Dr. Paul 0:00
Hey Paul, welcome to with the wind signs revealed Bernadette's back. Now this time she's in a different role. We are discussing the psychotropic drugs, medicating normal and normalizing injury. We discuss anxiety, depression, ADHD meds, the importance of informed consent. And then the connection between these psycho pharmaceuticals and mass shootings. I questioned her on that one. We also have a special guest, Kim Whitsett. Her husband committed suicide not that long after being put on Prozac for insomnia. This was devastating, as you might imagine, and launched her career into making sure she was a strong advocate for the safety of these drugs. She was highly responsible and involved in getting the blackbox warning on antidepressants a couple of decades ago, and she's highly involved and we'll help you know how to get involved yourself. She advocates for becoming informed before getting on these medications, watch for side effects, know what to look for. And know that there are alternatives. Enjoy the show.
Dr. Paul, coming to you from the heart. I've got a different one for today, I want to focus on self care. I'm doing this because it's something I had to do for myself. I was really struggling getting back into my exercise routine. I on and off, I'm struggling with eating right. But I've realized that the most important thing I could do was start working on what I needed to work on for me. And so I'm going to encourage you to do the same thing. Is there something in your life in your world that really needs your focus and attention? Maybe start with one it gets so hard when we're trying to fix this and that and everything in our world. Perhaps it's your nutrition, you want to cut out fast foods or eat more whole foods, whatever it is, start small but do something. Maybe you want to join me and do exercise. I jumped back into CrossFit. It was scaring me because I honestly wasn't sure I could handle it physically. It feels amazing. sleeps a nice area for a lot of us if you're not getting the bed at the right time. So you get enough sleep. You're not getting that restorative sleep that is necessary for everything to work better that next day. And then there's always the opportunity to work on our emotional health, our spiritual health, it might be some meditation, it might be breathing exercises, whatever it is you do, I'm rooting for you pick something today, and just get started.
Unknown Speaker 2:47
I mean, if you really wanted to commit suicide, there's nothing I could do about it, but I wasn't gonna make it easy. At 32 I'm a disabled veteran soon to be medically retired resulting from the use of a benzodiazepine Ativan as prescribed the way we use psychiatric drugs to vastly more harm than good.
Unknown Speaker 3:04
A lot of doctors have forgotten about the side effects.
Unknown Speaker 3:07
She said hallucination asked me to come into the kitchen, so I could hurt myself.
Unknown Speaker 3:15
I started having emotional flatness, some sexual dysfunction, difficulty remembering what street we lived on.
Unknown Speaker 3:23
They got side effects and then they would add medication to cure the side effects.
Unknown Speaker 3:29
The power that I had as a military psychologist to say you're not normal, I could destroy your career
Unknown Speaker 3:35
taking that first pill. It's not free. It comes with the potential for physiologic dependence.
Unknown Speaker 3:42
This is just damage to my nervous system from a properly prescribed drug. What if my symptoms get to the point where I can't make it?
Unknown Speaker 3:57
Not once did somebody say it could be your mess with me took Lorazepam for six weeks and six and a half years.
Dr. Paul 4:10
Welcome Bernadette. It is so great to have you back on with the wind. You are knowledgeable about so many things. But today I wanted to talk to you about what you're doing there in Tennessee. You're very involved with CHD in Tennessee, and you've got a campaign or a movement you're working on called disarming farmer. Maybe just introduce that to our audience. And then we'll delve in a little more into the topic of pharmaceuticals that are used for ATD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, you know the psychotropic drugs and some of the fallout that might be coming from overuse of those drugs.
Bernadette Pajer 4:47
Okay, well, first of all, Dr. Pol, I've missed you. So it's wonderful to see you again and talk with you again about this very important subject. Usually, you know, we talk about vaccines that's kind of been our primary focus and within 95% of children getting at least one vaccine. It's really important because it affects almost all children in this nation, if not the world. But there's a whole other world of pharmaceutical products that are targeting our children today. What's going on is something I'm calling they're medicating normal, and they're normalizing injury. And with both of these drugs target what's going on? So with medicating normal, and this is the name of an actual documentary film that encourage people to watch. Just look at medicating normal and it just, you know, people who have some anxiety or little depression, some sleeplessness, you know, these are normal human conditions that we go through a lot of underlying factors that have to do with what you're experiencing in your life, maybe poor diet, maybe you know, you've got the gut brain connection out of whack kind of thing. None of it is being you're none of these, you're in a situation where you're lacking a pharmaceutical to make you complete and whole, right?
Dr. Paul 6:10
We're never fast, you know, Ritalin deficient, or Adderall deficient, or, you know, all the antidepressants, anti anxiety meds, it's not a deficiency of those conditions, those meds are used to treat a symptom
Bernadette Pajer 6:23
to treat a symptom. And really, we needed this nation to go find out after the real causes of what's going on to support human beings based on the science of what we know today about the human immune system and all that. And of course, there's so much normalizing. Oh, yeah, allergies, asthma, autism, ADHD, autoimmune disease, all of those are normal, here, take a pill, the cover up that you got a symptom from that pill, take another one anyway. So this is the world we're in. But we're going to narrow it down even more because of all these medications that are being marketed and targeted, and channeled through the medical industry and our children today. The worst of them at this point, at least in my view, and many others are the ones that are psychotropic they impact the brain, they impact your thought process.
Dr. Paul 7:10
Can you define psychotropic and give some examples of the medications that are most concerning?
