How To Be WellnStrong

36: Why SSRIs Are Ineffective & Dangerous for Depression | Dr. Roger McFillin, Psy.D., ABPP

January 16, 2024 Jacqueline Genova Episode 36
36: Why SSRIs Are Ineffective & Dangerous for Depression | Dr. Roger McFillin, Psy.D., ABPP
How To Be WellnStrong
What is the sick care model of healthcare?
The importance of informed consent
Dr. McFillin's background
Healthcare spending in the U.S. & the lucrative industry of big pharma
The medicalization of the human condition
Depression is a condition, not a disease
The percentage of adults currently taking an antidepressant
The chemical imbalance myth - why serotonin is not implicated in depression
The sick care model
The power of placebo
Physicians aren't as independent & critically minded as we think
The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence
Where do we start in correcting the current system?
The horrific effects of anti-depressant usage among young adolescent brains
Factors contributing to our increasing rates of chronic illness
Challenges that our doctors face
The medical information mess & flawed public research
The lack of a personsalized approach & the drug solution in oncology
How to taper off drugs
Decreasing levels of testosterone
Over 80% of drugs prescribed by primary care doctors
Exploring rebates & financial payments from pharma
How to treat depression
Most depressive episodes are episodic
Could depression be genetic?
The impact of a mother's thoughts on the developing nervous system of her child
Ways we can advocate for our medical freedom
Birth control & breast cancer
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor
Why the flu vaccine isn't effective
Hidden incentives among doctors
Where Dr. McFilin stands on the vaccine spectrum
Basic principles of good health
More Info
How To Be WellnStrong
36: Why SSRIs Are Ineffective & Dangerous for Depression | Dr. Roger McFillin, Psy.D., ABPP
Jan 16, 2024 Episode 36
Jacqueline Genova

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“The dangers of medicalizing the human condition are nothing short of a silent epidemic in American society. This dangerous trend pathologizes the core of human experience, categorizing everyday emotions and responses to trauma and life's challenges as disorders. It's a slippery slope into psychiatric over-diagnosis, overmedication, and a lifetime of pharmaceutical dependency.” – Dr. Roger McFillin, Psy.D., ABPP

The notion that depression is the result of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain emerged, not coincidentally, in the late '80s with the introduction of Prozac—a drug that appeared to be helpful in treating depression by increasing levels of serotonin. Pushed heavily by Big Pharma as well as organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, this storyline has become the dominant narrative up until recently, in which an umbrella review (led by Joanna Moncrieff) concluded that, “The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations.”

Join me in this episode as Dr. Roger McFillin and I discuss topics including dispelling some of the myths around depression being a chemical imbalance, the over-use of prescription medications, and some of the issues today that are threatening to take away our medical freedom.

Despite being formally trained in evidence-based treatments and achieving Board Certification in Behavioral & Cognitive Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychologists, Dr. Roger McFillin has witnessed countless individuals deteriorate under these supposedly “best available evidence” recommendations. Many who turned to drugs and medical interventions to improve their mental health worsened dramatically. In an attempt to resolve the conflict between what he was seeing in clinical practice and what he was told to be safe and effective, Dr. McFillin immersed himself in scientific literature, delved into ancient philosophy, and scrutinized historical texts. His revelations were astounding. Much of the current scientific base that informs psychiatry and the mental health field is infected with corruption and bias. Dr. McFillin now shares his experience, and addresses the pervasive issues that threaten to take away our medical freedoms in his captivating Radically Genuine Podcast.

Suggested Resources:

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Follow Jacqueline:

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send me a text!

“The dangers of medicalizing the human condition are nothing short of a silent epidemic in American society. This dangerous trend pathologizes the core of human experience, categorizing everyday emotions and responses to trauma and life's challenges as disorders. It's a slippery slope into psychiatric over-diagnosis, overmedication, and a lifetime of pharmaceutical dependency.” – Dr. Roger McFillin, Psy.D., ABPP

The notion that depression is the result of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain emerged, not coincidentally, in the late '80s with the introduction of Prozac—a drug that appeared to be helpful in treating depression by increasing levels of serotonin. Pushed heavily by Big Pharma as well as organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, this storyline has become the dominant narrative up until recently, in which an umbrella review (led by Joanna Moncrieff) concluded that, “The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations.”

Join me in this episode as Dr. Roger McFillin and I discuss topics including dispelling some of the myths around depression being a chemical imbalance, the over-use of prescription medications, and some of the issues today that are threatening to take away our medical freedom.

