14 Aug

A Warning that cannot be ignored: Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence CCHR calls for Urgent Government Investigation

Psychiatric Drugs & Violence

Of 409 official psychiatric drug agency warnings, 49 warn of self-harm, suicide or suicidal ideation and 27 warn of violence, mania, psychosis, hostility, aggression and homicidal ideation.

The spate of recent mass shootings has prompted the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) to reiterate the urgent need for State and a Federal government investigation into the irrefutable link between psychotropic drugs and violence. The group is making its report, “Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide,” available to legislators which cites 16 studies that show psychotropic drugs create homicidal and suicidal reactions.  CCHR has documented at least 78 acts of senseless violence committed over several decades by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, leaving a wake of 464 deaths and 926 wounded.

The report cites 27 drug regulatory agency warnings that indicate psychotropic drug adverse effects that include mania, psychosis, hostility, aggression or homicidal ideation and nearly 50 warn of self-harm or suicide/suicidal ideation. [1]

Between the three current shooters, 34 people were killed and 63 wounded or injured.  Police found sedative hypnotic pills in one shooter’s room in another person’s name, questioning whether he was abusing them. Another shooter was a psychology student who once described himself as having several mental disorders and spoke of his “medication.”

Another shooter’s father is a licensed mental health counselor who once evaluated persons being admitted to a psychiatric facility on whether they were a “danger to themselves or others.” CCHR says this also raises questions about the abject failure of mental health screenings generally as a means of detecting or preventing violent behavior.  These behavioral screenings often lead to prescriptions of psychotropic drugs that cause the violent or suicidal behavior they’re supposed to prevent, CCHR says.

Patrick D. Hahn, an affiliate professor of Biology at Loyola University Maryland, warned: “The link between antidepressants and violence, including suicide and homicide, is well established.”[2]

There are millions of children and adolescents also at risk of this.  In 2017, IQVia’s statistics recorded more than 2.1 million 0-17-year olds prescribed antidepressants despite an FDA Black Box warning that they may cause suicide. Of these, 38,534 were aged 0-5 and 574,090 were 6-12 years old. [3]

A leading U.S. law firm that has examined the role of prescription drug-induced violence, reported on its website that “a large body of research has shown that psychiatric drugs can make people manic, psychotic, aggressive, suicidal, and homicidal. These are proven drug reactions, not symptoms of a mental illness. Unlike symptoms of a disorder, these reactions often disappear when the drug is withdrawn, or the dose lowered, and reappear when the drug is resumed.” [4]

Many mass shooters were taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. “Post-withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants may last several months to years and include disturbed mood, emotional lability (excessive emotional reactions and frequent mood changes) and irritability. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include perceptual distortions, depersonalization, paranoid thoughts, rage and aggression,” the law firm’s site points out.

The recent Texas averted killer, aged 19 and possibly taking antidepressants, was planning to have police kill him during his planned violent assault—known as “suicide by cop.”  A study from the Nordic Cochrane Centre and the University of Copenhagen published in the British Medical Journal concluded that “children and young people are more likely to think about or attempt suicide while taking antidepressants.” [5] In 2018, researchers established that in the past ten years, “antidepressant rates are associated with increased suicide rates.” [6]

Florida lawmakers gave more than $69 million to school districts for mental health following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. [7] But Diane Stein, the President of CCHR Florida states, “Funds apparently were not used to investigate whether psychiatric drugs and/or failed behavioral treatments played a role in that shooting in order to prevent others.  Yet the person charged over the massacre had a long history of mental health assessments and treatment.”

David Kirschner, Ph.D., a New York forensic psychologist who has evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, found that most had “been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence….” [8]

Jan Eastgate, President of CCHR International and Stein want to see Congressional and State investigations into psychiatric drug links to violence and accountability for the billions of dollars being given to prevent and address violence, which likely are exacerbating the situation. They point to the Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety released in December

2018 which did not review evidence of psychotropic drug-induced violence and suicide. Rather, the report prompted the Health and Human Services Secretary to advise the White House: “We’ve got to get kids on psychosocial and psychotropic medications to treat them.” The secretary is a past president of the manufacturer of an antidepressant linked to five high profile killings during his tenure with the company and which left 21 dead and 30 wounded. Three of the killers were aged 12, 16 and 20 and two committed suicide. [9]

Eastgate adds, “The widespread use of psychotropic drugs is not only harming individuals but also our communities with increased suicides and acts of violence.  There should be accountability and penalties for manufacturers and prescribers of these dangerous chemicals when they result in damage, addiction, suicide and violent acts. Drug regulatory agencies should withdraw psychotropic drugs from the market that endanger lives.”

CCHR recommends people read “Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide” and report any incidents of adverse effects from psychiatric drugs or treatment.



[2] Patrick D. Hahn, “Antidepressants: a deadly treatment?” Baltimore Sun, 11 Apr. 2015,



[5] “Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens,” NHS (UK), 28 Jan. 2016,

[6] Martin Plöderl, PhD & Michael P. Hengartner, Ph.D.,  “Suicides Are Increasing – And So Are Antidepressant Prescriptions,” MAD, 23 Aug. 2018,

[7] “Florida spent $69M on mental health after Parkland but didn’t mention suicide prevention,” Tampa Bay Times, 27 Mar. 2019,

[8] “Mass Murderers and Psychiatric Drugs,” Behaviorism and Mental Health, 22 Sept. 2014,

[9] Between 2007 and 2017, Arcan Cetin (20), Jose Reyes (12); Jeff Weise (16); Steven Kazmierczak (27). The case that first questioned the role of Prozac in violence was Joseph Wesbecker in 1989, who killed 8 and wounded 12 in Kentucky.

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06 Aug

Getting it Right About Antidepressants, CCHR and a Global Concern About Psychiatric Drug Dependency and Risks

Patients have not been warned of the horrific withdrawal effects, a point that psychiatrist Allen Frances made in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2018.

Patients have not been warned of the horrific withdrawal effects, a point that psychiatrist Allen Frances made in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2018.

Current debates in the media about antidepressants raise important issues—global antidepressant use is soaring, but the once-touted “miracle pills” now carry international drug regulatory agency warnings that potentially link them to suicides and acts of violence while studies show them to be “largely ineffective and potentially harmful.” [1] Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, a mental health watchdog group, wants consumers to be better informed about the drugs and provides a searchable online database to easily find the side effects of antidepressants and other prescription psychiatric drugs, as reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

About 43 million Americans currently take antidepressants. [2] Shockingly, IQVia’s statistics for 2017 show that more than 2.1 million 0-17 year olds are prescribed antidepressants despite the 2004 FDA Black Box warning that they may cause suicide. Even more worrying is that of these, 38,534 are aged 0-5 and 574,090 are 6-12 years old. [3]

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of antidepressant use among teens and adults increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008. [4]

In 2018, Martin Plöderl, Ph.D. and Michael P. Hengartner, Ph.D., reported findings from research, stating: “If you look at the past 10 years, antidepressant rates are associated with increased suicide rates,” the drugs “most likely cause suicidal behavior in young people” and “data strongly suggest that antidepressants can cause suicides and aggressive behavior.” [5]

A study from the Nordic Cochrane Centre and the University of Copenhagen published in the British Medical Journal also concluded that “children and young people are more likely to think about or attempt suicide while taking antidepressants.” [6]

