Ft Worth, TX: Kathryn’s baby girl was born with a hole in her heart, a defect possibly due to her baby’s exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Paxil during pregnancy. Now, many years later, Kathryn feels guilty and frustrated because her daughter has many long-term health problems.
“I was on Paxil during the whole term of my pregnancy,” Kathryn said.”I asked my doctor if it was safe and she said it was. But now I wish I hadn’t taken it. What could I do? I didn’t know.”
What Kathryn, and possibly hundreds of women like her didn’t know, is that SSRI antidepressants can cause serious birth defects, specifically heart malformations such as holes, and something called PPHN (or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn—formerly known as primary pulmonary hypertension of the newborn). PPHN is a potentially fatal birth defect in which the baby’s blood flow bypasses the lungs and is therefore very low in oxygen. The condition puts a great deal of stress on the baby’s other organs.
Luckily, if it can be considered that, Kathryn’s daughter wasn’t born with PPHN. However, in addition to a heart malformation the little girl was born with pneumonia. “Our daughter also has developmental delays, a learning disability, depression, chronic constipation and many aches and pains, as well as insomnia,” Kathryn said.
Kathryn didn’t escape medically unscathed either. “I had severe withdrawals from the drug and I wonder if my daughter’s mood swings and learning disability are due to this drug messing up her neurotransmitters while she in was in the womb.”
Needless to say, Kathryn worries not only about the long-term ramifications of her daughter’s health status, but also about the fact that there appears to be little she can do for her daughter now. “I can’t afford the therapies that my daughter needs to be able to function like a normal child,” Kathryn said. “I would like justice for my child’s pain and suffering.”
Paxil Babies – Real or Just Media Hype?
SSRI birth defects have been compared to birth defects and developmental problems in children exposed to other types of drugs during pregnancy. But are the problems real?
According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine in 2006, 30 percent of infants who were exposed to antidepressants while in the womb (in utero) experience some withdrawal symptoms. Worse, some 13 percent of those newborns suffer severe withdrawal symptoms, specifically tremors, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory distress, sleep disturbances, and high-pitched crying. A rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, feeding difficulties, and irritability have also been reported as infant SSRI withdrawal symptoms.
Coincidentally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert in 2006 on SSRI birth defects which stated, “A recently published case-control study has shown that infants born to mothers who took SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy were 6 times more likely to have PPHN than infants born to mothers who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.” The FDA alert also stated, “Neonatal PPHN is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.”
Then, in 2007, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the use of antidepressants in the first 3 months of pregnancy more than doubles the risk of craniosynostosis (premature closure of the connections between the bones of the skull before brain growth is complete), omphalocele (the child’s abdomen does not close properly allowing intestines and other organs to protrude outside the body), and anencephaly (birth without forebrain).
While these studies by no means represent all the information that’s available on this subject, for many women even this comes far too late. For mothers like Kathryn, the guilt associated with having taken an antidepressant during pregnancy and the health problems their children subsequently face can be overwhelming some days. But help is available. If you or someone you love took Paxil or other SSRIs while pregnant, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.
The Mothers Act—Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D. and countless others
The expression, “fruit of the poisoned tree”, is known to many of us from television shows about police, lawyers, and courts. In short, the expression refers to improper actions with someone such that the chain of events following the improper actions must be considered to be contaminated and to be excluded from consideration. For example, police who improperly search a person or a house or police who do not properly inform people of their rights create a “poisoned tree”. All subsequent evidence collected after the “poisoned tree” must be excluded and considered as inadmissible evidence in legal proceedings.
With this formulation, the New Jersey Postpartum Depression (PPD) Law is analogous to the “poisoned tree” and the upcoming proposed Mothers Act (S1375; HR20) is the “fruit of the poisoned tree”. The Mothers Act is a virtual replica of the NJ PPD Law (N.J.S.A. 26: 2-175; 2-176; 2-177; 2-178) and, therefore, focus will be upon discussion of the NJ PPD Law primarily. Both legislative formulations will be considered as virtually equivalent in this discussion
What is the essence of the NJ PPD Law?
The first part of the New Jersey PPD Law is concerned with educating new mothers/prospective mothers and their families about various problems/reactions that can occur before or after childbirth (actually perinatal rather than postpartum as such). The overall aims are to detect problems, to educate, and to consider treatment and access to treatment for problems uncovered. Many would consider the overall aims to be laudable and commendable.
