Tumbling Further Down the Rabbit Hole: the Disturbing World of Antidepressant Withdrawal Research

For those still interested in the recent antidepressant withdrawal debate, here is a new and important instalment.

Before we get to the essential part, let us first recall that our systematic review in Addictive Behaviors (2018) showed, among other things, that around half of people who stop antidepressants experience withdrawal. This conclusion was critiqued in a blog by Joseph Hayes and Sameer Jauhar, to which we responded by pointing out the blog’s many serious errors and misrepresentations (see our response here: http://cepuk.org/2018/11/05/antidepressant-withdrawal-review-authors-respond-mental-elf-critique/

Our response to that blog, however, did not deal with one of Hayes and Jauhar’s core criticisms: that our systematic review had failed to include five randomised control trials (RTCs) [i]. They alleged that these five trials, while primarily focusing on the effectiveness of antidepressants, also contained data on the ‘incidence’ of withdrawal – that is, on how common withdrawal actually is. Had we included this data in our review, Hayes and Jauhar contended, the number of people suffering antidepressant withdrawal would have been lower than we reported, perhaps by around 10% [ii]. It was therefore either remiss or dishonest of us, they implied, not to include data from these studies.

Today, we would like to deal briefly with this particular blog criticism, not merely to show how groundless it is, but more importantly because, by doing so, we gain crucial insight into how shadowy and ethically suspect antidepressant withdrawal research can get when viewed up close.

The first thing to notice when looking at these five ‘studies’ is that the pharmaceutical company, Lundbeck, funded all of them. Additionally, all five studies were undertaken and written (either entirely or in part) by employees of Lundbeck, who reached the conclusion that their antidepressants were superior to competitor drugs.

The second thing to note about these studies is that three of them were not published as full studies at all. Rather, they were published as short ‘research supplements’ – each at around 300 words. For those who do not know much about ‘research supplements’, they are basically industry-funded study-summaries that some journals will publish in return for an industry fee. Needless to say, the obvious conflicts of interests these supplements involve (Lundh et al. 2010) as well as the serious challenges they pose to anyone wanting to assess their methods properly (supplements don’t provide enough detail for that), are just two among numerous ethical and scientific reasons as to why many credible journals, such as Lancet, now refuse to publish them (Lancet 2010).

The third and most disconcerting revelation about these five ‘studies’ and by extension the so-called evidence upon which Hayes and Jauhar base their critique, is that none of the five studies actually contain any data on the incidence of antidepressant withdrawal. To repeat, these five studies do not contain the very data that Hayes and Jauhar alleged we overlooked.

While this, of course, explains why we did not include these studies in our systematic review, it does not explain why Hayes and Jauhar claimed the data was there. We can only surmise that Hayes and Jauhar did not actually check these five studies. Rather, they simply quoted a Lundbeck-funded article, published three years later (by Baldwin et al. 2007), which somehow ‘cites’ data from these original five studies that were never included in them.

Two implications of this arise:

Firstly, and most obviously, by basing their arguments on such dubious foundations, Hayes and Jauhar invalidate many of their core criticisms, such as their view that the overall incidence rate from the RCTs is closer to 40% rather than our 50%, as well as their suggestion that we were not thorough (or even worse, were biased) by not including these five RCTs.

The second implication concerns why such research practices are ever permitted at all. How can a later article cite data from company-funded ‘studies’ that don’t actually report that data (let alone report the mechanisms by which that data was gathered)? And how can individuals, journals and professional communities permit or make use of these suspect practices while also receiving financial succour from the companies set to benefit from them?

Both implications can only add to the growing disquiet within the professional and service user communities as to the impoverished state of psychiatry’s withdrawal research. Where such research exists it is scattered and minimal (and, by design, minimises withdrawal effects). And where such research exerts influence it appears to do so less on behalf of patients (whose withdrawal often lacks proper recognition and support) than on those who promote, defend or evermore widely prescribe this class of psychopharmaceutical.

Dr James Davies

Professor John Read

References:

Baldwin DS, Hindmarch I, Huusom AKT, Cooper J (2004a). Escitalopram and paroxetine in the short and long-term treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 7 (Suppl. 2), S168–S169.

