Archive for the ‘Psychological Aspects’ Category

Interview With Talia Jackson & GLA CEO Scott Santarella – Lyme Disease  NEWS VIDEO HERE

Interview:  Talia Jackson & GLA CEO Scott Santarella On Fox 5


Actress Talia Jackson shares her personal story of being diagnosed with and living with Lyme disease on Good Day NY, FOX 5. She is joined by GLA CEO Scott Santarella. Talia currently stars in the Netflix show “Family Reunion” and was in New York to attend GLA’s 5th Annual New York Gala on October 10, 2019.

For more of Talia’s story, read her interview with Parade Magazine.



Great interview, but please know some people’s only symptoms are psychological:

Also, Lyme is the famous actor we all know by name. There are many wanna-be’s standing off stage such as: Bartonella, Babesia, Mycoplasma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, etc. To date there are approximately 20 bacteria and viruses transmitted by ticks:

And while some want to blame “climate change,” current research has proven that to be a red herring:

Independent Canadian Tick researcher, John Scott, states:

“The climate change range expansion model is what the authorities have been using to rationalize how they have done nothing for more than thirty years. It’s a huge cover-up scheme that goes back to the 1980’s. The grandiose scheme was a nefarious plot to let doctors off the hook from having to deal with this debilitating disease. I caught onto it very quickly. Most people have been victims of it ever since.  This climate change ‘theory’ is all part of a well-planned scheme. Even the ticks are smarter than the people who’ve concocted this thing.  Climate change has nothing to do with tick movement. Blacklegged ticks are ecoadaptive, and tolerate wide temperature fluctuations…..It’s all a red herring to divert your attention.”

Recently, Scott wrote a scathing correction on erroneous research done by Ontario public officials on the fake climate change tick connection:

Please understand the DOD, DARPA, & EPA are funding this very “climate change” research.  This is an interesting finding considering the following excerpt from an article written by By Alex Bhattacharji:

Although conspiracy theorists have suggested — falsely — that Lyme disease was created in a U.S. military lab, it is true that in the years following World War II, the U.S. employed top German scientists who explored the tick’s potential in biological warfare for Nazi Germany. The researchers were investigating the tick’s ability to spread pathogens across wide areas with the potential to incapacitate entire populations.

Seventy-five years later, the tick timebomb is detonating on its own. Thanks to climate change, globalization, and other factors, ticks are not only proliferating but also becoming more malignant, more aggressive, and more likely to carry infection. A public health crisis is hiding in plain sight.

Bhattacharji got the “tick timebomb” portion correct but not the climate change non-issue regarding ticks.

I will state once again, ticks will be the last species on earth besides the IRS.




Top Nine Tips For Coping With Social Anxiety

Top Nine Tips for Coping With Social Anxiety

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
tips for coping with social anxiety


  • Social anxiety disorder, formerly known as social phobia, affects 7.1% of U.S. adults in any given year, while an estimated 12.1% of U.S. adults will experience the disorder at some point during their lives
  • Social mishap exposure practice is a technique that may help; it puts you in the very situations you fear most — such as singing in a public place — in order to help reinforce the notion that nothing catastrophic will happen as a result
  • Engaging in acts of kindness, such as doing a roommate’s dishes, was found to reduce the desire to avoid social situations in students with high levels of social anxiety
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques, eating fermented foods, aromatherapy, ashwagandha, healthy breathing techniques and avoiding EMFs may also help to lessen anxiety naturally

Social anxiety disorder, formerly known as social phobia, affects 7.1% of U.S. adults in any given year, while an estimated 12.1% of U.S. adults will experience the disorder at some point during their lives.1 People with social anxiety disorder feel intense fear and anxiety in social situations, such that they may try to avoid such situations altogether.

With social anxiety disorder, there is an overriding fear of being negatively judged or rejected by others when in public. People with the condition may worry that others will notice their anxiety, leading to embarrassment and sometimes debilitating panic attacks.

In addition to blushing, shaking hands or stumbling over words, people with social anxiety disorder may experience rapid heart rate, nausea and sweating when in social or performance situations.2

The fear of being judged by others can be so powerful that it can cost those affected job opportunities, friendships and romantic relationships. The condition can range from mild to severe, with an estimated 29.9% of adults with social anxiety disorder having serious impairment while 38.8% have moderate impairment and 31.3% mild impairment.3

There are, however, strategies that can help people with social anxiety to cope and regain control of their lives without having to struggle through debilitating fear.

Social Anxiety Disorder Is Different From Shyness

It’s commonly assumed that social anxiety is a form of extreme shyness, but there are distinct differences. While people who are shy may be more likely to suffer from social anxiety,4 shyness is considered to be a “normal” personality trait, which isn’t associated with the significant fear felt by those with social anxiety.

Those with social anxiety experience more distress and disruptions to their daily life than people who are simply shy.5 While those with the disorder typically know their fears are irrational, they may feel powerless against the anxiety. The Social Anxiety Association explained:6

“People with social anxiety are many times seen by others as being shy, quiet, backward, withdrawn, inhibited, unfriendly, nervous, aloof, and disinterested. Paradoxically, people with social anxiety want to make friends, be included in groups, and be involved and engaged in social interactions.

