Originally published February 24 2013
Are psych drugs to blame for high rates of teen suicide?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) A new study has provided a sobering, if not shameful, statistic that ought to be a wake-up call for lawmakers and public health policymakers all around the country: one in 25 teenagers in the United States attempts to commit suicide, a fact that is increasingly being blamed on psychotropic drugs which are being prescribed by the truckloads.
The study, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Psychiatry, doesn't give a precise reason for why so many of our teenagers are trying to take their own lives but, according to Heidi Stevenson at Gaia Health, the study "does give a telling clue - and that clue leads directly to the doorstep of modern psychiatry."
For one thing, she notes, the study reads like a "marketing tool for the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV," which is the psychiatric field's diagnostic bible:
The vast majority of adolescents with these behaviors meet lifetime criteria for at least one DSM-IV mental disorder assessed in the survey. ... The most consistently significant associations of these disorders are with suicide ideation, although a number of disorders are also predictors of plans and both planned and unplanned attempts among ideators.
It's not like those with suicidal tendencies aren't being treated
Stevenson says that while the authors of the study are adept at assigning teens with psych diagnoses, they don't point out that the standard of treatment for those teens, regardless of the diagnosis, is virtually the same: psychotropic medications.
In addition, she says, the authors don't adequately address another important issue, which is that the drugs are known to cause suicides and thoughts of suicides. In fact, Stevenson says, "they don't even consider it" as a contributing factor.
The authors are clear; however, on one point - that suicide isn't a problem due to a lack of psychological treatment. But they don't say that suicides could be a problem as a direct result of being treated with psychotropic medications.
"Virtually everyone they see gets slapped with a label from the DSM, the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual, the so-called bible of psychiatry because it's the list of disorders that psychiatrists use to label people and get payment from insurance companies," writes Stevenson.
The study says after teens are labeled with a diagnosis, they are generally prescribed at least one medication but often more than one. If the patients return stating the drugs did not help then psychiatrists tend to simply ramp up the dosage or add even more drugs. Occasionally, medications that are ineffective are discontinued but not very often.
The study was based on the NCS-A - National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement - survey of 10,148 adolescents aged 13-17. Of those, researchers found 6,483 parent-adolescent pairs from whom they were able to obtain interviews.
In the end, researchers found that four percent of teens attempt to kill themselves; that broke down to one in 25 teens, or at least one teen in every classroom.
"For all their ability to slap labels on people, their ability to help is clearly lacking," Stevenson observes, noting that the study's authors admit:
[I]t is noteworthy that suicidal adolescents typically enter treatment before rather than after the onset of suicidal behaviors. ... It is clear, though, that treatment does not always succeed in this way because the adolescents in the NCS-A who received treatment prior to their first attempt went on to make an attempt anyway.
Mass murderers also linked to psychotropic drug use
What's more noteworthy is the fact that the authors found that 55-77 percent of teens who attempted suicide had already been labeled with a diagnosis and were under treatment. The study essentially demonstrates that psychiatrists are fundamentally flawed when it comes to suicide prevention because, Stevenson writes, "there was nothing to indicate that diagnosis and treatment managed to prevent any suicides."
If that percentage of teens are attempting suicide after treatment has begun, "then it's likely the treatment itself is fueling this epidemic," she says.
Such drugs are being blamed for contributing to, if not causing outright, a spate of mass murders over the past few years in places like Fort Hood, Texas, Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.
According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, at least 14 recent shootings at schools have been committed by someone taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The results are telling: 58 killed, 109 wounded. In other school shootings, "information about their drug use was never made public - neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs," CCHRI said.
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