On May 9, Slate published a rebuke of the independence of an episode of the Infinite Mind, a public radio program on mental health, brain and behavior topics. The show is hosted by Dr. Fred Goodwin, a former director of the National Institute of …

33 Comments to
Dr. Fred Goodwin and The Infinite Mind Ties to Undisclosed Drug Payments

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  1. Bill Lichtenstein, the producer of the Infinite Mind, got in touch with me to clarify a few things, but namely that at no time was he aware of Dr. Goodwin’s conflicts of interest (other than he was engaged in CME). Lichtenstein notes that the failure to disclose such conflicts was in direct violation of the contract he has with Dr. Goodwin.

    The real challenge with these emerging findings is that it calls into question virtually anything the researcher (or in this case, the radio commentator/journalist Goodwin) has show in his or her research, or anything said or authored by said researcher (or commentator). It’s one thing for a professional who has reviewed the relevant research to come to an independent conclusion, “Well, these drugs seem to work most of the time for most of the people.” It’s another if that same professional is paid directly by one of the drug companies (or in the case of Goodwin’s half-hearted defense, a whole bunch of them!) and then tries to say with a straight face, “Well, sure, I promote Lamictal on the conference circuit because they pay me, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t find Lamictal effective.”

    That’s fine, but it completely ruins your credibility when you say that. Especially when you haven’t prefaced your comments with, “Oh, I just came back from a conference where I was paid to promote Lamictal, and I gotta say, this drug is da bomb.” If he had simply said that, no one would be up in arms.

    But that’s the line these researchers and commentators tread — one of seeming objectivity, all the while making money on the side from them.

  2. as long as the promotion of new drugs is driven by commerce in this country, these events are going to happen.
    it is a pity that dr goodwin is taking the fall alone. attention should be paid to those that corrupted him in big pharma. until that happens business in medicines is business as usual.
    there are many in govt and politics who behave as though dr goodwin’s circumspect behavior would be ok for them so long as they show no favoritism to their benefactors. they think, or thought, that they are being promoted because of their opinions and that their compliance wasn’t actually purchased.
    if these companies had to forfeit their right to advertise the affected medicines for a determined time period as a result of these actions, would the executives in charge take the risk of embarassing themselves in front of stockholders?
    perhaps we should pester the new congress about this.

  3. I’m glad there’s a big media circuit looking out for flagrant conflicts of interest like this. As noted, universities and other organizations are looking at ways of rooting out these financial relationships, but that’s hard to do if a person lies under contract, as it appears Dr. Goodwin has done.

  4. After reading Dr. Grohol’s thought provoking commentary here, I searched “The Infinite Mind” on the New York Times website and found Bill Lichtenstein describing the origins of The Infinite Mind radio show. Here’s an excerpt from that article published on August 12, 2001 and titled, TELEVISION/RADIO; On an Expedition Through the Mind

    “…Working out of his apartment, he started raising money for a series of public radio documentaries on subjects he felt had received grossly inadequate coverage: manic depression, schizophrenia and depression. They were well received and won numerous awards; he met Dr. Goodwin while producing the program on manic depression. By 1998, with money from various private and corporate foundations — including several unrestricted grants from pharmaceutical companies — he was able to launch ”The Infinite Mind.”

    Please check out the whole article for yourself here: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9402EEDD1F3CF931A2575BC0A9679C8B63

    In the acknowledgment section of Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression (in the second edition published in 2007), written by Dr. Fred Goodwin and Dr. Kay Jamison, Dr. Goodwin himself discloses:

    “During the time that this book was in preparation, Dr. Goodwin received research support from George Washington University Medical Center, the Foundation for Education and Research on Mental Illness, the Dalio Family Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Solvay and Eli Lilly and unrestricted educational grants to support the production of the book from Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Forest, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Janssen, Novartis, and Solvay. He is not a shareholder in any pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. He is a partner in Best Practice Project Management, Inc.”

    Dr. Goodwin is my doctor. He’s the very best. You don’t have to be an award winning investigative journalist to probe for Dr. Goodwin’s connections to big Pharma. Please just Google Dr. Goodwin for yourself. You’ll find his drug connections and his contributions to science and to public health, his bloopers and so much more.

    Google, lulu, twitter, flip, boing boing, blip, flickr, blufr, skype, micropersuasion, pandora, blinkx ,hoooka, clipshack, picturecloud, squidoo, mozilla, yanoodle — this is Health 2.0 and Grohol’s got his game on. How about you?

