How are large drug companies benefiting from the latest trend of selling powerful psychoactive drugs to America’s children? Do these drugs really help our children cure symptoms of supposed mental illness, or do they tend to increase depression, violence, and suicide? Are we really treating the root causes of mental illness, or are we just eliminating annoying symptoms?
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In the absence of any objective medical tests to determine who has ADD or ADHD, doctors rely in part on standardized assessments and the impressions of teachers and guardians while the they administer leave little room for other causes or aggravating factors, such as diet, or environment. Hence, diagnosing a child or adolescent with ADD or ADHD is often the outcome, although no organic basis for either disease has yet to be clinically proven. Psychiatrists may then prescribe psychotropic drugs for the children without first without making it clear to parents that these medications can have severe side-effects including insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, psychotic symptoms and even potentially fatal adverse reactions, such as cardiac arrhythmia. And yet, despite these dangers, many school systems actually work with government agencies to force parents to drug their children, threatening those who refuse with the prospect of having their children taken from the home unless they cooperate.
Pinkwashing is a term to describe when a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease..
Direct effect of VPA on spermatic structure and function?
1999 Study Abstract
To describe a potential association between male infertility and valproate (VPA) exposure. VPA has been implicated in the development of polycystic ovarian disease and subsequent menstrual and infertility problems in women with epilepsy. Infertility has been well described in population-based studies of persons with epilepsy. The low marital rates for men with epilepsy have previously been thought to play a major contributing role.
We report a case of a 32-year-old man whose wife and he were able to bear a child before the development of his epilepsy. With VPA monotherapy, the family were unable to conceive despite 4 years of unprotected intercourse. An infertility evaluation of the man revealed a very low sperm count of < 50,000/ml, no motile sperm, < 10% viability, and 100% with abnormal structure. Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone levels were normal. RESULTS: Felbamate (FBM) was initiated and VPA discontinued for improved seizure control. Within 4 months, the couple conceived their second child. A seminal analysis revealed a sperm count of > 16 million, 50% motility, 78% viability, and 72% with abnormal structure.
One must be cautious in extrapolating from a case report, but these findings strongly suggest a direct effect of VPA on spermatic structure and function.
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Male infertility: possible association with valproate exposure, Epilepsia ;40(4):520-1, NCBI PMID: 10219283, , 1999 Apr
Reporter Jeanne Lenzer investigates overtreatment at the heart of healthcare.
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Overly aggressive treatment is estimated to cause 30 000 deaths among Medicare recipients alone each year. Overall, unnecessary interventions are estimated to account for 10-30% of spending on healthcare in the US, or $250bn-800bn (£154bn-490bn; €190bn-610bn) annually.
This video features Shannon Brownlee, acting director of the New America Health Policy Program and author of Overtreated: How Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, David Himmelstein, professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health, and Vikas Saini, a Harvard cardiologist and president of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation.
Read Unnecessary care: are doctors in denial and is profit driven healthcare to blame?, 2012;345:e6230, 02 October 2012.
Video published on 3 October 2012 by The BMJ channel.
Awareness campaigns have turned diseases into consumer brands
Panel from the graphic comic “Pink Ribbon Envy” by Adam Bessie and Dan Archer, thenib, Oct 1, 2014, on how awareness campaigns have turned some diseases into consumer brands, as other illnesses remain invisible…
Image sources: Breast Cancer Consortium, Graphics.
Emphasis has been placed on screening for clear cell adenocarcinoma rather than squamous cell carcinoma and reproductive alterations
1988 Study Abstract
Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen compound, was prescribed to many women with history of miscarriage between the years 1940 and 1971.
As a result of prolonged use of DES in gynecological practice, an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million women were exposed prenatally, resulting in multiple upper and lower genital tract abnormalities. These anomalies may affect reproductive function and place women at greater risk for developing clear cell adenocarcinoma (peak incidence at age 19) and squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina and cervix (peak incidence at ages 35 to 40).
Emphasis has been placed on screening for clear cell adenocarcinoma rather than squamous cell carcinoma and reproductive alterations. Despite the previous emphasis during the 1970s and a subsequent decline in public and practitioner awareness, women are at risk for the known effects of DES exposure until the year 2010. Greater effort must be made by practitioners to identify and screen for DES exposure in their practices, as well as to educate the public regarding the health risks posed by DES exposure so that affected women may be reached and receive care.
Sources and more information
Identification and management of DES-exposed women, The Nurse practitioner, 1988 Nov;13(11):15-6, 19-20, 22 passim, NCBI PMID: 3231355.
The downside? Many of the products offered to women in Look Good, Feel Better make-up kits contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk and some of the chemicals may actually interfere with breast cancer treatment.
Big business is keen to jump on the breast cancer awareness bandwagon but do its messages around screening do more harm than good?
Commercial involvement in breast cancer campaigning has drawn criticism from organisations such as US group Breast Cancer Action (BCA), which works to raise awareness of the more questionable cause related marketing activities by businesses, known as “pinkwashing.”
Lynn Ladbrook of Breast Cancer UK hits the nail on the pink head by drawing attention to causation and prevention.
The issue underpinning all the pinking is the question “why?” Why are women so preoccupied with breast cancer? Answer is because they have a 1 in 10 chance of getting it in the developed world.
And the next question is why are they getting it in such big numbers and at such relatively young ages? The answer to that is because they must be exposed to some particularly human-female risk factor, because no other mammal (including men) do not get invasive cancer in such numbers at such young ages.
The attached book – THE SCREECH OWLS OF BREAST CANCER – describes the battle lines more graphically and even dramatically.
Eugene G BREEN, Physician/psychiatrist, bmj. 13 October 2015