Military Suicide Still Ignored by the VA

A recent field hearing by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held in Roswell, NM introduced a new plan to help the VA provide medical help to veterans in rural parts of the country by allowing them to get medical care in their local private hospitals rather than having to travel long distances to a VA hospital.

It’s a good program for those veterans needing physical care but it also provides for mental health care as well.

And the mental health care provided by the military and veterans administration has been a disaster – cocktails of various psychiatric drugs leading to well documented homicides, suicides, and violent outbursts of psychotic behavior in both active duty and veteran soldiers subjected to this so called “mental health help”.

Back in 2010 The Army Times published an article called “Medicating the Military” including this photo by Steven Doll showing Spc. Michael Kern with his cocktail of  drugs that he received as part of his “Warrior in Transition” plan, to deal with PTSD and other issues since his Iraq deployment.


Spc. Kern had spent a year deployed in 2008 with the 4th Infantry Division as an armor crewman, running patrols out of southwest Baghdad.

Kern went to the mental health clinic citing nervousness, sleep problems and depression. He was given Paxil, an antidepressant that carries a warning label about increased risk for suicide.

A few days later, while patrolling the streets in the gunner’s turret of a Humvee, he said he began having serious thoughts of suicide for the first time in his life.

“I had three weapons: a pistol, my rifle and a machine gun,” Kern said. “I started to think, ‘I could just do this and then it’s over.’ That’s where my brain was: ‘I can just put this gun right here and pull the trigger and I’m done. All my problems will be gone.’”

The incident frightened him enough to stop taking drugs during the rest of that  deployment. But after getting home, he was diagnosed with PTSD and put on a variety of psychotropic medications.

Such a cocktail might include an antidepressant along with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches.  Taking these drugs in combination has not been tested.

And much of it is “off-label” use – prescribing medications to treat conditions for which the drugs were not formally approved by the FDA. It’s legal for doctors to do this and quite common but they take little responsibility for the results.

Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist put it this way, “It’s really a large-scale experiment. We are experimenting with changing people’s cognition and behavior.”

The extent of this military drugging is enormous.

  • Records the Defense Logistics Agency shows the DLA spent $1.1 billion on common psychiatric and pain medications from 2001 to 2009
  • Antipsychotic medications, including Seroquel and Risperdal, spiked  by more than 200 percent, and annual spending more than quadrupled, from $4 million to $16 million.
  • Use of anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives such as Valium and Ambien increased 170 percent, while spending nearly tripled, from $6 million to about $17 million.
  • Orders for antiepileptic drugs, also known as anticonvulsants increased about 70 percent, while spending more than doubled, from $16 million to $35 million.
  • Antidepressants had a 40 percent gain in orders.
  •  The military spent at least $2.7 billion on antidepressants alone in the decade after 9/11
  • Use of psychiatric medications increased about 76 percent overall since the start of the current wars

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist, told Congress that 17% of active duty soldiers and 6% of those deployed take anti-depressants.

This might make sense if the drugs were harmless and helped win wars and end them quickly but psychiatric drugs have neither of these effects.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the newer antidepressants commonly prescribed by the military can cause or worsen suicidality, aggression and other dangerous mental states,” said Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who testified at the same Feb. 24, 2010 congressional hearing at which Brig. Sutton appeared.

Other side effects — increased irritability, aggressiveness and hostility — also could pose a risk.

“Imagine causing that in men and women who are heavily armed and under a great deal of stress,” Breggin said.

  • From 2001 to 2009, the Army’s suicide rate increased more than 150 percent, from 9 per 100,000 soldiers to 23 per 100,000.
  • From 2001 to 2009 The Marine Corps suicide rate went up about 50 percent, from 16.7 per 100,000 Marines 24 per 100,000.
  • From 2001 to 2009 orders for psychiatric drugs rose 76 percent.
  • According to Army Col. Bart Billings, a clinical psychologist and founder of the International Military & Civilian Combat Stress Conference, 23 soldiers and veterans are committing suicide each day.

“I feel flat out that psychiatrists are directly responsible for deaths in our military, for some of these suicides,” said Col. Billings, a former Army psychologist. “I think its criminal, what they are doing.”

Neurontin was one of the military’s top-selling psychiatric drugs from 2000 to 2010 and, its manufacturer, Pfizer, had over 1000 civil lawsuits filed against it by people claiming that the drug directly caused suicidal thoughts and suicides. Pfizer got away with paying about $430 million.

In 2013 The New York Times reported that more active-duty soldiers committed suicide than died in battle.

This drugging of our troops did not really begin until the second Gulf War but it still goes on today. (Before that you couldn’t be in the military let alone deployed if you were on such drugs, but now the military hands them out to soldiers.)

In April of  2014 Dr.Breggin again spoke out on this issue point out the source of the problem. He said he has interviewed soldiers who were told they could not be deployed if they did not accept psychiatric drugs!

“The combination of increasing prescribing of such drugs during and after military service has led to violence and suicide and in many cases to chronic mental disability while being treated at the VA. This becomes a disability from which they often can’t recover because of multiple psychiatric drugs.”

“We saw a sea change in the prescribing of these drugs to our troops. This cannot be accounted for by anything other than military decisions at the very top that were certainly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which markets from the top down, then the drugs flow to millions.”

“When you have a government-run client, pharma only needs to get to a few people at the top, and that’s what we’ve seen here,” he said. Though he was unable to identify who those people might be, Breggin said the result is “a national disgrace that reflects on some of the leadership in the military, but not the military as a whole.”

