A column devoted
to informative integrative health resources on the Internet
Safe Harbor: AlternativeMentalHealth.com
Find an alternative mental health practitioner at Safe Harbor's
web site. Their database includes fields such as Type of practitioner,
Type of treatments,
Prescribe or recommend psychiatric drugs, and, importantly, Help take patients
off psychiatric drugs if they wish to do so. If you are an alternative mental
health practitioner, be sure to get listed in this database via the sign-up
page listed above.
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
This site includes a spot-on serious parody of an ad for Zoloft. Don't
miss it—it's the ZoloftAd.pdf link, above. The Coalition has an associated
In Australia, it's Aropax; in the United Kingdom, it's Seroxat; and
in the United States, we know it as Paxil. Withdrawal is difficult but can
be achieved. I recommend this page, which features both excellent content and
design. Some of what appears on the "Lighter Side" page is actually
tragic, but the Paxilfighter image at the bottom of the page might draw a
smile. The rich links page includes resources such as "My Paxil Nightmare,"
Diary for Quitting Paxil" [software], and a link to the official Paxil
This site hasn't been updated for years, but it still has a terrific
of valuable links.
The Effexor Activist
The Effexor Activist shares information on the dangers of antidepressants,
while also supporting people in their efforts to withdraw from them. At this
you can sign petitions and download bumper stickers with messages such as
Antidepressant Withdrawal is HELL. The forum
contains terrific content, mostly posted by the
Dr. Peter Breggin
Retired psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin has authored a number of important
Talking Back to Prozac: What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Today's
Most Controversial Drug is essential reading for
anyone who is prescribing antidepressants, taking antidepressants, or considering
taking them. His web
site is home-grown,
but the critical content more than demands attention. You can read more on
Peter Breggin at the Wikipedia site. I've included the heall.com link, as well,
in which Dr. Breggin addresses head-on the industry's continued efforts
to falsely associate him with the Church of Scientology.
Antidepressant-Induced Suicide and Violence:
More About Deception Than Science
These are remarks by Dr. Peter Breggin at an event held by the
Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP). Eli Lilly and Company
behavior by coding suicide attempts under misleading terms such as "no
Of Suicide Now Called Low
lines, one link)
A large January 2006 study published in the American Journal
of Psychiatry determined that risk
of suicide is reduced by patients taking antidepressants.
the study authors also admit that antidepressants don't significantly help
most people who have chronic depression.
The Link Between Psychiatry, Drugs,
A sample entry on this long page of tragic stories says, "Jennifer
40, shot her 7-year-old daughter, Sara, while she was sleeping. O'Conner's
psychiatrist had recently switched her medications." Another suicide entry
notes: "Her autopsy revealed she had gallstones, the real cause for her
original symptoms. Why was she put on antidepressants?"
Teen Screen Facts
Teen Screen Truth
TeenScreen: A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial
No Child Left Unmedicated
Columbia University TeenScreen Program
TeenScreen is a controversial suicide and mental health screening
by Columbia University's Child Psychiatry Research Department. Designed
by well-meaning people, unfortunately, the program yields a high number of false-positives – too
many kids being put on psychiatric drugs – and has the potential to create
lifelong psychiatric patients. I encourage you to learn more about TeenScreen
and the Bush Administration's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
By the way, I never thought I would find a place to agree with conservative Phyllis
Schafley, but, behold, I appreciate her phrase "No Child Left Unmedicated" and
find the piece to be well-written and informative.
Prescription: Suicide? is a
film about the effects of the use of antidepressants by teenagers.
Consider getting a public performance
license via the ParticipateNow.netweb site to show the film in your community.
Side Effects is a satirical movie created
by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, who worked for a decade as a pharmaceutical
sales representative. In addition to
producing Side Effects, she also created the
more serious documentary, Money
Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety.
