Psychiatric drugging of children "deadly", says watchdog
Attendees arrived at the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Liverpool yesteday, amid fierce protest from human rights watchdog the 'Citizens Commission on Human Rights' (CCHR), whose supporters donned black t-shirts and waved placards with photos of children who have died as a result of psychiatrist-prescribed medications or psychiatric abuse.
CCHR's national spokesperson Brian Daniels pointed to the example of Adrian Keegan from Shropshire, a 19-year old boy who hanged himself after becoming suicidal as an apparent "side effect" of the antidepressant Seroxat.
Brian Daniels, CCHR United Kingdom spokespersonRepresenting that these troubles can only be alleviated with dangerous pills is dishonest, harmful and deadly.
"While it can’t be denied that children and adolescents do experience problems, that some can be argumentative, boisterous or even disruptive, psychiatry’s fixation on labelling such difficulties as a mental 'disorder' is not only unscientific but medical fraud," argues Daniels. "Representing that these troubles can only be alleviated with dangerous pills is dishonest, harmful and deadly."
Founded in 1969 by members of the Church of Scientology and Dr Thomas Szasz, former professor of psychiatry and author of the infamous critical text 'The Myth of Mental Illness', CCHR recently celebrated four decades of campaigning to eradicate abuse in the mental health profession.
Some psychiatrists in attendance welcomed the protesters' stance against ambiguous drugs such as Ritalin, prescribed for the controversial ADHD—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—which CCHR describes as "a fraudulent label" with "no scientific basis". One psychiatrist said they felt "intimidated".
This week also sees a five-day stopover in Liverpool of CCHR's travelling exhibition 'Psychiatry: An Industry of Death', modelled on the permanent museum of the same name, which is housed at CCHR's international headquarters in Los Angeles.
One visitor gave an emotional account of her own brush with what she felt was psychiatric abuse as she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility whilst pregnant.
"I took the pills the first time and I just felt dead," said the woman from St. Helens, Merseyside. "I pretended to take the rest and just had to act a bit nutty so they wouldn't notice. It was horrible."
Psychiatrists and others in attendance at the Royal College's meeting were also invited to visit the exhibition, which is open to the public at the Friends Meeting House in Liverpool city centre until this Friday.
To report a case of psychiatric abuse of human rights, contact CCHR in confidence—details at www.cchr.org.uk.