Here's to More in 2024
Happy New Year.
As the calendar changes, it’s important to take a moment to express gratitude for past years. They've been instrumental in bringing us to where we are today. Lessons and all.
Reflecting on the past year, I wanted to express my gratitude to the readers of (UN)Acceptable Collateral Damage. I'm aware there are many other more popular and informative Substack accounts vying for your attention and time, and I deeply appreciate your choice to include mine in the mix.
I also want to extend a special thanks to my paid subscribers. I vividly remember the moment I received notice of my first paid subscription earlier this year—it moved me to tears. It was a humbling reminder that my work does matter to others. I volunteer my time to this work without receiving funding so that I can be an unbiased voice in support of the truth. With this primary goal, your trust and subscription support is profoundly more meaningful
While I didn’t set out to do this work, sometimes our greatest purposes chose us. My accidental advocacy journey began over 20 years following my husband’s Zoloft-induced suicide in 2003. Never did I anticipate continuing this work for so many years.
From the beginning, I chose to be independent which allowed me to speak candidly, free from financial influences, as a voice for the everyday, real world unsuspecting public. I still work in advertising to help fund my advocacy efforts.
Initially, my goal was to use Woody's story to push for FDA Blackbox Suicide warnings on SSRIs. I assumed once achieved, I'd return to my old life and go back to my arts nonprofit volunteer work. However, I quickly realized the issue was way bigger than just antidepressants. It was a systemic issue within our nation's drug safety system—a system driven by commercial interests, plagued by lack of transparency, conflicts of interest, and undue industry influence in marketing and PR, intertwined with political and regulatory agency dynamics.
My passion was further cemented and I never ended up quitting because I knew there were other trusting families out there. Just like ours.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Gandhi
20 years later…
2023 was a very busy year sowing seeds of truth. The pandemic shined a light, exposing serious flaws within the industrial medical complex. The rushed experimental Covid vaccines ushered in numerous new opportunities to amplify my drug safety advocacy message and present a historical viewpoint.
Here are a few highlights from 2023.
2023 was the year of podcasts with over 30+ interviews. I'm immensely grateful that my message remains relevant. Most conversations took place within the medical freedom arena where dialogue isn't subjected to censorship—a significant shift from my experience over past two decades.
When I started this accidental advocacy journey, social media wasn't a thing; platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter didn't exist. Back then, my efforts primarily involved collaborating with mainstream media to share Woody's cautionary tale. However, the landscape evolved significantly during the pandemic, witnessing the emergence of numerous new media outlets altering how information gets disseminated.
Here are a few podcast interviews and will continue to share others in 2024. There is no shortage of podcast content, just the lack of time to listen. Going forward, I hope to share clips of the highlights along with the link to full interview.
First, I want to extend my gratitude to Michael Nevradakis for inviting me as the inaugural guest on “The Defender In-Depth” podcast. Additionally, I had an inspirational conversation with business executive and leadership coach, Ed Brengar where we discussed the importance of leading with impact. On The Deconstructing Conventional podcast with Christian Elliot, we delved deeply into the connection between mental and physical health, highlighting the essence of genuine healing happens once we accept reality and not our preference or illusion.
Conversations with Dr. Josef Witt-Doerring and Dr. Roger McFillin on “Radically Genuine” always prove fruitful. We discussed the intricacies of antidepressant marketing, the hidden dangers of psychotropic medications, and their relation to the Covid vaccines.
I also had a thoughtful conversation with medical journalist, former BBC producer and director, Liz Tucker on “What Your GP Doesn’t Tell You.”
There are few catalysts that drive change like the fierce determination of mama bears and widows. Miriam, from “Moms on a Mission,” epitomizes the spirit of a true mama bear.
My final podcast of 2023 was with Doc Malik. We examined my spiderweb graphic of Big Pharma’s influence on the doctor patient relationship.
A few months back, I met radio host Donna Leland and was a guest on her Faith radio show. The host wanted to explore my faith journey after my husband's passing. Faith has always been important to me, but it grew stronger after an unforgettable moment on Lake Michigan.
We all know books don't float, but when we scattered Woody's ashes, a red Bible with 'THE HOLY BIBLE' in gold letters surfaced on the water right before our eyes. Sharing this personal story was an incredible honor and hope it inspired her listening audience.
