1. Only the doc could answer that one Lori. Why would any doc prescribe Paxil to someone it is not recommended for? I’m guessing if he could answer for himself he would tout that the ‘benefits outweigh the risks’ – He’d be wrong.

  2. Science is not perfect. Nor, does it claim to be. It is simply the data we have collected (so far) that support or do not support the null hypothesis. We, collectively, only know what we know at this point in time. Unfortunately, that means science is an ongoing learning methodology that is constantly revising what we accept as evidence based conclusions. This is why pharmaceutical companies, or any group that conducts trials and research, will make mistakes when attempting to develop treatments that may improve the lives of those afflicted.

    What is missing in your account are the follow up questions to the assertion that there are no biological tests, nor effective treatments, for those suffering from a mental illness.

    These being:

    What is the risk/benefit to patients being prescribed a particular drug?

    Are there some mental illnesses that are so debilitating that medication has proven to lessen the symptoms or alleviate suffering?

    Are biological tests an appropriate way to assess one’s well being? Are there biological test results that correlate with particular diagnoses? i.e.: Protein plaques in Alzheimer’s, Lower dopamine with depression, Low prefrontal cortex activity and ADHD, etc.

    Without digging a bit deeper you are missing out on the fascinating world of neuroscience.

  3. I am all for developing treatments that may improve the lives of those afflicted. Science plays an important role in society, there is no doubt about that. But are scientists (not all – there are many ethical scientists out there) basing their conclusions on what they actually see or on the outcome they need to satisfy their masters?

    There are currently no valid biological tests that show whether or not someone has ADHD. You may quote whomever you like on this one. It’s an out and out lie. This test does not exist. If this test does exists, why then is it not given when a diagnosis has been made? The current method of diagnosing ADHD is a checklist of symptoms.

    I have met hundreds of parents whose children were ‘diagnosed’ with ADHD, among other things and not one of those children had been given a biological test.

    It’s a matter of ethics sir. Integrity seems to go by the wayside when someone stands to make a large fortune dependent on the outcome of a study.

    • Certainly, greed has been known to foster dishonesty. This is why clinical trials are published in peer reviewed journals, results are expected to be replicated, variables eliminated, and double blind whenever possible. Again, not saying this is impervious to flawed outcomes, but it’s the best we’ve got so far. And, the contributions and achievements made with the scientific method far outweigh any dubious attempts made with an intent to sell a product. There are simply too many individuals involved with these studies to think that results can be consistently and systematically skewed in their favor. This is why you hear about the problems with certain drugs, because the results are examined by others in the field and flawed research is outed for what it is. Unfortunately, sometimes this happens after a drug has gone to market and has harmed people. Same thing happens with all products… Should we not make any more baby cribs because a few have been recalled for contributing to the death of an infant?

      I’m not sure why you insist that an accurate diagnosis is dependent on a biological test. It would be like trying to diagnose a broken leg with a blood test. ADHD is a brain disorder, so any “biological test” would probably include an fMRI brain scan which are not routinely done because they are cost prohibitive.

  4. What I know to be true is that having a major psychiatric illness can be a life or death situation. My brother nearly died after being found by paramedics. He was in the midst of a psychotic break and was found disrobed in a snow bank on a cold NYC night at 3:00 AM. I have seen this situation repeat itself to where I am convinced that his illness will eventually take his life. Atypical antipsychotics have shown to be effective for his symptoms, however, as part of his illness there exists a profound anasognosia (sp?), that blocks his ability to understand there is anything wrong with his thought patterns.

    That being said, I am very familiar with the side effects of these powerfully psychotropic medications (diabetes, weight gain, tardive dyskenisia, and the list goes on). I am also very familiar with the lives that they have saved, sadly for my brother, this will most likely not be the case. This is what I mean by taking a risk/benefit equation into consideration when trying to understand why a clinician would purposefully prescribe something known to have horrendous side effects. This is why the mandatory vaccine debate is so fascinating… Because we know that inoculating children does sometimes cause life threatening problems, but the benefits to the group (and the individual) far outweigh the risks. Every time you get in your car you are putting your life and others’ lives in very real danger. But, we continue to do it. Why? Because the benefits outweigh the risks.

    With regards to the link, I think these fines speak to the huge amount of oversight and regulation that corporations face on a day to day basis. If you’ve heard lately how a new drug is advertised in the media, you will be bombarded with how scary many of the side effects can be. This is not because the company wants to scare you away, but rather it is because they are mandated to disclose the information. All of this is evidence that our system is working. There are problems with the way the drug is marketed, then there are rules put in place to ensure accountability and reform. There is simply no logic in saying that because a corporation profits from their product that this means they are somehow dishonest. If they didn’t produce profits, they would not be around in the first place.

    We do have a long way to go with the development of psychiatry. But, if you can accept that the vast majority of people involved with the science are attracted to the field because of a desire to understand our inner universe of the mind, and help alleviate the symptoms that some of our own brains produce, then I urge you to see the other side of neuroleptics and how they may be the best option for many facing a dire prognosis.

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