On March 23, police and emergency medical personnel stormed Marina Trutko's home, breaking down her apartment door and quickly subduing her with an injection of haloperidol, a powerful tranquilizer. One policeman put her 78-year-old mother, Valentina, in a storage closet while Trutko, 42, was carried out to a waiting ambulance. It took her to the nearby Psychiatric Hospital No. 14.
The former nuclear scientist, a vocal activist and public defender for several years in this city 70 miles north of Moscow, spent the next six weeks undergoing a daily regimen of injections and drugs to treat what was diagnosed as a "paranoid personality disorder."
"She is also very rude," psychiatrists noted in her case file.
In person, Trutko presents a different profile, reserved and formal as she recounts her legal and psychiatric ordeal and invokes the minutiae of Russian law without having to refer to texts. An independent evaluation found that although she did not have an "ordinary personality," she was "very gifted and creative" and displayed no psychiatric symptoms.
Trutko is new evidence that Soviet-style forced psychiatry has reemerged in Russia as a weapon to intimidate or discredit citizens who tangle with the authorities, according to human rights activists and some mental health professionals. Despite major reforms in the early 1990s, some officials are again employing this form of repression.
"Abuse has begun to creep back in, and we're seeing more cases," said Lyubov Vinogradova, executive director of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, an advocacy group. "It's not on a mass scale like in Soviet times, but it's worrying."
In those years, tens of thousands of dissidents were wrongfully subjected to forced hospitalization, sometimes for years, based on trumped-up diagnoses of "schizophrenia." Dissidents were said to exhibit inflexibility of convictions and nervous exhaustion brought on by anti-government activities. "Reformist delusions," the Soviets called it. If you were against communism, in other words, you were insane.
Some of the new cases have been abetted by institutions or doctors involved in it in the Soviet period. Trutko, who is originally from Uzbekistan, was diagnosed at the Serbsky Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow, one of the most infamous of the Soviet institutions that imprisoned dissidents. It remains a secretive institution that has never faced up to its repressive past, according to human rights groups.
As recently as 2001, the institute's director, Tatyana Dmitriyeva, denied that the Soviet Union engaged in any more psychiatric abuse than Western countries, according to the report "Human Rights and Psychiatry in the Russian Federation" by the Moscow Helsinki Group.
One of signatures on Trutko's official evaluation, which declared she had paranoid personality disorder, is that of Yakob Landau, a longtime Serbsky psychiatrist who headed the institute's notorious Unit No. 4 during Soviet days.
Officials at the institute, a walled and forbidding complex in central Moscow, said no one was available to comment for this article. Investigators in Trutko's case declined to comment.
The charge that psychiatry is again being abused is not universally accepted within the profession. "The problem of forced treatment or psychiatric persecution existed more than 20 years ago, but it was solved. And since then I haven't heard of any case of forced psychiatric examination or treatment," said Vladimir Rotstein, president of Public Initiative on Psychiatry, an advocacy group.
The Independent Psychiatric Association, however, says that the number of activists being wrongfully hospitalized in mental facilities totals dozens of cases in recent years and is increasing. Doctors and the courts are complicit with investigators who insist on a forced psychiatric evaluation or treatment, it says. Activists have also documented an increase of family or business disputes in which wrongful hospitalization provides an opening to seize a person's property, Vinogradova said.
Most of the targeted activists are not affiliated with major human rights groups. Rather, like Trutko, they are stubborn gadflies who are involved in long-running feuds with local authorities. Their sometimes intemperate complaints against authorities are used to open criminal investigations for slander. This allows authorities to seek hospitalization. Unlike Soviet dissidents, these activists are put away for relatively short periods of a week to several months.
Roman Lukin, a businessman in the Volga River city of Cheboksary, was hospitalized last year for "unexplainable behavior" after he held up a sign on a public square calling three judges "creeps." Seeking redress for a bad debt that ruined him, Lukin felt he had not received justice from the courts. He spent two weeks in the local psychiatric hospital, which recommended that he undergo further examination at a specialized clinic in Moscow for possible "paranoid personality disorder." Independent Psychiatric Association specialists evaluated Lukin and found no sign of mental illness.
Nikolai Skachkov, who protested police brutality and official corruption in the Omsk region of Siberia, was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation last year because investigators said they suspected he was suffering from "an acute sense of justice." He spent six months in a closed psychiatric facility where he was diagnosed as paranoid. The association, which conducted a separate evaluation earlier this year, found that he was healthy.
"Psychiatry in this country has always been a tool of the authorities, a tool for managing people and pressuring people. And it still is," said Boris Panteleyev, head of the St. Petersburg Committee for Human Rights.
In an interview in her apartment, Trutko recounted her own long run-in. "Now I have this stamp on my forehead that I am a psychiatric patient," she said. "I will always have this medical record now. That means I cannot go to court because judges say I'm a psycho and call for an ambulance."
Trutko is well known in the courts in this town, having argued dozens of court cases against the local authorities and police. She is studying to be a lawyer, and for several years has acted as a public defender, as advocates without law degrees are called here.
Her troubles with mental health authorities began four years ago in a courtroom in Dmitrov, about 35 miles from Dubna.
Trutko asserted that the judge displayed bias against her client in a property dispute, and she moved to have the judge withdrawn. She also complained that the judge was not wearing her robe as required and that the Russian flag was improperly displayed. The judge, who later left the bench and could not be reached for comment, alleged that Trutko said, "Look at that fat pig sitting up there," according to legal papers.
Prosecutors opened a criminal case against Trutko on charges of contempt of court. In July 2003, the court ordered Trutko to undergo an involuntary psychiatric evaluation. Psychiatrists at the hospital said she was uncooperative, illogical and displayed emotional reactions that were "not adequate" -- a common phrase here for mental illness.
The Independent Psychiatric Association questioned these conclusions. Its own evaluation of her, conducted by four psychiatrists, found that "she is not an ordinary personality, but a very gifted and creative person. . . . No psychiatric symptoms were observed. She shows high intellectual ability and good memory. She does not need any treatment."
Trutko continued to battle the criminal complaint in court. Before a hearing at the higher Moscow regional court, she filed a motion seeking the removal of a panel of judges from her case, again asserting bias. In this case there was no claim of verbal abuse, but prosecutors said her motion amounted to slander and contempt.
In April 2004, after leaving a hearing on her case in Moscow, Trutko was detained by investigators and taken to the Serbsky Institute. It was a Friday evening when she was admitted and there was no expert commission available to evaluate her, Trutko said. Human rights groups protested her detention and threatened legal action. Trutko said she was released the following Tuesday morning without having undergone any formal examination by psychiatrists.
But the institute issued a six-page evaluation that said she suffered from a "paranoid personality disorder." The condition manifested itself in her "subjectivity," her "tendencies to verbal aggression," her "suspicious" personality and her "inability to understand the peculiarities of interpersonal relations and communication," medical records show.
The report recommended that she undergo forced hospitalization and treatment.
In September 2004, a Moscow court approved that approach. But the authorities, for reasons that remain unclear, did not act on the order until they stormed Trutko's apartment earlier this year.
Despite her subsequent release, Trutko said, the court order remains in effect and she could be institutionalized again at any time. "My career is ruined," she said. "I just stay at home."
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
October 5th is National Depression Screening Day. I'm already feeling depressed. But instead of reaching for a pill, I'm reaching for the truth about who's causing this international epidemic.
Mental illness exists. That's what sanitariums were originally set up for. Fresh air in a safe environment by caring medical staff. A small percentage of people do need this kind of help and should have the right kind of help. I have helped many people and many have helped me. Also, some have not. That seems to be "life". Who have you helped? Did they help you in turn? There are groups that help others. Look at all of the volunteers on Sept. 11th, for example. Did you help yourself today?
We've all been told from various sources that we must face life head-on. Well, it seems to be true. The truth shall set you free. But free from what? Ignorance. Keeping others ignorant throughout history has made them very easy to control. Control has gotten a bad name. But all control is not bad if you really look at it. I'm sure you can find a time when another controlled you and it made you feel better.
All of us face daily stress. All of us have experienced depression at some point in time. You lose a pet, a job, a friend, a spouse or partner. It makes sense to feel sad under those circumstances. If you're human, you have human emotions and reactions to things. Hell, getting up in the morning and facing a workday can be stressful, especially with corporate downsizing, skyrocketing gas prices, our nation at war. Fear surrounds us with the constant bombardment of impending threats of terrorist orange alerts in our cities, fear that our children may be shot in public school, fear of the future of our financial security and that of our childrens'.
Do you feel depressed yet? Well, that's a good sign. You suffer from being human and alive with emotion. You should talk to your friends and family about how you feel and come up with ways to handle things in your lives so you all are happier. After all, you have some many things right in your life. Have you looked at all of the right things about yourself lately? You must have done something right to be alive and keep going.
