John Travolta says no to psychiatric medication

First Tom Cruise and now John Travolta – which celebrity will speak out next about treating an illness they have never experienced and have no real education about.

When Tom Cruise started the argument with Matt Lauer on the Today Show in 2005, I was deeply offended and terribly worried that his insensitive and uneducated comments would do harm to anyone that actually took stock in what he said. (Click here to read my original post on Tom Cruise)

Now John Travolta is sharing his uneducated opinion on psychiatric medication with the press.

CNN.com reported, “John Travolta says his thinking is in line with fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise, who has publicly defended the religion’s stance against psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.”

The article continues with a quote from Travolta.

“I don’t want to create controversy; I just have an opinion on things, and there is nothing wrong with stating your opinion if you are asked,” he continues. “Everyone wants that right, and because you are famous doesn’t mean you have less of a right.”

I do agree that he has a right to his opinion, but worry about the dangers of sharing such a narrow minded opinion with the public.

5 Responses to “John Travolta says no to psychiatric medication”

  1. BamaGal says:

    First of all—just because he is famous does not mean he can not give his opinion—that being said—being famous and in the limelight holds you to a higher responsibility than others—because of the possible influence your thoughts had on others
    if someone states they refuse to take their prescribed meds just because of what he said then end up committing suicide—who gets the blame
    As for mr cruise—don’t make me go there—“no such thing as chemical imbalance”—hello—tom—what the sam hill do you think causes diabetes—insulin is a chemical

  2. E. Marsalla says:

    I am not a Scientologist. In fact, I really don’t like Scientology (just Google the term “lisa mcpherson” is you want some insight into how the group operates).

    That having been said, I think that Tom Cruise and John Travolta are right when they criticize psychiatric drugs. There are legitimate, scientific reasons why we should be very skeptical of the safety and efficacy of these drugs.

    See, for example, the following two articles. Note that Robert Whitaker has not connection to Scietology, either.

    http://www.thestreetspirit.org/August2005/interview.htm

    http://psychrights.org/Articles/EHPPPsychDrugEpidemic(Whitaker).pdf

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m all in favor of having safe, effective drugs for mental illnesses. Sadly, such drugs have not (yet?) been discovered.

  3. E. Marsalla says:

    OK, that second link was broken by the commenting system. Try this link — it should re-direct to the PDF document:

    http://tinyurl.com/a9lk5

  4. Can anyone point me to scientologies better idea than drugs, hopefully they have something worked out (I did email them and got no response) or is it just pay them lots of money for endless courses that are not proven to work even in most cases. Did not work you were not trying hard enough, seriously though the scientologists are high profile drug free people – I hope they have some directions to give to people like me who are on the drugs but would like things to be different,

    Regards,
    Turloch

  5. jamieleggatt says:

    Thanks for all your comments. It looks like we can all agree that everyone has a right to their own opinion and to publicly share that opinion. After all, that’s what free speech is all about.

    E. Marsalla – I am sceptical of most drugs for a wide variety of illnesses, including antidepressants. ALL drugs have side effects and many seem to do more harm than good. With that said, I know that I personally cannot manage my depression without the aid of an antidepressant. I work hard to eat right and exercise, which helps greatly, but it’s not enough. Although I would like to see safer, more effective drugs for depression, I don’t know if I would survive to see that happen if I weren’t taking what is currently available.

    BamaGal – I totally agree that being famous and in the limelight holds you to a higher responsibility than others. I worry about their influence over the depressed individual that goes off his medication because some movie star publicly disagreed with it, or over society in general that may start to discriminate even more than they currently do in regards to depression and all mental illnesses.

    Turloch O’Tierney – I’ve read that L. Ron Hubbard once said that the best way to become rich was to form an organized religion. It looks like he was right. From what I understand they do pay lots of money for all their courses. I personally think scientology is a dangerous cult that deprives many of it’s followers from receiving proper medical care and attention, especially for mental illnesses. I think it further perpetuates the stigma of mental illness, while also marginalizing those that are mentally handicapped. I worry about what could happen if too many people take to heart what scientology teaches about those with mental illness. There is a great (but biased) web site about scientology called “Operation Clambake” at http://www.xenu.net/, it has a lot of great information.

    Lastly, I’d love to see the scientologist celebrity crew target a different illness and see what type of response they get from the public. Perhaps they would like to speak out about how weak-minded a person must be to suffer from diabetes, autism or cancer? Would the public be so accepting of that?