There are global concerns about a growing dependency upon a biological approach to treating mental health issues. In 2017, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, reported: “There is now unequivocal evidence of the failures of a system that relies too heavily on the biomedical model of mental health services, including the front-line and excessive use of psychotropic medicines, and yet these models persist.” Mr. Pūras warned that power and decision-making in mental health are concentrated in the hands of “biomedical gatekeepers,” particularly those representing biological psychiatry. He called for a sea of change in mental health care around the world. [7]

Comments that the Democratic presidential leader, Marianne Williamson, recently made about antidepressants not treating a biological marker and being excessively prescribed seem to align with what Dr. Pūras advises. [8] It’s not an uncommon view. In an interview for CNN in 2007, Dr. Ronald Dworkin, one of many critics who believe too many doctors unnecessarily prescribe antidepressants, said: “Doctors are now medicating unhappiness.” [9]

CCHR is not anti-medicine and it insists that people who suffer from mental travail, anxiety or depressed mood get the help they need. But that shouldn’t mean stigmatizing them with claims they are “diseased” when there is no evidence of physical/medical abnormality for any psychiatric disorder. Even Thomas Insel, psychiatrist, and former Director of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), said psychiatric “diagnoses are based on a consensus [vote] about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure [tests].” [10]

People choosing to take an antidepressant should be informed of such data. As CNN reported in 2009, “People who take antidepressants such as Paxil often say they feel less stressed and more outgoing, lively, and confident.” However, in a study covered in that report, the lead author, Tony Z. Tang, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois said: “Medication can definitely change people’s personalities, and change them quite substantially,” but that can mean a “tendency toward emotional instability and negative mood.” [11]

Patients have not been warned of the horrific withdrawal effects, a point that psychiatrist Allen Frances made in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2018. The interview was called “How Antidepressant Withdrawal ‘Can Trap People.’” Frances said, “There’s absolutely no interest on the part of the pharmaceutical companies in advertising the fact that getting on an antidepressant may trap you for years and maybe for life….” [12]

A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry concluded that “antidepressants are largely ineffective and potentially harmful.” Lead researcher Michael P. Hengartner at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland cited evidence that the likelihood of relapse is correlated with duration of treatment—the more one takes an antidepressant, the likelier one is to have another episode of depression. [13]

Dismissing important adverse effects of antidepressants that have been reported in peer-review medical journals does a disservice to consumers. It puts a $4.6 billion a year antidepressant market before patients’ safety and welfare. In the U.S., one of only two countries that allows Direct to Consumer TV and magazine marketing, antidepressants have been among the top advertised Rx category. [14]

Jan Eastgate, president of CCHR International, said: “It took years to get the real risks of SSRI antidepressants made public. Attorneys, doctors, parents and family members are among those that fought this battle. CCHR provides resources for consumers through its online Psychiatric Drugs Side Effects Database taken from FDA adverse drug reports. It continues to investigate and expose the psychopharmaceutical-psychiatric failures that stigmatize individuals in need of care but far too often are only offered physically damaging treatment.”

CCHR supports the UN Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras’ advice that “It is crucial now to assess the root causes of failure and to chart a way forward, reaching consensus on the best way to do this.” For more information visit or call 727-442-8820.

[1] Michael P. Hengartner, “Methodological Flaws, Conflicts of Interest, and Scientific Fallacies: Implications for the Evaluation of Antidepressants’ Efficacy and Harm,” Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7 Dec. 2017,
[2] IQVia Total Patient Tracker (TPT) Database, Year 2017, Extracted April 2018.
[4] “Astounding increase in antidepressant use by Americans,” Harvard Health Publishing, 20 Oct. 2011, ; “Antidepressants: Top Advertised & 3rd Most Commonly Used Rx Drug,” Pharma Marketing Blog, 24 Oct. 2011,
[5] Martin Plöderl, PhD & Michael P. Hengartner, Ph.D., “Suicides Are Increasing – And So Are Antidepressant Prescriptions,” MAD, 23 Aug. 2018,
[6] “Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens,” NHS (UK), 28 Jan. 2016,
[7] “World needs “revolution” in mental health care – UN rights expert,” United Nations Human Rights Officer of the High Commissioner, 6 June 2017,
[10] Thomas Insel, “Transforming Diagnosis,” NIMH Website, 20 Apr. 2013,
[11] Anne Harding, “Antidepressants change personality, study suggests,” 8 Dec. 2009,,,20412111,00.html
[13] Michael P. Hengartner, “Methodological Flaws, Conflicts of Interest, and Scientific Fallacies: Implications for the Evaluation of Antidepressants’ Efficacy and Harm,” Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7 Dec. 2017,
[14] “Antidepressants: Top Advertised & 3rd Most Commonly Used Rx Drug,” Pharma Marketing Blog, 24 Oct. 2011,

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31 Jul

ECT Damage: Are Psychiatrists Ignorant or Malicious?

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Psychiatrist Ugo Cerletti watched pigs being “anesthetized” with electroshock before they were butchered.

This seemed a delightful outcome to Cerletti. He proceeded to experiment on hapless dogs and other animals, producing “reliable epileptic fits.”

Apparently, this was not enough for Cerletti. Throwing science to the wind, he devised an unusual theory. It was based on his inept observation that “epilepsy, with its grand mals and schizophrenia didn’t seem to occur together often.”

This was proof enough for Cerletti. (After all, he didn’t have to undergo the procedure himself). Why not go for the gusto, and try out his brain-damaging procedure on a human being? In fact, in 1938 he and his partner Lucio Bini proclaimed that their electroshock “returned a patient to a normal state of mind.” [1]

What was the “unexpected benefit” of this “therapy?” It provoked retrograde amnesia, or a total memory loss of everything that occurred prior to the shock. So Cerletti’s patients had no negative feelings toward the therapy! Success! [2]

Apparently, it never entered Cerletti’s mind that this could be a bad thing.

His patients were no longer able to access memories of their loved ones, no longer able to go back in memory to an enjoyable day at the beach, unable to remember how to play an instrument, write a song or bake a cake. True, perhaps a traumatic experience was incidentally lost to memory as well.

But there are not many who would trade an entire life time of memories just to weed out a few unpleasant or traumatic events.

Woman Suffers Catastrophic Brain Injury from ECT

Earlier this year, an article in the British Medical Journal stated the following:

“Professor John Read at the University of East London, who has published several reviews of the ECT research literature, and Sue Cunliffe, a patient who has had ECT, say it has no long-term benefits compared with placebo and can cause brain damage.

“They argue that the many evidence reviews claiming that ECT works are based on only five studies that found a temporary lift in mood during treatment only, in about a third of patients. What’s more, none of them identify any placebo-controlled studies showing that ECT reduces depression beyond treatment or prevents suicide.”

Dr. Cunliffe was a pediatrician before she was given ECT. She was told it was safe. However, she suffered catastrophic brain injury from the treatment. She was no longer able to perform basic tasks. Although she has a diagnosis of ECT induced brain damage, her complaint was rejected by psychiatrists. [3]

Of course, how could her doctors possibly admit to causing this disastrous outcome?

