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Interview on Mental Health Recommendations in Gun Bill PA 13-3

Sheila Matthews

Sheila Matthews is co-founder of AbleChild. Matthews was the first mother to testify on behalf of the first state Law prohibiting school personnel from recommending psychotropic drugs. Matthews advocated to remove dangerous antidepressants from use on foster care children/wards of the state of Connecticut and was instrumental in providing data for the groundbreaking 20/20 investigation with Diane Sawyer. In response to the Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Matthews lead the fight for transparency, petitioning the State of Connecticut, through the Freedom of Information Act, for Disclosure of Lanza’s medical/mental health and toxicology records.  As the co-founder of Ablechild, Matthews regularly meets with lawmakers, on legislative measures, including incorporating language for the MedWatch Reporting System to be made part of all health care provider education. Matthews has been featured on media outlets including CNN, FOX, and Time Magazine and is a regular guest expert on numerous national and international radio shows regarding informed consent as it pertains to psychiatric labeling and drugging.

 

Connecticut State in Mental Health Denial

The recent July 9th Ct. Mirror article, Children Stuck in Crisis, accomplishes the intended purpose of deceptively convincing the people of Connecticut that there’s a severe mental health services crisis in the state.

On the surface, the article’s author, Arielle Becker, provides a compelling scenario of the state’s youth failing to get the needed mental health care and forced to rely on emergency room services. The problem with the presentation is Becker’s failure to address a key piece of information in the reported mental-health-crisis-puzzle – the increased psychiatric drugging of Connecticut’s children.

The entire article focuses on the specific case of Peter, a 6 foot, 220 pound 13-year old, who apparently has been in the care of mental health professionals for many years of his young life. Peter is described as having “psychiatric issues and a developmental disorder that places him on the autism spectrum.”

Becker does not provide any details about Peter’s psychiatric history, including information such as when he first was diagnosed with a psychiatric mental disorder, the number of specific mental disorders he has been labeled with and, most importantly, which mind-altering psychiatric drugs he has been prescribed during his young life.

These are not unimportant questions, especially when one considers the known adverse reactions associated with most psychiatric drugs. For example, antidepressants carry the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Black box” warnings for increased risk of suicidality. Other known adverse reactions associated with antidepressants include aggressive and abnormal behavior, hallucinations, mania and psychosis.

Other psychiatric chemical “treatments” include anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs, which also carry such adverse reactions as hostility, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, restlessness and tremors.

Becker, in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mental health services crisis explains that “some mental health care providers link it to an increase in the number of children with mental health needs…others see a greater willingness to recognize problems because awareness of mental illness has grown.”

What obviously is missing from the list of reasons for the “crisis” is the increased prescribing of dangerous psychiatric drugs. In fact, the only mention of any psychiatric drug “treatment” comes at the end of the article when Becker finally reveals that Peter was seen by psychiatrists at the Institute of Living and “his medication was changed.” That’s it. Pathetically, that is the extent of the conversation about psychiatric drugging.

But the lack of important information doesn’t end there. Becker also does not provide any information about all the previous failed attempts to “fix” Connecticut’s broken mental health system. For example, in 2008, lawmakers attempted mental health fixes through the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental HealthConnecticut’s Mental Health and Transformation State Incentive Grant.”

This $13 million dollar “fix,” as explained by Project Director, Pat Rehmer, as “Transformation efforts and activities are broad based and far reaching as they have been implemented across multiple state agencies offering the state’s citizens an array of accessible services and supports that are culturally responsive, person and family-centered.”

Certainly sounds like this “fix” should have helped Peter but, alas, it is another costly, failed mental health Band aid. Not surprisingly, this “transformation” also did not address the ever-increasing use of psychiatric drugs for “treatment” of Connecticut’s children.

Is it any wonder, then, that the “crisis” not only exists, but is worsening? The people of Connecticut still are not getting accurate information, and it is these omissions that render this article irrelevant in the debate for increased mental health services.

Ignoring important information does not benefit those who are suffering, nor does it help those in a position to make the necessary, and deadly serious, changes that are needed.

