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?
- Relationship Issues
- 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.