Thursday, September 27, 2018

75% Of Med Students Are On Antidepressants or Stimulants (Or Both)

It's going, going, . . . . It's Over the Back Wall and It's OUTTA Here.

Any pretense of legality Psychiatric/Psychologically imposed disability ever pretended to just got nuked, along with every protection our legal system extended to the disablers themselves and everyone harboring/assisting them.

See our intro to the following post if you need clarity.

State Medical Board Has A Simple Solution To Help Amid Physician Mental Health Crisis

Then read Title 18 Sec 241 & 242 of the Federal Criminal Code regarding Civil Rights


75% of med students are on antidepressants or stimulants (or both)
Pamela Wible MD

Posted on September 4, 2017 by Pamela Wible MD

“Have you ever been depressed as a physician?” I asked 220 doctors. Ninety percent stated yes. Yet few seek professional help. Here’s what depressed doctors do (when nobody’s looking). Some drink alcohol, exercise obsessively, even steal psychiatric meds. Still more shocking—I discovered that 75% of med students (and new doctors) are now on psychiatric medications.

“I was told by the psychologist at my med school’s campus assistance program, that 75% of the class of 175 people were on antidepressants,” shares psychiatrist Dr. Jaya V. Nair. “He wasn’t joking. How broken is the system, that doctors have to be pushed into illness in order to be trained to do their job?”

“During my internship, I found out that at least 75% of my fellow residents were on SSRIs or other antidepressants, just ‘to get through it’ because it was so horrible.” states Dr. Joel Cooper, “Depression, or a constantly depressed state, is more or less the norm in medical school and throughout one’s residency.”

“When I left my residency, I was alarmed to find out that about 75% of my fellow residents had started antidepressants since their intern year,” says Dr. Jill Fadal.

Seems the epidemic of depressed doctors begins in medical school. I wondered how best to verify this oft-repeated 75% statistic. Just then a student called to tell me what her professor said during orientation: “Look around the room. By the end of your first year, two-thirds of your class will be on antidepressants.”

I’m appalled. Yet she’s grateful. Why? Her school is so progressive. They normalize the need for antidepressants.

I must be out of touch. Do most med students require psych drugs for day-to-day survival? I turned my question over to Facebook: “75% of med students and residents are taking either stimulants or antidepressants or both. True or false?”

“It’s absolutely, horrifyingly, true. It is a symptom of a great sickness in MedEd.”

“Sadly I am guessing true as I prescribed some for my residents every year that I worked in a residency.”

“True, but I’m sure a lot is unprescribed.”

“I would assume definitely true, Ritalin, Adderall, energy drinks, ephedrine. Yep.”

“While working as a nurse at a major Army hospital, I was astounded by the number of medical students on Adderall or Ritalin.”

I’ve been on an antidepressant since being premed—18 years now. Little did I know it would be impossible to wean myself off and that my entire class was using Adderall.”

“True but most take them in secret as there are negative consequences and stigma that come with getting your mental health addressed.”

“Very true. From my practical point of view, I’d put medical students & residents at 100%.”

“I take both Zoloft and Adderall daily.”

“Very much so true—the percentages may actually be higher. I see it in my classes and I’m only a premed student.”

“If coffee counts as a stimulant it’s definitely 100%.”

“The only way I’d say false is to say it’s higher. I’d say a quarter of my class had to take a leave for a mental health break.”

Having received Facebook confirmation that most med students are on psych drugs, I then queried 1800 medical students via email with the same question and encouraged respondents to share personal experiences. To prevent professional retaliation, all quotes are published anonymously (with permission).

“I am one of the many who are currently on BOTH antidepressants (2 types) & a stimulant (amphetamine). I lost my very dear friend (also a classmate) to suicide in my third year of med school. I have been on psych treatment since then.”