Lesson Plan: Part One:
I've been an educator. Today's lesson is in learning the truth about how you're being betrayed by psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. You may react with anger, grief, hostility. Good! You're human.
I've been an educator. Today's lesson is in learning the truth about how you're being betrayed by psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. You may react with anger, grief, hostility. Good! You're human.
Let's look at some quotes from the website of "Screening for Mental Health, Inc." at www.mentalhealthscreening.org. "...Depression often occurs with other mental health diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as with physical illnesses. ..."
Fact 1: The American Psychiatric Association votes annually on manufactured mental disorders at their annual convention, by a show of hands and by who can shout the loudest. Go to: www.cchr.org and click on the video "No Science" to hear what Psychiatrist Emeritus, Dr. Thomas Szasz and Dr. Fred Baughman have to say. Then order the book, "Psychiatry: The Ultimate Betrayal" by Bruce Wiseman.
Fact 2: Dr. Steven Sharfstein, Psychiatrist and President of the American Psychiatric Association, stated on the Today Show, June 2005, "...there is no clear cut test, nor has there ever been in the history of psychiatry, that shows chemical imbalances in the brain. In fact, there is no such thing as chemical imbalances in the brain." Katie Couric asked in mortification, "Dr. Sharfstein, how can you prescribe drugs for things that you are admitting don't exist?!" Dr. Sharfstein smiling wryly replied, "Because we can (chuckle)."
Fact 3: Psychotropic drugs cause chemical imbalances in the brain that are irreversible.
Fact 4: The Food and Drug Administration has issued a "black box warning" on all psychotropic drugs, stating they can cause depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide, headaches, violence, hallucinations, etc.
Fact 4: Most every public school shooting was caused by someone on psychotropic drugs.
Fact 5: Screening for Mental Health, Inc. is funded by Lilly, Pfizer, Solvay, Abbott Laboratories, Wyeth, Forest Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, gsk and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who all make psychotropic drugs. Go to: www.signsofsuicide.org.
Fact 6: Screening for Mental Health, Inc. has received millions of dollars in donations from the following: 2001--Eli Lilly: $857,925; Pfizer, Inc.: $275,000; Solvay Pharmaceuticals: $27,500; Abbott Laboratories: $35,000; 2002--Eli Lilly: $300,000; Pfizer, Inc.: $200,000; 2003: Eli Lilly: $400,000; Pfizer, Inc.: $150,000; 2004: Eli Lilly: $600,000; Pfizer, Inc.: $125,000; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals: $100,000; Forest Labs: $153,000.
Fact 7: TeenScreen, a fraudulent suicide prevention program, started by Dr. David Shaffer, Psychiatrist, and Executive Director of Columbia DISC Development Group (Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children), has accepted money from Pfizer, Roche, Wyeth and Novartis. He has also partnered with NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) who have also accepted money from Wyeth and Novartis. Go to: www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html.
1. If you, a child or family member are under the care of a psychiatrist or on any psychotropic medication, get help in finding a competent medical doctor to get off of them. Demand medical tests from a competent medical doctor and dentist to search out hidden diseases, infections, bacteria, environmental poisoning that may be causing you to feel depressed. Physically ill people feel depressed.
2. Decide that you want to live and be healthy and know that you are not alone and can get competent care.
3. Change your diet. Eat healthier food. The human body works on good nutrition, not medication.
4. Get some form of exercise everyday. Take a walk and look at the things around you. The human body needs oxygen and water.
5. Take a good look at your friends and acquaintances. If any of them are causing you stress, don't associate with them for awhile or at all.
6. Make the time to do the little things you like to do. Take a walk, read a book, watch a movie, buy yourself something small or big that you want.
7. Help another. Pass it on.
Sugar has been linked with mental problems, which naturally means that we'll all go out and treat the issue with lots of extra drugs. Change the diet? Use common sense? As seen in this report.
Oslo teens who drank the most sugary soft drinks also had more mental health problems such as hyperactivity and distress, Norwegian researchers reported on Thursday.
Their study of more than 5,000 Norwegian 15- and 16-year-olds showed a clear and direct association between soft drink intake and hyperactivity, and a more complex link with other mental and behavioral disorders.
They surveyed the students, asking them how many fizzy soft drinks with sugar they had a day, and then questions from a standard questionnaire used to assess mental health.
The teens who reported skipping breakfast and lunch were among the heaviest soft drink consumers, Dr. Lars Lien and colleagues at the University of Oslo found.
"There was a strong association between soft drink consumption and mental health problems among Oslo 10th graders," they wrote in their report, published in the American Journal of Public Health.
"This association remained significant after adjustment for social, behavioral and food-related disorders."
Most of the students said they drank anywhere between one and six servings of soft drinks per week.
For hyperactivity, there was a direct linear relationship -- the more sodas a teen drank, the most symptoms of hyperactivity he or she had.
The worst problems were seen in boys and girls who drank four or more soft drinks a day. Ten percent of the boys and 2 percent of the girls drank this much.
The researchers said it was possible that other substances in the soft drinks, such as caffeine, were to blame for the symptoms, and they did not check other possible sources of refined sugar in the children's diets.
But they said many of the teens were clearly drinking too many sugary drinks. Norway's recommended intake is 10 percent of the day's total calories from sugar and the researchers said at least a quarter of the boys were getting this much from soft drinks alone.
"One simple and effective measure to reduce soft drink consumption in this age group would be to remove soft drink machines from schools and other public places where adolescents gather," they wrote.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The combination of the antidepressant drug Prozac and the illegal "club drug" Ecstasy increases the risk of acute toxic effects of Ecstasy, and may explain the increasing number of Ecstasy-related deaths, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.
In presenting the research, Dr Vijay V Upreti, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, said an increasing number of Ecstasy abusers are combining the drug with Prozac in an effort to counteract the depression that occurs after the drug's high wears off. Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, helps the body relax, reduces inhibitions and increases energy and brings feelings of euphoria.
Upreti and colleagues measured brain and blood levels of MDMA in mice after a 5 mg/kg-dose of MDMA. Levels were also measured after pretreatment with Prozac followed by 10 mg/kg.
They found that pretreatment with Prozac increased brain and plasma MDMA levels by 40 per cent in the animals.
The "half-life" of MDMA, meaning how long the drug is present, increased from two hours to five hours with Prozac pretreatment. There was also a 26 per cent reduction in MDMA clearance when the drugs were combined.
Upreti concludes that Prozac co-administered with MDMA decreases the disposition of MDMA and its metabolite, "and may lead to increased risk of MDMA acute toxic effects."
More 12- to 17-year-olds went to hospital emergency rooms for problems related to use of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs in 2004 than people ages 18 to 24, according to research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).See the original SAMHSA press release here, along with the original report
Data from SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) showed that there were about 8,000 ER visits for drugs like Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderal in 2004. Among those legally prescribed the drugs, ER visits occurred at the rate of 1.6 per 100,000 population among 12- to 17-year-olds and 0.4 per 100,000 among those ages 18 to 24. Among nonmedical users of the drugs, the rates were 1.7 visits per 100,000 population among those ages 12 to 17 and 1.0 per 100,000 among 18- to 24-year-olds.
Among ER patients using ADHD drugs nonmedically, 21 percent took the drug alone, 20 percent used it with alcohol, 26 percent used it with an illicit drug, and 57 percent used it in combination with other pharmaceuticals.
"These findings suggest an alarming level of nonmedical use that could have life-threatening consequences, such as heart attack or stroke," said Assistant Surgeon General Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H., SAMHSA's acting deputy administrator. "Parents need to help break this dangerous pattern of behavior by carefully monitoring their child's use of ADHD medication."
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
As seen in this report, Dr. Phil ran into trouble with a company marketing fraudulent diet products under his name. Oops. Let's face it kids, when a famous TV Shrink advertises something, let somebody else be the test case.
Unhappy customers who sued "Dr. Phil" McGraw over his now discontinued Shape Up! diet plan have reached a $10.5 million settlement agreement with the TV psychologist, an attorney for the plaintiffs said.
The lawsuit, filed in 2004 on behalf of three disappointed consumers, claimed McGraw defrauded fans with his yearlong venture into the diet supplement business, making false statements about the pills. McGraw has denied the allegations and admitted no wrongdoing or misrepresentation in the settlement.
Henry H. Rossbacher, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said thousands of eligible customers nationwide will be able to choose either replacement products or a small cash reward as part of the settlement. It wasn't immediately clear how much each person could receive.
Rossbacher said a fund would be set up with $6 million in Nutrilite vitamins and $4.5 million in cash.
Insurance will cover the costs of the settlement and McGraw will have no personal obligation to contribute to the fund, Rossbacher said.
