Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Monday, April 18, 2011

Medicate the shy?

Article in the Daily Mail is highlighting whether or not The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [N.I.C.E] should recommend drugs for use in shy people.

I cannot believe they are even considering this. Of course "shyness" has been re-labelled as...wait for it... "social anxiety disorder" [S.A.D.] - It's basically how GlaxoSmithKline used to promote Seroxat [Paxil in the US].

In and around 1999 posters were popping up all over the United States, many were pasted onto bus shelters and street corners. The poster was of a young man staring into a cup of coffee, looking despondent. Opposite him were a seemingly happy couple. The tagline for the poster read: "Imagine being allergic to people"

The poster carried the name of a website to visit - aptly named,

The site is no longer up but the Wayback machine offers the chance to view it.

The poster appears on the website with the text:

You know what it's like to be allergic to cats, or dust, or pollen. You sneeze, you itch, you're physically ill. Now, imagine that you felt allergic to people. You blush, sweat, shake — even find it hard to breathe. That's what social anxiety disorder feels like. Over ten million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder, an excessive, persistent, disabling fear of embarrassment or humiliation in social, work, or performance situations.

The good news is that this disorder is treatable. People can overcome social anxiety disorder. So if you feel like you're "allergic to people," talk to your doctor or other health professional.

For a free informative brochure about Social Anxiety Disorder, call 1-800-934-6276.

More information on Social Anxiety Disorder is available from the following sources:

The Sources are:

Freedom From Fear

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

American Psychiatric Association

What the website does not tell you is where the funding came from for the apparent allergy to people 'illness.'

SmithKline Beecham

Their antidepressant, Paxil [Seroxat] had just recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of debilitating shyness, formally known as social anxiety disorder.

You would have to be from the planet Zog not to see the motive behind SmithKline's financial backing of the "Imagine being allergic to people" campaign.

At the time SmithKline insisted that helping the afflicted, not boosting sales, is the goal of the poster blitz. "We find that less than 5 percent of patients are really treated today," says Barry Brand, product director for Paxil. "There's tremendous need out there." The company, he adds, is adamant about deterring frivolous use. "We don't want this to be a pill that you take for shyness," continues Brand. "We don't want you to think, 'Oh, I'll take a Paxil and I'll feel good.' "

For N.I.C.E. to be considering whether or not "shyness" is an actual mental disorder leaves me speechless. It's an emotion, not disabling just an emotion that most of us have felt at some point in our lives. We wasn't born performers, we wasn't meant to speak publicly in front of people - circumstances put us in these situations - situations that we have, for millions of years, dealt with. We don't need a pill for that. Shyness is as much as a mental disorder as someone's love for Marmite on toast!

When I was a kid in school many of my school lessons were, I assume, lessons in life, lessons to mingle with others. "Fiddaman, please read chapter three for the class" - I didn't like doing it but it taught me - it gave me confidence to speak in front of others. I was no different to any of my class-mates. Sure, there were those who went the colour crimson when asked to speak...or read text from a book...but they did it without the need of pharmaceutical drugs.

For N.I.C.E. to contemplate over this issue is absurd. Shyness doesn't warrant a regime of medication nor does it warrant the possibility of "shy people" becoming addicted to medication. There's your benefit v risk ratio. Be shy, work through it or become addicted to prescription medication.

If shyness didn't exist then I bet my left nut N.I.C.E. would be contemplating whether or not 'over-confidence' was a mental disorder...and I bet the pharmaceutical industry would have already promoted a drug to 'fix' that problem.



Read the new book, The Evidence, However, Is Clear...The Seroxat Scandal


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