Bonnie Camo MD, Natural Medicine & Homeopathy, Trebisacce, Italy
Epidemic of Madness
The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported in June 2008 that one out of every sixteen young adults in the United States was seriously mentally ill. It has recently been estimated by investigative journalist and health science writer Robert Whitaker that twenty percent of Americans now are considered mentally ill. Part of this rise is based on definition. Psychiatry keeps expanding diagnostic criteria, trying to throw everybody into some category of mental illness so they can sell more drugs. Children who are not sitting quietly enough in school are said to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. People who are grieving after losing a loved one are diagnosed with depression, turning a temporary and appropriate emotion into a mental illness label and a life-long drug dependency.
I recently read two of Whitaker’s books, Mad in America, and Anatomy of an Epidemic, which describe how psychiatric drugs cause or aggravate the very brain disorders they are alleged to cure. Mr. Whitaker became interested in this subject when he learned that schizophrenics in underdeveloped countries like India, Nigeria, and Colombia, had much better outcomes than those in developed countries like the US, England and Denmark. What is the difference? The mentally ill in poor countries, if given any psychiatric drugs at all, received them in much lower dosages than in the rich, developed countries. Going back to old records, he found that before the advent of neuroleptics, the majority of schizophrenics having their first episode recovered on their own in six months to a year.
As an MD practicing alternative medicine in New Jersey for thirty years, I successfully treated thousands of psychiatric patients with orthomolecular psychiatry (correcting nutritional imbalances as determined by blood and hair tests) and homeopathy. I found depression to be one of the easiest things to treat with homeopathy. The hard part was weaning people off the antidepressants psychiatrists had put them on. It is interesting that the PDR (Physicians’ Desk Reference) tells doctors how to put patients on drugs, but not how to take them off. I guess they assume (and it is a self-fulfilling prophecy) that they will be on these drugs forever. Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies falsely claim that psychiatric drugs are correcting brain neurotransmitter abnormalities and need to be taken for life “like insulin for diabetics”.
Drs. Abram Hoffer and Humphrey Osmond of Saskatchewan, Canada, did the first double blind controlled studies in the field of psychiatry sixty years ago using niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin C. On these nutrients, most acute schizophrenics were cured and able to get a job and pay taxes (Hoffer's criterion for a successful cure). This was before Thorazine, the first “antipsychotic“ drug, was patented in 1954. These “neuroleptics” actually create a drug-induced brain pathology by blocking the neurotransmitter dopamine, thus shutting down many higher brain functions. In fact, when first introduced, psychiatrists themselves considered these drugs virtually indistinguishable from a "chemical lobotomy," which they thought was a good thing.
Neuroleptics also block dopamine in the basal ganglia, which coordinate body movements, resulting in an incurable movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia (TD), resembling Parkinson’s disease, in up to 60% of patients treated. Unknown to conventional psychiatrists, TD can be prevented by certain vitamins. (Contrary to psychiatric propaganda, the new “atypical” antipsychotics cause as much or more TD as the old drugs, in addition to many new side effects, like intractable weight gain and diabetes.)
According to Eva Edelman, Natural Healing for Schizophrenia, “Psychiatric drugs have the potential to induce a supersensitivity psychosis in the world’s sanest human, forcing the individual into a lifelong drug dependency.” Blocked dopamine synapses become hypersensitive, so when the drug is withdrawn, paranoia and hallucinations become worse than ever. The natural psychosis has become a “tranquilizer psychosis”, as Dr. Hoffer called it.
This drug-induced hypersensitivy is made use of by pharmaceutical companies in designing studies to show their drug is better than placebo. Patients are suddenly deprived of their accustomed drug, become massively psychotic, and then are given the new drug (same as the old drug), or placebo. Naturally, just as with heroin, a fix of the addictive drug will relieve the withdrawal psychosis better than a placebo! Drug companies have been fined millions of dollars for conducting false studies, but to them this is just a business expense.
In the wake of recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, it is interesting to note that virtually all mass murderers in the US, going back to Columbine, have been on, or recently withdrawn from, SSRI antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs. “Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” says Dr. David Healy, a world-renowned psychiatrist who has written extensively about the lack of data in evidence-based medicine, including in his latest book, Pharmageddon.
There is no evidence for modern psychiatry's claim that pathological biochemical imbalances in the brain cause mental illness. But treating people with these new wonder drugs is what creates pathological imbalances, causing the epidemic of mental illness.