    Cheers,
    Moira

  5. There’s only one medication Dr. Goodwin has promoted in the three presentations I’ve attended in the past three years: lithium, a naturally occuring substance which has been on the market for decades.

  6. John:

    I am responding to your November 21, 2008 Psychcentral.com posting (above) regarding Dr. Fred Goodwin and the $1.2 million in undisclosed speaking fees he accepted from GlaxoSmithKline while he was hosting The Infinite Mind public radio show.

    Despite the fact that you are aware that your posting contains significant errors and false accusations, you have allowed it to remain on your site uncorrected.

    I am coming forward now because, in addition to the groundless attacks on me contained on your web site, you also posted comments from one of Fred Goodwin’s patients, who, in the most unethical manner imaginable, was enlisted by Goodwin’s office to speak out in his defense regarding The Infinite Mind matter at a time when she was ill, and subsequently was hospitalized with a manic episode. You apparently thought nothing of posting her writings, nor did you express any concern when I notified you that she had been ill and hospitalized and that her comments defending Goodwin had been written during a period when she now says she was manic; in fact, her comments remain on your site. Apparently anything defending Goodwin is such a precious commodity that it can’t go to waste, no matter what the circumstances.

    It should come as no surprise that your attacks on me are on Psychcentral.com, a web site that is awash in both pharmaceutical advertising and its own conflicts of interest.

    For example, Psychcentral.com provides “ratings” of all major psychiatric medications, such as Seroquel, the antipsychotic made by AstraZeneca, which gets a 5.81 rating out of 10 rating, and has among its positive comments: “this is a good med with the exception of gained weight and wanting to sleep all the time.”

    However, you inexplicably fail to mention that you get significant advertising dollars from AstraZeneca (advertising dollars are different than unrestricted educational grants, which are highly regulated with regard to conflicts of interest), and the banner ads for Seroquel are posted all over your site. Nor do you mention your advertising revenue on your “Please Read this Disclaimer” (caveat emptor) page about the pharmaceutical reviews. There is also the question of how this funding has influenced your editorial coverage of the pharmaceutical industry, including your inexplicable defense of Fred Goodwin, and his undisclosed acceptance of over one million dollars from GlaxoSmithKline.

    On the issue of transparency, it also should have been revealed in your essays attacking me and The Infinite Mind, that for years you worked for the public radio show, setting up and running our web site, before you left to run your pharmaceutical industry-sponsored blog. That’s a conflict of interest the readers of your Fred Goodwin/The Infinite Mind postings had a right to know.

    With regard to Fred Goodwin, I want to set the record straight on the following points:

    To date, despite Goodwin’s assertions that he disclosed the $1.2 million he received from GlaxoSmithKline to speak to doctors on the company’s behalf, Goodwin has failed to produce any evidence or basis in fact to support his claim that he reported his activities. The fact is he didn’t, despite the strict conflict of interest and disclosure language in his contract (See signed June 12, 2006 contract posted on-line at http://www.LCMedia.com/agreement.pdf )

    At the same time, Goodwin’s position with regard to his conflict of interest has changed almost daily.

    On December 2, 2008, the “GW Hatchet” (the student newspaper at George Washington University where Dr. Goodwin teaches) reported that Goodwin denied that there had been a conflict of interest, and he essentially proposed a novel concept of conflict of interest: “I frankly do not see these things as a conflict of interest. It was my judgment,” said Goodwin. “Like most experts in my field, I have relationships as a consultant with a number of pharmaceutical companies. I’ve always thought that if you have multiple relationships they sort of cancel each other out.”

    Additionally, the “GW Hatchet” reported that “[Goodwin] maintains he did not violate any contracts with ‘The Infinite Mind’ because . . . it was never required for him to disclose information,” despite the fact that his signed contract included strict language with regard to his disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest.

    On December 9, 2008, the prestigious British Medical Journal published an article on this matter, in which Goodwin again asserted there had been no conflict of interest in his accepting pharmaceutical fees while hosting The Infinite Mind. The journal reported that “besides GlaxoSmithKline [Goodwin] has been paid by Pfizer, Solvay, Janssen, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He said he believed that this canceled out the possible influence of any one company.” (See British Medical Journal article at http://www.LCMedia.com/BMJ.pdf )

    Most recently, Goodwin has made the novel argument that there was no conflict of interest since, as host, he didn’t have editorial control of the public radio program.

