Just occasionally, I come across a medical hero, a doctor willing to break the conspiracy of silence that exists among doctors about the damage caused by their tools.
My hero of the hour is an American psychiatrist called Grace E. Jackson. Dr. Jackson is utterly, refreshingly horrified by psychiatric medicine. In fact, she is horrified by most forms of pharmaceutical medicine, period. She spends her life lecturing and writing about the dangers of drugs and their ability to cause mental illness.
So incensed is she about the current state of affairs that she felt compelled to self-publish a whistle-blower, entitled Drug-induced Dementia, which painstakingly catalogues a vast amount of scientific evidence showing that modern medicine is the primary culprit behind all forms of dementia, one of the most rampant epidemics of our time.
One of her more outrageous snippets of information concerns the fact that in the 1950s, when doctors first began to treat psychiatric patients pharmacologically, they discovered that synthetic dye and rocket-fuel derivatives actually had what they considered some sort of medicinal effect. Thorazine (chlorpromazine), the first antipsychotic, was born.
There was only one hitch – the drug caused the patient to become so lethargic that his symptoms aped those of sleeping sickness. The doctors also noticed that over time, the drugs caused all the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease: abnormal gait, tremor, dementia and involuntary movement. They also stupefied the patient, flattening out all feeling or excitation — leaving behind, in effect, a vegetable.
Nevertheless, with a brand of logic peculiar to modern medicine, these debilitating side effects were welcomed, on the premise that they were a damned sight better than a crazed hallucinator.
In fact, doctors began to view the arrival of Parkinsonian effects as a benchmark in a patient’s therapeutic.
The damage caused by psychiatric medicine is only the tip of the iceberg. I began to look into this issue myself and discovered a good number of the major classes of drugs that doctors give patients as they age bring on dementia.
Heart drugs, cholesterol lowering drugs, sleeping pills, antidepressants, narcotics, stimulants, including Ritalin, the ADHD drug given to children, anti-cholinergics, anti-epileptic drugs, to name just a few, all can damage the structure of the brain.
Anti-depressants shrink the hippocampus of the brain, and statins lower crucial fats, or lipids, which compose much of brain tissue.
Beta-blockers and other drugs that aggressively lower blood pressure, such as calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors, also lower blood flow to the brain, creating all the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease
Even good old painkillers – the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory class of drugs – can cause a variety of cognitive changes, from delirium to disturbances in memory and concentration.
Many of these drugs actually shrink brain volume, destroying the crucial fatty structures of brain cells, or causing abnormal accumulation of tissue in vital brain structures.
Even though they represent only one-seventh of the population, the over-65s take one-third of all prescription drugs – and usually a cocktail of them. The average senior is on six drugs at a time, many of which can affect the brain.
Given the fact that some 90 per cent of Americans from their mid-fifties onward are taking at least one drug regularly, and nearly one-third are taking five or more drugs, it’s small wonder that dementia is one of the world’s fastest growing diseases, now absorbing $90 billion per year, or one-third of America’s entire Medicare bill. It’s now expected that one in four of us will have some form of dementia by the time we reach 80.
To put this cost into perspective, America is now spending about 1 per cent of the US’s entire gross domestic product on a largely iatrogenic (doctor-induced) condition. Medicine has reached the point where it is chasing its own tail, attempting to mop up with yet more drugs and treatments a vast and costly problem it has caused in the first place.
I tell you all this not simply to rant against the massive carnage caused by our faulty medical system, but also to illustrate the enormous repercussions that occur whenever we go against our truest nature. The drug-caused dementia epidemic is simply the result of the ongoing refusal of our current medical model to consider the body as a holistic entity. Whenever we atomize anything, but most particularly the human body – taking it apart and attempting to treat it in separate pieces – we invite calamity.