Despite being formally trained in evidence-based treatments and achieving Board Certification in Behavioral & Cognitive Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychologists, Dr. Roger McFillin has witnessed countless individuals deteriorate under these supposedly “best available evidence” recommendations. Many who turned to drugs and medical interventions to improve their mental health worsened dramatically. In an attempt to resolve the conflict between what he was seeing in clinical practice and what he was told to be safe and effective, Dr. McFillin immersed himself in scientific literature, delved into ancient philosophy, and scrutinized historical texts. His revelations were astounding. Much of the current scientific base that informs psychiatry and the mental health field is infected with corruption and bias. Dr. McFillin now shares his experience, and addresses the pervasive issues that threaten to take away our medical freedoms in his captivating Radically Genuine Podcast.

Suggested Resources:

Join the WellnStrong mailing list for exclusive content here!

Want more of The How To Be WellnStrong Podcast? Subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Follow Jacqueline:

Jacqueline Genova: [00:00:00] So excited to connect with you. Happy Monday afternoon.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Thank you. You too.


Jacqueline Genova: You're located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, correct?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yes.


Jacqueline Genova: You're going to laugh. As soon as I saw that name, it took me back to my senior high school years when I was searching for colleges. Lehigh was actually at the top of my list. So I just recalled doing that college trip with my dad and checking out the area.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yep. Right in our back door here. Less than a mile from my office where I'm sitting.


Jacqueline Genova: Very nice. Well, Dr. McFillin, first of all, welcome to the show. To be honest, I first heard about you and your podcast pretty recently from a good friend who told me that I needed to have you on the show and as soon as I listened to one of your episodes on the Radically Genuine podcast, I sent that Instagram DM right away and probably binged on another four or five episodes that very same day.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Well, thank your friend for bringing your attention to our show and appreciate you listening too.


Jacqueline Genova: Everything you stand for really [00:01:00] resonates with me and I'm just beyond grateful for the incredible work that you're doing to really help forge a path towards truth and true healing in our broken medical system. So I spent a good hour just trying to figure out which topics I wanted to cover with you, but for the purpose of this episode, under the umbrella of our sick care system, I wanted to focus specifically on perhaps dispelling some of the myths around depression being a chemical imbalance, the unnecessary use of medications, and some of the issues today that are actually threatening to take away our medical freedom. 


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, great. I think when it comes to, you know, my industry, the mental health care industry, and I became, you know, very aware very early on in my training and my experience how that sick care model has negatively influenced the way that we just approach our lives, our collective humanity together. And I think when we talk about what the sick care model is, what I'm [00:02:00] referring to is really how industry and special interests have kind of aligned to fund academic research.


They run their own clinical trials and that in itself has had such a wide scale influence on how we understand what is health because it's really to promote their own, their own products. And there's a, a lot of systemic issues that I think people aren't aware of and how drugs come to market, how they're promoted, how our medical professionals are trained and now how it's


influenced the manner in which we deliver health care and some of the horrible statistics that exist. The rising rates of suicide, death by despair, obesity, cancer, you name it, we are a sick society. And I don't think people are asking enough questions on how did we get here. We just kind of blindly trust some of the recommendations that are provided you know, within, within the general media and has filtered all the way down to our individual healthcare providers. So a lot [00:03:00] of things that I'm doing right now with the radically genuine podcast and coming on podcasts such as yours is to use the mental health system as a way of kind of discussing how the allopathic medical model and approach has harmed all of us across the board because you can't really separate our physical health from our mental health. They are intertwined. They are integrated as well as culture and community. So if we can kind of bring attention to how all those different factors align with each other to create the sick care system, I think we'd begin to at least promote education.


And within that education, people begin to ask really critical questions, most importantly of their healthcare professionals. And when they are prescribed a psychiatric drug or any medical intervention that they don't feel comfortable with, that they have the willingness and openness to explore on their own, their willingness and openness to be able to seek out alternative medical information.


And this concept of informed consent is a [00:04:00] ethical and legal right, which means that we all have the right to be able to understand what the risks and benefits are of any intervention. As well as alternatives and ask those difficult questions to the doctors who are making the recommendations.


Jacqueline Genova: Very well said. You have quite the background having been in the field of clinical psychology for what, over 20 years now?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, I've kind of had a diverse career in the general mental health system. It started right out of undergraduate school. I took a job as a, as a counselor in a children's psychiatric hospital, which was my first experience into the system where children as young as five and 10, most of them coming from backgrounds that were abusive or neglectful.


Certainly a lot of post traumatic reactions of kids coming into a hospital based setting. So it was certainly a, you know, an environment that led them to become [00:05:00] aggressive or to respond in school based systems or other things, just very aggressively making threats, quote unquote, you know, the term used at that time was like acting out.