    The bottom line is that The Infinite Mind relied on the tough conflict of interest language in Goodwin’s contract and Goodwin’s resulting responsibility to self-disclose as the means to monitor any possible conflicts of interest on his part. At the same time, the radio show was fully transparent with our listeners about where our funding came from, and any pharmaceutical funding we received was in the form of unrestricted educational grants, which are highly regulated with regard to conflicts of interest and disclosure. We always maintained a firewall between funding sources and editorial.

    Psychcentral.com, on the other hand, receives advertising dollars from drug companies, which comes without those restrictions. It certainly calls into question your decision to take Fred Goodwin’s side in The Infinite Mind matter; the only other major web site to have done so was McMan’s Depression and Bipolar web site, which is also heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry (at last glance their front page had a banner ad for Ortho-McNeil-Janssen’s medication Concerta.)

    John, in the age of blogs, anyone with a computer can call themselves a “journalist.” But before you start attacking a journalist and a journalistic organization that has won more than 60 major broadcast awards, as well as honors from every major mental health organization, I would suggest you first get you facts straight and your own house in order.

    If I were Senator Grassley, the next stop on my review of the intrusion of the pharmaceutical industry into medicine and media would be the on-line “health education” sites like Psychcentral.com, as well as those covering such areas as Hepatitis C. These sites receive significant financial support from drug makers in the form of advertising dollars, while defending and promoting the pharmaceutical industry and their agents, and yet have no one to whom they answer.

    - Bill Lichtenstein

    (Copy of this response is posted on www. Pharmola. com)

  7. Hi Bill, not sure why it took you 3 months to formulate and post a response to this thread, after sending me numerous emails asking me to take it down or censor my opinion that you appeared to be “throwing Dr. Goodwin under the bus.” But nevertheless, good to see you here finally.

    I see that in defending yourself, you feel it necessary to attack me as well and my own motivations for posting about this story. As long-time readers of World of Psychology know, we are an equal-opportunity critic, and have many entries in the blog critical of drug company practices. Since we are a privately held firm, you have no idea how much monies we receive from any particular company, but our disclosure statement is quite clear on that matter (as is our editorial statement).

    If you think calling Dr Goodwin “extremely naive” in his defense is being supportive of the good doctor, I’d beg to differ. Our followup to this entry, in fact, was quite critical of Dr Goodwin’s efforts to defend himself:

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/12/04/dr-fred-goodwin-update/

    As for people publishing comments on our blog, well, that’s a person’s free prerogative to do so, no?

    On the issue of transparency, it also should have been revealed in your essays attacking me and The Infinite Mind, that for years you worked for the public radio show, setting up and running our web site, before you left to run your pharmaceutical industry-sponsored blog. That’s a conflict of interest the readers of your Fred Goodwin/The Infinite Mind postings had a right to know.

    I thought it irrelevant to the conversation, since I left on good terms. But indeed, I did stop being your part-time webmaster to pursue a position with drkoop.com in 1999, not run a “pharmaceutical industry-sponsored blog.” Strange memory you have there.

    I think any objective reading of this entry and our followup entry linked above shows Psych Central did not “take sides” in this matter. In fact, if there was a side I was more empathetic toward, it was yours. However, you sent numerous [*] emails pleading with me to censor this blog entry over the past 3 months… So, sadly, whatever empathy I may have had toward you and your company has been burned away by your own apparently fluid journalistic standards — standards that appear to value free speech only when it’s not negatively directed at you.

    We do answer to one very important set of people — our readers and the thousands of visitors who turn to us every month for a balanced perspective. Drug companies are not generally evil (just as psychotherapists are not generally evil, nor radio producers), and demonizing them — while a currently popular in vogue trend — is as silly as demonizing anything you don’t agree with.

    Including websites.

    * – Comment was censored after Mr. Lichtenstein again emailed me regarding the word “harassing” in the above comment.

  8. Hi Dr. Grohol,

    Just wanted to add to the infinite minding on Bill Lichtenstein’s comment above.

    Dr. Goodwin and his office never enlisted me to do anything for him here or anywhere else. I write what I write all on my own and it shows. LOL

    More balance, full disclosure, new funding…I’d love to hear Dr. Fred Goodwin and Mr. Bill Lichtenstein on the radio again for The Infinite Mind.

    Thank you,
    Moira

  9. I know first hand that Moira wrote that entry without any coersion whatsoever from Dr. Goodwin. So I find it most disturbing that Lichtenstein would say that this was done under unethical coersion. Knowing that and seeing Dr. Lichtenstein’s comments here and on other web sites of late, he has lost all credibility in my eyes.

