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Mental Health Watchdog Warns of Brave New World Psychiatric Research Trends

Mental Health Watchdog Warns of Brave New World Psychiatric Research Trends

CCHR launches information letters for members and others about new psychiatric research that could harm youths by subjectively predicting mental disorders and pre-drugging them to “prevent” their onset. The psychotropic drugs used can induce psychosis and

CCHR launches information letters about new psychiatric research that could harm youths by subjectively predicting mental disorders and pre-drugging them

The idea that psychiatrists say they can predict mental illness and drug patients to prevent it should be sounding alarm bells but isn’t.”
— Jan Eastgate, President CCHR International

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, May 5, 2020 / -- Citizens Commission on Human Rights International launched a series of information letters to alert supporters and the general public about the pharmaceutical-psychiatric industry classifying people’s normal reactions to COVID-19 concerns as a “mental health pandemic fallout.” CCHR is concerned that new psychiatric research is studying youths and others, attempting to predict psychosis or depression and prescribe drugs to prevent the onset of them—a theory that is unproven and has previously been compared to Aldous Huxley’s utopian society in Brave New World.

CCHR says the normal reactions—fears and anxieties—to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are already leading to higher prescription rates of psychotropic drugs. But the World Health Organization advises, “It is quite normal to be feeling this way in the current situation.” CCHR has documented a history of disasters that were used to take advantage of vulnerabilities to re-define them as “mental illness” leading to increased psychiatric drug sales.

Jan Eastgate, president of CCHR International, said: “We saw this following the Columbine high school and other shootings and the 9/11 terrorism attack. Already, we see polls promoting that nearly half (45%) of all adults in the U.S. have had their mental health negatively impacted over the virus.” That’s about 115 million people and a lucrative market for new prescriptions that can “dull the minds of Americans needing to recover from COVID restrictions. The poll was based on a political survey of a random telephone sample of only 1,226 adults.” Questions were about how government administrators are handling COVID-19. It’s not until page 15 that a question arises about whether the person surveyed "worries" about their mental health.

CCHR says that psychiatric predictions of mental health failure are scare-mongering, adding to the fears of the current situation. Australian psychiatrist Patrick McGorry told ABC News that “the massive social and economic effects that we're expecting over the next year or two” are “going to really drive down the mental health of the population....We know from previous disasters that at least 20% of the population will be at risk of that."

Prof. McGorry has come under criticism for his theories and youth programs. Allen Francis, emeritus professor at Duke University, opposed Prof. McGorry’s “pre-psychosis risk syndrome” (PRS), also known as “attenuated psychosis syndrome”—a diagnosis based on a theory that drugging children and adults with antipsychotics before the onset of psychosis could prevent it. Frances, who headed the task force to update the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) called PRS an “extremely inaccurate diagnosis [that] would lead to widespread treatment with an ineffective but dangerous medication [antipsychotics].”[1]

Side effects of antipsychotics include psychosis, hallucinations, hostility, and suicide.[2] Other adverse effects are the irreversible neurological effect called Tardive Dyskinesia that manifests in uncontrollable twitching of the muscles and extremities and tongue movements and Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, which can cause sudden death.[3] All consumers prescribed these to “prevent” psychosis are at risk of developing them.

On April 22, 2020, a study of 25 million American and British students’ emotional responses to COVID-19, called “Class of COVID-19,” was launched. Thomas Insel, a psychiatrist and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health is helping oversee it. The study will aggregate user data to provide insights into the emotional wellbeing of students. It’s how information gleaned from the study could be misused that is worrying, CCHR warns.

Insel has been a strong supporter of Prof. McGorry’s work. It’s not surprising that he praised researchers for “looking for a biomarker to predict which clinically high-risk youth would convert to psychosis over a two- to three-year follow up period from an initial interview.” Insel pointed to a “big data approach to analyze the speech from the initial interview” in order to predict psychosis. Data analytics, which can be collected by smartphones, are used to map “semantic coherence and speech complexity as a window into the earliest stages of disorganized thought.” In theory, a person’s smartphone usage responses are used to detect a mental disorder, with Insel writing that treatment can “be delivered or extended by smartphones and tablets.”

“The idea that psychiatrists say they can predict mental illness and drug patients to prevent it should be sounding alarm bells but isn’t,” Eastgate says.

On April 30, 2020, new research at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, claimed that depression can potentially be prevented using antidepressants in people who are at high risk of it. The report, based on 28 analyzed studies, purports that antidepressants are a pre-emptive measure to prevent depression.[4] The lead researcher stressed that funding agencies need to prioritize research using pharmacological agents in preventing rather than treating depression.

CCHR Int’s side effects database reports more than 150 drug regulatory agency warnings about antidepressants alone causing cardiovascular and other heart problems, hostility, aggression, agitation, insomnia, anxiety, sexual dysfunction and suicide.[5]

Experts say the DSM is unscientific, arbitrary and so unreliable that anyone surveyed about their mental health using these would be diagnosed positive for a mental disorder. This adds to CCHR’s concerns about broad screening or smartphone diagnosing of people’s mental or emotional outlook, using DSM as a basis, especially during times of disasters.

CCHR’s research will be used for a White Paper for legislators about the risks of relying upon and funding psychiatric programs that may be more dangerous to mental health than helpful.

CCHR is the mental health watchdog responsible for more than 180 laws that now protect patients from damaging practices. DONATE to support its work here:

Read the full article here.


[4] “Antidepressants could be used to prevent people at high risk from developing depression,” Keele University, 30 Apr. 2020,

Amber Rauscher
Citizens Commission on Human Rights
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