Many people experience Depression and Anxiety and feel alone with their struggle. You are not alone! The right to know the risks of the treatment for depression and for anxiety and the right to know the alternative treatment, is your right. Many individuals are not given this right when they go for help.
Little do most people know, but there exists a medical test that can evidence if mental health treatment, which is most often a drug, will predictably cause adverse reactions in a patient, prior to giving them the drug. Mental Health drugs carry strong FDA warnings of hallucinations, mania, psychosis, suicidal and homicidal actions and thoughts and more tragic consequences. The medical test is available through your physician and you have the right to ask for it. Mental health treatment is, by law, under the established legal boundaries of Informed Consent (the right to know the risks of the treatment and the right to know about the alternative treatment).
The scientific study of drugs (pharma) and genetics (inherited characteristics) is called “Pharacogenomics”. This study looks at how genetic characteristics influence medication response and can evidence the inability of a person’s body, to absorb and utilize a drug.
Individual’s responses to drugs are largely influenced by drug metabolism and the ability to metabolize is influenced by the activity of enzymes (electron transfer agents in pathways of the body that are responsible for metabolism). Added variables are the more than fifty different genes that affect the behavior of the metabolic enzymes. Even more variables exist and they include a group of enzymes that have several different versions of each enzyme due to one’s genetic make-up. There are, also, proteins, within the body that play a role in whether the body can break down and assimilate a drug or whether the drug will simply act as a toxin
Medical science has known about these variables for years and has had a way to test these variables to determine the dangers that the drugs may cause to the individual patient. The public is not made aware that this test exists. This includes testing for drugs that are prescribed for physical ailments as well as mental health symptoms
Ones hereditary characteristics adds up to a lot of variables that determine whether an individual can predict that they are likely to experience the FDA adverse effect warnings of mania, psychosis, hallucinations, sudden death, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts and homicidal thoughts and more.
The absorption, distribution, metabolism or elimination of the drug is all influenced by hereditary factors.
Mental health treatment has no medical test done, prior to the prescribing of the drugs, to determine that an individual needs that drug. It is unlike medical science used for determining a physical ailment and this, most definitely, excludes mental health treatment from the realm of scientific fact. It is a field strewn with opinion. Individuals have the right to full factual information so that they can better their lives. (search through the site www.mentalhealthrights.org to find out more)
The following is a table, from the FDA, of the many factors that can influence whether a drug will cause an adverse response.
Factors Influencing Drug Response
|Absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion|
|Genetic polymorphism of drug-metabolizing enzymes|
|Absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion|
Source of Table: Adapted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. International Conference on Harmonisation: guidance on ethnic factors in the acceptability of foreign clinical data; availability. Federal Register 1998;63(111):31790–31796. http://www.fda.gov/cder/guidance/2293fnl.pdf. Accessed October 17, 2007.
Other source of information: Drugs and Genes
Coriell personalized medicine collaborative https://cpmc.coriell.org/Sections/Medical/DrugsAndGenes_mp.aspx?PgId=216
College students mental health problems are the focus of the mental health community and have been for over 7 years. While some may think this is a positive thing, others do not. In the Report to the Mental Health Issues Subcommittee, 2008, college students mental health is the topic and in the wake of the Virginia Tech mass shooting, the State University System of Florida addresses the subcommittee by, of course, asking State Universities to ask for more funding for their mental health programs.
What does that mean for college students mental health problems? It means that each institution in the State University System was advised to come up with policies and procedures for reporting any student who exhibits “at-risk behavior”. College students now, and for many decades, experience a new set of pressures that, at times, brings anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and more. This is not new and had been addressed, long ago, by the family physician that would perform medical tests to understand why the young man or woman was responding in such a way to stress. There is much medical research in regards to physical ailments and deficiencies and how these things adversely affect the way a person can or cannot handle stress. With the stress and ensuing mental health symptoms, a college student is placed in the position, in our current era, of having mental health counselors right on campus.
While you may feel it is appropriate to relay your symptoms to those counselors, be aware that most campuses are now under the recommendations that were given at this Subcommittee meeting. That does not mean that it is not appropriate to speak with a counselor, it simply means to be aware and that you may want to additionally and/or initially speak with your parents about your troubles. Under the 2008 report this is the recommendation that was issued and followed, “All institutions reported that they initially attempt to assist the student on campus. However, institutions reported that they will either refer a student for an outside evaluation or initiate hospitalization if the student presents an imminent threat to self or others.” This is referred to in the report, as using the Baker Act, the Florida involuntary commitment law.
This is a subject with many parts and at this juncture, let’s examine those parts simply and with factual information.
There have been a number of mass-shootings in public and on college campuses over the last decade.
- There is evidence that the majority of those individuals who committed those mass shootings were on mental health drugs at some point in their lives.
