2005N-0354 Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products; Part 15 Public Hearing
FDA Comment Number : EC186
Submitter : Ms. Amy Storbakken Date & Time: 12/07/2005 06:12:23
Organization : Ms. Amy Storbakken
Category : Individual Consumer
Issue Areas/Comments
Please take action to counter the ads run by the pharmeceutical industry which encourage viewers or readers to request psychiatric medications from their doctors. The ads should be required to state "There is no evidence that psychiatric medications correct chemical imbalances in the brain. Psychiatric medications are in fact either tranquilizers or antidepressants which manipulate and possibly permanently change the brain's serotonin mechanism."
I encourage the FDA to evaluate nutritional therapies which have been effective in treating a variety of mental illnesses. There is a growing amount of research implicating vitamin B deficiencies, stress and trauma, hypoglycemia, and food allergies as the real causes of mental illness. Becoming dependant on addictive medications can further erode people's health by causing mental sluggishness, constipation, edema, and stress on the kidneys. Also, it should be noted that people are often forced to take medications for the rest of their lives, and that the patient has no control over what medications and dosage he/she will be forced to take. Withdrawing from psychiatric medications frecuently produces effects which are worse than the original condition. Psychiatric medications have been associated with increased risk of suicide and an increased risk for illegal drug use in addition to the psychiatric drugs. Psychiatry does not have a good success rate in its outcomes for patients. Many patients end up trapped in the social security system and permantently leave the paid workforce, because their treatment is too expensive and they can't afford to give up their medical assistance insurance coverage.
I was treated with psychiatric medications after being diagnosed bipolar from 1994 to 2003. I was finally able to stop taking psychiatric medications by improving my diet considerably and cutting back on sugar and caffeine use almost entirely. Unfortunately, without support many psychiatric patients will not succeed in actual healing but remain tranquilized or addicted to serotonin manipulating drugs. In addition to being a former psychiatric patient yself, I have also worked for people receiving psychiatric care as a home health aid for several years. My clients all had very poor diets consisting of mainly starch, sugar, (sometimes alcohol)and heavy use of caffeine and/or cigarettes. My clients in fact were malnourished. Yet their psychiatrists paid no attention to nutrition. Psychiatric drug dependency is becoming an epidemic in our country. Government agencies such as the FDA ought to do everything possible to find and promote real cures for mental illness, and discourage people from hastily committing themselves to a life of medication dependency when alternatives exist. I strongly urge the FDA to evaluate nutritional treatments for mental illness.

Amy Storbakken