Protesters Say No to Destructive Psychiatric “Treatments”

Citizens Commission on Human Rights demands an end to psychiatric abuse.

More than 2,000 members of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) chapters from Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark held a rally and protest march at the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) Congress April 1 to denounce psychiatric abuse.

They targeted psychiatry for advocating hazardous psychotropic drugs and promoting experimental devices that have never been proven to be safe and effective. These devices consist of electrodes implanted in the brain and powered by micro batteries inserted under the skin and connected to the electrodes by wires that run through the neck.

According to CCHR, many EPA psychiatrists, including members of the Congress’s scientific committee, are known for their ties to the pharmaceutical industry and the manufacturers of devices for the electrical stimulation of the brain, who are sponsoring the Congress.

The protest march traveled from Florence’s Piazza Santa Maria Novella to Piazza San Marco, with a rally led by Dr. Roberto Cestari, president of CCHR Italy. Dr. Vincenza Palmieri, founder of Programma Vivere Senza Psicofarmaci (Living Without Psychotropic Drugs Program), spoke of psychiatry’s complicity with the pharmaceutical industry and the destruction they inflict on children and families through the use of psychotropic drugs.

Numerous international studies have exposed the dangerous effects of these substances, including homicidal and suicidal ideation, psychosis, mania, aggression, hallucinations, severe liver damage, birth defects, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death.

According to Italy's National Observatory on the Use of Medicines (OsMed), consumption of psychoactive drugs is steadily increasing in Italy at a cost of more than 3.3 billion Euros in 2015. The lion's share of these are antidepressants (in non-hospital settings for the most part) and antipsychotics (mostly prescribed in hospitals).

CCHR is also committed to putting an end to electroshock and other barbaric, unscientific “treatments” with their devastating effects on memory and overall health.

According to a 2013 Parliamentary Committee on National Health Service report to the Italian Senate, electroshock (also called electroconvulsive therapy, ECT) is practiced in 91 hospitals in Italy. Despite directives from the Ministry of Health that ECT be used only after all possible treatments have been attempted, in some of these hospitals, ECT is used as a primary treatment.

April 1 also saw the opening of the CCHR multimedia traveling exhibition, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, at Florence’s Auditorium al Duomo. With 14 photographic panels, each with a separate chapter of the exhibition’s feature-length documentary, it traces the 300-year history of abusive psychiatric treatment.

Cofounded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz, CCHR is dedicated to eradicating abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enacting patient and consumer protections.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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