In developing a full law, there are rules and regulations that specify how the law is to be implemented. In this law, the rules and regulations are called clinical guidelines.
The second part of the NJ PPD Law concerns itself with a screening process that also involves a screening instrument or questionnaire. It is here that the heart of the matter lies. In short, the heart of the matter centers around the following wording or script presented to the new mother or the mother-to-be:
Current wording used in PPD screening:
Instructions and wording of the script used for patients is as follows:
“The purpose of the tool will be explained to the patient using the following script:”
‘As our patient your emotional and physical well being is very important
to us. While you are here under our care, we would like to offer to you this
screening questionnaire that will help us to know if you are at risk for
developing postpartum depression. The questionnaire has 10 questions
and will take about 5 minutes for you to complete. Please take it on your
own. I will pick up the questionnaire within 15 minutes’*
*Clinical Practice Guidelines for Postpartum Depression Screening, Effective Date: January 2007, page 4.
The script may seem harmless enough, even altruistic and caring. However, the script, in effect, contains extremely serious legal and ethical violations that include but are not limited to:
1) Failure to provide full informed consent (i.e., proper consent should be express, written, voluntary, informed. At least 7 major violations of the APA Code of Ethics can be cited.).
2) Failure to provide adequate privacy and protection of client communication (e.g., ease of acquiring a serious psychiatric label and potential for abuse and misuse).
3) Failure to adhere to legal/ethical principles with resultant erosion of the quality of client services (e.g., federal mandates and ethical requirements for proper informed consent; full information about risks and benefits of the PPD screening process; need to provide an explicit option to decline services; need to provide information on alternatives to prevailing services).
To pursue the metaphor of looking at a glass as being half-full versus half-empty, the current situation involves a glass filled with a toxic beverage—half a glass of nourishing milk (i.e., the first part of the law) and half a glass containing deadly poison (i.e., the second part of the law, the rules and regulations/clinical guidelines).
Some would observe that:
NJPA (New Jersey Psychological Association) and others collaborated to produce the NJ PPD Law.
NJPA should have known about the full law, the rules and regulations (clinical guidelines) as well as the full implications of these rules and regulations.
NJPA has seriously blundered in developing this law.
(NJPA has highly trained psychologists well-versed in law and ethics at its disposal.)
One might construe that it appears that:
1) In effect, wittingly or unwittingly, NJPA has duped the citizens of New Jersey including legislators and the governor.
2) In effect, wittingly or unwittingly, NJPA has duped the American Psychological Association (APA) which subsequently supported the Mothers Act.
One might conclude that:
NJPA should be embarrassed in supporting the NJ PPD Law.
NJPA should take steps to suspend this law, pending full review and attempts to repair it.
Very likely most would hold that it is not too much to ask that, at a minimum, laws and proposed laws should be both LEGAL and ETHICAL.
Our immediate task is to halt passage of the Mothers Act, pending review and attempts to repair it.
After this is accomplished, immediate efforts should be made to suspend the NJ PPD Law, pending review and attempts to repair it.
Relevant documents will be provided, upon request, regarding assertions and issues in this paper. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Notify legislators, APA, and NJPA to halt passage of the Mothers Act and to suspend the NJ PPD Law.
Feedback and comments are welcomed.
Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.
New Jersey Psychologist License #1685
APA Member since 1967
The Lancet, a widely-respected international medical journal,
published an essay this weekend BELOW sharply critical of the
The piece by Athar Yawar reviews two books: “The Myth of the Chemical
Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment” by Joanna Moncrieff
and “Side Effects: a Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling
Antidepressant on Trial” by Alison Bass.
February 21, 2009 – http://www.thelancet.com – pages 621 to 622 – Vol
The fool on the hill
The spinning chair. Bloodletting (copious). Removal of possibly
infected viscera. Extraction of teeth. Electric shock. Forcible
restraint, for days or weeks. Wrapping in cold blankets. Brain
damage. Repeated coma. Back-breaking convulsions. Slicing through the
brain with an ice pick. Sterilisation. Female genital mutilation.
