May 16, 2020
The Whistle Blower who NOBODY wants to hearby Ballard Quass
How the drug war turned me into an eternal patient… and why nobody cares
One of the reasons why the anti-patient drug war has survived for over a century now (whereas liquor prohibition died a relatively quick death) is that Americans fail to see the connection between the drug war and the sad state of modern psychiatry.
Worse yet, Americans fail to even see the sad state of modern psychiatry, thanks to a full court PR press by Big Pharma, which foots the bill for prominent and popular doctors to go on shows like Oprah and make addiction to antidepressants seem like a civic duty to be undertaken by any God-fearing American who cares about his or her psychological health. Lately, we even see such well-paid opinion-shapers urging us to get our kids started on a regimen of highly addictive pills if we see any excessive signs of moonshine or hijinx in their childhood spirits. (That could be the deadly ADHD, don't ya know?) Such pill-pushing messages are reinforced at night during prime-time television, as Big Pharma goes directly to their potential client, urging them to pester their doctor into supplying them with a starter kit of highly addictive antidepressants and similarly addictive drugs for anxiety and bipolar illness, etc.
The result? One in eight American males, and one in four American females, are addicted to Big Pharma antidepressants, many of which are harder to kick than heroin.
That's why nobody wants to hear it when I complain about the psychiatric status quo and point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes: Nobody wants to hear it because Americans have too much invested in the status quo: too much money, too much time, and too much blind faith in the honesty and good intentions of psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry.
Indeed, belief in the pill-mill paradigm has become the American religion, to the extent that America has a religion. Despite clinical and statistical proof to the contrary, Americans have become convinced that we now have a scientific "fix" for depression and that sad Americans are stupid - perhaps even selfish - to ignore it and go without this supposedly vital "scientific" assistance. After all, depression is a "disease," so the credo goes, and so what could be more natural than to take a one-size-fits-all pill for that disease and to thus be done with it once and for all (albeit the pill in question has to be taken every day of one's life for the rest of one's life)?
What Americans fail to realize is that the rain forest is full of therapeutic psychoactive medicines, which, if used responsibly, could fix depression organically, by helping the sufferer to see the world in a new light and to creatively work around their mental roadblocks, using medicines that are either non-addictive, or at least far less addictive than the pills on which 1 in 6 Americans have been hooked by Big Pharma. And why do Americans fail to realize this? Because of drug war propaganda, which brazenly lies about Mother Nature's mood medicines, claiming that they "fry the brain," when the truth is the exact opposite, namely that substances like cocaine, opium and natural psychedelics actually strengthen and increase neuronal connections and help the user accomplish more in life.
Sigmund Freud didn't use cocaine to fry his brain, he used it to increase his mental capacity and stamina. Benjamin Franklin didn't use opium to fry his brain, he used it to increase his creative capacity and to ensure his overall affability. Francis Crick didn't use psychedelics to fry his brain, he used them to open his mind to the true nature of DNA.
That's why my plight as an eternal patient goes unnoticed, even though there are millions like me suffering the same disempowering and humiliating effects of the drug war. Drug War propaganda has been accepted as gospel truth by our bamboozled American populace.
Worse yet, if I write about these things, I get blacklisted on Reddit and lose my job as a commentator on Sociodelic.com. Folks just don't want to hear it: they believe in the one and only true Church, "Our Lady of the One-Size-Fits-All Depression Pill," and they don't want to hear from heretics who are unhappy with the pill-pushing paradigm, let alone one who suggests that there's an infinitely better approach that Drug War America is stubbornly overlooking - and ignoring on purpose, in fact, in the interests of the many drug war stakeholders (including, but not limited to, psychiatrists, pharmacists, law enforcement and Big Liquor).
But what exactly is this humiliating plight to which I refer?
Imagine that, like myself, you are a 61-year-old depression "sufferer" who has been "on" Big Pharma antidepressant meds for 40 years (drugs that are so addictive, even your psychiatrist tells you there's no point in attempting to get off them). You still suffer from depression, of course, as evidenced by your ongoing inability to follow through on the goals that are most important to you in life, never mind the fact that the drugs you're taking are supposed to be scientific godsends, (but apparently your brain never got that memo). And so the drug war turns you into the Ancient Mariner of psychiatry, forced to dock at Mental Health Harbor every three months and tell the scientistic landlubbers how you've been feeling over the last 90 days, so that they have the legal cover to write you yet another prescription for the pharmaceutical concoctions that your drug-warped body chemistry can no longer do without. Are you happy? Are you sad? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you consider suicide? You have to tell the "good doctor" everything, every three months of your life.
Hello? What business is it of theirs after 40 long and patronizing years?
Here's a good answer to one such question, however:
Psychiatrist's question: Do you consider suicide?
Answer: Only when I consider the fact that psychiatry has humiliated and disempowered me by turning me into an eternal patient.
Just yesterday I called my shrink's office to request a refill on my addictive meds. They refused to approve the refill until I had made another appointment to see my doctor. Why? Because my existing psychiatrist was no longer employed there and I had to start over with a new one. And since the new one doesn't know me from Adam, he or she cannot prescribe medicine for me.
Right. So the fact that I've been running in this pill-mill hamster cage for 40 years means nothing. I still have to be treated like a new mental health patient and come in and confess all my weaknesses and inner concerns to a complete stranger. I'm still the Ancient Mariner, but now there's a new wedding guest to whom I have to recite the story of my life.
It's funny that this status quo is acceptable to Americans, given that it is the exact opposite of what we call "empowerment" these days, which folks normally consider to be the ne plus ultra of psychological health.
And so it is that America is literally the most addicted country in the world, and yet nobody wants to hear the whistle blowers who say so. Instead, we rationalize, saying that SSRI users are habituated to their pills, not addicted to them, a shallow drug war equivocation that can be easily devastated by anyone who performs a close reading of the definition of "addiction" in Webster's.
So I can blow my whistle all I want, but I won't be heard as long as Americans remain in denial about the great addiction of our times. That's not the opiate addiction, but the fact that 1 in 6 Americans are addicted to Big Pharma "meds" - an addiction that would be unimaginable except in a world where health-care choices have been starkly limited by an anti-patient Drug War.
Believe it or not, there are no addiction experts out there today. Why? Because almost all the godsend medicines that could treat addicts have been outlawed by the DEA. No surprise there. We'd have no aviation experts if the US government only allowed Americans to fly gliders. Ayahuasca, ibogaine, psilocybin, peyote, mescaline, specially processed ergot -- yes, even cocaine and opium could play a role in an addict's recovery were these substances to be employed advisedly by a pharmacologically savvy shaman. But American Drug warriors don't want to hear it. They have this superstition that says that any psychoactive substance is horrible once it's been demonized by politicians... and that is not science, but religion: specifically Christian Science religion.
For more on America's idiotic drug war and its role in aggravating addiction and complicating addiction recovery, check out the following broadsides against America's shameful drug war:
The Drug War Comic Book
On Sale here January 2021