Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

AntiDepAware – Addendum to the DSM-5

Vehicle fitter

Brian at AntiDepAware wrote a very interesting blog this week. If ever there was a clear cut case of prescription drug induced suicide-homicide, this surely is it?

I read this week (on Twitter) that Brian’s blog ‘just gets better and better‘ and I absolutely agree with that statement. In my opinion it should be printed as a compulsory addendum to psychiatry’s DSM 5 – before the idiots reach for the prescription pad. His blog is copied verbatim below…

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Vehicle fitter Nigel Maude (58) and his 57-year-old wife Judith (left) were described by their next-door neighbour, who had known them for 25 years, as “perfect neighbours.” He said: “They always seemed to do everything together including gardening and tidying up outside. I have never heard them argue. They were a lovely couple and totally devoted grandparents.”

Their deaths, therefore, were a “complete shock” to their family and everyone who knew them. Yesterday’s inquest revealed that, on August 11th this year, Mr Maude violently stabbed Judith to the back and neck with a kitchen knife and attempted to strangle and suffocate her at their home in the village of Hoghton, Lancashire. He then drove a short distance to a nearby railway line, where he stepped in front of a train.

The investigating police officer said that: “Mr and Mrs Maude were certainly of good character, had no real issues with debts and there were no reported crimes involving them.”

Deputy Coroner Simon Jones asked the officer: “There is nothing to suggest that this is anything but a happy and caring marriage?”

He replied: “No, nothing to suggest otherwise. This has come as a complete shock to everyone.”

It emerged, however, that Mr Maude had seen his GP 16 days before the deaths, complaining of insomnia and stress over financial worries about his mother, who was going to have to be placed in care. In a statement, GP Dr Stephen Howell said Mr Maude was a regular patient who suffered chronic arthritis but had no history of mental illness or depression.

Nevertheless, Dr Howell said he “prescribed Mr Maude prescription drugs.” Presumably, this accounted for the “low traces of a drug used to treat depression”, found by the pathologist in Mr Maude’s blood.

Recording verdicts of unlawful killing and suicide, the coroner said that the reason for Mr Maude’s actions could not be established for certain but that: “It may be stress in relation to issues relating to his mother going into a home. We don’t know.”

On the other hand, Coroner Jones, the reason for Mr Maude’s actions, in all probability, was that he had been mis-prescribed medication with known links to homicide and suicide, which NICE recommends only for moderate to severe depression.

AntiDepAware Blog.

Newspaper and internet articles

Psychiatric Meds and Mass Murder

Magic BulletThe Systemic Correlation Between Psychiatric Medications and Unprovoked Mass Murder in America.

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Here’s a very interesting paper: ‘The Systemic Correlation Between Psychiatric Medications and Unprovoked Mass Murder in America’ written by Jeanne M. Stolzer, Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in Nebraska. Click on the link at the top of the page to access the full pdf.

First paragraph…

“Since the beginning of the human race, violence has permeated every civilization in recorded history. However, over the last 10-15 years, violence of an unprecedented nature has become common place across America. Young male killers are opening fire in movie theatres, shopping malls, and schools with no apparent motivation. Innocent six- and seven-year-old American children are shot to death as they sit in their first grade classrooms. We as a nation are stunned, despondent, and angry. How could this happen? Why is this happening? How can we prevent such tragedy from occurring in the future? On December 17, 2012, President Barack Obama addressed the nation at a memorial service for the 20 first grade children and the six school employees who were shot to death at a public school in Newtown, Connecticut. The president of the United States consoled the American public and made it absolutely clear that change was needed in order to stop the senseless carnage that is occurring in America…….”

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psychiatry, Shanes story.

TomAto/tomato, Schizo/mad person?

BMJ PIC

TomAto/tomato,

Schizo/mad person?

I can understand why people get upset when the language used to describe a person suffering with a mental illness, becomes compartmentalised. Using an ‘inappropriate’ description to describe an already vulnerable person, can cause distress, albeit maybe unintentional.

