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Antidepressants harmful as well as ineffective

27 February 2008

MEDIA RELEASE


Antidepressants harmful as well as ineffective

Mental health watchdog claims antidepressants are not only ineffective as a recent British study reveals, but can also be dangerous for your health.

“It should be widely known that these drugs can cause severe reactions with people,” said Steve Green, Director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. “Doctors in New Zealand and internationally have been warned against prescribing the newer antidepressants such as Aropax and Prozac to anyone under 18 years of age.”

Adverse events range from suicide ideation, miscarriage, heart and liver problems, sexual dysfunction, anxiety and even depression.

Over 80 warnings have been issued internationally on the previously undisclosed dangers of psychiatric drugs since October 2004. This comes on the heels of public awareness campaigns by watchdog organizations, independent medical doctors, patients and their families repeatedly requesting independent evaluations of clinical drug trials and accountability for the harm and loss of lives.

According to the published UK study antidepressants scored a mere 1.8 points more than the placebo, whereas 3 points is seen as the minimum level of “significant clinical benefit” required for drug efficacy.

The Commission advocates for greater awareness of the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs as well as return to proper medicine, wherein the causes of conditions are identified and treated. Studies have revealed that often underlying medical conditions, nutritional imbalances, poor sleep, etc can cause mental or emotional problems.

They also warn that patients should consult a competent medical doctor if they are thinking about altering any psychiatric drug use.

CCHR is an international watchdog on mental health, established 39 years ago by the Church of Scientology and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry Dr Thomas Szasz.
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Some recommendations:
1) Government and their drug agencies must act in the public’s interest by opening the channels for reporting adverse reactions by patients and doctors and swiftly acting on the reports, taking immediate action to issue warnings.

2) All treatment options should include checking for underlying medical conditions that could cause a patient’s mental or emotional duress.

3) Government and private funding assistance for mental health problems should only be provided on the provision that full, searching physical examinations are first undertaken to determine that no underlying untreated physical condition is causing the person’s mental or emotional problems. Such examinations would be covered under existing health insurance coverage.

4) Doctors should follow the British National Health Service's Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) medical advisory, which recommends first line treatment for mental or emotional problems involve non-harmful medical solutions, including regular sleep, exercise and nutrition.

5) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry’s billing manual for mental disorders, is the key to false escalating mental illness statistics and psychiatric drug prescriptions and usage worldwide. Untold harm and colossal waste of mental health funds occur because of it. It is imperative that the DSM diagnostic system be abandoned so that real mental health can occur.

6) Doctors should report all instances of patients who have been prescribed psychiatric drugs and experienced adverse effects to the Centre for Adverse Reactions and Monitoring (CARM).

For more information and reports on international warnings: www.cchr.org


ENDS

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