“Hi Dr. Wible. The number sounds high, but whether it is right or wrong is anybody’s guess. I can tell you about myself and my girlfriend—we both just started our third year at a DO medical school. I use 100 mg Sertraline to treat panic/anxiety attacks that were very bad when we had practical exams. I am also very depressed, but the Sertraline does nothing for this. I was diagnosed with ADD in 2013, right before taking the MCAT. I have been on and off of amphetamines and Concerta since then. Then there’s the alcohol and marijuana for the end of the day when I just get too tired of thinking. I have been offered various benzos by my family doctor to help treat the anxiety attacks. I haven’t filled that prescription, but do use them (from a friend) occasionally to help sleep, escape life etc. This is coming from someone who never touched alcohol or other drugs/mind-altering substances until I was 25-ish right at the time of taking the MCAT. My now significant other also uses Sertraline, Adderall, and Benzos to treat anxiety/panic attacks and ADD. Coincidence? I doubt it. So my sample size is two, but 100% are taking antidepressants and stimulants.”

“True. I’m on them, and every student I know is on them too. I’m on both; never took them before med school. Same with all of my friends. Eek!”

“I do recall around board study season hearing from half of my classmates about sharing Adderall and getting Rx from doctors they knew. I was even offered it, but never tried. However, my coffee intake has definitely gone up since school to the point having trouble controlling my bladder. I also know of about half of my friends taking antidepressants throughout school. So I would guess at least 50-75% of my class took stimulants and/or antidepressants.”

“I tried two types of antidepressants in medical school, lost more than 200 thousand dollars, and almost ended up homeless from medical school. All [my depression and debt] started in medical school. Yet my passion remains.”

“Hi Pamela, I agree! Students are afraid to speak about it and I know some who have even asked friends/family to get meds under their name so it isn’t on their record. I finally started talking about it with my classmates and found that many of my close friends were taking them and we had individually struggled alone not knowing there were others going through the same thing. Also, if everyone’s doing it and it gives you an edge, then everyone else has to do it.”

“Sounds about right. I never needed antidepressants before medical school. And it definitely made me rely on higher doses of methylphenidate than I’ve needed in the past.”

“I never thought I would take study drugs. But I was near the bottom of the class in my exam results, and then found out that several who were best in our year were taking study drugs. I cut my losses and copied them. Low and behold, my results improved drastically. I don’t like it, but for me it is better than falling behind and doing poorly. All my friends at other med schools use Modafinil and Adderall too. They also use recreational drugs like ecstasy, cocaine and acid when they’re partying. Drug use is very common amongst the med students I know.”

“In my med school class, I’ve heard of people on antidepressants, on sleeping pills, using pot to calm down, and then also on some kind of uppers for test days and days after partying which the partying was to de-stress..but I have no idea if it’s 75%…I don’t know enough of my class well enough to have that info, nor do I think anyone does…there are usually cliques of up to 25 people, but for people to say they know for sure details of 75% of their class would be hard for me to believe but maybe…there is a lot of it, I agree with that.”

“True. As a med student I was on antidepressants. No different now I am intern. Having just finished 12 days straight and >120 hrs. I can understand why people are also using stimulants.”

“True. I only have four friends in medical school that I know well enough to know which meds they take. All are on both. I went to the university psychiatrist in my Texas premed program for depression he asked when I felt better I told him when I took my friends stimulants to study, I expected him to give me a verbal wrist slap instead he gave me a script. I was on a steady dose for years but the first year of med school I kept upping the dose to try and keep up, ended up deciding I needed to stop after one episode of not sleeping for four days and having auditory hallucinations. Failed second year when I quit them cold turkey, didn’t feel like I was keeping up without them so switched to Modafinil which is much mellower than amphetamine but definitely not good for me. Everyone started antidepressants in school even folks without a history of depression. Being completely honest 75% seems a bit high, but I wouldn’t be that surprised if it were true, in my n=5 study it’s 100%.”

“True. But that number may be higher or lower depending on the school and year in med school. I was on an antidepressant in the last month of last semester because all my other coping skills weren’t enough. I’m on summer break and I haven’t needed any medications to be functional and happy. My depression was entirely induced by the stress and frustrations encountered during medical school.”