But having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do the things they want to do. Although people with social anxiety want to be friendly, open, and sociable, it is fear (anxiety) that holds them back.

Different triggers may cause symptoms of social anxiety to flare up in different people. The most common symptom is a feeling of intense anxiety or fear, which may be accompanied by trembling, dry mouth, racing heart, muscle twitches and nervousness. Triggering symptoms may include:7

Meeting new people Being teased or criticized
Being the center of attention Making phone calls, writing or even swallowing in public
Being watched or observed Having to speak in public
Meeting someone in an authority position Making eye contact with others

Nine Top Tips for Coping With Social Anxiety

If you’re struggling with social anxiety, taking steps to cope can be life-changing, but many people avoid seeking help. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Despite the availability of effective treatments, fewer than 5% of people with social anxiety disorder seek treatment in the year following initial onset and more than a third of people report symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.”8

If your symptoms are debilitating, professional help is recommended. For mild or moderate cases, however, as well as to support treatment in severe cases, the following strategies can help.

1. Take Opportunities for Social Mishaps — Social mishap exposure practice is a technique that puts you in the very situations you fear most — such as singing in a public place — in order to help reinforce the notion that nothing catastrophic will happen as a result.

You may need to seek the support of a professional to work through this, but the idea is that “patients are forced to re-evaluate the perceived threat of a social situation after experiencing that social mishaps do not lead to the feared long-lasting, irreversible and negative consequences.”9

There is evidence that avoiding social interactions may make social anxiety worse. Similarly, this can lead to other problems, like smartphone addiction, which is associated with social anxiety.10 “Hiding” behind a cellphone is likely to make mental health worse, whereas social mishap exposure is intended to help desensitize those affected, making social experiences easier to handle. As explained in Cognitive and Behavioral Practice:11

“An important reason why SAD [social anxiety disorder] is maintained in the presence of repeated exposure to social cues is because individuals with SAD engage in a variety of avoidance and safety behaviors to reduce the risk of rejection.

These avoidance tendencies, in turn, prevent patients from critically evaluating their feared outcomes and other catastrophic beliefs, leading to the maintenance and further exacerbation of the problem.

Social mishap exposures directly target the patients’ exaggerated social cost by helping patients confront and experience the actual consequences of such mishaps without using any avoidance strategies.”

2. Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Ones’s EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman talks about emotional freedom technique (EFT) or tapping to help you get rid of panic attacks.  Approx. 10 min.

A simple example of a positive coping strategy is the “yes, but” technique. You may think, “Yes, I’m going to be speaking at a meeting tomorrow, but I am well prepared and will be successful.”12 The positive affirmation helps to balance the negative thoughts and may help calm your mind.

Energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), demonstrated in the video above, can help you reduce your stress by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that can happen when anxiety becomes chronic.

Research confirms EFT can be a powerful intervention for stress and anxiety,13 in part because it specifically targets your amygdala and hippocampus, which are the parts of your brain that help you decide whether or not something is a threat.14

EFT has also been shown to lower cortisol levels, which are elevated when you’re stressed or anxious, while improving symptoms of psychological distress, including anxiety and depression.15

3. Avoid Alcohol — It may be tempting to ease anxiousness with alcohol, but drinking heavily will have the opposite effect, lowering mood and increasing anxiety throughout the next morning.16Further, excessive alcohol use is common among people with social anxiety,17 so it’s best to avoid this negative coping strategy in favor of the other positive options listed here.

4. Engage in Acts of Kindness — Engaging in acts of kindness, such as doing a roommate’s dishes, was found to reduce the desire to avoid social situations in students with high levels of social anxiety.18,19

In a news release, study author Jennifer Trew explained, “Acts of kindness may help to counter negative social expectations by promoting more positive perceptions and expectations of a person’s social environment. It helps to reduce their levels of social anxiety and, in turn, makes them less likely to want to avoid social situations.”20

5. Protect Yourself From EMFs — Due to the pioneering work of Martin Pall, Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University,21 we know that voltage gated calcium channels are over 7 million times more sensitive to microwave radiation than the charged particles inside and outside our cells. This means that the safety standards for this exposure are off by a factor of 7 million.

When EMFs hit your voltage gated calcium channels, nearly 1 million calcium ions per second are released into the cell, which then causes the cell to release excessive nitric oxide that then combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrate, which then forms the dangerous hydroxyl free radical that causes massive mitochondrial dysfunction.

The tissues that have the greatest density of voltage gated calcium channels are your nerves and tissues, like the pacemaker in your heart and your brain. When the channels in the brain are activated, it causes a major disruption in neurotransmitter and hormonal balance that can increase the risk for anxiety. You can learn how to reduce your EMF exposure here.

6. Use Healthy Breathing Techniques

According to Konstantin Buteyko, founder of the Buteyko Breathing Method, anxiety is triggered by an imbalance between gases in your body, specifically the ratio between carbon dioxide and oxygen. In the video above, Buteyko breathing coach Robert Litman explains how your breathing affects the ratio of these gases and demonstrates how you can literally breathe your way into a calmer state of mind.

A Buteyko breathing exercise that can help quell anxiety is also summarized below. This sequence helps retain and gently accumulate CO2, leading to calmer breathing and reduced anxiety. In other words, the urge to breathe will decline as you go into a more relaxed state.