 

 

URGE CONGRESS TO DEFEAT ANY ATTEMPT TO INCREASE MENTAL HEALTH SPENDING

A recent “E-News” bulletin by the pharmaceutical supported National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) urged Congress to pass legislation to “improve” mental health care in America. The bulletin urges its members to contact their U.S. Representatives to “reinforce our commitment to action.” Nonsense. This is totally industry driven, with no public support.

NAMI members were provided information about two bills currently pending in Congress: The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717) introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and the Strengthening Mental Health in our Communities Act of 2014 (HR 4574) introduced by Congressman Barber.

Both of these bills benefit the ever-growing mental health/psychiatric industry and pharmaceutical companies, and both pieces of legislation use shooting incidents as the impetus for Congressional action. Murphy’s bill apparently is in response to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Barber’s is in response to the 2011 Tucson mall shooting where Congresswoman Giffords and also Congressman Barber were victims.

“Improved mental health” is the mantra of both bills, suggesting that mental health care in America is subpar. So let’s look at what mental health information is available for both of these shootings.

According to media reports the Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner, had, in his junior year of High School, broken up with a girlfriend and was dealing with the death of his grandfather. Loughner was seen by psychiatrist, was diagnosed with depression and prescribed medication.

Although it is reported that Loughner never took the prescribed medication, it was at this time that friends began to notice a change in Laugher’s behavior. It also is reported that Loughner never showed any signs of violence or displayed any kind of threatening behavior…until the shooting.

Fast forward to the Sandy Hook shooting. It is reported that the 20-year old shooter, Adam Lanza, suffered from OCD and a profound form of Autism. This data reflects Lanza’s mental health status as a 15-year old, literally five years prior to the shooting. The State Police Report of the incident provides no mental health data about the mental health treatment Lanza may have received in the five years leading up to the shooting.

Five years before the shooting, Lanza was “treated” at the Yale Child Study Center and was prescribed two antidepressants, Celexa and Lexapro, and reportedly experienced serious adverse reactions to both drugs. That is the extent of the known mental health treatment Lanza received.

Both of these shooters had access to mental health professionals, both were diagnosed with psychiatric mental disorders and both received prescriptions for psychiatric drugs. What part of America’s mental health system failed them? Both sought out mental health services and both received the apparent recommended mental health treatment.

Psychiatric diagnosing is completely subjective, and psychiatrists are the first to admit that they are unable to predict whether a patient will become violent. In the case of Lanza, Yale Child Study Center’s, Dr. Robert King, reported “while I was concerned clinically with his rigidity and social constriction, I noted nothing in (the shooter) which would have made this unfortunate outcome foreseeable.”

According to Rep. Murphy, a clinical psychologist, “civil rights concerns are misplaced. When you’re in jail, homeless or in a coffin, what rights do you have?” That is an excellent question, but not for the reasons Rep. Murphy is using.

Ablechild sued the state of Connecticut to obtain the medical/mental health records, toxicology and autopsy report for Lanza. The state denied the request on the grounds that Ablechild was not a “stakeholder.” As a deceased person, Lanza has no rights and, therefore, his records should be made public.

Ablechild urges its Members and all interested parties to write to their Members of Congress demanding that not one more dime of taxpayer money be appropriated for increased mental health services until:

Federal legislation is enacted that in the case of mass shootings (2 or more) the toxicology, medical/mental health and autopsy reports of the perpetrator(s) are released for public review.

Federal legislation is enacted that would make it mandatory that mental health
data, including prescription drug information (regardless of age), is made
public in cases of mass killings (2 or more).

Federal legislation is enacted to set up a national database to collect information
on criminal acts and psychiatric drug history at the time of arrest.

While Representatives Murphy and Barber clearly are concerned about the state of the nation’s deteriorating mental health treatment services, with 70 million Americans taking at least one psychiatric mind-altering drug, there is a much larger discussion that both pieces of legislation fail to address.

With one-in-five Americans receiving mental health services in the form of psychiatric drugs, and what appears to be increasing numbers of violent acts, is it possible that the problem lies in the kind of mental health “treatment” being provided? Rather than rush to increase costly mental health services, perhaps an in-depth look at the “services” being provided is a better use of time and taxpayer funds.