“I was on an inpatient internal medicine rotation working 12-14 hour days 6 days a week (as a 3rd year med student) and would ‘keep it together’ at the hospital and fall apart on the way home, cry and sleep to cope. It was the first time in my life I felt suicidal, no plans—just wanted to fade away. My husband was afraid to leave me alone. I put myself back on the Lexapro, equalized somewhat and kept pushing on. That all happened around Christmas of last year. In June I finally was able to find a psychiatrist. He put me on a trial of Adderall. I was hesitant due to the abuse potential but decided to give it a try. With the two meds I have less anxiety, way better at prioritizing, and my focus is improved. I’m studying for step 2 currently so time will tell.”

“I take Effexor 150mg QD. In addition to 10mg of amphetamine salts TID. I used to drink 2 quad shot white chocolate mochas from Starbucks a day, but with the stimulant I threw myself into SVT too frequently.”

“I cannot talk about anything beyond what I know of my immediate friend circle but I have in mind about 10 examples of people who started NEW prescriptions for 1) Stimulants for studying and staying awake 2) Antidepressants and/or mood stabilizers and one person who was started on 3) Beta blockers for new onset panic. These are people with new diagnoses since starting school. I know a few others who came in on these medications after having hard times as premeds (or earlier, I don’t know) That’s just those who actually got the prescription…. As I’m sure you know there is unfortunately also a great deal of illegal procurement of prescription medications as well as abuse of illegal drugs. An increase in alcohol abuse is also a major concern. People are self-medicating left and right.”

“Oh, I would not be surprised! I know 10 people from 5 different schools and at least 7 are on either.”

“I am lucky to have a great support structure and have coped quite well so far without needing any medication. I am actually diagnosed with ADHD and have a prescription for two medications which I don’t really use. The pressure to use them every day rather than relying on my own hard-won compensatory skills is certainly there. Interestingly, I am not shy about my diagnosis and talk about it openly to destigmatize it but I have actually cut back on that because if I’m not careful I inevitably get a lot of classmates asking if they can have some of my medication. For a future doctor to brazenly ask for illegal sharing of medicine is worrisome to me but again I do understand the pressure (to stay up just one more hour studying) that drives the behavior.”

“Popping prescription bottle caps and chafing of pills while studying in the library is a fixture of how daunting the pressures of medical school really are. Med school libraries are dungeons where souls came to die. You’re surrounded by absolute dread—the look of despair painted across the faces of your fellow classmates who feel at any second their life could be ruined with one failing grade. Most of my friends were on SSRI’s, Benzodiazepines, and various types of stimulants. I once asked a friend if he had anything to help me go to sleep and he recommended Lorazepam, which he gave me. The ‘top student’ in our class was rumored to be a serial user of cocaine. To avoid having a drug test reveal his dirty little secret prior to third year, he took a hiatus by engineering a family emergency to give himself adequate time to pass the contents of amphetamine (he passed). Elicit substances in medical school may seem like taboo to lay persons, however in our eyes, it’s a natural and regular experience. In fact, it is astounding how many medical students (myself included) smoke marijuana in order to experience a night of restful sleep. With each puff, it’s as if I escape a bit from my hectic reality. A reality dominated by judging, vengeful, and heartless administrators/faculty who can care less if we live or die, as long as we perform on USMLE Step 1. Yup, its that bad.”

In 1990, even I was severely depressed as a first-year med student. So my mom (a psychiatrist) mailed me a bottle of Trazodone. I thought I was the only one crying myself to sleep. Turns out occupationally-induced depression is rampant in medical training. Now schools dole out antidepressants like candy. Stimulants are used by med students like steroids in athletes. So where do we go from here? Should “progressive” med schools distribute samples of Zoloft and Adderall during orientation?

Problem is physicians must answer mental health questions (right next to questions on felonies and DUIs) to secure a medical license, hospital privileges, and participate with insurance plans. Check the YES box and be forced to disclose your “confidential” medical history and defend yourself—again and again for your entire career. Treated like a criminal for taking meds to cope with the torment of medical training (and practice).

Maybe that’s why so many future (and current) physicians sneak drugs and go off-the-grid for mental health care.

“I’ve been in practice 20 years and have been on antidepressants and anxiolytics for all of that time,” says Jason. “I drive 300 miles to seek care and always pay in cash. I am forced to lie on my state relicensing every year. There is no way in hell I would ever disclose this to the medical board—they are not our friends.”