Another psychiatrist in a position to know the facts agrees with Dr. Breggin.

Dr. Stephen Xenakis, was chief psychiatrist at Fort Hood in the 1980s and part of the crisis response team sent there after the mass shooting in 2009. In an April 2014 interview he told The International Business Times “The pharmaceutical companies’ influence is so strong, as are the pressures from Congress to keep things just the way they are. Congress is lobbied heavily by pharma. It makes it difficult to get any endorsement or enthusiasm for any non-pharmaceutical types of treatment.”

Fortunately the word is getting out about the government – psychiatric – pharmaceutical program that’s destroying the lives of our military personnel.

Last May The Military Times reported that a protest was carried out at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting to highlight the practice of medicating troops and veterans with psychiatric drugs.

The article reported that “More than 400 members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights marched from Times Square to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City to oppose what they say is overmedication of military personnel with potentially harmful prescriptions.”

The President of CCHR, Bruce Wiseman, stated that “The drugging of the military has become so egregious … these drugs are associated with mania, homicide, suicide, psychosis.”

From May 14 – May 18th 2014 The International Conference on Combat Stress and the Connection between Military Suicide and Psychiatric Drugs was held in the San Diego area. It was the 20th year for this conference.

The event featured the San Diego premiere of the documentary film “The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda” which was produced the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights International in  Los Angeles. This non-profit mental health watchdog group is looking at the growing rate of military suicides and the increase in use of drugs prescribed by psychiatrists and informing the public about the situation. The film features interviews with 80 service members and experts.

The men and women who serve in our military deserve much better health care from the armed services and the VA. Ending the psychiatric medications is the first step.

Posted in Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Depression, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Informed Consent, Mental Health Care, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Illness, Military, Over Prescribing Meds, Paxil, Prescription Drugs, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Psychostimulants, Psychotropic Drugs, Suicide Prevention, Veterans | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mental Illness in Prison Population

prisonThe ranks of those incarcerated in state prisons have increased in unprecedented numbers over the past 10 years. Not surprisingly, courts demand that mental health screening and “treatment” (most often drugs) are given to those deemed mentally unstable.

Recent studies show that mental illness in prisoners is more prevalent than mental illness in the society at large.

Of course prisoners are obviously in a state of mental distress. He or she has committed crimes against others, transgressing against moral and ethical codes of society. He or she is locked up behind bars, away from family and friends. Depression would seem to be a likely outcome of these circumstances.

Statistics as early as 1975 underscored the insanity of giving psychotropic drugs to prisoners either depressed or with a propensity toward violence:

“…violent, aggressive incidents occurred significantly more frequently in Inmates who were on psychotropic medication than when these inmates were not on psychotropic drugs. Of these, antianxiety agents (diazepam in 81 percent of the cases), appeared to be most implicated, with 3.6 times as many acts of aggression occurring when inmates were on these drugs. For the other classes of psychotropic medication the aggressive incident rate was double the rate of those on no psychotropic medication.”

It is widely known that psychiatric drugs are a huge cash cow for pharmaceutical companies. For example, Zyprexa, a schizophrenia drug, represented 23% of Eli Lily’s total earnings in 2008. Johnson & Johnson, once known for band aids and baby shampoo, now makes 3.8 billion on their antipsychotic drugs.

Should we worry? The Affordable Care Act has already signed up prisoners in six states and counties. If the program is nationally implemented, the 7 million in prison, on probation or on parole (not to mention the 13 million incarcerated in county jails every year) will be eligible for psychiatric drugs subsidized by us, the taxpayers.

If psychiatrists in league with pharmaceutical companies have no compunction about drugging helpless foster children (youngsters on Medicaid are 4 times as likely to be given psychiatric drugs as their more affluent peers) it is unlikely they will have moral qualms about drugging convicted felons.

The online version of Psychology Today published a recent article by Robert Whitaker summing up the dangers (obviously known to mental health professionals) inherent in these medications:

“… Moore and his collaborators extracted all serious events reports from the FDA’s database from 2004 through September 2009, and then identified 484 drugs that had triggered at least 200 case reports of serious adverse events (of any type) during that 69-month period. They then investigated to see if any of these 484 drugs had a ‘disproportionate’ association with violence. They identified 31 such drugs, out of the 484, that met this criteria.

“The 31 ‘suspect’ drugs accounted for 1527 of the 1937 case reports of violence toward others in the FDA database for that 69-month period. The drugs in that list of 31 included varenicline (an aid to smoking cessation), 11 antidepressants, 6 hypnotic/sedatives, and 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Antidepressants were responsible for 572 case reports of violence toward others; the three ADHD drugs for 108; and the hypnotic/sedatives for 97.”

A sensible man or woman may try to puzzle out why these drugs are still on the market, let alone given to criminals already known for violence. Unfortunately, one has only to follow the money trail to discover the lengths men will go to line their pockets at society’s expense.


Posted in Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Depression, Diabled Persons, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Prescription Drugs, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Antidepressants and Homicidal Behavior

sad womanAntidepressants have been proven in court to cause homicidal behavior in some patients. In 2001, a federal jury in Cheyenne, Wyoming ordered SmithKline Beecham to pay 6.4 million dollars to relatives of a Paxil user who committed murder and suicide while on the drug.

Donald Schell, who up to the time of the tragedy had been a loving husband, father and grandfather, shot and killed his wife, daughter, granddaughter and himself after only 2 days on Paxil.

