Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Monday, January 2, 2012

NAMI Lies: A brief analysis of NAMI sponsored misinformation about “schizophrenia”“schizophrenia”/

NAMI Lies: A brief analysis of NAMI sponsored misinformation about “schizophrenia”
Author: Ron Unger

At least as of today, if a person Googles “schizophrenia recovery” the first link that is not an advertisement is to a document titled “Understanding Schizophrenia and Recovery” authored by NAMI. (I would link to it for your convenience, but I hesitate to do anything that would further increase the Google rankings of a site that claims to be increasing “understanding” yet seems more dedicated to deliberately distorting the facts.)

I’ll start with a disclaimer. While I am seriously challenging the national organization of NAMI that is responsible for the document under discussion, I am not expressing an opinion about any local NAMI chapter. Local NAMI chapters have some degree of independence from NAMI national, and some of them are fairly progressive. But hopefully NAMI chapters that wouldn’t spread misinformation will do more to challenge the national organization that seems only too willing to lie to the public.

NAMI’s propaganda efforts start within the title of the document, which is: “Schizophrenia and Recovery; What you need to know about this medical illness.” NAMI is implying that it is a fact that “schizophrenia” is a “medical illness” and wants us to think that it is not in any way an understandable reaction to life events; but there are actually large numbers of both research studies and individual stories that point to the opposite conclusion.

The next sentence spreads more confusion, with its claim that “Schizophrenia interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others.” NAMI wants us to ignore the possibility that the person diagnosed with “schizophrenia” may be having problems with thinking, emotions, decisions and relationships because of what happened to them and how they were treated, and wants us to think that some theoretical “illness” called “schizophrenia” did it instead.

It is worth reflection on the likely consequences of telling someone that their experience and behavior is definitely being caused by a “medical illness,” and not by what has happened to them and how they chose to react to it. A very probable effect of this sort of “explanation” is the creation of confusion within the person that in itself is likely to interfere with that person’s ability to handle thinking, emotions, decisions and relationships. Of course, if the NAMI explanation creates more difficulties for the person, those difficulties will also be attributed by NAMI to the “illness” and not to the misinformation.

On page 2, it is stated that “Research has linked schizophrenia to changes in brain chemistry and structure….” Reading this, one might assume that changes in brain chemistry and structure have been found to go along with “schizophrenia” in the same way that having high blood sugar goes along with diabetes, a condition NAMI suggests in the next sentence is “like” schizophrenia. But this simply isn’t true. Instead, researchers have only found that the people diagnosed with schizophrenia are LIKELY to have brain differences compared to the AVERAGE person who doesn’t have the diagnosis: many people diagnosed with schizophrenia don’t have the differences, and some people not diagnosed do have the differences. And it isn’t clear where all the differences come from: someare likely caused by the drugs, others by being inactive, and most all of the differences have also been found in people who suffered abuse in childhood.

This last issue, abuse in childhood, is something NAMI clearly doesn’t want anyone to associate with “schizophrenia.” NAMI states definitively in the next paragraph that “Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting….” NAMI makes this statement despite what is now a very large amount of research that shows that abuse in childhood dramatically raises the odds of getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia in adulthood. This applies to all types of abuse: neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. More severe levels of abuse have been associated with more severe levels of later psychosis in all the studies that looked for such a “dosage relationship.”

NAMI’s denial of the possible link between bad parenting, or abuse, and later “schizophrenia” amounts to collaboration with abusers in denying the effects of abuse even for people who have been severely mistreated. “You are just “schizophrenic,” you can’t blame your problems on anything that happened to you!” Such denial is itself “crazy-making” and results in further emotional abandonment of already abused people; but of course if any “symptoms” result from the “schizophrenic” person encountering such lies, it will just be blamed on “the illness.”

In making the above statements, I am definitely not saying that all people diagnosed with “schizophrenia” had abusive childhoods or that it is definitely true that any NAMI parents are abusers. There was a period of time when many clinicians would automatically blame parents when a child appeared to have “schizophrenia” but such approaches were seriously over-simplified. More complex perspectives acknowledge that children may experience abuse and trauma growing up even when parents are doing their best to keep them safe, and in other cases, children may have a non-traumatic childhood but experience problems that lead to the difficulties labeled “schizophrenia” later in life. So NAMI would have my full support if their point was that we should not assume that bad parenting caused any particular case of “schizophrenia,” but when they claim that bad parenting is definitely never a cause, they appear to have deliberately lost touch with reality. (The information on the connection between having an abuse history and a later diagnosis of “schizophrenia” is now widely enough know that I believe there is no way NAMI leadership could be unaware of it, which is why I am suggesting that NAMI is “lying” and not just misinformed or misunderstanding.)