    Although Lichtenstein dismisses Moira’s post because she was unwell, I think Moira’s post goes to show that just because we might be crazy it doesn’t necessarily follow that we can’t contribute to society. Great thinking, Moira! Thank you, Dr. Grohol, for giving a voice to people with mental illness.

  10. Bill Lichtenstein writes:

    “one of Fred Goodwin’s patients, who, in the most unethical manner imaginable, was enlisted by Goodwin’s office to speak out in his defense regarding The Infinite Mind matter at a time when she was ill, and subsequently was hospitalized with a manic episode.”

    BILL: WAY TO ACCUSE A PERSON, WHO ALSO HAS BIPOLAR DISORDER LIKE YOU DO, OF NOT BEING OF SOUND MIND, WHEN THERE IS NOTHING INCOHERENT IN WHATEVER SHE POSTED.

    AND YOU ARE ONE WHO EDUCATES PEOPLE ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS? YOU MAY NOT HAVE THROWN DR. GOODWIN UNDER THE BUS, BUT YOUR TRAIN SURE HAS DERAILED INTO A RIDDLED PILE OF ACCUSATORY DEBRIS.

    You further write:

    “You apparently thought nothing of posting her writings, nor did you express any concern when I notified you that she had been ill and hospitalized and that her comments defending Goodwin had been written during a period when she now says she was manic.”

    HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? COMMENTS WERE AGAINST YOU ONLY BECAUSE THE PERSON WAS (ALLEGEDLY) ILL AT THAT TIME?

    TAKE A STEP BACK AND TRY TO GET BACK YOUR BEARINGS.

  11. Bill Lichtenstein,

    I truly hope you are manic as that would be the only understandable reason you would feel disclosing someone’s personal medical information is relevant.

    Were her remarks simply too concise, too accurate, too intelligent to argue with the appropriate way? Calling yourself a journalist is an insult to those who practise their craft with honour.

    Deciding someone’s opinion is not valid because they have been in the hospital is prejudice at its most basic level.

    An apology would be the only way to save what little is left of your reputation at this point in time.

  12. The comments at issue here were circulated via email by their author to several people for comment, including to Fred Goodwin, his office, and to me, before they were posted here.

    Whether they remain on this site is between the author of the comments and the web site. I don’t in any way question the right of any person to express their opinions, nor do I call into question the validity of anyone’s point of view, regardless of circumstance. My concern, as expressed to this web site, first privately, and later publicly, was with regard to the circumstances that the comments, at issue, were posted here.

    For 20 years I have fought to defend the rights of persons with mental disorders to have the same respect and standing as the rest of society, in large part by helping to give people a voice to tell their own stories in their own words. Unfortunately, the cross-fire that resulted from the tragic situation involving Senator Grassley and Fred Goodwin has resulted in situations like this one. For that I couldn’t be more sorry.

  13. Bill, Bill, BILL…

    Why are you so intent on self-destruction? Every time you try to clear something up, you make it worse for yourself.

    Now you are really starting to make people wonder to what length you would go, just to try and clear your name.

    You know you messed up by revealing health information about someone who posted here – information that would not be known if you weren’t on this person’s distribution list. So much for trusting you with that kind of information, especially when the person is ill. Where was YOUR concern for her?

    * Bad Idea, Bill *

    Did I just hear the sound of someone thrown under a bus?

    You claim that you disclosed it to Dr. Grohol, out of that concern. If her post had been in your favor, what are the chances that you would you have done the same? Get real, Bill.

    Now, you couldn’t have just told Dr. Grohol that she is ill. You would have to present proof to substantiate it, right? So YOU most probably sent a copy of that email to Dr. Grohol. Dr. Grohol was prudent enough not to touch that. So three months later, you go public with it.

    How many others did you send that email to Bill? Don’t answer that, I don’t want to know.

    You were probably copied on that email because she trusted you, and in the hope that some amicable resolution may be reached. But you preferred to use it as a weapon.

    * REALLY Bad idea, Bill *

    You failed to convince Dr. Grohol to remove her post through private communication. That didn’t work, so you posted it PUBLICLY. Almost THREE months later, when this had pretty much blown over. WHY, WHY, WHY, Bill? No one was paying much attention. Even Sen. Grassley is probably busy with other things, what with the economy being a trainwreck and all.