Attempts to leave a phone message at the office of McGraw's lawyer, Gregory Phillips, were unsuccessful early Tuesday.
McGraw, 56, jumped into the lucrative weight-loss market in mid-2003 with a campaign that included advice books, a prime-time special with Katie Couric on obesity and dieting, and his Shape Up! with Dr. Phil McGraw products.
Shape Up! shakes, bars and multivitamins made by Irving, Texas-based CSA Nutraceuticals were sold in supermarkets, Target, Wal-Mart and elsewhere. The plan called for 22 pills daily at $120 a month.
CSA Nutraceuticals agreed to stop making the supplements in early 2004 as it faced a Federal Trade Commission investigation into false-advertising concerns.
According to the label, the pills "contain scientifically researched levels of ingredients that can help you change your behavior to take control of your weight."
The original three plaintiffs sought class action status for the lawsuit last year. Rossbacher said consumers who can establish by affidavit or proof of purchase that they bought Shape Up! supplements before July 1 may be eligible for the settlement's benefits.
Monday, September 25, 2006
A row has erupted among psychiatrists and therapists over Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian child kidnap victim, with a German expert accusing his colleagues of using their expertise to feed public voyeurism in the case.
Commentators in the Viennese press have also been critical of what they see as the grandstanding by the experts who are trying to nurse the 18-year-old towards resuming a "normal" life.
The peer criticism of the experts adds to the questions being raised about the media hullabaloo surrounding Ms Kampusch, who was abducted, aged 10, on her way to school in March 1998 and held captive in a suburban basement outside Vienna until last month.
Her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil, killed himself soon after she escaped.
In a newspaper interview the grand old man of German psychiatry, Horst-Eberhard Richter, called for a moratorium on professional comment on the case. "The experts say, 'Listen to us, we know best', but it is the other way around," he said.
"This is something psychologists can learn from, not teach about. We can only learn from Natascha. The pressure of public voyeurism is leading the experts to indulge happily in revelations that go to the limits of what is legally permissible."
The head of the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, Alfred Pritz, also criticised the way specialists involved in the case were talking to the media.
Vienna's foremost child psychiatrist, Max Friedrich, has been in charge of treating Ms Kampusch since she escaped. He and other social workers and therapists who are working with her have been widely quoted in Austrian newspapers since the escape and have appeared on TV discussion programs.
An Austrian media expert, Anneliese Rohrer, said: "The way the experts behaved was a scandal. They went on television to talk about her right away. It was like abuse."
Dietmar Ecker, Ms Kampusch's former media adviser, was sensitive to the criticism, saying: "All of those people volunteered to take part. It was a free decision. And there was huge public interest and pressure."
Dr Friedrich said Ms Kampusch was making her own decisions and was not under anyone's influence. "This woman has surprised all the experts. Natascha is behaving quite differently from other traumatised people … you could see right away that the young woman was much better than the others at defining herself. The experts should just withdraw."
Sunday, September 24, 2006
But Wait! There's more about this creep of a shrink from Vancover in this followup news item. We speculate that he was intent on putting the 'tryst' into 'psychiatryst'. Poor Vancover, to be cursed with the likes of him. As seen in this report:
A Vancouver child psychiatrist expelled this week for sexual misconduct with three teenage girls groomed them for sex, promised to marry two of them, and had intercourse with one girl in his office, says a report by the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The report was issued Friday, a day after the college announced it had stripped Dr. Richard Leslie Golden of his right to practise medicine for unprofessional conduct, finding he acted as a "sexual predator" who used three young female patients for his own sexual gratification in 2000 and 2001.
One patient was 15 and two were 17 when they began seeing Golden for problems with an eating disorder and depression. The college found the young girls were from fragile family backgrounds. The report does not disclose their identity.
Dr. Doug Blackman, deputy registrar of the college, described Golden's conduct as an "appalling" abuse of trust.
"What this does is really impair the doctor-patient relationship," Blackman said Friday.
Golden, 49, has been struck from the college registrar, meaning he can no longer practise medicine in B.C., he added.
The child psychiatrist had an intimate sexual relationship with one girl at his office that included kissing, fondling, masturbation and oral sex. Golden also told the girl he loved her.
In another case, the psychiatrist asked his patient if she was a virgin, asked her to describe her underwear, and questioned her sexual activity.
The college found Golden began his relationship with the girl when she could not legally give consent and later encouraged her to end her doctor-patient relationship with him so he could continue his personal relationship with the girl.
The college says he gave the girl money, hugged her at the end of therapy sessions, and had cell phone contact with her for non-medical reasons. It also says he convinced one girl to break off a sexual relationship with a young male and dishonestly led two of the girls to believe he had terminated the doctor-patient relationship so their sexual relationships could continue.
He promised to marry two of the girls, according to the college report, which says: "The promises were as empty then as they turned out to be when reality arrived for these unfortunate young women."
The college conducted an inquiry into the complaints before a committee on Aug. 23 and 24, but neither Golden nor his lawyer attended the hearing, which found Golden guilty of unprofessional and infamous conduct.
Golden used a "grooming process" by making favourable comments about the girl's bodies, hair and appearance, he would suggest they regard him as a confidante and call him on his cell phone after office hours, the college found.
At his office at 777 W. Broadway, he would begin holding their hands, which would later progress to hugging, kissing and fondling.
"As the relationships progressed, he would schedule office appointments for the last appointment of the day, usually on a Friday or Saturday morning, to minimize the risk of detection," the college report said.
A prominent educational psychologist who provided counseling to students in Los Angeles Unified schools was suspended by the district Friday after a woman alleged that he molested her son more than a hundred times two decades ago in Colorado.
An attorney for psychologist Peter J. Ruthenbeck said last month that his client was cooperating with an investigation by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, which licenses educational psychologists, but declined to comment on the allegations. The board has a policy of not confirming that it is investigating a licensee.
Paula Morgan Johnson said that after her son broke his 20-year silence earlier this year about the alleged molestation, she confronted Ruthenbeck in a pained phone call. She said that he then mailed her a handwritten three-page apology. She provided copies of that letter to The Times and the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Ruthenbeck's attorney, B. Robert Farzad, said his client would neither confirm nor deny that he molested the boy or wrote the letter.
Eileen Skone-Rees, administrative coordinator of the school district's Nonpublic Services Department, said she received a complaint Friday from Morgan Johnson and immediately suspended Ruthenbeck pending an investigation.
The district said Ruthenbeck worked an average of three days a week, providing counseling to deaf and hard-of-hearing children identified as needing psychological help. The sessions were conducted one-on-one or in small groups.
A bill for services Ruthenbeck submitted to the district in June showed that he worked at Gardena and Fairfax high schools, Carnegie Middle School in Carson, and El Sereno Middle School and Robert Hill Lane Elementary School in Monterey Park.
The unsigned letter, sent in an envelope bearing Ruthenbeck's name and return address in Huntington Beach, expresses great remorse, although the writer never explicitly admits molesting a child.
"I am so, so very sorry," it says. "Whenever I think about that period in my life, I wonder what was wrong with me.
"You asked me what I was feeling. Since your call I have felt overwhelming shame, guilt and sadness."
The writer says that after leaving Colorado, he changed.
"You asked if there had been others. Somehow after leaving Boulder, and then going away to school, I developed the strength and self-control necessary to make sure it never happened again.
"What was wrong with me back then is still a part of me today, but it is buried very deeply. I have learned to not allow myself to indulge in conscious fantasies, but I still sometimes have dreams that I remember when I wake up. I don't know that there is a way to control this. However, I assure you that I have not acted on these thoughts since I left Colorado."
Morgan Johnson, 56, said that she and her 35-year-old son first reported the alleged molestation to police in Boulder, Colo., but were told that the 10-year statute of limitations for prosecution had passed.
Ruthenbeck, who is married and has two children, left Colorado in 1985. Until recently, he served as president of the California Assn. of Licensed Educational Psychologists. He has worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for at least 12 years. Ruthenbeck's 2005-06 contract allowed him to bill the district up to a maximum of $212,000 per year depending on his client load.
Ruthenbeck, 47, does not undergo performance evaluations. Skone-Rees said that her department, which oversees his contract, had never received a complaint about him until Morgan Johnson's phone call. His contract could be terminated depending on the results of school district and state investigations, Skone-Rees said.
Scott Johnson, now a carpenter in Boulder, said he met Ruthenbeck in 1978, when the older man was assigned to him in a Big Brother program. Johnson was 8; Ruthenbeck was 19. Johnson said Ruthenbeck began molesting him several months later and continued until he was 15.
Morgan Johnson, who raised her son alone, said she viewed Ruthenbeck as a surrogate father to her son.
Her son said in an interview that Ruthenbeck "was real outgoing. He's one of those guys where everybody says they just love Pete."