 

 

 

Poster boy, Tj – 8 year old, used in op-ed to sell more mental illness in CT

More mental illness screening, more mental illness care, more mental illness services, more mental illness diagnosing, and more mental illness treatment.  This is what the op-ed of May 26th titled:  Review of Children’s mental healthcare is vital, demands, yet nowhere in the piece does the writer discuss the psychiatric drug “therapy” utilized in mental health’s “treatment” regimen for T.J., the subject of the piece.

Reportedly eight year-old T.J. was diagnosed with the alleged brain abnormality, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, because he had problems focusing in school and was hyperactive.  T.J. received mental health services in another state.  At what age did T.J. first receive these “services?”  The writer does not say.

What exactly were those “services?”  Was T.J. “treated” with Ritalin or Adderall? Both highly addictive drugs and, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA  nearly identical to cocaine. Or, perhaps, T.J. had been prescribed the “non-stimulant” drug Strattera, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, SSRI.

SSRI’s are the most commonly prescribed form of antidepressant, yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, for the “treatment” of the alleged ADHD.  Ironically, it also is the FDA who plastered “Black Box” warnings – the agency’s most serious warning – on these drugs because they may cause abnormal thoughts and suicidal behavior in children.

Remember it is the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH, that openly admits scientists have no idea what causes the alleged ADHD.  And the pharmaceutical companies openly admit on the product packaging that they don’t know how the drugs work in the brain to “treat” the alleged ADHD.  Frankly this drug “treatment” is one big guessing game, and the kids, at extremely young ages, are being used as guinea pigs.

This is the problem with crying for more mental illness services. There is no science to support even one psychiatric diagnosis. There is no known objective, confirmable abnormality that is a psychiatric diagnosis.  It is completely subjective.  The American Psychiatric Association, APA, merely has gathered lists of behaviors and randomly decided they equate to some mental illness that needs to be “treated.”

Columbine, Aurora. Co., and Sandy Hook, to name a few, all were the result of young men with long histories of mental health “treatment.” Now in the wake of yet another mass murder in Santa Barbara, where the shooter openly discusses his years-long psychiatric “treatment,” it seems incredible that the state of Connecticut is rushing to implement increased mental illness services when, in fact, lawmakers should be investigating the very dangerous psychiatric drugs used as “treatments.” To paraphrase the lyrics of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, “hey, psychiatrists, leave them kids alone!”

At the end of the day, PA-13-178  which the op-ed writer “endorses,” is based on the recommendations made by mental health vendors who clearly have a horse in the race. Lawmakers should acknowledge the obvious conflict of interest and mandate that these vendors will not benefit from their increased mental illness services recommendations.

If these mental illness vendor “stops” are not put in place, where will the power to label the state’s children as “abnormal,” and drug them into submission, end?

 

Connecticut Fails to Meet Deadline on Sandy Hook Mental Health Gun Bill

The problem with instituting sweeping, costly and invasive mental health legislation is that there always are unintended consequences. The State of Connecticut, when passing Public Act 13-3, apparently didn’t consider that there are two sides to every story. And when it comes to “mental health” there most definitely is another side beyond the mental health we-need-early -intervention-to-help-those-suffering mantra.

A case in point is the recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, which found that more than 10,000 toddlers between the ages of 2-3 are being medicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD.   Worse still, these data are limited and the experts believe the problem is actually much worse on a national level.

But to fully grasp the insanity of drugging 2-3 year olds with highly addictive mind-altering drugs, let’s consider a few important pieces of information about this age group. First, the average weight for male toddlers at three years is 29.5 pounds and females is 28.4 and, by this age, only 80 percent of the child’s brain has fully developed.

Developmentally 2-3 year olds are learning to arrange things in groups, putting things in size order, remembering what they did yesterday, recognizing themselves in the mirror and learning to say please and thank you. Yes, great strides, but still the brain is not fully developed.

Now let’s consider the ADHD diagnosis. This alleged mental disorder is all about behavior.  Regardless of what the American Psychiatric Association, APA, believes, the National Institutes of Mental Health, NIMH, makes it clear on its website that “scientists don’t know what causes ADHD.” There is no test known to man that can detect ADHD as a biological/genetic abnormality.