Andy Vickery was the lawyer for the plaintiffs. Through his research he discovered that SmithKline had known that some people become agitated or violent from Paxil. The drug’s packaging at that time did not include any warning of this possible development.

Currently, this warning is given regarding Paxil on WebMD:

“…However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.

“Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.”

But what of crimes committed while on antidepressant medication since 2001? Have there been other successful jury trials against drug companies manufacturing psychiatric drugs?

The answer is yes.

In 2012,GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty to a 3 part criminal indictment. They were forced to pay $3 billion in civil penalties and fines for promoting Paxil and Wellbutrin (another antidepressant) for unapproved uses. This included the use of these drugs on children and teenagers. They also did not report safety data regarding their diabetes drug, Avandia to the FDA; this was part of the suit as well.

The pharmaceutical giant was also found guilty of paying kickbacks to doctors, (according to federal prosecutors) “using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment from Hawaiian vacations, paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts.”

GlaxoSmithKline also helped publish a medical journal article that “misrepresented data from a clinical trial and exaggerated Paxil’s ability to treat depression in adolescents.”

The drugmaker, not surprisingly, admitted no wrongdoing

The settlement period covered the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. During that time, GlaxoSmithKline sold $10.4 billion dollars worth of Avandia, $5.9 billion of Wellbutrin and $11.6 billion of Paxil. These figures put the $3 billion dollar settlement in proportion: it is less than 15% of what they amassed from selling the 3 drugs implicated.

Perhaps Big Pharma believes the “collateral damage” (i.e. violent homicides, suicides and birth defects) is worth a paltry 15% of their profit. Since no remorse or admission of guilt was noted, one can expect more of the same in the future from these same companies.

The criminality of pharmaceutical companies and that of their minions, the psychiatrists, must be recognized for what it is. Since they admit no gullibility for the wake of human tragedy and misery they leave behind, their onslaught must be halted by prosecuting them in court for their crimes.

Posted in Antidepressants, Big Pharma, Depression, Disorders, Drug Warnings, DSM, Elderly, Informed Consent, Mental Health Care, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Illness, Military, Over Prescribing Meds, Paxil, Prescription Drugs, Prescription Drugs`, Prozac, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Suicide Prevention | Tagged | Leave a comment


(Heather Lascano, CEO, Neuro Touch Inc.)children 2

The afternoon was rather warm, almost uncomfortably so.  The parking lot was just starting to clear following the bus and parent carpool line activity. The office staff was already chatting about the evening plans and upcoming weekend while I sat waiting to be given my badge sticker marking me as a visitor on campus.

Why was I at the school? To advocate.

When I meet new people and tell them that I advocate for children with learning delays – the automatic assumption is that the work is done solely with the child and the direct parent(s). While that is not incorrect I do want to clarify. In my work experience – I advocate within the ‘circle of influence’ of a child. This means that I coordinate conversations with coaches, other professionals, tutors, babysitters, extended family members, teachers, and principals. Not just the immediate caregivers.

On this day, I was meeting with 2 teachers in their classrooms. Teacher #1 was quiet, well-versed, passionate in her work, thoughtfully prepared with samples/files, and fairly open to the conversation. Teacher #2 – let’s just politely state that she was not excited to meet me.  The child we were coming together to discuss (on the teacher’s own time I should add) was that of a girl, aged 10, who had an array of academic challenges. These sticky points sometimes bled into the typical behaviors witnessed in classrooms, but overall, she was a lovely and mindful young lady.

Teacher #2 went first because she made it known that she was irritated that I was there to tell her how to teach or work with a child in her class. I spent time asking a great deal about her training, her background, what she liked/disliked, how long she had been a teacher – I wanted to get to know her and relate to the unique experiences she had. Moving on, I got full descriptions on what the typical day was in the classroom. We discussed areas that were challenging for the girl and the class, how much assistance (and in what form) was given, what she felt comfortable in doing/trying, how previous meetings may have gone, and what sort of time constraints and pressures she had daily and weekly. Teacher #1 did the same. I then asked them both to share with me the top priority issue they wanted to resolve. We went through several options and I focused on those that would be best to try first (based on information shared with me prior to the meeting). Two goals were set for the following week; with follow-ups according to each of their schedules. Her parents received a general review of the meeting so that they were informed of what was planned.

When we reconvened one month later, teacher #2 met me in the office and walked me back to the classroom. She was very pleased with the outcomes so far and was eager to tell me all the details! Teacher #1 joined in and we openly discussed another goal setting and meeting (via phone). The fantastic thing that was sparked – both teachers had gotten together to ‘think tank’ some ideas to add to the entire classroom based on ideas we had discussed together. The teachers had started to communicate much more freely between one another as well.

Why was I at the school? To advocate.

To support the ‘circle of influence’ between the teachers for the little girl (and her classmates). That support helped to open up the communication between and with other educators, to foster the sharing of ideas, and impact the learning of the child. That is precisely what I seek to do when I advocate. Support.

In the role of advocate, Mrs. Lascano draws upon experiences utilizing sensory motor movement, brain development, coaching, parenting tips, positive psychology, and outside-the-box tools. Connections between Neuro Touch Inc. and other local professionals ensures additional options and resources can be provided to those who are seeking help for a child or family concern.

Neuro Touch Inc.          ‘’bridging connections in education’’

Posted in ADD, ADHD, Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Depression, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Florida Patient's Bill of Rights, Informed Consent, Involuntary Commitment, Over Prescribing Meds, Parents Rights, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Psychostimulants, Psychotropic Drugs | Leave a comment

Why Expand Psychiatry with Involuntary Commitment?