What if we stop the mental health witch hunt on our doctors? Why not replace threats and punishment with safe confidential care? What if we address the root of the problem—the great sickness in medical education—rather than shifting blame to 75% of medical students for not having enough serotonin or dopamine or norepinephrine in their brains?

As scientists, we can’t continue to approach medical education reform as a neurotransmitter deficiency in medical students. Can we?


Pamela Wible, M.D., is a family physician in Oregon. She is happy in her solo practice and takes no psychiatric medication. Turns out her depression was environmental—entirely related to the culture of medical education. Dr. Wible is author of Physician Suicide Letters—Answered. View her TEDMED talk Why doctors kill themselves.

Thank You Very Much Dr Wible.

HT to MadInAmerica

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Cumulative Effect of Reporting and Citation Biases On the Apparent Efficacy of Treatments: The Case of Depression

Cambridge Core


Evidence-based medicine is the cornerstone of clinical practice, but it is dependent on the quality of evidence upon which it is based. Unfortunately, up to half of all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have never been published, and trials with statistically significant findings are more likely to be published than those without (Dwan et al., 2013). Importantly, negative trials face additional hurdles beyond study publication bias that can result in the disappearance of non-significant results (Boutron et al., 2010; Dwan et al., 2013; Duyx et al., 2017). Here, we analyze the cumulative impact of biases on apparent efficacy, and discuss possible remedies, using the evidence base for two effective treatments for depression: antidepressants and psychotherapy.

Reporting and citation biases

We distinguish among four major biases, although others exist: study publication bias, outcome reporting bias, spin, and citation bias. While study publication bias involves non-publication of an entire study, outcome reporting bias refers to non-publication of negative outcomes within a published article or to switching the status of (non-significant) primary and (significant) secondary outcomes (Dwan et al., 2013). Both biases pose an important threat to the validity of meta-analyses (Kicinski, 2014).
Trials that faithfully report non-significant results will yield accurate effect size estimates, but results interpretation can still be positively biased, which may affect apparent efficacy. Reporting strategies that could distort the interpretation of results and mislead readers are defined as spin (Boutron et al., 2010). Spin occurs when authors conclude that the treatment is effective despite non-significant results on the primary outcome, for instance by focusing on statistically significant, but secondary, analyses (e.g. instead of concluding that treatment X was not more effective than placebo, concluding that treatment X was well tolerated and was effective in patients who had not received prior therapy). If an article has been spun, treatments are perceived as more beneficial (Boutron et al., 2014). Finally, citation bias is an obstacle to ensuring that negative findings are discoverable. Studies with positive results receive more citations than negative studies (Duyx et al., 2017), leading to a heightened visibility of positive results.

The evidence base for antidepressants

We assembled a cohort of 105 depression trials, of which 74 were also included in a previous study on publication bias (Turner et al., 2008); we added 31 trials of novel antidepressants (approved after 2008) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) database (see online Supplementary materials). Pharmaceutical companies must preregister all trials they intend to use to obtain FDA approval; hence, trials with non-significant results, even if unpublished, are still accessible.
Figure 1 demonstrates the cumulative impact of reporting and citation biases. Of 105 antidepressant trials, 53 (50%) trials were considered positive by the FDA and 52 (50%) were considered negative or questionable (Fig. 1a). While all but one of the positive trials (98%) were published, only 25 (48%) of the negative trials were published. Hence, 77 trials were published, of which 25 (32%) were negative (Fig. 1b). Ten negative trials, however, became ‘positive’ in the published literature, by omitting unfavorable outcomes or switching the status of the primary and secondary outcomes (Fig. 1c). Without access to the FDA reviews, it would not have been possible to conclude that these trials, when analyzed according to protocol, were not positive. Among the remaining 15 (19%) negative trials, five were published with spin in the abstract (i.e. concluding that the treatment was effective). For instance, one article reported non-significant results for the primary outcome (p = 0.10), yet concluded that the trial ‘demonstrates an antidepressant effect for fluoxetine that is significantly more marked than the effect produced by placebo’ (Rickels et al., 1986). Five additional articles contained mild spin (e.g. suggesting the treatment is at least numerically better than placebo). One article lacked an abstract, but the discussion section concluded that there was a ‘trend for efficacy’. Hence, only four (5%) of 77 published trials unambiguously reported that the treatment was not more effective than placebo in that particular trial (Fig. 1d). Compounding the problem, positive trials were cited three times as frequently as negative trials (92 v. 32 citations in Web of Science, January 2016, p < 0.001, see online Supplementary material for further details) (Fig. 1e). Among negative trials, those with (mild) spin in the abstract received an average of 36 citations, while those with a clearly negative abstract received 25 citations. While this might suggest a synergistic effect between spin and citation biases, where negatively presented negative studies receive especially few citations (de Vries et al., 2016), this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.50), likely due to the small sample size. Altogether, these results show that the effects of different biases accumulate to hide non-significant results from view.