Because the  APA has no proof of any abnormality that is the alleged ADHD, they have compiled a list of “abnormal” behaviors that apparently make up the diagnosis, including “is often easily distracted,” “is often forgetful in daily activities,” “often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly,” etc.  After considering the list of 18 criteria that make up the alleged mental disorder, ADHD, one has to wonder what child doesn’t repeatedly do most, if not all, of these behaviors.

Nevertheless, now, let’s consider the ADHD “treatment” most commonly used – Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine). Methylphenidate is a schedule II drug and, as such, is considered by the federal government to be one of the most addictive. It also is considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA,  “to produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to cocaine, which substitute for each other and for cocaine in a number of paradigms, and chronic high-dose administration of either drug in animals produces psychomotor stimulant toxicity including weight loss, stereotypic movements and death, and in clinical studies, they produce behavioral, psychological, subjective and reinforcing effects similar to cocaine.”

The DEA sums up Methylphenidate and Amphetamine use this way: “this data means that neither animals nor humans can tell the difference between cocaine, amphetamine or methylphenidate when they are administered the same way at comparable doses. In short, they produce effects that are nearly identical.”

In a nutshell, 2-3 year old toddlers are being labeled with an alleged mental illness that is not based in science or medicine and then “treated” with extremely addictive, mind-altering drugs before their brains are even fully formed.

Did legislators really consider the implications of Public Act 13-3, which pushes for early identification and screening for mental illness in the state’s children? Was even one expert allowed to testify before any committee, making lawmakers aware of the above facts?  No.

More importantly, according to Public Act 13-3, a Task Force was established to consider all of the mental health provisions and report back to the Legislature and the Governor.  Not surprising, this report, which was due no later than February 1st of this year, still has not been completed.

These Task Force recommendations may provide some guidance on just how intrusive the mental health provisions are. For example, at what age will Connecticut’s legislators decide early intervention and screening is inappropriate and harmful? Public Act 13-3 allows for “Mental Health First Aid Training” as part of in-service training for educators.  If a child is labeled with a mental illness through this early intervention and mental health screening, what rights are afforded to parents who refuse to accept this “help?”

Does this mental health intervention end at the school-age level or will the State continue to legislate mental health screening to include toddlers and preschoolers?    Given that nearly 8 million American children between the ages of 6-17 currently are taking at least one mind-altering, psychiatric drug, it is clear what mental health’s “treatment” consists of.  Yes, there are consequences for ill-advised and uninformed legislation.

 

 

 

Adam Lanza’s Psychiatrist’s Ethics Violations Raise Questions About the Legislature’s Controversial Mental Health Increases

One has to wonder.  If the State legislature had been aware of the details of the investigation into Adam Lanza’s psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, prior to passing sweeping, costly mental health legislation, PA 13-3, would the vote have gone the same direction?

Let’s consider for a moment the facts of Dr. Fox’s surrender of his license to practice medicine in not only Connecticut but, also, New York.  Ablechild recently requested and received the publicly available investigative file on the circumstances surrounding Adam Lanza’s psychiatrist’s fall from psychiatric grace and, perhaps, his decision to flee the country.

The State Department of Public Health received a complaint about Dr. Fox from Yale New Haven Hospital in March of 2012.  A female patient of Dr. Fox had reported detailed information about a “consensual” sexual relationship with Dr. Fox and, by April of 2012, the State Department of Public Health had begun its investigation.

The investigative documents are, in a word, sickening.  The 59-year old Fox had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 19-year old patient he supposedly was “treating” for mental illness.  Dr. Fox had become the patient’s counselor while employed at Western Connecticut State University Counseling Center and when fired from the University for “ethics” violations, continued to “treat” the patient at his Brookfield office.

In substantiating the sexual relationship, the patient provided detailed documentation, including an inordinate number of written references by Dr. Fox about his private parts, and information about other female patients that reportedly had sexual relationships with the psychiatrist – one threatening to bring a malpractice suit against him.  Given the psychiatrist’s apparent proclivity for being sexually active with his female patients, one can only surmise he may qualify as a serial sexual predator.

More importantly, during Dr. Fox’s “treatment” of this 19-year old patient, he not only was prescribing numerous – “three or four” – psychiatric mind-altering drugs, but also was providing the patient with free drug samples (page 69 of report).  According to the patient’s mother, “she was turning into a zombie.”

