Psychiatric experts found to have financial links to drugmakers

Following on from the comments about the implications of a self-medicating society, here is an
interesting article about financial ties between pharmaceutical companies who provide drugs for mental conditions and those who define what the conditions are and what drugs they require.

Every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses, a new analysis has found.

Of the 170 experts who contributed to the manual that defines disorders ranging from personality problems to drug addiction, more than half had such ties, including 100 percent of the experts who served on work groups on mood disorders such as depression and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. The analysis did not reveal the extent of their relationships with industry ties or whether they preceded or followed their work on the manual.

Though it makes some sense for the experts in the fields to be working with the drug companies, the article also acknowledges definition can be a substantially political process.

The thing about hierarchical power systems is it doesn’t take collusion (or corruption) between very many people to have huge effects throughout the rest of the system.

Having studied psychology, and repeated been disgusted with the “medicate it if it moves” approach to “mental illness”, I am very happy to be exploring alternate models of consciousness and periods of psychological and spiritual crisis.

The thing is, if these types of events in consciousness are natural and organic processes of mind which can be incredibly useful to personal growth and development when confronted and the causes found, rather than aberrations which need to be drugged to maintain some illusory state of normality, then the drug approach to suppress the symptoms is entirely counter-productive; except from the point of view of social control, since the only common criteria of mental illness in the DSM is that whatever is “wrong” it is preventing you from functioning in society – effectively, “can you hold down your job? if not, we’ll drug you until you can.”

Which, to this moose, seems a fundamentally poor goal, and one substantially unrelated to human needs.

6 Responses to “Psychiatric experts found to have financial links to drugmakers”

  1.   Scott
    April 26th, 2006 | 5:14 pm

    /since the only common criteria of mental illness in the DSM is that whatever is “wrong” it is preventing you from functioning in society – effectively, “can you hold down your job? if not, we’ll drug you until you can.”

    I’ve seen far to much of this sort of approach in the past with friends – basically the idea that if you can’t ‘contribute to society’ (funny how that always comes down to ‘can you work?’) then you need to be ‘fixed’.

    Some of those I’ve know who ‘can’t contribute to society’ have actually been the most eloquent, foward thinking and kind people I’ve known – theres nothing about them thats needs fixing except maybe peoples views of them.

    People are people, differences are a strength because they offer us a view of the world we may not be able gain from our current perspective. We should celebrate that – not supress it.

  2. June 11th, 2006 | 10:14 pm

    […] One reason to perhaps consider this sort of information is having an awareness of the nature and extent of the PR barrage to make people accept and purchase proprietary pharmaceuticals. Earlier we blogged about links and possible collusion between those who make psychiatric medicines and those who define what medicine is prescribed for certain conditions. […]

  3. July 19th, 2006 | 3:43 pm

    […] Following on from our earlier posts about the harmful effects of innappropriate prescription of drugs… […]

  4. July 19th, 2006 | 3:44 pm

    […] Following on from our earlier posts about the harmful effects of innappropriate prescription of drugs… […]

  5. May 7th, 2007 | 12:45 pm

    […] We have commented before on this blog about the pharmaceutical industry being corrupt, heavily involved in manipulating lawmaking in their favour, and, as corporations, are more concerned with profiteering than people’s health. The struggle for people’s right to health is a flashpoint at the moment – see Brazil’s recent decision to break patent law and import cheap generic AIDS drugs instead of overpriced corporate pharma. […]

  6. April 18th, 2008 | 3:35 pm

    […] On and off the moose has commented about the alarming practices around psychiatric drug prescription, use, and the manipulations behind the scenes. […]