Fig. 1. The cumulative impact of reporting and citation biases on the evidence base for antidepressants. (a) displays the initial, complete cohort of trials, while (b) through (e) show the cumulative effect of biases. Each circle indicates a trial, while the color indicates the results or the presence of spin. Circles connected by a grey line indicate trials that were published together in a pooled publication. In (e), the size of the circle indicates the (relative) number of citations received by that category of studies.

The evidence base for psychotherapy

While the pharmaceutical industry has a financial motive for suppressing unfavorable results, these biases are also present in the other areas of research, such as psychotherapy. Without a standardized trial registry, however, they are more difficult to detect and disentangle. Statistical tests suggest an excess of positive findings in the psychotherapy literature, due to either study publication bias or outcome reporting bias (Flint et al., 2015). Of 55 National Institutes of Health-funded psychotherapy trials, 13 (24%) remained unpublished (Driessen et al., 2015), and these had a markedly lower effect size than the published trials.
Regarding spin, 49 (35%) of 142 papers were considered negative in a recent meta-analysis (Flint et al., 2015), but we found that only 12 (8%) abstracts concluded that psychotherapy was not more effective than a control condition. The remaining abstracts were either positive (73%) or mixed (19%) (e.g. concluding that the treatment was effective for one outcome but not another). Although we could not establish the pre-specified primary outcome for these trials, and therefore cannot determine whether a specific abstract is biased, published psychotherapy trials, as a whole, clearly provide a more positive impression of the effectiveness of psychotherapy than is justified by available evidence. Positive psychotherapy trials were also cited nearly twice as frequently as negative trials (111 citations v. 58, p = 0.003). Negative trials with a positive or mixed abstract were cited more often than those with a negative abstract (59 and 87 citations, respectively v. 26, p = 0.05); however, the small sample size precludes definitive conclusions on the effects of spin on citation rates.

Preventing bias

Mandatory prospective registration has long been advocated as a solution for study publication and outcome reporting bias. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) began requiring prospective registration of clinical trials as a precondition for publication in 2005, but many journals do not require registration (Knüppel et al., 2013) and others allow retrospective registration (Harriman and Patel, 2016). Since 2007, the FDA also requires prospective registration of most drug trials. This increasing pressure may explain why recently completed, negative antidepressant trials are more frequently published than older negative trials: all negative trials that remained unpublished were completed before 2004, while the 25 trials completed in 2004 or later (including 14 for which registration was legally required) were all published, even though nine were negative. A regulatory requirement is likely to be one of the most effective measures to ensure universal registration; unfortunately, the 2007 law excludes trials of behavioral interventions (e.g. psychotherapy) and phase 1 (healthy volunteer) trials.
Nevertheless, registration seems insufficient to ensure complete and accurate reporting of a trial. Only around half of all trials registered at were published within two years of completion (Ross et al., 2009), and non-reporting of protocol-specified outcomes or the silent addition of new outcomes is also common (Jones et al., 2015, Close examination of registries by independent researchers may be necessary for registration to be a truly effective deterrent to study publication and outcome reporting bias. An alternative (or addition) to registration could be publication of study protocols or ‘registered reports’, in which journals accept a study for publication based on the introduction and methods, before the results are known. Widespread adoption of this format might also help to prevent spin, by reducing the pressure that researchers might feel to ‘oversell’ their results to get published. Furthermore, in our analysis, positive studies were published in journals with a higher median impact factor (and thus higher visibility) than negative studies (3.5 v. 2.4 for antidepressant trials and 3.1 v. 2.6 for psychotherapy trials), which may be one driver behind the difference in citation rates. Hence, adoption of registered reports might also reduce citation bias by reducing the tendency for positive studies to be published in higher impact journals. Peer reviewers could also play a crucial role in ensuring that abstracts accurately report trial results and that important negative studies are cited. Finally, the prevalence of spin and citation biases also shows the importance of assessing a study's actual results (rather than relying on the authors’ conclusions) and of conducting independent literature searches, since reference lists may yield a disproportionate number of positive (and positively presented) studies.