    You just couldn’t resist sharing NEW information that you thought would clear your name, could you? “Person defending Dr. Goodwin was manic at that time”. The kind of breakthrough evidence a defense lawyer might jump at, if it had relevance to the case itself. This is about someone who posted HERE, on a blog. Is it so damaging in a very small court of public opinion for you to defend yourself at all, in this manner?

    I think I just heard the sound of someone thrown under a bus. Wait, I think you just throw yourself under the bus, not someone else.

    * What were you thinking, Bill? *

    You are sorry because the cross-fire resulted from the tragic situation involving Sen. Grassley and Fred Goodwin????????????

    WHATTTTTTTTTT?

    No apology to the person whose health condition you disclosed?

    * She deserves a public apology, Bill *

    And COME ON, the cross-fire didn’t just “result” from a situation among some others. You aren’t Teflon, Bill. More like Velcro. If the situation didn’t involve you, you wouldn’t be apologizing for anything at all.

    All your efforts to distance yourself from Dr. Goodwin, who helped you with a radio show for years.

    * Terrible idea, Bill *

    Even if you didn’t defend him, you didn’t have to blame him in order to appear squeaky clean. The more you did that, the more suspect you became.

    Would it have been so hard to say something like: “It was in the contract. It’s a weekly show with so many episodes. It is very hard to check every little thing. It is a very popular and high-quality show. It has received many awards because it is educational and unbiased. It is unfair to pick a few statements out of context and find fault with the entire show. Dr. Goodwin would have received that money whether or not he made those statements on the show. He didn’t do the show as a favor to Pharmaceutical companies, he did it to educate people. This is blown way out of proportion. I hope Dr. Goodwin is able to explain his statements and I wish him the best”.

    Friends don’t let friends down, Bill. Even if he wasn’t exactly a “friend”, you worked together for years. The two of you needed each other in this time of trouble. What is that saying? “A good friend will bail you out, but a really good friend will go to jail with you”?

    Someone gave me wise advice once, when my attempts to fix something in desperation just kept making matters worse. He said: “When you think you have gone far enough, STOP”.

    It was good advice. I wish I had stopped well before he said that. It isn’t too late for you, Bill. Give it some thought.

    I wish you well, Bill. Tou have done some great work for people with mental illnesses. It’s sad to see your reputation and character tanking worse than the stock market, by your own actions.

    Just STOP.

  14. Sehkar:

    I am sorry you are so worked up over the situation involving Fred Goodwin. Suffice it to say, you are not familiar with the facts.

    The only person who disclosed someone’s diagnosis, by name, on this site was you.

    I would ask that you end this written assault, which has already crossed the line.

    Bill

  15. Bill,

    I am sorry you’re having a terrible time.

    I am afraid you’re the one who crossed the line here, no one else.

    Be well.

    Laura

  16. I wonder if there’s an entry size limit on responses. Mine doesn’t go through. Anyway, here’s it in portions.

    Bill,

    I’m not the one worked up over it. It will be obvious to anyone who reads this blog entry at this point. I doubt there are a lot of people reading it at this point. (No offense, Dr. Grohol. It is a popular blog. I just think it’s getting old). Those who are reading are most likely shaking their heads at you, Bill, for continuing to post here.

    There is no anger in me, none whatsoever. Sure, I am sad and disappointed to see you used the illness of a person as a means for getting a post removed by Dr. Grohol.

    I just express things more directly. I don’t have the time or the patience of a journalist or writer to state things in a more eloquent manner. See, I’m trying to do that here and it’s a lot of work.

    What I tried to say is the equivalent of what “Linda” has said in her post above, more concisely and taking you to task in a stronger way, and appropriately so. Here’s what she said:

    “”Calling yourself a journalist is an insult to those who practise their craft with honour…..Deciding someone’s opinion is not valid because they have been in the hospital is prejudice at its most basic level.”

  17. You are now nitpicking about disclosure of a person’s mania and hospitalization being different from my disclosure her diagnosis. I think people are tired of your pattern of trying to use this kind of nuance to exonerate yourself.

    Perhaps you forgot that in your post above, dated Feb. 18th, you said this:

    “You apparently thought nothing of posting her writings, nor did you express any concern when I notified you that she had been ill and hospitalized and that her comments defending Goodwin had been written during a period when she now says she was MANIC”. (Emphasis on manic added by me.)

    AND later:

    “(She) was enlisted by Goodwin’s office to speak out in his defense regarding The Infinite Mind matter at a time when she was ill, and subsequently was HOSPITALIZED with a MANIC EPISODE”.

