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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Jeffrey A. Lieberman - Answer the Questions







Who is Jeffrey A. Lieberman?


Jeffrey Alan Lieberman (born 1948) is an American psychiatrist who specializes in schizophrenia and related psychoses and their associated neuroscience (biology) and drugs. He was principal investigator for CATIE, the largest and longest independent study ever funded by the United States National Institute of Mental Health to examine existing therapies for schizophrenia. He was past president of the American Psychiatric Association from May 2013 to May 2014. (Source)


Back story.

On May 25 Jeffrey A. Lieberman tweeted the following.



What followed was a series of questions put to Lieberman regarding this statement. They were, for the most part, asked in a civil manner. Here's three of them.








Three fairly straightforward questions, I'm sure you'd agree. Lieberman, it appears, felt uncomfortable and instead of answering the above questions he decided to block myself and the mother of Shane Clancy, a young man who killed himself in a state of psychosis caused by the antidepressant citalopram.

So, why did Lieberman decide to take the cowards way out and not only avoid the questions put to him but block those who asked the questions? Well, one can only assume.

Lieberman proudly promotes his book, 'Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry', on his Twitter account. The book is available in bookstores and Amazon and has received some decent feedback from those that have read it.

One such person is Andrew Solomon, who writes, "Jeffrey Lieberman has produced a masterful behind-the-scenes examination of psychiatry--and, by extension, the human condition. A wise and gripping book that tackles one of the most important questions of our time: what is mental illness?"

A fair enough review until we learn that Andrew Solomon is the son of Howard Solomon (Former head of Forest Laboratories Inc)

Ironically, Forest Laboratories Inc market and manufacture citalopram in the US.

Let's dig a little deeper.

Here's what I found for Lieberman. (Verbatim)

In 2006, Lieberman co-signed a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal with about thirty other doctors. With this, he disclosed honoraria, consulting fees, research grant support from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Upjohn Pharmacia, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Hoechst AG, and AstraZeneca. He also listed as corporate speakers bureaus AstraZeneca, Janssen, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer.

Lieberman disclosed in 2007 in the journal Primary Psychiatry that he was a consultant to Eli Lilly and Pfizer. He was on the advisory boards of AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Lundbeck,Organon, and Pfizer. He has a patent from Repligen Corporation. Lieberman received research support from Acadia, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck, Organon, and Pfizer. In 2009, Lieberman disclosed grants from Allon, Forest Laboratories, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Otsuka, Solvay, and Wyeth to the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology for their annual meeting in which he participated.

In 2011, his disclosure at Medscape of relevant financial relationships says he served on the advisory board of Bioline, GlaxoSmithKline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Eli Lilly, Pierre Fabre, and Psychogenics, and that he received research grants from Allon Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Sepracor, and Targacept.

He also disclosed in 2013, as a member of the psychiatry editorial board at Medscape, that he received research grants from Allon, Novartis, Sepracor, and Targacept; and he served on the advisory boards at Bioline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Pierre Fabre and Psychogenics. In additional disclosures at Medscape in 2013, he received research grants from Allon, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Psychogenics, Hoffmann-La Roche, Sepracor, and Targacept, and he served on the advisory board of Alkermes, Bioline, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Pierre Fabre, and Psychogenics.

The source for all the above can be found here - APA President Jeffrey Lieberman urges support for big pharma

Irish blogger, The Truthman, has also recently questioned the stance of Lieberman regarding comments he recently made about best-selling and award winning author, Robert Whitaker.

Lieberman made claims that Whitaker was a  "menace to society" on Canada's popular national CBC radio program The Sunday Edition. On the same show Lieberman also compared taking antidepressants to taking insulin for diabetes. (Source)

Are we wrong to question Lieberman's payments from pharmaceutical companies?

Are we wrong to question Lieberman's stance on addiction being a mental disorder?

Was myself or Leonie wrong to ask Lieberman the questions we did via Twitter?

What motive was behind Lieberman's reason to not answer us and then block us?

More importantly, why aren't journalists posing the same sort of questions to Lieberman?


It would appear that Lieberman comes out with these rash statements then, like so many other psychiatrists before him, goes into hiding. Surely by making such claims, the burden of proof falls on Lieberman to substantiate them?

You can follow Lieberman on Twitter here. Be warned, if you, unlike myself and Leonie Fennell, like sticking your tongue down the back of Lieberman's pants then he'll keep you on his list. If you, like myself and Leonie Fennell, have inquisitive minds and wish to ask Lieberman questions about any of his statements or, indeed, his vast amounts of money he has received from pharmaceutical companies, then you too will be blocked. Lieberman, it would appear, surrounds himself with people who believe everything that he tells them... and never question him. They are, if you like, his garlands and Lieberman just loves covering himself in them.

People like Lieberman make life so much easier for bloggers. We can throw out the questions and, at the same time, highlight how defensive certain psychiatrists become.

The physiology of defensive behavior is defined as...

The Self-Protective System of the brain is there to ensure that we, as human beings, physically and psychologically survive. Behaviors of the Self-Protective System are self-focused. They are only concerned with the preservation of the self, self-image or self-concept. While the behaviors look different, the self-centered approach and the insistence that they are right and others are wrong or that they have been wronged or victimized come from the same place.

Hmm, I bet my left testicle that there's a pill for such behaviour!


Bob Fiddaman.










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