22 May

Another Creative Artist Killed by Psychoactive Drugs: Chris Cornell’s Wife Blames Suicide On Antianxiety Medication Ativan (Lorazepam)

Initial evidence points to the anti-anxiety medicine Ativan as the cause for Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell’s untimely death.

Chris was found dead Thursday morning following his concert in Detroit the night before.

Why did this artist who had been happily married for 13 years, with two beautiful children and many creative music projects under way, suddenly decide to end his life by hanging himself in a motel room?

His wife, Vicky Cornell , issued a statement on Friday, focusing the blame directly on an overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Ativan.

She wrote “His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.” [1]

She went on to say, “When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.” [2]

An attorney for the Cornell family, Kirk Pasich added, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.” [3]

A later police report stated that Martin Kirsten, Chris’s bodyguard, had given Chris two Ativan after the Wednesday night concert. [4]

Only 45 minutes after giving Chris the Ativan, Martin received a panicked call from Vicky Cornell asking him to check up on her husband as he had not sounded okay to her during their call.

Kirsten broke into the locked hotel room door and found Chris already dead.

Ativan linked to Suicidal Behavior

Ativan is the brand name for the drug Lorazepam. It is in the class of drugs called Benzodiazepines  which are widely and profitably  sold as sedatives and anti-anxiety medicines.  Xanax, Valium, Librium, and Klonopin are other familiar names in this class. They are considered benign medications by drug manufacturers and many physicians and psychiatrists. Yet the facts contradict this perception.

The Lorazepam Abuse Help organization operates inpatient and outpatient facilities around the US because Ativan is both very addictive and very easy to overdose on.

They cite a recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that revealed several important facts about Lorazepam.

“The study found that sedative-hypnotics like Lorazepam are the most widely abused prescription drugs and account for 35% of drug-related hospital emergency room visits. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used sedative in these cases, and Lorazepam is the third most commonly used benzodiazepine. The same study found that benzodiazepines are the most commonly used pharmaceutical drug in suicide attempts, with 26% of attempted suicide cases involving benzodiazepines.” [5]

Incriminating Evidence against Ativan Found on its FDA Insert

The following warning is present on the Ativan informational insert:

“The use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, may lead to physical and psychological dependence. The risk of dependence increases with higher doses and longer term use and is further increased in patients with a history of alcoholism or drug abuse or in patients with significant personality disorders… Addiction-prone individuals (such as drug addicts or alcoholics) should be under careful surveillance when receiving lorazepam or other psychotropic agents.” [6]

According to this warning (since Chris had an earlier history of abusing alcohol and drugs) he never should have been given a prescription for Ativan.

The warning insert also states:

“Pre-existing depression may emerge or worsen during use of benzodiazepines including lorazepam. Ativan (lorazepam) is not recommended for use in patients with a primary depressive disorder or psychosis.”

Chris had spoken of his depression in the past but seemingly had moved beyond it into a new life with his new family.

Did whoever wrote Chris’s current Ativan prescription consider this drug warning?

“In general, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for short periods only (e.g., 2 to 4 weeks). Extension of the treatment period should not take place without reevaluation of the need for continued therapy. Continuous long-term use of product is not recommended. Withdrawal symptoms (e.g., rebound insomnia) can appear following cessation of recommended doses after as little as one week of therapy. Abrupt discontinuation of product should be avoided and a gradual dosage-tapering schedule followed after extended therapy.” [7]

More data is needed as to how long Chris was taking Ativan and at what dosages and whether re-evaluation by a doctor ever took place. Was he experiencing withdrawal symptoms and thus decided to take more after the concert?

The Lorazepam label lists over 40 physical and mental withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, depression, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, panic attacks and short-term memory loss.

The label goes on to state, “In patients with depression, a possibility for suicide should be borne in mind; benzodiazepines should not be used in such patients without adequate antidepressant therapy.” [8]

Did Chris Cornell ever get this information from his doctor?

“To assure the safe and effective use of Ativan (lorazepam), patients should be informed that, since benzodiazepines may produce psychological and physical dependence, it is advisable that they consult with their physician before either increasing the dose or abruptly discontinuing this drug.” [9]

Finally, the warning includes a list of over 65 adverse reactions to Ativan including slurred speech. This is exactly how his wife described Chris’s behavior during their final phone conversation. [10]

Suicidal ideation and attempt is also on the list of adverse reactions. [11]

Latest Statistics Show Benzodiazepine Prescriptions (And Deaths) Still on the Rise

The profits in handing out these drugs and promoting them as essentially harmless has resulted in their dramatic growth in the US

Data from the annual Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys between 1996 and 2013 found that the number of adults with benzodiazepine prescriptions grew by more than two thirds, from 8.1 million to 13.5 million people. [12]

Chris Cornell appears to have been one of those unlucky “patients” who suffered the deadly adverse effects of a drug that claims to be an anti-anxiety medicine yet causes anxiety, that claims to sell a happy life yet causes suicide.

Could his tragic ending have been averted with medical care that paid attention to the warning included with the drug itself?

Once again, a psychiatric drug has destroyed the life of a bright artist, leaving his family and fans in mourning.


[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid




[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid


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22 May

ECT: Psychiatric Abuse of Elderly Patients

ECTWhy do psychiatrists increasingly treat the elderly with electro convulsive therapy (ECT)?