Bernadette Pajer 7:17
Yeah, well, some of the most concerning are the drugs that are given for anxiety, and depression, and ADHD. For you, I'm at the high level, you know, stage of discussing this, and you will later on be bringing on people who can talk more eloquently on that, I don't have a lot of that at my disposal. But these are, you know, a lot of children today through whatever reason are being diagnosed with these particular conditions and others, and then being put on a medication. And fully informed consent is not happening. Parents are not told the true figures here, something about like only a third of the people put on these medications are helped by them, and then only for a short window of time, and then it begins to have the adverse reactions from them. And about the middle ground of people aren't helped at all, they only have the adverse reactions. And then some people start off and immediately are negatively impacted by these products. But everybody who goes on them is not told that there's no off ramp. Once you start taking these classes of drugs, and you attempt to go off of them, your brain, you know and body have gotten so used to them, that the symptoms you begin to experience can be devastating. And some people find they cannot get off of them. There's no way to stop. So with within this realm of this, I compare it this way, you know how smoking causes cancer, we we do know that now, but not everybody who smokes, we'll get cancelled, but we try to encourage everybody to stop smoking, with this class of psychotropic drugs commonly prescribed to children and adults. For some people, it causes suicidal and homicidal ideation. This is such an established fact there are warnings on the product inserts that are around with a black box, you know, they're called blackbox warning drugs that warn of this. You don't know when you smoke, if you're going to be the one that gets cancer, emphysema. With these drugs, you don't know if you or your child is the one who's going to be the one. And because these drugs are not actually necessary, for the vast majority of people do not help. It's criminal, really, to continue this epidemic of prescriptions. And the use of these drugs has been closely associated with all of the mass shootings over the past decades.
The individual it's
Dr. Paul 9:57
a that's a huge statement. Bernadette, can you back? battling up?
Bernadette Pajer 10:01
Well, I can because if you go to the violence report the citizens Commission on Human Rights International in March of 2018, they came out with what they call the violence report, and I'm going to quote you, them. With millions of people taking psychotropic drugs, clearly not everyone will experience violent reactions to taking them. But what drug regulatory agency warnings confirm is that a percentage of the population will have nearly 410, psychiatric drug warnings 27 warning violence, aggression, hostility, mania, psychosis or homicidal ideation 49 warned of self harm or suicidal suicide ideation 17 Refer addiction or withdrawal effects and that withdrawal effects can be lifetime trying to stop these drugs. And once you stop them, all the things I just listed, including suicidal, and homicidal ideation can continue, even if you're not currently taking them. Now, when you go read that report, it outlines and so many people other people have, they look at that medical history of what was revealed and what is suspected based on the fact they were under a psychologist or psycho. Psychiatrists care, all of the mass shooters in school shooters, and there is a very clear pattern that these individuals were under the influence of psychotropic drugs at one time or another. So yeah, add
Dr. Paul 11:33
a little footnote to that. I have three biological sons, all of whom struggled severely with really severe ADHD. I mean, they were almost non functional in school settings as far as being able to pay enough attention to retain information. So they were tried by their pediatricians on various ATD ADHD meds in my situation, not a single one of them, was able to tolerate them due to really severe side effects. So for one of my kids, I think he was in second or third grade, when he got his first dose, and boom, he was out, the teacher called that day and said, I don't know what you did. But please don't do it again. For another one of my kids, he literally had a psychotic break. I mean, he was just freaking out and like the out of control, did not know who he was what was going on in his body. And that was on the lowest starting dose, and then my third son, it would just ramp them up, like he was on crack cocaine or something. And he just got wired. So I'm well aware of side effects. And they can be horrendous, as you've pointed out, I also did want to just make it clear to the listening audience. There are people who are helped. I mean, you mentioned 30%. And I've had patients who are fairly non functional in school. I have one kid who went to MIT, I mean, brilliant mind that wasn't working for him. But on medication it worked. But the key is, people need informed consent. And and doctors, pediatricians, psychiatrists, I mean, my lord, it's a reflexive, oh, you've got ADHD, here's the drug. And as you said, a lot suffer immediate side effects, long term side effects. And withdrawal can be very difficult if you're on these meds, and you're worried about that. There are integrative creative doctors who will help you there are ways but it can be tough. And that's why I think, Bernadette, you're bringing this warning?
Bernadette Pajer 13:31
Yes, exactly. Because you don't, you just don't know. And I know that there are now some genetic tests, to try to help doctors figure out if you're going to be one of those who have the really extreme reactions. But as you said, they're not holistic approaches. And when the studies show that maybe a third of people are helped, it's only temporarily, it's just a little bit, they kind of get better on their own. And then the drugs only help them avoid symptoms of drug withdrawal by staying on them. So they're not necessarily and I'm not an expert, not giving medical advice. I'm just telling what I've been reading in all the scientific literature, and what I've been, you know, in my dialogues with the doctors who deal with these drugs. So there are a holistic approaches. There's a school, I believe, in California, where what they, what they did was they had the children run a mile a day. And but they broke it up. So they would send them out three or four times a day, they'd stop their work, they'd go outside and they'd run and it all ended up to a mile. And the ability of these children when they return to the classroom to sit still and focus, and to learn was just astounding, no drugs required. There's a school in Memphis, Tennessee, where they've now integrated yoga into the curriculum, and it's helping the children focus and deal with their emotions and just a whole host of things. You know, and we haven't started talking about the nutritional side of things and you know, there's just so many things that can be done to Build the whole child to build the whole adult to really deal at that foundational level. But we're not seeing the public health dollars, or, you know, any money going into our school systems, nothing. This is what we need to change, we need to build real support. Because I tell you, I've talked to some parents whose children were say, vaccine injured or environmentally injured, that have really some severe anxiety and depression and different issues because of environmental or I intragenic injury. And at a very young age, they were put on some of these drugs. And the children are now trapped, having really scary side effects, you know, inability control their emotion, the rages, the hallucinations, I mean, psychotic episodes. And yet, when they tried to take them off the drugs, it gets even worse. And then they have these physical manifestations, the trembling and an ability to sit still, you feel like you're just on fire. There's all of these things that can happen to some people when they try to go off of the drugs. And they're trapped. Yeah, they're trapped in you. And I well know the things that make the news. That's when things escalate to the point where somebody has killed. Yeah, but one of these victims of the of this these prescriptions goes out and does the killing, then you hear about it. But Dr. Pol, what you don't hear about it is millions of homes in the US today that are leaving lives of quiet desperation. They're living traumatic, like it's not PTSD. It's D TSD, during traumatic stress disorder, because every day they wake up and they wonder, will their loved one have a rage? Yeah, well, they have another hole in the wall. Yeah.
