive drugs, the diagnosis was multiplied by 40. Do you think it is a coincidence?
It seems that not only psychiatrists are to blame for the overmedication of children. Psychiatrist will hardly ever prescribe psychostimulants to a child. It is a parent’s ignorance what in many cases triggers the use of such drugs.
They often hear complaints from teachers as to why they think their children do not show adequate progress in school. These uninformed or ill-informed parents fear that their children will lose academic opportunities so they resort to drugs to “help” them compete.
What Big Pharma is doing, is carrying out a large-scale experiment with children, because no one, except the people behind the production of these drugs, knows what adverse effects they can have over time.
Just as we cannot prescribe stimulants to a teen to perform better in sports competitions, it does not make sense either to treat academic performance with drugs.
One aspect of health and personal growth that is never addressed is the fact that there are differences between children and that not all fit into a mold of normality. It is very important for parents to protect their children from excess medication.
“Human beings are very resilient creatures. We have survived millions of years thanks to this ability to face adversity and overcome it,” remembers Frances.
In western culture, however, people live immersed in a culture that uses pills to take on any problem. The abuse of pharmaceutical drugs has another unintended effect: It diminishes people’s ability to cope with stress while self-confidence is reduced.
In a very slow but pervasive way, society is weakening in the face of adversity. When psychiatrists treat stress or anxiety as illnesses, they diminish a patient’s ability to deal with it and grow stronger while he becomes a life-long customer for Big Pharma.
It is very easy to make a wrong diagnosis, but very difficult to reverse the damage that such error entails. People must become aware growing with these practices. The next step is to make people aware that too much medicine is bad for your health.
The normal thing is that the patient interrogates the doctor every time he prescribes something.
Patients must ask why it is prescribed, what benefits it brings, what adverse effects it will have, if there are other alternatives.
“If the patient shows a resistant attitude, the drugs prescribed are more likely to be justified,” says Frances.