Baldwin DS, Huusom AKT, Mæhlum E (2004b). Escitalopram and paroxetine compared to placebo in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). European Neuropsychopharmacology 14 (Suppl. 3), S311.

Baldwin DS, Montgomery SA, Nil R, Lader M. (2007) Discontinuation symptoms in depression and anxiety disorders. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 1;10(1):73-84.

Lader M, Stender K, Burger V, Nil R (2004). The efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram in 12- and 24-week treatment of social anxiety disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study. Depression and Anxiety 19, 241–248.

The perils of journal and supplement publishing. Lancet 2010; 375(9712): 347. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60147-X

Lundh A, Barbateskovic M, Hróbjartsson A, Gøtzsche PC. (2010) Conflicts of interest at medical journals: the influence of industry-supported randomised trials on journal impact factors and revenue – cohort study. P L o S Medicine. 2 (1);7(10):e1000354. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000354

Montgomery SA, Durr-Pal N, Loft H, Nil R (2003). Relapse prevention by escitalopram treatment of patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). European Neuropsychopharmacology 13 (Suppl. 4), S364.

Montgomery SA, Huusom AKT, Bothmer J (2004a). A randomised study comparing escitalopram with venlafaxine XR in patients in primary care with major depressive disorder. Neuropsychobiology50, 57–64.

 

[i] These RCTs were: Baldwin 2004a & 2004b; Lader 2004; Montgomery 2003 & 2004).

[ii] We infer this 10% from the tables they produced in their original blog critique.

27 Responses to Tumbling Further Down the Rabbit Hole: the Disturbing World of Antidepressant Withdrawal Research

  1. Shane Kenny 08/01/2019 at 10:34 am #

    What a murky, dishonest, and profoundly disturbing world of so called “academic research” in the psychoactive drug arena is revealed by Dr James Davies. And it is world wide, not confined to any state, nor linked to any particular politics of right or left, but driven by the naked commercial interests of the pharmaceutical industry – the same driver as that of drug cartels. They are ably assisted by the psychiatric industry ( rather than profession) ranging from the ignorant to the naive and well meaning, but foolish, to the simply corrupt. It is a shame that Dr Davies valuable time has to be wasted exposing this rubbish. Where are our states and governments in dealing with this cancer?

    • Dr. Terry Lynch 08/01/2019 at 2:00 pm #

      Speaking of states and governments, on 5th December 2018 I wrote to Irish Prime MInister Leo Varadkar and MInister for Health Simon Harris, setting out the current debacle that is mental health, including the murkiness of the world of psychiatric drugs and about 20 other key issues.

      My ‘letter’ turned into a 120-plus page document, including over one hundred signatures and 32 personal contributions by people whose own experience of the so-called ‘mental health service’ have convinced them that a major paradigm change is urgently required. To date I have not received a reply, but I will not be letting this go. In the document, I made it clear to Messrs Varadkar and Harris that this mess is ultimately their responsibility.

  2. Michael Freeman 08/01/2019 at 1:20 pm #

    Putting safety entirely in the hands of the industry is not accepted in aviation ( https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Guide-to-aviation/Aviation-safety/ ) so why is it accepted in medicine ? The aviation approach works very well … “There is an average of one fatality for every 287 million passengers carried by UK operators. This can be compared with a one in 19 million chance of being struck and killed by lightning in the UK or a one in 17,000 chance of being killed in a road accident.” (from link above).

    • Rosemary Knowles 08/01/2019 at 2:51 pm #

      – Has anyone calculated the fatalities statistics of antidepressant users by comparison with the aviation industry safety guide? This review under discussion is dealing only with withdrawal effects of users – 56% being affected, and to different degrees. Until we record deaths, and especially suicides, of people suffering withdrawal, we will never change this epidemic of prescribing dangerous drugs to patients. It is time that all GPs and psychiatrists were forced, under pain of being struck off, to record every patient of theirs who has committed suicide or failed suicide, and then all those whose lives have been destroyed by them through broken relationships and an inability to return to work. WE NEED THESE STATISTICS RIGHT NOW.