Dr. Fox billed the mother’s insurance for the patient’s drug “treatment,” but when the psychiatrist and the patient “became friends” Fox no longer billed for “counseling services.”(page 68 of report)

The “consensual sexual relationship” between a 59-year old doctor and 19-year old patient lasted about two years, with the good doctor ending with a note saying “please don’t contact me.”  Absolutely pathetic!

But why is this investigation of Dr. Fox important and what does it have to do with Adam Lanza and the State’s rush to institute increased mental health services?

First, this investigation raises red flags about the public’s right to know when doctors/psychiatrists are fired for “ethics” violations from a State University, tasked with providing mental health services for teenagers.  Furthermore, was Western Connecticut State University aware of Dr. Fox’s sexual relationships with students at the university and, if so, did the university file a report with the Department of Public Health or any state oversight agency?

Additionally, on December 17, 2012 (three days after the Sandy Hook incident) police conducted a telephone interview with Dr. Fox, who is living in New Zealand, inquiring about his “treatment ” of Adam Lanza and the whereabouts of the doctor’s mental health records.  (Investigation document 00260339 -Book 7)

Dr. Fox, advised police that he “vaguely recalls treating Adam Lanza.”  Dr. Fox further advised that the only records he had in New Zealand were billing records and explained that “all of his medical records pertaining to clients he treated in the United States are currently in storage in the United States.”

Twenty-four hours later, Dr. Fox, contacted police, explaining “any medical records pertaining to Adam Lanza have been destroyed since it has been over five years since he last treated him (per state statute he is allowed to destroy any files over 5 years old).”  Dr. Fox further explained that “Adam was about 15 years of age when he last saw him.”

If Dr. Fox last saw Adam Lanza in 2007, his medical record retention, according to the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Medical Records 19a-14-42, “unless specified otherwise herein, all parts of a medical record shall be retained for a period of seven (7) years from the last date of treatment, or, upon the death of the patient, for three (3) years.”

Dr. Fox, upon surrendering his license, agreed to adhere to the regulations regarding medical records. So, if the doctor last saw Adam Lanza in 2007, he destroyed Lanza’s mental health records two years too early.

More than that, is it not odd that Dr. Fox would initially tell police that his medical records were in storage in the U.S., then twenty-four hours later revise his statement, declaring them destroyed?  Of course, Dr. Fox’s billing records would yield a great deal of information, especially about the drugs prescribed to Lanza, but apparently the police did not follow that lead. Why?

There’s little doubt that Dr. Fox is material to the Sandy Hook investigation. Fox is reported to have been Adam Lanza’s “primary psychiatrist” and, therefore, key to understanding not only Lanza’s mental status but also his drug history. (Investigation document 00085896-Book 8 email to Dr. Fox from Nancy Lanza)

Because the State Police Report provides no mental health information about Lanza since his “treatment” by Dr. Fox in 2007, due to his obvious questionable ethical behavior, is it possible Dr. continued to treat Lanza?  Dr. Fox could answer this question by making public the billing records.  The State Police, however, did not request the records.

The larger picture, though, is the State’s rush to implement increased mental health services (Public Act 13-3) when not only was there no investigative information to support the increase, but the psychiatrist “treating” Lanza had lost his license due to ethical violations and fled the country.

If the State legislature had known about Dr. Fox’s egregious ethical violations, his obvious violation of state medical record retention regulations and his excessive prescribing of psychiatric drugs, would the vote have gone the same way?

This, of course, is the problem with political crisis management. The State legislature acted without the necessary information to make informed decisions. Given the above information, most would logically conclude that rather than implementing costly increased mental health services, what actually was needed was a top-down review of the kind of mental health services being provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sign Petition for Congressional Hearings on Military Suicides

Ablechild’s mission is informed consent regarding the psychiatric labeling and drugging of children.  In support of any measures that will bring attention to psychiatric abuses in this regard, Ablechild is pleased to support The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, CCHR, petition for Congressional hearings into the epidemic of military suicides.

Though Ablechild focuses on the rights of children and families, the same system of psychiatric abuses are occurring in the military and we heartily support any legislative measures that would also protect our fighting troops.