One of the greatest fears of those approaching old age is memory loss. The fading or complete disappearance of one’s major life events and precious memories is a horrifying thought. Entire associations worldwide have been created to help the elderly treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Yet psychiatry specializes in a “treatment” for the elderly with an admitted side effect of memory loss.

Despite claims that electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is safer than ever, a review by the standing committee of the New York Assembly concluded in 2002 that the elderly “were more likely to receive ECT,” even though “permanent cognitive deficits, memory loss and premature death were among the increased risks from ECT faced by older people.” This same report called for safeguards to protect the elderly. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz remarked at the time, “The use of this controversial method of treatment is deeply disturbing, particularly when you consider that its use results in damage to the brain and lapses in memory.

What is ECT?

ECT is practiced by applying 70 to 150 volts of electric current to the brain. The purpose is to create a grand mal seizure in the patient. ECT “treatment” is usually 8 to 20 shocks given every other day. But some patients receive up to 40 shocks.

Half of all patients are over the age of 65, thus considered “elderly”. Since ECT can drastically alter behavior and mood, psychiatrists have concluded that this is an improvement. [1] The patient, friends and family may think otherwise.

In the Words of an Anonymous Psychiatric Nurse

In 1990, a psychiatric nurse made the following statement:

“Some people seem to undergo drastic personality changes. They come in the hospital as organized, thoughtful people who have a good sense of what their problems are. Weeks later I see them wandering around the halls, disorganized and dependent. They become so scrambled they can’t even have a conversation. Then they leave the hospital in worse shape than they came in.”[2]

Psychiatrists claim that ECT is “safe and effective” for the elderly and for children (yes, electroshock is also given to children with developing brains). But in real medicine (not psychiatry) a grand mal seizure is a serious event that may require medical intervention. This alone should answer the question “Is ECT safe to give to the elderly?”

Why do Psychiatrists Favor ECT?

The mystery of why ECT is gaining popularity with psychiatrists may be answered when looking at the cost of this “treatment”.

A single ECT treatment is between $300 and $800. Since 8 treatments is the norm, a course is between $2,400 and $6,400. In other words, there is profit to be made from sending a few cents worth of electric current through someone’s brain. [3]

Whether drugging a young child with antipsychotics or frying an elderly person’s brain with electricity, the industry of psychiatry has no real interest in helping those experiencing mental distress.

Combating Depression Naturally

One of the best ways for an older person to defeat depression is to find an area of interest he or she can volunteer in. Helping others has a long and proven record of helping a person achieve happiness in his or her life. [4]

Psychiatry with its destructive “treatment” will never be a solution to elderly depression.


[2] Ibid



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Funding the Fraud
27 Apr

Psychiatry: Stop Funding the Fraud

Funding the FraudThe primary product of psychiatry seems to be an increase in the number of normal behaviors categorized as mental illnesses, which has skyrocketed sales for drug companies.

Even mental health professionals are complaining about the meteoric rise in psychiatric intervention and the “pathologizing of normal behaviors.” Psychologist Bruce Levine in an article entitled “Why the Rise of Mental Illness? Pathologizing Normal, Adverse Drug Effects, and a Peculiar Rebellion” cites statistics indicating that between 1987 and 2007 the number of people with disabling mental disorders covered by key federal programs increased more than two and a half times. Worse, “for children, the rise is even more startling—a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades.”[i]

The growth in insurable mental “diseases” identified in the psychiatric diagnostic “bible” confirms this escalating trend. In 1952, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) listed 106 disorders; in 1968 it was 182; in 1980 it was 265 and in 1994 it hit 365.[ii]

Levine also cites respected investigative journalist Robert Whitaker who examined 50 years of scientific literature to determine what lies behind the apparent rise in mental health problems: “Whitaker argues that the adverse effects of psychiatric medications are the primary cause of the epidemic.” In short, the “cure” is the cause.

We see this kind of increased reach in our military. According to a 2013 article in MilitaryTimes, “at least one in six service members is on some form of psychiatric drug” though the percentage is probably higher today. MilitaryTimes found the armed forces spent at least $1.1 billion on psychiatric and pain medications between 2001 and 2009, representing a stunning 76 percent increase in the use of such drugs. This is not without consequences: the Military Times also reported that “doctors — and, more recently, lawmakers — are questioning whether the drugs could be responsible for the spike in military suicides during the past several years, an upward trend that roughly parallels the rise in psychiatric drug use.”[iii]

Addictions Aren’t Solutions

The standard “care” given by psychiatrists today is to prescribe one or more mind-altering, addictive drugs. Drug dealers, illegal or otherwise, always seem to target youth. Cigarette companies did for years because “the overwhelming majority of smokers first begin to smoke while still in their teens. In addition, the ten years following the teenage years is the period during which average daily consumption per smoker increases to the average adult level.”[iv]

Not even meth, cocaine or heroin dealers are so craven as to push drugs into the crib. But psychiatrists are.

