Part 2: Influence of the Drug Industry on our view of Mental Health Care
The next blog addresses nutritional therapy or orthomolecular treatment model for mental health conditions. The outcome of drug treatment is variable at best with reports of suicide, disturbing side effects, and marginal effects. These outcomes are more common than you think and sensitivity to these drugs is variable. There are those that feel benefit from these meds but the vast majority of my patients report effects that are marginal, not typically sustained and, not typically without side effects.
Then there is the issue of getting off these drugs. Patients feel worse often coming off these drugs and this makes them rationalize it was working but then why was it so difficult coming off the drug? Many mood disorder patients require higher and higher doses and many ‘burn out’ on one drug and are advised to start another, an endless cycle. This long- and short- term effect is explained away easily when you understand the basic neurotransmitter deficiency and how the drug mechanism worsens the problem.
There is a definite link between antidepressant/anti-anxiety drugs and suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideas can emanate at any point during antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug therapy outside of the natural course of the illness. Many orthomolecular practitioners are observing medicated patients with increased suicidal risk in the first week or two of dosing these meds. MD prescribers need to have more frequent follow-ups in the first 2 weeks of dosing these meds. The FDA has a good breif drug safety guideline for those on antidepressants. Here the FDA recommends careful caution during first few months of anti-depressant administration.
The conventional medicine paradigm best case scenario is to introduce a drug that often ineffectively attempts to palliate a problem while leaving the underlying cause of the problem untreated and, in the process of doing so, transfer physician caused (iatrognic) symptoms, side effects, and imbalances to the patient.
Chemotherapy, for example can kill you and, is invasive but deemed potent enough to match a comparable foe (ie the cancer). Many die from chemotherapy and there is no way of distinguishing if they benefit after the fact and yet, it is said that it is worth the risk, you have to do it. This is controversial but you get the idea, the conventional approach is to risk side effects. This way of thinking is allopathic. Though there are some techniques in modern medicine that hit the cause of the problem there are a vast majority that don’t, and many of such drugs do not have clearly recognizable/defined mechanism of action (ie they don’t know how they work) but they definitely have effect, good and bad.
What about psychiatrists, general practitioners, other medical doctors, nurses, hospitals, social service organizations, and social workers. It is interesting to note that authoritative bias easily permeates the allopathic health care community. It should not shock you that belief systems are adopted in the field of medicine and in other fields of societal endeavor. Everyone has a view and sometimes we agree to disagree.
If the drug treatment model has a belief system that says ‘it is better than any other form of medicine’ it is a narrow viewpoint at best. When common sense goes out the door and drugs are pitched as today’s first-line savior as though psychiatric diagnosis and treatment are a short-cut to happiness and, talk therapy has limited effectiveness, we the consumers are disempowered. Such a narrow allopathic focus is counter-productive and often discourages patients from looking outside the box of convention. Advertisements and the media spin psychotopic drug information. Unfortunately, I have seen many patients that are told of the potential good of the drug and later the side effects are downplayed.
When you are told drug therapy is the best approach and, that there is no respected viable option, you are sent down a path that you may not be able to return from. If you escape major side effects, you may not escape the fact that you are now on a drug for life.
Side effects not uncommonly exceed the benefits of psychotropic drugs. Anti-psychotic neuroleptics, for example, are one of the most dangerous sedative medications in the pharmacology arsenal. Kids are now being given off- or on-label neuroleptic prescriptions for various mental health and neurological conditions including tics and insomnia. Allopathy endorses the treatment of schizophrenia with neuroleptics because it has no drug to addresses the cause of the problem so it palliates (treats symptoms) at the expense of a massive side effect arrays (metabolic syndrome, increased mortality, poor cognition, obesity, agranulocytosis, apathy, receptor decompensation discontinuation effects, life- dependency, loss of libido, extrapyramidal EPS symptoms, tardive dyskinesia, etc).
Though it is my honest belief that most doctors and professionals are in the business of helping people because they care, there is no escaping that the motivator of the allopathic model of mental health care is Big Pharma. Big Pharma infiltrates at the base lobbyist level to shift governmental decision making and mental health care policies in their favor. Big Pharma has a direct say in medical training, research funding and, how social service engines of society conduct themselves. Many can not get subsidized housing unless under disability and medication compliance. When big business and ineffective drug treatment paradigms mesh and authoritative bias takes hold, we as members of society see and feel the results. The track record of poor outcomes speaks for itself.
Read Part 3 for info on the mental health treatment model featured by orthomolecualr medicine.