And then I saw how the system responded to that, which was to put them on one or multiple mind and mood altering drugs. And I just saw kids deteriorate over the time in the hospital setting and lots of other settings that I've been in throughout my career that has really pushed me to speak out against this and to do a lot of background research myself.


I've just kind of become obsessed on the topic over the last decade or so. Just looking back is how did we get here? You know, how did we get here where we so quickly assign pseudo scientific labels under the disguise of scientific legitimacy, these psychiatric labels and then push people on multiple drugs that don't have safety or efficacy.


And we've kind of created a, you know, we've, we've created a, a culture where people are now over identifying with psychiatric. diagnoses where, where people [00:06:00] are seeking out the drug solution and all available outcomes are going to suggest that we're worsening. There's a collective worsening in society.


And until we all kind of wake up and, and really demand change and look at alternative ways to approach our life, I'm, I'm afraid we're just going to be walking down the same path.


Jacqueline Genova: No, absolutely. I couldn't agree more and Dr. McFillin so I mentioned, I, I went to a small business school and I concentrated in finance and economics. But during my undergraduate years, I actually wrote a thesis that advocated for an integrative approach in our healthcare system.


And my predominant focus was specifically on cancer, but within that thesis, I had a whole chapter dedicated to healthcare spending in the U. S. And I was just appalled at how much funding goes into the cancer industry, yet cancer still remains one of the number one killers in this country, right? I think it's second to heart disease, and the rates have only been [00:07:00] increasing.


And what I found in my research is that cancer drugs are actually the most profitable sector for big pharma.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah. I mean, unfortunately, the conclusion that I came to was that the incentive base for these industries, whether it's big food or big farmer or biotech is to continue to disease monger and create. You know, create a society that continues to seek out their products, right?


And so when you look at what the business model is for like a pharmaceutical company, they do better when there's more disease and when they can create products to manage those symptoms. And, you know, when it comes to the psychiatric industry, you know, we have over 500 diagnoses through the DSM that have been developed since 1980.


You know, it's absolutely ridiculous that we are trying to medicalize every aspect of humanity. And when just being human, just experiencing the distress of being human, the challenges of our [00:08:00] life, the difficulties that we're going to have within school and work and relationships and so forth, if we can categorize it and medicalize it, well then you can create a drug to sell it to people.


And if you can create these theories that we have a disease that underlies it, and they can create drugs that can improve your emotional wellbeing, well then you can sell it, and you can increase your customer base. And when this process really started to blow up in the mid to mid 1980s throughout the 90s is when they realized that they could promote drugs to most people, right?


The psychiatric percentage was usually, you know, less than 2 percent of people are going to meet this category for severe mental illness that are going to require psychiatric care. Well, that in itself is not lucrative, but if you can increase the amount of people that [00:09:00] would require a psychiatric drug through diagnostic expansion and through mass marketing around lies that.


Our own emotional struggles are related to some biochemical imbalance. Well, then you can increase your customer base. And of course, then you can, you know, increase your stock price and so forth.


Jacqueline Genova: What was this, like specific stat you had mentioned? I think it was the rates of people who have been quote unquote diagnosed with depression have gone from 3 percent to 20%. Is that, is that true?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Well, there's like a thousand fold increase in the people who are identifying as clinically depressed since the mid 1990s. What I when I look back historically, somewhere between two to five percent of general population may at any one point identify as feeling depressed. So depression is a condition, you know, it's a state of being.


I don't speak about it in terms of it being a medical condition. It's [00:10:00] way more complex than that, right? One can fall into a depressive period or episode based on a multitude of factors, right? An ending of a relationship, a loss of job. You know, even in grief and so forth like so that concept of being of being depressed where it impairs your ability to function has always existed and somehow it sometimes falls within the rate about two to five percent. So just imagine if you're a drug company and you create this pharmaceutical that you market as antidepressant You know two percent is not going to provide you the return on investment that you're looking for and creating a sector of your, of the pharmaceutical industry in order to really boost sales.


So what you have to do is you have to increase the amount of people who will identify as depressed. And what I, the statistic that I put out there is right now we have over 20 percent of the adult population [00:11:00] taking an antidepressant. So you could see the increase in the amount of people who will identify themselves as having depression. 


Jacqueline Genova: Wow. And I mean, antidepressants are by far the most commonly prescribed class of drug for mental disorders. And I also recently learned from one of your conversations – I'm telling you, I've probably heard at least 10 in the past three days – that serotonin is not even implicated in depression, which was mind blowing for me.


