This is Lacoon, a Trojan priest, and his sons being engulfed and killed by snakes from the deep as he tried to warn the Trojans about the Horse they were planning to pull inside their walls.
Gordon Hughes case, outlined last week in Treatment Great, Patient Died, shares a lot in common with Evelyn, Kafka, Jack and Luise in the same post. Unfortunately, most readers (although maybe not RxISK readers) will likely see these poor souls as aberrations from the good care most of us think we get. It would be fortunate if more of us saw what has happened to Gordon and Luise as standard. If enough of us recognized that what has happened to Gordon and Luise is not an aberration, we would surely rebel and put things right.
What hope is there of that?
Any Difference is Dangerous
Gordon and Luise, and the other cases mentioned, share a link. They have something that was a little different. Something that might get labeled Aspergers or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), or just shyness or for Jack an odd response to drugs. A dram of eale – Hamlet might have called it – that leads on to tragedy.
When a Gordon or Luise brush up against the medical system, they meet well-intentioned people who want to help. And unfortunately do help. What harm could there be in giving Vitamin Serotonin to see if it helps? What harm in a low dose of an antipsychotic to see what effect it has on some of the strange ideas or ways of expressing themselves this person has?
From there it is downhill. It is an unusual doctor who can let the patient or their family tell him/her that things are not right – that the treatment hasn’t helped.
Instead, perhaps slowly at first or sometimes with extraordinary rapidity, doctors turn into medical tyrants. I am the expert, you aren’t. You don’t know what is going on – I do. This is schizophrenia or a mood disorder. The schizophrenia and mood disorder become treatment resistant schizophrenia or treatment resistant depression, when the person fails to respond to our wonderful treatments.
If you try to discuss this, you are likely to be told to come back when you have had ten years of medical training. But even then as Dr Kafka and I have found out, you’re not listened to.
Back from the Dead
So few come back to tell the tale or are able to make sense of the tale. Katinka Newman is one of the few who came back and has been able to pinpoint exactly what happens. The Pill That Steals Lives tells her story in a masterful fashion. She had nothing wrong with her. An antihistamine a doctor gave to help sleep triggered a descent into hell from which she only escaped when her health insurance ran out.
In The Zyprexa Papers Jim Gottstein struggles mightily on behalf of Bill Bigley, very aware of the fact that but for some chance encounters he and Bill might have traded places. When Jim had a sleep deprived breakdown he was brought to hospital, where he told the medics he was a lawyer and had trained in Harvard. This became the evidence that proved he was mentally ill. Something similar happened Luise.
He was later told he’d never practice law again. He escaped, Bill didn’t. And even if you were normal to begin with, decades of drugging can destroy the best of us.
Doctors whip out the word anosognosia to label patients who cannot accept the illness the doctor knows the patient has or to label the patients who say the drugs don’t suit them. Anosognosia literally refers to your unawareness of a disease, or defect you have. Having anosognosia proves you are ill and spares the doctor the need to explain things to you.
There is a real medical condition called anosognosia – it can happen after a stroke where a person might no longer recognize they have a left side to their body. Using anosognosia for patients whose crime is not to agree with their doctor is just plain wrong – it is medically illiterate and abusive.
The term Venomagnosia was coined to take into account the inability of many doctors to see the harms they are causing. The failure of doctors to appreciate the blind-spot – the scotoma – they have.
The blind spot does not just stem from their good-intentions. They really do want to help you and, to some extent, it is understandable if things are not working out as hoped, that they might be a little slower to recognize this than us who are on the receiving end.
But just as they seem to think you have a brain defect, doctors have a brain abnormality – a magic bullet tumour – which leaves them thinking the medicines they give us home in on a defect in us that they can see and eliminate it, without any collateral damage.
Those who dish out antipsychotics, sometimes called mood-stabilizers, or anticonvulsants, sometimes called mood-stabilizers, see these drugs as neuroprotective. It is not just the average doctor who thinks this – the most eminent professors of psychiatry in the very best medical schools think it.
They think this despite the evidence for two decades of lost life expectancy in people on these drugs, despite evidence of tardive dyskinesia and other neurological problems in people on these drugs, and despite evidence from scans of brain cell loss in people on these drugs.