Psychiatry Admits to Permanent Memory Loss with ECT

In a National Institutes of Health article, the following observation was made after one study on the effects of ECT:

“Compared with healthy subjects, patients had verbal learning and memory deficits. Subjects who had received remote ECT had further impairment on a variety of learning and memory tests when compared with patients with no past ECT. This degree of impairment could not be accounted for by illness state at the time of assessment or by differential past illness burden between patient groups.” [4]

Yet the ECT is still defended, even within this article. The article goes on to state:

“From a clinical perspective, it is unlikely that such findings, even if confirmed, would significantly change the risk–benefit ratio of this notably effective treatment. Nonetheless, they may highlight the importance of attending to cognitive factors in patients with BD [Bi-Polar] who are about to receive ECT; further, they raise the question of whether certain strategies that minimize cognitive dysfunction with ECT should be routinely employed in this patient group.” [5]

ECT: Rape of the Soul

Many a psychiatrist continues to tout ECT as “safe and effective.”

One ECT survivor, a young man named Kenny, tells a different story. He still suffers from the following symptoms after having had 30 shock treatments:

  • depression
  • heart arrhythmia
  • apathy
  • Severe headaches
  • Memory loss of his entire childhood and high school
  • Inability to do simple tasks
  • Continuing nightmares
  • Spontaneous seizures

Kenny had been an honor role student in high school. After ECT, his IQ plummeted to 78. Kenny speaks of the betrayal of his doctors, and how there is no sort of “rehab” after ECT. He says “You are on your own.”

His poignantly refers to ECT as a “rape of the soul” and that he has spoken with 200 other ECT victims. He says they “are all on disability and unable to work.” Kenny also says he wouldn’t wish this “on his worst enemy.” [6]

ECT is a nightmarish treatment, promised as a cure-all by psychiatrists who would never undergo this so-called “treatment” themselves. ECT is truly, in Kenny’s words, a “rape of the soul.”






[5] Ibid.


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31 Jul

Study Proves Psychiatric Diagnoses are Worthless

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

Neuroscience News has commented on a study published in Psychiatry Research, which concluded “psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless.”

Researchers from the University of Liverpool analyzed 5 key chapters of the latest DSM, a controversial edition of psychiatry’s “Bible.” The 5 “mental illnesses” the study focused on, as covered in the DSM, were schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and trauma-related disorders.

Here is what the researchers discovered:

  • “Psychiatric diagnoses all use different decision-making rules
  • There is a huge amount of overlap in symptoms between diagnoses
  • Almost all diagnoses mask the role of trauma and adverse events
  • Diagnoses tell us little about the individual patient and what treatment they need”

Dr. Kate Allsopp of the University of Liverpool was the lead researcher. This is what she had to say “Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice. I hope these findings will encourage mental health professionals to think beyond diagnoses and consider other explanations of mental distress, such as trauma and other adverse life experiences.”

Professor Peter Kinderman, also from the University of Liverpool had additional scathing comments:

“This study provides yet more evidence that the biomedical diagnostic approach in psychiatry is not fit for purpose. Diagnoses frequently and uncritically reported as ‘real illnesses’ are in fact made on the basis of internally inconsistent, confused and contradictory patterns of largely arbitrary criteria. The diagnostic system wrongly assumes that all distress results from disorder, and relies heavily on subjective judgments about what is normal.”

Professor John Read, University of East London, said: “Perhaps it is time we stopped pretending that medical-sounding labels contribute anything to our understanding of the complex causes of human distress or of what kind of help we need when distressed.”

According to this report, the authors of the research concluded “diagnostic labeling represents ‘a disingenuous categorical system.’” [1]

In other words, Psychiatry’s categorizing of mental illnesses is nothing short of deceitful, insincere, false and underhanded.

A Damaging Pseudo-Science

Psychiatry has long been criticized for an inability to prove their so-called “mental disorders” actually exist. Psychiatrists have admitted they can cure nothing. The fact that psychiatry can shift around a person’s outward symptoms through drugs, operations or electro shock proves exactly zero.

As early as the late 1880s doctors began removing parts of the cortex of the brain on patients who had symptoms of schizophrenia. What did the doctors observe? Their patients became “calm.”

Unfortunately, one of their patients died and another one committed suicide.

Apparently, psychiatrists have considered death an acceptable side effect of their “treatment” for decades.

In 1935 the first lobotomy experiments were performed on human beings. António Egas Moniz is credited with its invention. His brain operation consisted of cutting a hole in the skull and injecting poisonous ethanol which destroyed the fibers that connected the frontal lobes to other parts of the brain.

He later “refined” his procedure by introducing an instrument called a “leucotome” which had a loop of wire to rotate in the brain, creating a circular lesion.

These hideous procedures were touted as a success, although side effects included, according to this report in Live Science “increased temperature, vomiting, bladder and bowel incontinence and eye problems, as well apathy, lethargy, and abnormal sensations of hunger, among others. The medical community was initially critical of the procedure, but nevertheless, physicians started using it in countries around the world.”

Side effects included negative effects on a patient’s “personality, initiative, inhibitions, empathy and ability to function on their own.”

Mental dullness was the main side effect. People lost their ability to live independently. They lost their personalities.

Despite the obviously horrific side effects, psychiatrists performed 50,000 of these atrocious operations before they were finally reined in. [2]

How can we, as citizens of the United States stand by and allow psychiatry to continue their havoc-wreaking experiments?

Is Today’s Psychiatric Treatment a Chemical Lobotomy?

In 2016, it was estimated that 40 million American adults were taking a psychiatric drug. [3] This number does not include the children and teenagers also prescribed these pharmaceuticals. And one can safely assume that in 2019 that number has only increased.

Here are some of the serious symptoms one could experience with Psychiatry’s 21st century so-called treatment for depression:

  • confusion
  • agitation
  • muscle twitching
  • sweating
  • shivering
  • very high fever
  • seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • unconsciousness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Mania [4]

In light of the latest research on psychiatry’s inability to diagnose or treat mental disorders, these side effects of their modern “treatment” should be viewed for what they are; the latest in a shameful history of psychiatry’s “Industry of Death.”






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31 Jul

Psychiatric Drugs for Toddlers? Let’s Get Real.

Photo by chen lei on Unsplash

Health official Jeffrey Brosco is up in arms. He says our sons and daughters (even preschoolers) just aren’t getting enough mental health treatment.

Of course, Jeffrey does have a special interest in this area, which may go a bit beyond a fatherly concern. Mr. Brosco is the director of Florida’s “Title V” funding program. This program is supposed to improve the health and well-being of mothers and children.

During a meeting in Orlando of the Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors, Brosco had this to say, “There’s 220,000 children that get no treatment, whatsoever. Let that sink in.”

These board members are charged with running the Florida Healthy Kids program. The program offers health and dental insurance for kids ages 5 through 18.

“If I told you there were 200 kids with cancer who aren’t getting treatment, you’d say, ‘That’s outrageous.’ Two thousand, twenty thousand, you would be up in arms, It’s outrageous.” [1]

Mr. Brosco, cancer is a disease that can be diagnosed by medical testing. Mental illness has no proven tests, no psychiatric cure and a growing number of those who want nothing to do with their painful, disabling and sometimes deadly treatment.

Brosco finds it “outrageous” that so many children are not getting psychiatric treatment. Many parents and grandparents find it “outrageous” that Brosco is blind to the harmful effects of psychotropic drugs, and that he continues to push forward with his agenda despite their known dangers.

