Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) February 19, 2013
Senior managing partner Michael L. Baum of the law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman appears in a new Swedish documentary that raises questions about the utility and safety of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants.
ARTIMUS FILM SVB AB decided to take on the Swedish establishment in its three-part documentary Who Cares in Sweden? The film provides commentary from academics, industry insiders, journalists, activists and a host of others whose lives have been affected by SSRIs. Experts joining Baum in the film include Dr. David Healy, Professor of Psychiatry; Peter Rost, former Vice President of Marketing at Pfizer; Robert Whitaker, writer and journalist; Allen Frances, Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman of the DSM IV Task Force.
SSRI antidepressants are prescribed to treat a wide variety of diagnoses, including (but not limited to) depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, menstrual problems, grief and smoking cessation. As the films point out, this wide usage of SSRIs (roughly one out of every ten Swedes is currently on an antidepressant) comes at a great social cost.
According to the film, the rampant use of SSRI medication is making people “care less,” in that people are less concerned and affected by their families and friends, an unpleasant working environment or a messy household. Antidepressants, in effect, are blunting the consciousness of the people who take them, leaving people with a lack of empathy towards those around them.
Furthermore, antidepressants are associated with a long list of serious side effects. “That’s not widely known and was not widely known in the U.S. and may not be widely known in Sweden,” says Michael Baum, who has worked on behalf of clients affected by antidepressants for more than two decades. “More needs to be said about the negative reactions that occur, for instance, the majority of people that are placed on these drugs are women, and they are women of childbearing age.”
According to scientific data, SSRIs may increase one’s risk of experiencing suicidal behavior. Studies have also shown that SSRIs can increase the risk of birth defects in babies born to mothers who take them prenatally. Despite this risk, SSRIs are widely used in Sweden and in many other countries by pregnant women. This places babies in danger, as they can develop birth defects such as heart defects, PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn), cleft lip and palate and autism spectrum disorders, among others.
“What they [pregnant women] need to know is that the mechanism that this drug works by is manipulating a molecule called a neurotransmitter, which is a signaling molecule for fetuses and embryos while they are developing,” says Baum in the second installment of Who Cares in Sweden? “The level of that molecule gets manipulated by the drug and can cause birth defects.”
Who Cares in Sweden? exposes the pharmaceutical industry’s ceaseless promotion of antidepressants, and their risks, through direct conversations with a variety of experts and citizens affected by antidepressants. It shows that pharmaceutical companies have, for years, obscured side effects and other problems associated with SSRIs by using sophisticated public relations campaigns that employ a network of doctors and scientists paid by the pharmaceutical companies to promote their products.
The film aims to awaken the interest of politicians, journalists, scientists and the public at large to take action and reevaluate health care systems in which pharmaceutical companies spread misinformation with impunity.
You can watch all three films at https://www.artimus.se/en/ or at the documentary’s own website http://www.whocaresinsweden.com. You can also donate money here in support of the research, production and post-production that goes into making educational and impactful films like Who Cares in Sweden? Watch the official trailer. Who Cares in Sweden? was released on September 10, 2012.
About Baum Hedlund
The Los Angeles-based law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has represented thousands of people across the United States harmed by antidepressants. The firm has the longest track-record handling antidepressant cases in the U.S. and has represented patients and families of patients who have attempted or committed suicide, experienced severe withdrawal symptoms when attempting to wean off antidepressants, and children with birth defects who were subjected to antidepressants in the womb.