The problem of study publication bias is well-known. Our examination of antidepressant trials, however, shows the pernicious cumulative effect of additional reporting and citation biases, which together eliminated most negative results from the antidepressant literature and left the few published negative results difficult to discover. These biases are unlikely to be unique to antidepressant trials. We have already shown that similar processes, though more difficult to assess, occur within the psychotherapy literature, and it seems likely that the effect of these biases accumulates whenever they are present. Consequently, researchers and clinicians across medical fields must be aware of the potential for bias to distort apparent treatment efficacy, which poses a threat to the practice of evidence-based medicine.

Supplementary material

The supplementary material for this article can be found at


Marcus R. Munafò is a member of the United Kingdom Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a UKCRC Public Health Research: Centre of Excellence. Funding from British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and the National Institute for Health Research, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.



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President Trump at UN: " All Nations of the World Should Resist Socialism"

Why is the media desperately trying to divert attention from the content of President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly by reporting on some laughter during it, and making that the story? It's not hard to see why because the content is both revolutionary and devastating. And it goes against everything that the left holds dear.

President Trump came to the UNGA and was willing to call out not only Venezuela's narcoterrorist regime, but socialism itself.
"Currently, we are witnessing a human tragedy as an example in Venezuela. More than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist Maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors. Not long ago, Venezuela was one of the richest countries on earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and driven its people into abject poverty. Virtually everywhere, socialism or communism has been tried. It has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone. In that spirit, we ask the nations gathered here to join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Today, we are announcing additional sanctions against the repressive regime, targeting Maduro’s inner circle and close advisers."
These are nearly Reaganesque lines. And they're a vital challenge to the media's pitch for socialism.

Thank You President Trump, Mr Greenfield, and FPM


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Parents Are Leery Of Schools Requiring ‘Mental Health’ Disclosures By Students

Parents should be far more than 'concerned'. They should be "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore".

There's only one way to prevent school shootings: Arm The Teachers.

Hoplaphobic (unreasoning fear of an inanimate object) Virtue Signaling as tax funded public policy results in the deaths of children and teachers. Look at London. They already (purportedly) got rid of the guns. Now they're suffering knife violence. Turn In Your Knives.

Calling the police, even in a best case police response event, takes time. In that time people die.

Hire off duty cops as Hall Security? It's better than nothing BUT, big but here, it's not permanent. Local politicians will find another use for the money, cancel the expenditure, and you're back to zip, zero, nada. Plus, the teachers have more emotionally invested in the children than cops who won't personally know them.

Mental Health Treatment isn't science no matter what its sales force says. It's Scientism.

Alfred Adler: Delusional Marxist Dupe
Alfred Adler: Marxist Crackpot At A Glance
BF Skinner: Beyond Freedom & Reason & Dignity
Bleuler The Schizophrenifier: Séance Scientist
Carl Jung: Alchemy, Astrology, Flying Saucers & Seances
Carl Jung: Aryan Christ: A Book Review
Carl Jung: Psychic Pyramid Seller
Erich Fromm: Marxist
Freud's Absurd Homunculi
Freud Fell Short, Scholars Find
Freud, Fraud In Science
Freud Was A Fraud: Triumph of Pseudoscience
Jean-Martin Charcot: Another LYING Psychological Fraud
Marsha Linehan: Communism's Dialectic Through Buddhism
Nazi Doctors, Moral Vulnerability And Contemporary Medical Culture
Wilhelm Reich: Communism Generates Great, Sanity Inducing Orgasms
Wilhelm Reich: FDA Concludes, "A Fraud Of The First Magnitude"

Kaiser Health News
Sept 25, 2018

Florida school districts now have to ask if a new student has ever been referred for mental health services, but will it help troubled kids, or increase stigma instead? (Andrea D'Aquino for NPR)

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

On registration forms for new students, the state’s school districts now must ask whether a child has ever been referred for mental health services.