  • Take a small breath into your nose, a small breath out; hold your nose for five seconds in order to hold your breath, and then release to resume breathing.
  • Breathe normally for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the sequence several more times: small breath in through your nose, small breath out; hold your breath for five seconds, then let go and breathe normally for 10 seconds.

7. Eat Fermented Foods — Fermented foods have been shown to curb social anxiety disorder in young adults, likely by helping to optimize the gut microbiome.22 Good bacteria, or probiotics, have also been shown to help normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis.23Along these lines, clean up your diet to help stabilize your mood by eating more of these anxiety-busting foods.

8. Try Lavender Aromatherapy — Aromatherapy is a simple, DIY tool you can use to help calm your nerves. In one study, 100 patients admitted to a medical center for ambulatory surgery were given either lavender aromatherapy (inhaled) or standard nursing care (the control group) while in the preoperative waiting room.

Their levels of anxiety were recorded upon arrival to the waiting area and again upon departure. Those who received the aromatherapy had a greater reduction in anxiety compared to the control group.24

Research published in Phytomedicine also found that an orally administered lavender oil preparation was as effective as the drug Lorazepam for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.25

9. Consider Ashwagandha — Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb that helps your body manage and adapt to stress. In a 2009 study, patients diagnosed with moderate to severe anxiety lasting longer than six weeks who were treated with 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root for three months reported “significantly decreased” symptoms compared to those undergoing standard psychotherapy.26

Be Wary of Drugs for Treating Anxiety

Antidepressant therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is sometimes recommended for anxiety disorders based on the “chemical imbalance” theory that anxiety disorders (and depression) may be due to low serotonin levels. Yet, research suggests people with social anxiety disorder may actually have increased serotonin synthesis,27 making treatment with SSRIs highly questionable.

Other commonly prescribed drugs for anxiety include benzodiazepine drugs like Ativan, Xanax and Valium. They exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the same way as opioids (heroin) and cannabinoids (cannabis) do.

This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain. Since the identical brain “reward pathways” are used by both types of drugs, they can be addictive.

If you’re struggling with social anxiety, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by applying lifestyle modifications before trying medication, and you may find that these strategies help lessen your anxiety naturally, helping you to embrace life once again.

As mentioned, if your anxiety is so severe that it’s interfering with your daily life, speak with a holistic health care provider who can help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan.



I think there is much to be discovered and utilized in helping Lyme/MSIDS patients with the psychological aspects of this complex and debilitating illness. Anxiety is common. While Mercola’s article deals specifically with “social anxiety,” many Lyme/MSIDS patients suffer with anxiety due to having an infection(s) in their brains. My husband and I both had serious symptoms that were frankly, unbelievable, had we not lived to tell about them! (hearing voices, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, OCD-like behavior, inability to handle any amount of stress, irritability and rage, and a veritable laundry-list from hell.  For more on psychological Lyme:

While space constraints prohibit me from going into detail, I am going to mention a few things we tried with success in our journey with the supervision of experienced health professionals. This is solely for your education and enjoyment. 

  1. Identify and treat all infections:  Since many symptoms overlap, but can be caused by different pathogens, it often takes a “trial and error” approach to determine which drugs work. This takes time, savvy, training, and patience.
  2. Work with an ILADS-trained practitioner (often called a Lyme literate doctor) who is trained in identifying symptoms that many of these infections can cause. In my experience, mainstream medicine is woefully uneducated and remains in the dark ages regarding the complexity and interplay of tick-born illnesses. They still treat this as a singular illness for the most part with a singular drug, mainly doxycycline, for a extremely limited time (21 days). This is medical ignorance at best, and outright abuse at the worst ,that has continued unabated for over 40 years.
  3. Discuss neurotransmitters with your LLMD as they can and often are affected with brain infections.  Supplementing with them may very well help your symptoms. My husband to this day uses gabapentin at night to help with sleep. Interestingly, gabapentin, also called neurontin, is used by some practitioners for anxiety and other mood disorders. Here’s a great read on it:
  4. Regarding anxiety, to be frank, nothing helped my husband except lengthy LymeBartonella treatment, which you can read about here: and He tried discontinuing gabapentin for a short time but had to resume it when he discovered he had trouble staying asleep. I honestly don’t know if he was off it long enough to determine it had anything to do with anxiety, of which he hasn’t struggled with for years.
  5. Also, the challenging thing, is that anxiety for him didn’t rear its head until further along in treatment. I was once told treatment for Lyme/MSIDS is like peeling back an onion layer by layer. This has definitely been our experience. Some symptoms are seemingly more prominent at first but as you treat, some symptoms go away altogether while others all of a sudden appear out of nowhere.  This is probably the most complex illness on the planet. An experienced hand is required to navigate these muddied waters. While some mainstream practitioners take offense at the words Lyme literate, those of us struggling with this as well as medical practitioners who have dedicated countless hours studying and treating for it believe it takes an experienced and practiced, open mind.

