Movie review of Generation RX: Guest post by Christopher Trottier

This is a guest review of the movie Generation Rx by Christopher Trottier – thanks for the review, Christopher!

Unmasking the Negatives of Psychiatric Drugs

A Review of Generation RX.

Generation RX is less a documentary and more an editorial. As long as you do not expect a passionless dissertation of the psychiatric pharmaceutical industry, the movie works. Where Generation RX succeeds is in exposing the other side of drugs like Ritalin and Prozac — and the effects they have on children. Is psychiatric medication the magic cure-all for any and all problems?

As it turns out, it is not. Generation RX spits out fact after fact showing how psychiatric medication can go wrong. Prozac use in children increased the odds of suicidality by 50%. Ritalin may cause a crytogenic effect in children suffering from ADHD. Zyprexa has been linked to obesity. These statistics come at such a dizzying rate, it was tough to wrap my head around all them.

But then, Generation RX exposes the human side. During a 1991 public inquiry, one lady testified she was diagnosed Prozac for weigh loss. “You can never be too rich or too thin,” her doctor said. A few days later, she had suicidal thoughts for the first time in her life. That’s when it hits you: beyond the statistics, real people feel negative side effects in real ways.

So what must be done about all this? There needs to be a firewall between the FDA and pharmaceutical companies. Doctors conducting clinical trials should not derive direct financial benefit from a drug’s approval. Dr. Scott Ruben, for instance, allegedly fabricated his study of Effexor XR. How much money did he make when this anti-depressant hit store shelves?

I wish Generation RX spent more time delving into peoples’ individual stories. Christopher Blagbrough’s story is a particular tragic one. Yet we only know (from the movie) he stabbed his father, then later committed suicide while (as his father states) on Prozac. What happened between these two events?

Despite this one criticism, the movie succeeds because it exposes the other side of the story quite well. Many of us know that depression is caused by simply biology. But is that always the case? And our mental ailments always go away by a simple ingestion of a pill? Generation RX makes us consider otherwise.

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  4. Guest post: A passion for Harry Potter, by Monique Trottier
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Comments (8)

PhaedraMarch 20th, 2009 at 1:37 am

I would love to see this film, As you know, I am not a huge fan of the big pharma companies. In my opinion, only a handful of those diagnosed with a DSM disorder require medication. Bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression are the only ones I feel that need medication. I believe that most people, especially children, are mis-diagnosed, causing drug reactions, interactions, and in some sad cases, death. A lot of the iemtional and mood complaints that people have can be controlled with proper diet, supplementation, and pyschotherapy. We are in a society that thinks that if we feel down, or our child won’t sit still, then they should just pop a pill.

just my two cents.

Phaedra’s last blog post..Switzerland

RyanMarch 20th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

These drugs saved my live.

dutchkabukiMarch 20th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Ritalin may cause a crytogenic effect in children suffering from ADHD.

from the link:
Because the findings published in 2005 by El-Zein and co-workers could not be replicated, the concern regarding a potential increase in the risk of developing cancer later in life after long-term MPH treatment is not supported.


desjardinsMarch 20th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

“Is psychiatric medication the magic cure-all for any and all problems?”

No responsible psychiatrist ever says this. I am on several different medications and my quality of life is MUCH higher than it was before I started taking them. But my life is not problem-free. The medication just reduces the obstacles to solving my problems. I still have to do the work.

DavidMarch 20th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I can’t say that antidepressants saved my life. I feel that they did help me through a very rough patch in my life for about two years. I then spent the next two years (perhaps more) trying to cope with the after effects. Having described the physical withdraws involved to some people who have stopped taking other addictive substances, I think Heroin is about the only thing that’s more difficult to break away from. (yeah, a bit of an exaggeration, but not by as much as you might think)

I’ve since talked MANY people out of taking antidepressants. Sometimes life sucks. We need to realize that things are rarely perfect, and taking drugs that largely numb us to the things that aren’t ideal isn’t the way to go.

Having said that I do realize that they help many people, and it’s fair to say that some people really DO need them. But I’d bet that diagnoses that end with prescriptions have a lot more to do with simplicity and greed than they do anything else.

JohnMarch 20th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

These drugs almost cost me mine. SSRI (Zoloft) caused me to have almost 24/7 panic attacks when I’d only ever had one before in my life. I had thoughts of violence. I thought I was losing it. I called the psychiatrist who said he could help by prescribing me tranquilizers. I hung up the phone. Getting off of that drug was the best decision of my life. Thank God it was only 2 weeks.

I am by the way doing fine now ;-) on no drugs whatsoever.

DmanMarch 20th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I know many people have been helped by anti-depressants, but they also appear to be a smoking gun WRT many serious side-effects. Someone I know was prescribed something by her GP for a mild depression. These did not help and she got worse. After going thru several therapists, hospitalization, and too many different drugs, she went cold turkey. While not solving all her problems, getting off the drugs probably saved her life.

isabella moriMarch 23rd, 2009 at 8:57 pm

“drugs are bad” is a bit too black and white for my taste, just as “homeopathy is bad” would be too one-sided.

whatever works, works. and what works is rarely entirely clear with mental health issues. sometimes drugs will do the trick, sometimes complementary medicine, sometimes talk therapy, sometimes nutrition, exercise and/or meditation, and sometimes somtething else entirely – and when a person has a chronic condition, they often need to try them all out, in various forms, combinations and dosages, to figure out what will make their lives most liveable.

going off a psych med cold turkey can be pretty dangerous. it’s great that it helped your friend, Dman, but it’s also killed people, or put their health in very serious jeopardy.

isabella mori’s last blog post..beating ANA – one relationship at a time

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