After becoming his Big Brother, Johnson said, Ruthenbeck became his Little League coach, then his soccer coach, then leader of his Boy Scout troop. Johnson said he saw Ruthenbeck one to three times a week over those seven years. The two took camping trips, went on skiing weekends and made visits to Ruthenbeck's family in Minnesota. Ruthenbeck also took him to church.
Morgan Johnson said her son's Big Brother once took her to dinner for Mother's Day.
"I'm very liberal and lived a more bohemian lifestyle," said Morgan Johnson, who was then a social worker and is now a psychologist. "I really sought out someone that would give a straighter, more conservative perspective, to introduce him to things that I wouldn't introduce him to. Pete was squeaky clean. I mean obnoxiously clean."
Johnson said he saw the same thing: "He was the antithesis of my mom. My mom was New Age. She was really into my freedom. He just seemed to be a Republican type."
Johnson said he had kept the molestation secret until April. He was on the phone with his mother, who lives in Boston. She sensed he was holding back when the conversation turned to Ruthenbeck. She asked her son whether the former Big Brother had ever "hurt him," and his story tumbled out.
Morgan Johnson said she flew to Boulder a few days later and found a psychiatrist to provide her son intensive therapy. She said she then launched an effort to end Ruthenbeck's professional and volunteer involvement with children.
On April 17, Johnson told a Boulder police officer that Ruthenbeck insisted they sleep in the same bed on overnight visits. According to Johnson's statement to an investigator, "Pete would wait until he thought I was asleep. He would pull down my underpants, touch my penis and masturbate me. He would also put my hand on his penis while he masturbated himself."
Johnson said Ruthenbeck molested him 15 to 20 times a year.
In the letter Morgan Johnson provided to investigators and The Times, the writer said, "I honestly thought that Scott was never aware of anything."
Johnson said in an interview that he worried about breaking off contact with Ruthenbeck. "I knew that if I tried to retreat from the guy, people would start to ask questions because he was such a great guy. I was so scared that people would find out what he was doing."
Their relationship ended in 1985 when Ruthenbeck moved to Washington, D.C., and later to California to finish his education and start his child psychology practice.
Since then, Johnson said, he has suffered emotional turmoil. He said he attempted to hang himself at age 17, still has bouts of shaking, and sleeps with his pants and belt on, all of which he blames on being molested.
"The therapy I'm getting since I told my mom has really made me aware of what he did," said Johnson. "I have a lot of anxiety. It's usually when I deal with someone in authority or who might be above me or if I have to confront someone. This guy has programmed me to feel below or not as good. He isolated and broke me down."
Johnson said he has hired an attorney.
In the past, Ruthenbeck held contracts to work with students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in 2004, the Orange County Department of Education from 1998 through 2002, and the Kern High School District in Bakersfield this year.
A resume on file with the Orange County schools lists him as having previously worked as a school psychologist from 1986 to 1994 with the Whittier Area Cooperative Special Education Program, a resource shared by several school districts in the Whittier area.
Dave DeForest-Stalls, president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado Inc., said that after talking with Morgan Johnson for several weeks, he contacted the Big Brother groups closest to Ruthenbeck's home to make sure he wasn't volunteering there. "I have no reason to disbelieve Paula and Scott," DeForest-Stalls said. "We are going to choose to believe them and do everything we can to support them."
Reed Brannon, CEO and executive director of the Boy Scouts' Longs Peak Council in Colorado, said he placed Ruthenbeck on a national watch list of people banned from working with the organization.
L.A. Unified's Skone-Rees said she reported the allegations to the state Department of Education and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services as well as to the licensing board.
When visited at his home recently, Ruthenbeck declined to discuss the allegations and referred questions to his attorney.
Johnson said that he knows that by going public with his allegations he may be "tearing someone's family in half," but then he recounted a story that he said was a sign of his recovery: "If I used to see someone doing something on a job site, and I knew they were doing something wrong, I probably would have waited until they left and fixed it. Now I say, 'That's not right.' "
Johnson has also recently begun to be mentored by a Boulder architect, the first time he has grown close to a male authority figure in years, his mother said.
In the letter Morgan Johnson received, the writer speculates about his actions:
"Thousands of times I have wondered how I ever let that happen. The only thing I have ever been able to come up with is that I was really messed up, and I hadn't developed any self-control. I know this is really lame, but I can't pretend I have any excuse because there is no excuse.
"Writing this letter took numerous attempts. There is so much more I would like to say but I don't have the words for it."
Friday, September 22, 2006
As seen in this MSNBC report, the drugging of America continues. Parents are convinced that the best way to handle their kids lack of enthusiam for parental plans, etc is to put them on more pills. Of course, we remain skeptical of ADHD to begin with for a variety of reasons
A 15-year-old girl and her parents recently came in for a chat with Dr. James Perrin, a Boston pediatrician, because they were concerned about the girl's grades. Previously an A student, she was slipping to B's, and the family was convinced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was at fault — and that a prescription for Ritalin would boost her brainpower.
After examining the girl, Perrin determined she didn't have ADHD. The parents, who had come in demanding a prescription, left empty-handed.
Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other physicians say this is an increasingly common scenario in doctors' offices around the country, though there are no hard statistics on it.
Parents want their kids to excel in school, and they've heard about the illegal use of stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall for "academic doping." Hoping to obtain the drugs legally, they pressure pediatricians for them. Some even request the drugs after openly admitting they don't believe their child has ADHD.
“I spoke with [some] colleagues the other day and they mentioned three cases recently where parents blatantly asked for the medication so that their children would perform better in school, yet there were no other indications that the child had ADHD,” says Dr. Nick Yates, a pediatrician and director of medical ethics for Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y.
“I’m very concerned that there’s a fair amount — and we don’t know how much — [of ADHD drugs] being prescribed and used for off-label purposes," says Yates.
Academic doping — using these stimulant prescriptions in an effort to enhance focus, concentration and mental stamina — first started on college campuses, especially Ivy League and exclusive, competitive schools. Now, the problem is filtering down to secondary schools, Yates says, and more parents are playing a role in obtaining prescription ADHD medication for their teenagers.
Yates isn't entirely surprised that parents ask for it. He believes that most families simply have a heartfelt — if shockingly misdirected — desire for their children to do their best.
Parents can be overly eager to blame poor grades on a medical condition rather than looking for other explanations, says Dr. Michael Rater, medical director of the Adolescent and Residential Treatment Program at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. “It’s usually that parents are just trying to understand their children’s struggles in a narrative that makes sense to them,” he says.
Yet some parents will do whatever it takes to keep opportunities from slipping through a child's fingers — even outright lying to doctors to get the drugs, says Rater.
And some pill-eager parents aren't just seeking to level the playing field, they're trying to make their kids superstars, says Dr. Martin Stein, a professor of clinical pediatrics at University of California, San Diego.
“I see patients who come from privileged backgrounds and lower-level economic backgrounds and there’s a tremendous difference in parental expectations,” Stein says.
Privileged kids tend to have parents who will push them to be the academic cream of the crop and when they aren’t, they’ll start looking for reasons why, he says. “I tell them that honor roll, a merit scholarship or acceptance in an Ivy League school is not the end point. That would be poor medicine.”
The concerns with academic doping aren't just ethical.
"The medications in general have a long safety record for people who need them but when you use a drug for off-label purposes, there are additional safety concerns,” says Yates.
Although doctors generally agree that side effects from the medications are minimal for most kids, there is an extensive, and sometimes frightening, list of possibilities.
Commonly reported side effects include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, stomachaches, headaches, blurry vision, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and tics and tremors. There have been concerns that ADHD medication temporarily delays growth, and one study found that up to 5 percent of children experience tactile hallucinations, often involving a sensation that bugs or snakes are crawling on their bodies. The FDA recently announced that certain ADHD drugs should caution users about the risks of serious heart problems and psychotic behavior.
A 2004 rat study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School suggested that children who take prescription drugs for ADHD but do not have the disorder may be at higher risk for developing depressive symptoms in adulthood. The study was particularly looking at the issue of misdiagnosis but it raises obvious concerns for the future of young people who are electing to take the medicine for no other reason than to do well in school.
In addition, Yates says that possible dependency issues, either psychological or physical, could occur when the drugs are being misused. It’s widely acknowledged that some kids abuse the drugs to get high. The pills are often crushed and snorted or even injected.
Searching out other explanations
While ADHD drugs aren't a quick fix for a lackluster report card, Stein says that poor academic performance is cause for investigation — sometimes for ADHD but also for a host of other problems. “If it was brought to my attention that someone’s grades were going down even to B's I would start looking at the whole picture," he says.
Stein says there are a variety of learning disabilities and myriad situations that are not medical but still may have an impact on a child’s academic performance.
“It could also be something situational like a divorce or a relationship with another person this kid is having," he says. "It could be that a parent has lost a job and there’s financial stress in the family.”
Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders might also be at work.
ADHD is only one of the possibilities, and I make a point to put that at the end,” says Stein.
Perrin says he’s particularly skeptical when he’s treated a patient for many years and attention problems are only brought up once the child reaches high school. The 15-year-old girl in question, for example, had been his patient for more than a decade. He concluded that she was just a normal teen experiencing the distractions — sports, boys, friends — that teens experience.
He said that even if he had ultimately determined that the girl had ADHD, medication would not have been a speedy remedy. “True ADHD is not something that is dealt with quickly,” he says.
Scrupulous doctors, Perrin says, will take numerous office visits and much investigation before diagnosing the problem. And, if ADHD is diagnosed, they will not just prescribe medication. They’ll also prescribe behavioral therapy (sometimes for the entire family) and recommend fairly significant changes in the child’s home and learning environment.
Furthermore, doctors warn that if a kid doesn’t have ADHD, the benefit from taking the drugs is unpredictable and, despite the lore, most likely extremely modest. Parents of unmotivated kids may be particularly disappointed.
“One of the biggest problems in adolescent mental health is motivation,” says Rater. “And this medication doesn’t effect motivation. If a kid is not all that motivated, it’s really not going to help.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. has expelled a Vancouver psychiatrist from its ranks after finding him guilty of sexual misconduct involving three young female patients between 2000 and 2005.With more at this story in the Vancover Sun
In a statement released Thursday, the college said the victims had been referred to Dr. Richard Leslie Golden, a specialist in adolescent and child psychiatry, while still in their teens.
Dr. Douglas Blackman, the college's senior deputy registrar, said Golden used the patients for his own sexual gratification, and that his "deplorable conduct" left the college no choice but to impose the harshest penalty possible under the Medical Practitioners Act.
"The trust relationship with the physician is absolutely foundational and that trust relationship was severely abused in this situation," Blackman said, noting that one of the patients is still under the age of 19.
The college also assessed costs of $120,000 against Golden, who did not attend the disciplinary hearing.
Golden stopped practising when the allegations surfaced.
He can still appeal the decision through the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons has expelled a Vancouver child psychiatrist who it says used his position of authority as a doctor to have sexual relationships with three young female patients.
In a statement issued late Thursday, the college said its inquiry committee found Dr. Richard Leslie Golden to have acted as "a sexual predator, who intended to use the patients for sexual purposes and his personal sexual gratification."
Signed by college senior deputy registrar Douglas Blackman, the statement said Golden selected his patients as sexual targets because of "their particular personal circumstances and medical condition," adding this amounts to a flagrant breach of his duty of care as a physician.
"[Golden's activities constituted] turpitude of a marked character involving inherent wickedness, dishonesty and disgraceful conduct," the statement said, recounting the findings of the inquiry committee.
"Dr. Golden's conduct was so egregious and the abdication and abuse of his responsibilities as a physician was so disgraceful that the most severe penalty available under the Medical Practitioners Act was required," it continued.
Blackman's statement explained the college has "erased" Golden as a member, and that it has assessed $120,000 in costs against him.
Neither Blackman nor Golden could be reached to comment Thursday.
A representative of the Vancouver police could also not be reached to determine if Golden is facing any criminal charges.
The statement from the college did not give details of the alleged sexual misconduct, saying only that it involved "sexual relationships with three young female patients in the period 2000 to 2005."
It says the women were referred to Golden in his capacity as a specialist in adolescent and child psychiatry.
In a notice announcing the hearing into Golden's case, the college described the nature of two of the relationships as "personal and intimate relationship" and a third as "sexual."
It said the relationships had gone from July 2001 to about May 2004, from April 2001 to February 2005 and from about August 2000 to about March 2005.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Here's a new twist. Instead of delivering shoddy treatment options, they decided to deliver nothing at all. But they still collected the money, becoming another example of mental health fraud. As seen in this report in the Palm Beach Post
A girl locked in Palm Beach County's juvenile detention center asked to see a therapist on the anniversary of her mother's death, but said she never heard back.Of course, we would be skeptical of the quality of the services if they were delivered at all.
A boy at the center was recommended for substance abuse treatment, but nine months later, reviewers could find no evidence he ever got it.
And other teens did not get medication they were supposed to be taking for mental health problems because workers failed to follow up with their parents or doctors, according to a report from attorneys at the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Advocacy Project.
Mental health treatment for teens at the center on 45th Street in West Palm Beach is sporadic and limited, the attorneys said, in part because a private company has not met the terms of its contract.
Palm Beach County Juvenile Court Judge Peter Blanc ordered the review in response to attorneys' concerns that teens were being locked up for months without meaningful treatment.
The 93-bed facility, managed by the Department of Juvenile Justice, holds juveniles charged with serious or repeat crimes until space opens for them in a longer-term residential programs.
This year some teens have been forced to wait several months in detention. The time they spend there does not count against their sentences, which can vary depending on behavior.
The state pays PsychSolutions, Inc. of Coral Gables up to $180,170 a year to provide a therapist and two mental health workers at the facility, and $28,665 for a part-time psychiatrist.
Teens can get 45 minutes of individual counseling once a week, the report said, but PsychSolutions does not provide the group counseling or drug treatment promised in its contract.
A PsychSolutions executive told reviewers that they wanted the company to focus on mental health instead of drug treatment. The company had not been able to set up group therapy because it was only able to hire two of the three workers specified in its contract. PsychSolutions has been looking for a third worker for eight months and hopes to have the position filled soon, according to the report.
That has forced the company to focus on those children who are in crisis, according to the report.
Others may have been overlooked.
One boy who had been in detention for two weeks cried during his interview with the Juvenile Advocacy Project, saying he was sad, had lost his appetite and was having trouble sleeping. He wanted counseling, according to the report, but was not receiving treatment.
In another case, attorneys were told that a boy with anxiety and a history of suicidal thoughts had to wait more than a week before seeing the PsychSolutions' psychiatrist, even though the doctor was coming to the facility sooner and the contract specifies he is on call for emergencies seven days a week, the report said.
The report's authors, Legal Aid attorneys William Booth and Michelle Hankey, said one of the main problems seemed to be breakdowns in communication.
In some cases, mental health experts suggested that state juvenile justice workers keep constant watch on suicidal teens, or check on them every five minutes. But records show detention officers actually made those checks just twice an hour.
In other cases, mental health evaluations after teens were arrested never got to the detention center files.
"It appears that there is no follow-through," Booth said.
Leaders at the Department of Juvenile Justice are reviewing the report, spokeswoman Cynthia Lorenzo said. A spokeswoman for PsychSolutions said the company would respond to the findings soon. Judge Blanc has scheduled another hearing on the issue, and said he would wait to hear from the state before making any decisions.
Booth and Hankey hope their report will resonate with those committed to helping children.
"No child in the detention center should ever again be without mental health and substance abuse services," they wrote.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
As seen here, by Mary Collins (contact info at link)
Dark, black clouds are covering all our lands. These clouds are formed by lies, dishonesty and fraud, so much that no bright sun can send its rays of truth to penetrate and reach the view of man.
The clouds come from Psychiatry, the new born faith that's based on whim, on false created ills and deadly drugs given "to help" but which instead cause suicides and death.
Schools are temples for TeenScreen, and other screenings now run by thepriests of the God known as "Drug". They carry out their sacred ritual with devotion and make sure that no priests or ministers of other creeds or faiths offer and do help. Drug is a jealous God; spiritual help is now forbidden, and help for the real diseases of the body are not looked for and are left without real help.
Our children do not get the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.Instead of giving them the help they need to learn their language, they are given drugs; instead of teaching honesty and morals they are given substances that cause violence; instead of helping them with math, they then are told they have a mental problem called a "disorder" and can only learn by obeying the God Drug.
From Media, we hear psychiatry's disciples preach each day of ills that are "so rampant" in our lives. They warn us of the horror of these ills,and encourage us to be afraid we'll suffer greatly. We hear them advertise the great salvation - drugs that have been made to "cure" those ills. They speak without intelligence, with no true knowledge, but with certainty that's based on blind devotion and blind faith.
Though "mental illness" is but fraud, since no facts are there that can prove a mind disorder really is, and so all are false, the faithful still cry out in great alarm that these are valid ills. They cry out,"The children left without the sacred drugs are doomed". And because somany dark clouds hide the truth, our children get addicted, become ill, both in their minds, but also physically; have twisted drug-induced hallucinations, kill friends, their families and themselves.
And all because they followed the commands of Drug, the deadly God who rules.
They're falsely told their brain has an "imbalance" which can only then be helped by taking drugs. They're told they have a "mental illness", and so are stigmatized for life. They're normal beings who have problems, yet real help is lost to them as soon as they bow down and worship Pharma, Psychiatrists and those who follow the God Drug.
