The following is an extract from an article in the Independent a UK broadsheet on 4th September. It displays the absurd lengths to which Big Pharma and their hired peashooters, the psychiatrists, will go to market their toxic pills.
As many as one in 12 of us have this disorder, according to psychiatrists at the University of Iowa, although it is mainly found in developed countries with market-based economies. They say some antidepressants help to ease the compulsion, and doctors at the Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb-Croatia have successfully used fluvoxamine.
Losing your temper could lead to a diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder (IED), a condition that is acquiring its own family of drug and other therapies. Just what IED includes, and excludes, is not clear, but Mayo Clinic doctors in the US say: “Road rage. Domestic abuse. Angry outbursts or temper tantrums that involve throwing or breaking objects. Sometimes such erratic eruptions can be caused by a condition known as intermittent explosive disorder.” Some 8 per cent of adults suffer from IED, and doctors at the University of Chicago are using divalproex sodium, a drug used for epilepsy and bipolar disorder, to treat it.
An eight-week drug treatment for newly bereaved people is about to start a clinical trial. Researchers carrying out the trial hope that at least half of those taking part, all of whom must have lost a first-degree relative, will show improvement after taking the drug duloxetine.
One of the aims is to assess the effect of treatment in patients with bereavement-associated depression. A second is to look at its effects on health status, pain and other symptoms. “We expect substantial reductions in measures of grief and bereavement, with improvements in measures of pain, symptom burden and functional status,” according to researchers at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and the Jefferson Clinic in the US.
There have been some reports of success in treating this problem, which is defined as time spent on the internet at the expense of occupational, relationship and social activities. Research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, showed after treatment with an antidepressant called escitalopram internet use dropped from an average of 36.8hours a week to 16.5hours. But in a second part of the research, the same results were achieved with a placebo.
According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US, naltrexone, a drug prescribed for alcoholism, interferes with the brain chemical dopamine. They say the drug has been successfully used for “suppressing a euphorically compulsive and interpersonally devastating addiction to internet pornography”.
A number of drugs have been in trials for the treatment of compulsive gambling. In one pilot study, nine out of 15patients who took topiramate, a drug used for the treatment of seizure disorders, achieved full remission of gambling behaviour. The drug is thought to work by reducing the arousal that comes when an individual gambles. Yale University has a continuing trial of memantine for the same purpose.
Speaking in public is an effort for many, but could taking a drug used for schizophrenia, psychosis and similar conditions help those with severe cases? A pilot study has been under way at the University of Minnesota, where quetiapine is being given to individuals with a reported fear of public speaking. “We hypothesise that individuals will react with less self-reported anxiety,” say researchers.
LOW SEX DRIVE
Also known as hypoactive sexual disorder, it involves a distressing absence of sexual fantasies, thoughts and desire for sexual activity, and affects up to 30per cent of women and 10 per cent of men. Around 900 women aged over 18 are in a trial of the drug flibanserin, a compound that has an effect on brain chemicals related to mood.
Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, trial inclusion criteria say that women who take part must be willing to try to have sexual activity at least once a month.
FEMALE ORGASMIC DISORDER
Also known as inhibited female orgasm, it is claimed to be a disorder that affects one in three women at some time in their lives. Symptoms are said to include persistent delay in, or absence of, orgasm following sex.
A study at King’s College in London found that introverted women were 2.5 times more likely to have this problem. A trial has been under way in the US, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, where the drug bupropion is being used. One study found that it increased the incidence of orgasm as soon as 28 days after starting treatment.
Who might benefit is not clear, but one clue is that the trial inclusion criteria say women wishing to take part should have had an orgasm in less than half of sexual encounters.
People diagnosed with kleptomania have been taking part in an eight-week treatment program with the drug naltrexone. “The hypothesis is that naltrexone will be effective in reducing the urges to steal in patients with kleptomania. The proposed study will provide needed data on the treatment of a disabling disorder that currently lacks a clearly effective treatment,” say the Minnesota University researchers.
More than 60 clinical trials and more than a dozen drugs are being tested for a condition that interferes with the lives of up to 13 per cent of people. Anxiety disorder is characterised by a fear of social or performance situations, and sufferers are concerned that they will do or say something embarrassing. One of the trials involves children aged eight and over.
But therapy has its critics: “Shyness has become an unhealthy state of mind for individuals living in contemporary Western societies,” according to a University of Sussex report.
“Insofar as its behavioural symptoms imply a failure to achieve certain cultural values, such as assertiveness, self-expression and loquacious vocality, shyness is increasingly defined as a problem for which people can, and should, be treated.”
POOR SOCIAL SKILLS
Have difficulty understanding social cues? Can’t read facial expressions? Fear not – help may soon be at hand. Researchers at Zurich University have shown that they can improve the ability of healthy people to read social cues by giving them oxytocin, a hormone that plays a major role in establishing maternal behaviour. One treatment session was enough to improve the recognition of social cues in pairs of eyes on a computer screen.
Self-control used to be a key message for violent partners, but a pill may be more effective.
Men and women who have been violent to their partners, with or without the involvement of alcohol, are being prescribed Prozac in a clinical trial sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health. While treatments have concentrated on anger management, there is some evidence that the drug can reduce acts of aggression.
“We will evaluate whether fluoxetine (Prozac), used together with traditional psychotherapy, can reduce aggression in people who are physically violent towards their spouses or significant others,” they say.