Dr. Paul 16:48
Yeah, if you're the person on the medication, and you wake up, and it's like, oh, it's gonna be another day like that, like, they know I've lived with to two individuals, one a family member, one a roommate, who were on medication, and or actually, in one case, not. The intensity of their symptoms was just hard to bear. Right? So every day is a struggle. And, yeah, we've got to start. But this world we're in this past three years of COVID, my lord, the isolation, the masking of what what we've done with our children, but it's affected adults as well.
Bernadette Pajer 17:27
Yeah, prescriptions for the drugs we're talking about for anxiety and depression and behavior issues. They doubled during COVID doubled, and the pharmaceutical industry is raking and one of the top people raking in money is Pfizer. It's an it's it's just criminal. It's unethical, it's immoral. And so yes, at Children's Health defense, the Tennessee chapter, we're really gearing up for an educational campaign. We want everybody to know, we want people who go to a doctor to really understand because if your doctor is not giving you informed consent, you have to do your own, you have to do your medical, due diligence. We're calling this disarm pharma, because pharmaceutical companies through their marketing to children and young adults will tell everybody they are they're causing harm, because we're not giving full informed consent if you go to ti n dot children's health defense.org. And then look for the disarm pharma tab. We have some of these resources available and some of the books and documentary films linked and we're going to be updating that page as we get more information and begin to take action. You follow that page and, and I encourage any of you out there who have similar websites, groups. If you want to follow in our footsteps. Feel free to borrow our information, create your own webpage, push the campaign out where you are.
Dr. Paul 18:58
Fantastic. Thank you, Bernadette.
Welcome, Kim Witczak, it is really an honor to have you on with the wind. Thank you so much for all you do.
Kim Witczak 19:14
Thanks for having me. I'm excited for our conversation.
Dr. Paul 19:17
Would it be okay, if I read the about section from your web website? It just touched my heart and I think it will allow people to understand where you are coming from. Is that all right? Absolutely. Okay, on August 6 2003, my world came crashing down on me. I was out of town on business. When I got a call from my dad telling me Woody, my husband of almost 10 years was found hanging from the rafters of our garage, dead at the age of 37. My drug safety FDA reform advocacy was born out of nothing but a deep knowing that something didn't make sense about what is death. So I started to dig in To the one and only thing that changed in my husband's life, being prescribed Zoloft. This journey for the truth took me to the FDA, HHS, Congress, the courts and the media. What I learned shocked me, someone had to do something. So why not meet? If I could spare just one family, the pain I went through by simply providing them basic information that I learned that I believed what is life and death could make a difference. That was over 19 years ago. And despite some successes, there's still much left to do. Wow. You've been through a lot. But before I we get get you talking, because I can't wait to hear what you have to say, folks. This woman that I'm chatting with, she's been featured in Fortune Magazine, Reader's Digest Consumer Reports, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Star Tribune, local national international television shows, she's been on the FDA advisory committees co organized the selling sickness, people before profits international conference that was held in Washington, DC, and she lectures on this big pharma spiderweb of influence on our healthcare system. I know you're I believe you're currently a representative on the FDA psychopharmacological drug Advisory Committee reviewing new drugs coming to market. What a task that must be. And you're a board member on several nonprofit organizations in the field of Dragon patient safety. As a pediatrician, I remember back in the early 2000s, when they came up with that blackbox warning for the antidepressants that, you know, we would sometimes prescribe for children. And I understand you were involved in that maybe you could start off by you know, that journey into discovering the facts around antidepressants and suicide risk and all of that. Absolutely.