- The FDA clinical trials reveal that mental health drugs do carry adverse effects of mania, delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, violence, aggression, homicidal ideation and more.
- There are medical professionals throughout the state and the country who specialize in the field of mental health and utilize medical testing to evidence the potential physical cause for unwanted mental health symptoms. (I.e. nutritional deficiencies, allergies, hormone problems, thyroid problems, tumors and more)
College students are asked, throughout their education, to analyze and evaluate facts, theories and hypotheses. This is possibly one of the most important sets of data that a college student could evaluate. Our culture is ridden with direct-to-consumer advertising that encourages the use of mental health drugs. Pharma vested dollars are spent in the billions to ensure that names of drugs and promotional campaigns are in the face of every American. Media perpetuates fear and often false information in terms of this issue. They help to drive the one thought process that the individuals who perpetuated these horrendous mass-killings, were in need of more mental health drugs or different ones.
Ask yourself this question: Is anyone deficient in drugs that are in the same class as cocaine? The medical answer, of course, is “No”. No one is deficient in these drugs. They are chemical restraints that when the adverse effects start to take place, create more mental health symptoms for the individual. The adverse effects begin at different times and in different ways for each person taking them. Similar to any other drug, the body needs to metabolize the drug, otherwise toxicity occurs.
Returning to the recommendation given to the Subcommittee, be aware that if the school does initiate the Baker Act on you or on one of your friends, this may halt your ability to complete your college education. Another recommendation in this report is “mandating a one-time assessment for a student who has been involuntarily committed under the Baker Act, to be done prior to allowing the student to return to class.” Again, this report is making recommendations for all State Universities to adopt policy in relationship to this. Perhaps it may be beneficial for you to ask to get a copy of your college’s policy. In relation to a mandatory assessment, this assessment is by a mental health professional and is done based upon a list of symptoms, only, and does not rely on medical science. Mental health professionals have no trouble admitting that fact and in fact, the Diagnostical Manual used for billing purposes has been cited as having a majority of its contributors with financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.
Some college students experiment with the mental health drugs and use them to stay awake and study or to calm themselves down or a variety of uses. What is at stake here is a college student’s entire future. With a record as having been diagnosed with mental illness; or a history of mental health problems; or a Baker Act, will most definitely carry forward in the future of that individual’s career and personal life. The records are private medical records, but the history carries forward and if you are ever asked if you have been diagnosed or committed, at say the Department of Motor Vehicles or elsewhere, you would have to answer affirmatively. For anyone that is held past the 72 hour hold, on a Baker Act, if a petition to keep the individual in the facility, reaches the court, there will be a court record of this forever more and is available as a public record. Every medical practitioner who accesses your records will take into consideration all the stigma and rhetoric that is attached to the mental health history, as well.
People of all ages, throughout Florida, face this situation every single day. Unfortunately, it is often after the fact. Again, think through the facts and perhaps you want to get more information as to the medical testing that can be done to assist an individual in finding out the true cause of any unwanted mental health symptom.
Never fear, the media will have you think you are mentally ill or at least at risk of being so. In a 2015 updated report regarding State Universities,”Campus Safety and Security: Critical Issues”, there shows an increase of 16% in the amount of college students who are experiencing severe psychological problems since the year 2000 and a consistent and steady “increase in the number of students arriving on campus that are already on psychiatric medication.”
All the “buzz words” are cited as being surveyed with college students these days (the same words that are issued in the media on a continual basis); “overwhelming anxiety”, “difficulty functioning”, “depression”, and more. With a 48% increase in college students going to college campus mental health centers since 2008-2009, you know that the media, advertising and rhetoric is winning the race to get young people diagnosed and on costly mental health drugs. College student mental health problems are big money for some and costly in terms of dollars and futures, for others.
Your right, foremost, is to always be given the full factual information in regards to the risks of any proposed treatment and the alternative treatment. Your right is to know that alternative treatment does exist and that medical testing is available to help identify any genuine and physical cause, ailment, disease, deficiency, that may be causing you to experience anxiety, depression, lack of focus, etcetera.
The brain is malleable and reacts favorably to several specific supplements. Prescription dose Folic Acid is most active in the brain and can bind to serotonin receptors. In fact it has affinity for 4 different serotonin receptors.
Another well-known supplement for brain health is fish oil. I am aware many people already take omega-3 fatty acids, but it is important to know that different concentrations affect the brain in different ways. EPA and DHA arrive in the brain via different mechanisms. EPA arrives in the central nervous system via carrier across blood brain barrier and DHA has direct diffusion capability. Data has shown that depending on the concentration and time of day given these supplements affect both elements of depression and anxiety. Thus product selection is of the utmost importance for treating mental health conditions.
Lithium Ornitrate and passionflower also have pivotal roles in mental health treatment. Mood stabilizing activity as well as anxiolytic effects is very reproducible.