If Drugs are Unsafe, Why Would Psychiatrists Prescribe Them?

The American Psychological Association published an eye-opening article about this very subject.

Daniel Carlat, MD is the associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University. He explains why drugs seem to be the treatment of choice for most mental health practitioners.

“Health insurance reimbursements are higher and easier to obtain for drug treatment than therapy, which has contributed to the increase in psychotropic drug sales and a shifting of psychiatry toward psychopharmacology.

“There is a huge financial incentive for psychiatrists to prescribe instead of doing psychotherapy. You can make two, three, four times as much money being a prescriber than a therapist.”

This same article declares, “Over the past five years, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and several other drug companies have agreed to pay settlements totaling billions of dollars for prohibited off-label marketing of their drugs, including antidepressants and antipsychotics.” [2]

In other words, psychiatrists are pushing drugs so they can make more money. It has nothing to do with the effectiveness or safety of their so-called “treatment.”

Babies on Psychiatric Drugs? Surely Not!

This is not something dreamed up by extremists to discredit psychiatry.

In this same article, the following was stated: “Foster children are up to four-and-a-half times more likely to receive psychotropic drugs than other children covered by Medicaid, according to a Government Accountability Office report last year. The investigation of foster care programs in five states found that hundreds of children were prescribed multiple psychotropic drugs, including antipsychotic drugs at excessive dosages. Infants also were prescribed psychotropic drugs despite no scientific evidence supporting that use.” (Italics added) [3]

Imagine a helpless baby, possibly an infant in foster care,who has already begun life without the love and nurturing of his or her parents. This child, with no protection whatsoever, is dosed with a psychotropic drug. The side effects alone are horrendous. Who will hold this infant to comfort him while he undergoes the drug’s torturous effects on his tiny body?

Most anyone with a heart would think this was monstrous. Some might even compare this to the vicious experimentation on children in the Nazi concentration camps during the 1930s and 1940s.

What Can be Done?

As citizens of Florida, we must look beyond statements by people like Jeffrey Brosco. It is an outrageous claim that thousands of our children are suffering from lack of mental health treatment.

Doing research on the best diet for children with mental health challenges might be one way to start. There are many natural ways to address a child with problems.

For instance, studies have been done on the effect of fish oil to help treat ADHD.

It is said that taking fish oil may lead to a reduction of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Certainly, discovering natural treatments for any mental distress over the taking of a potentially dangerous psychiatric drug is something to consider. [4]

At any rate, the public does not have to accept what people like Jeffrey Brosco states as “the truth.”

Money and power, not our children’s happiness is the real thing at stake.




[3] Ibid.


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31 Jul

Multi-Million Fines Insufficient to Curb Abuse in For-Profit Behavioral Health Industry

Media reports on the UHS payment said the company “has been dogged by the DOJ investigation into false claims allegedly submitted by its behavioral health facilities.”

Media reports on the UHS payment said the company “has been dogged by the DOJ investigation into false claims allegedly submitted by its behavioral health facilities.”

Universal Health Services (UHS), which owns a chain of for-profit psychiatric facilities in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, has agreed to pay $127 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) civil probe into alleged fraud. The settlement is subject to approval. [1]  But Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog, says the proposed settlement is insufficient to send an adequate warning to other for-profit behavioral facilities accused of patient abuse and healthcare fraud.

Media reports on the UHS payment said the company “has been dogged by the DOJ investigation into false claims allegedly submitted by its behavioral health facilities.”

For decades CCHR has investigated allegations of abuse and potential fraud in for-profit psychiatric facilities.  Since 2015, over 18,000 official complaints have been filed with Federal and State authorities and legislators. A CCHR International report on the issue published in December 2018 highlighted how behavioral companies get billions of dollars in Medicaid and Medicare rebates, yet the “return” appears to be more patient abuse.

CCHR says allegations of sexual abuse of patients in the for-profit behavioral hospital industry are rife. Last year, UHS closed its Timberlawn psychiatric hospital in Texas in the wake of allegations that a 13-year-old girl was raped at the facility. [2]

Sequel Youth and Family Services is a privately-owned company that and operates in about 20 states.

Other allegations about Sequel facilities include:

  • May 2019: Utah’s Department of Human Services threatened the license of a Sequel-owned facility over “understaffing” that had “negatively impacted the program’s ability to address violence and sexual misconduct within the program.” In response, Sequel announced that it is closing the facility. [3]
  • 2018: In Iowa, a youth advocacy group from Washington State stopped sending children to Sequel’s Clarienda Academy after concerns were raised about the use of restraints. [4]
  • August 2017: A 37-year-old staff Clarienda staffer was accused of forcible sodomy and lascivious conduct with a minor. [5]
  • 2016: A 40-year-old night staff member at Clarienda was arrested and charged with three felony sex charges regarding a 17-year-old student. The staffer pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and was sentenced to ten years’ probation. [6]
  • July 2017: Police arrested a youth counselor with Sequel TSI of Madison, Alabama, on charges that she engaged in sex with a student under 19 years of age. She was indicted in September 2018 for sex acts involving multiple students under the age of 19. [7]
  • January 2018: A 38-year-old staffer at Northern Illinois Academy was charged with three counts of criminal sexual assault on an adolescent, over whom he held a position of trust or authority. The staffer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. [8]
  • August 2018: A Lakeside Academy in Kansas staffer was arrested on three counts of unlawful sexual relations involving a juvenile. [9]
  • 2012: A Sequel staffer from Red Rock Canyon School (RRCS) in St. George, Utah was arrested and charged with sexually abusing three male students. [10] The staffer pleaded guilty to felony forcible sexual abuse and was sentenced to 210 days in jail and 36 months supervised probation. [11]

Recent controversy over RRCS led to Sequel’s decision to close the facility.  On April 28, 2019, a two-hour riot erupted at the facility, with police, medical and SWAT forced to respond. 25 students were injured, of which five were transported to the hospital for more serious treatment, including one student who required staples to close a gash on the back of his head. [12]

CCHR says it is placing attention on Florida, where Sequel owns 10 facilities, and, in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas, offers “Foster homes” to provide services for children with severe mental health disorders/behavioral problems. [13]

Since 2015, CCHR International and its Florida Chapter have investigated and exposed alleged abuses in for-profit behavioral hospitals that have been accused of abusing the state’s Baker Act to involuntarily commit patients and detained them for their insurance.

UHS has some 16 behavioral facilities in Florida and closed its National Deaf Academy in 2014 following scrutiny of abuses reported to police, including three alleging sexual abuse. [14]

Jan Eastgate, the group’s international president, said: “Patient abuses in the psychiatric-behavioral industry require much stronger penalties than a few million dollars in fines where systemic patient abuse and/or fraud are established. Increased safeguards should include jail penalties, where criminal violations found.”

CCHR says West Palm Beach County, Florida State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s comments last year mirrors their concerns: “This is an entire industry that’s been corrupted by easy money. Unscrupulous actors have taken advantage of well-intended federal law and a lack of any good law at the state level, to profit off people at the lowest stages of their lives.” [15]

CCHR calls for anyone whose mother, wife, sister or father, brother, son, child or friend has been killed or damaged by psychiatric “treatment” to fill out this form.