As part of this petition drive, Ablechild recommends that our members view CCHR’s new documentary, The Hidden Enemy, which exposes the abuses of psychiatry on the nation’s military forces.

PLEASE join Ablechild in supporting this petition for Congressional hearings into the link between psychiatric drugs and the epidemic of military suicides by signing the petition located on the right side of page.

Regardless of What NAMI Believes Inaccurate Information Harms Mentally Ill

The author of the op-ed of May 6, 2014, “Mental health treatment is not perfect, but it can be life-saving,” still is disseminating false information about many things, including the cause of mental illnesses.

First, to be clear, in none of these op-ed exchanges has Ablechild ever suggested that anyone should not be entitled to seek treatment.   Quite the contrary.  But Ablechild believes that accurate information about the cause of mental illness is absolutely necessary for those who are suffering.  To continue to disseminate misinformation about the cause of mental illness is a disservice to those who are desperately looking to the medical and scientific community for help.

Again, specifically, the author states, “…there is ample evidence from many research facilities that conduct brain research that mental illness is a biological disease.”  Okay. Which mental illness has been proven to be a biological disease? Please, for the public’s sake, provide the verifiable, indisputable, scientific data for the mental illness that has a biological cause.

The author makes an inaccurate, blanket statement about “ample evidence,” yet fails to provide the supporting data for even one alleged mental disorder, leaving the reader to accept the inaccurate information on the author’s belief, and then places the burden of proof on the reader to do the confirming research.

This information is blatantly wrong. If there is “ample evidence from many research facilities that conduct brain research that mental illness is a biological disease,” then let’s have it. This should be easily documentable and, one would think, the author would be eager to provide such demonstrative, groundbreaking, data.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH, provides no definitive information about the cause of any mental disorder:

Depression: “Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.”

Bipolar Disorder: “Scientists are studying the possible causes of bipolar disorder. Most scientists agree that there is no single cause.”

ADHD: “Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD.”

Schizophrenia: “Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors.”

Despite the author’s obvious lack of information about what the nation’s top mental health experts have to say about the cause of any mental illness, the author further attempts to support her inaccurate statement by using the State of Connecticut’s mental health parity standard stating the “state law acknowledged many years ago when it instituted parity for mental health treatment that mental illness is biological in nature.”

Like NAMI, the Connecticut legislature may believe that “mental illness is biological in nature,” but there is no scientific/medical evidence to prove this. Ablechild challenges the state to provide the conclusive and scientifically verifiable evidence that mental illness – any mental illness – has a biological cause.

In fact, if NAMI is testifying before the state about this inaccurate information – that mental illness is a biological disease – then it is no wonder that the state would pass mental health parity.  But inaccurate information is inaccurate information regardless of who utters it.

As to the author’s assertion that NAMI is not funded by the pharmaceutical industry, there is ample evidence to the contrary. An October 2009 article in the New York Times titled “Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors,” reports that “a majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers…”

In fact, the New York Times obtained information from U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley, which revealed that between 2006-2008 NAMI received $23 million from drug makers and the executive director of NAMI, Michael Fitzpatrick, said “for at least the years of 07, 08 and 09, the percentage of money from pharma has been higher than we have wanted it to be.”

Ablechild reiterates that there is no definitive scientific data to support that any mental disorder has a biological cause.  False statements, like these made by the author, must be addressed because the public, especially those suffering from emotional and behavioral problems, deserve the truth in order to make informed decisions.

In the meantime, Ablechild wants to thank the Connecticut Mirror for allowing this important debate on mental health, and we urge the public to support federal legislation, H.R.4518  which actually protects parents and families from psychiatric abuses.

 

Let’s Look at Mental Health “Treatment” – Not Increase It

 This is in response to the op-ed by Lloyd I. Sederer, Md. A Defining Moment for Mental Health in AmericaDr. 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.

 

 

Is Increased Drugging of the Nation’s Children Really the Answer?

The Connecticut Mirror ran an op-ed yesterday by Marcy Hoyland titled Detect mental health problems early to prevent violence, that reads like an infomercial for the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

While no one could fault Hoyland for caring about the emotional and behavioral problems of the nation’s youth, the solution recommended by Hoyland is to identify mental illness early in order to get treatment before things get worse.

