Recent public disclosures about the harmful effects of FDAapproved
psychotropic drugs and corroborating evidence from
patient outcome and mortality studies reveal that psychiatry's fixation on drugs as the
treatment of choice is a toxic prescription for debilitating adverse effects; an
impediment to recovery; and premature death.
A 15-year prospective follow-up study compared recovery outcomes in schizophrenia
patients treated with antipsychotics and those untreated or treated without drugs was
just re-published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (May 2007).  It was
funded by the US Public Health Service and the National Institute of Mental Health.
The findings from this 15-year study confirm previous international outcome studies
: 40% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who were NOT on antipsychotic
drugs showed periods of recovery and better global functioning compared to only 5%
of patients taking antipsychotics (p=.001). "These analyses indicated that in addition to
the significant differences in global functioning between these groups, 19 of the 23
schizophrenia patients (83%) with uniformly poor outcome at the 15-year follow-ups
were on antipsychotic medications."
The indisputably significant findings from this 15-year prospective study provide
documented evidence for the overthrow of psychiatry's harm producing, drug-focused
paradigm of care. This paradigm condemns people to chronic disability impeding
rather than fostering recovery.
The investigators, Martin Harrow, PhD. and Thomas Jobe, MD, Department of
Psychiatry, at the University of Illinois, Chicago, evaluated the outcome of 145 patients
with a DSM-III psychiatric diagnosis, including 64 with schizophrenia and a control
sample of 81 nonschizophrenia patients. Patients were evaluated on premorbid
variables, assessed prospectively at index hospitalization, and then followed up 5
times over a period of 15 years (at 2 years following hospitalization, 4.5 years, 7.5
years, 10 years and 15 year). At each follow-up, patients were compared on
symptoms and global outcome. One hundred and ten of the 145 patients (75.9%)
were evaluated at all 5 follow-ups over the 15 years, and another 23 patients (15.9%)
were evaluated at 4 of the 5 follow-ups. In controlled clinical trials the drop out rate in
short 6 week studies is 65% and more, in the CATIE study the drop out was 74%.
Thus, the significance of the findings of this naturalistic study is enormous.
The investigators addressed the following clinically significant issues:
1. In a naturalistic research design, which includes patients in treatment and those
not in treatment, can schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotics function
better and show periods of recovery?
2. Which particular types of schizophrenia patients go off medications for a
prolonged period, and do factors associated with this influence subsequent
outcome and recovery?
3. Do schizophrenia patients who do not remain on medications differ in (a)
premorbid developmental achievements and (b) prognostic potential or in
personality and attitudinal factors?
Best recovery outcomes were demonstrated by patients who had stopped taking
antipsychotic drugs-and they showed significantly better global functioning than those
who continued to be treated with antipsychotics at 4 of the 5 follow-ups (p=<.001)
Curiously, an earlier version of the study was published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin
in 2005, but the findings were largely ignored, no doubt, because they pose a financial
threat to the pharmaceutical-dominated psychiatric establishment. 
The findings confirm that the poor outcome findings in the CATIE study, which
assessed only patients on antipsychotic drugs, are due mainly to the drugs' ill effects.
The poor recovery of patients treated with antipsychotic drugs goes a long way in
explaining a recent analysis of government mortality data. It shows that patients
treated in the American mental health system die 25 years prematurely. 
At this juncture, a compelling body of evidence documents psychiatry's colossal
failure: 1. A series of international studies consistently show that patients taking
antipsychotics have worse clinical outcomes than those who do not.  2. U.S.
government sponsored studies: --Schizophrenia CATIE study reported that 74% of
patients couldn't tolerate the antipsychotics and dropped out within 18months; --An
analysis of mortality rates among patients in 8 state mental health systems reveals
that their lives are cut short by 25 years. 3. Evidence from secret company documents
uncovered during civil liability suits and state Attorneys General lawsuits provide
evidence of the drugs' debilitating effects.
When added up the harm produced by the drug-centered treatment paradigm is a
public health catastrophe whose magnitude is comparable to a pandemic-millions of
people-including children and the elderly-have suffered harm from FDA-licensed
psychotropic drugs. [Below a sample of recent living testimonials]
The cumulative evidence is indisputable: the drugs cause harm without any credible
demonstrable benefit-and without a scientific rationale. Psychiatrist Kenneth Kendler,
co-editor-in-chief of Psychological Medicine, acknowledged (2005): "We [psychiatrists]
have hunted for big, simple neuropathological explanations for psychiatric disorders
and have not found them. We have hunted for big, simple neurochemical explanations
for psychiatric disorders and have not found them. We have hunted for big, simple
genetic explanations for psychiatric disorders and have not found them" (pp. 434-
Despite the lack of clear evidence for neuropathological, neurochemical, or genetic
explanations for psychiatric disorders, the beliefs in such are heavily perpetuated by
psychopharmacologists and physiological psychiatrists who are heavily invested in the
drugs and their industry benefactors. Psychotropic drugs that have consistently been
shown to cause ham-to impede rather than improve patient recovery-and to
undermine vital physiological function of hormonal, endocrine, cardiovascular
systems. The body of evidence should give Congress pause about its misallocation of
public funds-harmful treatments should not be subsidized by taxpayers. 