Since the Enlightenment, all the above have been used to treat the
“mad”. Even the most grotesque treatments have often been introduced
as humane alternatives to existing options. In the 1950s, the
chemical lobotomy, or “hibernation therapy” was introduced. Patients
were given a drug that rendered them immobile and semiconscious for
days, on the assumption that they would emerge improved. The drug was
called a “neuroleptic”, or brain restrainer. Its name?
Chlorpromazine. Since marketed as an antipsychotic, it is used, at
lower doses, today. So too are a host of related drugs. Many doctors,
and some patients, swear by them (other patients swear at them).
Antipsychotics are, at times, cruel drugs. Some cause shaking,
salivation, restlessness, infertility, stiff ness, agitation, and
frail bones; others cause obesity, somnolence, and increase the risk
of heart attack, diabetes, and stroke. Antidepressants also have side-
effects, although theirs are typically less dramatic: sickness,
sexual dysfunction, a feeling of being numbed, or losing one’s
personality, and acutely increased risk of suicide. But side-effects,
when they occur, seem justified, since mental illness is extremely
unpleasant; and evidence indicates that the drugs work.
What if they didn’t? In “The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of
Psychiatric Drug Treatment,” psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff has
amassed copious evidence that perhaps the drugs don’t work. What have
we missed, all these years? Selective and misleading outcome
measures; inadequate follow-up; selective attention to evidence;
publication bias; and our ability to define questions whose answers
are predictable, but partial. Robert Whitaker’s “Mad in
America” (2001) provided a breathtaking overview; Moncrieff, by
contrast, examines many studies in detail. “The Myth of the Chemical
Cure” is not always easy reading, but I do not think that serious
psychiatrists can afford to ignore Moncrieff’s book. It is a mine of
information; a provocation to think creatively and compassionately
about patients; and a momento mori, the equivalent of a mediaeval
scholar’s skull staring back from his desk: our works are mortal, and
our paradigms always limited.
Psychiatrists are widely regarded (and not just by other
psychiatrists) as insightful and intelligent people. How can
systematic research errors influence practice? In “Side Effects: a
Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on
Trial,” Alison Bass illustrates the method. The book lacks a little
in intensity; it could be shorter than it is. However, it manages to
illustrate that drug companies fund and design research; academic
advancement depends on procuring research grants; and, especially
with materialist approaches to the mind requiring expensive tools,
ambitious doctors often have little choice about the paymaster. Bass
indicates, as William Broad and Nicholas Wade did many years ago,
that research fraud is not merely anomalous, but the result of
pressures placed on academics, some of them self-generated. Even in
the absence of research fraud, the mechanisms of research would often
not be conducive to original or patient-centred thinking. Moreover,
acceptance of (in retrospect) bizarre and cruel remedies predates the
growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
This occurs although psychiatry, of all disciplines, ought to be
based on the art of listening. A patient’s story is a symphony of
suffering, longing, meaning, understanding, hope, fear, loss, wit,
and wisdom. Not to accompany the person afflicted on his journey is
inhumane. People will always need psychiatrists. But do people always
need psychiatry? Instead of the art of expert companionship,
psychiatry has become the discipline of brain mechanics. Experiences
are matched to labels of descriptive poverty. “Depression” implies a
low level of something, presumably mood, rather than the rich and
complex turmoil felt by the patient. “Schizophrenia” means several
contradictory things, but does not reflect the search for meaning
that is at the heart of the disorder.
Is it a disorder at all? Madness is to sincerely hold beliefs that
society regards as insupportable. But no society’s knowledge is
complete. Our ancestors would regard us as mad, or, charitably, as
ill-informed; we observe with relief that we do not share all their
beliefs. Healthy societies have often regarded at least some madness
as serendipitous. If reason follows from incomplete assumptions,
madness, by outflanking reason, can complete the human picture. The
notion was enshrined in the King’s Fool: a measurelessly eccentric,
often holy, man who told the state, embodied in the king, what it
otherwise could not hear (the tradition died out in Britain after
Charles I was deposed, not long after his fool was expelled from
court, at the behest of a jealous archbishop). Our assumption that
madness is necessarily a disorder assumes that we are necessarily
sane. I would hate to make that an article of faith.