      • Terry 08/01/2019 at 4:26 pm #

        I completely agree I have been a member of several on line forums for a few years now the harm and devastation that I have seen from these drugs is horrendous and sadly last year on one group alone we lost 12 members to suicide who were so affected by the withdrawal of their medication plus I have seen more suicides on other groups manynare young women and men who had there lwhole lives taken from them because they can find no help or treatments. Where are all the stats on these poor victims who is held responsible there is no justice

      • kiwi 08/01/2019 at 11:19 pm #

        Well said Rosemary.

      • Sarah Ruddock 09/01/2019 at 4:59 pm #

        For every relationship broken, there are probably two families destroyed: children, parents, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles and grandparents have their world shattered and their health suffers. The economic consequence for the country (as well as for the individuals concerned) must be immense. Has anybody attempted to quantify this?

        With apologies for speaking personally, I have lost my working life and my husband as a result of antidepressants and the time taken to withdraw from them. I have tried to discuss this with an aunt who was a consultant chest physician and worked both for the NHS and privately. She dismisses the matter with words along the lines of “these things happen”. If such an attitude is prevalent amongst older members of the medical profession, what hope is there?

        I too am sorry that Dr Davies has to waste his valuable time exposing this scandal, but am also very grateful that he chooses to do so and will always be interested in the debate.

      • Hannah Walker 23/01/2019 at 2:43 pm #

        Rosemary – please see my post below, and think about taking action. Please. Hannah :)

  3. J.Hill 08/01/2019 at 3:18 pm #

    The issue of harm from prescribed drugs will not simply go away. It also will not be correctly addressed while assuming that the harmful effects represent addiction.
    Reassigning responsibility from medical practice to the consumer has disguised the devastating effects of psycho-active drug withdrawal. To be made ill by a drug is not to be addicted to the drug.

    • Hannah Walker 23/01/2019 at 2:44 pm #

      J. Hill – please see my post below, and think about taking action. Please. Hannah :)

  4. Rosemary Knowles 09/01/2019 at 10:10 am #

    To be made ill by a prescribed drug is plain and simple poisoning by legal and regulated medicines. To then be assessed by a psychiatrist on the basis of your adverse reaction, like euphoria, or hypomania, and given a spurious stigmatising diagnosis from the bonkers DSM, and have a whole series of devastating orders brought against you by a totally ignorant Judge – who cannot work out that a mind-altering drug alters a person’s mind so that they are not themself, and therefore not culpable for their actions under their influence , – is a denial of the patient’s basic human rights. LOGICAL. Madness, or mental illness? The system we operate under in modern psychiatry with psychoactive drugs is plain crazy, stupid and EVIL. We should end it now. Judges in courts of law also need to be educated about these “medications”.

    • Sandra Villarreal 09/01/2019 at 6:20 pm #

      Rosemary Knowles, To become so iatrogenically ill while taking our so called ‘medicine’ that we actually look to suicide to end our suffering needs to be looked at too, and why do we consider such drastic measures? Because our so called ‘Medical Field’ refuses to acknowledge the facts about the drugs,therefore, shifting the blame onto us, the patient (yes, while we have our lives ripped apart & destroyed) accusing us of being: complainers, non-compliant, defective human beings, having addictive personalities.

      If the drugs were not so addictive, actually changing our brain chemistry, we wouldn’t have withdrawal symptoms so mentally horrendous and torturous to the point where putting a gun to our own head seems not only reasonable, but our only option of ending our ongoing suffering.

      By this time something has gone terribly wrong in our brain when we actually entertain thoughts of killing ourselves. It’s not natural. Nor is it normal.Yet the 35 years I was medicated I tried to kill myself over & over by overdosing on my own medicine/drugs to end the drug induced crippling depressions, one resulting in a coma given a 50/50 chance. Only we won’t know this until we’re off our ‘medications’ and the brain regains it’s homeostastis and we’re able to think rationally again, regaining our own mind & soul back again. What I have learned since my multiple cold-turkey withdrawals is the brain does heal, only in it’s time – not ours. I just had to hang on one more day, just one more day, just one more day…

      I loved your comment! Thank you for it.