For more:



The Chemical Imbalance Myth and Antidepressant Harm

The Chemical Imbalance Myth and Antidepressant Harm

September 19, 2019

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
depression chemical imbalance myth


  • An estimated 17.3 million American adults (7.1% of the adult population), experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2017. The highest rates are reported among those aged between 18 and 25
  • The vast majority are prescribed antidepressant drugs, despite the fact there’s virtually no evidence to suggest they provide meaningful help, and plenty of evidence showing the harms are greater than patients are being told
  • Hundreds of thousands of toddlers are also being medicated with powerful psychiatric drugs, raising serious ethical questions, along with questions about the future mental and physical health of these children
  • There’s no scientific evidence to suggest depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. A lot of the evidence suggests unhealthy living conditions are at the heart of the problem
  • Antidepressants are not beneficial in the long term and antipsychotic drugs worsen outcomes over the long term in those diagnosed with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia

In the U.S., an estimated 17.3 million American adults (7.1% of the adult population), experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2017.1 The highest rates are reported among those aged between 18 and 25.2 However, not only is there evidence that depression is vastly overdiagnosed, but there’s also evidence showing it’s routinely mistreated.

With regard to overdiagnosis, one 2013 study3 found only 38.4% of participants with clinician-identified depression actually met the DSM-4 criteria for a major depressive episode, and only 14.3% of seniors 65 and older met the criteria.

As for treatment, the vast majority are prescribed antidepressant drugs, despite the fact there’s virtually no evidence to suggest they provide meaningful help, and plenty of evidence showing the harms are greater than patients are being told.

According to a 2017 study,4 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs, most of them antidepressants, and 84.3% reported long-term use (three years or more). Out of 242 million U.S. adults, 12% were found to have filled one or more prescriptions for an antidepressant, specifically, in 2013.

According to data5 presented by a watchdog group, hundreds of thousands of toddlers are also being medicated with powerful psychiatric drugs, raising serious ethical questions, along with questions about the future mental and physical health of these children.

Recent studies are also shedding much needed light on the addictive nature of many antidepressants, and demonstrate that the benefits of these drugs have been overblown while their side effects — including suicidal ideation — and have been downplayed and ignored for decades, placing patients at unnecessary risk.

The Chemical Imbalance Myth

One researcher responsible for raising awareness about these important mental health issues is professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, a Danish physician-researcher and outspoken critic of the drug industry (as his book, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare,”6 suggests).

Gøtzsche helped found the Cochrane Collaboration in 1993 and later launched the Nordic Cochrane Centre. In 2018, he was expelled by the Cochrane governing board following the publication of a scathing critique of a Cochrane review of the HPV vaccine, in which he and his coauthors pointed out several methodological flaws and conflicts of interest.

Over the past several years, Gøtzsche has published a number of scientific papers on antidepressants and media articles and a book discussing the findings. In a June 28, 2019 article,7Gøtzsche addresses “the harmful myth” about chemical imbalances — a debunked hypothesis that continues to drive the use of antidepressants to this day. He writes, in part:8

“Psychiatrists routinely tell their patients that they are ill because they have a chemical imbalance in the brain and they will receive a drug that fixes this …

Last summer, one of my researchers and I collected information about depression from 39 popular websites in 10 countries, and we found that 29 (74%) websites attributed depression to a chemical imbalance or claimed that antidepressants could fix or correct that imbalance …

It has never been possible to show that common mental disorders start with a chemical imbalance in the brain. The studies that have claimed this are all unreliable.9

A difference in dopamine levels, for example, between patients with schizophrenia and healthy people cannot tell us anything about what started the psychosis … [I]f a lion attacks us, we get terribly frightened and produce stress hormones, but this does not prove that it was the stress hormones that made us scared.

People with psychoses have often suffered traumatic experiences in the past, so we should see these traumas as contributing causal factors and not reduce suffering to some biochemical imbalance that, if it exists at all, is more likely to be the result of the psychosis rather than its cause.10

The myth about chemical imbalance is very harmful. It makes people believe there is something seriously wrong with them, and sometimes they are even told that it is hereditary.

The result of this is that patients continue to take harmful drugs, year after year, perhaps even for the entirety of their lives. They fear what would happen if they stopped, particularly when the psychiatrists have told them that their situation is like patients with diabetes needing insulin.” 

Real Cause of Depression Is Typically Ignored

According to Gøtzsche, there is no known mental health issue that is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. In many cases, the true cause is unknown, but “very often, it is a response to unhealthy living conditions,” he writes.11

He also cites the book,12 “Anxiety — The Inside Story: How Biological Psychiatry Got It Wrong,” written by Dr. Niall McLaren, in which the author shows that anxiety is a major factor in and trigger of most psychiatric disorders.

“A psychiatrist I respect highly, who only uses psychiatric drugs in rare cases … has said that most people are depressed because they live depressing lives,” Gøtzsche writes.

“No drug can help them live better lives. It has never been shown in placebo-controlled trials that a psychiatric drug can improve people’s lives — e.g., help them return to work, improve their social relationships or performance at school, or prevent crime and delinquency. The drugs worsen people’s lives, at least in the long run.13

Gøtzsche rightfully points out that antipsychotic drugs create chemical imbalances; they don’t fix them. As a group, they’re also somewhat misnamed, as they do not address psychotic states. Rather, they are tranquilizers, rendering the patient passive. However, calming the patient down does not actually help them heal the underlying trauma that, in many cases, is what triggered the psychosis in the first place.