There are many alternative options that have proven workability in terms of mental health symptoms.
Pamela Seefeld, R.Ph.
Dealing with mental health problems can be intensely painful for the individual and for their family and friends. Common mental health problems such as, Bipolar, ADHD, Binge Eating Disorder, Schizophrenia, Anorexia and Depression can be overwhelming and confusing.
There are medical professionals that lead the way, in terms of helping people who feel they have mental problems, to understanding the field of mental health.
Dr. Allen Frances, M.D., Chairman of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual Committee, fourth revision, in a 2012 article published in “Psychology Today”, says, “The history of psychiatry is littered with fad diagnoses that in retrospect did far more harm than good…
The motives of the people working on DSM 5 have often been questioned. They have been accused of having a financial conflict of interest because some have (minimal) drug company ties and also because so many of the DSM 5 changes will enhance Pharma profits by adding to our already existing societal overdose of carelessly prescribed psychiatric medicine.”
Dr. Fred Baughman, Child Neurologist, stated “Psychiatry, in all of this time, doesn’t have one case report of one disease validated, not one. What they do is they meet at the Psychiatric American Association. They meet in the DSM committee (The Diagnostic Statistical Manual Committee) and they vote on making new behavioral and emotional disorders and then they vote and then they start immediately calling them diseases and they tell people, they tell the public these are diseases. Total Fraud.”
Most patients would agree with both Dr. Baughman and Dr. Frances, when given some thought, because there isn’t a medical test that can evidence mental health problems in terms of disease or disorders. The evaluation that a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist does in order to place the diagnosis of Depression, or any other diagnosis, is purely subjective. Meaning that it relies, solely, on the observation of the doctor and his or her adjudication of what your symptoms may be adding up to in terms of the choices the doctors have from the DSM.
Medical science uses tests to confirm illnesses such as Diabetes or Cancer. Those test results are used as evidence of ailment and a basis for all treatment.
With no medical test to evidence what is causing your mental health symptoms, you are simply relying on the doctor’s adjudication which is, of course, a vested interest, not a biological or scientific process.
Dr. Frances mentions that the changes in the diagnostical manual will enhance Pharma. A study out of the University of Massachusetts, in 2012, confirms this by having found that, “Three-fourths of the work groups continue to have a majority of their members with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.”
Without negating any mental health symptom someone may be experiencing, there is no doubt that anyone of us, at any point in our lives could experience mental health problems. Life is stressful, loss is real, and pain is relentless. There are answers for those who need help. The facts and information that this article provides are the road to full information for you and with that, you may be more likely to make decisions that will truly better your life.
The FDA places strong warnings on the mental health drugs. Warnings such as mania, psychosis, delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, sudden death, suicidal and homicidal thoughts. These and/or similar warnings are in the package insert of every prescription bottle. They are also mental health symptoms in themselves. For example, antidepressants carry warnings of worsening depression and suicidal thoughts. That is a big risk to take when you are only looking for help.
The fact is, and has been, since the 1960s, that there are medical professionals who rely on bona-fide medical testing to help find the underlying physical cause of any unwanted mental health symptom. Hard to believe, but scientifically true. For anything from Anorexia, to Depression, to Anxiety, and more, there are actual physical ailments that are known to cause these mental health symptoms and the more traditional doctors perform medical tests to help evidence the cause and therefore what best treatment options are available to you.
The New York Times, in 2011, published an article, titled, “For Some, Psychiatric Trouble May Start in Thyroid”. This article states, “In patients with depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems, doctors often find abnormal blood levels of thyroid hormone.”
Dr. Doris Rapp has worked for decades to medically test patients for food intolerances and allergies that were causing her patients extreme anxiety, depression and all sorts of mental health symptoms.
There are a whole host of traditional medical professionals who specialize in helping individuals with mental health problems to find the potential underlying physical cause.
There is an entire center dedicated to this purpose, in Arizona, called “Alternative to Meds Center”, where they have many medical professionals right at the center who work with patients all the time to resolve their mental health symptoms with medical testing and alternative treatments. This is the philosophy at Alternative to Meds Center:
“Our belief is that real underlying causes do exist for why an individual may suffer from addiction, depression, anxiety, lack of ambition, or be incapable of handling emotional pain. Though prescription drugs do have a role in treatment, they often do not address the underlying problems, and carry side effects, making them less than ideal. We believe that many mood disorders are the result of inadequate nutrition, or the inability to metabolize proper nutrition because of a toxicity overload, mutated genes, or damaged enzymes.
A balanced individual should be capable of handling even grave tragedies without those situations turning into chronic mood disorders. We not only address this balance with customized programs for nutrition and detoxification but also with medication tapering, counseling, exercise, supplementation, acupuncture, and yoga. Recreational drug use and ‘self-medicating’ may be due to underlying metabolic problems as well as behavioral ones.”