Each time a citizen goes on an unpredicted shooting spree we hear pleas for more involuntary commitment laws and programs.

Psychiatry has been playing a fiddle tune entitled “If he’d only gotten proper mental health care in time this tragedy could have been avoided” for so long that its become an annoying out-of-tune screech.

The facts almost invariably show us that the person on a rampage had already been under psychiatric care and medication for some time prior to losing all control and committing a violent act.

WSUF here in Tampa, Florida was quick to publish an NPR story entitled “The Divide Over Involuntary Mental Health Treatment” following the shootings at the University of California, Santa Barbara by Elliot Rodger in which he killed six people and then himself.

NPR claims this Rodger’s attack is “renewing focus on programs aimed at requiring treatment for people who are mentally ill as a way to prevent mass shootings and other violence.”

California has Laura’s Law enacted in 2002 which allows government authorities to require outpatient mental health care to those who have been voluntarily refusing it. Involuntary outpatient care was intended to be a more palatable program to feed to the public compared to a program of direct involuntary commitment into a psychiatric facility.

NPR laments that it hasn’t been too popular and that only 2 counties in California (Nevada and Orange) have implemented the program and there is no state funding for it.

In Nevada County, Judge Tom Anderson, a big supporter of the program, commented, “The beauty of the program — the wonderment of it to me — is that roughly about 60 percent of the people that they do outreach to, where they go out to intervene after a person has been referred, voluntarily accept services at that time.”

Even he is surprised someone would agree to psychiatric care!

The real truth is that psychiatric mental health care invariably harms the person whether it is provided in an out patient setting or inside a psychiatric ward or hospital facility.

What benefit could possibly come from prescribing mind numbing drugs or electroshock treatments? And how could these treatments protect the public and prevent violent psychotic rages and murders by these victims?

Clearly psychiatric care doesn’t prevent these acts. It quite likely creates them.

In fact, Laura’s Law is named for Laura Wilcox who worked at California’s Nevada County Behavioral Health clinic. She was killed when a patient named Scott Harlan Thorpe came to his appointment and opened fire in the clinic killing her and another clinic worker.  Authorities said they believed Thorpe was unhappy with the mental health care he received at the county clinic.

Early press reports said nothing about Mr. Thorpe refusing treatment. The reports said he was undergoing treatment at the mental health clinic where he killed two people. The treatment was for agoraphobia (fear of public crowds). But his mother said he had been also diagnosed for depression and anxiety.

Five months after the shooting, the LA Times published a story, “A Case Against Liberty” by Alex Raksin and Bob Sipchen. These authors claimed for the first time in the press that Thorpe was refusing to take his medications. This story won them a Pulitzer Prize. It was followed by lots of press claiming Laura’s Law could have prevented the murders by forcing this known mentally ill man to take his medications. But at Thorpe’s trial in 2003, his defense psychologist, Donald Stembridge, testified that at the time of the shooting Thorpe was taking his prescribed anti-depressants, and that these anti-depressants “would have worsened his condition”.

Even Laura Wilcox’s parents testified that the law wouldn’t have worked for Thorpe because he didn’t meet criteria for treatment under provisions of the new law.

Yet the law was passed following a rash of such news stories quoting the proponents of involuntary commitment and the claim that Thorpe had refused to take his medications.

It’s a familiar pattern in the USA – the press under pressure from psychiatry, drug companies and politicians on the mental health band wagon fail to report that a mass killer was on psychiatric drugs or withdrawing from them. Then it’s easy to call for more mental health prevention programs.

In the early news reports by the LA Times it was stated that Eliot Roger had resisted taking any psychiatric medications. The paper quoted a family friend…”he had been in therapy since childhood. He was prescribed psychotropic drugs but declined to take them

But after Elliot turned 18, he started rejecting mental health care that his family provided, Krentzman said. “He turned his back on all of it,” he said. “At some point, your kid becomes an adult.”

But a few weeks later the true story came out in other publications including press in the UK.

Elliot Rodger‘s parents Peter & Li Chin spoke to law enforcement officials stating that their son had been taking Xanax in the days before the horrific murders and that it had been prescribed by a family doctor. After researching the side affects of Xanax, the Rodgers feared Elliot could have been abusing the anti-anxiety medication. They also believe the tranquilizer “made him more withdrawn, lonely, isolated, and anxious.”

“Elliot had been taking Xanax for awhile, according to his parents … there were fears he might have been addicted to it, or taking more than was prescribed,” a law enforcement source told “The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department will be conducting formal interviews with Elliot’s doctors, and will review his medical and prescription drug records.

Ironically, sheriff’s deputies visited Elliot weeks earlier at his family’s request. Shirley Jahad reported that the deputies spoke to Rodger and didn’t think he qualified for a “5150″ detention, which would have put him under psychiatric care for 72 hours. They said he was “Courteous and polite.” and “timid and shy.”

Elliot described the April 30th visit by six deputies differently in the long email he left behind:

“I heard a knock on my apartment door. I opened it to see seven police officers asking for me.” He wrote that “the biggest fear I had ever felt in my life overcame me.”

He had three semi-automatic weapons in his bedroom and had written up plans for his assault.

“I tactfully told them that it was all a misunderstanding and they finally left. If they had demanded to search my room.. that would have ended everything,” “For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over. When they left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me.”

