15 December 2003
Pseudo-Science Among Us
by Dean Blehert
Tailoring Drugs for Acceptable Side Effects:
We've looked at how the pharmaceutical industry handles the first objection to symptom suppression: They don't say, "You feel bad?
Get drunk." They say instead, "You suffer from clinical depression? We have scientifically proven that clinical
depression is a result of insufficient serotonin in your brain, and we have a drug that will remedy that scarcity." (They don't
say, "Your brain has a Prozac deficiency", though that's what their argument amounts to.) Is this more scientific than "You
feel bad? Get drunk." No, but it has more science in it.
Similarly, "You feel bad? Get drunk" could be given more science by having chemists research what exactly changes in the brain
when a drunk feels less miserable (and many drunks say they do, when they're drinking) and then (supposing that they find
alcohol stimulates the brain's production of chemical XYZ) saying, "You suffer from clinical depression? We have
scientifically proven that clinical depression is a result of insufficient chemical XYZ in your brain, and we have a medication
that will remedy that scarcity." (And they could produce long, detailed, difficult-for-laypersons-to-follow studies from
prestigious journals explaining the exact mechanisms by which Alcohexine tablets stimulate chemical XYZ in the hippocampus.).
They would be saying no more than "You feel bad? Get drunk." But they'd be saying it with a lot more science. The science would be
somewhat real. But that wouldn't make the statement more scientific. It wouldn't prove that getting drunk is a good
treatment for depression. It wouldn't prove that the depression was caused by a lack of chemical XYZ. But it would certainly fool
most of us. And of course, it would help that the alcohol is to be delivered in some new, exotic form (Alcohexine tablets -- my
(This isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. For decades, patent medicine peddlers sold housewives miracle drugs that were mainly
alcohol. The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] was legislated into existence partly to stop such false cures from being imposed
on a credulous public. Now equally false, but far more complex and credentialed drugs are being foisted upon an even more
credulous public -- better educated to believe in well-credentialed scientific wizardry, though less educated in basic
literacy and logic. And the current FDA-endorsed drugs are probably more damaging than the old patent medicines.)
So the first objection (the drug doesn't handle causes, just suppresses symptoms, like getting drunk to feel better) is
handled by misdefining the condition so that it sounds like what the drug deals with and covering up the actual non-scientific
basis of the rationale with biochemical complexity. We miss the fact that no science is involved in the diagnosis or the
treatment, because our attention is distracted by the science applied to finding an explanation for the drug's effects in the
brain. There's science associated with it; therefore, it must be scientific.
As for the second obstacle to this approach -- side effects - the pharmaceutical handling has been to tailor drugs (with new
"improvements" in each chemical generation) to eliminate the more obvious side effects, leaving us with more subtle and
deniable side effects -- deniable in that, when the person medicated gets a fatal liver disease or kills himself or his
family, the companies can insist, "There is no proof that our drug caused this."
When drugs are tested for six weeks on mostly healthy adults, then approved by the FDA for use by anyone (children, pregnant
women, the elderly) for years and years, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THE DRUGS WILL DO. The fact that the tests are conducted by
scientists working for the pharmaceutical companies; that bad results are often ignored or lost or statistically rationalized;
that most doctors don't know how to report bad side effects, so that there's little real follow-up to find out what the drugs do;
and that the FDA committees that approve drugs are often composed of scientists who have worked for the drug companies or own stock
in them or are now or were receiving payments from them or had or are expecting jobs from them -- all this adds uncertainty to the
safety and effectiveness of these drugs.
The fact that these drugs are seldom tested in combination with any of the other drugs people take (and many people take several
different drugs or drink alcohol the same days they take drugs) adds greatly to the risk. And when one takes such a drug, not for
weeks, but for months or years (as is typical), the accumulation of side effects can be subtle, and the connections between drug
and side effect hard to prove -- especially when no one wants to investigate it. That is, the companies that have the financial
means and facilities to conduct such studies (the drug companies) are not interested in funding such studies. They have nothing to
gain by them.
