7 thoughts on “Medications: Scientific Miracles or Potent Placebos?

  • June 1, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I am quite eager to hear more. And perhaps the use of medications as a *cause* of mental illness too.

    I speak from a personal experience. My old doctor prescribed Webutrin/Zyban to help me quit smoking. (They are the same drug, prescribed in the same dose.) I began having anxiety attacks, depression, etc…My life fell apart, and I entered the “mental health system.” It was the worst mistake of my life! I was “diagnosed” with almost everything but schizophrenia! And put on more drugs than I can count! I was a zombie, and made physically ill. (My family and friends can attest to all of what I am saying.) Now, I continue to have anxiety, which I never had before. And, I have a false diagnoses on my health record, for which I have just hired a lawyer to help me expunge. All because I wanted to quit smoking! Heck, smoking causes less damage than the mental health system has done to me — and I am *not* exaggerating one iota.

    Thank you for opening up this avenue. I “anxiously” look forward to more! :>)


    • June 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm


      I will pursue this issue of drugs as a cause of mental illness in a future post. For now, here’s one of my stories about that: I was admitted to hospitals twice for psychiatric issues in 2000. The first time was for depression, during which confinement the doctors started me on Effexor. At the time Effexor was considered a cutting edge and powerful antidepressant. Five days after discharge I was withdrawing from my brief exposure to benzodiazepines (a story outlined in my response to your comment on my post Extreme Hazards and also feeling more and more the effect of the new antidepressant. Very soon I rocketed into a manic state, the first and only such full-blown mania of my life. This manic episode, which earned me the elevated ‘bipolar type 1’ diagnosis, was clearly evoked by the medications. So although my mental health had always been uneven, the drugs destabilized me further and pushed me into mental states far more extreme than anything my mind had come up with in the pre-drug days.


  • June 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Medications for depression tend to mask symptoms without doing anything to “cure” the underlying biochemical disorder that is responsible for mood disorders. Pleas google search:

    “Depression is a Nutritional Disorder”

  • June 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    What I would love to know is where to go to find out if doctotors can label a person bipolar I or II mixed solely on the bases of mania type behavior that is seen, ONLY when on antidepressants? I have never shown even hypomania unless I was on antidepressants. I was having great difficulity sleeping because I have a great deal of pain, now that I found a pain mainagement dr. I sleep is much better, but at the time I was asked to see a psch doc until I could find a pain specalist. I thought I had made it very clear, I had a PAD, she gave me trazadone. I asked isn’t that a antidepressant? instead of answering I was told oh this is what we use for sleep and anxity(I do have a dignoses of PTSD and DDNOS)I droped it(I was very sleep deprived to the point I would not drive) a month and a half later I was in the hospital, after more than 12 years of 0 hospitalizations, and being labeled by everyone bipolar, and everyone trying to push even more drugs on me, and not one doctor told me the trazadone was an antidepresant nor did they take me off, even w/ my therapist asking them to and my PAD state no antidepressants. When I got out I stopped on my own, and started getting better even with the side effects, I was not on a high dose. So can they really say I’m bipolar? If I have never had an epasode without an antidepressant or is it as they claim, mania on a antidrepressant is proof you are bipolar? If this is true, why have’t I ever needed medicine unless I was on an antidepressant? If this sounds like a circlular logic thats how it feels to me, I can’t make sense of it can you help me? A sepreate question, why did they not pay any attention to my noterized PAD?

    • June 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm


      I can’t say much about the specifics of your situation, but the diagnosis of bipolar disorder on the basis of reaction to antidepressants is all too common. It happened to me, and for years I never questioned the notion. Psychiatrists even like to use the phrase “antidepressant challenge” as if you could use a side effect to diagnose a mental illness. Robert Whitaker takes on this issue in ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic”. Worth reading. Thanks for the comment.


  • June 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks for the name of the book, I’ll be looking for it.

  • June 10, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I would like to second the recommendation for Robert Whitaker’s excellent recent book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. That book (along with Whitaker’s previous book on the subject, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill) have completely changed the way that I look at the treatment of mental illness.


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