In focusing on, and stigmatising, people with mental illness, we tend
to ignore the context. In our fervour to understand mental illness,
we have applied grossly oversimplified biochemical models to the
brain, with usually unhelpful results. The search for a
“schizophrenia gene” has been heroic and, so far, labyrinthine; but
to be black, isolated, and urban in the UK increases the risk
manifold. Society, and circumstances, can drive people mad; the
epidemic of depression and anxiety is otherwise inexplicable. To
focus research on the person who has become ill can be a little like
concentrating on a damaged house after a tsunami has hit a village.
The cause may be elsewhere.
Some would argue that even if drugs work, they do not work. The
margin over placebo is not large; the number needed to treat is not
vanishingly small; prognosis may be worse than with the “moral
treatment” (rest, respect, good food, work, prayer) of 200 years ago;
patients’ adherence, especially to antipsychotic drugs, is patchy;
drug treatment attends to the symptoms, but not to the human being
who has the symptoms. We would, as a society, achieve a great deal by
listening to patients’ demands for good food, companionship, respect,
practical support, and gainful activity. As doctors, being with the
patient is one of the most powerful healing tools we have. It can
sound trite; but the phrase describes receiving the patient’s
humanity, and allowing it to come through crisis intact and enriched,
without the loss of dignity and self almost inherent in labelling. We
rarely have the time, or encouragement, to treat patients according
to their story, rather than our diagnosis; outcome measures are too
coarse to consider whether the patient has been allowed to preserve
and fulfill his or her humanity. The work of Moncrieff and Bass is a
warning that the doctor must be intellectually and morally free.
The Lancet, London NW1 7BY, UK
“The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug
Treatment” by Joanna Moncrieff (Palgrave Macmillan) 2008. 296 pages.
“Side Effects: a Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling
Antidepressant on Trial” by Alison Bass (Algonquin Books) 2008. 260
pages. ISBN 1-565-12553-3.
In a large number of expectant mothers, once they give birth, an often profound feeling of loss and depression sets in. This, as knowledgeable doctors, nurses and midwives know, is normal since the shared circulatory system that existed between the mother and the baby with all of its attendant hormones created a “high” that is missing once the baby is born. For millennia, most mothers – using common sense and good nutrition – simply got up, dusted themselves off, and got on with the business of life and rearing their children. But in today’s Brave New World of the 21st Century, some argue that there must be another solution.
Call in the Government Of Course
In 2006, the Governor of New Jersey signed legislation requiring health-care professionals who provide prenatal care to educate women about postpartum depression (”PPD”) and to see that new mothers receive treatment for the disorder. Then, in a press release, it was stated that 80% of women experience some degree of depression following childbirth. And, most recently, both Illinois and Pennsylvania are also attempting to get similar legislation passed as well.
Not to be outdone, in the United States Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has slipped a controversial bill called The Mothers Act into an omnibus package called “Advancing America’s Priorities Act” (S.3297). The legislation, as first enacted in New Jersey, would require pregnant and new mothers across the U.S. to be screened and treated because they are deemed to be at risk for mental disorders. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) jumped on the bandwagon, proudly proclaiming that, “We must attack postpartum depression on all fronts with education, screening, support, and research so that new moms can feel supported and safe rather than scared and alone.”
Fortunately, S.3297 stalled in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) committee for months. But the Democratic majority, ever concerned for the welfare of Americans, acted. On July 22nd, Majority Leader Reid circumvented normal Senate procedure by having the bill placed on the Senate Bill calendar without a vote in the HELP Committee. On July 28th, Senate Republicans filibustered the bill and blocked a full Senate vote and passage. Following Reid’s unsuccessful effort to force a Senate vote, the bill was withdrawn from consideration but remains on the Senate calendar and can be brought back for a vote at any time. There are only seven Senators cosponsoring the bill (Senators Biden (D-DE), Boxer (D-CA), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), and Lieberman (I-CT)).
The Mothers Act is supported by a powerful drug-funded coalition, including The Guttmacher Institute/Planned Parenthood, Postpartum Support International, National Mental Health Association, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Illinois Academy of Pediatrics, and the Illinois Psychiatric Association.
Follow the Money
These pharmaceutical-industry-funded groups are using the very same strategy as they did with Teen Screen (a controversial national mental-health and suicide-risk screening program for students and adolescents in the United States), although the focus is now on expectant mothers. The obvious objective is to find a way to broaden the drug industry’s market in every way possible. For years, it was adults (especially seniors). Once they had basically saturated that market, then they began targeting our kids (even very young preschoolers). Now, the only untapped large market appears to be expectant mothers.