Moderator of Dartmouth Panel Discussion on “Important Conversations Never Had”
I was honored to be asked to moderate the Dartmouth panel discussion on college Covid vaccine mandates. The panel included remarkable individuals like whistleblower Brook Jackson, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Martin Kuldorff, co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, Dr. Joel Wallskog, co-founder of React19, and other inspiring figures who bravely spoke out during the pandemic.
Twitter Space (Hosted by Children’s Health Network)
I shared the Twitter stage with other leading mental health advocates discussing the rise of school based health clinics prescribing mind-altering drugs to children. Click on image below to listen to the nearly 90 minute conversation.
I had the privilege of being interviewed for three different documentaries—two international productions and one from the US. Once these films are released, I'll be sure to share the links for everyone to watch.
Peter Gotzsche & Janus Bang (Copenhagen) - filmed in Minneapolis
Dr. Aseem Malhotra (UK) - filmed in Boston
The Daily Caller (US) - filmed in Minneapolis
Published OpEds (with Peter Doshi and Linda Wastilla)
BMJ (British Medical Journal): Industry funding and self-censorship: how many bite the hand that feeds them?
2023 marked a significant year for in-person meetings and conferences. I had the honor of being invited to present at “The Better Way” conference hosted by the World Council for Health in Bath, England. Connecting with fellow truth advocates from various corners of the globe was an incredible and inspiring experience.
Presentations to Medical Schools and Universities
I had the privilege of guest lecturing at academic institutions like Washington University in St. Louis, University of Maryland-Baltimore, and York University in Toronto. My presentation titled, “The Spider Web of Influence: How An Accidental Advocate Uncovered America’s Broken Drug System,” addressed future doctors, PhD candidates, and graduate students. It has always struck me as surprising that medical professionals don't receive comprehensive education about the FDA or the prevalent marketing tactics used by the industry. Given their role as gatekeepers, cultivating a healthy skepticism towards medical products seems essential.
I'm hoping to engage with more academic institutions this coming year. If you're interested in this presentation, please reach out.
FDA Advisory Committee Work
I'm concluding my final term as the Consumer Representative on the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee. This is the committee of outside experts that reviews new psychiatric drug applications and votes to recommend whether the FDA should approve or not.
Since 2004, I've been attending FDA Advisory Committee meetings. Transitioning from a member of the public, limited to a few minutes during open comments, to sitting on this committee has been eye opening. Now, I have the opportunity to delve into clinical trials, FDA analyses, and engage in dialogue with sponsors and the FDA before voting.
My role isn't just about scrutinizing the science, study designs, or safety outcomes; it also involves questioning potential marketing strategies for the product.
In 2023, we reviewed the controversial license extension of antipsychotic Rexulti for Alzheimer’s agitation. Being the sole dissenting vote against Rexulti's approval, I detailed my rationale with Mad in America with hopes others read before falling prey to the marketing hype.
The Substack Community
I am thankful for the new connections I’ve made on Substack especially those who have generously highlighted some of my past work on antidepressants.
A Midwestern Doc
Paul Thacker - The DisInformation Chronicle
Mickey Z - Post-Woke
Twitter (Now X)
Of course, you can always find me on Twitter. I post regularly since it is a familiar and quick way to share information.
The Year Ahead
2024 promises to be another wild ride. I will continue to use my voice and try to post more on Substack.
You may be wondering why I keep doing this work. It is because no family should ever have to ask after something happens, “Why didn’t we know?” Unfortunately, there are too many people who wake up after it’s too late. I represent the voices of those who live every day with the consequences of a failed drug safety system.
I would appreciate if you would share with your family, friends and networks. More gardeners are needed to keep spreading and watering the seeds of truth. It just might save someone’s life.
My 2024 Wish
I believe with all my heart that the light within will ALWAYS shine brighter than darkness of the world.
"When you are aware that you are the force that is Life, anything is possible. Miracles happen all the time, because those miracles are performed by the heart. The heart is in direct communion with the human soul, and when the heart speaks, even with the resistance of the head, something inside you changes; your heart opens another heart, and true love is possible."
-- Don Miguel Ruiz
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