It may come as a surprise to some people, but for decades psychoanalysts and psychiatrists have faced off in a lingering debate -- talk therapy or drugs?
Traditionally at the end of their psychiatric residencies in medical school, and after passing the tests for board certification, the two professions diverged at a crucial fork in the road. The Freudian wannabes headed for an Institute for Psychoanalysis in a major city where they were indoctrinated in Sigmund's couch potato rituals and underwent their own analyses -- a requirement for all newbies. The psychiatrists headed for the locked wards, put on their white lab coats, and learned the pharmacology of mental illness.
As a child growing up in a home where Freud was the L. Ron Hubbard of our family belief system, using drugs to control disturbed behavior was tantamount to holding a baby underwater until it stopped crying.
Drugs were an anathema. "They only mask the symptoms." Sound familiar?
Over time, the lines have blurred. The analysts prescribe talk therapy and drugs. The psychiatrists prescribe drugs and talk therapy.
While Tom Cruise hardly seems credible as a whistleblower, there is one guy with credentials up the giggy who has sounded the alarm
His name is Joseph Glenmullen, M.D. [www.glenmullen,com] He is a Harvard trained psychiatrist. One of the pill pushers. His book, Prozac Backlash, first published in 2000, has a subtitle which says it all:
"Overcoming the dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and other antidepressants with safe, effective alternatives."
It's an excellent book if you want a scientifically substantiated argument backed with clinical evidence that bascially warns people to be afraid of these drugs.
Be very afraid.
He worries about internists prescribing the drugs like pain relievers. Then simply renewing the prescription time after time without evaluation. He worries about neurological damage after using the drugs for more than a year. He worries about not using the drugs in conjunction with talk therapy. In short, he worries about the abuse that is starting to show up.
There is a big difference between using drugs for clinical depression, bipolar disorder, post partum psychosis, paranoia, or schizophrenia, and using them when you're struggling with a bad job or going through a divorce.
I read the book three years ago. It made me realize how many people are being unnecessarily controlled with these popular behavioral medications and experiencing serious neurological side effects.
Take your grandma who is sad after grandpa dies. She gets put on Zoloft and after awhile she begins to exhibit shaking symptoms that look like Parkinson's disease. And memory loss. So everyone thinks she's just suffering from being old. But it's the Zoloft. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Dr. Glenmullen's testimony has been instrumental in getting a warning about the possibilitiy of suicide included with these seritonin boosting drugs.
So, Tom Cruise may seem like a bizarre and inappropriate person to be on an anti-antidepressive drug mission.
But Dr. Glenmullen isn't.