So, with that knowledge, how can doctors in good conscience prescribe all of these SSRIs to their patients?

Dr. Roger McFillin: In good conscience, I don't think they can. But it's a reflection of the sick care system that exists. So let's try to understand what that model looks like. So first, industry really does fund our academic research. And we know that the drug companies themselves are the ones that conduct their own trials.[00:12:00] 


So if they want to get a drug like an antidepressant to market, they're going to conduct their own trials. Now one of the things that's very clear about antidepressants when you look back at their history is it's really difficult to separate any positive response to an antidepressant from the placebo group.


Now one way to do that is you create outcome measures that are going to be related to the drug itself. So like antidepressant is a psychoactive substance that acts on the brain and most people who take an antidepressant know they took an antidepressant and in the clinical trials so did the researchers so did the doctors right because it is really clear because of how they feel that that means blind is broken okay so we know from the placebo response that if someone believes that the drug is going to help them that's a powerful effect, and people do get [00:13:00] better.


In adult trials, over 30 percent of those on the placebo had a clinically relevant response to the dummy pill. When, when you kind of talk, when you kind of compare that to the drug model, the, the drug improvement wasn't that much better. They, enough to create a statistical significance between the two groups, but really not clinically relevant at all.


And in some of the trials, the placebo group just outperformed the drug group. And in other trials, you know, people got horribly suicidal, and we realized that the drug companies just removed them from the final data. So basically it's this, it's flawed research, some of it clearly, clearly fraudulent. When the drug companies find at least one or two studies that can create a statistical significance, they publish those, and they use those for FDA approval.


They hire an academic to ghostwrite the paper. They hire [00:14:00] the academics to promote the drug. And these are usually academics who are quite prestigious, and they come from some of the top universities in the United States. They also influence how we train medical professionals. And the drug companies also fund the major medical organizations.


So you're getting this distorted view of the literature and that distorted view is being communicated, even through media, that this is best available evidence. So you've got doctors who grow up in the system who have to follow these protocols or these guidelines that are established by these major medical.


Organizations not really understanding how they were funded by the pharmaceutical companies to begin with and the research that is that they're using as far as best available evidence was pushed by those drug companies and the academics on the payroll. So it's really as a system. And, you know, the other thing that we don't speak enough about [00:15:00] is the shifting landscape of our healthcare system.


There's not that many independent doctors anymore. The large-scale hospital systems have bought up primary care in most communities. So doctors are employees, they're not really independent of these organizations and they have to follow these guidelines and protocols that are put out by the organizations.


It's about efficiency in healthcare. It's kind of like a fast-food version of it. They're trying to see people as quickly as possible. Get quick symptoms from lots of checklists and then they prescribe a drug or another like medical assessment or intervention. Doctors aren't really exploring the literature base.


They're not staying up to date on these advancements. They're told they have a drug. If someone is presenting with depressed mood or anxiety. Here is the drug, here is the dose, and here's the protocol on how I [00:16:00] would increase the dose over time. So, they're not really independently and critically minded physicians in the way that we think they are.


They're following protocol, and most of them are doing it with a high level of certainty, as if this is the best available evidence. And so that's the major problem. So when a large scale umbrella study, review study, comes out, like it did in 2022, from Joanna Moncrieff and her colleagues, which clearly identify that serotonin is not implicated in depression, even though many people in the field have kind of discounted that for 20 plus years.


It's a theory. It's a, it was a theory that was pushed by the drug companies. When you create a drug that targets serotonin, you have to come up with a reason why you're targeting serotonin. And that was the chemical imbalance theory. But that was so pushed hard by media, especially in the United States.


The United States is only One of two countries that have directed consumer advertising. So we were getting this on commercials. Zoloft [00:17:00] commercials. They were getting plugged in television. There was tons of news reports on it. Even right now, if you Google chemical imbalance or why do people get depressed, you're still going to see widespread propaganda on this chemical imbalance myth.


So the question is, what happens then when you prescribe a drug that acts on the brain in such an experimental way, with one neurochemical? You know, one neurochemical is going to affect the entire system. Like you cannot, you cannot target something in the body without affecting the rest of the body.


And the outcomes have been absolutely horrific. We have, you know, people who've just worsened dramatically on, on these drugs and they're not even aware it's the drug itself, you know, these doctors have been brainwashed to think that if someone starts struggling in response to an antidepressant, it's like their mental illness is being expressed.


I can't tell you how much nonsense is promoted in my general field. And part of my job right now is just to [00:18:00] try to get people to stop saying lies, to educate people so they don't buy into or believe the propaganda that is being told to them by doctors and where the doctor's getting the information.


