PTSD Screening: Drug, Then Drug Some More

“Mentally ill” has been extended to include most of the population if psychiatry’s diagnostic manual is to be believed, for in it you can find almost any nuance of human behaviour, any quirk or difficulty that people from time to time can manifest and the “solution” as it is with war veterans and PTSD, is to drug, then drug some more.

The drugs then set the problem in concrete, guaranteeing that it and its consequences, via the damage and mental and physical complications inflicted by those drugs, will bedevil the person from there on out. A wound that might have healed, so to speak, will now give rise to a knock-on of ailments via the drugs used to treat it and the person at the very least is consigned to living out his days in a drugged-out haze.

Estimates of how many soldiers suffer from PTSD have soared from 196,000 in 2005 (when $274 million, were spent on treating it, comprising 13% of all Veteran Administration mental health costs) to 320,000 in 2009 and the dollars going into psycho-pharmacy coffers because of it have soared commensurately. Drugging stations are now attached to the military so that the soldiers can be more efficiently drugged and nobody tells them that since just 2001, there have been more than 20 drug regulatory warnings issued about the dangers – often lethal – of antipsychotic drugs.

Taking this still further, psychiatrists attached limpet-like to the military have now implemented a system for screening for depression and PTSD. All soldiers are encouraged to complete a questionnaire when visiting a primary care doctor and based on their responses are routinely prescribed drugs – often antidepressants or antipsychotics.

Such questionnaires used include the “Patient Health Questionnaire” (PHQ) and to take one example of how devious this operation is, its questions include:(in the past two weeks, have you experienced) “little interest or pleasure in doing things, trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much, feeling tired or having little energy, poor eating or overeating, feeling bad about yourself, or if you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down, had trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television” to name a few. These are questions to which any of us might at one time or another answer “yes”, especially if we are sat in a tent with shells exploding overhead, are exhausted by a tough routine and forced to eat army grub!

It is a fact too that such phenomena can have any one of dozens of causes and depression itself almost always derives from an underlying, undetected physical malady or nutritional deficiency, but the checklist arbitrarily requires 5 or more of the items to warrant a diagnosis and does not look at other factors such as fatigue, poor diet, toxic poisoning and so forth.

The free online depression-screening test meanwhile is copyrighted to Pfizer, who manufacture the antidepressant Zoloft. So one could be forgiven for thinking there may be a conflict of interest there – and that there is no deceit or trickery too devious or dishonourable for certain corporations if it means making a buck, even at the expense of young men and women risking their lives for their country.

Psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen of Harvard Medical School says that such questionnaires “may look scientific,” but “when one examines the questions asked and the scales used, they are utterly subjective measures….” And if you are still inclined to be charitable about drug corporation motives, consider this:

Pfizer gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Zoloft’s use in treating PTSD in 1999. After that it financed the creation of a group called the “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Alliance” (PTSD) which then propagandized the idea that PTSD was not just for combatants, but could affect anyone and, lo, the made-up disease inflated overnight, like a balloon full of hot air, into something several times its original size. The PTDSA was staffed by employees of Pfizer’s New York public-relations firm, the Chandler Chicco Agency, and even operated out of the firm’s offices! And nobody in government or the military saw anything at all wrong with this picture!

I’m sure the dedicated humanitarians in Pfizer and its front group the PTSDA had only the best interests of Americans at heart but one could be forgiven for concluding on the basis of this evidence that here is a sleazy trick designed to hoodwink more Americans into using Pfizer’s drugs.

The impression of criminality is heightened still further when one discovers that the PTSDA also connected journalists up with so-called “PTSD experts” such as Jerilyn Ross, who just happens – by amazing coincidence – to be CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), another front group heavily financed by Pfizer – along with GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, and other drug-industry giants.

It is no coincidence that in the months following the launch of Pfizer’s campaign, media mentions of PTSD skyrocketed. When a made-up mental illness gets enough coverage and is propagandized by groups that appear to be interested only in your welfare, it is only a matter of time before it becomes an “everybody knows.” Seeing it mentioned all over the place, people assume that it must have some bona fides and thus we have a full blown brain disease cutting a swathe of destruction through the populace – for which Pfizer at el just happen to have the antidote. (Lucky for all of us they were there!)

Bear in mind that the fine humanitarians in the PTDSA issued a statement about two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, warning that post-traumatic stress could strike at anyone who has “witnessed a violent act” or experienced “distressing events such as the September 11 terrorist attacks.” So not only did people have the shock of the 9/11 horror to contend with, they had the marketing arm of the psycho-pharmacy telling them they had a diseased brain to boot!

According to the Psychiatric News, during the following month, Pfizer spent $5.6 million advertising the benefits of Zoloft in treating PTSD – 25% more than it had spent, on average, from January to June.

Not only were Pfizer quick to make a buck out of the 9/11 catastrophe, other drug companies didn’t hang about either. After September 11, GlaxoSmithKline for example, spent $16 million in October promoting its PTSD drug Paxil – a massive increase in its pre-9/11 marketing of the drug. A few weeks later, in December, it ran commercials built around lines such as ‘I’m always thinking something terrible is going to happen.”

Watching the psycho-pharmacy in operation, I get the same feeling too.

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