The listed, KNOWN (but in tiny print) side effects are scary enough, usually including death "in a very small percentage of
cases". We know, for example, that Ritalin stunts growth, that if you stop taking it suddenly, you're a suicide risk, and that it
sometimes causes psychosis. But in most cases a kid on Ritalin appears quieter and shows no immediate obvious sign of being
harmed by the drug -- certainly nothing that a teacher who has a student drugged for being too active is likely to notice. Many
parents who have protested having their kid on Ritalin mentioned that their child seemed OK at home, but said he didn't like the
drug, and that they didn't understand what was wrong until they actually went to school and saw their child in the class room
with the Ritalin in full bloom (like many drugs, it has a period of greater potency and then fades out of view until renewed the
next morning), then were shocked to see that their child seemed to be a zombie.
The point is, the drugs are engineered in the direction of reducing obvious bad side effects. If an anti-depressant drug
causes dry mouth, there will be an effort to add something to the drug to counter dry mouth. If a drug causes weight gain, there
will be a search for a way to counter that. This is heavy-duty science. It has nothing to do with making the drug safer or more
effective. It has to do with making the drug do whatever it does without anyone noticing what it's doing. It is cosmetic. It is
Why dangerous? We begin with a drug aimed at curing nothing, but suppressing symptoms. In the process of suppressing some
symptoms, we create other symptoms, so we alter the drug to suppress THOSE symptoms as well. It's a bit like sweeping stuff
under the rug until the rug mounds up in the center. One of the dangers is that we've now made any bad effects of the drug more
difficult to detect or prove. Prozac doesn't usually do anything as obvious as making someone drunk or ravingly euphoric and out
of touch. You probably won't immediately detect that someone is on Prozac the way you would spot someone on heroin or even, if
you look at the dilated irises, pot. Yet sometimes Prozac turns people into murderous or suicidal psychopaths.
But even they seem "normal" until the moment they start shooting. Nearly all the kids involved in recent school shootings fit this
pattern: They'd been examined by psychiatrists, given psychiatric drugs, and pronounced OK. People were mostly shocked. Isn't it
one of our modern clichés? "He seemed so normal!" "I just don't understand -- he seemed to be such a nice, quiet, polite young
man!" The very fact that some people on these drugs, while seeming to have been fixed by them (no longer deeply depressed,
for example) and seeming to have no ill effects from them, suddenly, for no sane reason we know of, do terrible, outrageous
things -- this fact places in doubt the notion that these drugs do no harm just because obvious dramatic side effects are not
What do we know, for example, about the people who claim to have improved from Prozac and who have NOT started shooting people,
but appear calm and rational? Typically (so these people say on talk shows and in books) they feel less concerned about how
others might feel about them or their actions and less able to feel concerned. They find it harder to get turned on sexually.
They feel their creativity has lessened. And eventually they have to up their dosage of Prozac to retain that feeling of no concern
(lessened empathy is probably a reasonable description), and will be less able to stop taking Prozac without plunging into
depression worse than before.
(So a drug addressing a "cause" -- chemical imbalance -- not only doesn't cure it, but makes it worse -- apparently lessens the
ability of the brain to produce serotonin.)
And there are many more unpleasant or dubious side effects claimed for Prozac, some admitted by the manufacturer, others
denied as unprovable. The point is, something is wrong in your life, you don't find out what it is, you use a drug to suppress
the effects of that something wrong -- and of course there are side effects! You've never fixed the cause. So the cause
transfers its bad effects to "side effects." You feel sad because you're in a lousy job and going nowhere. Rather than exert the
necessary effort to improve things, you get drunk and (briefly) feel better. There are bad side effects -- bad for you and for
others. You FEEL them. Others can SEE them. You do NOT look normal.
Pharmaceutical companies tailor drugs to CONCEAL side effects. This means that part of YOU will be suppressed out of view, will
seem no longer to exist -- guilts, anxieties, concern about what others think or feel, hates, fears, conscience. But you will
appear normal, be able to hold a job, be with family and friends - and yet more and more of you is MISSING. It is you, after all,
who'd like a better job or a better relationship with wife and children or bigger, better games to play, faded dreams rekindled,
a reason to live, an ability to enjoy the first morning light. Unable to have these things, you are depressed. You take Prozac,
and you feel less depressed (perhaps), but you don't handle the causes of the depression. At any rate, there's no evidence that
people on Prozac have more loving relationships or greater appreciation for morning light -- though such things are implied
by the drug ads. But there's no scientific evidence for it.