They're getting it from pharmaceutical salespeople. They're getting it from medical conferences that are funded by pharmaceutical companies. You know, it is completely pushing this model and we're getting sicker and sicker.


Jacqueline Genova: I don't necessarily think that doctors are ill intentioned, right? Like, many go into the profession wanting to help people, but the irony, as you said, is that they often do the opposite. And I think that a large piece of it is because they're ignorant to any other healing modality outside of what they were taught in conventional medical school. This is such a complex issue that really has to be approached at different angles, because there's also the issue of standard of care, right, which doctors legally have to abide by or else, you know, possibly face getting sued. So I guess my [00:19:00] question is, where do we start? Do we start by separating pharma from healthcare education in medical schools? Do we limit the amount of prescriptions doctors can write? Do we change the standard of care? All the above?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, I want to tell a quick story. I was talking to a pediatrician not too long ago, and this was after I reviewed the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Adolescent Depression. And if there's one thing I know really, really well, it is the literature base for the treatment of depression and anxiety in youth.


Because I did a deep dive into that, and developed a position statement for my practice here. And so when I was going through the literature review that the American Academy of Pediatrics cited, I was absolutely appalled. They were cherry picking very old studies. It did not include the totality of the research.[00:20:00] 


And so all these primary care doctors were getting a real distorted view of what the science base was for antidepressants for children and teenagers based on those guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. When in actual reality, the literature is very clear. We don't have evidence at all that these psychiatric drugs have much of an effect on these young people.


In fact, we have all horrible, horrible outcomes for young developing brains when you experiment with psychotropic drugs, including, and there's a black box warning, more than a double risk of a suicide event. And these doctors are being told that an antidepressant should be a frontline treatment when the drug itself is more likely to create harm than have any meaningful reduction in depression or anxiety.


In addition, the small amount of [00:21:00] trials that we do have with young people demonstrate that the placebo response is incredibly high, much higher, upwards of 60%. So, we would do so much better if we would either do watchful waiting, which is to do nothing and just to monitor the situation, or to actually implement a dummy pill.

But they are prescribing a drug for teens that refer to having suicidal thoughts, and that drug in itself is going to increase the likelihood that they die by suicide by at least double. We just recently had, the drug Lexapro was approved by the FDA for childhood anxiety for kids as young as seven.


And the trial that they utilized, they found that the kids that were on the drug Lexapro had a six fold increase in feeling suicidal, experiencing suicidality compared to the placebo group. Where other researchers around the world, statisticians, kind of came to the [00:22:00] conclusion that if you give the drug Lexapro to a child or teen, they are more likely to die by suicide than have any meaningful reduction in depression or suicide.


That's the system that we're, we're working under. And the authors who were on the payroll for AbbVie, the company that puts out Lexapro, those authors came to the conclusion that the drug is safe and tolerable for children. And you know, I don't know how you get past something like that other than it'd be a groundswell of backlash from the American public.


I think the current healthcare system, the allopathic model is, is a corrupt one, where people end up getting sicker for the most part. If you look at our, our medical system, you know, we're really good at patching people up. You know, if I have a knee surgery or, you know, I need emergency medicine, I do [00:23:00] trust our doctors.


But if you're talking about the health and wellbeing of the American public, our healthcare system needs to be completely torn down and rebuilt. But that's only going to start from each of us as individuals to become more healthy. Like, we have to restore our health. But with so much bias And flat out lies when it comes to like nutrition and a number of other things.


Like there's so much research that's pushed by special interest that has flooded the American public that they don't know which way to go when it comes to like, what, what, what do I eat or how do I live? And let's face it as a culture, it's not like we're getting more active. It's not like we're improving our health with the type of foods that we're, we're eating.


It actually has been going the opposite direction, right? We're caught in screens. We're addicted to screens. We're more socially isolated, which means we're not connected to nature. We're not getting sun exposure. There is [00:24:00] increasing rates of obesity. Was it 60 percent of the United States meets criteria for obesity?


And so what are the, what are the drug companies going to do? They're going to try to pass Ozempic, a drug for kids who are sedentary and eating processed, chemically laced, toxic food. Right? The entire system has to be rebuilt, and it's only going to be rebuilt when we all wake up and we make choices to change the way we live.


Jacqueline Genova: I couldn't agree more. And I've always said, I think conventional medicine, as you alluded to, has its time and place, right, when it comes to acute issues like I had stitches, several weeks ago, and obviously I want to go to a conventional doctor to get patched up, but when it comes to chronic illness, it often does more harm than good.


