SSRI Antidepressants: The Biggest Corporate Scam of All Time
In the 1970’s the pharma industry started research on a new class of drugs. It seems like humans sometimes get depressed and Pfizer saw an opportunity to cash in on our misery. They started experimenting with a class of drugs called serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Basically the goal was to manipulate the level of serotonin in the brain with the underlying idea that people with more serotonin were happier and less depressed, and those who had lower serotonin levels tended towards depression.
The idea that serotonin is a hormone that controls your mood was the subject of one of the early studies that were the scientific basis for the later marketing bullshit after the introduction of Prozac, Paxil, et al. Simply put, a group of monkeys were observed for a period of time and it was determined which of the males were alpha males (they got the best food and the most females to mate) and the rest of the males (losers in the game of life.) Once that determination was made, the monkeys were killed and the level of serotonin was compared to the social ranking of each monkey. The research suggested that high levels of serotonin correlated with “success” and lower levels with “failure.” The alpha monkeys had higher serotonin levels.
The first thing that pops into your head when you really think about it is of course there is no way to know what a monkey “feels” like. There is a great big assumption here that monkeys that are “successful” or “alpha” are somehow less depressed or happier than the other less blessed members of the troop. This is just scientific idiocy. After all, don’t we all know some humans that are rich and successful but also depressed and suicidal? Don’t we all know a few humans that are poor as a church mouse but as happy as a human can be? Of course we do.
But then again, Big Pharma, and many therapists and doctors really don’t care how you “feel.” They just want you to be able to get up in the morning and go to work. If an antidepressant accomplishes that, then they call it good. Add to that the fact that the average doctor in the US was gifted $15,000 a year from Big Pharma all through the 80’s and 90’s and you can see why doctors are so enthusiastic in prescribing them.
There is a deeper flaw in the original research though. It is the assumption that the hormone serotonin regulates mood. This is only an assumption with no evidence that it is true. It is my personal opinion that serotonin regulates social standing in the group, that is high serotonin will make a person behave more alpha (dominant and aggressive), and low serotonin will tend to make a person into one of the followers in the group. That is the only correlation that is provable by the monkey study. I am sure that big pharma was aware of this flaw, and that’s what makes SSRIs a scam.
Which leads to another problem with SSRIs that has manifested itself in human society: SSRIs have been implicated in violence, mass murders and suicides. The killers at Columbine were taking SSRIs, and there is a very long list of other killers who have been taking this crap when they went over the edge.
Well think about it! Take a troop of monkeys with a few alpha males, some adult females, and some males who are peripheral followers. We may think that the alpha males are happy and the followers are miserable, but how would we know? Now put all the “unhappy” peripheral males on an SSRI regimen to ease their “depression.” If serotonin is as I believe a hormone regulator of social status and not mood, what you have done is create a troop of monkeys that are all alpha males! This is a recipe for violence, aggression, and the breakdown of monkey society.
Don’t we see the same thing in human society? The evidence is overwhelming that SSRIs produce violence and aggressive behavior in humans, at least some of them. How can this be if an SSRI is nothing but a benign antidepressant, a mood elevator? The answer is that people who take SSRIs start believing that they are the leader of the pack, to varying degrees. This is also a recipe for disaster. When everyone imagines himself to be a leader there will be no peace.
Chemically most SSRIs have a component phenylalkylamine that is the same chemical found in mescaline and amphetamine. For this reason, and for the reasons above, I call the SSRI’s “designer speed.” SSRI’s are basically a timed release version of methamphetamine.
SSRIs are addictive. There are two obvious proofs of the addictive qualities of SSRIs. The first is the fact that people often build up tolerances to the drugs, and the dosage must be increased. Your doctor will look you in the eye and tell you that you must “titrate up” your dose. On the street, drug addicts call this process something else. The second proof is the heavy, serious withdrawal symptoms experienced by many who try to quit an SSRI. These withdrawals are so serious that the Pharma companies themselves strongly urge people to taper down from the drug rather that quit cold turkey. When your doctor hands you a free month supply of Paxil or Prozac he is hooking you on a drug, and it is an expensive drug. Remember that.
There have been countless studies since the monkey study of course , mostly financed by Big Pharma, but there is overwhelming evidence that the studies publicized by Big Pharma have been cherry picked, it has been proven in court. And there was a study just a few years ago, a meta analysis of hundreds of large studies, that proved there is really only one factor in improving the life of someone who is really depressed. That is the “alliance effect” which refers to the situation where you have a therapist that you like and who you trust, and who you believe is working in your interest. Nothing else really matters, not SSRIs or older antidepressants, not therapy technique like CBT, nothing. So if you are seriously depressed find a therapist who will talk to you, and if you are lucky you will find one who really cares.
Most of the studies done in the last twenty years are of short duration 8-12 weeks or so, and most of the ones published by big pharma indicate that the pills helped people who were somewhat depressed, but did very little for people who were chronically or deeply depressed. The reason for this is simple: take 100 people who say they are depressed. Maybe 75 to 80 % of them will get out of their funk with or with out the drug. Swings in mood are normal, but they don’t usually last more than a few weeks. You give someone your faux medication, full on in the knowledge that the patient will get better anyway whether he takes it or not.
This is fraud on a grand scale, Big Pharma is the perpetrator abetted by a greedy and gullible medical establishment.
My advice for you, if you are depressed, before you consider this big pharma crap, is go for a walk every day, talk to interesting people, and turn off your television. Give it a try.
have a peaceful day,