It may be that, if a person is depressed by one thing in life (say, a boss who puts him down) and that depression makes him a
burden to his family, then if the Prozac makes him not give a damn what the boss thinks, he seems more cheerful and tolerable
to his family -- but loses the job. There are all sorts of variables here. But the basic situation is that you take a person
who has difficulties in living, you suppress the difficulties out of view without in any way handling them, and you do this in such
a way as to make it appear that nothing has happened.
Some people hate the drug, but others say, "Oh, you should try this. It's wonderful" -- which always reminds me of the pod
people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (Forgive me, I'm stigmatizing!)
But the "body snatcher" allusion may be relevant. The logic, the direction of drug design is dangerous. It may be a movement
toward the creation of textbook psychopaths: Emotional vacuums who appear normal and actually work at imitating normal reactions
to things. Current drugs are far from perfect in this respect (since they have visible bad side effects), but the ideal drug
(what psycho-pharmacy is currently aiming at) would produce a cheerful psychopathic personality, someone skilled at acting
normal, but no one is there. Not every psychopath is Ted Bundy or Hitler, but all, however subtly, are at war with those around
them, hidden from themselves and others, a continual vacuum of humanity among us, black holes in disguise.
This point is more speculative than what has gone before. When I say that ADHD as a mental disorder with the same reality as any
medical illness is non-existent, I'm stating a plain fact. When I describe the rationale and science (or lack thereof) in the
pharmaceutical approach to mental illness, I'm stating something you can easily verify for yourself from psychiatric and
pharmaceutical literature. The point I'm making now (about the creation of psychopaths) is not as obvious, nor as certain, but
I think it needs to be made: We need to know what we may well be getting into:
If psychiatrists continue to define as mental disorders all the qualities that make us human, and pharmaceutical companies
continue to develop drugs to suppress out of view all of these qualities, while leaving us looking normal, that's where I think
we're heading. When you suppress symptoms out of view without in any way handling their causes, you are bound to create bad side
effects (really just bad effects -- for they are the MAIN effects of the drugs), and the more you suppress side effects of side
effects of side effects, the worse -- and at the same time more subtle and hard to detect -- the side effects become. This sounds
mathematically pleasing, but is hard to prove.
However, it is plausible. We've all had some experience of this, I think. It's certainly obvious in the case of the guy who drinks
to feel better. And we can think of thousands of other examples. If you'll grant me that one point -- that it is highly likely (if
not certain) that you cannot suppress these symptoms out of view, not dealing at all with their human causes, without creating
negative effects, then the rest of the argument follows: The current psycho-pharmaceutical solution produces fewer and fewer
clearly visible and provable effects while suppressing more and more out of view, so must be moving people in the direction of
psychopath -- all normal on the surface, a great deal missing within. This sounds wild and implausible at first, but really it
follows logically if you grant the more plausible point above. It's like hollowing out an Easter egg by making small puncture
holes at top and bottom and blowing or sucking out the white and yolk -- leaving an apparently intact eggshell.
Certainly if this were occurring, we wouldn't expect most psychiatrists to notice. These are the same people (or their
students) who for decades insisted that lobotomy was helping people.
And, again, the number of people on psychotropic (mind-changing psychiatric) medications who look cheerful and normal right up
the point where they go on a shooting spree has to cast doubt on the cheerful normality of the others -- not that we should expect
them to do anything awful, but that we should be skeptical of the idea that the absence of obvious bad effects indicates no bad
This is a tricky argument: It seems to put the pharmaceutical proponents in a no-win position: The "better" their drugs work
(fewer obvious side effects), the more dangerous they are. That point might be valid in the absence of all the other arguments
I've made. But when you begin with fraudulent conditions, cures that worsen the symptoms (if one goes off the drugs), the known
bad side effects (and for all its subtlety, Prozac has had more bad side effects reported than any drug before it) and the
illogical pseudo-scientific elements pointed out earlier, my argument gains a few points.
After all, for all the complex chemical research involved, each development in the process takes us further and further away from
the avowed intention of relieving a mental illness. First you develop a drug because it seems to relieve a symptom. Then you
tinker with it to relieve a symptom caused by the drug. Then you tinker further to relieve a symptom caused by the earlier
tinkering. At each step the drug becomes more complex, further removed from the actual condition of the patient, its chemistry
harder to understand, and it becomes harder to see how it will interact with other drugs, harder to know what its long-term
effects will be.