Kim Witczak 21:55
Well, thanks for reading, you know, I put a lot of work into my website, because really, it started out as what I like to call the accidental journey. Advocate. I never set out to do this work. But sometimes our greatest purposes choose us. And that's kind of what happened. Obviously, you told a little bit of the story. But you know, something intuitively when it'll be almost 20 years, next month in August, that would be past, but something intuitively didn't make sense about what he stuff. And so I remember the night that what he was found, and I was actually out of town. And so if you look at his story, he was given it he was given antidepressant for insomnia that he had Yeah, he had just started his dream job with a startup company and was having trouble sleeping, which is not uncommon for entrepreneurs, right. And he's a guy that always trusted his doctor. You know, he went to his doctor for you know, like, he broke his arm. He was a big athlete. He got you got bitten the head from somebody playing basketball. So you know, I always call him he went to the doctor's for Humpty Dumpty. He also did, you know, he did all the, you'd go get his PSA test because his dad and his dad had cancer. So he trusted his doctor and he went to go see his doctor because he wasn't sleeping, and was given a sample of Zoloft, three weeks sample pack that doubled the dose. I was out of the country, the first three weeks he was on the drug. It was my busy time of work. We both traveled a lot for work, etc. But I will never forget something and I'll tell you before we get into the blackbox warning, but he came home and he and now looking back it was clearly a sign that something wasn't right. But he came home he had been driving around he was completely drenched through his blue dress shirt much like what you have on right now completely drenched. And he fell to the floor with his hands around his head like advice. Can you got to help me, um, he was having me. I had talked to him about it. And he's just rocking back and forth, bawling. And I was like, uh, you know, we've been married almost 10 years. And, you know, we've calmed him down, we did pray and we did you know, breathing. He ultimately called his doctor. And the doctor said, You got to give it four to six weeks to kick in. And so that, you know, that was really the where we were at. And obviously, when that was happening, we never you know what, he lasted another week and I was out of town again for work. And I had my dad go over there and he's the one that called me and had to make a call that he to this day still says Better him than me finding it. But it was horrible. And you know that there was no warning. We never questioned the drug. We never none of that because it was you know, given to him by his doctor soul the safe and effective, FDA approved right. And that night When he was found the coroner got on the, on the phone and asked me if what he was taking any medication. And the only thing he was taking was Zoloft. And she said, we might have to take it with us, it might have something to do with his death. That was number one. The second thing that was really interesting is the front page of our newspaper had an article that said the UK finds like between antidepressants and suicide in teens. And that was literally like, almost in a way his note because he didn't leave a note. But what was shocking to to us is my brother in law was went home that night, and Googled Zoloft and suicide, to learn that the FDA had hearings in 1991. And did nothing It was just Prozac on the market. And there was the emergent it was about the emergence of violence and suicide. They did nothing. Eli Lilly did nothing. They were supposed to study suicide, suicidality. Fast forward, now you have it approved for kids. And now you have Zoloft and Paxil on the market. All of this happening, where we're just living, you know, our life. And this, you know, took us on this path. But yeah, so that really became our journey of like, we got to do something we got it like, because his death made no sense because he didn't, or depression,
Dr. Paul 26:25
right? It doesn't sound like he was the kind of guy who was all the time depressed. He was he was not he was like the last person you would have thought would have committed suicide
Kim Witczak 26:34
100% the lat that's why, you know, back then it was like, it made literally no sense. And so that became our journey is to go out, you know, and if and once we learned that the FDA knew about it, and they did nothing wrong for a decade, for over a decade and how many lives and then you're a pediatrician how many families that I met have kids that were like 11 one, you know, like the Matt Miller, he was 13 years old. They had just moved, he was having anxiety, he hung himself, six days after it. Another one on my friends Matthew Downing's daughter, Candace 13, hung herself from the balance of her bed, she got Zoloft for testing anxiety. And so all of these families came together. And we were before the FDA, what, uh, you know, that Advisory Committee, which is now the committee that I sit on 20 years later, right, back in 91, we all got to have an opportunity, like, and there were, I mean, to tell our stories, but you know, that was one of the many things that we did, but I think, you know, the biggest one, that in addition, obviously, you know, what his story because of he was a poster child because he didn't get it for depression. But the biggest thing that I think was instrumental in helping us was that I had a plan, I had a wrongful death, failure to warn lawsuit against Pfizer. And I was able to get documents out from under seal, that they knew about it, the FDA knew about it, and they intentionally kept it from doctors like you. They kept it. They were talking about this side effect called akathisia, which was that were what he was telling me he was out of his body. And that was a side effect, that they, the Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer, Zoloft, wrote an entire article that was in one of the, you know, the journals that anybody know, like a psych psychiatry journal, talking about apathy, Zia, that if a patient gets a quote, unquote, death can be a welcome result. That wasn't what was interesting. It was, it was the document that they sent to all their sales staff. That said, the attached journal article is not suitable for general practitioners, but maybe be of interest to neurologically inclined psychiatrists. So they intentionally at that time, were keeping information from physicians that might have been instead of like, when I caught, you know, and when he called, instead of saying it takes four to six weeks, they might have said, whoa, whoa, it might, it might be the drug that that you're on.
Dr. Paul 29:20
Yeah. So I'm gonna ask you a question that we're faced with as physicians. And it sort of goes something like this. I've got a depressed, suicidal person in front of me. And, you know, they put them on this drug that has a blackbox warning of suicide. I don't know if it was the drug that caused the suicide or if they just committed suicide because they were already suicidal. Do you have any sort of way to unpack that?