      • Rosemary Knowles 12/01/2019 at 10:31 am #

        Sandra – Thank you too. We need to start a “me too” site for sufferers and also their families and carers, whose lives are devastated by supporting their loved ones through this hell of withdrawal. I agree with Sarah too. And good luck to Terry Lynch – if Ireland changes tack, we can move there before Brexit happens! The list of people I have appealed to, 2 Health Ministers, the P.M., my own M.P., MHRA, my son’s GP practice many times, NHS complaints, Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, Stephen Fry of MIND, my grandsons’ Head Teacher …..and lawyers to start a medical negligence claim – could take up a website apart from the suitcase in which I store all this mail. To no avail. If this Review does not achieve a total overturning of psychiatry in Britain then we have failed – it is imperative that it does so. My son was head-hunted to a Professorship at age 44.
        2+ years after his poisoning by his GPs – he has lost everything. Criminal.

    • Hannah Walker 23/01/2019 at 2:46 pm #

      Rosemary – please see my post below, and think about taking action. Please. You’re right – this CANNOT go on. This might, just might, do something. Hannah :)

  5. Hannah Walker 23/01/2019 at 2:37 pm #

    I have been severely harmed through withdrawal from psychiatric drugs. On some days, I simply cannot function. AT NO STAGE during the 30 wasted years I was taking appalling cocktails of prescribed medication did anyone, EVER mention the major issues I would have if I came off the drugs. And when I decided I would come off everything, with proper medical support and guidance, I received no help at all. None.

    Over the past four years, I’ve gathered a huge amount of information about the harm done by all psychiatric drugs, but particularly antidepressants. I have read endless scientific studies, including those where I have had to pay to get access, and I have studied for myself a great many Pharma industry reports of clinical trials of new antidepressants and the outcomes. I have been staggered by the amount of data that has not been made public. I am shocked at the sheer extent of the lies pedalled to the “stupid” public.

    I have found NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to support the “chemical imbalance” theory of mental illness. Nor have I found one single piece of evidence, or report of a clinical trial, which actually proves how – and why – antidepressants work. Presumably, they are correcting the “chemical imbalance” – which itself has never been proved to exist.

    There is no independent (non-Pharma) and definitive study explaining beyond reasonable doubt what is actually happening, and why, in the brain to cause depression. A “hypothesis” (not even as solid as a theory) about fluctuating levels of neurotransmitters, thought up 50 years ago, and NEVER PROVED, is not, in my opinion, enough to form the basis of a whole medical discipline. And yet – it does.

    Psychiatry has always wanted to sit at the High Table of medicine. Reinventing itself as a “scientific, evidence-based” branch of medicine (beginning in the 1970s) has meant that psychiatry has achieved its aim. And there it sits, at the High Table, with not one shred of evidence to support its presence.

    For me, the time for action has arrived. This subject is a hot one in the media at the moment, so highlighting the iatrogenic harm done to us, for which we are then blamed, seems to me to be the right thing to do. I have an idea…….

    FILL IN YELLOW CARDS. REPORTS OF ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS. ALL OF US, ON THE SAME DAY. IF WE SPREAD THE WORD TO THE FORUMS, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THOUSANDS OF YELLOW CARDS WILL HIT THE SYSTEM AT THE SAME TIME.

    WE COULD CAUSE COMPLETE HAVOC, SIMPLY BY DOING WHAT THE MEDICINES AGENCY WANTS US TO DO.

    Here’s the link to the website – PLEASE have a look.

    https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

    What do you all think? Comments?

  6. Hannah Walker 23/01/2019 at 2:38 pm #

    I forgot to put:

    PLEASE READ TO THE END – IMPORTANT

    • Rosemary Knowles 26/01/2019 at 9:02 pm #

      Hannah – I am so sad to hear about your long association with ADs and praise you for all your research in recent years. I have accumulated quite a library of books on the subject, but find resistance from others in the family,or friends, to do the research. It feels lonely and these comments are so gratifying to read and share. Regarding MHRA and Yellow cards – I sent them a long detailed letter about my son’s terrible experience over just 5 years in all, which ruined his former life. All I got for my trouble was a copy of my letter returned to me with a Yellow Card Number printed at the top; no personal apology, explanation or regret was expressed. They just do not care, so it was a waste of time. When I complained to JCIO about the Judge on the terrible case brought against my son to assess his risk to his sons, having suffered a bout of hypomania on the drug regime he was prescribed, as this Judge’s whole focus was on his current mental state which she felt justified treating him as a dangerous criminal in court – all I got from JCIO was an email, stating that they only dealt with matters such as if the Judge had been racist, swore in court or fell asleep at the bench. I tear my hair out trying to get anyone in employment with these complaints departments to actually engage personally and start a conversation. I have bought 4 copies of James Davies new book – CRACKED – which is excellent, and will send a copy to the Health Minister, and force some on to family members. Spreading the word to all who will listen seems the best way to fight this contagion, so I will keep bullying people to become informed by reading James’ clear, convincing and easy to read book. Hairdressers and the Samaritans cannot escape so they are good targets for this education. Sorry to be so negative about MHRA.

      • Hannah Walker 08/02/2019 at 2:16 pm #

        Hello Rosemary. I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to reply, but (strange to relate) I’ve been having a rather torrid time with the after effects of the psych meds I gave up 3 years ago! You aren’t being at all negative. You’ve done a great deal more than most in this ongoing struggle for recognition and acknowledgement of the damage done by ADs. I have to have endless patience whenever I discuss this with my local friends, because they just don’t get it. They simply refuse to believe that the severity of the iatrogenic damage done by these medications is possible – after all, “doctors know what they’re doing and they would never prescribe these drugs if what you say is true”. So I’m not only barking, I also tell lies!
        I WILL BE LISTENED TO. However long it takes.

        • Rosemary Knowles 19/03/2019 at 11:12 am #

          Hello again Hannah – I have only just found your 08/02 dated comment. Sorry – I AM LISTENING. i can relate perfectly to your frustration when ignorant people just deny your very genuine experience. My husband called me “totally obsessed” recently – but I understand that he is suffering such frustration from not being able to help his son. He – husband – is wonderfully supportive in practical ways – like facilitating access visits to our son’s little boys, long drives in all sorts of weather, and giving up Sundays twice a month for this. But these grandsons are what my son fought so hard for in court, at both financial cost and heavy emotional cost. ~Without them he would have committed suicide by now. But it is a “Catch 22” situation – because, although they keep him alive, they cause him the greatest grief over their loss to him, while they cause him the greatest anxiety trying to cater for their needs and trying to please them during contact. The anxiety never ends – any progress in my son’s health is so slow, and I have lost faith in all medical help, either for his physical problems – (do you have gut problems as an after-effect?) – and the mental health professionals. I WANT THEM TO LISTEN – AND TO HAVE TO PAY OUT COMPENSATION. – I know pigs might fly, but we must not give up.

  7. J.Hill 26/01/2019 at 10:00 pm #

    If we had known the facts, would we have taken any of these drugs? Why didn’t we know?

    First, the prescribing physician failed to warn and also may have actively deceived. Then improper discontinuation advice caused more harm. Damaged consumers’ losses are not taken as fact. We may have hard-core evidence of wrong-doing and no where to be heard. Laws may have been violated, and still the perpetrators continue and continue to profit.

    We may not be able to find justice for ourselves, but we can calmly warn others. There is great comfort in saving a potential victim. Let us hone our communication skills and tell our stories.

    Now I have not addressed the arrest. loss of liberty, and drugging of innocent people. This won’t be remedied by speaking out. This is a legal problem that undermines a constitutional democracy. Beyond compensation for loss of life, we need to stop misuse of government powers.How could that correction happen?

    I am involved in gathering evidence for use in legal action to compensate a woman who was arrested without proper procedure and forcibly drugged in custody, and all of this was and is against the law. Court record actually shows multiple violations of rights. This woman’s offence??? She was in acute benzo-withdrawal caused by her doctor. He bypassed the law and forever silenced her. .

    A judge is responsible for the lawful procedure in his/her court. Why is procedure successfully ignored? Whose agenda is served? Who is financially enriched? Why is legal representation not accessible?