The drug companies don't fund studies to show how long people survive on their drugs, how well they do in school or on the job
or in their marriages, etc. You'd think they would want that sort of information known (if the drugs help people). Try to find such
studies. There ARE studies showing the number of suicides related to Ritalin, the number of acts of violence related to Prozac,
etc. These are disputed by the drug companies -- or simply ignored, but such studies exist -- NOT studies showing that
people do well in life on these drugs. To me this suggests that the bad effects are there, but have been, mostly, hidden or
refined so well, that they develop gradually over time and are hard to prove without strong statistical follow-ups of the sort
not being done. (Where's the real science when you need it?)
By analogy, electro-convulsive therapy ("curing" depression - usually by suicide soon after -- by giving the brain strong
electric shocks) had an obvious bad side effect: The spasms induced broke the patients' bones or at best left patients black
and blue. To refine this bad effect out of existence, psychiatrists began to give the patients muscle relaxant drugs
before shocking them. No more bad side-effects -- except the destruction of lots of brain cells, loss of short term memory,
loss of long-term memory, and so on. But it was better with the relaxants, right? No broken bones, but it increased the brain
damage and trauma. For one thing, the memory loss is increased: The trauma of the shock itself blocks things. To this trauma is
added the effect of the muscle relaxant (a drug after all) suppressing the shock itself out of view (that is, memory of it)
to some extent. And there are other factors. The point is, the change was cosmetic, like giving a lobotomy or leukotomy by
pushing a pointed object into the brain by reaching around the eyeball and puncturing the bone behind the eye, so as not to
leave an operation scar on the forehead. The patient is depressed, so shock the depression out of view. The shock spasms
muscles, so suppress the spasm out of view with a muscle relaxant.
That is the philosophy behind the complex chemistry of the pharmaceutical industry. The science involved in tailoring drugs
to eliminate targeted symptoms is complex and impressive. The science behind the rationale for doing this is, at best, sloppy
coping, at worst, fraudulent and destructive.
The DSM is not just a ploy for psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies to make a few billion dollars. It's part of an attempt
to legislate mental health into our lives. For example, efforts to make it mandatory for every insurance policy to include full
coverage for mental illnesses are based on the DSM. The idea is that mental illnesses are real illnesses, "just like cancer or
Parkinson's disease" and should be given equal coverage (or "full parity"), and this is supposed to hold up for every
condition listed in DSM IV. ADHD is a real illness, just like diabetes; depression is a real illness, just like chicken pox; a
woman feeling bad during menstruation is a real illness just like measles. I haven't yet heard "fear of peanut butter sticking to
the roof of one's mouth is a real illness just like muscular dystrophy", though the peanut butter fear is one of the phobia's
listed in DSM IV and will, therefore, be treated as a full-blooded illness under legislation now being considered, so that
all insurance policies will have to pay for treatment of people worried about peanut butter's adhesive qualities.
And how easy to defraud insurance companies, when there are no objective tests for ANY of these illnesses (not even such
classics as schizophrenia). Any psychiatrist can label any patient and get paid for doing so. There are no lab tests, for
example, to show that someone has these illnesses. ("Of course not! They're mental!" you say, but, again, the rationale for the
treatments is that they are caused by chemical imbalances.)
We are psychiatrists (let's say). We create disorders by psychiatric fiat (no science need apply). We find drugs that can
make most active kids sit still. We make activity an illness, so that the makers of these drugs can make billions "treating ADHD",
sharing the wealth with us in exchange for our prestige as experts. If we admit that there is no such condition as ADHD, the
drugs to treat it would be a very hard sell, so we keep mum. If we hinted that there are lots of reasons a kid may act bored,
that too would queer the sale. No, a single condition implies a single cause, which must be biochemical, because, behold, a drug
makes kids sit still. So does a mallet to the head, which might suggest that the real cause of ADHD is a deficiency of
Of course, defenders of the drugs say they are only for extreme cases, that for most students counseling or other treatment
should be preferred. But in practice teachers, nurses and doctors diagnose ADHD and medicate the kids. It is increasingly
dangerous for a kid to have a boring teacher. School becomes more and more like that mythological bed whose owner (Procrustes)
would trim or stretch the guest to make him fit the bed.
