‘A quarter of people with bipolar disorder are prescribed medication that may be doing more harm than good.’
Beginning as they love to do with the extended morbid exploitation of a single patient, feeding on their personal tragedy, Reporting Scotland set the scene for today’s episode of their long-running daily series ‘Emergency Ward Scotland.’ We know why they love to tell this story of NHS Scotland in crisis even though objective assessment tells us it’s among the best in the world.
‘Lithium acts as a mood stabiliser. Academics found that only one in twenty patients were prescribed it as medication. They were also surprised to find a quarter of patients were on anti-depressants alone.’
The ‘academics’ turn out to be one academic from Glasgow University, just around the corner from BBC Scotland HQ, who insists that ‘lithium is the gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder.’
Knowing nothing really but sensing that they are in the dangerous waters of a medical, drug-related, dispute between professional medics, any professional journalist would be careful to get a second opinion and be extra careful not to report in a way that might influence the behaviour of vulnerable, perhaps suicidal people.
Reporting Scotland do not ask a single mental health practitioner the obvious question:
‘Why are you not prescribing lithium to bipolar patients?’
Remember, in 95% of cases they are not doing so. Might they have a good reason? Doesn’t that thought reveal their showy 1 in 20 image above to be the work of the intellectually challenge and the emotionally underdeveloped?
I do know that lithium is a very powerful dangerous drug with many risks associated with it. Why did Reporting Scotland not present any other opinion on it? You can find this very disturbing piece easily:
‘In my view the evidence that lithium helps prevent episodes of manic depression is far too weak to outweigh the harms it can cause (which commonly include thyroid damage, kidney damage, and acute neurological toxicity at doses very close to those used in practice, hence the need for blood monitoring). Manic depression is a highly variable condition. Some people have many episodes, some people few, and the pattern of episodes varies throughout life as well. Long periods of remaining well are not necessarily evidence of a treatment’s effectiveness. What we would need to demonstrate the efficacy and value of lithium is a prospective randomised trial in which people who had not previously been on long-term drug treatment were randomly allocated to start lithium or placebo. At present, my view is that the evidence that lithium might be effective is not strong enough to justify such a trial, given the health risks associated with it.’
Anyone can see that journalists are not competent to mess with people’s lives in this way, just to get a story. Sadly, RS have previous. See these earlier cases suggesting that they really need to take the Psychopath Test.