Xanax is far from an innocent tranquilizer. It has these potential side effects:

—    Rage and hostility

—    Aggression – including assault

—    Violence

—    Suicides

—    Hallucinations

—    Thinking about harming yourself or trying to do so

—    Unusual changes in behavior or mood

—    Homicidal behavior

—    Unusual risk-taking behavior

—    Decreased inhibitions

—    No fear of danger

—    Withdrawal

Calling for easier Involuntary Commitment Laws is folly when such drugs are the required mental health treatment.

Janet Napolitano, is an experienced government official. She served as Attorney General of Arizona, Governor of Arizona, and Secretary of Homeland Security before taking her current job as President of the University of California. After giving the commencement speech at Laney College in Oakland, CA, she commented on the Elliot Rodger shooting at UC Santa Barbara.

“This is almost the kind of event that’s impossible to prevent and almost impossible to predict.”

That’s where proponents of involuntary commitment find themselves today – unable to predict and unable to prevent.


Posted in Anti-Seizure Medications, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Involuntary Commitment, Legislation, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Paxil, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Psychostimulants, Schools, Suicide Prevention, The Baker Act | Leave a comment

HOW DOES ADVOCACY HELP MY CHILD? (Heather Lascano, CEO, Neuro Touch Inc.)

adhdMom A got calls weekly and then daily as a result of extreme behavior from her daughter in school. Tantrums. Refusals to join in on the group work. Failure to follow the daily activities for all children. Then came the fights at home with siblings. There was already talk of retention and the family was becoming overwhelmed with the emotion of this little girl. Keep in mind, this child was 4 years of age.

Mom B was called into the office of the Assistant VP at school nearly every other day for a full 5 months. Her daughter was unable to play appropriately with class mates. Lunch was almost impossible to get through. Family members were at a loss. They didn’t know what to do with the medical terms given, the medicines discussed, and they felt like no plan was offered.  This child was almost 6 years old.

Mom C had changed her son’s school 3 times. He was born with some medical issues (physical) but was otherwise quite intelligent; close to gifted. He refused to read in class. Task avoidance was random and at times, highly emotional. Teachers saw that he was struggling but were challenged with how to help him without taking time away from the class. Mom was trying a lot of options from therapy, to foods, to herbs. This child was 8 years of age.

Each family may sound very similar.  You may be surprised to know that the approach with each one was incredibly different – none involved medication. The important focus: address the unique needs and challenges of the child, identify the roles of each person involved, and devise an easy (acceptable) series of steps to put into play.

Heather Lascano , CEO of Neuro Touch Inc. (, provided help with educational and advocacy supports to each of these families. The first step: a private one-on-one meeting to review medical input, progress reports, teacher updates, development history, family accounts, and methods attempted. Together, options were discussed, and an agreed plan of action was made. The actions typically involved 1-2 homework tools to try. Each week, the plan of action was discussed and modified as needed. When asked, Heather met with the teachers to address what was being done at home, how the teacher could help to support it, learn what went on in class, and answer any questions.

What were the outcomes? Mom A: One meeting and nearly a complete turnaround in just 3 days! The teachers were amazed and so was mom. There was a significant shift in stress of the home. Mom B: through several home visits, 3 school visits, and a series of phone calls, her daughter became calm, learned appropriate play, joined play dates with others, and started smiling a lot more. Mom C: following the one-to-one meeting, her son was more fully assessed by a referred local professional and is now in an intense therapy program to help several vision-related challenges. The program was initiated in early summer to instill dramatic changes before the new school year starts.

With a growing number of children being diagnosed with learning issues (academic or behavior), the education of children is becoming overwhelming. Overwhelming for parents, for teachers, for administrators, and other related professionals in our communities. In the role of advocate (for parent, child, or educator), Mrs. Lascano draws upon experiences utilizing sensory motor movement, brain development, coaching, parenting tips, positive psychology, and outside-the-box tools. Connections between Neuro Touch Inc. and other local professionals ensures additional options and resources can be provided to those who are seeking help for a child or family concern.

Neuro Touch Inc.          ‘’bridging connections in education’’

Posted in ADD, ADHD, Alternatives, Antipsychotics, Children, Disorders, Parents Rights, Professional Opinions, Psychostimulants, Psychotropic Drugs, Ritalin, Schools, Teens | Leave a comment

Psychotropic Drugs – Lobotomies In a Pill

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince the introduction of Thorazine in 1954 psychiatry and drug companies have rolled out a never ending stream of psychotropic drugs to replace the dramatic surgical procedures known as lobotomies. These so-called psychotropic medications have been called “chemical lobotomies” and proven to be just that.

But what is a lobotomy?

In the 1930’s neurologists got the idea that mental health could be improved by psychosurgery. Antonio Egas Moniz in Portugal and Gottlieb Burckhardt in Switzerland experimented with drilling holes in a patient’s skulls and injecting pure alcohol to destroy brain tissue thus adjusting mental conditions.

Psychiatrist Walter Freeman working in the US invented a quicker and more profitable method and named it the lobotomy.

Freeman believed that an overload of emotions led to mental illness and “that cutting certain nerves in the brain could eliminate excess emotion and stabilize a personality.”

His technique went like this – “As those who watched the procedure described it, a patient would be rendered unconscious by electroshock. Freeman would then take a sharp ice pick-like instrument, insert it above the patient’s eyeball through the orbit of the eye, into the frontal lobes of the brain, moving the instrument back and forth. Then he would do the same thing on the other side of the face.”