And I am curious, is there any research that shows what percentage of doctors actually read through scientific literature and studies that are done rather than just accepting the word smithed conclusions of what their superiors offer?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, I mean, there is some data out there. I think I [00:25:00] had a podcast on it and spoke about some of the data. I can't recall the specifics, but I can just kind of let people understand the challenges that our doctors face. So our, our, our doctors are overwhelmed, right? They do not have a lot of available time to be able to stop to stay on top of the literature. Those who do literature reviews are going to mostly read two things, the abstract or the conclusions. So when you start looking at scientific studies, the abstracts and the conclusions themselves don't always even represent the actual study themselves. There's someone who is great to, to, to read and, and follow is John Ioannidis out of Stanford, who has done a lot of work around the medical misinformation mess that exists in the United States, and how much of the public, published research is flaws, flawed.


The conclusions themselves don't actually represent. What the data suggested some words of [00:26:00] upwards of like 60 percent of the studies don't even represent the, it’s insanity so, I mean that's why the doctors who are in the system and are unaware of what is happening, they are under the assumption that what they are reading is best available evidence.


And so, really, it takes a lot. You have to have the ability to construct a, deconstruct a study. You know, you have to have some strong background in research methodology. And then you'd have to be willing to ask questions. So, like, when that Lexapro paper came out in my field, I read it. And I knew that their conclusions didn't match the actual data.


So I just consulted with some other people around the world who read the same paper and made sure they were coming to the same conclusions I was. And then I promote it. Then I put it out there on social media, talk about it on my podcast. I disseminate that information to the public the best I can. I communicate it with my, with my clients here and my staff.


That's a [00:27:00] very, very small percentage, right? We need more people doing that.


Jacqueline Genova: And I think, too, I mean, this obviously not only applies to psychiatry, but every area within health is that it's the drug solution, right? Like, there's a drug for everything and anything. And particularly within oncology. So little background on me. My mom was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer back in 2018.


And that's essentially the reason why I started my platform, WellnStrong. But over the past, you know, five, six years, I've really started to question the drug industry again, within cancer and I'll bring papers to her oncologist with some of the drugs that he's pushing her to go on and I, I question him and he immediately shuts me down saying, Nope, this is the standard of care.

This is what everyone's doing. There's no personalized approach and again, I mean, cancer specifically, it's just a line of drugs, right? ER+ positive breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitor CDK, 4, 6, then hopefully at that point in time, if your cancer hasn't mutated too [00:28:00] much you'll have an extra X amount of years or there's going to be a new drug.


So it's, it's just such a broken system. And again, it fails to address the root cause. And certainly too, I mean, from a monetary perspective, doctors don't want to lose patients, right? I mean, if you help cure a patient, it's like a dollar sign walking out the door. I mean, I have a family member who's been on antidepressants for the past 30 years of his life.


And I remember there was a period of time, I think, five or six years, where he went off of them and experienced such withdrawal symptoms, Dr. McFillin, that I think he thought that's how he would feel, you know, normally if he weren't on them, right? But that's not the case. Those are withdrawal symptoms.


And I think that like fallacy is what keeps people on these drugs. And over time, their doctors just continue to increase their dosage amount. So with that, I mean, for people who have been on Citalopram, Lexapro, a [00:29:00] cocktail of all these drugs for years and years, and want to get off of them, right, but their bodies don't necessarily know better – what advice do you have?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Well, first, that's a horrible story. 30 years for somebody to be on an SSRI is criminal negligence. It's medical negligence. It's criminal action. These drugs have been studied in trials for eight to 12 weeks. How someone can receive information that they should be on it for 30 years or even more than a year or more than six months is beyond any form of established scientific evidence on safety.


So yes, you give somebody a drug that's targeting serotonin, and that drug is designed to increase the availability of serotonin in the synaptic cleft within the brain, within a nerve, and it [00:30:00] stops then the reuptake process and the natural production of that neurochemical in that particular cell.


The question is, what happens long term when you start doing that? And that's the thing about any drug. When you, when you introduce a chemical compound. That's made in a factory into the body. What does that do to the body's natural response system, right? We know the body seeks out homeostasis. The brain's going to seek out homeostasis.


It wants to feel better, it wants to, it wants to be able to achieve a degree of stability. And this homeostasis, this homeostatic process that exists is that once we develop some form of dependency on this, how does it affect the rest of the body? So that's one thing. What we know now is that there is no just one medicine, or [00:31:00] one drug, or one intervention that certainly affects everyone the same way.


