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Saturday, August 04, 2012

ILL-INFORMED CONSENT - A child Psychiatrist's Perspective

Dr Laura Davis:  "The pills do not change who people are. And there is no way to become addicted to these pills."
Pic savodnik.com







A recent article by Dr. Laura Davies was recently sent to me via the medium of Facebook.

More about her article in a bit.

First off,  the author, Dr. Laura Davies, is a child psychiatrist who, it seems, is either totally misguided or just plain ignorant. Either way, her stance may be putting the children, adolescents and adults she treats in serious danger.

I felt so angry at this article which lacked any scientific facts that I felt the need to subscribe to Dr Laura Davies' Facebook page. Others followed suit but, along with myself, were all removed from her page for asking a series of questions. I'd asked her if the article was ghostwritten... okay slightly tongue in cheek but I was astounded that there are still doctor's out there promoting the use of these drugs, especially child psychiatrists!

In fact browsing her Facebook page one is greeted with messages of self-indulgence, just a few included below:







"I am the expert"

If you say so Laura.

Just a few things about her article, 'Antidepressants often needlessly avoided'

First off, Laura Davies claims that antidepressants [pills] do not cause addiction or do they change people's personalities. That's quite a broad statement for an expert to make. Sadly, she offers no scientific data to support her claims.

Depression, she claims, "does not mean that one is crying all the time", she adds, "sometimes it can be a withdrawal from friends and family, irritability, difficulty sleeping, a change in appetite, thoughts of death or even suicide, a loss of hope for the future, anxious thoughts and lowered self-confidence."


So the definition of depression, according to Dr Laura Davies, being separated from friends or family, being irritable, having difficulty sleeping, not feeling hungry, being low in confidence and feeling suicidal.

I wouldn't call actual suicide, depression... I'd much prefer to call it death than give it one of Davies' psychiatric labels, but hey, she's the expert.

Her definition of depression must cater for anyone that she sees.

Who hasn't felt sad when being separated from family of friends?

Who hasn't felt irritable or had difficulty sleeping?

Not feeling hungry and feeling low in confidence are pretty normal but, then again, I'm not the expert.

Her one-sided article continues with, "Children of a depressed parent generally do worse in school and are more likely to be abused." and "Antidepressant medications have helped millions of Americans regain their interest in life and relationships. They do this in part by rebalancing serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps relay messages from one part of the brain to another and also affects mood."

Once more Davies offers no scientific data for her claims.

The chemical imbalance theory has been debunked so many times that even the manufacturers of antidepressants have conceded this marketing spin by now adding the words, "It is thought", in front of, 'your depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.'


In fact, it could be argued that treading in a dog turd could cause a chemical imbalance. There's as much science attached to doggy-doo mishaps as there is Davies' claims about rebalancing serotonin.


Her claim of children doing in worse in school and being more likely to be abused because their parents are depressed defies all logic. It does, however, mean that this belief, however incredulous, gives carte blanche to psychiatrists to treat whole families when only one has a diagnosable 'illness'. "Hey, if mom is depressed then lets get the kids in to treat, we wouldn't want them doing bad at school or suffering abuse."


It's quite a scare tactic and one that Davies actually tries to sell in her article.

Her article finishes with, "The pills do not change who people are. And there is no way to become addicted to these pills. If you have any concerns that you may be depressed, talk to your doctor."

Well, I've seen evidence of addiction in antidepressant medication, I've also seen evidence of both doctors and psychiatrists prescribing more because they see the addiction as a return of the original 'illness'.

For a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco to write such an ill-informed article smacks of irresponsibility of the highest order. It also highlights how the belief system ingrained into psychiatry is unscientific, ignorant and dangerous.

I wanted to debate with Laura Davies on her Facebook page. I, along with others, wished to discuss the above points with her. She opted to block anyone from entering into such a debate. She may, if she so desires, wish to debate her claims via the comment section of this blog, let's see shall we.

Davies is a Qualified Medical Examiner who was once a Faculty Member of REACH (Recommendations for Employing Antipsychotics in Children and Adolescents)


“If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.”  ― Peter Ustinov






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