Sounds good. But the problem is that identifying mental illness is completely subjective. There is not one psychiatric mental disorder that is based in science/medicine. There is no objective, confirmable abnormality that is a psychiatric disorder.

Hoyland suggests that “by identifying individuals with risk factors to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, we can treat these people in a way to keep them healthy for as long as possible. The same is true of mental health care.”  Actually, given that psychiatric diagnosing is subjective, it isn’t at all the same.

The fact is diabetes and heart disease are not diagnosed by the patient answering questions about their behavior. Unlike psychiatric diagnosing, medical tests are utilized to determine these actual medical conditions.  There are no medical tests – urine or blood tests, MRI or CAT scans – used to diagnose mental disorders.

And, of course, the decades long theory of the alleged chemical imbalance remains just that…a theory.  There is no test to determine the chemical levels in the brain, making it impossible to know whether the chemicals are in, or out, of balance or, for that matter, what “normal” levels may be.

Hoyland throws in a few interesting statistics to make her case for early detection, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimate that one in five children in the U.S. has a mental health “issue” and 70 percent of those individuals do not receive care. Sounds dire. But the reality is that the U.S. is diagnosing and drugging its youth at record speed.

Consider for moment a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  that more than 11 percent of American school children now are diagnosed with ADHD, 7.5 percent of children ages 6-17 are being prescribed psychiatric mind-altering drugs for emotional and behavioral problems and “over the last two decades, the use of medication to treat mental health problems has increased substantially among all school-aged children.”

The fact is that mental health “treatment” in America primarily consists of the use of powerful mind-altering drugs. According to a study by IMS Health nearly 79 million Americans are taking at least one psychiatric drug, including nearly seven-and-a-half million children between the ages of 6 and 17.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed “Black box” warnings on many of these psychiatric mind-altering drugs because the federal agency has concluded that the drugs may actually cause suicidality and the drug makers warn of violent behavior, mania, psychosis and a host of other serious behavioral adverse reactions.

One can only assume that Hoyland was not aware of these data and, perhaps, is why she advocates that schools should have people who are trained to subjectively diagnose mental illness so they can identify your child and get them the “treatment” they need.

This is a frightening thought.  One cannot help but envision these suggested “trained” mental health “people” stalking the halls of the nation’s schools eagerly looking for “abnormal” behaviors that can be “treated.”

Even more frightening is Hoyland’s support of Congressional legislation that would “provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs.”  In other words, more mental health diagnosing and more drugs for the nation’s youth.

Of course the bigger question is what rights do parents have once these school mental health guesters “identify” the child’s mental health problem? Hoyland appears to assume that parents will be thrilled to get the psychiatric “help” they’re told their child needs. That isn’t necessarily so and the case of Justina Pelletier, being held hostage by Boston Children’s Hospital, is a perfect example of how parents can lose their rights once psychiatry makes a subjective diagnosis.

U.S. Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced legislation, H.R. 4518, The Parental Protection Act, that will address these issues, cutting off funds to medical institutions that conduct greater than minimal risk research on wards of the state, deny First Amendment rights to parents and wards of the state, and take children away from parents over disagreements on subjective diagnoses.  As Ablechild’s mission is about informed consent, we wholeheartedly support this legislation.

Furthermore, while Hoyland is advocating for increased mental health in the nation’s schools, one cannot help but ask why isn’t anyone getting better?  Will the mental health community not be satisfied until every American is diagnosed with a mental disorder and drugged?

The recent stabbing in Milford, Ct., may be a good example of mental health’s “treatment” success.  News reports state that the alleged suspect “had ADHD and other mental issues…he took strong medicine for it and other things, too.”

Having specific information about the psychiatric drugs this teenager had been prescribed would be helpful in trying to understand the violent behavior, especially given the FDA’s “Black box” warnings on most of the psychiatric drugs.

Hoyland  begins the op-ed with a reference to the ever-increasing number of school shootings in America, then suggests the reason for the problem is the lack of mental health treatment among the nation’s school-age children, yet fails to even address the connection between the prescribed psychiatric drugs and violence.

If Hoyland is really concerned about finding an answer to the increased number of violent acts, isn’t it time to consider that there may actually be a problem with the mental health “treatment” being provided?