Worst of all, though, is the deliberate attempt to get legislation passed. State by State as well as on a national level, to mandate mental-health screening, first with children and now their mothers. They would rather that you had absolutely no choice in the matter (an overt attempt to take away our freedom to make choices for ourselves and our children). They have already taken away our choice regarding healthcare by assuring that natural therapies and supplements are not covered by insurance. If they have their way, all of our health conditions (both physical and mental) will be totally controlled by the pharmaceutical industry and coercively mandated by our governments, both State and Federal.
Of course, the “accepted” treatment for PPD just happens to be counseling and drug therapy with antidepressants! And these same people are deliberately very specific as to exactly how the program is to work, assuring that they take advantage of every opportunity to diagnose a mother with PPD, who would thus be in need of the “appropriate medication.” An excerpt from Illinois Senate Bill 15 is especially representative of their approach:
“Physicians and other licensed health care workers providing prenatal and postnatal care to women shall assess new mothers for postpartum mood disorder symptoms at a prenatal check-up visit in the third trimester of pregnancy, prior to discharge from the hospital or other healthcare facility, and at the initial postnatal check-up visit and at each postnatal check-up visit thereafter until the infant’s first birthday.
Physicians and other licensed health care workers providing pediatric care to an infant shall assess the infant’s mother for postpartum mood disorder symptoms at any well-baby check-up at which the mother is present prior to the infant’s first birthday in order to ensure that the health and well-being of the infant are not compromised by an undiagnosed postpartum mood disorder in the mother.” (emphasis added) (See http://tinyurl.com/35zkec.)
But it gets worse. A “hospital” in Illinois is actually proposing that if a mother is even thinking about getting pregnant maybe she should be tested for depression! The following was posted at the Sierra Times website:
“The Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois continues to recommend that SSRIs be used to treat pregnant women even despite recent warnings concerning birth defects arid other life-threatening disorders in children born to mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy. ‘Any woman,’ the Hospital warns, ‘who is thinking about becoming pregnant, is pregnant, or had a baby within the past year can be affected by depression or other mood disorders.’” (emphasis added) (http://www.sierratimes.com/07/04/75_8_37_98_67891.htm)
Any doctor who would come up with conclusions that ridiculous must be normally influenced financially by the industry whose own financial interests would benefit, in this case by those producing and promoting antidepressants. (I personally think they should consider re-naming the hospital!)
Although it appears as a concern, just like TeenScreen, it is just another marketing strategy by drug companies to get everyone possible on their highly profitable medications. Unfortunately, far too many women have been placed on (and often remain on) antidepressants throughout their pregnancy, which just increases the potential for them experiencing PPD following delivery. As can never be emphasized enough, the highly elevated stress hormone cortisol, stimulated by antidepressants such as Prozac™ on a daily basis, is the best way I know of to deplete the mother’s adrenals, which are responsible for producing several critical hormones.
Mental Evaluations and Drugs Are Not the Answer
Most importantly, mental evaluations never have been, and never will be, based upon science. The “science” of mental health is really nothing but a collection of theories and opinions. If anything, it is an art, not a science. Thus, any evaluations would be based on nothing but someone’s personal opinion, as would be the solutions. And, as the promotion of the mental-health program is always funded (either directly or indirectly) by the pharmaceutical industry, the “proper solution” would obviously be influenced as well.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Grace Jackson, author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent. “Prescribing SSRIs as a preventative measure during pregnancy is a terrible idea.” (See http://www.sierratimes.com/07/04/04/75_8_37_98_67891.htm). In fact, regarding the overall scheme of screening all women before, during, and after pregnancy and putting them on SSRIs, Dr. Jackson has stated, “In sum, there could not be a more foolhardy public health practice than this one.”
“The problem isn’t correctable with drugs.”
As you will soon discover, though, there is a very good explanation for PPD, based upon science and not conjecture. Instead, as usual, there are effective drug-free solutions available.
Suddenly going from an unbelievable high to an unexplainable low is not Bipolar Disorder or coming off of cocaine; rather, it is a surprisingly common phenomenon. In his March 2007 Alternatives newsletter (www.drdavidwilliams.com), Dr. David G. Williams does an excellent job of explaining exactly how PPD develops, as follows:
“PPD is a very real problem, but it definitely doesn’t stem from a drug deficiency. The added nutritional and hormonal stress of pregnancy often leaves the mother’s body chemistry totally out of balance following childbirth. One of the most common problems seems to stem from depletion of the adrenal (or stress) glands.
