Pill Pushers in Suits: The Addition Potential of Psychotropic Medication


Overpill: The Darker Side of America’s Mental Health

RT (2017)

Film Review

Overpill is a documentary based on the investigation of a Russian-born accountant into the massive overprescription of psychotropic drugs (medications for depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and ADHD) in the US. He became aware of the issue while working for Health Care Communications, a company that markets prescription drugs to Americans for ordinary problems of living. He undertook this investigation after becoming romantically involved with a woman who was addicted to antidepressants and antispsychotics while, despite experiencing horrendous side effects.

The film features extended interviews with former patients who got their lives back after the excruciating ordeal of weaning themselves off medication, with others still struggling with side effects while weaning themselves off, with a malpractice attorney who represents patients experiencing permanent and painful psychotropic complications and Dr Peter Breggin, a controversial American psychiatrist and outspoken critic of the overuse of psychotropic medication.

Both men are alarmed by the deliberate effort by pharmaceutical companies to conceal the addictive potential of antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as studies showing these drugs can permanently alter the submicroscopic architecture of the brain. This is of special concern with the growing number of psychotropics prescribed in children with developing brains. There are virtually no studies of the long term effect of these drugs in either adults or children.

While the film acknowledges that psychotropic medication can be literally life-saving in some patients with severe mental illness, it rightly points out there are far too many cases in which they’re being inappropriately prescribed.

As a class psychotropic drugs (which are heavily marketed to consumers), are the third most profitable for the pharmaceutical industry.


2 thoughts on “Pill Pushers in Suits: The Addition Potential of Psychotropic Medication

  1. Don’t even get me started on this subject.

    While I lived in the Midwest, I was privy to many a conversation while volunteering at homeless shelters, drop-in centers and soup kitchens and since I, apparently, have such a ‘confide in me’ facial expression on my face at most times, people told me horror stories and I have a few of my own in dealing with a family member who has been in and out of psych wards.

    People were being sent to something called DBT(Dialectical Behavior Therapy) which is supposed to help people who self-harm, suffer from suicidal ideation and substance abuse. And the people who were being sent to receive this therapy suffered none of the above issues.

    I saw people who were homeless because they had undergone Electroconvulsive Therapy and had lost years of memory and some could not even remember not one year of college and some of these people had been nurses and teachers and now are no longer able to function as such.

    My cousin has been given so many antipsychotics, I am afraid that he will never be the same and the only person who is willing to put up with him is me and many a time, I am at the end of my rope dealing with the many problems he’s experiencing from all the psychotropic drugs.

    And when I was in a real bad car crash, I was told by my doctors that they were not going to give me opioids for my pain, that they were sending me to therapy to learn some deep breathing exercises to help me cope with the pain of an almost completely fucked up body. I threw a fit. When I received my release papers from the hospital, there was a diagnosis on the release form that I had never before heard of. I was diagnosed as having, ‘histrionic personality disorder’. I read up on this and proceeded to throw another fit.

    ‘Histrionic personality disorder’ is another just recently made up disorder and is characterized by: a pattern of excessive attention-seeking emotions, usually beginning in early adulthood, including inappropriately seductive behavior and an excessive need for approval. Histrionic people are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. HPD is diagnosed four times as frequently in women as men. It affects 2–3% of the general population and 10–15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions. Also, it is characterized as having the ability to get what a person needs.

    So, I don’t have ‘4-car pile up on the freeway accident syndrome’, I have ‘histrionic personality disorder caused by a ‘4-car pile up on the freeway’, and I need some deep breathing to get me right as rain again and also, I should be ashamed of myself for having the ability to get what I NEED. Not what I want, but what I NEED! I just cannot make this shit up! How is it a personality disorder when one gets what one needs? I could half way understand using my flirtatiousness, vivaciousness, flair for the dramatic and seductive behavior to get what I WANT, but it would seem that I am using all of the above to get what I NEED! Obviously, I just shouldn’t do that! Lord have mercy! I’m having to pick myself up off the floor over this one!

    I’m somewhere walking around trying to seduce everyone in sight, trying to gain approval of the fact that I’m hurting because I was in an accident and being lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic and flirtatious about it because I insist that I need some real help in dealing with the serious damage done to me by being in an accident? And no one has ever accused me of indulging in inappropriate seductive behavior, but apparently, these quacks know me better than I know about my own life. And of course, this ‘diagnosis’, and I use the term lightly, would be diagnosed more frequently in us women who are just running around all over the place engaging in inappropriate seductive behavior. I guess that’s why Harvey Weinstein and company have been hit with allegations of sexual misconduct. It is because there are so many women like me who are just acting SO flirtatious and who are so vivaciously trying to seduce every male we see from 19 to 90!

    Dr. Bramhall, I mean no disrespect, but this is some more bullshit thought up by some white folks, mainly white males, who have nothing better to do than to throw a diagnosis at people just for the hell of it and get a big ass paycheck for doing so. When I looked up diagnoses, I was bombarded with this crazy ass crap:
    Borderline personality disorder
    Narcissistic personality disorder
    Histrionic personality disorder
    Antisocial personality disorder
    Avoidant personality disorder
    Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder
    Schizoid personality disorder

    and that’s just to name a few. Hell! They have pulled, out of thin air, diagnoses for everyone on this planet and these quacks are getting paid big bucks to pour poison pills at people that are tearing the hell out of their physical health! It is unconscionable!


  2. Actually I was thinking of your cousin when I wrote this, Shelby. You have mentioned several times how he has been messed up by psychotropic drugs. I hate to say this, but I have always found a strong element of racism in the way the medical system and the mental health system deal with African Americans. If you had been white and had the right kind of health insurance, I suspect you would have been referred to a pain specialist who would have prescribed opiates short term and then switched you to methadone or some kind of spinal cord implant to control the pain.

    I also found that black people were much more likely to be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, when they actually suffered from PTSD or a mood or anxiety disorder. And the personality disorders you list are just labels doctors give to noncompliant patients they don’t like. There is no scientific research whatsoever to suggest they are legitimate disorders.

    As a female, I have had a lot of similar bad experiences with the medical profession, and that is one of the main reasons I tend to seek out alternative care providers. There are much less likely to have preconceptions about my situation, which means they are far more likely to actually listen and try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with me.

    Thank you so much for your most illuminating comment. It’s totally consistent with my own experiernce.


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