NAMI goes on to declare in the next paragraph that “schizophrenia” is completely unrelated to “dissociative identity disorder’ (a disorder common among those severely traumatized as children.) While NAMI is only repeating here what many so-called “experts” have to say, the truth seems to be that the same sorts of problems exist for people with both diagnoses, and the “voices” that often plague those diagnosed with “schizophrenia” are not fundamentally different from the “dissociated identity states” that plague those diagnosed with “dissociative identity disorder.”

Toward the bottom of page 2, NAMI states that “Medications are crucial to symptom control….” The fact is that only some people find medications crucial to symptom control. Many people find ways to completely recover and definitely do not need medications. Others don’t recover but also find that the medications don’t make things better and may make things worse. Of course, some people do find the medications helpful, but even in those cases it is often unclear if they are truly necessary; it may just be that the right alternatives have not been offered to some of these people.

I won’t even bother trying to sort out the distortions in the rest of the document. It isn’t all misinformation: NAMI mixes in some facts and some helpful details. But the existence of so many false claims in just the beginning of a document indicates that NAMI is more committed to spreading propaganda than it is to the truth.

I hope that if enough of us comment on these sorts of lies, we can embarrass NAMI into cleaning up its act. And by confronting NAMI, we can also make some headway in getting more accurate information out to those who need it, accurate information that is seriously overdue for most of those in our mental health system.

Link to article on 29 Medical Causes of Schizophrenia

Peter Lehmann on coming off psychiatric drugs

Warning signs re psychiatric drugs

Thank you, Peter Lehmann, for sharing this information!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

