And as a result, Glaxo was able to convince doctors and consumers alike that the drug was appropriate for treating just about every common anxiety of life. In the end Paxil was approved for the following conditions:
Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Experts say that since the restrictions on advertising were lifted in 1997, drug makers have been using direct-to-consumer marketing as a tool to get people to believe they are mentally ill. According to Marcia Angell, former editor of the NEJM, and author of the best-selling book, "The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It:"
"If you can define everyone who has the blues as having depression that needs to be treated, you've created a huge market. If you define everyone who is shy as having social anxiety disorder, that enlarges the market. There's probably not a soul alive who hasn't felt shy. If you listen to the pharmaceutical industry, many of the ordinary discontents of life are medical conditions that require drugs."
Other experts are equally appalled over the tactics used in the mass drugging of society. There is nothing more despicable than a physician who knowingly tells normal patients that they are "sick," "ill," or "diseased," for profit, according to neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman, author of, The ADHD Fraud. "Yet this has become standard practice throughout medicine," he says.
"Anger is an emotion and is expressed in different degrees by different people," he wrote, and concluded the message by asking Dr. Baughman: What is the perfect human supposed to look like?
How much attention is normal?
How much activity can be allowed before it is hyperactivity?
How angry are we allowed to be before we are disordered?
How shy can someone be before they are deranged?
Is it possible to be unhappy without being 'depressed'?
Over the years, Big Pharma has learned that selling diseases and drugs to the public at the same time is much easier with the support of heavy hitters. In 2003, as part of the campaign to promote the Paxil-treatable mental disorders, Glaxo hired football icons Terry Bradshaw and Ricky Williams to encourage Americans to "take action if their lives were being impacted by depression or anxiety."
"To kick off National Mental Health Awareness Month," Glaxo wrote in a May 1, 2003 press release, "the football heroes will share their experiences with depression and anxiety at an event in New York City, the first stop on a multi-city tour sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline as part of their ongoing efforts to empower and encourage depression and anxiety sufferers to seek help and treatment."
Glaxo described Terry Bradshaw, as a former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, four-time Super Bowl winner, member of the Football Hall of Fame and two-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Sports Personality.
The press release quoted Terry as saying: "My hope is that by sharing my story with others, it will help people understand that they don't have to be embarrassed to ask for help."
Ricky Williams was described as a running back for the Miami Dolphins, leading NFL rusher for the 2002 football season, Most Valuable Player of the 2002 Pro Bowl and 1998 Heisman trophy winner.
Ricky was quoted as saying: "Going public with my battle with social anxiety disorder has not only made me a better friend and father, it has had an impact on people I never even met. I am amazed at the response I get from people across the country who tell me that my story has helped them or a loved one get treated."