Kim Witczak 29:54
Yeah, you know, it's funny. That was something that we heard in all of the hearings. That was the debate that was happening as you know, like, how do we know it wasn't the drug or it was the person, right? And so you actually go and look at all the media that was done at that time. It was like, oh, suicides inherent in the illness of depressed depression. And so I think why Woody and a lot of these stories back then were really important is because they didn't get it for depression. Right? And, and so that idea that back then they didn't even have a warning. And they were even contemplating, do we want to put a warning because it might scare parents and people? And I was like thinking, Okay, if you do under, you know, to the question, you just asked, if you have a patient that is depressed, and there's this possibility that a drug might, you know, they would say, oh, it makes them feel this was their excuse, they would always say, oh, it makes them feel good enough to act on the impulse. I remember reading that too. Yeah. And I'd be like, well, that doesn't even make sense intuitively. And again, I'm not a doctor, I'm a layperson. But I was like, that doesn't make sense. Like, why wouldn't you give people the information? So that if it is the drug, and here are some of the side effects, that if you start seeing, like pacing back and forth, or that you maybe have a chance to like, step in? But yeah, I can't imagine like, I'm sure, especially nowadays, where, you know, especially after the pandemic, and and, you know, kids coming in, you know, there's all the technology, you know, for sure, I look back at what happened with Woody, they were at that time, these drugs were new, they were, you know, they were selling them, we have advertising, they were trying to get everybody on these drugs for everything, you know, there would have been, I would think, and I've had many doctors say to me, that that probably would be the last drug they would have probably put them on, there would have been other things like how about, you know, what's there? What's going on with their exercise? What's going on with like, is there a meditation? Is there other kind of things breathing? You know, things we would have tried differently. But, you know, I think, you know, we live in a society that I feel, you know, especially because we're one of two countries in the world that allow drug ads. So, which is interesting, because it's constantly, you know, in our face, you know, the drugs and the drug solution. And that, you know, and physicians and the system, you're not, you know, you're not immune from it as well with all your marketing as, but I think we've come to a place of, you know, the quick fix that a lot of people and I've heard, I just had a conversation yesterday with a friend whose friends who the mom said, her 13 year old son, really depressed, she just like quickly, she just didn't want him to be sad. And so she just felt like she needed to do something as a mom. So she just quickly put them on an antidepressant. And I was like, Well, I hope she knows like, I'm not, you know, I'm not anti, but it's like be informed about what to look for. And is that really the right thing to do initially? Like, are there other things that we should be trying? First?
Dr. Paul 33:17
Yeah, yeah. Let's, let's educate our viewers a little bit on what should people look for? Because I think that's the actionable information, you're given. You've made that decision to take an antidepressant. Let's just start with antidepressants. And why should you look for that clues, you end a whoa, stop it, this is not going well, right? Because this business of waiting four to six weeks for it to take effect. Okay, for a positive effect, fine. But if you have side effects you stop. Yeah. What side effects? From your research? I know, you've sat in a lot of hearings, what are the thing, the clues that, you know, hey, just just stop it?
Kim Witczak 33:57
Well, I would say that, you know, I've heard, obviously, you know, the ones that are palatable that we that are told to us, like, if you have you know, diarrhea, I feel like all of those, you know, kind of are just easy to you know, accept as that's what a side effect is, but the ones that you really need to worry about when you first go on a drug or dosage changes, or coming off of them is, you know, the side effect called akathisia. Which is this like describing it, like some people I've heard it described many different ways for what it was like outside his body and it was all this impulsive, like behave behavior. I know those for it's like, pacing back and forth. It's maybe constantly getting up can't sit still. I've heard people talk about it. Like, it feels like bugs are crawling in my skin. You know, so I think there are things like that's an extreme, but when you start having also having thoughts, I know that some You know, some people will get these constant, like almost obsessive thoughts
Dr. Paul 35:05
there would naturally occur for them. Yeah, exactly
Kim Witczak 35:08
that. And then and then I think that's the confusing part is, like, if you're having those thoughts are, is that you? Is it the disease and so I think having somebody at home like whether even if it's an adult, if you have, if you have a loved one, a spouse, a roommate, you know, checking in, hey, hey, dude are how you doing? Like how you feeling? I think that's really important. Because you know, you might be watching somebody, because if the if it's happening the person and imagine a kid who doesn't even know how to explain it, or they're like, you know, that they're trying to get this out, at least when he was an adult. If you know, I also look at extreme crying and pain. You know, that was another I look back and I never saw what do you like ball like that? I mean, that something was, you know, happening? really out of whack? Yeah, it was out of whack. And I think that, you know, I always say that. Especially like, parents and I even think, you know, as an adult, it was, you know, we don't have we didn't have kids. And it was just one night that I think we were like, Oh, you're an adult, I'm an adult, or, you know, it's just medicine, like medicine can't hurt you, you know, at least that's what I used to think right? Now I have a very different opinion of like, you know, having them on FDA advisory committees, looking at new drugs coming to market, seeing how drugs are being tested, how, you know, it's really the system is set up to put the drug on the market, and harms and the side effects. And even if there were some, although what was discovered in the antidepressants is that there were a lot of trials where they did have suicide, suicide, suicidality, hallucinations, stuff that were psychosis, things like that, that were in the trials, but didn't come to light and tell through because those weren't the positive studies. So I do feel like there were some there that they knew. But now looking at a lot of the new drugs coming on market, they're coming to market where it might not be Intel, millions of people start taking a drug that a little bit of a set, you know, something that doesn't seem normal, but might be a side effect, or pretty serious harm that we don't see until lots of people start taking it.
Dr. Paul 37:40
Yeah. So if you are giving informed consent, so talk to a new family that's considering an antidepressant for their loved one, you know, informed consent being here's the pros and the cons and the alternatives. What would be important, do you think for them to know? Well,
Kim Witczak 37:57
I think, first of all, I love how you actually because I wish that everybody described informed consent like you did, which is pros, here the cons, and here's what can happen if we don't do anything at all. And I think that has to be part of it as well. Or like other alternatives. I would, you know, start for starters, wondering if that's the first place that we look at. That would be my first if I had, you know, the other alternatives? Yeah, alternate other alternatives first, but if they tried it, they want to do it, then I would say that it's really about checking in on the people. It's read, also read the label yourself. You know, I used to think about those package inserts, a lot of people, take them, throw them out, when they come in your package, you don't, you don't really want to take
Dr. Paul 38:47
it's like this massive document with a list of side effects that if you actually considered that those are possible side effects. Nobody would take a drug.