Especially when it comes to psychiatric drugs. You can give the drug to one person, they don't feel anything. They experience no change. You can give the drug to another person, they might feel completely emotionally numb and disconnected, and you might give a drug to another person that can become manic or homicidal, suicidal, and experience delusions or hallucinations.


It's just a wide range of a response. Initially, when these drugs were marketed, they were marketed as non-habit forming. And so what does that mean? That you could just stop the drug without any consequence. But as soon as you start taking a drug that acts on the brain that's as potent as an antidepressant, it starts to affect you.


And so if you're on it for 30 years, it's just insanity. But if you're on it for, you know, an extended period of time, [00:32:00] we have some courageous professionals from around the world and harmed patients who have attempted to understand the tapering process. And the simplest way I can communicate this is first, it's always got to be under medical care.


Because the withdrawing from a psychiatric drug has led people to want to die by suicide and has led to such severe reactions they don't want to live any longer. So it, it is a potentially fatal and severe response, so you can't just cold turkey abruptly stop these drugs. The process of tapering for many people is very, very slow.


You're talking about 10 percent reductions in the drug for a month. Right. So 10 percent a month. So you're talking about people tapering over a year off these drugs and then sometimes they have to re once they get to the point where the [00:33:00] drug is no longer in the system. Sometimes they have to reinstate a small amount of the drug just to feel okay.


I can't guarantee that someone experimentally takes a drug that long that They don't have to be on it for life at that point just to be okay. I can't guarantee that. Other doctors who I've talked, I've spoken to have kind of assured me, yes, we believe there's a way they can get off and begin to feel better, but it just takes a lot of time.


And of course it's dependent on many factors, including how long they've been on that drug. 


And in clinical reality, most people don't have this information. And the doctors who are tapering these people off their drugs, they're doing it by protocol. So they're getting tapered way too fast. So they're experiencing withdrawal reactions, which mimic depressed mood, suicidal thinking, anxiety, which leads people to believe, “Oh, well, that's my underlying mental illness.  That's my underlying depression.” And the doctor says, see, this is why you need to be on the drug. [00:34:00] Not communicating to them. What really is occurring is they are experiencing a withdrawal reaction.


Jacqueline Genova: It reminds me too, just going back to how doctors are quick to prescribe medication. Sophomore year of college, I had a pretty bad concussion, and I remember I went for an MRI scan just to get checked out. And you know, the doctor was asking me my symptoms.


I said, I was feeling a little bit down, & right away “Oh here. You should start taking this. It'll help you get through the mood changes you might experience.” And I remember just thinking, like, how is this good for me right now, especially after just sustaining a brain injury? You don't necessarily want to introduce anything like that into your system.


And B, like, again, they're not looking at the context of the situation? That's so important. So be it, grief or a relationship breakup, a head injury, you don't necessarily want to treat that as a chronic condition, right? You want to give the person time, whatever, six months or so to actually have their body return to homeostasis and reacclimate, to how they were previously.


So just the, the rush to, to have to write something. 


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, I'll tell you what, the doctors have been so misled. Like, like it's some kind of happy pill. Like it's a mood boosting pill. That is not what an SSRI does. It's, it doesn't boost mood. For almost everyone who has any type of effect, and I communicate this to patients, I said, listen, emotional numbing or emotional blunting is not antidepressant.


It's emotional numbing or blunting. So when people do say they feel some form of relief, it's based on that anxiolytic effect of the drug. And that could, for some people, and it tends to be very, very small, but some people who might be in intense anxiety or intense negative mood, that could be seen for at least a period of time as some form of relief.


But most people will see that as aversive. And that emotional numbing also affects other areas of the [00:36:00] body. So The most important one for people to know is probably post SSRI sexual dysfunction. So it includes numbing of the genitals, the inability to achieve orgasm, and that condition can be permanent.


So when you take an antidepressant drug, people are not told that it could have permanent sexual dysfunction. They might be told that they could have temporary sexual dysfunction while on the drug, but they're not told that that could be lasting for the rest of their life. And now there's a large-scale global movement of, of harmed patients who are experiencing this condition that are speaking out.


And it's really important when I go on podcasts like this that I just communicate that to the general public. So when it's so haphazardly given to young people who've experienced normal, developmental stress or challenges or a head injury. I've had a couple head injuries. I played high school and college football.


So I experienced head injuries and know that there is [00:37:00] a short term negative response to a head injury that includes mood and anxiety or a number of other things. I think it's a lot more complicated, right? You take an athlete or you take somebody who might be social and active and you remove them from their sport, their social world.