    I ask this because these human rights violations are not just history. They continue daily.
    J.Hill

    • Rosemary Knowles 29/01/2019 at 10:50 am #

      J.Hill. What a sad story and very admirable of you to be fighting this. The legal case brought against my son caused him PTSD, although it was not diagnosed by a psychiatrist, but we his family can see that on top of the withdrawal effects, it is the injustice of the law and its punitive outcome on an innocent man that is destroying him. His wife was given powers to have him arrested whenever he got anywhere near to his sons, so he ended up in a Police cell for 22 hours in total – and was never charged with anything. She was the sick person. Despite all the professionals and experts used to assess him declaring him low risk, the wife insisted on a psychiatric assessment for reassurance. It cost £1,000 and the result was not to be private. Having studied the Rosenhan experiment – as reported in CRACKED – he refused to undergo this. So the Judge forced him into it by removing all his access to his sons awarded to date, apart from one email a week – and the wife offered to pay half the cost. With reluctance he acquiesced – and hey presto – he was said to be low risk and in remission, but due to that short period of hypomania he experienced when his drugs were doubled and overlapped, he was declared to be bi-polar. He was devastated by this stigma, even though we his family told him it was nonsense -(Gotzsche) – but he was forced to declare it on his driving licence. Little snippets of change have occurred since I complained to Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May – like the directive that mentally ill people should not be taken to hospitals by Police, but by ambulance. We all have to keep up the fight through exposing these violations of human rights. The medical fraternity, including GPs and Psychiatrists and MHRA are totally self-serving and cultic in the way they protect the profession. Lawyers should be better but alas are so costly that they are not accessible to most victims.

    • Rosemary Knowles 26/03/2019 at 9:53 am #

      Dear J.Hill – it is now nearly 2 months since your last comment on this thread – and no-one has taken up your issues. Having seen both the Legal Profession and the Medical Profession at work in my son’s case – it is hard to judge which is worse. The lawyers are more obsessed by procedure, and “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” went out of the window a long time ago. And – they too are driven by greed and “winning” and do not take risks to defend glaring breaches of human rights; – even when they just turn up in court, which was not always the case. My son was notified on the eve of a hearing that his barrister had to cancel due to a prior case running on – so a replacement was provided one hour before the hearing was due to begin. Then again the Judge could and did bring the hearing forward by an hour or so, another time – just pinning a notice on the door or board to inform those involved in the case at short notice – which meant that a replacement barrister had even less time to meet and brief my son on another occasion. His Judge sounded like a psychopath (his father was a Mackenzie Friend twice so witnessed her), who set out to bully and humiliate and petrify my son, who was totally blameless and never harmed anyone. It was she who contributed to his PTSD in the greatest way. She was a criminal – criminally ignorant, and drunk with her power. I have total contempt for these professions – so the fault must lie in our systems. Or is it just that the psychopaths rise to the top like cream – and for part of their education they should be sent to do a year’s hard-labour to gain some humility and empathy for others affected and damaged by society.

  8. J.Hill 26/03/2019 at 9:55 pm #

    Rosemary, I agree with you wholeheartedly. During the long period in history when witches were seen to lurk everywhere, the accusation of witchcraft was equivalent to being guilty of witchcraft. If we replace the word, witch, with mentally ill person, we have the same legal procedure. Have we not overcome this ignorance? Apparently those in power have not. Law is ignored. Power rules.

    In the USA, there were scandals in which very young people who were accused of minor crime or misbehavior were sentenced to seriously abusive juvenile prisons. Why would a judge do this? In the exposed cases, the judge was being paid a bounty for each child so inappropriately condemned? What similarity am I suggesting?

    I have read state laws that detail procedure and emphasize the rights that apply to anyone. I also have read a court transcript that revealed the wholesale denial of the law. How does this happen?

    One way that this injustice is promoted and covered is the claim that people have no rights once they are accused of having a mental illness? Does this scenario differ from witch-trials?

    How is law ignored? Who profits? We have harped on Big Pharma, but these people can’t cause harm without help. Who is providing this help? Who is profiting?

    What I saw in the official record reveals that no person is safe from the accusation of mental illness and the automatic punishment that follows. Law is being disregarded because the accused is debased by the accusation.

    A case of Patrick Walter in Denver Colorado USA gruesomely illustrates the deadly consequence. Walter was jailed for disorderly conduct. His legitimate prescription for Clonazepam was taken from him. He died over a period of 17 days of torture including being strapped to a chair and being tasered for having seizures. The case was published by Westword, newspaper in Denver Colorado USA.