Have our schools improved, become safer or smarter, since becoming psychiatric clinics for medication of children (and
psychological clinics for teaching values clarification, sex education, death classes, etc.)? No, the reverse. Students were
brighter and saner before this began (evidence galore, including standardized test results, violence statistics, the need for
metal detectors in the schools, etc.). Psychiatric apologists (a strange phrase, as psychiatrists never apologize; they say "He
came to us too late") -- psychiatric apologists respond, "True, but pressures are greater now and kids are under devastating
stresses from the pressures of our time."
Aha! So the causes of these disorders are the pressures of our time? Then why don't we deal with the circumstances alleged to be
causing those pressures? Why don't we recommend programs to improve the inferior quality of our food (mineral deprived, for
example) or to reduce the number of broken families? How does using a drug to make a kid sit still or an anti-depressant or an
anti-anxiety drug to make him not give a damn -- how do these handle the CAUSES of stress?
Or if brain chemistry is the cause, did chemical imbalances of the brain increase dramatically around the time we began psycho-
medicating? That would be suggestive indeed.
Folks, it's a Brave New World, and we're in it. It is totalitarian in tendency: Parents have had their children seized
by Social Services because they've refused to let them be put on Ritalin or other drugs. (And this while we finance a war on drugs.
And by the way, Ritalin is a popular street drug. Kids hide their tablets to sell them on the street, where it is considered by the
Drug Enforcement Agency to be a dangerous drug -- what they call a "type 3 drug".)
A psychiatrist can, using the DSM as scientific authority (good enough for most courts) diagnose anyone as having a disorder and
requiring commitment -- and once committed, one can be drugged and shocked for long periods of time with no or little or very
difficult recourse. It's hard to get out -- especially if insurance is available to cover the treatment, and current
measures in Congress would require indefinite coverage. Increasingly laws make it more difficult to fight commitment or
to refuse to take prescribed medication.
In theory, you have to be a danger to yourself or others, but in practice, psychiatrists have vast latitude. You're in particular
danger if someone in your family wants to put you away and pays a psychiatrist to help. (If you say it's a frame-up, you're
obviously paranoid.) In the old USSR and currently in other countries, psychiatry is a tool for controlling the politically
troublesome -- institutionalize them, drug them, shock them, reprogram them. The infrastructure for such a system is mostly in
place here, now. We are, far more than most of us realize, on the brink of a world controlled by an elite body of rulers and their
faithful Svengalis (the social-psychiatric-psychological-pharmaceutical authorities) in which a normative "adjustment" can
be defined legally, and any departure from that state (for example, if someone slated by educational program to become a
plumber insists on becoming a musician) can be treated, first, with programmed "learning" experiences, then (if the propaganda
doesn't work) with counseling, which, if not quickly successful, will lead to medication, then to shock treatment,
institutionalization, etc. -- the good news being that the medication will be so effective at creating the normal level of
conformity that shock and institutionalization will no longer be required. We often hear talk about the danger of "getting into
the system" and the difficulty of getting out. In the near future, we may all be in that system.
There will, of course, in the Brave New World, be an increase, amidst general bland inertia, in random, crazy acts of violence,
but most of us will gobble our pills and ignore it.
Or maybe we won't go that way. But that's the way the DSM, the pharmaceutical companies, the two APAs (psychiatric and
psychological) and much recent state and federal law are pointing. There is vigorous lobbying to have psychiatrists test
all infants for signs of violent personalities, so that they can immediately be put on drugs -- with or without parental consent.
(Much drugging of children today is done without even advance parental knowledge, much less agreement.) And who will diagnose
these infants? The same people who, after each school or post office shooting, are inevitably found to have given the latest
serial killer a clean bill of health days or weeks before he went on the rampage, often immediately after the same psychiatrist
upped his dosage.