Freeman toured the country’s mental hospitals with great media attention and performed about 2,500 lobotomies in his career, once performing the operation on 25 women in a single day. Something like 40,000 to 50,000 lobotomies were done in the United States in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

The Soviet Union banned the surgery in 1950, arguing that it was “contrary to the principles of humanity.” Other countries, including Germany and Japan, banned it, too, but lobotomies continued to be performed on a limited scale in the United States, Britain, Scandinavia and several western European countries well into the 1980’s.

Freeman eventually lost his license when one of his patients came back for her third lobotomy. Freeman did the surgery and severed a blood vessel in her brain. Three days later she died. The hospital then revoked Freeman’s surgical privileges and he went into retirement, soon to die of cancer.

In 2005 National Public Radio did a show featuring Howard Dully a man who had been lobotomized at the age of 12 by Walter Freeman.

Dully said, “If you saw me you’d never know I’d had a lobotomy. The only thing you’d notice is that I’m very tall and weigh about 350 pounds. But I’ve always felt different — wondered if something’s missing from my soul. I have no memory of the operation, and never had the courage to ask my family about it. So two years ago I set out on a journey to learn everything I could about my lobotomy.”

The radio program uncovered Freeman’s notes and files on the case and helped to reveal what happened to Howard Dully and why it was done.

Howard Dully’s mother had died of cancer when he was 5. Dully says, “My stepmother hated me. I never understood why, but it was clear she’d do anything to get rid of me.”

Freeman wrote in his notes that the step-mother feared Howard and called him defiant and savage, stating that the 12 year old boy …”Doesn’t react either to love or to punishment. He objects to going to bed but then sleeps well. He does a good deal of daydreaming and when asked about it he says ‘I don’t know.’ He turns the room’s lights on when there is broad sunlight outside. He hates to wash.”

Sounds like good reason for a lobotomy!

Sure enough, Freeman then writes on Nov. 30, 1960, “Mrs. Dully came in for a talk about Howard. Things have gotten much worse and she can barely endure it. I explained to Mrs. Dully that the family should consider the possibility of changing Howard’s personality by means of transorbital lobotomy.”

Two and a half weeks after the boy’s lobotomy, Freeman wrote: “I told Howard what I’d done to him… and he took it without a quiver. He sits quietly, grinning most of the time and offering nothing.”

Howard Dully says that when his step-mother realized the operation “didn’t turn me into a vegetable, she got me out of the house. I was made a ward of the state.”

But isn’t this just ancient psychiatric treatment history and longer in use?

Unfortunately, it is not. The truth is that the use of psychotropic drugs has greatly expanded the number of such victims by replacing the messy physical lobotomies with tidier chemical lobotomies.

From the start psychiatrists knew what antipsychotic drugs were doing.

The two pioneers of Thorazine, Delay and Deniker, said about small doses of the drug in 1952:  “Sitting or lying, the patient is motionless in his bed, often pale and with eyelids lowered. He remains silent most of the time. If he is questioned, he answers slowly and deliberately in a monotonous and indifferent voice; he expresses himself in a few words and becomes silent”.

A 1950 textbook described the “lobotomylike” impact of Thorazine, and in 1958, Noyes and Kolb summarized in Modern Clinical Psychiatry“If the patient responds well to the drug, he develops and attitude of indifference both to his surroundings and to his symptoms”.

In other words the drugs didn’t remove the symptoms – they just dulled the patient’s awareness and interest in them and left them in apathy.

Whether done by surgery or a psychotropic drug there is a disruption in the functioning of the frontal lobes that results in the same effect – a greatly reduced person with loss of memory and a reduction of awareness of self and the environment. Hence, the common description of these victims as “vegetables” – a body with very little mind or personality left.

“The blunting of conscious motivation, and the inability to solve problems under the influence of chlorpromazine (Thorazine) resembles nothing so much as the effects of frontal lobotomy. . . Research has suggested that lobotomies and chemicals like chlorpromazine may cause their effects in the same way, by disrupting the activity of the neurochemical, dopamine. At any rate, a psychiatrist would be hard put to distinguish a lobotomized patient from one treated with chlorpromazine.” - Peter Sterling, neuroanatomist, article Psychiatry’s Drug Addiction, New Republic magazine (March 3, 1979)

Kids today are given antipsychotics to change their hyperactive or defiant behavior. The reason they quiet down is that antipsychotics act on the frontal lobe of the brain – exact same area effected by a surgical lobotomy.

Dr. Peter Breggin, who publicly decries the use of antipsychotics in children, has this to say: “We have a national catastrophe. This is a situation where we have ruined the brains of millions of children…These are lobotomizing drugs. Of course, they will reduce all behavior, including irritability.”

Gone are family or spiritual counseling – a pill is quicker.
Yet, dozens of scientific studies with animals and human autopsies demonstrate conclusively that actual shrinkage of the brain is caused by these drugs. Medical science knows this but the public is kept in the dark about it. These neuroleptics and antidepressants frequently make people look and act apathetic, zombie-like as if they’ve been lobotomized — even at moderate or low doses.

The reality of what it’s like to experience a chemical lobotomy is best described in the word of patients who have suffered through treatment with these drugs.