Physical or mental stress, poor diet (excess sugar or carbohydrates), skipping meals, alcohol, and smoking are some of the primary causes of weakened adrenals. During and immediately before pregnancy a poor diet, particularly consuming too much sugar or high-carbohydrate meals, will quickly weaken the adrenals. [WRITER’S NOTE: Coffee is also a stimulant known to deplete the adrenals, as is the NutraSweet™ found in diet beverages.]
During the first three months of pregnancy many women experience a great deal of fatigue and a total lack of energy. Beginning sometime during the second trimester they oftentimes get a huge burst of energy and heightened sense of well-being. These women will say things like, “This is the best I’ve ever felt in my life.” And this newfound energy remains with them until they give birth, when all of the sudden it feels like the whole world collapses around them (PPD).
During the second trimester the child’s adrenal glands begin to develop, along with the thyroid, pituitary, and other glands. And since the mother and child share a circulatory system she begins to benefit from the baby’s hormones. In effect, she begins to “feed off” the baby. She begins to experience more energy and that overall sense of well-being. It couldn’t get any better. Her body has discovered a fresh new source of everything she’s been missing.
But when the baby is born, the mother is abruptly cut off from her newfound lifeline. Within a day or two of giving birth, the mother can go from the highest high to the lowest low and never know what hit her. No one offers her an explanation. If anything, she might be told it’s normal to experience the depression and fatigue and it’s something she just needs to work through – and maybe some antidepressants might help.” (pp. 167-168) (emphasis added)
Recommended Drug-Free Solution For Postpartum Depression
Dr. Williams continues:
“The underlying problem, however, needs to be corrected. The adrenal glands (and often the thyroid and pituitary glands) must be given nutritional support. Sugar has to be eliminated. Additional minerals, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids (predominantly omega-3s) must be added to the diet. I’ve seen dramatic changes in just a matter of days through proper nutritional support, particularly using glandular supplements for the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. The problem isn’t correctable with drugs.” (Alternatives, 2007 March, p. 168).
- It just so happens that Standard Process™ is a company that has a dietary glandular formula for women called Symplex F, which contains all three glandulars (adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid extracts), which Dr. Williams recommends, along with ovary extract. They also have another formula called Drenamin™, with several plant-based nutrients specifically formulated for helping rebuild weakened adrenals. Their products are only available through doctors (including chiropractors).
- The adrenals (especially when depleted) need adequate salt. The only salt I would recommend is Celtic sea salt, sold through the Grain & Salt Society. It comes in coarse crystals and fine ground. As the “coarse” is cheaper, I would recommend swallowing one teaspoon daily with water. Or, you can use the “fine” for everyday seasoning. That is the only salt I have used during the past 18 years, and unlike common table salt, it is actually healthy as it contains over 80 trace minerals. Celtic sea salt is available at most health-food stores, or directly through the Grain & Salt Society.
- Avoid stimulants and stressors. As Dr. Williams recommended, avoid coffee, sugar, and NutraSweet™, as they all stress the adrenals. And most importantly, avoid physical or mental stress as much as possible. I would also recommend avoiding drugs such as Prozac™, which greatly increase the level of the stress hormone cortisol. If you happen to experience unavoidable stress for some reason, just take a couple of capsules of the very calming herb valerian root. It will safely help you relax, and it appears to do so without causing drowsiness.
- Stay hydrated! Don’t forget to drink at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water daily, which is especially important during pregnancy. The nausea many women experience during pregnancy is often the result of inadequate water intake.
- It’s also important to take a potent vitamin B-complex such as B-100, as well as a good multi-mineral containing at least calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
- Essential fatty acids such as flax and fish oils also play an important part in our mental health. I would recommend a minimum of two large soft gels of Flaxseed oil, and two of fish oil, daily.
Applying all of the above recommendations throughout pregnancy would greatly reduce the risk of experiencing PPD. Just remember that the typical approach of “drugs for everything, and nothing but drugs for anything” is a dangerous and self-destructive approach that never has, and never will, truly resolve any health issue, whether physical or mental.
