Our story., Random

Psychiatry’s Achilles’ heel; mothers

“Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents”  ~Peter Mere Latham

I did say I’d put our Wicklow talk up at some stage didn’t I? The file is too big to put up all together so here’s a ten minute section of me waffling and Maria doing what she does best. She’s an amazing friend. She’s also an inspiration.


cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

Dr Terry Lynch “100 years of misinformation in Psychiatry”

It’s unusual, to say the least, that a doctor will speak out against psychiatry, especially in Ireland. The College of Psychiatry of Ireland, as previously seen with Shane’s Case here, are staunch defenders of their misinformation and equally staunch defenders of the medical model, antidepressants in particular. Apart from Prof Healy, there are very few Irish medical professionals who are willing to risk the wrath of Irish Psychiatry. There have been some notable exceptions; Irish Psychiatrist Pat Bracken wrote this paper recently “Psychiatric Power: A Personal View” by Pat Bracken. This paper questions, inter alia, psychiatry’s use of dubious drugs. In this paper Pat Bracken questions the power that psychiatry has in Ireland, stating: “the decision-making powers that are currently given to psychiatry cannot be justified on either scientific or moral grounds”.

Then there was the lovely Dr Corry RIP who died on 22/02/2010. He spoke out against antidepressants saying that these drugs could tip someone into suicidal and homicidal behaviour. Dr Corry who was speaking in defense of Shane and against SSRI’s, then became the subject of a medical council complaint initiated by Prof Timothy Dinan of University College Cork. Prof Dinan is an advocate for antidepressants and has worked as a speaker for a lot of pharmaceutical companies, including Lundbeck (the makers of Citalopram, the drug Shane was on). Here is Prof Dinan again, who will be speaking for Lundbeck at the Nov 2012 symposium in Barcelona. Link. Note the nice BIG Cipralex advertisment at the end of the programme.

Another Irish doctor who is becoming increasingly outspoken against the misinformation in mental health and psychiatry is Dr Terry Lynch. He is the author of two books: ‘Beyond Prozac’ and his latest one ‘Selfhood‘. Here he is speaking out against psychiatry on YouTube; It’s 13 minutes long and well worth a watch. I’d be careful if I was you Terry, you know Irish Psychiatry don’t like to be contradicted….

lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

Excerpt from Professor Healy’s Pharmageddon and his dad’s experience with Irish healthcare.

Myself and the poor husband went into the High Court a few weeks ago, just to observe (ha got ye there, Yep, would dearly love a day in Court with Lundbeck). Anyway as we do, we stumbled into a case where a doctor was in the dock. He performed a hip replacement on a woman who alleged that after the operation, one of her legs was shorter than the other. The doctor proceeded to tell the Court how, despite sending a letter to her GP recommending a shoe with a built up heal, it was all in the womans head. In my humble opinion ‘the God complex’ is a huge issue in the medical hierarchy and that’s why I thought people might like a look at the first page of Professor Healy’s book. It’s a great read and as you can see from this excerpt, he doesn’t hold back.


Click on the Pharmageddon picture to have a look at the Amazon page.


My father smoked all his adult life. He had a number of physical disorders, including ulcerative colitis, ironically one of the few conditions for which smoking is beneficial. In 1974, when he was in hospital for colitis, a routine chest x-ray revealed a shadow on his lung. Dr. Neligan, the surgeon called in, advised my mother on the importance of an operation.

Our general practitioner at the time was Dr. Lapin whom I remembered from childhood as being tall, silver-haired, and distinguished, often wearing a bow tie. He had spent time, I was told, as a doctor in the British army, a very unusual occurrence then in Ireland. To a child, Dr. Lapin had appeared effortlessly wise and seemed to transcend the boundaries of religion, politics, and division I saw elsewhere.

When my mother developed problems in the early 1960s after giving birth, Dr. Lapin had suggested she come to see him once a week, but at the time she felt the arrangement was too open-ended, and she could not afford it. She was seen instead by another doctor, diagnosed with an ulcer and ultimately received the standard operation of the day, which involved cutting the vagus nerve and removal of stomach. This left her with bowel problems for the rest of her life, and regrets for not having taken Dr. Lapin’s offer of treatment for what she later regarded as postnatal depression.

