Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mental health experts ask: Will anyone be normal?

The APA started the DSM as a fundraiser. Now look where it's got us.

Mental health experts ask: Will anyone be normal?

By Kate Kelland

LONDON | Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:23pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - An updated edition of a mental health bible for doctors may include diagnoses for "disorders" such as toddler tantrums and binge eating, experts say, and could mean that soon no-one will be classed as normal.

Leading mental health experts gave a briefing on Tuesday to warn that a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is being revised now for publication in 2013, could devalue the seriousness of mental illness and label almost everyone as having some kind of disorder.

Citing examples of new additions like "mild anxiety depression," "psychosis risk syndrome," and "temper dysregulation disorder," they said many people previously seen as perfectly healthy could in future be told they are ill.

"It's leaking into normality. It is shrinking the pool of what is normal to a puddle," said Til Wykes of the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London.

The criteria are designed to provide clear definitions for professionals who treat patients with mental disorders, and for researchers and pharmaceutical drug companies seeking to develop new ways of treating them.

Wykes and colleagues Felicity Callard, also of Kings' Institute of Psychiatry, and Nick Craddock of Cardiff University's department of psychological medicine and neurology, said many in the psychiatric community are worried that the further the guidelines are expanded, the more likely it will become that nobody will be classed as normal any more.

"Technically, with the classification of so many new disorders, we will all have disorders," they said in a joint statement. "This may lead to the belief that many more of us 'need' drugs to treat our 'conditions' -- (and) many of these drugs will have unpleasant or dangerous side effects."

The scientists said "psychosis risk syndrome" diagnosis was particularly worrying, since it could falsely label young people who may only have a small risk of developing an illness.

"It's a bit like telling 10 people with a common cold that they are "at risk for pneumonia syndrome" when only one is likely to get the disorder," Wykes told the briefing.

The American Psychiatric Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The scientists gave examples from the previous revision to the DSM, which was called DSM 4 and included broader diagnoses and categories for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and childhood bipolar disorders.

This, they said, had "contributed to three false epidemics" of these conditions, particularly in the United States.

"During the last decade, how many doctors were harangued by worried parents into giving drugs like Ritalin to children who didn't really need it?," their statement asked.

Millions of people across the world, many of them children, take ADHD drugs including Novartis' Ritalin, which is known generically as methylphenidate, and similar drugs such as Shire Plc's Adderall and Vyvanse. In the United States alone, sales of these drugs was about $4.8 billion in 2008.

Wykes and Callard published a comment in The Journal of Mental Health expressing their concern about the upcoming DSM revision and highlighting another 10 or more papers in the same journal from other scientists who were also worried. DSM 5 is due to be published in May 2013.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'Angel-faced monster': A case of Pyroluria?

From the DAILY MAIL:

'Angel-faced monster' - Boy, 8, hit teacher, set fire to family home, pushed his grandfather down stairs and tortured the dog

"Kieran was permanently excluded from Northbrook Primary School in Leyland last October.
Teachers wrote to his parents warning that his behaviour 'posed a serious threat to the welfare, health and safety of fellow pupils, staff and not least himself'.
He has since been attending a short-stay school where staff are trying to deal with his behavioural difficulties.
His diet has been changed and he has been treated with drugs for ADHD, but to no avail.
A Lancashire county council spokesman said its priority with young children with behavioural difficulties is 'always to support them to return to a mainstream setting as soon as possible'."

This sounds like a case of Pyroluria, also known as the Mauve Factor. It is a disorder that leads to a deficiencies of essential brain nutrients. Fortunately it is easy to correct.

What are the effects of Pyroluria?

Dr. Kaslow on Pyroluria

How can you tell if you have Pyroluria? Here is Blake Graham's checklist

Dr. Woody McGinnis PDF on identifying and treating the Mauve Factor

Our previous posts on Pyroluria are here

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Humor: Wonder Drug Inspires Unwavering Love of Pharma

From the irrepressible ONION

Wonder Drug Inspires Deep, Unwavering Love Of Pharmaceutical Companies
MARCH 6, 2006 | ISSUE 42•10

NEW YORK—The Food and Drug Administration today approved the sale of the drug PharmAmorin, a prescription tablet developed by Pfizer to treat chronic distrust of large prescription-drug manufacturers.

Pfizer executives characterized the FDA's approval as a "godsend" for sufferers of independent-thinking-related mental-health disorders.

Enlarge Image

PharmAmorin, now relieving distrust of large pharmaceutical conglomerates in pharmacies nationwide.
"Many individuals today lack the deep, abiding affection for drug makers that is found in healthy people, such as myself," Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell said. "These tragic disorders are reaching epidemic levels, and as a company dedicated to promoting the health, well-being, and long life of our company's public image, it was imperative that we did something to combat them."

Although many psychotropic drugs impart a generalized feeling of well-being, PharmAmorin is the first to induce and focus intense feelings of affection externally, toward for-profit drug makers. Pfizer representatives say that, if taken regularly, PharmAmorin can increase affection for and trust in its developers by as much as 96.5 percent.

"Out of a test group of 180, 172 study participants reported a dramatic rise in their passion for pharmaceutical companies," said Pfizer director of clinical research Suzanne Frost. "And 167 asked their doctors about a variety of prescription medications they had seen on TV."

Frost said a small percentage of test subjects showed an interest in becoming lobbyists for one of the top five pharmaceutical companies, and several browsed eBay for drug-company apparel.