    You also point out that she is a patient of Dr. Goodwin, a psychiatrist specializing in bipolar disorder.

    Your words, Bill, YOUR words. You can’t walk away from that by trying to point fingers at me, the same way you are doing with others.

  18. While my writing may be aggressive, I don’t consider my posts as an assault on you. Sure, I may be expressing my opinions aggressively. You are someone I respect and envy, for your talent, for all that you have done for people with mental illnesses. It is for THAT REASON that I am trying to get you to wake up and smell the coffee. I said that you are trying to self-destruct. You are. You know, we have become a community where people should be more blunt and direct at times, and warn their friends or people they care about, when they are headed the wrong way. There’s this “not my problem” mentality.

    You should be appreciative of what I’m saying to you, Bill. I am disappointed that you insist on following your pattern of behavior, and insistance on trying to absolve yourself of wrong-doing by pointing fingers at others. At some point, even people who care about someone will walk away, seeing the futility of their efforts. You have every right to and antagonize and drive people away with your stubborn self-righteous attitude. Admission to a fault is not wrong. Apologizing for your mistake here, to the person affected, is the noble thing to do. No, I’m not an “enforcer”. Sure, it may be between you and her. But the right thing to do is to come out and say that it was poor judgment to do it, in public, and apologize for it directly. It has been on this blog for days, in public view, as a result of your resurrecting this topic almost three months after it became dormant.

    ** You still owe the individual a public apology. **

    I promise that I will respond to every post you make here. All my posts will be supportive towards you in some way. I promise to have the last word. If a response doesn’t appear here, it will only be because it’s Dr. Grohol’s blog and I have no control over the presence or absence of contents here.

  19. I just read the postings above, and I have three observations:

    1) For all the talk, above, about Mr. Lichtenstein being aware of Dr. Goodwin’s activities, it now appears he was not aware, as has been widely reported: http://www.prwatch.org/node/8314

    As a former The Infinite Mind listener, and someone who heard Mr. Lichtenstein speak (and was helped greatly by the show and saddened by the revelations about its host), I think the postings above illustrate the “rush to judgment” that can occur with blog coverage of a news event. (The “Get the Pitchforks” mentality, as Keith Olbermann calls it.) It now turns out that Mr. Lichtenstein did not know about Dr. Goodwin’s funding, and there was no evidence that he did, so he was not throwing Dr. Goodwin or anyone “under the bus.” Mr. Lichtenstein has already received one apology from NPR’s “On The Media”; it seems like he is due another apology here, on this point.

    2) With regard to the matter of Dr. Goodwin’s patient, it appears from reading the above that, in fact, Mr. Lichtenstein never disclosed anyone’s name or identity (he referred to “someone who has posted on this site”; that could have been anyone.) Yet his own diagnosis was written about here. Perhaps he is the one due an apology for that.

    I know at least one of the people who posted above from NAMI NJ, where I used to attend meetings. I was troubled to see the tone of this discussion, and I think the time has come for mental health advocates to start working together and to stop sniping and infighting.

  20. Hi Liz K.~

    You write:
    “…the time has come for mental health advocates to start working together and to stop sniping and infighting.”

    Amen!

    1. Full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is the way to go for journalists and for scientists and especially for scientist-journalists and journalist-scientists.

    2. I am sorry if anything that I wrote hurt Bill Lichtenstein. I know from years of listening to The Infinite Mind on the radio and online that Bill is one talented fellow. I’m glad to have a tough guy like him in my corner fighting for mental health.

    Speaking of tough guys, Dr. Goodwin, who looks a lot like Clint Eastwood, is not stuck under a bus! Please meet him and hear him speak on “Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: Challenges and Controversies” in a talk sponsored by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of the National Capital Area (www.dbsanca.org).

    Dr. Goodwin’s chat begins at 7:30 PM this Thursday night at George Washington University. It’s FREE and open to the public. Bring your questions.

  21. Now, this is very troubling.

    Someone just posted (above), pretending to be me.

    Sekhar, is that you, trying to absolve yourself from your very bad behavior in your attacks on Bill Lichtenstine???

    Now I am starting to wonder what to believe here. If someone is going to pose as me, to make themself look better, are all of the posts here from who they say they are? Are the posts from Bill Lichtenstine actually from him, or perhaps from someone posing as him?

    This is why the mental health movement is mired in nonsense.