D.J. Jaffe

How to prepare for an emergency
D.J. Jaffe
Sometime, during the course of your loved one’s illness, you may need the police. By preparing now, before you need help, you can make the day you need help go much more smoothly. There are three things to do.
First, you should establish contact with your local precinct, before you need help. (That’s right. Violate your loved one’s privacy and get them flagged by the local cops. This way, they will know to show up with one hand on their balls and the other hand on their tasers.)
Secondly, you should have the attached info sheet filled out in duplicate, ready at all times.
Thirdly, you should read the article at the end of this page on how to make 911 respond to your calls. (The part where we explain how to make a false report and support it with “evidence” such as furniture we turn over ourselves to make it look like our loved one is violent.)
Someday your loved one may be missing from home or hospital. Normally, the police will not fill out a missing persons report & start looking for them until they are gone 24 hours. But by making arrangements beforehand, you can insure that if this happens to you, they will start looking immediately. Or, let’s say your relative is becoming increasingly agitated & uncontrollable & you have to call the police to take them to a hospital. It is very likely that the police will go to the hospital of their choice, not yours. But by making arrangements beforehand, you can have a say in where that person is taken. In addition, if your relative is picked up for some crime (drugs, let’s say); by making prior arrangements, you can help see that they go to a hospital instead of jail. Finally, it may make it easier for you to get someone involuntarily committed, if & when you have to do that.
The way to make these arrangements is to call the “Community Patrol Officer Program” (C-POP Officer) at your local police precinct, now, before you need help. If you do not have a C-POP program (i.e, outside NYC), call the station commander.
Tell them that you have a MI relative at home & that you want to make the police aware of it, in case you ever need help. Tell them you are worried that if they are ever missing the police won’t start looking until after 24 hours; or that if you need police to take your relative to a hospital, they won’t go to the one you want; or that if your relative is busted, they will go to jail, instead of to a hospital. Tell the C-POP (pronounced, “see-pop”) officer, that it was suggested that individuals with MI relatives contact the C-POP officers, before help is needed to make them aware of the situation, & that is why you are calling. The officer may think this is unusual, but you should do it anyway. FOLLOW THE CONVERSATION UP, WITH A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE C-POP OFFICER & SEND A COPY TO THE PRECINCT COMMANDER.
If you ever do need help, call 911 if it’s an emergency. If not, call your local precinct. When the police come, mention the C-POP Officer & Precinct Commander by name. The police who come to your door do not know what to expect. By mentioning these names, you help calm them & help identify that it is not you who needs help, it is your relative. They will also be more likely to listen to you, & may even get the Commander on the phone or walkie talkie. Because you have prepared ahead of time, they are more likely to take the person where you want them to be taken, & to listen to you carefully. Be calm. (and bring donuts)
If your relative needs emergency hospitalization, it will be extremely stressful to everyone. It is made more difficult by the myriad of questions that need to be answered. By having the answers to these questions written and ready, you can insure that the emergency hospitalization will not only be less stressful, but that your relative is more likely to get proper care. For instance, identify his doctor, & what medicines he is currently on, so those medicines can be continued, increased, or removed as appropriate. Indicate what hospital you use. Below is a form you should fill out. After filling it out, make two copies & keep one on hand (in your wallet) all the time. One for you, one for the police, one for the hospital.
Please take this person to _____________________hospital.
This person is not a criminal. He/she has a mental illness. Please treat with compassion and dignity. Thank you. (That part is to assuage your conscience, so you can sleep without concern that your loved one has been arrested, hand-cuffed, four-point-restrained, or coerced under threat of physical force to remove them from their home to a locked facility where they will be drugged and, perhaps, restrained to a bed, placed in an empty room with a mattress on the floor, or even electroshocked against their will with your consent. Better yet, just invent your own definition of compassion and dignity to include these degrading human rights violations.)
Social Security #______________Blue Cross #_____________
Blue Shield #_____________Other Med Ins #_____________
Is on SSI?_________Is on SSDI?________Other?__________
Eye Color______Hair Color_________Skin______________
Blood Type_________Eyeglasses?_______
Tatoos? Other Identifying Marks_______________________
Military/VA Status?__________________________________
Current Primary Diagnosis____________________________
Secondary Diagnosis__________________________________
Name of Commanding Officer where patient lives______________
Name of Community Officer where patient lives_________________________
Precinct Phone Number______________________________
Name of Doctor______________________________________
Doctor’s Phone Number_______________________________
Name of Hospital____________________________________
Current Medicines and Dosages________________________
Date of Last Hospitalization_________How Long?________
Date of Last Crisis____________________________________
Allergies?________________Hi Blood Pressure?__________
Name of outpatient program___________________________
Number of outpatient program________________________
Name of Case/Social Worker__________________________
Number of Case/Social Worker________________________
In Emergency Contact________________________________
Relationship to Patient________________________________
Day Phone__________________Eve. Phone____________
How to make 911 respond to your calls
(This article was based on information provided by Dr. Darwin Buschman, Chief Psychiatrist, Manhattan Mobile Crisis Intervention Services.)
Individuals with neurobiological disorders (“NBD” formerly known as serious mental illnesses) are occassionaly danger to themselves, suicidal and/or danger to others. When this happens, you may want to call 911.
It is often difficult to get 911 to respond to your calls if you need someone to come & take your MI relation to a hospital emergency room (ER). They may not believe that you really need help. And if they do send the police, the police are often reluctant to take someone for involuntary commitment. That is because cops are concerned about liability. They don’t want to be sued for taking someone to the ER involuntarily. Another reason is that they must stay with the person until he or she is admitted. This can take between 2-48 hours. Cops don’t want to sit in ER; sergeants don’t want to take two police off the streets. Following is how you can make 911 & the police overcome their reluctance to help.
When calling 911, the best way to get quick action is to say, “Violent EDP.” Or “Suicidal EDP.” EDP stands for Emotionally Disturbed Person. This shows the operator that you know what you’re talking about. Describe the danger very specifically. “He’s a danger to himself” is not as good as “This morning my son said he was going to jump off the roof.” Be specific. “He’s a danger to others” is not as good as “My son has just struck a neighbor for no reason.” Also, give past history of violence. This is especially important if the person is not acting up. Again, be specific. “Every time my son gets psychotic, he has hurt himself. Last spring, he cut his wrists. I think he’s going to do it again.”
When the police come, they need compelling evidence that the person is a danger to self or others before they can involuntarily take him or her to ER for evaluation. If the person stops acting out by the time police arrive, this can be difficult. Again, give specific recent examples of danger.
Realize that you & the cops are at cross purposes.
You want them to take someone to the hospital. They don’t want to do it. You need to get on common ground with the cops to gain their cooperation. Say, “Officer, I understand your reluctance. Let me spell out for you the problems & the danger. I understand that if you take my son to the ER involuntarily, you’ll have to wait with him until the doctors make a decision on whether to admit. I also understand your concern about litigation if you take him involuntarily. Therefore, why don’t we work together so my son goes voluntarily.” Cops will often change their attitude dramatically if you say this. If a person goes voluntarily, the cops don’t have to stay in the ER. They don’t have to use handcuffs. If a person goes involuntarily, they go the same way, except in handcuffs. This can often be used to convince a person to go voluntarily. You can say, ” I know you don’t want to go, but I think you need to go.” The cops can say, “You’re going to go one way or another, cuffs or no cuffs.” Usually the person will go voluntarily when faced with this choice. (Threats work! We call this giving them a “choice”. You can get a woman to “voluntarily” have “sex” with you using the same methods. “Either you let me put my penis in your vagina, or I hold you down and shove it in. Either way, you’re going to get fucked.” See how effective that can be? If you have a gun or a taser like the cops will have when they come for your loved one, you can very quickly get the woman to “voluntarily” have “sex” with you.)
Once the person is taken to the ER, cops leave. So it’s a good idea to have a family member accompany the patient. Let the ER security guard, triage nurse, & others know that the person is MI & a danger to self or others. When you go to ER, make sure you have the “How to Prepare for Emergencies” form that is in this newsletter (Note: This is a form with the name, address, SS#, Med history, current med, diagnosis, name and number of doctor, name and number of next of kin, insurance, etc. In other words, all the info you would be asked in an emergency).
911 should be first resort in an immediate emergency, & the last resort when it’s not. If your family member needs help, not necessarily hospitalization, try Mobile Crisis Intervention Services.
The fact is that some families have learned to ‘turn over the furniture’ before calling the police. Many police require individuals with neurobiological disorders to be imminently dangerous before treating the person against their will. If the police see furniture disturbed they will usually conclude that the person is imminently dangerous.
Read How and why to change involuntary treatment laws in your state.
NAMI/ NYC (formerly AMI/FAMI) does not endorse any medicines or treatments. This info is a public service as part of our efforts to educate and help others affected by these disorders. Do not rely on it. Consult your doctor before making any decisions. NAMI/NYC is a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people with neurobiolgical disorders (“NBD”, formerly known as ‘mental’ illness) through education, advocacy, support, and research. If this has been useful to you, PLEASE JOIN US . Send a deductable contribution of $30 (or more) to NAMI/NYC, 432 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 to get on our mailing list or call (212) 684-3AMI. To join chapter outside NYS: 1 800 950 NAMI. This was downloaded from