A superb critical review of the published disconfirming literature of
psychopharmacology, written by psychiatrists and neuroscientists whose criticism of
currently held beliefs about mental illness and the paradigm of treatment, are mostly
drowned out by this industry-dominated field. Dr. Thomas Murray, Director of
Counseling at North Carolina School of the Arts, calls upon the counseling profession
to "be cautious about supporting the psychiatric-medical model, or any model, when it
is not prepared to produce its own body of research to test the assumptions of that
model."He encourages counselors to "get a balanced view about
psychopharmacology and the medical-model in general.to call into question the uses
of technology (e.g., brain scans), research methodology, and treatment efficacy of
these medications based on the examination of the existing research. Specifically, I
suggest counselors investigate rigorously the uses and consequences of these
medications regardless of their support or skepticism." 
And most importantly, Murray admonishes counselors to "examine the consequences
and the impact of associating with and imposing particular assumptions about the
biological etiology of mental disorders on clients without evidence that such approach
serves their best interest."
1. Martin Harrow, PhD, and Thomas H. Jobe, MD. Factors Involved in Outcome
and Recovery in Schizophrenia Patients Not on Antipsychotic Medications: A
15-Year Multifollow-Up Study, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,
Vol. 195, No. 5, May 2007 [Link]
2. Lehtinen V, Aaltonen J, Koffert T. Two-year outcome in first-episode psychosis
treated according to an integrated model. European Psychiatry 15 (2000):312-
20; Lehtinen K. Finnish needs-adapted project: 5-year outcomes. Madrid Spain,
World Psychiatric Association International Congress, 2001; Seikkula J,
Aaltonen J, Alakare B. Five-year experience of first-episode nonaffective
psychosis in open-dialogue approach. Psychotherapy Research 16/2 (2006):
214-228; Leff J, Sartorius N, Koren A, Ernberg G. The International Pilot Study
of Schizophrenia. Pscyhological Medicine 22 (1992): 131-45; Jablensky A,
Sartorius N, Ernberg G, Ansker M. Schizophrenia: manifestations, incidence
and course in different cultures. Psychological Medicine 20, monograph
3. Colton CW, Manderscheid RW. Congruencies in increased mortality rates,
years of potential life lost, and causes of death among public mental health
clients in eight states. Prevalence Chronic Disability, April 2006. [Link] See
also: Mentally ill die 25 years earlier, on average By Marilyn Elias, USA
TODAY, May 3, 2007 [Link]
4. Martin Harrow, Linda S. Grossman,3 Thomas H. Jobe,4 and Ellen S. Herbener.
Do Patients with Schizophrenia Ever Show Periods of Recovery? A 15-Year
Multi-Follow-up Study, Schizophrenia Bulletin vol. 31 no. 3 pp. 723-734, 2005.
5. Gianluca Trifiro` MD, Katia M. C. et at All-cause mortality associated with
atypical and typical antipsychotics in demented outpatients,
Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety 2007; 16: 538-544. . See also, a series
of investigative reports in the national press documenting the harm producing
effects of psychotropic drugs-in particular the antipsychotics: USA TODAY:
New antipsychotic drugs carry risks for children 5/2/2006 [Link] Boston Globe:
Bipolar labels for children stir concern Hull case highlights debate on diagnosis
Rebecca Riley's parents are accused of deliberately poisoning her with her
prescription medication. February 15, 2007 [Link] THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry's Role May 10, 2007 [Link] l; USA
TODAY: Mentally ill die 25 years earlier, on average. May 3, 2007 [Link]
6. Kendler, K. S. (2005). Toward a philosophical structure for psychiatry.
American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 433-440.
7. Robert Whitaker, Mad in America, Perseus, 2002; Anatomy of an Epidemic:
Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. Ethical
Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol.7, No. I, Spring 2005 online at: [Link]
8. Thomas L. Murray, Jr. The Other Side of Psychopharmacology: A Review of
the Literature Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 28/No. 4/October