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.

Sources:

1   http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers

2   https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-psychology/201207/the-great-dsm-hoax

3   ibid

4   http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/08/12/top-selling-psychiatric-drugs-united-states-july-2013-june-2014/

5   http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/documents-florida-legislator-helped-friend-with-secret-1-million-state-payment/423919195

6   https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201605/the-effort-rid-tv-pharma-ads

7   https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-theater-the-brain/201507/psychiatric-drugs-are-false-prophets-big-profits