To the person who has/is suffering, or whose family member has experienced a ‘mental’ illness, an inappropriate    descriptive word can be extremely hurtful, and even worse, can seem condescending. But does it really, in the grand scheme of things, matter at all?

I have always found it strange that people get so emotional over trivial, throwaway comments, intended to help, not to hinder. Many people, thankfully, will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing or offending the poor ‘psycho’ or even the ‘schizo’ next door. The obsession with saying the right thing however, never offending and using the right ‘politically correct’ words, can get a tad boring, and in my opinion, further restricts the ‘mental illness sufferer’ from moving forward. Professor Richard Bentall of the University of Manchester, among others, called for the term ‘schizophrenia’ to be abolished. Prof Bentall stated “I think the concept [schizophrenia] is scientifically meaningless, clinically unhelpful and ultimately has been damaging to patients.”[i]

Whether the word itself offends, the treatment results should be highly offensive to society. Prof Healy opined that the risk of suicide in the first year of treatment for schizophrenia is extraordinarily high. He said that the risks of suicide [in schizophrenia] were 100 times greater than those of the general population.

“For schizophrenia generally you are 10 times more likely to be dead at the end of the first year of treatment than you were 100 years ago – there may be no other disorder in medicine where you could say this.”

Is this not an enormous tragedy? A paper authored by Prof Healy et alMortality in schizophrenia and related psychoses: data from two cohorts’ was published recently in the British Medical Journal.[ii]

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest when people commit the serious ‘faux pas’, referring to a suicide victim as a person who has ‘committed’ suicide. The act of suicide is of course no longer a crime in Ireland since its abolishment under The Criminal Law (Suicide) Act, 1993.[iii] I don’t even mind if a person says that Shane ‘committed’ suicide, even though the jury rejected that particular verdict.

The point I am trying to make, is that whatever the psychiatric label, whatever the wording used, people who are suffering ‘mentally’ need help. The methods currently being used are not working, if anything, they are making things worse. Our respective governments are ignoring the ‘problem’, doctors and  psychiatry (including Irish psychiatry) are just doing what they know best; pushing dangerous pills.[iv] Despite the increased prescriptions, the suicide numbers are rocketing; what does that tell you?[v] The College of Psychiatry’s webpage wouldn’t fill a person with confidence. On antidepressants, the website states:

The manner in which antidepressants help to restore normal mood isn’t known for definite, but it is probably related to their effect on regulating the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These are chemical messengers that help brain cells communicate and pass signals to each other. The chemicals most involved in depression are serotonin and noradrenaline and antidepressant medications influence their activity. There are other theories to explain the effectiveness of antidepressants in depression, such as their effect on the inflammatory and immune system and on their potential to promote nerve cell growth or (‘neurogenesis’) in certain brain areas. It may be through a combination of these effects that they are helpful in depression…”[vi]

Ah yes, the chemical imbalance theory, and one of the worst pieces of ‘pharma industry propaganda’ ever. Actually, for the pharma industry, the best piece of propaganda; seems to be working well for them at least. The terrible reality, that psychiatry is pushing this idiocy, just makes it much, much worse.

In a recent tweet, Professor Healy stated that ‘MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS CAUSE MORE SUICIDES THAN THEY PREVENT’. This would suggest, that by pushing the ‘medical model’, the body entrusted with the expertise to help the most vulnerable in our society are actually causing more deaths than they are preventing. So, pardon my inexperienced musings and call me ‘mental’ if you like, call me schizo, call me whatever you wish, just don’t ignore the accumulating bodies.

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Random, Shanes story.

Dear Leonie

I receive e-mails occasionally from people looking for information on SSRI’s. Usually they’re from people with stories like mine with tragic endings but sometimes, just sometimes, there are nice stories of people who have survived their experience. Here’s one from a reader who would like to share; she wants to address the importance of an informed decision. Sadly, in Ireland, denial of the dangers of SSRI’s by the majority of the medical profession means that most Irish consumers will not be informed. I’m so glad that this one had a better outcome….