The trend of drugging youth began by marketing speed-like drugs Ritalin and Adderall for “hyperactivity.” The New York Times reported in 2013 that even one of the early ADHD thought leaders, Keith Connors, characterized the skyrocketing numbers of kids on drugs a “national disaster of dangerous proportions.” The Times lay the blame at the doorstep of Big Pharma and their enabling psychiatrists: the “…rise of A.D.H.D. diagnoses and prescriptions for stimulants over the years coincided with a remarkably successful two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents.”[v]

Now national trends indicate that psychiatrists are actively pushing into the baby market. A 2015 article in Medical Daily entitled “Psychiatric Drugs For Babies? More Kids Aged 2 And Under Getting Prescribed Antipsychotics” reveals that psychiatric drug prescribing patterns are getting worse “especially among children under the age of 2.” The article reports that “psychotropic drug prescriptions among babies doubled in one year … despite the lack of evidence that shows they are effective and safe for young children.”[vi]

Addicting someone to a psychoactive drug may be a “solution” for the pusher — it guarantees ongoing revenue and dependence — but it is not and never has been a solution for those who become addicted.

Vested Interests Aren’t Objective

If an auto mechanic pushed a repair that obviously benefited his company, we’d instinctively know to be wary. We should have the same wariness when it comes to addictive, psychoactive drugs.

A scandal erupted several years ago when it was disclosed that a prominent proponent of psychiatric child-drugging was on Big Pharma’s payroll. The New York Times noted that “a world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials.”[vii]

A published excerpt of Enrico Gnualati’s 2013 book Back to Normal: The Overlooked, Ordinary Explanations for Kid’s ADHD, Bipolar and Autistic-Like Behavior points out that “In 2008, psychiatric drugs sold in the United States netted their makers $40.3 billion. A good portion of that amount involved drugs commonly prescribed to kids.” The book also noted that “Among drug reps, it is common knowledge that kids are a lucrative market.”[viii]

Psychiatrists and drug companies are vested interests. It is foolish to think they will make the right purchasing decision for the public.

Criminal Acts

Universal Health Services (UHS) is America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain with more than 200 facilities. According to the website “UHS Behind Closed Doors”, UHS is “under investigation as ‘a corporate entity’ by the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Fraud Section.”[ix] The investigation is large, covering multiple facilities and an extensive pattern of anti-patient activity. An entire website,, is dedicated to tracking UHS’s legal and other problems.

Other media have extensively covered UHS’s unsavory behavior including the BuzzFeed News “Locked On the Psych Ward”, aptly subtitled “Lock them in. Bill their insurer. Kick them out. How scores of employees and patients say America’s largest psychiatric chain turns patients into profits.”[x]

UHS is not an isolated case. Many examples of direct psychiatric fraud exist – a Google search for “mental health Medicaid fraud” turns up a wealth of references including an Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report entitled “Fighting Fraud at Community Mental Health Centers.” The OIG investigation into Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) found that “fraud at CMHCs is not new, and OIG studies on CMHCs show that it isn’t isolated. For example, the report ‘Questionable Billing by Community Health Centers’ found approximately half of CMHCs had unusually high billing for at least one of nine questionable billing characteristics.”[xi]

Next Steps

Beyond the individual and corporate crimes, the larger problem is continued funding for a field that demonstrates an inability to make things better, routinely promotes addiction as a solution and rarely makes known their vested interests when pushing their latest and greatest concoction.

We wouldn’t continue to fund a local auto mechanic who routinely ripped off customers. So, why should we continue to fund an overreaching, scandal-ridden, psychiatric vested interest that does more harm than good?


[i]Why the Rise of Mental Illness? Pathologizing Normal, Adverse Drug Effects, and a Peculiar Rebellion,

[ii] Ibid

[iii] “Medicating the military — Use of psychiatric drugs has spiked; concerns surface about suicide, other dangers”,

[iv]“Why and How the Tobacco Industry Sells Cigarettes to Young Adults: Evidence From Industry Documents”,

[v] “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder”,

[vi] “Psychiatric Drugs For Babies? More Kids Aged 2 And Under Getting Prescribed Antipsychotics”,

[vii] “Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay”,

[viii] “A Toddler on 3 Different Psychiatric Meds? How Drugging Kids Became Big Business”,

[ix] “Criminal investigation of UHS facilities widens to include parent company”,

[x] “Locked On The Psych Ward”,

[xi]“Fighting Fraud at Community Mental Health Centers”,

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11 Apr

Crocodile Tears: Florida Mental Health Begs More University Funds

In a bid to gain more taxpayer money, University System of Florida members are recommending an expansion of their mental health programs on campus.

Dr. Andy King, counseling center director for the University of Florida pleaded with lawmakers. “It may not be you, but it’s your classmate, it’s your roommate, it’s your fraternity brother, it’s your sorority sister.”

They have even come up with a catchy phrase for their plan: “Stronger, Smarter, Safer.”

In a remarkable understatement, King said he is “…asking the state to kick in a little because [the state] is benefiting.”

His concept of “a little” actually equates to millions of dollars. His reasoning? The cost is a mere fraction of what is saved in the long run, for a healthy community.

But Dr. King’s idea of “healthy” may differ just a little from the usual definition. And his catch phrase, which includes the word “safer”, may need a little tweaking, since prescribing psychiatric drugs is definitely not off the plate, and these drugs are definitely not safe. 1

Shocking Statistics 2015-2016

Of the 24,700 students in the State University Systems of Florida who received services from counseling centers, more than 14,900 were on psychiatric drugs, with 1,700 students having made a previous suicide attempt.