Kim Witczak 38:55
I know that says it's so true. And so like, that's why I'm always like, read, like, I feel like people should read. I wish I did. I didn't, you know, and if there's anything with a black box, like, you know, the antidepressants, which I don't know, I wonder how many parents know that there's med guides and FDA med guide that accompanies those antidepressants. So I would want to have that med guide also, because it's in plain language of some of the things that I would want to know. So I think that's important. And if you have something I think, you know, I think physicians should be checking in on their patients too, and maybe asking some of those questions like, Are you having any random thoughts that you don't normally have? How about like, even that, it's probably why I like the descriptive words that I've heard people describe the akathisia like, bugs in their crawling in their skin or they can't sit still. You know, I feel like there's some of those kinds of questions that I think are part of the bar. consent that people should look for. And I think whatever. And I also feel like one of the big things is, let's have a game plan to get off. Because these robots. I mean, I do. That's me. I was
Dr. Paul 40:15
like, never part of the plan, I'll tell you
Kim Witczak 40:17
never, because also now I hear people like, how many stories and countless I've been doing this now almost 20 years. And I hear people are on them for like, 2030 years. I'm like, how, like you've not it's not a daily vitamin. And so I think that we need to also think about, like, is there a game plan, like, you know, these and have that honest conversation of, you know, when these first came in, on the market, they were tested for a short amount of time, they were never tested, or meant to take for years. And I think if somebody you know, now, I wonder where a lot of times, like if somebody's having a side effect, and it's some one of the ones that made the art that, you know, like, could get associated, like, oh, that's just the disease getting worse, which we hear that all the time, then they get another drug on top of it, and another drug, and all sudden, now, the thing that was first wrong, maybe didn't and then now, you know, I don't know how big this is yet in the but you hear about like doing testing, like, do certain bodies. You know, the idea that we're one size fits all? Or like one medication, like certain bodies, maybe have a Texas that can't process these drugs?
Dr. Paul 41:35
Yeah, there are tests now for it's still doesn't give people the alternative of taking health and wellness into your own hands, which I think as you alluded to is absolutely the first thing you do. If you think of a kid having a tantrum, we wouldn't give them a drug, we hug them. We, we redirect them, we we support their world. So it becomes a world that they're safe and can grow in. Well just expand that to our kids who are depressed or anxious or add, which we can maybe discuss also. So you have a national public awareness campaign at I think it's Woody matters.com. Woody was your husband, right? Yep. And you bet he matters, because we want to educate the public so that you don't go down this path of, you know, basically endless chronic medication that it is hard to get off of, because you are artificially propping up serotonin, for example, with the SSRIs. And then if you remove that, you crash and you feel so much worse that you go back to your, you know, in this case, pharmaceutical drugs. What are you doing with your awareness campaign? How? Maybe How can you explain that so people know how they can access that?
Kim Witczak 42:48
Sure. Well, I think, you know, one thing I do is I do I've been, it seems like the world we live in today, it's a lot of podcasts and sharing information. My big thing right now is I'm always trying to represent the voice of families who have lived everyday with the consequences, and making that face to remind people that there is another side, and I'm the harms, I will always, you know, now with a lot of the new medications that are coming on the market. They're coming on fast, and we're not talking about the harms. And nobody really wants to talk this, this, the system doesn't want to talk about harms. And nobody thinks it's going to happen to them. Until it does. And so that is where we you know, reminding that with right now, with the anti depressants, I'm also working on, you know, we have the warning for the suicide. And we constantly have to remind people that, you know, back when, when Woody was put on the drug, I had no idea that in 1991, that there were hearings, because I was like I was in college, you know, I was having a you know, I was living life. And that wasn't even on my radar. So I constantly, you know, tell people and I'm telling media, and I'm telling people like, you need to do stories to remind parents who weren't in 2004 2006, I had no idea the controversial, it's not like because I think so many people just assume these drugs have been on the market, and there must be fine, but they have no idea. There's a whole ugly backstory, and so to keep reminding them, of what you know, a lot of families and the stories that were tragic that happened and what it took to get those blackbox warning sign, so I do that. And I'm also like the voice, the consumer rep on the FDA psychopharmacologic drugs Advisory Committee, and I'm constantly reminded, you know, being there's already so many people out there that are promoting the benefits of the drug the drugs that I want to constantly remind people up the harms in my drug safety. But that
Dr. Paul 45:07
brings up a perception that I've had. So I'm a pediatrician. My big battle with industry has been over vaccines, because just like you're expressing with the cycle tropic drugs and there's no safety testing, there's no long term follow up, there's no look at all health outcomes. It's just sort of shoddy short term studies are used to show that others benefit. And they just whitewash the safety. The ACI P which is on the CDC vaccine immunization panel that makes recommendations, they're rubber stamping vaccines, I mean, they even put the COVID Jab on the childhood schedule insanity. And my guess is, I'm pretty sure with the CDC that they're just captured, right Pharma has has at least the key committees people in key positions. My sense is the same is true on on the FDA and the pharmaceutical side of things. You've sat on these committees, what do you think?