Dear Leonie,

I needed to let you know that your blog and Shane’s journey have had a profound effect on me since the moment I read the first post. Knowing depression/anxiety and mental illness has run in my family I was very aware of the subject matter and read your blogs and links with due diligence. Little did I know that the knowledge I was gaining would play a part in saving my own son from the brink of despair and possible great harm. I live in America; my son is 21 and has been away at college for several years. He was doing terrific, grades were great, involved socially in great things, fund-raising for worthy causes, it seemed everyone loved him and he loved life. Then my mother’s instinct kicked in. I knew something had changed, he had broken up with a girlfriend (not a serious relationship), his grades were dropping and he was not as involved in social events as he had been. We lost several close family members and friends in the last few years, he took each loss badly. Then a friend of his died from a combination of illegal drugs. I heard my son break on the phone when I called to tell him the news. I travelled to him regularly, each time worrying more than the last, offering him “options” to leave college, to change his life, any support I could. I hesitated to advise him to take anti-depressions based on Shane’s story, and found lots of natural remedies/ over the counter stress relievers but none seemed to have any long term support. All the time he was a 3 hour drive away from me. It was nerve raking.

To cut a long story short, one day in April I got a heart wrenching call from my son. Thankfully a friend had recognized he needed help and brought him to a hospital. He had voluntarily checked himself in to a clinic to help him with severe anxiety/depression. He had been self-medicating with drink and anything he could to escape his personal pain.

After several conferences with medical/clinical staff and my son, it was highly recommended that he go on an anti-depressant. I spoke to his caregivers (privately) and explained my concerns. Here’s the shocker when I said “I am aware that SSRI’s can heighten anxiety and actually give the patient suicide and homicidal thoughts” the answer was immediate and blunt “ooh that’s only with people who have already had those thoughts before taking them”. I quickly responded with a ton of knowledgeable medical research quotes and cases (thanks to your blog) and told them of Shane’s journey. I could tell by the silence (it was a phone call) and immediate empathy that the social worker had learned something valuable from my words.

That being said, I knew my son needed help beyond hand-holding. His situation was real and serious and I had no doubt from my visits with him at the clinic that he was a suicide risk. So I advised him of the risks to taking SSRI’s, told him I would support him with in whatever he needed but I felt he needed full medical supervision while he started the medications. Thankfully he and his team agreed. To say his first week on the meds was the longest in my life would be an understatement. However I felt comforted by the fact that he was in counselling, being monitored closely and I prayed, crossed my fingers, and even asked Shane to look out for him! Within a week my son was a different young man. He starting talking in a hopeful manner, by week two he was calmer. Months later he is now off the anti-depressant (they had put him on the lowest dose possible), and he attends group therapy and has made changes to take a lot of pressure away from himself. He’s closer geographically now, and my mother’s instinct has relaxed (although I’ll always be on alert!). I knew in my heart he needed help both in meds and support. If it hadn’t been for you sharing Shane’s journey I know I would not have been so insistent he got the level of supervision, the lowest dose possible, nor the full support of follow-up. Depression is a real illness, and it needs more than a ‘happy pill’ to treat it. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to be an informed Mother, I was scared, and did the best I could with what I knew. Just as you did. That’s all we Mothers can do. Thank you for giving us more information to make more informed decisions/give advice to our young adult children. I’ve already thanked Shane, so now it’s time for me to thank his Mum.

Thanks Leonie.

From one Grateful Mom.

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

Lord Milo’s Inquest and the Mental Health Charity ‘Sane’.

Ok so I thought maybe you might be getting sick of me spouting on about the despicable Lundbeck or Pharmaceutical companies who sell pop (poison or profit); I just made that up, the madness is beginning to show I fear. Speaking of the pharmaceutical industry in an article here, Marcia Angell says“What does the eight-hundred-pound gorilla do? Anything it wants to.”

Anyway you get the gist, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most powerful industries in the world. You only have to look at Pfizer’s conduct in Nigeria, where they tried to avoid legal action for causing the deaths of 11 children in an illegal drug trial, by hiring investigators to uncover corruption links to Nigeria’s Attorney General, here.

Bear that in mind for a minute.

