When will people get it?

June 24, 2009 at 4:50 am 7 comments

Recently Amy Philo had a poster by the name of Helen, comment on her blog, that gave the impression that we are causing women more harm than good by stopping the Mothers Act and debunking the sham that is the Mental Health Industry.

I felt that I should share my rebuttal to her, as it is as good as any testimony I could give, on how damaging and destructive this poison called Psychotropic Drugs is.

The following is what I posted in reply to her ignorance;


Hello Helen.

After perusing through the diatribe that you and Amy have carried on for the better part of today, I would be remiss if I did not weigh in on the conversation.

You see, these days, I unfortunately find myself somewhat of an expert witness, as to the dangers of Psychotropic drug use during pregnancy.

My son, Matthew, went in to full cardiac arrest 1 hour and 10 minutes after he was born, as a direct result of venlafaxine(Effexor) toxicity.

My wife Christiane, took a “maintenance” dose of 150 mg of Effexor throughout her entire pregnancy with Matthew, as our family doctor, as well as 2 different OB/GYN’s, indicated to us that these drugs are perfectly safe during pregnancy.

Now, the drug companies literature and clinical trials would indicate that Matthew’s death was an extremely rare, unfortunate event, and the benefit of taking the drugs far outweighs any potential risk to your unborn child(in a drug company controlled, limited, biased trial group). Taking in to account that the average woman will have 2 or less live births in her lifetime, coupled with the fact that many women will only start to exhibit major depressive symptoms after having their first child, and hence be medicated for said depression, the available data is not truly representative of how toxic these drugs can be to a child in-utero, and mother alike.

Here is the case I am trying to make with my last paragraph. My wife has had 6 pregnancies. After the birth of our daughter, she had anti-depressants “pushed” on her, without informed consent, for PPD. Over the next 8 years she has had 5 pregnancies, all while taking Effexor, as this crap is almost impossible to get off once your on it. Each pregnancy has been subsequently more difficult. In retro spect the last 2 pregnancies she exhibited the signs of serotonin syndrome.

Here is the outcome of those pregnancies:

1. 2001, miscarriage at 8 weeks gestation with no known cause

2. 2002, live birth, full term, persistent Heart murmur

3. 2004, live birth, full term, extreme low birth weight, malformed lungs w/ PPHN, diagnosed with “Failure to Thrive”, with diminished breathing capacity to this day

4. 2006, live birth, full term, heart murmur that subsided after 1st birthday.

5. 2009, live birth, full term, went in to respiratory and subsequent cardiac arrest at just over 1 hour. Autopsy showed Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension caused by venlafaxine toxicity.

If one delves deep enough in to the literature surrounding these drugs, each and every one of the “Effects” my children have suffered, were either known to the drug company at the time of marketing the drug, or have come to light since my wife started taking them.

In the last 3 1/2 months I have spent hundreds of hours researching not only the efficacy of psychotropic drug treatment and the suspect diagnoses that lead up to many of these prescription treatments, but also the many varied adverse effects that they have on not only the people ingesting them, but also on the innocent victims being carried in their mothers wombs. I find it quite ironic that they are called side effects, when even the data from the clinical trials, show that a person is far more likely to develop one of the listed adverse reactions than to see an improvement in their mental status.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, that there are indeed people in this world, who truly have a legitimate mental health diagnosis, as your case sounds like it may be. If indeed, medication has helped you live life more fully, fantastic.

What I am advocating for, what Amy and Evelyn and thousands of others like us are advocating for, is debunking a $300+ Billion industry, that has in many cases, invented mental illnesses, and then formulated a new drug(or perhaps rebranded an old drug)for the treatment of said illness.

Mental illness, most notably depression, has no modern day MEDICAL test, to either prove or disprove one has a condition in need of a prescription drug. If I have Diabetes, a doctor can do a blood test and prove I have that disease. If I have high Cholesterol, same thing.

Elevated Liver enzymes, ditto. In all of Medicine, I would challenge you to find a condition, illness or disease that did not have a diagnostic test to determine if one actually has said condition. Depression diagnoses are largely subjective

Physicians and Psychiatrists alike will tell you that Major Depression is caused by low Serotonin levels in the brain, but they have absolutely no way to prove this diagnosis. We’ll just give you the SSRI, SNRI or Tricyclic antidepressant, and hope that you are on of the 5% of people who will actually benefit from the drug and not go nuts.

What a wonderful world we live in with mass media to sensationalize things for us. We need only look to recent history to see how evident this is.