Kim Witczak 46:03
I mean, absolutely. I think well, first of all, if people understand that the drug companies pay to have their drugs reviewed through Paducah prescription user fee, so basically, you know, what is it half over half 50% of the budget comes from drug companies. So who are they actually really working? You know, I always call it the fox guarding the henhouse. Like, who are they? Who are their real customers? You know, a lot of times. So that's one thing to always pay attention, then you look at who gets put on these committees. And when you start looking at, you know, I'm using a phrase that what he always told me to use, like back to get to the bottom of anything, follow the money, right? So you go and you start going to who, what, what institutions do they work? Like, I was shocked, like, I didn't, I didn't know that how much of academic institutions and they get monies from whether it's pharma, whether, you know, they want to be on a committee that gets their own grant research, money coming. So all of that does influence decisions, too. And so I've seen it on my committee, and I kept saying, you know, what, because I did testify quite a bit I, because I don't have kids, I didn't get involved a lot, because I know there's people who do really good vaccine safety work. So but it was when the COVID jabs came out, that I was like, wait a minute, you're given them complete immunity? Wait, you're given Pfizer? Like, you know, I mean, all the red flags, all the marketing, completely safe? And I was like, how do they know it's safe, that you took away the placebo group? Like, how do you know, like, you know, until you start asking those questions, but you when I look, that I was always shocked that even as the on the hcip and and what is it the verpackt meeting or the verpackt? Committee, their consumer rep, I was like, that's not a consumer rep. That consumer rep is a pediatrician, who's an academic pediatrician who works at this institution. Like, where's that does, they're not representing the public. And so we've been advocating, there's a group of us, that have been advocating that you need to have somebody who lives in real world, the harms real world, like I want a pediatrician, like if we're talking about pediatrician, like, with the antidepressants, or any of the new anti psychotics are coming. I want a pediatrician who's a practicing pediatrician, not just one who's an academic, who is institution because I feel that some of them even if they want to speak out, they're afraid that there could be some retributions whether their own careers, their own grants. But you know, I know the reality of when that goes into the market, the system is not set up to capture safety. And because we've been listening for, I mean, literally, since I've been doing this work going out to DC. I heard every time we told the FDA, and it was in the MedWatch, which is the same thing as kind of the veirs. It's called fairs for drug or MedWatch. For drugs, and I'm like, we've been hearing the same thing. Oh, it didn't happen. This is just anecdotal. So it's quickly brushed off as anecdotal. Right? What happened to what he said, You should be curious, like, why aren't you curious to go find out how these people who got up or anxiety like hanging themselves, they did this? Like, you know, aren't you curious? So I was shocked that the whole safety system doesn't exist, and they're still using the same excuse they did back 20 years ago, which is, oh, well, we can't really trust the MedWatch system. You know, those are just lay people that are reporting side effects Am I Oh, no, it's not. It is it's supposed to be a signal. And also at this point, we're 20 years in. And now I heard the same thing with the whole verb or with the whole bears.
Dr. Paul 50:10
So what do we do? They fix it. How do we fix it? What do we do? What do you tell people?
Kim Witczak 50:16
I feel like when people I think we need to? Well, first of all, I think we need to not give away our power to, I think we need to advocate for ourselves and really take our own health into, into our hands. I also feel like, don't be afraid to speak out and challenge and ask the questions. Stop Pause, don't just assume that because it's FDA approved, or now it's on, you know, the CD, do a little bit of research, listen to places, not the mainstream media, which, you know, were at least a little bit helpful, even though they always leaned more towards Pro, whatever the product was, you know, go do your research. You know, I was shocked that. I mean, you know, when I look back at the vaccines, the COVID Jab, when you take out completely immunity that I heard, then you start learning about the childhood vaccinations that you gave these companies complete Congress did in 1986. And now that's when the skyrocketed. And so I think there's things that we can push put pressure on Congress, vote with your you know, your, your money, but really, most importantly, be responsible, like, Don't give your power away for you or your kid. And ask questions. Be curious.
Dr. Paul 51:46
Yeah. Before I lose you, because I know you have limited time. Can you touch on the other psychotropic drugs category? So we've touched on the antidepressants, there's anti anxiety medications, there's, you know, anti psychotic, there's ATD ADHD meds? Are you finding the same sort of scenarios? Because I certainly see it in clinical practice?
Kim Witczak 52:09
Yeah, so the same thing, you know, like with the ADHD, or some of the, the they're scheduled to I don't I mean, how many parents understand that their DEA schedule to that they're addictive. Right? You know, I mean, I was, you know, once I started learning that, that was something but a lot of the new anti psychotics that are coming out in the market. And they're almost everything, if you start listening to them marketing of it, like have you Are you still sad you might have, you might need to add another so they're putting antidepressant because say your kid, you've had a kid, you're they've been on it for a couple years, they seem to not be working. They're also now putting it all they're like, oh, it might be bipolar depression. So then they put another drug. And so it's this constant like you call that the little gerbil or hamster wheel? I feel like Yeah, so it's same thing with those, the anxiety meds. You know, I think we have to be careful and really go back and do your research on it. And be careful for the new ones that are coming out.
Dr. Paul 53:21
Yeah. That it seems to me the newer antidepressants and antipsychotics are so much more potent in their ability to adjust neurotransmitters or affect neurotransmitters. But what that does is yeah, maybe perhaps short term, you have a feeling of relief from whatever your symptom is. But there's only so many neurotransmitters in those synapses. So when you've blasted them all out, I mean, the classic example is meth, you know, the meth addict will go on a run, and they just deplete all their dopamine and serotonin. And then they sleep for days because they are completely trashed. Well, yeah, these more potent newer drugs are a version of that maybe just not quite as extreme.