I have blogged before about Lord Milo Douglas, a lovely fella by all accounts who struggled with ‘bipolar affective disorder’ (not what it said on the tin!) for 10 years. A week before his suicide, Lord Milo presented himself at his GP’s surgery announcing that he had been experiencing suicidal thoughts; He was given Citalopram. A week later he was dead. Here’s my old blog if you want to read it.

Speaking after Lord Milo’s Inquest here, Marjorie Wallace of Sane said she believes that ‘Had they made the humane and commonsense judgment to override confidentiality, his wider family could have been involved and his and their suffering spared. She further statedthat the evidence that emerged in Lord Milo’s inquest raises disturbing questions.” Now forgive me Majorie but I have a few disturbing questions of my own…

What is a ‘mental health charity’ doing getting involved in a person’s death and the inquest process, which is after all, a court of law?

Sane even went as far as releasing a statement, here, where the ‘charity’ said “We believe that had Milo Douglas’ pleas for help been respected, this tragedy would not have happened.”

Really? What about Lord Milo’s change of medication? What about the doubling of suicide risk upon starting, discontinuing or changing dose (up or down) with SSRI’s? Come on, if you’re going to make statements within your ‘professional capacity’ of a mental health charity, you must surely have all the facts?

Did Lundbeck not inform you of the side-effects of Citalopram?

Is the fact that you are listed on Lundbeck’s charity page, here, as one of their ‘charity partnerships’ anything to do with your statement?                                  

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh and maybe Sane is a really good charity. That’s the thing with conflicts of interests, you can’t have it both ways. A mental health charity cannot profess to “raise awareness and respect for people with mental illness” and “To provide information and emotional support to those experiencing mental health problems” and at the same time accept funding from a pharmaceutical company that make antidepressants, which (by their own admission) can cause a person to commit suicide. As you can see, I did send my message to Sane on 12th May via Twitter but they didn’t reply.

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

Charlie Suen: Another Citalopram victim.

This is just so sad; another Newspaper report today and another young man has hanged himself because of Citalopram. Another young man’s parents raising concerns about the depressant/antidepressant Citalopram.

Charlie Suen, 18, a popular teenager, killed himself after failing to make the grades for university and splitting from his girlfriend, an inquest heard. Former Tiffin School student Charles Suen wanted to retake some of his A-levels after he struggled with school and missed out on his first choice of Edinburgh University the previous year.

During the inquest, concerns were raised about the delay in Charlie’s referral for psychological therapy and over the prescription of anti-depressant citalopram.

11 days after starting citalopram, Charlie hung himself from his bunk bed at his home.

His GP Michael Desouza felt it was appropriate to prescribe Citalopram for Charlie. Citalopram is used to treat a variety of mental health problems and can improve symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Although, just not efficacious in Charlies Case and many, many other unfortunate cases?

In the early stages of treatment citalopram may intensify depression and suicidal feelings, increasing the risk of self-harm or suicide, but as the drug starts to work the risks decrease. (That is the spin usually used by the company doctors but it is also very very wrong; if you are having an adverse reaction to the drug, staying on the same drug will never make it better and most probably cause death)

Mr and Mrs Suen raised concerns over its prescription to their son and the lack of communication and involvement they had in his treatment.

Mr Suen said: “Although he was 18, just 18, shouldn’t they be asking him ‘Do you want your parents to come? Shouldn’t they be co-ordinating, communicating between us?”

HOW MANY MORE?

Full Article

cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles

Jason Ringling and 3 days on citalopram!

Sometimes they just don’t get it!

There was another inquest in January this year which involved citalopram, and the death of Jason Ringling, 22, who worked as a food processor at Kerry Foods, in Burton U.K.

In a statement at the inquest, his doctor Simon Jones, from the Northgate Surgery in Uttoxeter, told how he had prescribed Jason the anti-depressant Citalopram three days before he hung himself. The doctor also said his patient had told him he had not had suicidal thoughts. He said: He came to me admitting he was feeling distressed following the breakdown in a relationship with his girlfriend.

