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Mental Health Watchdog Warns Against Psychotropic Drug Self-Care During Pandemic

by | Jul 23, 2020

Based on documented studies, the Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a watchdog organization that investigates and exposes abuse within the mental health industry, is warning the public about the dangers of psychotropic drug prescriptions being doled out under the guise of self-care during the current pandemic.

Mental health is often branded as a suitable form of self-care; however, its providers and treatment modalities have been proven to be damaging. For example, parents wanting to help their children by bringing them to a psychiatrist or psychologist should be wary given an average of 6 to 10 percent of psychiatrists and psychologists have sexually abused their patients, including children as young as three.[1] Additionally, sexual crimes committed by psychiatrists are estimated at 37 times greater than rapes occurring in the general community.[2] Further, in a U.S. survey of psychiatrist-patient sex, 73 percent of psychiatrists who admitted they had sexual contact with their patients claimed it was committed in the name of “love” or “pleasure”; 19 percent said it was to “enhance the patient’s self-esteem” or provide a “restitutive emotional experience for the patient,” while others said it was merely a “judgment lapse.”[3]

Aside from the high risk of sexual abuse, the mental health field is fraught with the prescribing of harmful psychotropic drugs. In fact, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry in July stated that the use of olanzapine, a common antipsychotic, is linked to brain damage in multiple areas. [4] Furthermore, antipsychotics carry dangerous side effects for children, such as:

● The risk of sudden death that is substantially higher in children. [4]
● Brain atrophy (shrinkage). [5]

But it is not just children who are at risk of dangerous psychiatric drugs. A report released by a pharmacy benefit management program, Express Scripts, revealed that “the use of prescription drugs to treat mental health conditions increased more than 20% between mid-February and mid-March”. Also, as reported in a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “during that same time frame, prescriptions for antianxiety medications rose 34%, while prescriptions for antidepressants increased by 18%” and “more than three-quarters of these were new prescriptions”. The article and the report also noted that “prior to the pandemic, prescriptions for antianxiety medications decreased 12% between 2015 and 2019”. [6,7]

CCHR encourages anyone who is being advised that they or a loved one should take psychiatric drugs to demand a “differential diagnosis” where the doctor obtains a thorough history and conducts a complete physical exam, ruling out all the possible problems that might cause a set of symptoms and explains any possible side effects of the recommended treatments.

Sources:
[1] “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases: Capable Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Fight for Justice,” https://www.beasleyfirm.com/medical-malpractice/doctor-sexual-assault; Kenneth S. Pope, “Therapist-Patient Sex as Sex Abuse: Six Scientific, Professional, and Practical Dilemmas in Addressing Victimization and Rehabilitation,” https://kspope.com/sexiss/therapy1.php.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Nanette Gartrell, M.D., Judith Herman, M.D., et al., “Psychiatrist-Patient Sexual Contact: Results of a National Survey, I: Prevalence,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143 No. 9, Sept. 1986, p. 1128.
[4] Voineskos, A. N., Mulsant, B. H., Dickie, E. W., Neufeld, N. H., Rothschild, A. J., Whyte, E. M., Flint, A. J. (2020). Effects of antipsychotic medication on brain structure in patients with major depressive disorder and psychotic features: Neuroimaging findings in the context of a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online, 26 Feb. 2020, https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/07/randomized-controlled-trial-confirms-antipsychotics-damage-brain/
[5] Ibid.
[6] AMERICA’S STATE OF MIND U.S. trends in medication use for depression, anxiety and insomnia https://corporate-site-labs-prod.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/2020-04/Express%20Scripts%20America%27s%20State%20of%20Mind%20Report%20April%202020%20FINAL_1.pdf
[7] More people are using antidepressants and antianxiety medications during coronavirus pandemic: survey by Bethany Ao, Updated: April 24, 2020 https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-mental-health-anxiety-depression-20200424.html
Photo Caption: “More Americans are turning to anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications as the coronavirus pandemic upends everyday life for many.” The Hill Published on Apr 16, 2020 By Alexandra Kelley https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/mental-health/493125-increase-in-anti-anxiety-medication-antidepressants

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