As noted in one 2012 meta-analysis14 of studies looking at childhood trauma — including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, parental death and bullying — and subsequent risk of psychosis:

“There were significant associations between adversity and psychosis across all research designs … Patients with psychosis were 2.72 times more likely to have been exposed to childhood adversity than controls … The estimated population attributable risk was 33% (16%-47%). These findings indicate that childhood adversity is strongly associated with increased risk for psychosis.”

Economy of Influence in Psychiatry

A related article,15 written by investigative journalist Robert Whitaker in 2017, addresses the “economy of influence” driving the use of antidepressant drugs in psychiatric treatment — and the “social injury” that results. As noted by Whitaker, mental disorders were initially categorized according to a disease model in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association.

“We’re all familiar with the second ‘economy of influence’ that has exerted a corrupting influence on psychiatry — pharmaceutical money — but I believe the guild influence is really the bigger problem,” he writes.

Whitaker details the corruption within the APA in his book “Psychiatry Under the Influence,” one facet of which is “the false story told to the public about drugs that fixed chemical imbalances in the brain.” Other forms of corrupt behavior include:

  • The biased designs of clinical trials to achieve a predetermined result
  • Spinning results to support preconceived conclusions
  • Hiding poor long-term outcomes
  • Expanding diagnostic categories for the purpose of commercial gain
  • Creating clinical trial guidelines that promote drug use

In his article, Whitaker goes on to dissect a 2017 review16 published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, which Whitaker claims “defends the profession’s current protocols for prescribing antipsychotics, which includes their regular long-term use.”

As Whitaker points out, there’s ample evidence showing antipsychotic drugs worsen outcomes over the long term in those diagnosed with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

The review in question, led by Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, was aimed at answering persistent questions raised by the mounting of such evidence. Alas, their conclusions dismissed concerns that the current drug paradigm might be doing more harm than good.

“In a subsequent press release and a video for a Medscape commentary, Lieberman has touted it as proving that antipsychotics provide a great benefit, psychiatry’s protocols are just fine, and that the critics are ‘nefarious’ individuals intent on doing harm,” Whitaker writes.17

The Scientific Bias of Psychiatric Treatment

Five of the eight researchers listed on the review have financial ties to drug companies, three are speakers for multiple drug companies and all eight are psychiatrists, “and thus there is a ‘guild’ interest present in this review, given that they are investigating whether one of their treatments is harmful over the long-term,” Whitaker notes.18

Not surprisingly, the review ignored studies showing negative effects, including studies showing antipsychotics have a detrimental effect on brain volume. What’s more, while withdrawal studies support the use of antipsychotics as maintenance therapy over the long term, these studies do not address how the drugs affect patients’ long-term health.

“They simply reveal that once a person has stabilized on the medication, going abruptly off the drug is likely to lead to relapse,” Whitaker writes.19 “The focus on long-term outcomes, at least as presented by critics, provides evidence that psychiatry should adopt a selective-use protocol.

If first-episode patients are not immediately put on antipsychotics, there is a significant percentage that will recover, and this ‘spontaneous recovery’ puts them onto a good long-term course. As for patients treated with the medications, the goal would be to minimize long-term use, as there is evidence that antipsychotics, on the whole, worsen long-term outcomes.”

Vast Majority of Psychotic Patients Are Harmed, Not Helped

In his deconstruction of Lieberman’s review, Whitaker details how biased thinking influenced the review’s conclusions. It’s a rather long article, but well worth reading through if you want to understand how a scientific review can be skewed to accord with a preconceived view.

Details I want to highlight, however, include findings relating to the number needed to treat (NNT) and the percentage of patients harmed by the routine use of antipsychotic drugs as a first-line treatment.

As noted by Whitaker, while placebo-controlled studies reveal the effectiveness of a drug compared to an inert substance, they do not effectively reveal the ratio of benefit versus harm among the patient population. NNT refers to the number of patients that have to take the drug in order to get one positive response.

A meta-analysis cited in Lieberman’s review had an NNT of 6, meaning that six patients must take the drug in order for one to benefit from the treatment. The remaining five patients — 83% — are potentially harmed by the treatment. As noted by Whitaker:20

“The point … is this: reviewers seeking to promote their drug treatment as effective will look solely at whether it produces a superior response to placebo. This leads to a one-size-fits-all protocol.

Reviewers that want to assess the benefit-harm effect of the treatment on all patients will look at NNT numbers. In this instance, the NNT calculations argue for selective use of the drugs …”

Antidepressants Are Not Beneficial in the Long Term

While typically not as destructive as antipsychotics, antidepressants also leave a trail of destruction in their wake. A systematic review21 by Gøtzsche published in 2019 found studies assessing harm from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fail to provide a clear and accurate picture of the harms, and therefore “cannot be used to investigate persistent harms of antidepressants.”

In this review, Gøtzsche and colleagues sought to assess “harms of SSRIs … that persist after end of drug intake.” The primary outcomes included mortality, functional outcomes, quality of life and core psychiatric events. In all, 22 papers on 12 SSRI trials were included. Gøtzsche found several distinct problems with these trials. For starters, only two of the 12 trials had a drop-out rate below 20%.

Gøtzsche and his team also note that “Outcome reporting was less thorough during follow-up than for the intervention period and only two trials maintained the blind during follow-up.” Importantly, though, all of the 22 papers came to the conclusion that “the drugs were not beneficial in the long term.”

