This is in response to the op-ed by Lloyd I. Sederer, Md. A Defining Moment for Mental Health in America. Dr. Sederer begins his mental health cheerleading piece with the mention of the massacre in Newtown, Ct., stating that “…too little has been done so far to make a difference for those whose fates lies ahead.”
This statement couldn’t be more wrong. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, thirty-seven states have instituted some form of increased mental health services and, in Connecticut, increased mental health legislation was passed without public input and without even having a completed investigative report of the incident.
Lawmakers in Connecticut, and throughout the U.S., acted in typical crisis management mode and instituted increased mental health services without even knowing if the evidence from the shooting called for such measures.
The fact is the “investigation” of the Sandy Hook shooting does not provide one detail about the medical or mental health records for the last five years of Adam Lanza’s life. Adam Lanza’s mental health records end in 2007, (five years prior to the shooting incident) after he experienced serious adverse reactions to two antidepressants while being treated at the Yale Child Study Center.
Worse still, Nancy Lanza made mental health professionals aware of both of the drug adverse reaction events and was labeled, by those treating her son, to be “non-compliant” because she refused to continue to subject her son to the harmful psychiatric drug “treatment.”
Mental health’s continued use of the Sandy Hook incident is unacceptable and irrelevant because there is no evidence to support that Adam Lanza was not receiving the best mental health money could buy. If one uses the available mental health data for Adam Lanza, they would find that Lanza had been receiving mental health services and treatment since the age of six.
Dr. Sederer uses this op-ed to beg support for Congressman Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation (H.R.3717) which for all practical purposes is all about “screening” the children of America for early identification of mental illness. Ooohh paahlease!
Let’s look at the facts. Nearly 79 million Americans are taking at least one psychiatric drug, including 41 million people taking antidepressants, which includes 7.5 million children between the ages of 6-17. One in five American adults take at least one psychiatric drug and, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., with 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants being written in 2010.
Despite the fact that there are 22 international regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch system reveals that between 2004 and 2012, the federal drug agency received more than 14,000 reports on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects.
The problem with Dr. Sederer’s support of Representative Murphy’s mental health legislation is that it continues to sell the myth that psychiatric disorders are based in science/medicine and, therefore, can be effectively treated. It just isn’t true. Psychiatric diagnosing is not based in science or medicine and it is completely subjective.
Because there is no evidence that any psychiatric disorder has a biological cause, and the pharmaceutical companies admit that they do not understand how the drugs used as “treatment” actually work in the brain, it seems that there’s a whole lot of mental health guessing going on.
Rather than continue to legislate increased mental health services, isn’t it time to seriously look at the data and start asking tough questions about the “treatment” the mental health industry is peddling? And rather than support Rep. Murphy’s legislation to increase mental health services that clearly are not working, there is another bill pending in Congress that actually protects children, H.R. 4518 the Parental Protection Act.