There are many medical professionals throughout the country who are traditional in their approach and have your best interests in mind when treating you. You do, always, have the right to full information in order to make an informed decision that is for the betterment of your life and quality of your life. That right is assured to you through the universally accepted and legal concept of Informed Consent. You always have the right to know the risks of the proposed treatment and the alternative treatment.
In closing Dr. Frances, in the Psychology Today article, gives us these words of wisdom, “I would suggest… that potential patients be deeply skeptical, especially if the proposed diagnosis is being used as a rational for prescribing medication for you or for your child; and that payers question whether some of these are suitable for reimbursement.”
Psychology Today, 2012, “DSM 5 Is Guide Not Bible—Ignore Its Ten Worst Changes”, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201212/dsm-5-is-guide-not-bible-ignore-its-ten-worst-changes.
“No Science, No Cures”, Youtube
New York Times, 2011, “For Some, Psychiatric Trouble May Start in Thyroid”
Psychotropic drugs do carry side effects, as all drugs do; yet individuals are rarely given the package insert that comes with the prescription. The FDA places severe warnings of psychotropic drugs side effects and the public have a right to know these adverse effects as well as the alternative treatments that are available for the individuals who is experiencing mental health symptoms.
We are in a country that permits direct-to-consumer advertising and with that advertising comes a hurried or minimally visible listing of the side effects.
Take note that the listed psychotropic drugs side effects come from clinical trials where patients experienced these effects. Real lives were harmed in the trials and real-lives are harmed in every day life.
There is no denying that anyone at anytime can experience mental health symptoms and sometimes severe symptoms, that can intrude on their ability to live a happy life. Yet, each and every one of us has the right to know what our choices are in handling those symptoms.
Symptoms are a result of a cause and the mental health community does not even profess to know the medical cause of unwanted mental health symptoms in terms of medical tests that evidence the cause. For example, most mental health diagnoses that lead to psychotropic drugs are questionnaires that either the patient fills out or the doctor delivers as a subjective assessment to the patient. These are not objective medical tests.
Stimulant drugs for children and for adults carry warnings such as the ones listed on the package insert of the ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder Drug, Vyvanse.
Mental (psychiatric) problems including:
In Children, Teenagers, and Adults:
- new or worse behavior and thought problems new or worse bipolar illness
- seeing or hearing things that are not real believing things that are not real
- being suspicious
In Children and Teenagers
new psychotic symptoms such as:
- Hearing voices
- Believing things that are not true
- Being suspicious
- New manic symptoms
The most common side effects of VYVANSE in ADHD include:
decreased appetite o diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
upper stomach pain
- Weight loss
Anxiety drugs for children and adults, such as Xanax, a Benzodiazepine, carry warnings such as the following, and more:
Changes in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of benzodiazepines have been reported in a variety of disease states including alcoholism, impaired hepatic function and impaired renal function. Changes have also been demonstrated in geriatric patients.
Pediatrics — The pharmacokinetics of alprazolam in pediatric patients have not been studied
Certain adverse clinical events, some life threatening, are a direct consequence of physical dependence to XANAX. These include a spectrum of withdrawal symptoms; the most important is seizure (see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE). Even after relatively short- term use at the doses recommended for the treatment of transient anxiety and anxiety disorder (i.e., 0.75 to 4.0 mg per day), there is some risk of dependence.
Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women.
Suicide and mania
Depression drugs for children and adults, such as Zoloft, carry these warnings, and more:
Suicidal thoughts or actions; first on the list
Worsening depression, second on the list
- Attempts to commit suicide
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- Acting aggressive or violent
- Thoughts about suicide or dying
- New or worse depression
- New or worse anxiety or panic
- Feeling agitated, restless, angry or irritable
- Trouble sleeping
- An increase in activity or talking
More than what is normal for you
- Other unusual changes in behavior
This condition can be life threatening and may include:
- Agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status
- Coordination problems or muscle twitching (overactive reflexes)
- Racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure
- Sweating or fever
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Muscle rigidity
Antipsychotic drugs for children and adults and the elderly, such as Risperdal (Risperidone), carry these warnings and more:
A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with antipsychotic drugs. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis, and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include …acute renal failure.
A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs.
Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus
Cerebrovascular Adverse Events, Including Stroke, in Elderly Patients With Dementia
Little known to the public is that a test exists that could prevent anyone from experiencing these psychotropic drug side effects.
The test has to do with something called “Genotype”(the genetic constitution of an individual organism). This test can be done to determine if the patient’s liver can metabolize the drug. This type of testing should be and could be done prior to prescribing a drug to a child or an adult. This would prevent the horrendous and tragic adverse effects that the FDA has listed as psychotropic drug side effects.