This article was extracted in part from the 2007 book by Dr. David W. Tanton, Ph.D., Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and Stimulants—Dangerous Drugs on Trial and expanded upon for this Health Freedom News article. Special thanks are given to Dr. David Williams for his kind permission to quote his writings from Alternatives in this article.
Dr. David Tanton graduated with honors from Clayton College of Natural Healing with a Ph.D., in Holistic Nutrition, and is the founder and research director of the Soaring Heights Longevity Research Center. He is also the author of the award-winning book A Drug-Free Approach to Healthcare. At the age of 74, Dr. Tanton is 100-percent drug free and is in optimal health. For more information, visit www.DrTanton.com.
Enne Currie finally found out the whereabouts of her son when someone in court blurted it out!
A copy of the Declaration she filed with the court can be downloaded from the Box.net file sharing widget on this site. It is called Declaration One.
The Fortunate Mistake:
The New Jersey Postpartum Depression Law—An Opportunity to Join Forces
Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D. and countless others
The New Jersey Postpartum Depression (PPD) Screening Law can be considered a fortunate mistake. The word “mistake” might be considered negative and offensive or insensitive but it is purposely chosen in order to unite it with another expression: “The only true mistakes are the ones we do not learn from.”
The New Jersey PPD Law is so markedly defective and inadequate that it can awaken awareness and recognition of very basic, fundamental issues about codes of ethics, legal issues, particularly confidentiality, privacy, patient protection, and full informed consent.
It is almost as if an ethics professor had given his class a group assignment to write a law that seems initially to be ostensibly appealing but violates every major legal and ethical precept. Freud, among others, gained enormous insights into normality and normal development by studying pathology and the breakdown of processes and systems.
The ethics professor hopes that students, in attempting to compose the worst possible law, will appreciate law and order by studying violations of law and by studying disorder.
A fortunate element in this situation is a renewed opportunity to unite various forces to rectify serious errors in the New Jersey PPD Law.
What are at stake are not only the rights and lives of citizens but also the long-range legal/ethical consequences upon the professions of medicine, of psychology, and of all other mental health professions.
There is a threat of erosion, corrosion, and corruption of our basic ethical principles and, ultimately, of the services provided to all potential clients.
The upcoming national Mothers Act (a virtual replica of the New Jersey PPD Law), if enacted, can be likened to an epidemic and plague of all the undesirable, destructive features of the New Jersey PPD Law.
Let us learn from the New Jersey PPD Law mistakes and not repeat them and magnify them in the national Mothers Act. Even if the Mothers Act is defeated, there exist serious, ongoing defects in the New Jersey PPD Law which must be addressed and rectified.
Both the New Jersey PPD Law and the Mothers Act contain the following legal/ethical violations:
1) Failure to provide full informed consent (i.e., consent should be express, written, voluntary, informed).
2) Failure to provide adequate privacy and protection of client communications.
3) Failure to adhere to legal/ethical principles with resultant erosion of the quality of client services (e.g., federal mandates and ethical requirements for proper informed consent; full information about risks and benefits of the PPD screening process; need to provide an explicit option to decline services; need to provide information on alternatives to prevailing services).
There is a prayer entitled “Don’t Quit.” A line in this prayer is: “Success is failure turned inside out.” Let us turn this New Jersey mistake, this New Jersey failure, into a success.
Psychiatric Drugging of Children Intolerable–Part 1
by Evelyn Pringle
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/features/Psychiatric-Drugging-One.htmlFebruary 19, 2009.
Washington, DC: Last September, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights filed what is sure to become a landmark case against the State of Alaska aimed at stopping the over-prescribing of psychiatric drugs to children covered by public health care programs in that state.
“The massive over-drugging of America’s youth is an unfolding national horror,” says attorney Jim Gottstein, the leader of the Law Project. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop Alaska from authorizing or paying for psychotropic drugs prescribed to children in foster care or children covered by Medicaid “without safeguards being in place to make sure proper decision making occurs.”
Specifically, the complaint is asking for a court order prohibiting the State from giving or paying for these drugs unless and until: (i) evidence-based psychosocial interventions have been exhausted, (ii) rationally anticipated benefits of psychotropic drug treatment outweigh the risks, (iii) the person or entity authorizing administration of the drug(s) is fully informed, and (iv) close monitoring of, and appropriate means of responding to, treatment emergent effects are in place.