In clouds of false euphoria, children, people, millions, feel so "good"and act out all their lives like puppets, now subservient to the God named Drug. The substances are of a nature same with morphine, opium and cocaine. The God Drug's slaves hope they can continue to feel numbed; yet do forget the spark of life has dimmed and finally gone.
There are among us Knights of Decency, Giants of Intellect, those men who are courageous, who are strong, and who are really our true leaders. They are the doctors, teachers, parents - all who will and do speak out against the crimes that others dare not look at, the crimes darkness.
These Knights of Decency can see the truth; they see that children die,they see that suicides are happening, that violence does occur, that minds are altered for the worst, and all from the devotion to God Drug and Psychiatry.
We must stop the evil acts that kill our children and adults. When we do this, we'll have people who're sane. Happiness will fill the atmosphereand artists can create the beauty we all need, the beauty which will lift our spirits and will give us hope for better lives; we'll make our country one where creativity, intelligence and advances in the arts and science can thrive.
Let's see and tell the truth, take away the dark clouds and be free again, so Human Rights can then be sacred, and honesty is king.
Bio: Mary Collins is a 72-year-old grandmother living in New Hampshire. She attained a BA in English Literature with a minor in History in 1954 from Millsap's College in Jackson, Mississippi and was involved in education for over 20 years.
A psychiatrist from Muscatine will no longer be able to practice in Iowa after years of accusations of prescribing practices that put one patient in “grave danger” and inappropriate sexual behavior.
The Iowa Board of Medical Examiners revoked the license of James Yeltatzie after the most recent of a string of problems that date back 15 years.
Yeltatzie, whose practice is closed, and his attorney, John Wunder, Muscatine, could not be reached for comment by press deadline this morning.
One doctor who testified on Yeltatzie’s behalf said “these deficiencies were more the product of (Yeltatzie’s) empathy and caring for patients and did not reflect general incompetency,” documents state. The doctor also “mentioned the ‘demographics’ of rural practice and opined (Yeltatzie) did his best to treat these patients.”
But the board, in its decision, said:
“The board was unconvinced that (Yeltatzie) is currently capable of practicing psychiatry in a competent and responsible manner and is at a loss to recommend any additional training or treatment that could effectively correct the gross deficiencies in his medical practice, ethics and decision making.”
The board outlined several cases it reviewed as part of the investigation. In one instance, Yeltatzie was treating a patient for panic disorder with agoraphobia. The patient was placed on Zoloft and Xanex. Despite saying that the dosage needed to be lowered, Yeltatzie increased the dosage to above the “usual maximum dose.”
His “decision to prescribe huge doses of Xanex, with refills, immediately after he told the patient he needed to taper off the medication, made no sense and put the patient in grave danger,” one peer review committee found.
Yeltatzie received a license to practice in Iowa in 1988.
It was suspended in 1991, after he was accused of making improper physical contact with and making improper remarks and advances to three patients. He also was charged with “suffering from a mental condition affecting his relationship with patients,” as well as possession of marijuana and filing a false license application with the board.
His license was reinstated in 1994, and he was placed on probation for five years. He was required to practice only psychiatry, have a supervisor and a one-way viewing window into his exam room, abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs, submit blood and urine samples on demand and attend a weekly meeting of Sexual Addicts Anonymous.
Five years later, in 1999, he was charged with violating his probation. Specifically, the board accused him of practicing outside of psychiatry, improperly using controlled or prescription drugs and not filing required reports with the board.
He was fined $6,000 and required to submit to a psychiatric evaluation and treatment by a board-approved psychiatrist.
In 2002, the board began receiving “numerous complaints” about Yeltatzie’s care, including his “prescribing practices, practicing outside the scope of psychiatry and his failure to return phone calls.
“Multiple investigations” began, documents say. The board began a peer review with two psychiatrists in late 2005. That investigation resulted in the revocation.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
See that if you put kids on drugs from when they are very small, they may have some weird ideas able drug use. Who would've thought? As seen in this report:
Last week, Dr. Beryl Exley of the Queensland University of Technology urged parents, teachers and doctors that children labelled with ADHD are growing up with alarming misconceptions about the disorder and the drugs used to treat it.
"Children don't necessarily understand what their supposed condition is, nor why they are on medication, what the medication is supposed to achieve and what the alternatives are," Dr Exley was quoted as saying in last Thursday's The Australian.
"Many children also seem to think if they have more medication, they might be better behaved. ..This could see children growing up thinking medication might have all the answers. But medication isn't quite the solution that it's pitched to be."
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, psychiatrists claim, is a "a neurological brain disorder" that between 4% - 7% of children and adults suffer from. The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM, version IV), the psychiatrist's handbook, lists a number of behavioural traits that it considers abnormal in children including: "often has difficulty awaiting turn", "often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly", and "often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly".
"It's total fraud", says Michael Westen, editor of 'Psychbusters', (http://groups.msn.com/psychbusters), an online activist group that was set up in 2000 to 'decode Psychiatric propaganda'. "This is not a disease and these are not 'diagnostic criteria'. These are subjective judgments aimed at coercing a person to follow rules of 'proper conduct' made by others with power. The list could just as easily contain: fails to be white, often does not attend a Christian church, tends to be smaller, younger, and unable to do adult tasks."
"For a disease to exist there must be a tangible, objective physical abnormality that can be determined by a test," says neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman. "Such as, but not limited to, a blood or urine test, X-Ray, brain scan or biopsy. All reputable doctors would agree: No physical abnormality, no disease. In psychiatry, no test or brain scan exists to prove that a 'mental disorder' is a physical disease."
Baughman, from California, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, is one of an ever-growing number of campaigners fighting to expose the lies within the psychiatric industry. An adult & child neurologist of some 35 years, Dr. Baughman is vocal when coming up against misleading research or downright fraud palmed off as 'science'. "They made a list of the most common symptoms of emotional discomfiture of children, those which bother teachers and parents most, and in a stroke that could not be more devoid of science or Hippocratic motive - termed them a 'disease'. Twenty five years of research, not deserving of the term 'research', has failed to validate ADD/ADHD as a disease. Tragically, the 'epidemic' having grown from 500 thousand in 1985 to between 5 and 7 million today. This remains the state of the 'science' of ADHD."
Ritalin, which is pharmacologically similar to Cocaine, is a favoured treatment option for those labelled with ADHD, yet critics claim it is a harmful drug that can cause neurological defects and further behavioural difficulties. In 2005 researchers in Texas found a link between Ritalin use and chromosome abnormalities - occurrences associated with increased risks of cancer and other adverse health effects.
"The simple fact is that there is absolutely no reliable test that accurately distinguishes between children that are supposed to have 'ADHD' and those that are not", says Dr. John Breeding, author of The Wildest Colts Make The Best Horses. To counter the claim that ADHD is a valid medical condition that requires medical treatment, Breeding encourages parents to demand conclusive scientific evidence. For there simply isn't any.
Elliot S. Valenstien, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan also agrees.
"Contrary to what is often claimed, no biochemical, anatomical, or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients."
"I am constantly amazed by how many patients who come to see me believe or want to believe that their difficulties are biologic and can be relieved by a pill," says psychiatrist Dr. David Kaiser. "This is despite the fact that modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. However, this does not stop psychiatry from making essentially unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, alcoholism and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin, and that it is only a matter of time until all this is proven. This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention naive and perhaps delusional."
"There are many reasons why a child can become inattentive or hyperactive," says Michael Westen. "Nutritional deficiencies or a poor diet are often underlying problems. There can be difficulties in the home, vision problems, even a lack of sleep. There can be many others. Yet instead of looking at all these issues, Psychiatry ignores them, inventing a one-size-fits-all "disease" that requires 'medication'."
"Disingenuous comparisons between physical and mental illness and medicine are simply part of psychiatry's orchestrated but fraudulent public relations and marketing campaign," says Dr. Baughman.
Many seem to share these views including the late Dr. Loren Mosher, a noted psychiatrist and clinical professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia at the National Institute of Mental Health. Mosher famously resigned from the American Psychiatric Association in 1998 due to Psychiatry's growing "unholy alliance" with the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.
"Psychiatry has become drug dependent (that is, devoted to pill pushing) at all levels - private practitioners, public system psychiatrists, university faculty and organizationally," Mosher wrote, before attacking the field as being mechanistic, reductionistic, tunnel-visioned and dehumanising.
"Psychiatry has forgotten the Hippocratic principle," Mosher once wrote. "Above all, do no harm."
Dr. Exley of the Queensland University of Technology said alternatives to medication included managing behaviour by using role-playing to improve social skills and positive reinforcement to boost self-esteem. She also encouraged schools to provide spaces that were quiet and uncluttered to support students with behavioural issues.