Another important finding was that all trials either “reported harms outcomes selectively or did not report any,” and “Only two trials reported on any of our primary outcomes (school attendance and number of heavy drinking days).”

Antidepressants Are More Addictive Than Admitted

In a June 4, 2019, article,22 “The Depression Pill Epidemic,” Gøtzsche writes that antidepressant drugs:

“… do not have relevant effects on depression; they increase the risk of suicide and violence; and they make it more difficult for patients to live normal lives.23 They should therefore be avoided.

We have been fooled by the drug industry, corrupt doctors on industry payroll, and by our drug regulators.24 Surely, many patients and doctors believe the pills are helpful, but they cannot know this, because people tend to become much better with time even if they are not treated.25

This is why we need placebo-controlled trials to find out what the drugs do to people. Unfortunately, virtually all trials are flawed, exaggerate the benefits of the drugs, and underestimate their harms.26

Addictive Nature of Antidepressants Skews Results

In his article,27 Gøtzsche reviews several of the strategies used in antidepressant drug trials to exaggerate benefits and underestimate the harms. One little-known truth that helps skew study results in the drug’s favor is the fact that antidepressants tend to be far more addictive than officially admitted. He explains how this conveniently hides the skewing of results as follows:28

Virtually all patients in the trials are already on a drug similar to the one being tested against placebo. Therefore, as the drugs are addictive, some of the patients will get abstinence symptoms … when randomized to placebo …

These abstinence symptoms are very similar to those patients experience when they try to stop benzodiazepines. It is no wonder that new drugs outperform the placebo in patients who have experienced harm as a result of cold turkey effects.

To find out how long patients need to continue taking drugs, so-called maintenance (withdrawal) studies have been carried out, but such studies also are compromised by cold turkey effects. Leading psychiatrists don’t understand this, or they pretend they don’t.

Most interpret the maintenance studies of depression pills to mean that these drugs are very effective at preventing new episodes of depression and that patients should therefore continue taking the drugs for years or even for life.”

Scientific Literature Supports Reality of User Complaints

Over the years, several studies on the dependence and withdrawal reactions associated with SSRIs and other psychiatric drugs have been published, including the following:

In a 2011 paper29 in the journal Addiction, Gøtzsche and his team looked at the difference between dependence and withdrawal reactions by comparing benzodiazepines and SSRIs. Benzodiazepines are known to cause dependence, while SSRIs are said to not be addictive.

Despite such claims, Gøtzsche’s team found that “discontinuation symptoms were described with similar terms for benzodiazepines and SSRIs and were very similar for 37 of 42 identified symptoms described as withdrawal reactions,” which led them to conclude that:

“Withdrawal reactions to selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors appear to be similar to those for benzodiazepines; referring to these reactions as part of a dependence syndrome in the case of benzodiazepines, but not selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors, does not seem rational.”

Two years later, in 2013, Gøtzsche’s team published a paper30 in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, in which they analyzed “communications from drug agencies about benzodiazepine and SSRI withdrawal reactions over time.”

By searching the websites of drug agencies in Europe, the U.S., UK and Denmark, they found that it took years before drug regulators finally acknowledged the reality of benzodiazepine dependence and SSRI withdrawal reactions and began informing prescribers and patients about these risks.

A significant part of the problem, they found, is that drug agencies rely on spontaneous reporting of adverse effects, which “leads to underestimation and delayed information about the problems.”

In conclusion, they state that “Given the experience with the benzodiazepines, we believe the regulatory bodies should have required studies from the manufacturers that could have elucidated the dependence potential of the SSRIs before marketing authorization was granted.”

A 2019 paper31 in the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal notes “It took almost two decades after the SSRIs entered the market for the first systematic review to be published.” It also points out that reviews claiming withdrawal effects to be mild, brief in duration and rare “was at odds with the sparse but growing evidence base.”

In reality, “What the scientific literature reveals is in close agreement with the thousands of service user testimonies available online in large forums. It suggests that withdrawal reactions are quite common, that they may last from a few weeks to several months or even longer, and that they are often severe.”

Antidepressants Increase Your Risk of Suicide and Violence

In his June 4 article,32 Gøtzsche also stresses the fact that antidepressants can be lethal. In one of his studies,33 published in 2016, he found antidepressants “double the occurrence of events that can lead to suicide and violence in healthy adult volunteers.”

Other research34 has shown they “increase aggression in children and adolescents by a factor of 2 to 3 — an important finding considering the many school shootings where the killers were on depression pills,” Gøtzsche writes.

In middle-aged women with stress urinary incontinence, the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine, which is also used to treat incontinence, has been shown to double the risk of a psychotic episode and increase the risk of violence and suicide four to five times,35 leading the authors to conclude that harms outweighed the benefits.

“I have described the dirty tricks and scientific dishonesty involved when drug companies and leading psychiatrists try convincing us that these drugs protect against suicide and other forms of violence,36 Gøtzsche writes.37 “Even the FDA was forced to give in when it admitted in 2007, at least indirectly, that depression pills can cause suicide and madness at any age.