    This is active aggression toward those who are taking prescribed drugs whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Law is ignored. Well here civil procedure is winning money. Attorneys for Walter’s family have won a lot after the first round. More of the abusers will be sued. All of this is good, but Walter remains dead. He was made dependent on Clonazepam, and this allowed his being tortured to death.

    When one of us is so grievously harmed, every citizen, whether in contact with a mental health system or not, is at risk. How is this ignored? Part of the answer is the promotion of the idea that these are just crazies and not real people.

    I suggest that financial profit is the driving force of this abuse. Now when an individual loses money to illegal activity, nothing happens, When government coffers are the losers, thing happen. We can’t win back our lives. Governments that pay for drugs and undeserved treatment can win back their money. This might provide the beginning to ending the abuse.

    When rights of one group are violated, people see this as not being important. Maybe this is how the abuses remain unaddressed. “Oh that doesn’t affect me.. until it does.

    • Rosemary Knowles 01/04/2019 at 5:24 pm #

      J. Hill – shocking story about Patrick Walter. I wonder if the prescribing of these poisonous drugs can be included in the definition of “crimes against humanity” – I am not fit to do the research, but a lawyer could. Once successful – there could be a Class Action, or just lots of individual cases brought by victims, against the Royal College of Psychiatry who continue to be the main “pushers” of these harmful drugs. The buck should stop with them. I shall put my mind to it, and write another letter or two. How about you? My obsession continues.

  9. J.Hill 01/04/2019 at 9:29 pm #

    Rosemary-Your obsession is laudable. Too easily the harmed people are discouraged. They may feel threatened as well.

    In the USA, we have “HIPPA” laws. One item there forbids any patient from accessing his or her “therapy notes”. “Therapy note” is treated as medical record. If a harmed person cannot access the record that was written by a dishonest mental health worker, the proof of misdeeds (lying on the record) is hidden, the criminal can’t be charged.

    Therefore, the federal law gives shelter to people who have committed unlawful acts. The severe damage to the object of these crimes never is exposed. No one seems to care about the victims. A victim with a mental illness label, in practice, has lost the rights guaranteed in the US Constitution. The fourteenth amendment is quite relevant.

    I am vaguely dancing around the issue. Mental health workers are people. People may seek to control other people. When a client who has suffered extreme trauma dismisses a belligerent and controlling therapist, that therapist easily can file false reports in order to incarcerate the client. This is unlawful because, making false entries in a client’s record is a statutory offence as is filing a false police report. This is aggressive mental health worker behavior. It is well hidden. The result can be physical dependence upon a forced drug along with the label, addict.

    Exposing this is not possible without the hard copy evidence contained in the record that is forever out of reach of the harmed person. Now another take on this is the fact that government money often is involved. Government agencies may be paying for illicit incarceration of innocent people. Insurance companies also are billed for illicit incarceration. Now there must be an explanation of how and why this continues without mention anywhere. Usually a lot of money is being moved.

    I mentioned that these unlawful incarcerations include drugging of the accused. Drugs are used without thought of interactions between drugs. What harm may come of this? I am sure that everyone here knows that answer.

    I so hope that you continue your obsession, Rosemary. Thank you for those valiant efforts.
    J.Hill

    P.S. At CEPUK, members come from English-speaking countries. What is happening in non-English-speaking countries?

    • Rosemary Knowles 04/05/2019 at 9:15 am #

      J. Hill – Just thought I would inform you that I had written to the President of The Royal College of Psychiatry – Prof Wendy Burn,111 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 8LB England. Yes, they/she should know intimately about the harm to their victims of being prescribed their noxious drugs in the pretence of medication. I reported my son’s case and promised to send copies to Parliament if she did not reply. It has been nearly a month now and no response of any kind. I shall follow up with more details of what his state has become since my letter – more deterioration since he became unemployed. I shall even enclose photos so she will be forced to see this is a real person and someone’s beloved son. I challenged her whether psychiatrists were human and whether this drugging was a crime against humanity. Copies will go to Matt Hancock our Health Minister. They have to listen. Even one person harmed is too many, how many thousands have there been?

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