[[1] Samantha Liss, “UHS to pay $127M in DOJ settlement, says criminal probe closed,” Healthcare Dive, 26 July 2016,

[2] Sue Ambrose, Sarah Mervosh, Miles Moffeit ,”Timberlawn psychiatric hospital to close Feb. 16 after safety violations,” 18 Jan. 2018, DallasNews, ; “Dallas police investigating sexual assault of 13-year-old girl at Timberlawn hospital,” Dallas Morning News, 13 Oct. 2017,

[3] “Violence, sexual abuse reported at other Sequel properties across the U.S.,” WBNS 10 News, 23 July 2019,

[4] Ibid

[5] “Police reports detail fights, sex crime at Iowa academy for troubled youth,” Des Moines Register, 26 Nov.  2018,

[6] “For-profit Iowa academy for troubled youth hired felon who raped student,” Des Moines Register, 28 Nov, 2018,

[7] Jonathan Grass, “Madison youth counselor charged with sex with students,” WAFF48, 21 Jul 2017, ; “Former Counselor Re-Indicted On Student Sex Charges,” WAAY31 ABC, 8 Oct 2018,

[8] “Mental health facility worker pleads guilty to assaulting child,” Daily Herald, 22 Feb. 2019 and “Aurora residential facility employee charged with sex assault of minor staying at center,” Aurora Beacon-News, January 9, 2018.

[9] “Employee of facility for troubled youth arrested for sex crimes,” KTEN NBC 10, 22 Aug, 2018,

[10] “St. George man accused of sexual abuse of three teens,” Fox 13, 13 Aug. 2012,

[11] “Former youth worker sentenced in sex abuse case,” St. George News, 5 Jun., 2014,

[12] “Police arrest 5 after riot at St. George treatment center results in 25 injured students,” St. George News, 29 Apr. 2019,


[14] “’Mom, Please Help’: FBI Probing Alleged Abuse of Deaf, Autistic Kids,” NBC News, 14 Sept. 2015,

[15] Penn Little, “Acadia Healthcare: Very Scary Findings from A 14-Month Investigation,” Seeking Alpha, 16 Nov. 2018,

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24 Jul

In wake of $1.4B Suboxone Payout, Mental Health Watchdog, CCHR, Says Psychiatric Industry and Hospitals Cash in on Opioid Crisis

With more than 34 million Americans taking antidepressants in 2013-14, addiction and withdrawal from psychiatric is a growing problem.

With more than 34 million Americans taking antidepressants in 2013-14, addiction and withdrawal from psychiatric is a growing problem.

A pharmaceutical company’s recent $1.4 billion settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) over probes into its addiction treatment drug, Suboxone Film (buprenorphine and naloxone), has raised concerns about psychiatric drug treatments offered as solutions to the opioid crisis, the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) says. [1] Buprenorphine, one of the active ingredients in Suboxone, is a synthetic opioid that is potentially addictive. [2] The DOJ alleged Suboxone Film was falsely marketed by its manufacturer as safer and less susceptible to abuse than similar drugs containing buprenorphine. [3]

Suboxone Clinics have sprung up across the U.S., including within a major behavioral hospital chain, Acadia Healthcare that owns more than 100 Suboxone and methadone clinics. [4]

Jan Eastgate, president of CCHR International, says that “while the country suffers from the opioid crisis, huge profits and serious dangers derive from the treatment of addiction to opioids.” The Food and Drug Administration warns that people taking buprenorphine can suffer serious breathing problems and death—especially when injecting it, and in combination with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system depressants. [5] A New York Times investigation in 2013 found buprenorphine was a “primary suspect” in 420 deaths reported to the FDA since it reached the market in 2003. [6]

Suboxone Film is a sublingual strip that is placed on the tongue to dissolve. If enough strips are placed, it can result in a high.  U.S. sales of Sublingual Film were approximately $1.87 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2018, according to IQVIA. [7]

Other adverse effects of Suboxone Film include liver problems and opioid withdrawal. Long-term use of Suboxone may cause fertility problems in males and females. [8]

The other active ingredient in Suboxone, naloxone, may cause agitation, high or low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, shortness of breath, pulmonary edema, abnormal brain damage, seizures, coma and death. [9]

Opioid dependence has become a lucrative business for the mental health industry, Eastgate says. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists about twelve disorders associated with opioid use and abuse, for which psychiatrists can bill insurance. [10]

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine in 2017, adults said to have a “mental illness” receive more than 50% of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the U.S. annually. [11]

Evelyn Pringle and Martha Rosenberg writing in Alternet wrote that addiction treatment companies are so lucrative, with profit margins of over 20 percent, “largely because of the booming specialty of addiction psychiatry, which has exploded and muscled its way into standard rehabilitation and monetized it.” [12]

Addiction psychiatry involves substituting one drug with another or a combination of two. The problem with this model, Pringle and Rosenberg pointed out is that “the substance abuser never recovers, but simply stays hooked on another or multiple drugs, while Big Pharma cashes in.”

Between 2006 and 2016, private equity firms also invested more than $2.2 billion in substance abuse treatment companies. [13]

For five years CCHR has investigated the use of Suboxone and other opioid addiction treatment drugs in for-profit psychiatric hospitals, including those owned by Acadia and Universal Health Services, which also has outpatient Suboxone programs. [14]

A Suboxone clinic can charge $200 to $300 per month, per patient, for a 5-to-10 minute checkup to renew a Suboxone prescription. According to psychiatrist, Steven R. Scanlan, “the lucrative nature of Suboxone on a maintenance basis creates a disincentive to tapering the drug and its income-generating potential.” [15]

In a sample of 12 psychiatrists CCHR identified as affiliated with Acadia facilities, two were among the top 20 state prescribers of Suboxone. [16]

In May 2019, U.S. Attorney announced that Acadia would pay $17 million in a Healthcare Fraud settlement over its billing Medicaid for fraudulent laboratory tests related to its addiction treatment programs in West Virginia, where methadone and Suboxone are administered. [17]

Psychiatrists have played an integral role in the opioid crisis. OxyContin (oxycodone) maker Purdue Pharma was started by three psychiatrists, all brothers. Oxycontin was developed by the two youngest, Raymond and Mortimer who made it the driving power that made them billions. The three coauthored more than 100 studies on the yet to be proved “biochemical roots” of mental illness, which justifies drug treatment. [18]

  • In 2007, Purdue paid $600 million to settle a case with the Justice Department over its marketing claims about Oxycontin and three executives, who weren’t Sackler family members, pleaded guilty to criminal misbranding over misleading the public about Oxycontin’s addictiveness. [19]
  • According to a 2015 deposition, Dr. Richard Sackler (son of Raymond Sackler and a physician and surgeon), the former president of Purdue, knew in 1997 that OxyContin was much stronger than morphine. [20]
  • In March 2019, Purdue agreed to pay the state of Oklahoma $270 million over charges of misleading marketing practices and misrepresentation regarding Oxycontin. [21]

CCHR Florida President Diane Stein says Federal data just released shows that Florida plays a large part in the nation’s “pill mill” industry with 85% of the country’s oxycodone prescribed in Florida in 2010. [22]

Eastgate sums up: “A greedy pharmaceutical industry profits from sales of a drug of addiction and obfuscates the risks. Psychiatrists push for ‘medication-assisted’ addiction treatment, replacing one addictive drug with others and hooking individuals onto the ‘treatment’ for opioid abuse. They profit from adding substance abuse disorders to the DSM and both psychiatrists and Suboxone clinics bill insurance companies.  This is an industry that’s creating or reinforcing legalized drug addiction across the country and should be held accountable alongside the manufacturers.” For more information visit or call 727-442-8820.