“The corrupt influence of the pharmaceutical industry in illegally promoting much of this drugging has been well established,” Mr Gottstein says, “yet the state continues to inflict great harm on the children it has taken away from their families by giving them these drugs.”
“It is absurd to think all these children have a mental illness,” he adds. “They are being drugged because they are upset and bothering people…because decisions to administer medication to children are not made by the children themselves, the administration of psychotropic drugs is involuntary.”
Under the Alaska Constitution, he says, involuntary administration of such drugs infringes upon fundamental rights and the state must have a compelling state interest in doing so. They must be in the best interest of the children and there must be no less intrusive alternatives, the lawsuit notes.
Governor Sarah Palin is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because she is ultimately responsible for the protection of children as Governor of Alaska. “I doubt anyone on the Governor’s staff has even let her know about the problem despite my trying to bring it to her attention ever since she took office,” Mr Gottstein notes.
In fact, as far back as March 14, 2007, he emailed Governor Palin about children in custody in other states dying from the administration of psychotropic drugs, and stated:
“The massive over-drugging of America’s children and youth is a titanic health catastrophe caused by the government’s failure to protect its most precious citizens, who rely on the adults in their lives to shield them from harm, not inflict it upon them. Perhaps the worst of all is the State inflicting this harm on children and youth it has taken from their homes “for their own good.”
Mr Gottstein concluded by asking her to, “Please correct this situation.” On February 4, 2008, he wrote to Governor Palin again, in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit, and sent copies to the Attorney General and others, conveying scientific evidence regarding the harm being done by the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children, and stated in part:
“Children and youth are virtually always forced to take these drugs because, with rare exception, it is not their choice. PsychRights believes the children and youth, themselves, have the legal right to not be subject to such harmful treatment at the hands of the State of Alaska.
“We are therefore evaluating what legal remedies might be available to them. However, instead of going down that route, it would be my great preference to be able to work together to solve this problem. It is for this reason that I am reaching out to you again on this issue.”
“Fewer than ten percent of psychotropic drugs are FDA-approved for any psychiatric use in children and youth,” the lawsuit alleges.
In the February 2009 New York Review, former New England Journal of Medicine editor and Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr Marcia Angell, wrote:
“Although it is illegal to promote drugs for use in children if the FDA has not approved them for that use, the law is frequently circumvented by disguising marketing as education or research. Eli Lilly recently agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle civil and criminal charges of marketing the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the FDA (known as “off-label” uses). Zyprexa, which has serious side effects, is one of the drugs frequently used off-label to treat children diagnosed with bipolar disorder.”
She went on to state: “Unlike migraines or shyness, hypertension or high cholesterol can be defined by an objective measurement-a blood pressure or cholesterol level. One can dispute the threshold chosen as abnormal, but the measurement is easily verifiable. The fact that psychiatric conditions are not objectively verifiable underscores the necessity for both diagnosis and treatment to be as impartial as possible. That is why conflicts of interest are more serious in this field than in most others.”
Mr Gottstein’s complaint lays out the evidence of harm to children caused by psychiatric drugs as documented by a program titled, “Critical Risk Rx, A Critical Curriculum on Psychotropic Medications,” designed by a team led by Dr David Cohen, a Professor at Florida International University.
The purpose of the “Critical Think Rx” program is to promote critical thinking skills about psychiatric medication issues related to the authorization of the administration of psychotropic drugs to young patients. The program was developed under a grant from the Attorneys General Consumer and Prescriber Grant Program through the multi-state settlement with Pfizer of consumer fraud claims regarding the off-label promotion of Neurontin, one of the anti-seizure drugs marketed as a mood stabilizer.
Critical Think Rx is funded at the Florida International University, and is the only project targeting non-medically trained professionals in child welfare and mental health. All investigators and consultants involved in the program have agreed to forego pharmaceutical industry funding for the duration of the project in order to maintain complete independence.
The “best practices” recommended in the lawsuit were assembled by the Critical Think team and have been proven effective, Mr Gottstein advises.
Part 2 Next week: The Major Turning Point: the Death of Rebecca Riley
Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Scoop Independent News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
This report was written as part of the Pharmaceutical Litigation Roundup series and sponsored by the Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.