  1. “I was diagnosed bipolar at 18 – my psychiatrist prescribed me Seroquel, (an antipsychotic) I took Seroquel for four months in the dose she recommended. At first it rendered me completely devoid of personality, energy and interest in people/anything. I was a zombie. Luckily I began to develop a tolerance about a month in and it didn’t have quite as stifling negative affects, but still made me lethargic and apathetic. I also continually had terrifying nightmares and became anorexic.To this day this drug disgusts me. It is used to sedate lunatics and shut people up just like they used to when the mentally ill were socially ostracized. The best way to describe this drug is a chemical lobotomy.”

2.  “I was a very, very, very passionate person prior to Celexa.(an SSRI) I was passionate about everything, my marriage, my job, my country. I couldn’t hear our national anthem without stopping and feeling the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. 14 years in the Army National guard, I was very into my career with them too. I was passionate about running, about my relationship with (and this will probably sound wierd) my dog. I miss all of these things. I hope they all come back to me. They were very much the bricks in the foundation of my life and I feel like they are gone. When I say I want the old me back, I mean the person who was passionate, the person who loved and was loved. The driven person who saw what he wanted and went out and got it. That was all taken from me with the introduction of Celexa in my life. I just want it back.”

3. “I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 8 months after stopping Wellbutrin/buproprion (an Antidepressant). I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of “inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to “look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.

I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with      anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.

I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.

It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.

4. “I tell you, I never had a problem before Celexa. I just want to be back to me. I want to no longer be the pitiful creature it made me. I want to be me. The old me. I want myself back. Life isn’t worth living with this new person holding my thoughts and feelings hostage. I have been off Celexa since last year. I JUST WANT ME BACK. These are bad for our brains, they change our personalities. I want my life back, and don’t want even my worst enemy to experience what I have been through. These people have no love for their fellow man. ..”Depression hurts”,said the commercial, I never knew depression till after Celexa. I have been through hell, therefore hell exists.”

5. “What I don’t understand is how a drug could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.”

6. “I’m 25 yrs old. I used to be a bodybuilder, avid fisherman, used to drag race, and enjoy the great outdoors. USED TO.

I was on Effexor (SSRI) for about 3 yrs.

I have never in life felt so sick. I would not wish this on anyone, not even my enemy. The first 3 months were hell. dizziness, nausea, fatigue, bad memory, brain zaps, you name it I had it. I couldn’t even walk sometimes.

I fought and fought and it is now 7 months that I am clean off this horrible so called drug.

To this day, 7 MONTHS later, I am left with weakness, bad memory, and horrible coordination.

I can no longer workout, all my muscles went down, I have no energy to do what I liked to do in my life. I cannot function or remember things at work. I am useless. If it wasn’t my cousin’s place, I would have been fired along time ago.

In my opinion, Effexor has left me permanent damage. This drug has changed my life for the worse and every night I cry, because I feel that this medicine has severely left me damaged. My doctor has no idea what to do”

7. “My withdrawal from Seroxat/Paxil (SSRI) .I became very aggressive on the stuff (many arrests and court appearances), and on some days I could pop valium without it making the slightest bit of difference. When I decided it would be a clever move to stop taking it and put up with a few days of flu-like symptoms, I found out what withdrawal was really like.

I slashed at my arms, I rolled around on the floor, screaming, because everything felt raw and when the police were called I freaked out completely and brandished a knife at them.

Needless to say, I escaped jail by a hair’s breadth. When I ended up in ER, following a dose of pepper spray in my face, I begged for Seroxat and the doc just laughed in my face and said they weren’t running a pharmacy. They did not believe there was such a thing as SSRI/SNRI withdrawal syndrome. I think they still don’t.

In the cell, waiting for the court appearance, I had the worst shakes and weird feelings (having two heads, having my head swell to the size of a water melon). The junky I shared the cell with said: “Wow, what are you on?

8. “Please consider this before commenting on antidepressants in a positive way.

About 10 years ago, the medical school at a major university began to notice a large number of cadavers coming in (for the medical students to work on) which had indented and calcified frontal lobes in their brains.

Puzzled by this, they went through the life history of each cadaver that had this anomaly, and discovered that in every case, the person had been on SSRI antidepressants.

The level of brain damage indicated that each of the cadavers had been lobotomized.

The people who drew the connection between the calcified and collapsed frontal lobes (the part of the brain which contains your soul) and antidepressants received offers of money to keep it secret, and when they chose to go public anyway, received anonymous death threats against their families and children if they ever went public.

I have seen many people get destroyed by antidepressants, all the while they said all was well. Invariably they go down the toilet as they eventually move toward complete and total emotional and personality flatline.”

It’s time the public at large realized that the antipsychotics and antidepressants so glibly passed out by psychiatrists do nothing but destroy people.

Dorothy Parker, a top New York city poet and writer said it best when she wrote her often quoted comment, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”

Posted in ADHD, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Over Prescribing Meds, Prescription Drugs, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatrists / Psychologists, Psychiatry, Psychostimulants, Psychotropic Drugs, Suicide Prevention | 1 Comment

Psychiatry: A Belief System Destroying our Society

Pills on SpoonPsychiatry, it may be validly argued, is simply a belief system. In fact, many of their most treasured DSM disorders were voted on by conference participants. There is no proof of the existence of ADD or ADHD, and absolutely no valid medical test for a single one of their so-called mental diseases.

On the other hand, according to the JRSM (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine) both psychiatry and psychology do a lot of “outreach” activity, designed to pull “the needy” into their embrace, much like religions throughout the ages.

They also organize vast campaigns designed to convince parents and family members that their loved ones are in desperate need of their treatment. They distribute literature, they buy expensive advertising, they hold seminars.