The tally of Baker Act hospitalizations of students (involuntary exam and detention) was at 440, up 140 students from the previous year. 2

Mental Health Profession not observing the obvious

Either Dr. King and his cohorts are ignorant or simple greed for additional funds has blinded them to the effects of psychiatric drugs. For it has long been known that what passes for “help” from psych pharmaceuticals can result in a deadly dive into the blackest and deepest of all mental states.

The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) issued a warning as early as 2004, that “…children and adolescents taking antidepressant medications might experience increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In June 2005, this warning was extended to include young adults up to age 25. That’s because studies showed that children and adolescents taking antidepressants were almost twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts or to attempt suicide, compared to patients taking a sugar pill. The FDA required antidepressant drug manufacturers to add a ‘black box’ to the label warning about the increased risk for children. The warning also says that children and adolescents taking the types of antidepressant known as ‘serotonin reuptake inhibitors’ (SSRIs) should be carefully watched for increased depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or ‘unusual changes in behavior, such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations.’ Placing a black box around a warning, similar to those for cigarettes, is the strongest type of warnings about risks that the FDA requires, and indicates FDA’s great concern.”

Suicide is not the only known mental side effect of antidepressants. In 2015 a Swedish study reported that 1.3% of teenagers and adults taking SSRIs were convicted of a violent crime. Statistically, only 0.6% of those in this age group not taking SSRIs had a violent crime conviction. This risk increased among the youngest group. In fact, 3.3% of SSRI patients age 15-24 had a violent crime conviction. 3

Student’s Mental Health Complaints Mirror Psychiatric Drug Side Effects

In the State University System of Florida Governors’ Report, the most common mental complaints of students “remain constant.”

What are the some of the reported issues?

  • Anxiety
  • Relationship Issues
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Fear of losing control and acting violently
  • Thoughts of hurting others 4

In this most unscientific of professions, psychiatry seems incapable of matching their patient’s complaints with the side effects of the drugs they themselves have prescribed to them. Since it is difficult to believe they have accidentally missed this connection, other, darker conclusions must be drawn.

Psychiatry’s Ties to Big Pharma

In a Psychology Today article, the unmistakable ties of psychiatry to pharmaceutical giants are explored.

Marcia Angell, M.D. has researched the influence of pharmaceutical companies on psychiatry and has drawn some disturbing conclusions. She cites the work of Irving Kirsch, PhD and professor of psychology at the University of Hull. Kirsch conducted research on the effectiveness of anti-depressants, reviewing forty-two placebo controlled clinical tries that had been classified and unpublished. He used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain this previously hidden data. 5

Dr. Kirsch’s Surprising Discovery

Of the 42 studies cited, placebos were found to be 82% as effective as the drugs tested. The average difference between the reviewed drugs and the placebos was, according to him “clinically unimpressive.”

Dr. Angell’s conclusion as to why psychiatrists continue prescribing antidepressants so frequently has “more to do with the pharmaceutical industry’s success at marketing to psychiatrists than the actual clinical effectiveness of such drugs.” 6

When the psychiatric profession demands more funds to help them in their quest to “treat” mental disorders, the rest of us must stand firm. This profession is either incapable of observing the intolerable effects created by their most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals, or they are more concerned with lining their pockets than improving the health and well-being of their patients.







6   ibid

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Esteban Santiago
11 Apr

Florida Airport Shooter: Another Example of Psychiatric Drug Induced Violence?

Esteban Santiago

Photo Credit


Esteban Santiago checked in a single bag holding a handgun when he made the trip from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale in January 2017. Upon arrival, he recovered the gun from baggage claim, loaded it in a bathroom stall and opened fire on innocent travelers, killing five.

It’s a scenario we’ve heard before: an horrifically violent, seemingly random act perpetrated by an individual who friends and neighbors describe in terms that don’t jive with the image of a stone-cold killer. And if it seems that such stories are happening with perplexing frequency, it may be because they are; and most of these gruesome stories have a single element in common: the perpetrator is on or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.

Psychiatric Drugs and Violence

How common have these incidents become? One website,, has gathered more than 6,000 stories from media and scientific journals in which “prescription drugs were mentioned and in which the drugs may be linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including violence.”[1]

Based on the flood of stories it has collected and research on the link between psychiatric drugs and violence, has developed a description of the way psychiatric drug-linked violence differs from non-drug induced violence which closely matches Santiago’s brutal actions:

Medication-induced violence is different from regular violence. It can manifest as bizarre and random actions without apparent motive. Sometimes, it is based on a sudden impulse without any warning. Other times, thought distortion leads to elaborate plans, but the violence still makes no rational sense.[2]

Psychiatric Drugs And the Military

Santiago’s connection with psychiatric drugs is not just supposition. The New York Times and both reported that Santiago’s family stated Santiago, an Iraq war veteran, changed dramatically after his tour of duty[3]. The New York Times quoted Santiago’s uncle, Hernan Rivera, as saying “After Iraq, something happened. When he came back from Iraq, he was a different person.”[4]

Often changes in veterans’ personalities are casually chalked up to their experience in war but recently attention is being focused on the role that psychiatric drugs play in such transformations. This focus has come about because of the disconcerting link between active military duty and psychiatric drugs. The Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) has summarized reporting that shows psychiatric drugs are being prescribed to deployed troops in unprecedented quantities. The AHRP article notes “the increasingly high number of DEATHS in the US military–from suicides, accidental overdose, and, increasingly, lethal drug interactions–has been linked to the exponential increase in the prescribing of powerful, psychotropic drugs” [5]

Santiago and Psychiatric Drugs

Unfortunately, at this stage of the case against Santiago, information on his possible psychiatric history while in the military is not widely available. CCHR Florida contacted the public defender assigned to defend Santiago but he was unable to share any information related to Santiago’s psychiatric history.