He was prescribed 20mg of Citalopram daily in an attempt to improve his mood.

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh, delivering a verdict of death by hanging, said he was unsure of Mr Ringling’s precise intentions, indicating his actions may have been a desperate cry for help.

Was Jason informed of the possible suicidal side-effects and warnings associated with citalopram? Did he or his family know of the risks or possible consequences with starting any ssri medication? Considering psychiatrists, doctors and the drug companies are not being challenged of their denials of these side-effects, I seriously doubt it! Was he given any of the information below??

Link to full article.

Important warning for citalopram/ cipramil/ celexa, from the U.S. National Library of Medicine,

A small number of children, teenagers, and young adults (up to 24 years of age) who took antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) such as citalopram during clinical studies became suicidal (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so). Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, teenagers, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions. However, experts are not sure about how great this risk is and how much it should be considered in deciding whether a child or teenager should take an antidepressant. Children younger than 18 years of age should not normally take citalopram, but in some cases, a doctor may decide that citalopram is the best medication to treat a child’s condition.

 

You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways when you take citalopram or other antidepressants even if you are an adult over 24 years of age. You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

 

Your healthcare provider will want to see you often while you are taking citalopram, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Be sure to keep all appointments for office visits with your doctor.

 

The doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with citalopram. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You also can obtain the Medication Guide from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273.

 

No matter your age, before you take an antidepressant, you, your parent, or your caregiver should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your condition with an antidepressant or with other treatments. You should also talk about the risks and benefits of not treating your condition. You should know that having depression or another mental illness greatly increases the risk that you will become suicidal. This risk is higher if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited) or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood) or has thought about or attempted suicide. Talk to your doctor about your condition, symptoms, and personal and family medical history. You and your doctor will decide what type of treatment is right for you.

Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry

A cure worse than the illness?

Robert Whitaker is the same journalist who wrote about Psychiatric drugs associated with violence last month (jan 2011).He is doing two lectures in Dublin this week and next.

This should be an interesting one!

Time to shake up psychiatry in Ireland..

The Irish Times – Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Could psychiatric drugs be fuelling an epidemic of mental illness? Robert Whitaker, the award-winning author of a new book on the subject, raises disturbing questions for psychiatry. CARL O’BRIEN reports

WHEN ROBERT Whitaker, an award-winning medical reporter, came upon a study by the World Health Organisation on outcomes for patients with schizophrenia a few years ago, he was puzzled.

It said the best outcomes were for people from some of the poorest countries in the world – India, Colombia, Nigeria – rather than the richest countries. It didn’t make sense. How could the outcomes be so poor for well-off nations with access to specialist drugs?

“I was startled to find that just a small percentage of patients in those poor countries were on medication for their condition,” says Whitaker.

“At the same time, I discovered that the number of disabled mentally ill in the US had tripled over the past 20 years.”

It prompted a flurry of queries, but they all boiled down to a single, central question: why has the number of people plagued with mental illness problems been skyrocketing at a time when we have access to medicine that is supposed to be more effective than ever before?

The result of Whitaker’s investigation is Anatomy of an Epidemic, the first major book to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients treated with psychiatric drugs. Through thorough research and personal testimonies, he draws a chilling overall conclusion: that the drugs we so widely use may be doing more harm than good.

The book, published last year, is causing a stir in the US and prompting fiery responses from some members of the psychiatric profession. But it is also causing significant numbers of professionals to rethink their approach to prescribing drugs.

“It’s been a slowly, gathering impact. In the US, this is a very sensitive subject and immediately brings up all sorts of tensions,” he says.

Ironically, for an issue which is fast becoming a burning question in psychiatry, the question of how effective psychiatric drugs are over the longer term isn’t a new one.

Whitaker points to a paper by Jonathan Cole – regarded as the father of American psycho-pharmacology – in the 1970s entitled Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease? This indicated that anti-psychotic medication wasn’t the magic bullet that many hoped it was.

Cole reviewed all of the long-term effects the drugs could cause and observed that studies had shown that at least 50 per cent of all schizophrenia patients could fare well without the medication.