[1] “U.S. Reaches $1.4 Billion Opioid-Drug Settlement With U.K.’s Reckitt,” Wall Street Journal, 11 July 2019,;;




[5] “Treatment with SUBOXONE Film: Understanding the benefits,”,

[6] Deborah Sontag, “Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side,” The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2013,




[10] “Substance/Medication-Induced Mental Disorders,” DSM-5, (APA, 2013), p. 488-549.



[13] Ibid.

[14] Steven R. Scanlan, MD, “Suboxone: concerns behind the miracle,” Addiction Professional website, 1 Nov. 2010,

[15] Ibid.


[17] “Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Acadia will pay $17 million to resolve allegations of a United States Attorney Announces $17 Million Healthcare Fraud Settlement,” U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia, 6 May 2019,

[18] “The Family Trying to Escape Blame for the Opioid Crisis,” The Atlantic, 10 Apr. 2018,;;

[19] “Suboxone maker Reckitt Benckiser to pay $1.4 billion in largest opioid settlement in US history,” ABC News, 12 July 2019,;



[22] “Florida ‘pill mills’ were ‘gas on the fire’ of opioid crisis,” New York Post, 22 July 2019,

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17 Jul

CCHR Says Minority Mental Health Month May Spell Mental Health Slavery

CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections.

CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections.

While July is recognized as Minority Mental Health Month, Rev. Frederick Shaw, spokesperson for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) warns that it can be used to stigmatize African Americans and put them at risk of harm from psychiatric treatments prescribed them. Rev. Shaw, who is also the Executive Director of the Inglewood-South Bay branch of the NAACP said that Minority Mental Health Month was started with good intentions by author, the late Bebe Moore Campbell, but it’s been used to target African Americans, Hispanics and others, getting them, hooked on damaging psychotropic drugs and even electroshocked. (Click here to sign CCHR’s Petition to Ban ECT.)

Two patient “advocacy” groups are proponents of the month, yet both have come under Congressional investigation for their financial links to pharmaceutical companies that manufacture psychiatric drugs. Between them they have accrued nearly $50 million from companies that manufacture these drugs. [1]

Rev. Shaw said the pharmaceutical interests alone should beg questions about the veracity of a program that claims 20% of African Americans are more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. [2] He stated: “Being oppressed and subjected to racism is a human rights abuse, not a ‘mental disorder.’ Claiming this requires treatment—mind-altering antidepressants, antipsychotics, and brain-damaging electroshock—is mind slavery. These so-called treatments physically and mentally incapacitate people.”

Professor Herb Kutchins co-author Making Us Crazy – DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders said: “Defenders of slavery, proponents of racial segregation…have consistently attempted to justify oppression by inventing new mental illnesses and by reporting higher rates of abnormality among African-Americans or other minorities.” [3]

Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D. also says that “mental illness diagnosis is highly subjective” and is “far from an exact science. Modern psychiatry has expanded its reach to the point that even the most normal of emotions and mental states are now labeled as one ‘disorder’ or another.” [4]

African American men have been labeled with schizophrenia at a rate at least five times higher than other groups. [5] African Americans are also targeted for learning disorder labeling. Dr. Wallace called this, “The Black Academic Holocaust,” stating: “Not only is there an issue with young black students being disproportionately diagnosed with learning disorders, but they are also being prescribed psychotropic drugs at an alarming rate — with some being prescribed these medications as early as at the age of 18 months.” [6]

A study also determined that African American children prescribed antipsychotics were nearly four times at greater risk of suffering Tardive Dyskinesia—irreversible damage to the nervous system—than European-American children prescribed them. [7]

Antipsychotics side effects include heart problems, blood disorders, emotional effects (excitable, agitated, aggressive, depressed, out of touch with reality, socially withdrawn), liver disorders, sexual problems, suicidal feelings and behavior, weight gain, and a life-threatening neurological disorder. [8]

Shaw says Mental Health Month should be a warning and highlight the history of betrayal of African Americans when offered “help” in the name of mental health care.

  • In 1792, the “father of American psychiatry,” psychiatrist Benjamin Rush, declared that Blacks suffered from a disease called Negritude. The “cure” was when their skin turned “white.” Like lepers, Rush said, they needed to be segregated for their own good and to prevent their “infecting” others. [9]
  • African Americans were diagnosed with Drapetomania (drapetes, runaway slave, and mania, meaning crazy) and Dyasethesia Aethiopis (laziness and impaired sensation). Drapetomania gave Blacks the “uncontrollable urge” to run away from their “masters.” The “treatment” was “whipping the devil out of them.” [10]
  • 1960s: Psychiatrists claimed civil rights protests caused violent “schizophrenic” symptoms in “Negro populations,” calling this “protest psychosis.” Black men were accused of “hostile and aggressive feelings” and “delusional anti-whiteness after listening to civil rights leaders.” [11] Ads for antipsychotics used African symbols to reflect so-called “violent traits” in Blacks. [12]
  • 1970s: Psychiatrist Louis West, a Central Intelligence Agency-funded psychiatrist, made plans for a program to conduct genetic and biochemical studies to “predict the probability of occurrences” of violent behavior in young, black urban males. [13]
  • 1990s: NIMH director, psychiatrist Frederic Goodwin, compared inner city youth (mostly black or Hispanic) with “hyperaggressive” and “hypersexual” monkeys in a jungle. [14] Goodwin approved funding for a “Violence Initiative” aimed at identifying violent inner-city children, some as young as five, that would need “psychiatric intervention,” which included Prozac or other antidepressants. [15] Yet, The link between antidepressants and violence, including suicide and homicide, is well established,” stated Patrick D. Hahn, affiliate professor of Biology at Loyola University, Maryland [16]

Rev. Shaw says that “after hundreds of years of oppression, psychiatrists have re-defined this abuse as African Americans being prone to violence and then prescribing them drugs to ‘help,’ yet they create the violence and psychosis we are accused of.” He recommends anyone who has been abused in the mental health system to contact CCHR.




[3] Herb Kutchins & Stuart A. Kirk, Making Us Crazy – DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, (The Free Press, New York, 1997), p. 200.




[7] I Wonodi, et al, “Tardive Dyskinesia in children treated with atypical antipsychotic medications,” Mov. Disorder, 15l22 (12), Sept. 15, 2007, pp. 1777-82.

[8] Dr Katherine Darton, “Making sense of antipsychotics,” Mind (National Association for Mental Health-UK), 2016,

[9] Robert N. Proctor, Racial Hygiene, Medicine Under the Nazis, (Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 10.

[10] Samuel A. Cartwright, M.D., “Report on the Diseases and Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” New Orleans & Surgical Journal, 1851.

[11] Jonathan M. Metzl, The Protest Psychosis, How Schizophrenia became a Black Disease, (Beacon Press, Boston, 2009), pp. xii, xiv, p. 101

[12] Tanya M. Luhrmann, Ph.D., “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease,” Amer. Journ. Of Psychiatry (online), Apr. 2010.