There is no doubt that the massive use of depression pills is harmful. In all countries where this relationship has been examined, the sharp rise in disability pensions due to psychiatric disorders has coincided with the rise of psychiatric drug usage, and depression pills are those which are used the most by far. This is not what one would expect if the drugs were helpful.”

Drugmaker Lied About Paxil’s Suicide Risk

In 2017, Wendy Dolin was awarded $3 million by a jury in a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil. Dolin’s husband committed suicide six days after taking his first dose of a Paxil generic, and evidence brought forth in the case convincingly showed his suicide was the result of the drug, not emotional stress or mental illness.38

The legal team behind that victory, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, is also representing other victims of Paxil-induced violence and death. At the time, attorney R. Brent Wisner said:39

“The Dolin verdict sent a clear message to GSK and other drug manufacturers that hiding data and manipulating science will not be tolerated … If you create a drug and know that it poses serious risks, regardless of whether consumers use the brand name or generic version of that drug, you have a duty to warn.”

GSK’s own clinical placebo-controlled trials actually revealed subjects on Paxil had nearly nine times the risk of attempting or committing suicide than the placebo group. To gain drug approval, GSK misrepresented this shocking data, falsely reporting a higher number of suicide attempts in the placebo group and deleting some of the suicide attempts in the drug group.

An internal GSK analysis of its suicide data also showed that “patients taking Paxil were nearly seven times more likely to attempt suicide than those on placebo,” Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman reports, adding:40

“Jurors in the Dolin trial also heard from psychiatrist David Healy, one of the world’s foremost experts on Paxil and drugs in its class … Healy told the jurors that Paxil and drugs like it can create in some people a state of extreme ’emotional turmoil’ and intense inner restlessness known as akathisia …

‘People have described it like a state worse than death. Death will be a blessed relief. I want to jump out of my skin,’ Dr. Healy said. Healthy volunteer studies have found that akathisia can happen even to people with no psychiatric condition who take the drug …

Another Paxil side effect known to increase the risk of suicide is emotional blunting … apathy or emotional indifference … [E]motional blunting, combined with akathisia, can lead to a mental state in which an individual has thoughts of harming themselves or others, but is ‘numbed’ to the consequences of their actions. Drugs in the Paxil class can also cause someone to ‘go psychotic, become delirious,’ Dr. Healy explained.”

Hundreds of Thousands of Toddlers on Psychiatric Drugs

Considering the many serious psychological and physical risks associated with psychiatric drugs, it’s shocking to learn that hundreds of thousands of American toddlers are on them. In 2014, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a mental health watchdog group, highlighted data showing that in 2013:41

  • 274,000 babies aged 1 and younger were given psychiatric drugs — Of these, 249,699 were on anti-anxiety meds like Xanax; 26,406 were on antidepressants such as Prozac or Paxil, 1,422 were on ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall, and 654 were on antipsychotics such as Risperdal and Zyprexa
  • In the toddler category (2- to 3-year-olds), 318,997 were on anti-anxiety drugs, 46,102 were on antidepressants, 10,000 were prescribed ADHD drugs and 3,760 were on antipsychotics
  • Among children aged 5 and younger, 1,080,168 were on psychiatric drugs

These are shocking figures that challenge logic. How and why are so many children, babies even, on addictive and dangerously mind-altering medications? Considering these statistics are 6 years old, chances are they’re even higher today. Just what will happen to all of these youngsters as they grow up? As mentioned in the article:42

“When it comes to the psychiatric drugs used to treat ADHD, these are referred to as ‘kiddie cocaine’ for a reason. Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (amphetamine) and Concerta are all considered by the federal government as Schedule II drugs — the most addictive.

ADHD drugs also have serious side effects such as agitation, mania, aggressive or hostile behavior, seizures, hallucinations, and even sudden death, according to the National Institutes of Health …

As far as antipsychotics, antianxiety drugs and antidepressants, the FDA and international drug regulatory agencies cite side effects including, but not limited to, psychosis, mania, suicidal ideation, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even sudden death.”

Children Increasingly Prescribed Psych Drugs Off-Label

Making matters even worse, recent research shows the number of children being prescribed medication off-label is also on the rise. An example offered by,43 which reported the findings, is “a doctor recommending antidepressant medication for ADHD symptoms.”

The study,44 published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at trends in off-label drug prescriptions made for children under the age of 18 by office-based physicians between 2006 and 2015. Findings revealed:

“Physicians ordered ≥1 off-label systemic drug at 18.5% of visits, usually (74.6%) because of unapproved conditions. Off-label ordering was most common proportionally in neonates (83%) and in absolute terms among adolescents (322 orders out of 1000 visits).

Off-label ordering was associated with female sex, subspecialists, polypharmacy, and chronic conditions. Rates and reasons for off-label orders varied considerably by age.

Relative and absolute rates of off-label orders rose over time. Among common classes, off-label orders for antihistamines and several psychotropics increased over time …

US office-based physicians have ordered systemic drugs off label for children at increasing rates, most often for unapproved conditions, despite recent efforts to increase evidence and drug approvals for children.”

The researchers were taken aback by the findings, and expressed serious concern over this trend. While legal, many of the drugs prescribed off-label have not been properly tested to ensure safety and efficacy for young children and adolescents.