Please note that this is not intended to be an article about ADHD, but about a pseudo-science called psychiatry. If I've
stressed ADHD and the drugging of children, it's because this seems to be the most egregious and dangerous psychiatric/
pharmaceutical program. Children, given the chance to grow up drug-free and literate, will, in most cases, say no to
psychiatric drugs. At least most of the adults who take anti-depressants CHOOSE to do so. But when psychiatrists and drug
companies lobby (as they do now) for laws to require psychiatric testing and drugging of infants -- in addition to the millions
being drugged in our schools, the world becomes dangerous, indeed, for sanity. ADHD stands out from most psychiatric
applications in that:
1. The people drugged on dangerous drugs (per the Drug Enforcement Agency, among others) are children, whom we are
trying to keep OFF drugs -- remember "the war on drugs"?
2. We know little about what these drugs do to adults, far less about what effect they have on the brains and nervous systems
and livers, etc., of children, who are still growing their new bodies. What little we DO know suggests these drugs stunt growth
and damage the brain.
3. The children aren't given any choice in the matter. Usually the parents aren't either.
4. And, of course, the obvious point: These children are our future.
For all these reasons, I've talked a lot about ADHD, but I want to stress that the points I've made about the lack of a
scientific basis for DSM IV and for the medications being marketed to treat the alleged disorders listed in the DSM -- all
these points apply to the whole range of psychiatric illnesses. ADHD is now in the news. Finally (the warnings having been
dismissed by the media and politicians for decades) legislators in several states are taking actions to limit the prescription of
anti-ADHD drugs in the schools. But these measures are only the beginning of what's needed.
In a few years, we'll all talk about the over-prescription of Ritalin as if it were something we'd all known about all along,
the way we all know and have always known that heroin is bad for you, and Thalidomide causes birth defects. But psychiatrists will
create new listings of symptoms and new disorders, new jargon, new advertizing and new alarms. New drugs will be developed to
profit from the newly defined suffering victims. The game will continue until we learn the rules. It's not enough to limit
prescriptions for Ritalin. It's not even enough to recognize that ADHD is a fraud. What's in question here is an entire scientific-
industrial complex, whether or not it is, in its basic assumptions and purposes, truly scientific at all, or rather a
sort of religion in the process of creating in this country, perhaps in the world, its own theocracy: "What you call 'soul' or
'human' is simply very complex brain chemistry which only we understand and can control. The way to be happy is to come to us
for a label and a drug that will suppress out of view anything unpleasant in your life. Because we want to have a well-adjusted
society, you MUST come to us or we will come to you. You have no choice in the matter. We know what's good for you."
The assumptions that have given us the ADHD/Ritalin boom have nothing to do with science. And they are the same assumptions
behind the anti-depressant boom and all the other current pharmaceutical beneficiaries of DSM IV and bio-psychiatry. So
please don't stop at "Let's not over-prescribe Ritalin for children." That's like telling a serial killer, "Please spare
the babies and stop using such large-caliber bullets, as you go about your obviously necessary and beneficial murdering."
It's not hard to find documentation for my assertions. There are several thorough studies of the psycho-pharmacology industry.
Please learn more about it. As far as newspapers and TV are concerned, it's the great untold (or half-told) story of our
time. If a TV special or newspaper article mentions a psychiatric abuse, it implies that this is a departure from
psychiatric normality or, on the next page or show, it heralds the breakthrough psychiatric drug of the week or the latest
psycho babble fad. Psychiatric financial frauds are exposed, but the basic fraud of psychiatry in itself is never touched upon.
We have here a naked emperor, and the media, at best, notice that the emperor is barefoot.
What's going on is associated with assaults, by the same experts, on sexual morality, women, the legal system, the concept of right
and wrong, the concept of personal responsibility, the value of honesty, the value of competition, religion, family (I hate to
say that, since "family values" have become such a political volley ball, but the family structure is under attack, with
divorce and unwed parents becoming the norm and communication across the age gaps increasingly rare and hectic) -- the works.
If you think this has nothing to do with organized psychiatry, read the speeches of the founders of the World Federation of
Mental Health (Reese and Chisholm). These are all programs they proposed in 1946 for psychiatry to achieve. For example, they
called for the undermining of all moral codes and said that the all mental illness derives from the notion of right and wrong,
which must be eliminated by psychiatrists taking over education, the legal system, religion and politics, acting as a "fifth
column" to eliminate morality and, with it, unhealthy guilt. They're on record, folks -- quoted extensively in a book called
The Cloning of the American Mind, by B. Eakman, available in paperback at your nearest mega-bookstore or library.