September 11, 2001, was a very sad and tragic day in our history. The thousands of lives lost and the impact that it had on the rest of the world is immeasurable. The Government of the day used the emotional media momentum of the terrorist attacks, to pass a 342 page bill called the Patriot Act, that has placed the United states in to a far more Orwellian state than any citizen could possibly comprehend. This bill was signed in to law without any congressman or senator having performing due diligence and seeing what the bill was really made of.

More recently in February 2009, again under very similar sensationalized media hype, the 1071 page Economic Stimulus bill that will cost Americans over 1 Trillion dollars was voted in to law less than 18 hours after it was introduced to congress. Admittedly, no congressman or senator read the bill. What should they care, it’s not going to hurt them.

This brings us to today. The Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Research and Care Act. Otherwise affectionately referred to as the MOTHERS Act. On the heels of some very publicized, yet extremely isolated in their occurrence cases, Big Brother is moving swiftly to protect us from ourselves. I will mention two, as I have rambled on just about long enough. Andrea Yates, a woman who became a household name for drowning her 5 children. A heinous act that she would later be found not guilty by reason of insanity, largely due to drug induced psychosis, notably haldol and an extremely high dose of Effexor.

Then you have the namesake for the bill, Melanie Blocker Stokes. After her PPD diagnosis, Melanie was hospitalized three times in seven weeks. She was given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications. She also underwent electroconvulsive therapy. In the end, Melanie jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.

This is yet another bill just like hundreds and even thousands of bills, hastily rushed through congress without due diligence, and will invariably cause more harm than good.

The Mothers Act is well intentioned on the surface, lets save all these thousands and thousands of women from themselves and this scourge of Postpartum Depression and Psychosis, yet self serving for the drug industry and sadly, the end result of this law will be that the relatively few women who truly do suffer from postpartum depression will not be taken seriously.

I love how the bill may not directly mention drugging women, but it does promote “treatment“ throughout, and these days the vast majority of treatment is popping a happy pill.

Look at your TV, every hour you are bound to see at least one advertisement for a Psychotropic drug, “Ask your doctor about Celexa,“ “Talk to your doctor about Luvox.”

Why do I need to go ask my doctor for a name brand drug. If I truly have an illness won’t my doctor know what’s best for me, unless he’s on the drug company take as well.

When is the last time you heard a pitch on TV like “Talk to your doctor about insulin,“ or “Maybe you should ask your doctor about amoxicillin.” You won’t, because these drugs don’t have Multi-Billion Dollar patents.

As you said previously,”(The Mothers Act)will not prescribe medication. ultimately putting a pill in your mouth is your choice.” I beg to differ and many others will as well. The vast majority of Psychiatric treatment comes in the form of a pill, and ultimately, choice is such a relative term today. I’m sure if we read in to the 342 pages of the Patriot Act, your civil liberties can probably be suspended in a situation like this, especially if a social worker, doctor, police officer, judge or anybody else in a position of “Authority” deems you as a danger to yourself or others.

So, I say to you Helen, I have no interest in arguing with you. If taking antidepressant drugs truly works for you, that’s great.

My goal is to ensure women like my wife are well informed of the tremendous risks they may be taking when ingesting these substances, and that the answer does not always come in the form of a quick fix little pill, as much as the drug companies would like us to think.

Based on our personal experiences, those of others who have been victimized by psychiatric pharmacy and many latter day published articles that can be found through PubMed, I would tell any woman I meet, exhaust every avenue of treatment i.e. exercise, sunlight, counselling, before even considering taking one of these drugs.

How good can a drug be that has a warning label that says,” May increase suicidality or cause Homicidal Ideation.” Isn’t that what your trying to fix?

New studies are showing that 20-40% of babies exposed to SSRI’s and SNRI’s In Utero, will have som adverse effect from these drugs. These numbers are far too staggering to ignore. These effects range anywhere from irritability, no big deal right. All the way to serotonin syndrome and extreme withdrawal, to serious malformations like Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and PPHN like our son Matthew died from. A condition wherein every breath the child takes fails to provide oxygen to their body and even if treated 25% will die.
If I was asked, should a woman have a baby while taking these drugs, my answer would have to be no. But last time I checked, as a man, I don’t have a say in womens Reproductive Health anyway, do I?




Entry filed under: Effexor, Infant Death, Pregnacy.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lunochka  |  March 22, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I was hospitalised following the passage of the Patriot Act. I was told I ought to be on X Scary Med. I refused it. Nobody held me down and forced it down my throat. I was marginalised, sure, but I retained the right to walk out of that treatment centre and do it my way.