Survivors Need Homes, Jobs — Not Psychiatric Drugs
lines, one link)
When hard times hit, the mental health system is more likely
to offer you drugs than real help. The president of the Law Project
for Psychiatric Rights, Jim
Gottstein, Esq. says, "Let's not compound the Katrina tragedy by
lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies at the expense of people's
long-term mental health. These people need homes, money, jobs and support, not
Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology
Link does not work.)
This organization is having a conference in early October 2006.
If you see this article before October 7, consider attending.
any case, consider joining the ICSPP
to help break the pharmaceutical industry's stranglehold on the mental
This is a key web site for the psychiatric survivors' movement.
The site has a super set of links, oral histories, and downloadable
posters. This year,
the MindFreedom News Hour launched a free weekly internet radio show in the Progressive
Radio Network. Tune in every Tuesday, 1 PM EST, or go to the Progressive Radio
Network and download the archives. Mind Freedom's "hot news" is
quite old (perhaps because the original MindFreedom.org web developer died tragically
from a routine allergy injection). But the related Mad Market site is a current
shopping spot where you can order books such as Coming Off Psychiatric
The History of Shock Treatment; and The
Colts Make the Best Horses. Proceeds
support MindFreedom human rights campaigns.
This is a rich, helpful site if you spend some time figuring
out the navigation. Note the fly-out menu in the upper left hand
side of the screen.
The content on this site is worth the $15 per year subscription
fee. Developed by the nonprofit organization, Public Citizen,
the site can be searched by drug
name, family of drugs, disease or condition, or by drug-induced disease. Search
results include both technical information (such as drug side effects) and political
information (such as Senate testimony.) The site includes access to the Best
Drugs, Worst Drugs Newsletter archives. The web site
and newsletter have a companion
book, Best Drugs, Worst Drugs.
Wikipedia, the best encyclopedia on the web, is a good source for antidepressant
information. For most Wikipedia entries, if you get an account, you can also
add content. One caution, however: information added by Wikipedia subscribers
is not checked for accuracy and should be not be treated as fact without further
and Discussion Forums
Withdrawal and Recovery
SSRI Withdrawal Support Discussion Forum
Analysis of Sponsorship Bias in Economic Studies of Antidepressants
The conclusion of this 2003 paper will not surprise Townsend
Letter readers: "Pharmacoeconomic studies of antidepressants
reveal clear associations of study sponsorship with
quantitative outcome." In other words: "Follow the money."
I am especially interested in learning about mental health and
substance abuse treatment programs that integrate nutrition
and exercise into their practice. Please send me examples of
practices and related research.
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
I wrote these words to the tune of "My Favorite
Things." Feel free to add your own verses, or edit to your
heart's content. Please do send me your results!
My Least Favorite Drugs
There's Prozac and Zoloft, Effexor and Serzone
Luvox, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Remeron
Paxil, and Seroxat, Aropax too,
There's one just for you!
Adapin, Sinequan, Doxepin, (Warning...)
Lexapro, Elavil (Not in the morning)
Isocarboxazid, Marplan, Oh my!
And Zimelidine (That's an SSRI).
Seratonin has you moanin'
Here is what they say:
Inhibit the uptake with drugs in your brain
Your blues will just melt away.
Monoamine oxidase we'll inhibit,
But Lord knows what side effects you will exhibit
Norepinephrine reuptake, we'll halt
You might not feel better, but worse: "Oy, Gevalt!"
When the blues bite,
When the heart stings
When you're feeling sad
Psychiatrists tell you to take little pills
And then you won't feel so bad!
'Cept for suicide, impotence,
Vision that's blurred, hypertension in silence
Hyperactivity, sweating and more
Seizure and headache, ah, symptoms galore!
Weight loss, or weight gain and stomach dispeptic
Fatigue and psychosis, a bit anorectic
Mania, twitching, and vomiting, yup
A loss of libido, he can't get it up
Constipation, with sedation
Or you just can't sleep
See the list of the adverse events that occur
Take the stuff and you'll start to weep!
[Repeat tune for last two lines.]
Oh, sunshine, massage, a long walk, and a hug
With good food: will trump any drug!