“If you do say, ‘Yes, my child has seen a counselor or a therapist or a psychologist,’ what does the school then do with that?” asked Laura Goodhue, who has a 9-year-old son on the autism spectrum and a 10-year-old son who has seen a psychologist. “I think that was my biggest flag. And I actually shared the story with a couple of mom friends of mine and said, ‘Can you believe this is actually a thing?'”

Goodhue said she worries that if her children’s mental health history becomes part of their school records, it could be held against them.

[ED; odds are real good that such a record Will be held against them, for life.]

State Medical Board Has A Simple Solution To Help Amid Physician Mental Health Crisis

“If my child was on the playground and something happened,” she said, “they might think, ‘This child has seen mental health services. This must mean something’ — more than it really means.”

The question was largely overlooked until parents started filling out school registration forms this summer. It was one sentence in a 105-page school safety bill that contained such controversial measures as increasing the minimum age to buy a gun and arming school employees.

Parents express concern that the information could fall into the wrong hands and may follow children throughout their education, said Alisa LaPolt, executive director of the Florida chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“In a perfect world, getting treatment for mental health challenges would be no different than getting medical treatment for a skin rash or a bad cold or a broken leg,” LaPolt said. “But that’s not the world we live in right now. There is stigma around mental illness and getting treatment for it.”

School districts say counselors will use the information to help Florida students get the services they need.

Some districts will share the information only with psychologists and administrators. Others say they will provide access to teachers and front-office staff as well.

School counselors say they understand the stigma surrounding mental illness. Some say the way the law was written doesn’t help. The mental health question was grouped with requirements to report arrests or expulsions.

“I can certainly understand parents having a reaction when they see those questions, sort of, asked back to back, said Michael Cowley, manager of psychological services for Pinellas County Schools.

But in order to help students, Cowley said, school officials must first determine who needs mental health services.

“The process we’re trying to develop and everything we’re trying to do is just with an eye toward reducing stigma, increasing awareness and getting students access to more care,” Cowley said.

The requirement has school districts worried about more than just stigma. The state left implementation of the provision up to local districts.

At a meeting in Tampa, Fla., Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin raised the issue of patient privacy and a federal law that protects it, known as HIPAA.

“I could foresee some lawsuits around this,” Griffin said.

Still, counselors say more parents may support the law once they start to see children getting the counseling they need.

The school safety law provides nearly $70 million to increase access to mental health services in schools. National experts say the money is long overdue.

Florida has historically been among the worst states in terms of providing money for mental health care, said Ron Honberg, senior policy adviser for the National Alliance on Mental Health.

“We know that the symptoms of mental health conditions and serious mental illnesses in particular tend to surface during the teen years and early 20s,” Honberg said. “And that’s a time when we should be putting the most resources into interventions.”

In Broward County, where Parkland is located, the district is using part of the $6 million it received to hire 50 staff members — many of them counselors, psychologists and social workers.

Their ability to reach students in need could depend on whether parents feel comfortable checking “yes” on a registration form.

This story is part of a partnership that includes WUSF, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Julio Ochoa, WUSF: @julioochoa

Thank You Mr Ochoa and KHN.

Post Script:

But we could At Least keep guns out of the wrong hands, with stricter "Common Sense" Laws, right?

How Background Checks Have Failed To Deliver On Promises

Monday, September 24, 2018

Alexander Glazunov, Symphony #1

Weekend reads: The study that never existed; turmoil at Cochrane; a plagiarist is appointed professor

Scientific/Academic Ethics, again

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The week at Retraction Watch featured a lot of news about Brian Wansink — six new retractions, his resignation, and findings of misconduct. There was other news, too, including a dozen new retractions of work by a scientist who once went to court to try to sue his critics. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:
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