"They need a time-out zone that's not a discipline space but a place to catch their breath and re-enter the classroom," Dr Exley said. "Also, more flexibility in curricular content and the pacing of learning would help so the children don't have to keep pace with traditionally structured lessons that may not interest them or may take place when their mind isn't on the job."
Monday, September 18, 2006
Recently Psychiatrist Eric Schwietering was arrested for having child pornography on his computer. A casual internet search has brought up more interesting material regarding the apparent competency of the 'Doctor'. As seen in this article:
Boy's Behavior Problems Disappear When Mom Discovers Real Cause
As a young boy, Johnnie Tillson of Wisconsin had allergies to several medications, including penicillin.Of course, it could be a different Dr Eric Schwietering. But the names are unique enough that it probably is not the case.
By the age of five, he had become a difficult child and his mother tried to find out why. Her pediatrician could find no reason. She sought a second and third opinion. She was told Johnnie had a "conduct disorder."
She was referred to Milwaukee psychiatrist Eric Schwietering, who interviewed Johnnie (with no medical exam) and diagnosed him with "bipolar disorder" and prescribed him the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal (which was not then or now approved for use in children).
The drug made Johnnie very tired and caused horrible, abnormal weight gain. During the period he was on this drug, Mrs. Tillson often complained to Dr. Schwietering about the side effects of the drug and asked about alternatives: "Isn't there another route besides the drug? Couldn't it be allergies or something?"
Dr. Schwietering assured her that Johnnie's behavior and attention problems in school were not allergy related, even despite Johnnie's previous medical history of allergies to drugs. Johnnie's schoolwork and his behavior declined as he continued on the drug. Whenever she would inquire of Dr. Schwietering about it, he assured her that Johnnie's problems were characteristic of "bipolar disorder" and that if it were not treated with psychiatric drugs, Johnnie would grow up to be a drug or alcohol abuser.
Schwietering switched him to the psychiatric anti-seizure drug Trileptal, to which Johnnie had a severe adverse reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: full body rash and ulcers in his mouth and throat and in the mucous membranes of his eyes (3-15% of patients die from this reaction). He was taken off all psychiatric drugs but continued to have rashes, especially on the parts of his body covered by clothing.
Through some admirable research and testing by his mother, it was ultimately discovered that Johnnie was allergic to chlorine. When it was eliminated from the household, his problems vanished.
Then there is this comment on the arrest noted previously
I feel so betrayed by Dr Schwieterings behavior!! My son saw him for many years and recently my daughter had a few appts. with him. I am not suggesting he ever did anything innapropriate to either of them, but I do have to wonder, considering the recent news about him. And were there any perverted thoughts about my son going through his head while he was seeing him? since his preference does seem to be young boys.
Dr. Eric (as we called him) was a very highly respected child Psych in our community. There was always a waiting list to see him. To think that I was trusting him to analyze my son, when in fact he had such serious mental issues of his own!!
Recently I had my daughter to see him a few times. I complimented him on his weight loss. Over the past couple years he must have lost at least 50 lbs. I asked how he did it, he was very evassive. Now I understand why, how could he tell me it was the “cocaine diet”.
During an appt with my daughter, he had her confused with another patient. He asked me how the medication was working. I told him “you never prescribed anything for her”. He said “i have the copy of the prescription right here in her chart, which i wouldn’t have if I didn’t prescribe” after we argued back and forth about it, he finally called the front desk to see when our last visit to him was. He asked the secretary “when was _______’s last appt here?” that’s when I realized he was looking at the wrong chart, because the name he asked about was not my daughters name. He was so embarrassed, but I was forgiving and just thought the poor guy has too many patients, and after all he is human, he must be overworked. Now I have to wonder if the confusion was more related to his cocaine addiction.
I can’t for the life of me, understand how a grown man with so much going for him, could get messed up with drugs and child pornography. It makes me literally sick to my stomach.
I want my money back.
As Reported in the Free Republic
[Update, the original poster has removed their post from the Free Republic. Other sites did pick up the link.]
On Tuesday, September 12, 2006, Dr. Edward L. Rowan of Exeter won the Democratic nomination for the New Hampshire House of Representatives in District 13 which includes Exeter, Stratham and North Hampton.(Note that the State did not agree with this)
Ed Rowan is a retired psychiatrist. He was sanctioned by the medical board for having a sexual relationship with a patient. He appealed the decision to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, claiming the board had no right to sanction him.
Of course, the major controversy for the Free Republic is that the ex-shrink is a Democrat, and the suggestion that he once wrote a book promoting masturbation. We consider this criticism catering somewhat to the purient interests of their readership.
Our problem with him is that he was sactioned for sexual relations with a patient, which display extraordinary lack of concern for another human being trusted to his care. As an illustrative example of a character flaw, this does not bode well for his ability to handle a public trust, such as a public office.
As for the flaw of having once been a psychiatrist, our concerns should be obvious.
1) see the NH Primary Winner's list, Rockingham County, District 13
2) the book: The Joy of Self-Pleasuring
Anna Nicole Smith's son was on prescription anti-depression medication when he died at the hospital bedside of the former reality TV star, a pathologist who did a second autopsy on 20-year-old Daniel Smith said Monday.
Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht said Daniel Smith was being treated for depression that began about four to six weeks earlier, but he did not know whether the medication played any role in his death, which came three days after his celebrity mother gave birth in the Bahamas.
Wecht, speaking by phone from Miami a day after conducting the autopsy in the Bahamas, said he's still awaiting toxicology tests to determine the cause of death.
He said he and the Bahamian coroner who did the first autopsy agreed there was no evidence that Daniel Smith died from a "suicidal overdose."
Smith died Sept. 10 in the hospital room where the former Playboy model was recuperating from giving birth to a daughter.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
An assistant nurse at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry's Musashi Hospital in Kodaira, Tokyo, has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a patient's cash card and using it to withdraw 3.16 million yen from the account.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Eiko Kanbara took a cash card from a 64-year-old female patient's bedside locker and used it to withdraw the money from an automated teller machine in the hospital 14 times between May 2004 and January 2006.
Kanbara, 53, from Higashi-Yamato, Tokyo, allegedly returned the card to the locker after withdrawing cash, the police said. She reportedly told investigators that she had a housing loan and was struggling to make ends meet.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
As seen on the NueroDiversity Weblog, intensive documentation regarding the problemativ promotion of a treament for autism that might not be as effective or as safe as desired.
Autism & Lupron: Playing With Fire (February 19, 2006)
About the role played by journalists in the dissemination of scientific
misinformation about autism, and the early development of Mark and David Geier’s “Lupron protocol.”
Patent Medicine (April 5, 2006)
About Mark and David Geier’s applications to patent the “Lupron protocol.”
Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol
Significant Misrepresentations, Part One
An Inaccurate Byline (June 9, 2006)
About the appearance of a misleading statement of affiliation in the
byline of an article by Mark Geier and David Geier, published in the
journal Hormone Research.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Two
An Elusive Institute (June 20, 2006)
About the “Institute for Chronic Illnesses” and its Institutional
Review Board, established by Mark Geier to supervise his and his son’s
own research, with members drawn from the ranks of patients’ parents,
business associates and political allies.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Three
A Dubious Diagnosis (June 26, 2006)
About the increase in numbers of autistic children diagnosed with central precocious puberty and administered Lupron, and the criteria according to which those
diagnoses are being proferred.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Four
On Questionable Terms (June 29, 2006)
About the shifting terminology used by Mark and David Geier to refer to
the condition supposedly experienced by autistic children being treated
with Lupron, raising questions about the means by which insurance
companies are being persuaded to reimburse the costs of the treatment.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Five
Testimony of the Faithful (July 12, 2006)
About the promotional assistance provided to Mark and David Geier by the parents of research subjects and political allies.
Significant Misrepresentations, Update
A Republished Article (July 13, 2006)
About the amendment and republication of Mark and David Geier’s article
by Hormone Research, in spite of documented irregularities with their
Institutional Review Board.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Six
“Desperation Time” (July 20, 2006)
A partial transcript of an interview with Mark Geier on the conspiracy talk show, Radio Liberty.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Seven
The Citations Are Not What They Seem (July 24, 2006)
About the manner in which Mark and David Geier cite the work of other
researchers to substantiate their claims about the “Lupron protocol.”
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Eight
Bibliographic Mergers & Acquisitions (August 10, 2006)
About the striking similarities between two articles written by Mark
and David Geier, and a June 2000 draft of a study by researchers at the
Centers for Disease Control.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Nine
Blood & Data (August 25, 2006)
About the extensive phlebotomy and laboratory testing performed on
children being evaluated for participation in the Geiers’ study and
possible treatment with Lupron.