[13] “Dr. L. Jolyon West: the LSD cult behind the Cult Awareness Network,” EIR News Service Inc, 6 Sep 1991,; Peter Schrag, Mind Control, (Panthenon Books, New York, 1978), pp. 3-5.;


[15] ;

[16] Patrick D. Hahn, “Antidepressants: a deadly treatment?,” Baltimore Sun, 11 Apr. 2015,

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09 Jul

Anesthetic that Killed Michael Jackson Used as Experimental “Depression” Drug: CCHR Warns of Treatments That Can Induce, Not Prevent Suicide

Jackson died 10 years ago, receiving a lethal dose of propofol that his doctor, Conrad Murry prescribed for insomnia. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.

Jackson died 10 years ago, receiving a lethal dose of propofol that his doctor, Conrad Murry prescribed for insomnia. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.

Anesthetics that induce a loss of sensation and awareness are being used as experimental drugs to treat depression, with a recent study using propofol—the anesthetic that killed Michael Jackson. Mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) says people in need of help are put at risk—including of suicide—by the treatments the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves and by mental health researchers and practitioners recommending them, including antidepressants and electroshock. The information given consumers should be investigated, especially when marketed as prescribed for “treatment resistance,” a term invented to explain away treatment failure, CCHR says, adding that the treatment may be the catalyst for suicide.

Jackson died 10 years ago, receiving a lethal dose of propofol that his doctor, Conrad Murry prescribed for insomnia.  Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011. [1]

In the depression study, only 10 subjects were used to claim “success,” measured by half maintaining “better moods for three months.” Arguably, the other half failed to experience this and none were cured. The researchers don’t know how propofol “works” for depression, but theorize it “may be triggering the brain to reorganize itself.” [2] However, depression, bipolar—all mental disorders—cannot be physically identified in the brain, not even at autopsy.

Propofol is claimed to have fewer side effects than brain stimulations such as electroshock treatment, which has side effects of “confusion and memory loss,” [3] brain damage and death. According to a review of propofol deaths published in the Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society, “Propofol is a dangerous drug with an evident abuse potential which often results in fatalities.” [4]

The FDA and American Psychiatric Association claim the merits of electroshock over antidepressants or in combination, although there are no clinical trials proving ECT’s safety and efficacy. Serious adverse effects are minimized.

Charles Kellner, professor of psychiatry and director of ECT services at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai recently asserted in Psychiatric Times that adverse effects such as the cognitive damage from ECT isn’t a “safety” concern but, rather, a “tolerability” issue.

Astoundingly, he claimed that “refusing ECT because of concerns about memory loss is equivalent to refusing cancer chemotherapy because of concerns about hair loss.” His analogy is that after chemotherapy “most of the hair grows back” and with ECT, “most of the memories return.” Yet patients attest to permanent memory loss of important life events as a result of ECT—hardly a comparison to temporary hair loss.

Tests can confirm cancer—found in cell or tissue samples under a microscope and by imaging tests. There are no tests or imaging scans to confirm depression physically existing in the brain or body. Chemotherapy can prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading by destroying or stopping them from dividing.  Electroshock cannot prevent “depression cells” from spreading because they don’t exist.

ECT is not “life-saving” and could induce suicide:

  • A coroner’s inquest determined that involuntary ECT did not prevent but may have led to a patient’s death after a suicide attempt. [5]
  • A UK coroner investigating the death of mother in 2016 found that the ECT led to a “deterioration in her mental health…culminating in her decision to commit suicide.” [6]
  • Researchers reviewed more than 90 ECT studies since 2010 determining: “There is still no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.” [7]

The history of the approval and prescription of dangerous treatments for those labeled mentally disordered is one of abject failure, CCHR says.

Dr. Allen Francis, former head of APA’s fourth edition of its diagnostic manual, said, “We use terms like treatment-resistance and treatment-refractory, but this is merely an admission of our failure to have a solution….We persist in treatment, usually by giving whatever has failed previously in more dosage or by adding new treatments that have little chance of success, but a high risk of side effects.” [8]

CCHR has documented 36 FDA-approved drugs since the 1970s that were recalled due to adverse reactions. Of these, five were psychiatric drugs. Fourteen were linked to over 58,300 deaths.

Atypical antipsychotics have been linked to 15,000 deaths in nursing homes, according to congressional testimony. [9] A New England Journal of Medicine study found the rate of sudden cardiac death doubled for those taking atypical antipsychotics; there were three such deaths per year for every 1,000 patients taking them. [10] A study found that antidepressants were estimated to cause 10 to 44 deaths out of 1,000 people over a year. [11] Yet FDA has approved the use of antipsychotics as adjuncts to antidepressants—combining two potentially lethal drugs.

Jan Eastgate, international president of CCHR, urges consumers to be better informed of psychiatric treatments, warning they may be nothing more than physical and mental health assault—a terrible betrayal for people seeking help.

For more information on the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs, click here and sign CCHR’s Petition to Ban ECT here.



[2] “‘Michael Jackson drug’ still prompts curiosity from patients,” KTXS  12 ABC News, 22 June 2019,

[3] Ibid.

[4] Diaz JH, Kaye AD, J La State Med Soc. 2017 Mar-Apr;169(2):28-32. Epub 2017 Apr 15. “Death by Propofol,”

[5] Aisha Dow, “Grandfather forced to undergo ECT before ‘preventable’ death,” The Age, 18 Apr. 2018,

[6] Dominic Gilbert, “Mental health service failure,” Eastern Daily Press, 18 Apr. 2018,

[7] John Read and Chelsea Arnold, “Is Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression More Effective Than Placebo? A Systematic Review of Studies Since 2009,” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 19, Number 1, 2017,

[8] Allen J. Frances, M.D., “What to Do When Treatment Doesn’t Work,” Psychology Today, 29 Jul. 2016,

[9] Martha Rosenberg, “The Most Popular Drug in America Is an Antipsychotic and No One Really Knows How It Works,” Alternet, 13 Nov 2014,; David Graham’s testimony was before Congress in November 2004.

[10] “DoD cracks down on off-label drug use,” Military Times, 29 Mar. 2013.

[11] Paul Andrews, “Things Your Doctor Should Tell You About Antidepressants,” Mad in America: Science, Psychiatry and Community, 12 Sept. 2012,;

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02 Jul

CCHR Says Psychiatrists Got it Wrong on Electroshock ‘Treatment’ in Wall Street Journal

“With no clinical trials proving its safety, electroshock treatment plays Russian roulette with the lives of vulnerable people who are often ill-informed about its long-term effects, including, according to an ECT device manufacturer, permanent brain damage, as well as severe memory loss.”

“With no clinical trials proving its safety, electroshock treatment plays Russian roulette with the lives of vulnerable people who are often ill-informed about its long-term effects, including, according to an ECT device manufacturer, permanent brain damage, as well as severe memory loss.”



Psychiatrists’ misleading claims could deny consumers evidence of ECT’s real damage, inducing suicide

By Jan Eastgate
President, CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
July 2, 2019

In a requested statement provided to The Wall Street Journal regarding the use of electroshock treatment (ECT), the mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, stated: “With no clinical trials proving its safety, electroshock treatment plays Russian roulette with the lives of vulnerable people who are often ill-informed about its long-term effects, including, according to an ECT device manufacturer, permanent brain damage, as well as severe memory loss.” It can also “cause, not prevent suicide.  Law suits and coroners inquests confirm this, reinforcing the need to ban the torturous practice and insist upon workable, non-invasive treatments that do not harm.”