The psychiatric authorities substitute pseudo-science for science and (with much support from psychologists) substitute whatever-
feels-good for ethics. They substitute chemistry for the notion that you or I bear any responsibility for our conditions and
exist as anything other than chemically-motivated body parts. Psychiatrists and psychologists generally consider irrelevant to
the study of mental health the possibility that we have any spiritual side (something that is us, and not body or brain
chemistry), something that we are that has the ability to improve conditions in life by our own decisions and exertions.
You can find DSM IV in a library or on the World Wide Web and see for yourselves. You can get the text of Senate Bill 543 (under
consideration as of August 2001), the latest attempt to legislate complete insurance parity for "mental health". You can read
books by Thomas Szasz (for example, The Myth of Mental Illness) or publications from the Citizen's Committee on Human Rights
(CCHR) -- check out their website, http://www.cchr.org. Get more data. Sort things out for yourself. See what you can do about it,
either by yourself or by working with others who are trying to shed some light on this scene. Just your finding out about what's
going on will make a difference. Our knowledge is our most feared weapon in this war that we have almost lost without even
realizing that we were at war.
Copyright © Dean Blehert
About the Author
Dean Blehert has had seven poetry books published, most recently 'Kill the Children and Other Disconnections' (Argonne House
Press, 2001) and 'Please, Lord, Make Me a Famous Poet or at Least Less Fat', a 400-page mock textbook full of parody and satire on
the poetry scene, past and current. He also publishes his own subscription poetry letter, 'Deanotations' (Dean's poems with
his wife's drawings) which has come out every two months since August, 1984. Currently 'Deanotations' has about 300 paid
subscribers, and has often been praised for its quirky viewpoints and slightly offbeat humor. 'Deanotations' has readers in most of
the 50 states and in Canada, England, Germany, Israel and Australia. He's had poems published or accepted for publication
in 'New York Quarterly', 'Kansas Quarterly Review', 'Crosscurrents', 'Bogg', 'Visions', 'Lip Service', 'Gold Dust',
'Dark Horse', 'Modern Haiku', 'Carousel', 'Light', 'The Lyric', 'Krax', 'Orphic Lute', 'Brussel Sprouts', 'Stroker', 'Implosion',
'Haiku Headlines', 'Reston Review', 'View From The Loft', 'The Listening Eye', 'Gyst', 'Plains Poetry Journal', 'Minimus',
'Potomac Review' and many others. Issue 55 of 'New York Quarterly' ran his article, "Shrink-rapt Poetry", in its State of Poetry in
America series. He's been featured at readings in California, New York, Washington D.C., Texas, Maryland, Florida, Arkansas, New
Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa and Virginia. He lives with his wife, Pam, a
painter, in Reston, Virginia.
Visit 'Words & Pictures', the website of Pam and Dean Blehert, artist and poet, at:
Read the full version of the poem 'Kill the Children' here:
Ritalin, Depression, and Brain Damage
All parents should read this article! New study showing Ritalin permanently adversely alters brain function in rats as they grow
older, leading to depression and changes in behavior.
(PRWEB) December 9 2003--Animal findings now show that Ritalin permanently adversely alters the brain function of rats as they
grow older, leading to increased depressive behavior and alterations of behavior. The study appears in the Dec. 15, 2003
issue of Biological Psychiatry.
This study sounds alarms regarding the widespread use of Ritalin among children. It raises serious questions about the long-term
health problems that are likely to occur by stimulating the nervous system for short-term behavioral improvement.
Expert nutritionist and leading leptin researcher, Byron Richards, CCN, first warned of this danger in his recent book,
"Mastering Leptin" (Wellness Resources Books, 2003). He explains the new breakthroughs in biochemistry that help us understand
how stimulants damage brain cells. Stimulants depress the brain's leptin levels, directly exposing brain cells to damage.
This leads to stimulant induced anxiety, depression, and addictive behavior. Richards also explains how stimulants damage
the NMDA receptor, the key receptor that is malfunctioning in Parkinson's disease.
Richards states, "This information raises questions about the safety of Ritalin given to an overweight child. Since an
overweight child has leptin resistance, and thus less leptin in the brain, their brains are more susceptible to damage not only
from environmental toxins but also from any ingested amphetamine."
These new animal studies confirm the serious risk of permanent long-term damage from Ritalin.