Significant Misrepresentations, Part Ten
TAP’s Connection (August 29, 2006)
About the application to patent the “Lupron Protocol” submitted by Mark and David Geier and TAP Pharmaceuticals.
Foreordained Conclusions (March 8, 2006)
Commentary on the article, Early Downward Trends in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Following Removal of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines.
Strange Bedfellows (March 12, 2006)
About the philosophical, political and antivaccinationist agenda of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Strategic Disregard (March 24, 2006)
About Mark and David Geier’s IRB approval to conduct a study of the Vaccine Safety Datalink.
Plaintiffs’ Gambit Failed (July 11, 2006)
The full text of Judge James A. Beaty’s opinion in the case Doe vs.
Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, in which Dr. Mark Geier was excluded as an
expert witness due to a lack of relevant qualifications and failure to
There are too many examples of medics across the world threatening parents with reference to Child Protection Procedures when the fault lies with the doctor.Based on this earlier report
There is a complex issue which is that sometimes bad things happen and they are not really anyone's fault. It is, therefore, not necessary for someone to be prosecuted every time someone dies.
There are situations where doctors are prosecuted for a death that they are not culpable for. Alternatively mothers (generally) and possible fathers are prosecuted for a death for which they have no responsibility. Clearly there are occasions when noone should be prosecuted, because noone is culpable.
A panel of the Texas Medical Board suspended the license of an Austin psychiatrist after it said he improperly medicated a 7-year-old with Prozac and another drug and mishandled the care of a household member who overdosed on drugs he prescribed.
Dr. Sergio Silva, whom the board said is 38, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The answering machine at his Bee Cave Road office said that "due to circumstances beyond our control," it would not be possible to leave messages for Silva or reach him "in any way" until next week.
The temporary suspension was the strongest and fastest action to remove him from practice, medical board spokeswoman Jill Wiggins said. The three-member panel said it was necessary because Silva presented "a continuing threat to the public welfare and a real and present danger to the health of patients."
The panel's order says Silva's behavior last year caused the 7-year-old to be hospitalized with homicidal and suicidal thoughts and the household member to be endangered. It also says Silva lost his medical privileges at Seton Shoal Creek psychiatric hospital because of threatening and disruptive behavior.
Silva can appeal the disciplinary action.
You might remember all the national attention surrounding the drug Vioxx and the many lawsuits waged around the country.
There’s now a new wave of litigation against another popular drug, the popular anti depressant Paxil.
Some women who took the drug while they were pregnant are claiming their babies were born with severe birth defects.
One woman in the Houston area says that’s exactly what happened to her.
She spoke only to 11 News about her Paxil problems.
Her baby is on life support and this mother’s life will never be the same.
“I mean it’s been a roller coaster,” said Lisa Collins Steele
When she talks about her 9-month-old son Chase, it’s not easy.
“You see your child the way I see him. Most people shouldn’t go through this in their lifetime,” she said.
What Chase is going through is surviving with just half a heart. He was born this way.
Now, Collins believes it could have been prevented had her doctor warned her not to continue taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil.
Last December the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the makers of Paxil, Glaxo Smith Klein, issued an alert advising the risk of birth defects for pregnant women taking Paxil.
But Collins stopped taking the drug a few months before that warning came out.
“Had Lisa known about this, she wouldn’t have taken Paxil,” said attorney Robert Kwok.
Kwok now represents Collins in a liability and negligence lawsuit, suing her doctor and Glaxo Smith Klein.
“And we’re gonna ask that the jury consider punishing GSK,” he said.
Collins wants the parties to pay the hundreds of thousands in mounting medical bills, plus additional unspecified damages.
Chase doesn’t understand why he turns blue why he gets seizures why he has to take a bucket of medicine a day,” Kwok said.
Chase has already undergone one open heart surgery and has made at least a dozen trips to the hospital for emergency care.
For now, his prognosis is uncertain.
Late this afternoon 11 News received a call from Glaxo Smith Klein’s corporate public relations representative.
She said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits, but is aware of Lisa Collins’ case.
We should add that a similar lawsuit was filed by a woman in Bedford Texas.
Kwok says he knows of an estimated 50 cases around the country being reviewed.
As seen here, some psychs are upset to be no longer on the government dole. I recall stories about death rates in hospitals going down when doctors were on strike. Maybe we'll see more of the same here, with mental health statistics improving when the psychs are our of business ;-)
Furious NHS staff staged a mass walk-out at a dramatic board meeting in which health chiefs voted unanimously to close Stroud's mental health unit Weavers Croft.
Psychiatrist Dr Toby Moate exploded with a coarsely-worded outburst as Paul Winterbottom, medical director of Gloucestershire Partnership NHS Trust, talked of doctors' support for the plans.
As executives gawped in amazement, Dr Moate and around 30 colleagues walked out of the meeting at Gloucester's Guildhall arts centre on Thursday.
Speaking after the meeting, Dr Moate said medical staff were 'disgusted by the spin that is being generated' around the proposals.
"Obviously I can't call him a liar but he's really pushing the truth," he said.
"The consultants have said they will try to work as best they can with these proposals.
"But none of us know anyone else who agrees with the speed and extent of these changes.
"We feel things we say are being twisted and misinterpreted."
Thursday's decision followed a frank meeting on Wednesday night between directors and members of public sector worker's union UNSION.
Despite thousands of objections, the unit is now expected to close before Christmas.
Around 100 members of staff could be made redundant.
Board members agreed to the cuts despite what chief executive Jeff James described as 'a medium risk' of local health watchdogs appealing to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, who has the power to overturn the decision.
A spokesman for the trust said Dr Moate had misinterpreted Dr Winterbottom's remarks.
"It's often the case when people are passionate about expressing their own views that they are less good at hearing what has been said rather than what they thought was said," she said.
"This may be understandable but it doesn't justify disruptive foulmouthed public protest or repeated misrepresentation of what was said."
She added that the trust has not interfered with staff expressing their views and believes in the importance of their contribution.
Health campaigners were disappointed by the outcome but are looking to the future.
"I'm obviously very disappointed that the trust didn't listen to the fairly powerful arguments that were made," said Jo Smith, chairman of the Stroud and District branch of the Alzheimer's Society.
"I just hope it's sent up to the Secretary of State and I hope she'll overturn it."
Meanwhile, David Miller, chair of the League of Friends of Stroud Hospitals, remained hopeful about the possibility of a Social Enterprise Model, which would see the unit run by the community.
Trust executives have promised to discuss the idea with representatives from other NHS organisations before their next board meeting on Wednesday, September 20.
While sexual predators receive little public sympathy, the important principle here is that they just can't lock you up and take away liberties based on an arbitrary caprice. They have to follow rules. As seen in this report.
The state must play by the book in seeking to involuntarily commit sexually violent offenders following completion of their prison terms, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
The high court decided that the state had wrongly committed Ellis Lorenzo Miles, a convicted rapist from Richmond, to a special facility in Dinwiddie County, because it incorrectly scored his test to identify potentially violent sex predators.
Miles, 37, contested the civil-commitment decision of a Richmond Circuit Court judge who had been convinced that the inmate would commit other offenses after release.
Miles was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 1995 for convictions of rape in Richmond and malicious wounding in Chesterfield County. He has been confined at the special Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation since mid-August 2005.
The problem with the civil commitment?
Miles had scored three points out of a possible six on a risk-assessment test. The law specifies that an inmate must register at least four points to initiate other civil-commitment evaluations. But the Department of Corrections mistakenly determined that he had reached the required number of points based on, among other things, his age and the type of offenses.
A clinical psychologist later concluded that Miles was "sexually aggressive," and his "personality disorder appears to predispose him to commit sexually violent offenses," the Supreme Court noted.
Despite undisputed evidence of his lower score, the state argued that the score is just a procedural mechanism, rather than a requirement to proceed with the later evaluations and civil-commitment proceeding.
The seven-member high court unanimously disagreed with the state's contention and reversed the commitment order of Circuit Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr.
"At oral argument in this case," Justice Barbara Milano Keenan wrote, "the commonwealth also conceded that it would not have initiated proceedings against Miles if he had not received a score of four" on the test called the Rapid Risk Assessment for Sex Offender Recidivism (RRASOR).
"By these concessions, the commonwealth effectively refutes its own argument that the [test score provision] is purely a procedural screening guideline and lacks any substantive effect because but for Miles' erroneous RRASOR score, the commonwealth would not have taken further action against Miles," the justice explained.
The law is the law, the court suggested, and not subject to the state's spin on it.
"We observe that the commonwealth's position is also without merit," Keenan said, "because it effectively asks us to hold that the commonwealth's own errors should redound to Miles' detriment."
J. Tucker Martin, the chief spokesman for the attorney general's office, said no decision has been made yet about releasing Miles.
"We are reviewing the opinion and considering all the options," he said.