I was in Albertson’s recently and witnessed a striking reminder of what’s seriously broken in our society. The woman in front of me was placing her items on the conveyor belt– a 2 liter bottle of Coke, a family pack of frozen Pork Taquitos, a jumbo bag of Doritos, followed by a giant box of antacid to fight the onslaught of what her stomach was about to endure. Why do we eat things that cause our bodies to break down (I literally wanted to cry for that woman’s stomach lining) and think it’s okay as long as we medicate ourselves in order to do so? It’s so sad I can’t stand it. It reminded me of my previous life, clinically burnt out in veterinary medicine, having to take a handful of pills to go to work every morning. Meds for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, migranes, ulcers, acne… God, it was terrible. I had to completely burn to the ground and start over in order to save my life. Three years later I’m not taking any prescription pills.
Big Pharma and the American Medical Association (& others) would have us believe that it’s okay to make destructive choices because there’s a pill to counter-act our abuses. Don’t stop eating salt; just take a diuretic for your hypertension. Forget about cutting out saturated fats for your cholesterol, because there are so many good statin drugs on the market. Why change your life and consider other options for the work that’s literally killing you, when there are great anti-depressants on the market? Just stay right there in the rat race, like a good soldier.
In Bruce Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief, he cites a 2002 APA journal article from Prevention & Treatment, called “The Emperor’s New Drugs.” In the article, a University of Connecticut psychology professor Irving Kirsch found that 80% of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect.
Kirsch had to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to get the results of these clinical trials from Big Pharma because the Food and Drug Administration refused to publish them. When he was finally able to read the clinical trials, he found that the difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on a scale of sixty! The difference, by any scientific measure, was clinically meaningless; a failed experiment. Yet, the antidepressant industry earns over ten billion dollars a year thanks to all of us who trust the behemoth system which tells us to diligently pop our pills and get back on that hamster wheel, like I did for ten years. 80% of psychological improvement could be attributed to the placebo effect, and yet these are the recently published side-effects of anti-depressants in the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) category, the most commonly prescribed, and so called “safest” anti-depressants on the market-
- Vivid and violent dreams
- Inability to detect dreams from reality (The world takes on an other-worldly aspect)
- No emotions
- Inability to feel guilt or cry
- Loss of appetite
- Rash; Breathing or lung problems
- Heart fluttering
- Shaking – jitteriness
- Unusual energy surges at times producing super human strength (adrenalin rushes)
- Memory impairment
- Hair loss
- Blurred vision or pressure behind the eyes
- Inability to discontinue use of drug and increasing own dose
- Cravings for alcohol, sweets, and other substances or drinking large sums of alcohol, coffee or other caffeinated drinks, diet pop with NutraSweet, etc.
- Swelling and/or pain in joints
- Burning or tingling in extremities
- Muscle twitching or contractions
- Tongue numbness and slurred speech
- Chills or cold sweats
- Muscle weakness
- Extreme fatigue
- Diabetes or hypoglycemia
- Lowered immune system
- Seizures or convulsions
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Mood swings
- Altered personality
- Symptoms of mania, ie., inability to sit still or restlessness, racing thoughts, acting silly or giddy (like a teenager again)
- Sexual promiscuity leading to unwanted pregnancy or divorce
- Irresponsibility, wild spending sprees, gambling, criminal behavior, shoplifting, embezzling, stealing, hostility, etc.
- Blank staring
- Inability to see any alternatives in situations
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Wanting to ram other cars or driving irrationally
- Impulsive behavior with no concern about consequences
- Numbness in various body parts – legs go numb and right out from under patient
- Sexual organs go numb making orgasm impossible
- Pulling away from loved ones and others (isolating oneself)
- No desire to be touched
- Falsely accusing others of abuse – family members or acquaintances
- Loss of spirituality
- Feeling “possessed” or that something evil is inside
- Self destructive behavior and suicidal ideation
- Suicide attempts
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of co-ordination
It’s criminal. I want people to find another way. We deserve better. We need to start listening more to our bodies and less to the billion dollar ad campaigns from Big Pharma. This gets me so fired up!
Thank you for listening.
“Would it be preposterous to you that, before we diagnose seasonal affective disorder, we have to rule out first starvation of the spirit, and that before we prescribe serotonin reuptake inhibitors or megalight, we first prescribe courses on Emerson and Thoreau and lessons in cross-country skiing…?” – Paul Fleischman, MD, during his Oskar Pfister Award Lecture delivered to the American Psychiatric Association in 1993.