To quote from the JRSM article: “Like the more zealous religions in times past, the idea that some of the uninitiated may actually be enjoying quite satisfactory lives is rarely entertained.”

In a further analogous look at psychiatry as a religion, the article identifies psychiatry as a sort of priesthood, with the “laity” following their lead. A priest goes through many years of training, a psychiatrist likewise goes through years of arcane (understood by few; mysterious or secret-Google definition) training, setting them apart from the public.

And when a psychiatrist rebels against the standard “sacraments” of this cult (drugging, electroshock, lobotomies) he or she is “excommunicated” and punished via job offers rescinded, ignored books and attempted ruining of careers. Peter Breggin, well known critic of psychiatric harm and Thomas Szasz, who argued against the reality of so-called mental illness are examples of psychiatry’s close-mindedness.

Unlike actual major religions, the intention of psychiatry is not spiritual enlightenment or belief in a higher power. The psychiatrist offers no spiritual succor.

What he does offer (psychotropic drugging) has ruined lives by the thousands, destroyed families, caused countless birth defects, unleashed mass murderers on innocents and confused millions into believing that he has the answer to mental anguish.

Despite the psychiatrist’s touching confidence in his treatment, it has been proven that psychiatric drugs can cause the following:

  • tardive dyskenisia (a movement disorder where the sufferer makes repetitive and involuntary movements such as protruding the tongue, grimacing and lip smacking.
  • Diabetes
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Brain shrinkage
  • Homicidal or suicidal behavior

Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin wrote a book called “Medication Madness,” which delves deeply into the effects these drugs have on people. He points out that the victims seldom attach their unpleasant or dangerous symptoms to the drugs they are taking, thus putting themselves and others at great risk.

He refers to this disassociation with the drug being the cause of their problems “medical spellbinding,” and has done a great deal of research into this subject.

Dr. Breggin discovered that people on the drugs may feel they are doing much better, although they are obviously failing in life – citing examples of psychiatric patients with no criminal history committing crimes of theft and violence.

In every case, patients who survived and stopped taking the drugs had absolutely no recidivism. In other words, not a single person was compelled to commit a crime after stopping the offending drug.

Dr. Breggin says: “…they may get some relief from the lobotomizing effect of an antipsychotic drug or the blunting impact of a mood stabilizer. In every case, the seeming improvement is a manifestation of brain dysfunction, and judgment is always impaired.”

The belief system of psychiatry is flawed, based as it is on their economic bottom line rather than improving the lot of anyone. To further distance it from religions (which mostly frown on bullying) psychiatry attempts to bully the entire population into obeying their creed of psychotropic drugging.

Posted in Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Florida Patient's Bill of Rights, Informed Consent, Prescription Drugs, Professional Opinions, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatry, Psychostimulants, Psychotropic Drugs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Audra McDonald gets it Right- Thanks Parents for no ADD Meds

TonyAudra McDonald, in accepting her Tony award for her performance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill thanked her parents. This is not an uncommon thing for an award-winning actor to do.

But the impact of Audra’s “thank you” flew in the face of psychiatry’s medication of gifted children everywhere. She bravely thanked them for NOT putting her on ADD medication, and encouraging her to perform instead.

One of the many tragedies linked to psychiatrists and their medications is the targeting of children least able to sit still in a class room setting. Many of these are children who are dreamers, children who question the status quo – boys and girls who would rather be sketching or writing a story than memorizing multiplication tables.

The so-called symptoms of ADD and the “symptoms” of being gifted are amazingly similar.

ADD Symptoms:

  • Gets bored with a task before it is finished
  • Doesn’t pay attention to details
  • Trouble adhering to rules
  • Is distracted easily
  • More active than most children
  • Hard time delaying gratification

Whereas a gifted child often experiences:

  • Boredom and impatience
  • Low tolerance for tasks that seem to have no purpose
  • Frustration and upset when his or her goals are not reached
  • Has trouble watching for “boundaries” and difficulty channeling their energy
  • May be very strong willed and question authority, rules and regulations
  • Often more active than most children, may even need less sleep

Separating the gifted from the ADD afflicted children is not the solution.  Labeling any child as having ADD or ADHD is not only uncalled for, but a hazard to that child’s ability and to his future.

A psychiatrist, with his faulty diagnostic skills and unreliable Bible of symptoms and treatments (DSM 5) should be the last person a parent would want to steer his child to for help.

But compelling advertising and huge government subsidies (not to mention pharmaceutical lobbyists in Washington) have made dangerous inroads into the schools and preschools of our country.

How many future Einsteins and Pablo Picassos have already drowned under the inexorable wave of dulling psychiatric drugs?

These are some of the brutal side effects listed for Adderall, just one of the many drugs used to treat ADD:

  • Fast, pounding, uneven heartbeats
  • Lightheaded; may even faint
  • Blood pressure increase, leading to severe headache, vision blurring, chest pain, numbness and seizure
  • Tremor and restlessness
  • Hallucinations and unusual behavior
  • Motor tics
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden Death
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Stroke

Of course most parents have their children’s best interests at heart. But a mother or father’s innate protective sense has been undermined by the “unquestioning authority” of psychiatrists.  It is up to us as parents and grandparents to question that authority, and to find ways to encourage our children so they may blossom into adulthood without the chemical disabilities of psychiatric drugs destroying their future.

Posted in Alternatives, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Drugs in our Schools, Informed Consent, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Parents Rights, Professional Opinions, Psychotropic Drugs | Tagged | Leave a comment