  22. Sekhar:

    So let me get this right! Your coming over from your regular posting pro-pharmaceutical paid for and supported site “BipolarConnect.com” with others doing John McManamy bidding in support of Dr. Goodwin; since I’m sure John wouldn’t want to come here and face the litany of questions about how he gets his nice bling bling money checks, is completely bought into, controlled, and aligned with Big Pharmaceutical and his good Pal Dr. Goodwin {seeing as Goodwin did write that outstanding blurb on the cover of his Book}.

    I have to wonder when Senator Grassley and Congress are going to start investigating this misrepresentation and pharmaceutical funded ran sites like “BipolarConnection.com” and their master “www.HealthCentral.com”; which in turn is pretty much completely controlled by AstraZeneca?

    I’m just surprised that anyone in that tight little closed circle of happy pat you on the back pill poppers would want to come to an open forum and actually want to debate this corruption issue.

    Especially since everything on that site is all about what a great guy Dr. Goodwin is, and how this Greed mongering, and unethical behavior in no way puts his research, opinions, and writings in question!

    Is it time for a reality check people!!!

    What a crock of S—- you have going on over there. Don’t you realize by directing research, wielding his influence, doing his tainted pro-pharma broadcast, and taking which accounts to bribes from Big Pharmaceutical; many less intrusive and more effective treatment modalities were never even considered or looked at because they were not going to make Big Pharmaceutical and Dr. Goodwin the Huge bucks.

    Yeah, he’s a real gem alright! Tell that to the millions upon millions that have been damaged, maimed, or killed by these so called medication treatments!

    Have you ever even considered that due to the pharmaceutical revolution in psychiatry; with all the greed, influence, and money it has generated; the true results have been not much better than before psychotropic medications, considering both the biological and mental damage they inflict upon consumers and the staggering levels of supposed mental illness we now have falsely diagnosed today?

    How about the strong possibility that we have been going in the wrong direction for so long, everyone has lost sight of reality and what we are actually doing to real human beings and society with psychiatry as it is set in its medical model today! All the wasted resources, research, brain power, funds, and energy flowing down the drain for what?

    The answer seems pretty simple and common sense considering what is coming to light among the most elite and so called respected of the industry and psychiatry; It’s called $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, not health care!

    In fact, it’s so far from ethical and humane! It could now be considered crimes against humanity itself.

    Yours Truly,
    Stan

  23. Stan,

    You posted that EXACT SAME THING on Furious Seasons months ago: http://www.furiousseasons.com/movabletype/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=1912

    Why not post something original? Or continue discussion in Furious Seasons.

    Liz,

    Who are you? If you know me, email me. Why do I have to pose as you, when I write with my full name, and not hide behind vague names (Liz K – I don’t know any Liz K). I’ve been wondering if you’re Bill Lichtenstein. Why the sudden interest here?

  24. I can assure you I am real. I live in Chicago now, and am a member of DBSA there. I will send you an email. Beyond that, I hope this unproductive sniping will end. Liz

  25. Bill refers to a post by a patient of Dr. Goodwin on THIS topic, and Moira is the only one defeding Dr. Goodwin and acknowledging that Dr. Goodwin is her doctor. And you think it’s a great mystery who Licktenstein is refering to? He outed someone and tried to claim that her defense of Dr. Goodwin was due to mania. Despicable. And you stick up for him, shame on you.

    As for Bill’s diagnosis, it’s public record, I didn’t reveal anything he hasn’t disclosed himself.

    Here’s an idea for you to end this unproductive sniping. Stop getting involved.

    My email isn’t disclosed here. Where are you going to get my email address? Hmmm. If you really know me and my email address, write to me with your full name and how you know me.

  26. I really have no interest in continuing this conversation, Sehkar. I did email you at SSehkar**@Yahoo.com explaining where we met. The email wasn’t returned, so either you changed your email in the past year or two, or you, in fact, received it. Beyond that, I only want to say that since you are now attacking me, I went back and re-read the postings here; it does appear that you are the one who “outed” the patient. Bill Lichtenstine referred to someone who had “posted on this site.” That could have been anyone commenting on any of the multiple stories on this topic on this site. You, however, mentioned her by name. And now you try to cover-up your error by flailing at others. Please don’t say shame on me, Mr. Subrinami. It’s shame on you. Shame. And enough.

  27. Nope, don’t know you, and don’t have such an email address.

  28. Nassir Ghaemi writes in his blog, Mood Swings, A Psychiatrist Surveys the Mind and the Wider World:

    “…truth is corrected error, and without debate no truth can emerge. Yet sensationalism, designed to profit the book or newspaper industries, should also be discouraged.”