“Every schizophrenic outpatient maintained on anti-psychotic medication should have the benefit of an adequate trial without drugs,” Cole wrote at the time.

Whitaker maintains that psychiatry, in effect, shut off further public discussion of this sort. In the 1970s, he says, psychiatry was fighting for survival. The two main classes of drugs – anti-psychotics and benzodiazepines such as Valium – were increasingly regarded as harmful and sales declined.

At the same time, there was a dramatic increase in the number of counsellors and psychologists offering talk therapy and other non-drug based approaches.

“Psychiatry saw itself in competition for patients with these other therapists, and in the late 1970s, the field realised that its advantage in the marketplace was its prescribing powers . . . it consciously sought to tell a public story that would support the use of its medications, and embraced the ‘medical model’ of psychiatric disorders.”

But many studies show that psychiatric drugs – such as anti-depressants – are highly effective. There are tens of thousands of people who will attest to benefits of these drugs. Many say they simply couldn’t survive without them.

Whitaker counters he is not advocating the total avoidance of drugs. The short-term effects of many drugs are clearly beneficial. But, he says, when you look at the long-term impact of them, the literature consistently shows incredibly poor outcomes, with many becoming chronically ill as a result.

Most of these studies, he says, have received little or no coverage or have been “spun” to veil the real findings. It’s not in the interests of psychiatry or the pharmaceutical industry to highlight them.

He says the literature shows that many people can recover without recourse to drugs. As a result, more caution is needed and drugs should be administered more sparingly.

“You have to raise the question of what happens to medicated patients in the long term, compared with what happened in previous times,” he says.

There are obvious lines of attack against Whitaker’s findings: one is that the rise in the number of disabled mentally ill people is not due to medication, but may be due to other factors such as better diagnosis.

Whitaker says: “I agree that the correlation between the two – increased use of psychiatric medications and increased disability numbers – does not mean that the increased use of psychotropics caused the rise. But I never claimed that it did. As I say in the opening chapter of the book, the disability numbers simply raise a question.”

He agrees that the broadening of diagnostic categories has led to an ever-greater number of adults and children under the “psychiatric tent”. But, he maintains, if psychiatric medications were effective long-term treatments which helped people function well, then that increase in diagnosis and treatment shouldn’t lead to a rise in disability. “If you have drugs that exacerbate the long-term course of an ‘illness’ or can transform a milder illness into a more serious one, then the more that illness is diagnosed and treated, the greater the toll that illness will take on society.”

What makes Whitaker’s findings so powerful are that he did not come to this area with the baggage of an anti-drugs zealot or as part of an anti-psychiatry crusade. The opposite was the case.

As a reporter, he remembers investigating a trial involving the withdrawal of drugs from psychiatric patients – in which researchers carefully tallied the number of patients who became sick again and had to be re-hospitalised – and considering the practice to be outrageous and unethical.

“I began this long intellectual journey as a believer in the conventional wisdom,” he says. “I believed psychiatric researchers were discovering the biological causes of mental illnesses and that this knowledge led to the development of a new generation of drugs that helped ‘balance’ brain chemistry.”

There is a way forward, according to Whitaker, and it lies in parts of the world which have the best outcomes.

Western Lapland in Finland has adopted a form of care for its psychotic patients that has produced astonishingly good long-term outcomes, he says.

In follow-up checks after both two and five years, 80 per cent of first- episode psychotic patients in the region were either employed or back at school. Yet only about one-third of the patients were ever exposed to anti-psychotic medication, and only 20 per cent end up taking the drugs on a continual basis.

The questions for psychiatry, then, are urgent. Is our medical model of care really working? Does it help people struggling with psychiatric illness to get well and stay well? Is there a reason to believe the medicating of children will help them grow into healthier adults? As for now, we have lots of questions, but precious few definitive answers.

Robert Whitaker is due to speak at the Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Building, TCD at 2pm on Saturday and also at the D4 Ballsbridge Inn, Dublin, on March 2nd at 7.30pm (see seminars.ie). He is also due to speak in Athlone and Cork.