When my mother consulted him about the wisdom of an operation for my father, Dr. Lapin was slow to comment. But when pressed, he pointed out that my father had a number of illnesses, any of which could kill him before the tumor would. Many people, he said, went to their graves with cancers, heart disease, or other problems, but these were not what killed them. An operation would take a heavy toll on him.

My mother relayed this perspective to my father and suggested that he take six months to build himself up and then have an operation if he felt stronger; he agreed. When this plan was mentioned to the surgeon, he responded, “That’s fine, but have him out of the hospital within 48 hours.” When my mother revealed that my father still didn’t know he had cancer, the surgeon went straight from the phone to tell him. Without an operation my father would be dead within months, Dr. Neligan indicated, but an operation offered the prospect of a cure. My father, alarmed, agreed and the operation took place two days later. Dr. Neligan afterwards said there was little they could do about my father’s tumor when they opened him up. He died six months later, his life almost certainly shortened by the operation.

If there had been progress to speak of in the treatment of lung cancer in the years since my father’s death, his medical care might be viewed as one of those sacrifices that at least ultimately benefits others. But there has been little progress, even though advances on almost all medical fronts are trumpeted daily. Genuine progress has been made in some areas, but far less in most areas than many people have been led to believe. More importantly, when it comes to pharmaceuticals in particular, many of these apparent advances underpin and contribute to what in recent decades has become a relentless degradation in medical care, a replacement of Lapins with Neligans, a quickening march toward Pharmageddon. While drugs played no part in what happened to my father, they have played a huge role in fostering a surgical attitude to medical care, a kind of fast healthcare.

cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story.

IHRC Recommendations on SSRI Prescribing

IHRC (Irish Human Rights Commission)

Finally somebody is asking for changes in the way that SSRI’s are being prescribed by medical professionals in Ireland.

I wrote many letters and e-mails in the last 2 years regarding the care (or lack thereof) that Shane received from the medical professionals in the last month of his existence. I wrote e-mails and letters to, among others, the EMA, FDA, IMB, Lundbeck, Brian Cowan, Kathleen Lynch, Bertie Ahern, James Rielly, Dick Roche, Jan O’Sullivan, Liz McManus (before I found out she was previously married to John Mc’Manus, the GP in Bray who prescribed Shane a months supply of Cipramil), Barack Obama (always an optimist), the college of Psychiatry of Ireland and Mary McAleese.

Most of the replies I received were the usual apologetic but automated response apart from the IHRC.

After reviewing Shane’s medical records, Citalopram PIL’s, Professor Healy’s report, the statements from the doctors, my correspondence with the Irish Medical Council and their subsequent decision, the IHRC have decided to take some action…

The IHRC have written to the Medical Council requesting that, among other things, patients are informed of the potential side effect of suicide ideation with SSRI’s and for closer monitoring and ongoing supervision when SSRI’s are initially prescribed.


Recommended IHRC Guidelines:


Discussion of alternate therapies


Referrals for counselling/psychiatric review


Within medical practices seek to ensure the same doctor deals with the person at all stages if at all possible;


Oral explanation of risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription, together with relevant written information;


Guidelines regarding prescribing SSRI’s from initial stage through ongoing treatment;


Level of monitoring and ongoing supervision required when SSRI’s are initially prescribed


Maintenance of adequate consultation notes; and


The necessity to obtain a full patient history before prescribing SSRI’s

Though quite why the Medical Council have not done this already is beyond my comprehension! Then again, considering that the IMC see no harm in doctors prescribing a months supply of potentially lethal medication to a depressed person, would seem to show their level of understanding/misunderstanding of the dangers of these drugs.

The Irish Medical Council is a statutory body set up by the state; On their website it states “Our statutory role, as outlined in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, is to protect the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registered medical practitioners”.

Protect the public?

By allowing doctors to prescribe a months supply of potentially lethal SSRI’s with known suicidal side-effects to a first time patient; How are they protecting the next poor vulnerable patient who gets a months prescription of SSRI’s from their GP?

Whether the IMC will implement these changes remains to be seen, but the next time that some other unfortunate family raises this issue, the IMC won’t be getting off quite so lightly, as there will be a record of the IHRC’s letter recommending that changes are introduced.

“A medical practitioner who establishes that he followed a practice which was general and approved by his colleagues of similar specialisation and skill is nevertheless negligent if the plaintiff thereupon establishes that such practice has inherent defects which ought to be obvious to any person giving the matter due consideration” (Dunne (an inf.) v. National Maternity Hospital [1989] IR 91.)