Antipsychotics (also known as neuroleptics) are psychiatric drugs used to control psychosis such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Thorazine and Haldol are brand names from “the old days” but Zyprexa and Risperdal are the common brand names we see advertised today. The theory pitched is that there is abnormal brain chemistry in people with psychosis and these drugs correct that imbalance.

Not only is there no scientific evidence of any abnormality in the brain, but these drugs actually create an imbalance by distorting brain chemistry, which results in catastrophic side effects. What the drugs actually cause are worse than the symptoms themselves before any treatment began.

More specifically, what antipsychotics do is block dopamine receptors in the brain. To keep it simple, dopamine is a chemical produced in the brain that carries messages to other nerve cells or muscles. Dopamine is vital for the nervous system to be able to function normally. Antipsychotics block this normal function and create a chemical imbalance instead of fixing one that never existed in the first place. It is basically messing around with something that is key to your survival.

What is even more alarming is that these more recently developed antipsychotics claim to have fewer side effects than those of yesteryear. The truth is not only are the same adverse side effects still around such as tardive dyskinesia, (permanent involuntary repetitive body movements), but the list is much longer and more life-threatening. The most disturbing one is akathisia, which is a nervous agitation where one can’t sit still or ever get comfortable so that one feels like crawling out of one’s own skin. As a result, violence and suicide are also associated with this condition.

When one realizes how important those messages from the brain are to normal everyday function of the body, it makes sense that when those messages are blocked other physical conditions will appear. That is why diabetes, obesity, respiratory problems, heart problems and lowered life expectancy just to name a few, are all now side effects of taking antipsychotics.

Worst of all, after taking these drugs for awhile the psychosis can return requiring a higher dosage to stop the body’s effort to compensate for the detrimental effect of the drug. This produces a vicious circle leading to a permanent chemical dependence and higher chance of adverse side effects or even death.

In light of the above side effects, what are the benefits of taking antipsychotic drugs?