As noted by senior author Daniel Horton, assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric rheumatologist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, “We don’t always understand how off-label medications will affect children, who don’t always respond to medications as adults do. They may not respond as desired to these drugs and could experience harmful effects.”

Educate Yourself About the Risks

If you, your child, or another family member is on a psychiatric drug, I urge you to educate yourself about the true risks, and to consider switching to safer alternatives. When it comes to children, I cannot fathom a situation in which a toddler would need a psychiatric drug and I find it shocking that there are so many doctors out there that, based on a subjective evaluation, would deem a psychiatric drug necessary.


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Eco-Anxiety in Kids: Expert Weighs in  Video Here

Eco-Anxiety in Kids: Expert Weighs in

Research shows kids becoming concerned over climate change.

In the interview in the above link, CBSNEWS Los Angeles, interviews Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge which reveals the effect eco-anxiety has on children and what parents can do to help.

As I watched this I couldn’t help but think about anxiety relative to many issues/topics including the very real ongoing Lyme/MSIDS pandemic and the potential fear of obtaining tick bites.

The doctor discusses excellent points including the fact that anxiety is real for a person whether it is actually real or perceived, as well as the difference between concern and OCD-like fear and obsessive thinking that can take over a person’s life.

While this talk specifically is about eco-anxiety in children, it is quite helpful even for Lyme/MSIDS patients who have a brain infection with accompanying inflammation and swelling. These factors can cause or exacerbate mental/cognitive  symptoms that are unimaginable. I personally remember OCD-like behavior in my own case as well as my husband’s, and the need to be careful what we listened to and reflected upon. Healthy thinking is incredibly important with this complex brain illness.

Becoming infected can make you feel overwhelmed to the point you contemplate things you never would contemplate in your right mind.  My experience has shown me the importance of support groups for this as you are with others on a same albeit different journey where you can compare notes, encourage each other, and learn.

For more:




Ignoring Psychiatric Lyme Disease At Our Peril

10 SEP 2019
By Dorothy Kupcha Leland




Kids & Lyme Disease, Part 2. Common Cognitive Symptoms & How They May Present In School



Summer is over and schools are back in session. As your kids adjust from spending summer days outdoors to being in the classroom again, have you noticed anything different about their behavior? Are they, for example, having trouble focusing? Is it harder getting back into the school routine this year? Are they suddenly forgetting about homework assignments? Do they seem more easily irritable than usual? Are they so exhausted they’d rather hang on the couch than play with friends after school?

It’s easy to dismiss any of these changes as momentary blips—and sometimes they aren’t more than that. But if this isn’t your child’s typical behavior, he or she may be suffering from a tick-borne infection like Lyme disease, which can take several weeks or months after a tick bite to develop. Meaning a tick bite that either went unnoticed over the summer, or even one that was treated, could result in symptoms now. With that time delay parents might not so readily connect the child’s symptoms to a tick bite. This opens the door for the disease to advance from an acute to disseminated or late stage form before it’s even detected.

Early stage Lyme disease is usually diagnosed based on physical symptoms, such as a bulls-eye rash, fevers, headaches, tiredness, joint, muscle pains, etc. But Lyme can also cause many psychiatric and cognitive symptoms that can be easily missed or confused with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gastritis or learning disabilities.

kids lyme disease_common cognitive symptomsUnlike adults, children with Lyme disease often can’t always explain what feels wrong. They suffer when their bodies hurt, when they can’t get enough sleep at night, when they struggle in school, when they don’t feel like playing. Typically, says Daniel Cameron, M.D., M.P.H., children and adolescents suffering with Lyme disease will often have intense headaches that can last for days, mood problems, and they may experience an inability to engage in activities they once enjoyed. A happy child can become sad or weepy, an active child can become passive, a calm child may start acting aggressively for no reason.

On the other hand, some of the symptoms can be so subtle, Dr. Cameron says, that parents and clinicians can mistakenly blame behavioral or cognitive symptoms on a variety of factors such as the child’s developmental stage, mononucleosis, depression, or even spending too much time on cell phones. Too often, and this can be tragic, it can take years of misdiagnoses and misunderstanding before parents know what’s troubling their child, and by then the disease has become chronic.

Because some of their symptoms, such as irritability, joint aches and difficulty concentrating, can mirror “growing pains,” legitimately sick children are often overlooked, told that their problems are “all in their heads.” Parents and teachers may suspect the child or adolescent is simply trying to avoid schoolwork, daydreaming, or acting up, when, in fact, one or more insidious tick-borne illnesses might be the cause.

If a child’s behavior is out of character that could be a clue that Lyme disease needs to be seriously considered,” says Dr. Cameron. “Too many kids in schools today are needlessly suffering without a proper diagnosis.”

It’s important for a child to get tested for Lyme disease when unusual symptoms manifest. If you suspect your child may be suffering from Lyme symptoms, he or she should see a physician who is trained to evaluate, diagnose and treat tick-borne disease. The impact Lyme symptoms have on a child can be quite devastating and should not be underestimated.

ALSO READ: Kids and Lyme Disease, part 1: Physical Symptoms in Early-Stage Lyme Disease

Kids and Lyme Disease–Cognitive Symptoms: Helpful Resources



Great article and reminder.  For more:


“Herxing”: Why Does It Occur?

By Galaxy Lab

“Herxing”: Why does it occur?