In the midst of the 2004 Suicide on Antidepressants Crisis, an idea emerged from pharma or more likely an academic adviser to pharma, that ths suicidality was happening in people who are bipolar. Our attempted suicide, we were told, is good news. Now we know we should have you on a cocktail of mood-stabilizers – if we do this we can even leave your antidepressant in place.
Almost immediately the most eminent psychiatrists in the most distinguished hospitals were mouthing this inanity. They still do so to this day, as a friend found when her son was diagnosed as bipolar on the basis that his father had become suicidal on an SSRI.
Asking some of these eminences how they explain the suicidal events and completed suicides in healthy volunteers taking an SSRI produces an astonishing answer – this person is clearly bipolar also and the drug has made the diagnosis.
These beliefs are as delusional as anything their patients might bring them. Does it look like you can no reason with the ideas the madman in the image above has?
This doesn’t just apply to doctors using drugs, it applies to therapists who recently quite happily encouraged us to believe that we were abused at the age of 1 on alien spaceships, and now put down all our ‘nerves’ to a collection of minor traumas, which they heroically have to grapple with, ever more strenuously if we show any signs of resistance.
It is not just psychiatrists and psychologists who can be ‘deluded’ in this way. Not uncommonly I see people on four anti-hypertensives. They might have had a mild elevation of blood pressure to begin with. If this doesn’t fall with the first antihypertensive, a second, third and fourth are added, until suddenly the blood pressure drops.
It is rare that a doctor realises it is his lack of skills in not picking the right kind of antihypertensive to start with that has led to this outcome. Rare to have doctors who do the sensible thing and stop the first three drugs , leaving the fourth only in place. Instead, the patient is transformed from a mild case of hypertension to a case of Treatment Resistant Hypertension to be kept on a bunch of medicines for ever that will shorten his life more than the mild hypertension he had to begin with ever would have done if left untreated.
Medical Specialists of any sort, have become partialists. Faced with a patient with a funny gait or muscle problem, will seize on the fact that they have some other feature to label the patient with a Functional Disorder – Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) in the case of neurologists.
These specialists are no longer functioning as doctors – able to realise that a cardinal feature of toxicity is that it affects multiple bodily systems and not just the one our partialist is comfortable dealing with. Magically, however, they are comfortable dishing out mental health diagnoses without any training whatsoever.
As F Scott Fitzgerald said, it is a sign of a sophisticated mind to be able to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time and still function. We were never great at this, but it feels like we used to be better.
We used to view FDA and other regulators as the bureaucrats they are, but now many of us, especially doctors, see them as Father figures, there to tell us what drugs do and don’t do and we accept this rather than pay heed to what we see happening in front of us and telling them what drugs do.
In the same way, whether more so than before is less clear, many of us will always get on the train travelling East when told to – figuring that someone in the System will recognise a mistake has been made and will order the train to stop.
Few of us have been able like Dr Kafka in Treatment Great, Patient Died to emigrate. It isn’t easy working out how to resist within the System.
Unfortunately, our wish to be helped keeps the System in place. This is doubly the case when it comes to our children. This is the Trojan Horse.
If we opt to go it alone, to reject the offer of Salvation, who of the folk we know will accompany us? Resisting the System needs an Us, and we are much more atomized than ever before.
Recognizing toxicity, when things go wrong, has been the greatest source of a breakthrough treatment and medical discoveries in the past. But given a choice between a breakthrough, with who knows what in its wake, and a System that can be controlled, there will ordinarily be only one outcome.
Pharma depend on our individual wishes for Health (Salvation), and our belief that keeping to the Rules will deliver it. They channel this into a revenue stream, even more successfully than they channel our wishes for fast cars or the latest gadget.
Governments are their handmaidens in this. There was never a better time for a Minister for Mental Health like Kevin Stewart, or Minister for Health to start asking questions on our behalf – such as is it true that all Pharma studes are ghostwritten and is it true that there is no access to the data from these studies?
Questions to expose the divide between Business and Care. Were We securely delivering Care, these questions would be less urgent. But is there a Minister of Health anywhere who is One of Us?