What is not in doubt, however, is Santiago’s contact with psychiatry after his service. An article in the Alaska Dispatch News, among others, describes an encounter Santiago had with the FBI in November 2016 that resulted in Santiago being driven to a psychiatric hospital by the police where he was reported held for a few days.[6]

According to a March 2017 report in the Naples Daily News, Santiago’s attorney “say he’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder”[7] which generally means he has been prescribed psychiatric drugs.

As Santiago’s case proceeds through the justice system, more may be revealed about his psychiatric history and the possible effect of psychiatric drugs on his behavior.

Should it be determined that psychiatric drugs played a role in driving him to kill five innocent people, no comfort will be afforded to the families of those who were lost. But, with more public scrutiny on the devastating effects wrought by these drugs, greater control on their use and efforts to hold drug companies responsible for the effects of their drugs, perhaps other lives can be saved.









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Mental Health Fraud in Florida
26 Mar

Mental Health Funding – Propping up a Fraudulent System

Mental Health Fraud in FloridaPR men hired by pharmaceutical companies and psychiatric vested interests have created a false world peopled by millions of the “under served” mentally ill.

According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) 1 out of 5 adults suffer from mental illness in any given year. 1

This number may seem extravagant, but the defining bible of psychiatric disorders (the DSM) has been called a hoax for its reduction of everyday human emotional reactions to “mental disorders,” a convenient way to increase the number, at least on paper, of those who suffer from mental illness.

Psychotherapist Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. states in Psychology Today, “The DSM is a disease-mongering naming game where collections of disparate painful thoughts and feelings and unwanted or distressing behaviors are given profit-seeking labels. That is all the DSM does. It tells a story about life, that behaviors like restlessness and feelings like sadness are medical problems, without ever announcing its premises or its motives. It doesn’t just name or label: it imputes. By calling sadness ‘depression’ or restlessness ‘attention deficit disorder’ it secretly imputes biological causes for which there is no evidence. They want us to believe that biological abnormality is at play, so that they can prescribe drugs, without having to frankly say that there are biological abnormalities at play, which might require that they prove their assertions.” 2

The Motive is Profit

Dr. Maisel also states, “…in fact the creators of the DSM blithely announce that they are unconcerned about whether or not their definition of a ‘mental disorder’ is true. They explain that ‘The diagnosis of a mental disorder should have clinical utility,’ not that it should be true. There you go. Since they do not mean by clinical utility that a diagnosis be either valid or reliable, they must mean that it be profitable.” 3

That psychiatric drugs are profitable is undeniable. In this unholy alliance between pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists, money in the billions of dollars is amassed annually.

In a 12 month study, from June 2013 to July 2014 the following psychiatric drugs showed billions of dollars of profit individually.

  1. Abilify ($7,240,043,661) Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion by the Dept. of Justice for promoting this drug for off label purposes. A mere slap on the wrist when the profit for sales of the drug was over 7 billion.
  2. Cymbalta ($2,839,722,673) This drug costs $200 for 30 capsules.
  3. Lyrica ($2,782,036,977) Once again, Pfizer was fined 2.3 billion by the Dept. of Justice for promoting this drug for off label purposes. Another wrist slap for the pharmaceutical giant.
  4. Vyvanse ($1,940,313,035) This drug costs $200 for 30 capsules.
  5. Namenda ($1,774,338,290) $300 for a 30 day supply
  6. Suboxone ($1,388,999,843)
  7. Seroquel XR ($1,266,841,322) 4

Obviously there is big money in convincing a large portion of the population they are mentally ill.

Fraud in Florida?

John and Catherine Drew operate Florida Psychological Associates in northeastern Florida. It seems the two of them wanted to “start a pilot program” to conduct early mental health assessment for schoolchildren and criminal defendants. But they were a bit cash-strapped.

Senator Aaron Bean, a close family friend, came to the rescue. Initially Sen. Bean asked legislative leaders to add $700,000 to the state budget for the Drew’s pet project. When this proposal was eventually completely rejected by the House, Bean and his buddies got a little creative.

A lawmaker said that Bean asked him to make a $1 million request for the program that was hidden in the Florida State University College of Medicine budget.

The secret $1 million appropriation would not be subject to the governor’s line-item veto.

Sen. Bean and Drew discussed this proposal via email. Apparently there was no “shredding” of these emails, as on December 18, 2015 an email addressed to the senator, a marketing consultant and other people openly discussed how “everyone involved in the effort stood to benefit financially from the deal.” 5

This flagrant example of political aid towards a mental health vested interest may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Mental Health Funding: Who Wins, Who Loses?