    This was in the US under Bush II.

    I respect that you have strong feelings on the subject, but I can’t let you get the facts wrong. There is case law on New York’s books regarding whether a person can be held and medicated — and it says she can’t. I just saw this in my ethics text; it’s to do with Joyce Brown, if you’re interested in looking up her story.

    • 2. ameryschultz  |  March 22, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Hey. Thanks for obviously taking the time to read some of my ramblings. I’m a little bit confused by your comment. I’d love for you to show me where I’ve got the facts wrong. Your personal experience is proof of nothing, just as my experience is not proof of anything. You stated that you read about law in your ethics textbook….are you not aware of the blatant human rights violations that occur on a daily basis in the United States in the name of psychiatry. It may not have happened to you, but it does happen to many, many thousands. Would love to chat more though. Peace to you.

      • 3. Lunochka  |  March 22, 2014 at 8:29 am

        It’s here: “ultimately putting a pill in your mouth is your choice.” I beg to differ and many others will as well. The vast majority of Psychiatric treatment comes in the form of a pill, and ultimately, choice is such a relative term today. I’m sure if we read in to the 342 pages of the Patriot Act, your civil liberties can probably be suspended in a situation like this, especially if a social worker, doctor, police officer, judge or anybody else in a position of “Authority” deems you as a danger to yourself or others.”

        That, what you said, that’s not true everywhere. Not in my state. I understand you’re in Canada? Maybe it’s different there. But in my state you can’t do that, and if you do, you have to answer for it.

        As for blatant human rights violations, I’m sure they do happen. That doesn’t mean every single participant in the profession must be demonised. I’ve seen both sides (including some utter incompetence that did me long-term damage) and in response, I’ve learned all I can so I’m not just another body in another chair. There is a middle ground and I am probably firmly in it.

        I’m still reading through your story, but I did see you’d had a subsequent child with disabilities. I hope that child is doing well, and that you have been able to obtain genetic counseling. Our FDA has done studies — remember that south of the border the push is for mums not to take anything during pregnancy — and found nothing to suggest venlafaxine would affect a woman past the point of cessation of the drug.

  • 4. Maria  |  March 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Interesting reference to Joyce Brown who of course the courts found could not be forcibly medication on the grounds her behaviour was not obviously and immediately dangerous to anyone. Had she been pregnant it is likely the decision would have been different as she would have been found to be a risk to her unborn child. This case did not prevent forced medication, it established case law that involuntary treatment required the person be a danger to themselves or others. It is not correct to say that Americans cannot be detained and medicated against their wishes, only to say that psychiatrists must present evidence that they are a risk to themselves or others in order to have their actions sanctioned by the courts and the public.

    I think however that Amery’s argument is that coercion does not require being physically restrained and injected with a drug. It can involve the normalisation of taking drugs, shown to be teratogens, during pregnancy. It can involve using doctors to promote their use, it can involve excluding families from decision making, it can include misinformation about the impact of ‘depression’ on unborn children and on the risks of drugs. All these things push people towards putting pills in their mouths without making fully informed consent. In the face of all these activities, Amery’s commitment to ensuring others have the information he and his wife did not have is an important and admirable activity.

  • 5. Amy James  |  March 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

    To Lonnechka or whatever your name is, I find your authoritative sounding comments so ironic because so many of them are simply false. Thanks for educating those of us who apparently need a re-education on the reality of life and drugs and psychiatry from the point of view of someone with a high school social studies level of understanding of the real world. I suggest before dispensing legal advice on the rights of psychiatric patients that you become an attorney so you can defend all the many thousands of foster children on drugs at the hand of the state. And get out a medical textbook and look up what happens to meth heads and crack babies for an example of what drugs do to human tissue.

    • 6. Lunochka  |  March 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Amy, carina, I’m going to do you one better and actually become a social worker — and a guardian ad litem if I can. If we were discussing cocaine use, I would be inclined to panic, but we’re not. I have a paper on neonatal drug withdrawal open in another tab.
      Pediatrics Vol. 129 No. 2 February 1, 2012
      pp. e540 -e560
      (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3212)
      Which says quite a lot about “crack babies” as well as children of mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy.

    • 7. Lunochka  |  March 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      p.s. “high school social studies”? Try eleven years involved rather intimately in this world, on medication, refusing some, embracing others. I know exactly what it’s like to be drugged against my will, and why it’s necessary that we do have the right to walk away. At the same time, I am able to see why it’s necessary to allow that medication can help.


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