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dr. Ashton's Benzodiazepines Co-operation Not Confrontation (BCNC) Group

"Do You Have a Problem with Benzodiazepines or Z drugs?

Do You Need Help and Support?

The group is known as: Benzodiazepines Co-operation Not Confrontation (BCNC). It is primarily aimed at prescription supplied benzodiazepines, although help will be given wherever it is needed...

We need people to join us in helping to run this group which will be a local branch of what will eventually be a nationwide group whose aim amongst others is to challenge current knowledge of benzodiazepine and Z drugs in the medical profession and to change it for the better. This will include reducing prescribing rates for benzodiazepines and Z drugs beyond 2 - 4 weeks to new patients and improved withdrawal guidance and knowledge for managing long term users of benzodiazepines or Z drugs.

The benzodiazepine problem is largely a medically induced one and if it is to ever change it will require the medical profession to change. This website it is hoped will provide knowledge for the long term users of benzodiazepine or Z drugs internationally, to recruit volunteers to take up the task of changing the medical professions views on benzodiazepines and Z drugs and as well as to serve as a platform to get our views across to the medical profession.

Long term use of benzodiazepines is associated with considerable numbers of both general and mental health problems Included amongst these are over sedation, which has contributing effects on Road Traffic Accidents, accidents in the home and also accidents at work, forgetfullness, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, emotional blunting, suicidal thoughts, and an extreme or irrational fear of open or public places (agorophobia).

These side effects as well as others are more pronounced in the elderly often causing mental confusion and dizziness which results in falls and fractures which often leads to hospitalisation.

There are over 1.2 million people dependent on this class of drug in the UK. Are you or any of your family affected by the dependency on long term prescription supplied benzodiazepines, which can be used by the medical profession for a variety of illnesses both of the physical and psychological nature?"