Pharmaceutical companies have very deep pockets; in 2015 Drug companies spent $5.2 billion on TV ads. 6 Obviously this has paid off enormously – witness the profit for individual drugs as stated earlier.

The alliance between drug companies and prescription-writing psychiatrists is undeniable. There is certainly a vested interest in convincing us, their hoped-for public, that our emotional upsets, our grief and our confusions are due to a “chemical imbalance in the brain” and not merely human reaction to life on planet earth.

Stating that they, the psychiatric industry has the solution to our “mental disorders” is taken from an ancient marketing playbook: convince your public they need your product, then provide it at a great profit.

But this product has grave consequences for the consumer.

Dr. Robert Berezin writes in Psychology Today, “People actually believe that human struggle is a brain disease. It is now taken as fact that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain and psychoactive drugs is just what the doctor ordered. We can now cure biological depression with antidepressants; biological anxiety with benzodiazepines; the fictitious ADHD with, of all things, amphetamines; insomnia with benzodiazepines, and other bizarre psychoactive drugs… The real source of human suffering is not, nor ever has been, the brain.” 7

We can and must prevent extortion of our tax dollars by those pushing mental health funding. The number of psychiatrists and psychologists who are whistle blowers for their professions is increasing. Hopefully their message will drown out the false claims of the profit hungry psychiatrists and pharmaceutical company executives.




3   ibid





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26 Mar

For-profit Psychiatric Hospitals Rake in Millions While Under Investigation for Fraud

Universal Health Services, Inc., headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. (Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA)

For-profit psychiatric hospitals have continued cheating taxpayers and abusing government programs with fraudulent billing practices. At the same time they are piling up record profits, these facilities deliver terrible service to patients and create a dangerous working environment for hospital staff.

As early as 1998 Psychiatric Times reported that some private health care centers were billing $600 to $700 a day per patient for their services. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) who managed the Medicare program for elderly patients kicked 80 of these for-profit Community Health Care Centers out of the Medicare program for the rampant fraud, errors and abuse.

What was Medicare being billed for by these CMHCs? Services not covered, not provided and not medically necessary including non-medical related entertainment like bingo.

The Psychiatric Times reported that between 1993 and 1996 eleven cents out of every dollar spent on Medicare reimbursements were the result of fraud, error or abuse. Thus, $38.5 million dollars were diverted from the elderly into the pockets of noncomplying clinic operators. [i]

But the for-profit psychiatric hospital industry was just getting wise to the vast sums to be made contracting to provide services for government mental health programs.

Did This Financial Abuse Ever Get Handled?

Today, Universal Health Services, Inc (UHS) runs the biggest network of private for-profit psychiatric hospitals in the United States – They operate 221 behavioral care facilities located throughout 38 states.

This equates to providing 20% of all inpatient behavioral health services in the country.

The UHS story is a prime example of the poor oversight given to private psychiatric facilities and the slap on the wrist attitude that has allowed them to stay open while being investigated for fraud by state and federal agencies.

Media in Boston Describes UHS Fraud

In 2013 the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health suspended Brookline psychiatric hospital – part of UHS’s Arbour group of facilities – from admitting any new patients due to unsafe conditions.

This stemmed from serious safety and human rights violations including the forcible strip-search of a woman.

The woman was restrained physically, medicated and stripped of her clothing with little regard to her privacy.

Many staff members, male and female, were involved in this incident including but not limited to the maintenance staff. A video camera showed people stopping by to watch the procedure through the window to the patient’s room.

But Brookline was very soon accepting patients again because the state inspector was satisfied that Arbour was working on improving things. Yet no changes were made to the hospital’s administrative staff who allowed this human rights abuse to take place. [ii]

Then in 2016, Brookline and 3 other UHS psychiatric hospitals In Massachusetts received surprise visits from inspectors and again abuses were found.

This time inspectors found such prevalent patient care problems that the state officials were forced to send in an onsite monitor to oversee improvements. [iii]

Deficiencies at the 4 UHS facilities included insufficient staff, failure to check on patients every 15 minutes as required, incomplete treatment plans, dirty bedrooms, and vacancies in key leadership positions. Three of the four hospitals lack a chief executive. Patients complained of being treated disrespectfully.

Despite these deplorable conditions, only a mild warning was given by the State of Massachusetts.[iv]

But again in 2016 the Arbour Health Systems owned by UHS was in trouble.

UHS’s reputation for fraud had exploded, with facilities across the country being investigated by the Department of Justice. All five Massachusetts UHS hospitals were included in these investigations.

In one instance, The US Supreme Court planned to review a case brought by the parents of a deceased Massachusetts teenager against Universal Health Services. Yarushka Rivera died soon after receiving care at an Arbour clinic in Lawrence. Her parents contend that the company defrauded government insurance programs by charging for services provided by therapists unqualified to care for their daughter, who was covered by Medicaid. [v]

Less than a year later Brookline was back in The Boston Globe news. It was discovered by workplace safety inspectors that employees had suffered broken bones and concussions while interacting with violent patients.

According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the hospital “has not developed and implemented adequate measures to protect employees from aggressive patients. Nurses and mental health workers were punched, hit, scratched, bitten, and hit with objects including a soda bottle and a wooden dresser drawer,” the federal agency said. [vi]

What did OSHA do? Fined the hospital a token $12,675!

