Robert Whitaker came to me by way of Dr. Mercola and his incredibly helpful website.
Back in 2006 or so, I had an epiphany.
I was laying out all my pills for that moment’s dosing session.
There were so many pills! The counter was covered with them. That’s when it occurred to me that, “If I had some gravy I’d have a full dinner!”
That observation was followed by the realization of, “There is no fucking way all these pills somehow equate to good health!”
That moment proved to be a turning point for me and a key reason way I am even still alive, writing to you here and now.
I knew psych meds were killing me
No benefits. No upside. No improvements.
What I did have was a slew of nasty side effects, a growing number of brand new physical health ailments, and an ever increasing addition of new mental health symptoms that seemed to grow in proportion to the size of the pill pile.
Fast forward a hair: my last doctor, whom I greatly respected and trusted, told me that,
He also gave me my death sentence as he told me I’d be “dead by cop” in about 6 months, based on my history of explosive and dangerously unpredictable behavior.
Ok. So…bit ‘o bad news there.
But the cool thing was, he gave me official permission to try anything that I thought might help
Jumping ahead to 4 years later, I find this Whitaker & Mercola interview.
Now, at this point, I’d been well and stable for a few years. But the stability was relative.
In comparison to The Bad Old Days, I was practically cured!
But I still dealt whit a certain amount of anxiety based issues and concerns. Some a little scary. Often unpredictable. And often weird as shit.
However, I still needed at that point, to hear something supportive of the path I’d chosen to maybe beat bipolar disorder forever, as I figured that was going to be eventually proved true.
This interview gave me the history involved in how I got to where I did with psychiatry and it gave me even more hope that I’d chosen my new path well.
If you’re hurting from some mental illness and maybe an addiction or 3, (they’re practically the same problem) then do yourself a huge favor and listen to this interview!
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- Medical Journalist
- Nominee for Pulitzer Prize
- Medical Reporter for Albany Times Union
- Director of Publications for Harvard Medical School
- Series about Psychiatry that he wrote for the Boston Globe was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- Author of many books addressing this material
Dr. Mercola Interview Content
- Mercola.com focuses on natural adjustments to your lifestyle, primarily physical things. But Dr. Mercola’s 30+ years of experience as a medical doctor has convinced him that some of the most important contributions to healthcare are the emotional and energetic components
- No matter how well you live, if you have emotional problems, you still can have major issues
- Depression can become a terminal illness, due to suicide
- Traditional medicine uses drugs primarily to treat mental illness
- This interview seeks to supply listeners with natural alternatives to regaining mental wellness
- In many cases, drugs perform no better than placebos, yet come with unwanted side effects as well
- In short term use, drugs don’t perform any better than placebos. Makes no sense to use them as first line therapy but maybe they’ll help as a second line therapy as options get exhausted
- Long term antidepressant use fact 1. Even with major depression in the pre-antidepressant era, (depression so severe that hospitalization was necessary) people could expect to get better in 4 to 8 months or so.
- Long term antidepressant use fact 2. the rationale for using antidepressants was not to improve upon people’s ability to heal themselves but to speed it up.
- As antidepressants were prescribed, doctors noticed that people were getting better faster but they were relapsing more often
- The question becomes “Does a drug treatment put people on a more chronic course than before?”
- Pre antidepressants, people might relapse in a couple years or not at all, sort of like how people fight the flu
- Now people are much more chronically ill
- Then they’re placed on an antidepressant and maybe the symptoms abet somewhat but they don’t remit entirely
- What they found in the percentage of people where full remittance doesn’t happen, they start heading down a chronic course
- Now, what it shows, is only 15% of patients treated with antidepressants remit and stay well
- The remaining 85% start having this relapsing course and they stay in this cycle of being regularly depressed
- In the 1990s this change in the long term course of depression became so pronounced that researched began addressing it.
- Researcher Giovanni Fava stated that drugs were changing depression from episodic to chronic
- He also said the depression was “sinking into” people in a deeper way than before those using medication)
- Giovanni said it was almost as if drugs sensitized people to depression long term
- Dr. Mercola came out of medical school (mid-80s) focusing on traditional medicine and became interested in depression, where he became very skilled in using drugs to treat depression.
- Dr. Mercola found it was very hard to safely administer tricyclics, which was the main antidepressants used before SSRIs were developed and wondered if the results were better for people once SSRIs came into play
- Robert says the research showed that switching from tricyclics to SSRIs made no difference in long term negative outcome
- APA (American Psychiatric Association): Their textbook form the early 90s stated that the long term effects of medicating depression was this 15% success rate, with the rest becoming chronic sufferers
- Bill Harris: Reality’s Not What You Think It Is
- www.mercola.com: Dr. Mercola’s website for natural healthy living
- Giovanni Fava
- Tricyclics definition
- SSRI (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors) definition
- APA (American Psychiatric Association)
- www.BrinkZone.com Will Brink: #1 Science Based Performance Resource. If you want to know the science behind training and eating well for a variety of reasons, then Will needs to be in your research plan. I was actually able to prove myself correct on the ability for certain supplements to give positive mental health results by reading what Will had to say about them in his Sports Supplement Bible. (Link below)
Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world’s poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. (…Read More On Amazon)
In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls… (…Read More On Amazon)
The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders by John E. Sarno
The Divided Mind is the crowning achievement of Dr. John E. Sarno’s distinguished career as a groundbreaking medical pioneer, going beyond pain to address the entire spectrum of psychosomatic (mindbody) disorders. The interaction between the generally reasonable, rational, ethical, moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional pain… (…Read More On Amazon)
The Sports Supplement Bible: For Health and Fitness by Will Brink
This comprehensive book covers over 60 supplement ingredients used to create many well known sports supplements. Will Brink uses his 20+ years in the supplement industry to break through the hype, mystery and bro-science, surrounding the base components of all supplements – their ingredients – and explains how they work using a combination of scientific and real world data. (…Read More On Amazon)