Memories of Washington DC 2006
One year ago today, I went to Washington DC to attend the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee’s review of data linking antidepressants to a risk of suicide in adults. It was on that day, one year ago, when my eyes were first opened to the blatant corruption and bureaucracy that plagues our system. It was obvious that no one on that panel was there to rock the boat - and that their minds had already been made up long before they stepped foot in that room. It wasn’t about data or new findings – it was all just “going through the motions.” Putting on a show to put our collective minds at ease and to publicly show their devotion to the cartel controlling them – the pharmaceutical industry.
As I look back now, through the haze of 365 days struggling to overcome an excruciating withdrawal from Paxil, I still remember that day in Washington – not just how disappointed I was with the people in power – but how in the midst of all that posturing, I witnessed expressions of love and hope that went beyond words. To see a mother bravely stand up in front of the room full of cold faces and share loving memories about a daughter who fell victim to the dangers of these drugs moved me. She wasn’t there for money or power – or any kind of personal gain – she was there with one purpose in mind…to help others. That, to me, is a true symbol of hope on the anniversary of yet another missed opportunity by our government to inform the public and save lives.