OSHA also told the hospital it should address the lapses by hiring more staff, implementing a “buddy system” for employees responding to violent patients, equipping staff with silent emergency alert buttons, and forming a violence prevention team. [vii]

However, UHS does not have a good record of voluntary compliance with actually making their promised improvements.

UHS Still Racking Up Profits in Florida While Under Fraud Investigations

Central Florida Behavioral Hospital in Orlando is an example of a UHS facility still doing business as usual despite investigations and continuous reports of violations.

Here is a timeline of some of their issues:

  • Local attorney Mac McLeod wins settlement of more than $10 million in Orange County wrongful death case. Date: April 23, 2016
  • Feds widen fraud probe of Universal Health Services to include headquarters. Date: April 1, 2015
  • Questions surround man’s death while in care of Central Florida Behavioral Hospital. Date: October 9, 2014
  • Patient with known nut allergy given peanut butter in suicide attempt. Date: August 27, 2014
  • Patient Not Given Prescribed Medications. Date: July 17, 2013
  • Patient Escape Through Entrance Door. Date: December 7, 2012
  • Young Patients Shuffled Between Units Because Census Exceeded Capacity. Date: December 14, 2011
  • Informed Consent for Meds not Obtained for Four Patients. Date: February 12, 2009
  • Patient Vitals Not Documented. Date: January 15, 2009 [viii]

Meanwhile the fiscal report for Central Florida Behavioral Hospital looked like this in 2015:

They showed total assets of $39,854,335.58

Their General Revenue income for the year was only $7,121.75

But their Contract Income from Medicaid, The Dept. of Children and Families and the Juvenile Welfare Board was $80,429,807.50 [ix]

UHS facilities are propped up by their government contracts to deliver psychiatric services to kids, adults and seniors.

Despite years of abuse reports and investigations, UHS still provides 1 out of every 5 psychiatric beds in the US.

UHS receives $2.3 billion dollars annually from Medicare and Medicaid for their behavioral health care services.

They receive hundreds of millions more from the military for veterans’ mental health care. [x]

The Golden Goose May Be Coming to an End

With the Justice Department looking into UHS hospitals across the country, employee unions speaking out about the abuses and media investigations in many cities, this profit motivated behemoth may find it’s not such a great business model after all.

When a Buzzfeed investigative article appeared on Dec. 7th 2016 the company’s stock lost 12% in one day for its investors.

Because of this loss, Lundin Law PC, a shareholder rights firm announced a class action lawsuit recently against Universal Health Services, Inc. calling for shareholders who purchased or otherwise acquired Universal Health shares between February 26, 2015 and December 7, 2016 to join the lawsuit.

Lundin Law points out in its case that “[c]urrent and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method – which sometimes meant exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal – and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out.” [xi]

Legitimate lawsuits by investors, victims and employees could bring a fitting end to this fraudulent chain of for-profit psychiatric hospitals.





[iv] Ibid



[vii] Ibid






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Mental Health
16 Mar

Mental Health Legislation: Good-Hearted People Swayed by Vested Interests

Mental HealthWhat is at the heart of a new demand for mental health legislation in Florida? Obviously, Floridians love to help. Most all of us would stop and assist a lost child, happily provide food to hungry veterans or provide holiday gifts to families in need. Seemingly it is in the nature 98 percent of the world’s population to help our fellows. Those of us in Florida are no different.

But are psychiatrists and mental health workers actually helping their patients? This is wildly debatable, even within their own ranks.

This quote from The Sun Sentinel illustrates a point:

“In Titusville, a mentally ill man randomly shot and killed an elderly patient and employee at a hospital. The shooter had previously been arrested and taken into custody for mental health evaluations multiple times.” 1

A usual part of  a “mental health evaluation” is a treatment plan. Was this mentally ill man prescribed one (or several) psychotropic drugs? Even if he were not on a psychiatric medication, how accurate could the evaluation and treatment have been, since it ended with a double murder?

Psychiatry Admits Inability to Cure

The profession of psychiatry admits their helplessness to permanently improve the lot of the mentally distressed, as in this statement made in Psychology Today “…regardless of any scientific breakthroughs looming on the horizon, the treatment for mental illness tomorrow, will look pretty much like it does today. Mentally ill persons will still need a coordinated team of professionals to deliver adequate care. We will still need psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, financial assistance programs, outreach teams and crisis intervention. There will still be sticky court cases regarding ‘forced’ treatment. Psychiatric hospitals, outpatient offices and emergency rooms will still be there.” 2

Numerous psychotropic drugs have been linked to violent behavior and other disturbing side effects. In a Time article from 2011, nine out of the top 10 drugs associated with violence are psychiatric drugs. 3

Psychiatric Drugs: An Elephant in the Room

The English idiom “Elephant in the room” perfectly describes the phenomena of legislative and public blindness to this disturbing and tragic situation. Many find it hard to believe that their doctor would ever prescribe something that could potentially cause harm.

While psychiatry lobbies for legislation to protect and expand their questionable activities, some in their rank are attempting to reign them in.

In a 2016 Psychology Today interview, psychiatrist Peter Breggin states,

“When taken for months or years, all psychiatric drugs can seriously damage the brain, prevent recovery, and ruin the individual’s quality of life.”