    The corrected error is that Dr. Goodwin has always been open about his inside track with pharmaceutical companies in his scientific papers, to his university, to his colleagues, in his book, in his website, http://www.drgoodwin.com.

    As Dr. Grohol reports, journalistic standards for disclosure and transparency changed radically within the last year or two. Journalism changed. The Infinite Mind didn’t.

    I tip my tin foil hat to yellow journalism.

    Truly,
    Moira

  29. What is with all the personal attacks? How is this helpful or even related to the original post? Leave Moira and Sekhar alone. How is disclosing personal information necessary or relevant. Enough already.

  30. Bill Lichtenstein at 2:24 pm on February 18th, 2009 :

    “I am coming forward now because, in addition to the groundless attacks on me contained on your web site, you also posted comments from one of Fred Goodwin’s patients, who, in the most unethical manner imaginable, was enlisted by Goodwin’s office to speak out in his defense regarding The Infinite Mind matter at a time when she was ill, and subsequently was hospitalized with a manic episode. You apparently thought nothing of posting her writings, nor did you express any concern when I notified you that she had been ill and hospitalized and that her comments defending Goodwin had been written during a period when she now says she was manic; in fact, her comments remain on your site.“

    Your words. This is an enormous breach of confidentiality, sir. This patient wrote willfully and honestly, indicating that Dr. Goodwin is her doctor. She obviously holds him in high regard. Whether she was manic, depressed, or perfectly fine is totally beside the point.

    You wrote, on this public forum, confidential information which is protected by HIPAA, whose web site (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html) instructs:

    “If you believe your rights are being denied or your health information isn’t being protected, you can
    File a complaint with your provider or health insurer
    File a complaint with the U.S. Government”

    You have done some incredible work to help erase the stigma of mental illness. Why would you state that anyone’s statements should be disregarded, simply because of a ‘period of mania’? Then, you later state, when someone attempts to defend that individual, that he is “worked up over the situation involving Fred Goodwin”.

    No. This can not be you. You are too strong of an advocate FOR people with mental illness. Please please stop this endless nonsense. It was written in November of 2008!!! Why you brought it back to the forefront in February is a mystery best left alone.

    Peace, please.

  31. The posting you cite is from four months ago. None of the parties involved appear to be complaining. So what is the point in keeping this going?

    What do basketball writers say: “No blood, no foul?”

    Have a good day.

  32. “what is the point”~~~have you not read (and written) the posts from the last couple of weeks?

  33. Liz,

    I’ve been on the road for about a month now, and just responded on occasion when I was notified via email about a post here.

    I’m back home now and looking through this more carefully, and I’m realizing that you posted, apparently for the “first time” ever, on APRIL 17, 2009, almost 45 DAYS after the previous response (which was mine, on March 2nd).

    You posted a link that was in favor of Bill Licktenstein – this is the type of thing Bill has done in the past : write posts in his own defense weeks and months after a topic dies down, because something new came up to clear his name.

    I’m really curious about your allegiance. Why the sudden interest in this topic, and how come you showed up just to post about it and defend him?

    Your attempt to make it seem that Bill could have referred to anyone who posts on PsychCentral, and not to Moira ON THIS VERY THREAD/BLOG ENTRY, is ludicrous. Note that Moira has defended Dr. Goodwin only on this thread and indicated that she is a patient of Dr. Goodwin, then Bill posted about a blog post by a patient of Dr. Goodwin relating to this topic, then Moira followed up on this very topic refuting Bill’s allegation that she had been recruited by Dr. Goodwin’s office. And you think anyone of average intelligence who reads this thread with a reasonable level of attention and understanding will have any doubt whatsoever who Bill is referring to?

    That is as pathetic as the attempts Bill has tried to make, and even resembles his pattern of defense. Unless you can prove otherwise, I think it’s more than reasonable to assume that you are affiliated with Bill or have some allegiance or relationship to him; I’ll not suggest though that you are Bill using a pseudonym, because I will give Bill enough credit to say that he will not hesitate to post under his own name when he wants to, as he has done here before.

    Sekhar

  34. What’s really going on, Sam? What’s really underneath all this carried rage, Sam?

    In my own experience, I have never felt so much relief to see someone leave my life when you moved on. The hostility was so painful for me.

    I’m glad to see this here as it brought me peace.

    You’re welcome to argue. It will be one-sided.

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