This was not reported, yet had the inquests, lawsuits and studies upon which the statement was made been researched, the information that electroshock-doctors provided to the WJS would have been refuted, giving consumers and their families some necessary warnings.

The article included the usual disclaimers that ECT “still causes memory loss,” people may have “difficulty forming memories for a few weeks or months after the treatment,” but that newer technology reduces this. However, experts say this is inaccurate, ignoring serious adverse events, including brain damage, which can be permanent.

Rather than prevent suicide—as psychiatrists claimed in the WSJ article—ECT can induce suicide. That would have been important information for readers to know.

  • A UK coroner investigating the death of a mother of one in 2016 found that the ECT she’d been administered had led to a “deterioration in her mental health…culminating in her decision to commit suicide.”[1]
  • A coroner’s inquest in Australia in 2017 determined that involuntary ECT did not prevent but may have led to a patient’s death after a suicide attempt.[2]
  • Also in 2017, UK researchers reviewed more than 90 ECT studies since 2010 and determined: “There is still no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.”[3]

Other unqualified psychiatric statements included that ECT is somehow less risky today because shorter pulses of electricity reduces the brain’s exposure to it and electrodes are placed on one side of the head instead of both. Taking their information at face value, the WSJ reported that advances in technology and technique have reduced the severity of memory loss, albeit not eliminating this risk. It also theorized that ECT helps to “realign disrupted circuits,” without citing any evidence to support this.

Other theories are that the grand mal seizure that ECT causes is a therapeutic. However, as Kenneth Castleman, Ph.D. says, the scientific literature fails to establish a mechanism of therapy or to support the belief that the seizures produced by ECT are therapeutic. Further, the amount of electricity that is used in practice is routinely at least six times what is required to produce a seizure.[4]

Of such theories, he says: “The opinion of ‘authorities in the field’ is being substituted for scientific fact.” Castleman has a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. The latter involves application of engineering techniques to problems in medicine and biology. His entire professional career has been dedicated to scientific research and technology development. He has served on various university and government advisory committees and was a Senior Scientist at NASA for 15 years. He says any newer ECT procedure does not reduce the damage, with data as follows.

  • In ECT, the voltage is as high as 460 volts and creates an electric field inside the patient’s skull. This electric field puts a force on the electrons inside the brain, causing them to move. This movement of electrons is a current flow of up to 900 mill amperes. By contrast, brain cells normally operate with less than one-half of a volt and a fraction of one milliamp ere.[5]
  • Two things happen when an electric current flows through the brain: Electrical energy is converted into heat inside the brain, raising its temperature. The larger the current, the more heat is produced. If the temperature gets too high the cells will suffer temporary injury, permanent damage, or even death.
  • The second effect results from the pulsing nature of the voltage applied by ECT machines. This process of alternately pulling and tugging on the cell membrane creates a jackhammer effect that can tear holes in cell walls. This process is called “electroporation,” the creation of pores (holes) in the cell wall by electrical means.[6] As little as one volt across the cell membrane can open holes. Today’s Modern Brief-Pulse and Ultrabrief Pulse ECT devices are much more likely to cause electroporation than those used in the past.
  • The amount of electric current that an ECT machine puts through a patient’s head is approximately 100 times what Tasers, cattle prods, and electric fences use, about the same as what is used for stunning pigs, and roughly one-fifth as much as the electric chair. In addition, the amount of voltage applied to the head (460 volts) is about 400 times what is required to damage a single brain cell. Clearly this amount of electricity has the potential to cause injury to the brain.

And yet despite all this potential damage, psychiatrists boast in the article how studies have been conducted to treat the symptoms of dementia, such as aggression and agitation in the elderly with dementia. Those aged 50 and older and referred for ECT were used in one study.

There was no questioning in the WSJ article about the ethics and rationale behind the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision last December to lower the risk classification of the ECT device to moderate-risk Class II risk for three disorders that does not include dementia. And whether conflicts of interest may have influenced the decision, when it was clear the ECT device makers had refused to conduct the necessary Class III device clinical trials Congress requires to prove safety and efficacy in order to remain on the market under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Rather, ECT is projected as an option for so-called “treatment-resistant depression,” an arbitrary—not medically or scientifically-based—term to obscure treatment failures.

Dr. Allen Francis, former head of the APA’s fourth edition of its diagnostic manual, also says, “We use terms like treatment-resistance and treatment-refractory, but this is merely an admission of our failure to have a solution.” Further: “We persist in treatment, usually by giving whatever has failed previously in more dosage or by adding new treatments that have little chance of success, but a high risk of side effects.”[7]

CCHR says the FDA, APA and all shock-delivering psychiatrists should study electricity to understand fully what it does to damage the brain, causing cell death and learn from Australian psychiatrist, Niall McLaren who wrote that any psychiatrist who says, “‘You need ECT’ is really only saying, ‘I don’t know what else to do.’ I will repeat: No psychiatrist needs to use ECT.”[8]


[1] “Mental health service failure “significantly contributed” to suicide of Norwich mother,” Eastern Daily Press, 18 Apr. 2018,


[3] John Read and Chelsea Arnold, “Is Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression More Effective Than Placebo? A Systematic Review of Studies Since 2009,” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2017,

[4] Kenneth R. Castleman, Ph.D., Castleman citing, MECTA Corporation, MECTA Instruction Manual, SPECTRUM 5000Q, SPECTRUM 4000Q, SPECTRUM 5000M, SPECTRUM 4000M, Revision 06, November 7, 2008; R Abrams & CM Swartz, “THYMATRON® System IV Instruction Manual – Twelfth Edition,” UM-TS4, Rev. 12, Somatics LLC, May, 2006.

[5] Kenneth R. Castleman, Ph.D., “How Electroshock ‘Works,’”

[6] Castleman citing, RC Lee, “Cell Injury by Electric Forces,” (Review Article) Ann. N Y Academy of Sciences, 1066: 85-91, Dec. 2005; RC Lee, et al., eds., Cell injury: mechanisms, responses, and repair, New York Academy of Sciences, 2005. ISBN 978-1-57331-616-3; JC Weaver, “Electroporation of Cells and Tissues,” IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 28(1):24-33, Feb. 2000; WA. Hercules, et al., Electroporation of Biological Cells Embedded in a Polycarbonate Filter, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 2003.; M Kanduser and D Miklavcic, “Electroporation in Biological Cell and Tissue: An Overview,” in E Vorobiev, N Lebovka (eds.), Electrotechnologies for Extraction from Food Plants and Biomaterials, DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-79374-0 1, Springer Science and Business Media, LLC, 2008; JH. Rossmeisl Jr. “Pathology of non-thermal irreversible electroporation (N-TIRE) -induced ablation of the canine brain,” J. Vet. Sci., 14(4), 433-440, 2013.

[7] Allen J. Frances, M.D., “What to Do When Treatment Doesn’t Work,” Psychology Today, 29 Jul. 2016,

[8] Niall McLaren, “No Psychiatrist Needs to Use ECT,” 27 June 2017

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