Kim Witczak 54:06
Yeah. And, you know, you brought up something that I, you know, I do have a little bit of time, but just the whole, like schools, the linking the links to the violence aspect, that we haven't talked about. And so I think there is, you know, that is something that we do need to pay attention, like, what is it doing to our brains, a growing brain, right, and to the point where you like, don't remember something you go on, like, you just you're trashed, that we have to remember that these were never meant to be long term. We don't know what it ultimately does long term. And and for people you know, they're doing now they're looking at studies like with the increase of Alzheimer's is there is that a result of long term use of have, you know the statin drugs, the lat long term use of the antidepressants, the sleep meds, like, you know, all of that that's happening at the same time. So I'm glad that there's research looking, is there a link to that? I think that's really important. But it goes back to a lot of these drugs that we're talking about that have issues are kind of lifestyle drugs.
Dr. Paul 55:24
Well, you know, the focus thing, because pediatricians deal with that a lot as and actually, all of this depression, anxiety is so prevalent now. I mean, COVID just made it doubly triply as bad as it used to be. And there are no child psychiatrists who have openings in their practice. So pediatricians or family practice Doc's, you know, providers everywhere are faced with this growing volume of distressed people, right? They can't focus, they can't sleep, they can't feel like they're okay. Right, that whole anxiety, depression, thing, and what to do. And so my experience was that a pretty significant percentage of kids who were tried on these meds had really significant side effects. So, you know, go natural first, if you possibly can, and a lot of times, it's all the things you alluded to clean up the diet, I mean, we the diet is such a mess, you got to start eating real food, we've got to reduce stress. And always we can stress just makes all these conditions worse. We're Yeah, and there was nothing more stressful than COVID. And thinking that if you just got close to somebody, you were gonna die or kill your grandma all these crazy stories around COVID, putting people in masks and you know, that just stresses everybody out. And then yeah, sleep exercise, there's so much you can do as in a sense of community and having loving relationships, it all is so important, what's what's burning in your spirit about all of this that you want people to know.
Kim Witczak 57:06
My biggest thing is, how much we have to be our own advocates, and really take our own like health into, to take an interest in it and not give our power away. Because this system is harder to fight that way, like ask questions, don't be afraid, you know, that's burning, it's always been burning, because I've seen, you know, so much of like, labeling kids that I work with, I work a lot with foster kids, and I hear they're labeled, I'm like, Stop, let's stop labeling people, let's stop, like, and that if we want to be the change, the change doesn't happen out there to change starts here. So I think that's a really important one to remember. Even when we're angry about something, and I trust me, I get angry about the world all the time. I'm like, Whoa, like, if I focus on all that? I gotta focus here first, because that gets me going. So that's one thing. And, of course, you know, I want to I want to get into the investigating with the hole guns and stuff with the drugs as well. It's another thing that is burning in me that at some point I'll work on. Yeah.
Dr. Paul 58:20
Well, thank you for taking your personal tragedy and turning it into a life's mission really, of helping the world understand what's going on here. It's it's so important for people to wake up. Our medical system is controlled, financed, run by the pharmaceutical dollars and big, big money. Doctors like myself, we're trained to diagnose and treat. So we're not trained about wellness, we're trained about illness. And sadly, the shift is more and more towards chronic illness. And think about it, that's where the profits are, you know, you get somebody on an anxiety or an antidepressant and they can't get off of it. You've got to money stream for life,
Kim Witczak 59:08
for life. And that's why you know, I guess the other one, the big area for me is selling sickness. And I've been just starting to get invited to med schools to talk about what is selling sickness, and it's the sick model. And it's, you know, it's reframing the, like you said, chronic illnesses, its customers for life. Like you can have it. It is a smart business strategy for that. I mean, it's sick model. But you know what I mean? Like you get them in when they're young, even in vitro, and you keep them all the way to the time that you know, we have the highest amount, I mean, polypharmacy for all of the which is the multiple multiple medications for our senior is a big practice now to get people off of these meds. And so start thinking about it, that whole model of the the end st is set up, you know, that is probably the shocking thing. And you know, hopefully people are starting to wake up to it, but how much farmers influencing all of these areas, and then it's the system. It's, you know, the system that we're trying to operate. So that's why I always say you maybe not can't change the system, but you can change your part, and your relation to how you deal with the system.
Dr. Paul 1:00:29
Yeah. And work to work your way out of the broken system and into a healthy model. It can be done and it should be a goal. I love that you're, you know, shining a bright light on this, and remind our viewers where they can connect with you for more information.
Kim Witczak 1:00:46
Or you can contact me at Kim wozzeck.com. You can also follow me on Twitter, at woody matters. And then I also started a sub stack called acceptable collateral damage, although I call it I mean, it's really unacceptable, but because a lot of times people like Woody and countless others are just acceptable cost of doing business.
Dr. Paul 1:01:14
Yeah, sad, sad fact, in a ruthless industry that's really just out for profit. It does matter folks where you put your trust and invest in yourself, trust your own natural ability to heal because we have incredible bodies. They just need a little nurturing in the right ways. None of us are Ritalin deficient Adderall deficient Zoloft, deficient. Name your pharmaceutical drug of choice. We are not deficient in those things. Except perhaps if you're diabetic type one and you need insulin. That's a different story. But for most of these things, there is an there's a way out of that pharmaceutical trap. Thank you so much for your time with us, Kim. I really enjoyed this.
Kim Witczak 1:02:00
Dr. Paul 1:02:06
I look forward to running together with the wind at our backs, revealing the science that gives clarity in our world that's full of propaganda and misinformation. Visit our website, doctors and science.com Sign up. Donate if you can. Your support makes a difference. And let's make this the weekly show the world has been waiting for. Thanks for watching. I'm Dr. Paul.
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