In this same interview Dr. Breggin speaks of his court victories in testifying for those harmed by psychiatry.  “I am proud to have been the medical or psychiatric expert in the very first malpractice trial victories involving electroshock (ECT) and psychosurgery, and more recently, many cases involving the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs such as tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder caused by antipsychotic drugs), and murder and suicide caused by antidepressants, stimulants, and  benzodiazepines.” 4

Alternatives to Psychiatric Treatment

There may be inertia in the United States in changing how the profoundly mentally ill are treated.

But one shining example our own country might follow is that of the town of Geel, in Belgium. For centuries, the severely mentally disturbed have lived in Geel, boarding with people who take them in and watch over them. They are not treated with drugs or electroshock therapy. They are not called patients, they are called “boarders.”  They are happy, proving once and for all that there are humane ways to deal with the truly mentally ill. 5

For the millions of people falsely labeled with a mental disorder and prescribed harmful pharmaceuticals, education into the side effects with stress on alternative and natural treatments is key. For instance, there is strong evidence that fish oil can manage depression. 6

We don’t need more Mental Health Legislation. Many would argue we need the opposite, legislation to reign in psychiatry and protect Florida citizens from its potential abuse.







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Crazy Brain Medicine
16 Mar

CCHR Files over 2,300 Complaints on Psychiatric Abuse in Florida

Crazy Brain MedicineThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to the eradication of abuses committed under the guise of mental health, has filed over 2,300 complaints on psychiatric abuse in Florida in an ongoing effort to clean up the field of mental health.

As a non-profit mental health watchdog that has, for 48 years, worked to protect patients’ rights, CCHR receives numerous reports, through its investigations and otherwise, of alleged abuse or fraud and since 2015 the Florida chapter has filed over 2,300 complaints with the appropriate government agencies and state officials in an effort to clean up psychiatric abuse in the state.

“Filing complaints on behalf of these victims is just one of the actions we are taking to change the mental health system and protect all citizens under the law,” said Diane Stein, President CCHR Florida. “We are the voice for those who have suffered at the hands criminal psychiatrists.”

CCHR Florida has a psychiatric abuse hotline that receives complaints from people who have been the victims of abuse within the mental health industry.  The types of abuse range from unlawful detainment, to over drugging, sexual assault and even death.

The hotline is manned by staff and volunteers trained in the mental health law, commonly known as the Baker Act, through the Florida Department of Children and Families. When a person calls for help they are educated on their rights under the law, given assistance to address the situation they are calling about and the abuse they or their loved ones suffered is documented so that a complaint can be filed on their behalf and with their permission.

Victims of psychiatric abuse, as well as their friends and family, are encouraged to call the hotline at 800-782-2878, to fill out an abuse case report form on the CCHR website or to come into the center at 109 N. Fort Harrison which is open seven days a week.  The assistance provided by CCHR is free of charge.

About CCHR:

Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections.

It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world.  In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed.  All in the name of ‘mental health.’”

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01 Mar

CCHR Florida Steps Up Campaign to Protect the Elderly from Harmful Baker Acting

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to the eradication of abuses committed under the guise of mental health, stepped up a campaign launched in 2016 to educate the elderly on their rights under the mental health by asking Florida Legislators to help stop the unnecessary and harmful Baker Acting of seniors.

After asking Florida Legislators to help stop the unnecessary and harmful Baker Acting of seniors, CCHR announced a month long open house in honor of Brain Awareness week at the center located in downtown Clearwater beginning March 1st, as part of the campaign to protect the stop the harmful Baker Acting of seniors.

According to the Annual Report of Baker Act Data, 13,856 individuals 65 and older were sent for involuntary psychiatric examination in 2015.  While this is only about 7% of the total number of initiated involuntary examinations, it is known that there is a real danger of harm being caused in the transfer of senior citizens from long-term care facilities to Baker Act facilities.[i]

In fact, a Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) report[ii] which references an article titled “A Brief Literature Review of the Effects of Relocation on the Elderly” states that long term care elderly patients have an elevated mortality risk between 1.99 and 3.76 times greater when they are relocated.  This same DCF report also states that according to the U.S government’s Administration on Aging, Transfer Trauma, a sudden and unexpected relocation, is associated with depression, increased irritability, serious illness and elevated mortality risk for the frail elderly.

In 2016, CCHR launched a campaign in honor of National Senior Citizens Day to help protect the elderly from abuse under the mental health law and this week stepped up the campaign to begin asking Florida Legislators to help stop unnecessary and potentially harmful Baker Acting.

“People suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s are not mentally ill and should not be Baker Acted,” said Diane Stein, President CCHR Florida. “A 289 page report created in 2013 by the Purple Ribbon Task Force[iii] in Florida clearly states that Baker Acting is not an appropriate intervention yet it is still being done with regularity.”

For more information on the open house or the protection of elder rights under the mental health law please call 727-442-8820 or visit

About CCHR:

Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections.

It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world.  In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed.  All in the name of ‘mental health.’” For more information visit,


[i] A Brief Literature Review of the Effects of Relocation on the Elderly

[ii] Florida Department of Health, Long Term Care Facilities Alternatives to the Baker Act

[iii] 2013 FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Forms of Dementia (ADRD)


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