Announcing The World’s First Anti-Psychiatry Scholarship

According to a recent article in NOW Toronto magazine, the world’s first anti-psychiatry scholarship has been officially established at The University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Education. The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Anti-psychiatry is aimed at students of education who believe psychiatric drugs and treatments are more harmful than helpful.scholarship

The scholarship is named for Bonnie Burstow, a trauma specialist and critic of psychiatry, who will matchdonations to the scholarship fund with up to $50,000 out of her own pocket. An associate professor in the Ontario Institute of Education’s Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Burstow is of the belief that there is no proven biological basis for mental illness, and that psychiatric methods and the institutions that support them violate human rights.

Burstow is the author of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness, a fundamental critique of psychiatry that examines the foundations of psychiatry, refutes its basic tenets, and traces the workings of the industry through medical research and in-depth interviews. The book calls for a dismantling of the field the way it is currently practiced.

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High-Risk Anxiety Drugs Now Responsible for Record Overdoses

By Bruce Boyers

According to a recent article on, drugs prescribed for anxiety have hit record overdose levels in the US. A recent study conducted by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found a 500 percent increase in anxiety medication overdoses between 1996 and 2013.

During that same period, prescriptions for anxiety medications—the actual effectiveness of which have never been proven—tripled. Anxiety medications include Valium, Ativan and Xanax and fall under the classification of benzodiazepines or “benzos.” The long list of dangerous side effects of these drugs can be found online.

Anxiety medications

Anxiety medications

Over the study period, the number of pills prescribed to each adult increased as well. This suggests that Americans may be taking the drugs for longer periods, or taking higher doses. Both options increase the risk of overdose.

Supporting the research in this study is data from the CDC, which found that anxiety drugs accounted for 31 percent of narcotic overdose deaths in 2011.

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New safeguards imposed before allowing psych med prescriptions

State of California Demands Foster Children Rights Regarding Drugging

by Bruce Boyers

The State of California has just taken major strides to greatly limit or curtail the rampant drugging of foster children with dangerous psychiatric medications. New safeguards have now been imposed that require very careful monitoring and screening before allowing psych meds to be prescribed.

Drugging KidsFor many years, foster children have been prescribed psych meds in an effort to sedate and reduce behavioral issues—with no measures taken to actually get to the roots of such problems or genuinely provide help to these at-risk children. Additionally, children have suffered severe side effects from these meds, including obesity, diabetes, extreme lethargy and tremors.

Allowing Children Speak for Themselves

Doctors will now have to provide convincing arguments—instead of scant data which was previously just rubber-stamped—in order to receive court approval for prescriptions of powerful psychiatric medications. And for the first time, foster children will be offered the opportunity to speak for themselves as to how such medications actually make them feel.

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Micronutrients: For Once, an Effective Treatment for ADHD

by Bruce Boyers

A study recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Psychopharmacology and presented at several prestigious international conferences, highlights highly effective treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—instead of Psychiatric Disorders Voted Into Existencemedication. This study demonstrates a tangible clinical benefit, feasibility and—most importantly—safety of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the treatment of childhood ADHD.

Drugs used to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin and Adderall, are fraught with side effects such as serious sleeping problems and decreased appetite. In fact, a recent study shows that side effects of such medications far outweigh benefits.

In order to qualify for the micronutrient study, children needed to be medication-free. They were treated with 36-ingredient micronutrients for eight weeks, then taken off for four weeks, with the on-off cycle repeating itself over a six-month period.

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Placebo More Effective Than Psychiatric Drugs

by Bruce Boyers

New Studies Confirm – Placebo More Effective Than Psychiatric Drugs

If you search, a site that lists drugs, their purposes and side effects, and then further search about antidepressants or related mental health medications, you’ll make an interesting discovery. Part of the purpose of any antidepressant or anxiety medication is stated thusly: “_____ [name of drug] affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with [disorder supposedly treated with drug].”

Please carefully note the phrase “may be unbalanced”—for it has never actually been clinically proven that there exists a chemical imbalance and that this unproven theory causes any of these disorders.Placebo Doctor

Hence it comes as no surprise that a new series of studies are concluding that the placebo may be the most powerful medication of all when it comes to depression and other mental health problems.

If your first impulse is to laugh, you’d be correct. A placebo is a “fake” pill (usually sugar) given in drug trials to show the difference between those given a medication and those not given a medication. So these opinions and studies are suggesting that those not given a medication, but instead given a phony medication, show better treatment results than those given the actual drug.

Interestingly these studies are also finding that those who do not respond well to placebos, also do not respond well to antidepressants.

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Depressed? Get Outside to the Great Outdoors!

Evidence has been mounting for years that chemical treatment for anxiety, depression and other mental issues is not only ineffective, but is laden with an ever-growing list of dangerous side effects—usually including the very symptoms the medications were designed to treat. Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has amassed an incredible amount of data on the danger of psychotropic drugs in “treatment.”

So what does work?

A recent article in Psychiatry Advisor describes research that points to the great outdoors for the answer.

Natural beauty has the therapeutic benefit of “pulling one out of one’s head” and putting one’s attention The Great Outdoorson a highly aesthetic environment. Being outdoors in natural settings has been found to reduce stress, which also leads to reduced levels of depression and anxiety. Improvements have been found to include increased resilience, increased engagement in learning amongst children and adolescents, improved self-esteem and increased capacity for social interaction.

The therapeutic power of the outdoors has been utilized by others too—for example the Wounded Warrior Project, which has helped returning veterans beat PTSD with drug-free therapies in the outdoors and the Ride 2 Recovery program that helps veterans recover through cycling.

According to the article, the outdoors is powerful enough that even looking out the window and at photos has aided stress recovery. Yet another study cited by the article shows that even recorded sounds of nature have therapeutic effects.

But the most positive gain was derived from actually being out in nature, walking through forests or other natural settings containing natural beauty. One study of people immersed in such settings not only showed a decrease in stress hormones, but even an increase in the natural killer cells of the immune system and the expression of anti-cancer proteins.

So if you’re feeling blue—try heading outside!

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