by: Evelyn Pringle
Posted April 11, 2009
In an article for AlterNet on June 18, 2008, Dr. Bruce Levine, author of the book, "Surviving America's Depression Epidemic," explains how the psycho-pharmaceutical cartel works. "Mental health treatment in the United States is now a multibillion-dollar industry," he reports, "and all the rules of industrial complexes apply." [Read the article]
"Not only does Big Pharma have influential psychiatrists... in their pocket, virtually every mental health institution from which doctors, the press, and the general public receive their mental health information is financially interconnected with Big Pharma."
"The American Psychiatric Association, psychiatry's professional organization, is hugely dependent on drug company grants, and this is also true for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and other so-called consumer organizations."
"Harvard and other prestigious university psychiatry departments take millions of dollars from drug companies, and the National Institute of Mental Health funds researchers who are financially connected with drug companies."
More Democrats than Republicans are supporting the Mother's Act. The increased campaign funding to Democrats may well explain this turn of events. For the last eight election cycles the pharmaceutical industry has contributed far more to Republicans than Democrats. In the 2006 cycle the percentage was 28% to Democrats and 70% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks political funding.
But the Democrats were close to matching the Republicans for the 2008 cycle with $5,099,942 to Democrats compared to $5,680,871 to Republicans, which is probably why the Democrats would allow such an obvious drug marketing scheme to be implemented.
"The Mothers Act, while appearing like an Act of benevolence, is a dangerous and unnecessary measure that will result in the further over-prescription of drugs that are already grotesquely over-prescribed," says Kate Gillespie, one of the lead attorneys handling SSRI birth defect lawsuits and Paxil suicide cases at the Los Angeles based Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.
"The Act is a slippery slope," she warns, "toward the forced drugging of women of childbearing years with drugs of questionable efficacy and serious safety issues effecting mothers and their innocent children — drugs that can cause horrific side effects, including, suicidal behavior, violence and devastating birth defects."
"Of course, mothers who truly cannot cope should be helped," Ms Gillespie says, "but do we really need legislation requiring mothers to be screened and drugged?"
"Take out politics and Big Pharma and the push for this legislation just doesn't make sense," she states.
"For politicians, a much safer issue than pushing drugs for pregnant mothers is promoting the expansion of medical treatment for postpartum depression," according to Dr. Levine.
He says the Mother's Act "omits relevant truths" about Melanie Blocker-Stokes, the woman the bill is named after, and the following information about her suicide should be made known:
"Blocker-Stokes... did in fact receive extensive psychiatric treatment. She was hospitalized three times in seven weeks, given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, and underwent electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). But despite her psychiatric treatment -- or because of it -- Melanie Blocker-Stokes jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel."
"There is no evidence that antidepressant use by depressed mothers lowers their likelihood of suicide," Dr. Levine says, "and there is a great deal of evidence that antidepressant use can make some people manic, agitated, and violent."
Katherine Stone runs an internet website called "Postpartum Progress" and posts a daily blog. She also serves on the board of Postpartum Support International as the public relations outreach chairwoman. Her Bio says she "is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders."
"In 2001," Katherine reports on her website, that "she suffered postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder after the birth of her first child. The feeling of isolation and shame she suffered inspired her to create Postpartum Progress, which has become the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, antepartum depression, postpartum PTSD and postpartum psychosis."
On another page titled, "The Art of Psychiatric Medication," Katherine tells women to hang in there if a medication does not work because for her diagnosis of OCD, she states:
"I've taken many medications, including Effexor, Celexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Cymbalta, etc. Throughout all of them, I was on the road to recovery. Some just worked better than others at treating my symptoms."
She ends the commentary by telling women: "You will find the right medication for you, and you will get better."
The prescribing of seven drugs, including two antipsychotics and five antidepressants, to treat OCD is a typical example of the profit-driven drugging that women snagged by the Mother's Act will face, but it's a far cry from the description Katherine wrote about regarding the comparatively minor treatment she received, when she stated in the June 7, 2004 issue of Newsweek, "in my case, that meant taking an antidepressant and going for weekly therapy sessions."
Aside from all the serious health risks now known to be associated with these drugs, most women could not afford the 7-drug "cure" that Katherine ingested. According to DrugStore.com in December 2008, from first to last, at a middle dose for a 30-day supply, the drugs would cost:
The cost of "etc" is impossible to calculate without knowing how many more drugs she took.
In a March 11, 2009 Postpartum Progress blog, Katherine plugs herself for speaking jobs, along with a study that concluded "the Internet is a viable and feasible tool to screen for PPD."
"I'll be adding this study to the speech I give on how women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders use the Internet," she reports, and then adds:
"If you're interested in having me speak at your event, let me know!"
On March 10, 2009, Katherine's headline read: "It's Petition Signing Time! Get Out Your Virtual Pen & Support Women with PPD", and reported "that Susan Stone over at Perinatal Pro is alerting everyone to the new petition created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to support the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. She states that last year's petition generated more than 24,000 signatures. The petition has been reintroduced this year to try and get this legislation passed once again."
The blog carried a live link to a page where "you can scroll down, enter your zip code and generate letters of support in a matter of seconds for the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act that will be sent to your local Congresspeople and Senators."
Katherine further told readers: "I know you're thinking 'but I already did that last year.' Well that was then and this is now. Do it again."comments powered by Disqus
Contact our Marketing department for information about advertising on this domain.