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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Antidepressant Drugs, Mental Health, and Chemical Castration

Was 2016 a watershed year for antidepressant drugs? Or should it have been? Is any defence for them now being available for prescription by the conventional medical establishment?

Or have doctors prescribed dangerous drugs for so long now they have got used to the idea of damaging their patients? After all, as I wrote in March 2016, the doctor's medicine cabinet is getting emptier by the day! Doctors are now working under considerable constraint when they want to prescribe blockbuster drugs like painkillers and antibiotics - as a result of the well known dangers of these drugs.

Yet antidepressants are now facing similar concerns about their safety, especially during the current epidemic of mental health.

The mental health charity, Mind, undertook a piece of research in 2012, surveying more than 1,000 patients who were taking antidepressant drugs. It revealed that over half of these people were not warned by doctors about the possible serious side effects, notably to their relationships, their work, and their social life. The study show that

  • Over 60% of antidepressant users felt the medication had a negative effect on at least one aspect of their social life.
  • 44% reported an effect on their sex life.
  • 27% said it affected their work or study.
  • 23% said it impacted on their social life.
Plenty there to get depressed about! Indeed, one of the most notable side effects of antidepressant drugs is depression! Anyway, the doctors magazine, Pulse, has recently covered this story again, and they quoted Dr John Read, professor of psychology at the University of East London.

     "People taking antidepressants need to be warned about these effects, which can be very upsetting, especially in people who are already experiencing depression."

So, five years after their research was published, Mind is calling for better support for people on antidepressant drugs, to help them cope with their potential impact, as well as better training for GPs and prescribing nurses. It is part of the charity's ‘Find the Words’ campaign. They say that mental heath care staff have insufficient training to cope with this important task, and that they have an incredibly difficult job to do, under enormous pressure. Pulse goes on,

               "The evidence that serious and long term ADRs resulting from SSRIs, SNRIs and other psychotropic drugs have been hidden from prescribers by both pharmaceutical companies and regulators continues to accumulate." (My emphasis).

In other words, doctors have been prescribing antidepressant drugs without knowing the full adverse reactions patients might experience! Pulse goes on to talk about the 'slight of hand' in pharmaceutical sponsored, ghost written clinical trials, which have "been categorised and documented".  Indeed, a comment made to Pulse from a hospital consultant makes an incredible admission!

               "... the "apparent lack of prescriber awareness of a damming and expanding ADR evidence base" (perhaps even a widespread denial) seems to contrast with the growing patient insight into such serious adverse experiences as Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. (PSSD."  (My emphasis).

So doctors are claiming that they have not been made aware of the side effects of antidepressant drugs, even though I was blogging about their dangers over 5 years ago! The evidence about the harm antidepressant drugs cause has been around for a very long time, but as usual the conventional medical establishment,has met this evidence by ignoring and denying it.

Indeed, the situation has been more than just 'ignored' or 'denied'. Prescriptions for antidepressant drugs for children rose 54% between 2005 and 2012 in the UK. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in early 2016 that it was very concerned by the rise in use of antidepressants in children in particular, both in the UK and other countries which it said was ‘not justified’. Prescriptions had increased 60% in Denmark, 49% in Germany, 26% in the USA, and 17% in The Netherlands.

And the hospital consultant then raises another issue, specifically about SSRI antidepressants, that doctors are are using these drugs "as part of the Ministry of Justice's on-going program to roll out a voluntary chemical castration program for certain categories of convicted sex offenders".

               "Two types of medication are available to treat sex offenders. The first are known as SSRIs -commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. They help govern activities such as eating, sleeping and sexual activity".

So this is what we are being asked to believe by the conventional medical establishment.

  • The nasty side effects of antidepressant drugs have been known about for many decades, but they have been ignored and denied, and doctors have not been told.
  • The prescription of antidepressant drugs, with their nasty side effects, has grown exponentially, especially in the last 20 years, including young, vulnerable children and young people.
  • Doctors, one part of the conventional medical establishment, who have prescribed these drugs, now claim in their defence that they were unaware of their nasty side effects.
  • Conversely, other doctors, involved in the management of convicted sex offenders, themselves part of the same conventional medical establishment, DID know about the nasty side effects of antidepressant drugs. Indeed, they are knowingly and intentionally using them to produce one of the nasty side effects!
There is a stunning duplicity of the most serious kind, bordering on criminality, here. People with depression have been given antidepressant drugs by doctors who now claim they have not been made aware they can cause chemical castration. So innocent patients have not been told. Even if this was so it points to unacceptable professional incompetence, and gross negligence.

On the other hand, convicted sex offenders are given antidepressant drugs by doctors who are quite aware that they can cause chemical castration. I wonder if these patients are aware of the intention of their doctors? I wonder if the criminal justice system is aware of what they are doing?

Now, let's have a show of hands. 
Who trusts the conventional medical establishment?
Who wants to entrust their health to conventional doctors?