Some people aren't attending school and it's natural to experience like changes in your mood along with if you're experiencing headaches or fatigue or a number of other things. And instead of talking about what the recovery process would look like and being open and honest with people about how the brain does heal and the, and the things we need to do in order to get you back into your life and back into sport, you start throwing more things into the body that are not meant to be there, that have consequences, that have negative and adverse side effects, so the entire approach doesn't make much sense to me at all and challenges common sense and common thinking, and so that's why I've lost so much trust in our allopathic [00:38:00] medical doctors that I don't even consult or see them anymore.


I tried to protect my family from that environment. I try to give enough information to my clients and those who follow my podcast or social media for them to make informed decisions.


Jacqueline Genova: Would you attribute the increased use of antidepressant medications to this widespread decrease in testosterone that we're seeing today?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Wow. I, I don't actually, because when you look at the statistics, it's, it's widely being prescribed to females. And, I contributed to like a multitude of factors. So I don't ever want to say that it's just one thing. Is the decrease in testosterone that we're experiencing across American society over the past 30 years a consequence of a lot of other health related factors?


Yes. And could that influence going on a drug? Yes. Does that bring people into their primary care center not feeling well? Yes, [00:39:00] so that I totally agree with you. The pharmaceutical companies were really wise to push these drugs in primary care. Primary care doctors are not experts in mental health.


They're kind of on the front lines, they're kind of gatekeepers, they're not specialists, but they see the most people, and they're ingrained in their communities. So if you can market these drugs to these doctors in manners that are way beyond what they are actually proven to do, and you, you In, in a lot of cases, you just inflate the potential benefits and you minimize any of the potential harms, you're going to see these drugs widely prescribed to people who would have never been on them previously.


And that's what we see. So over 80 percent of psychiatric drugs are prescribed by primary care doctors. 


Jacqueline Genova: How is that legal? 


Dr. Roger McFillin: It's, it's legal. It's, legal because [00:40:00] it goes back to our sick care model. Pharmaceutical lobbyists, are highly influential in Washington. The pharmaceutical company is the most lucrative criminal organization in the history of the world.


So they can fund politicians campaigns. So they own the politicians. They, which, which is in turn influences policy. 


And so that's why you can have physicians who are not specialists prescribe drugs like, like an antidepressant. And so that's what I attribute to the increase in antidepressant use. It's in primary care.


But, if you want to talk about the increase in people getting sick and not doing well, it's combination of so many factors, right? From the toxicity in our environment, to nutrition, to lack of sun exposure, to just society and how we interact now technologically. There's so many factors.


Jacqueline Genova: Also, too, many people don't realize this, but financial payments from the [00:41:00] drug industry to physicians are common, right? And they often influence doctors clinical decision making and drug prescribing. It's called drug rebates, right?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, so I'm, I'm not really, and I can't speak intelligently on, on that because there's laws against doctors getting kickbacks from drug companies or from prescribing certain drugs. I think this is at a larger wide scale issue when it comes to, listen, independent doctors becoming somewhat extinct now and being part of the large scale hospital based systems.


Now, do the large scale hospital based systems work with pharmaceutical salespeople to choose one drug over the other? And do they get rebates or reductions? And does Medicare give rebates to Medical centers, if they, you know, administer this many vaccines, yes, I think that's all part of it, but the individual doctor doesn't see any financial benefit from prescribing a drug, from what I understand. [00:42:00] 


Jacqueline Genova: That could be a whole other conversation. Going back though to depression, how do you deal with patients who come in suffering from depression? So the whole point of WellnStrong to is to really emphasize our bodies self-healing capabilities, and creating an environment where the body can heal and focusing on more natural modalities. So, I've read a lot about things like vagal nerve stimulation, cold water therapy. I read a study recently on saffron being as effective as citalopram. Are there any alternative or complementary things that you suggest patients try?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Well, Jacqueline, I think that's, that type of kind of research is all following down the, the wrong path, right? It's always the, the same similar path of trying to find something external to change the way we feel when healing does come within the person. You know, I've been doing this work for, you know, 20 plus years now, and I've worked with a lot of people who struggle with post [00:43:00] traumatic stress, eating disorders, depressed mood, anxiety, and I've never met the same person twice.


Each individual person has their own story. So the reason why they experience what they do is related to their, not only their own history, but also internally what they have created. So I do communicate that we are creators of our own reality. And being in creators of our own reality means that the way a person thinks about who they are in this world, how they approach their life, the steps they take, how they think about themselves in, in terms of relationships or life purpose, or the meaning they attach to their life are all critical factors in how someone experiences their emotions.


Then there's skills that we all have to be able to manage that experience and that to not attach to everything that goes in our minds as this, as if it's absolute truth. So, to think about somebody overcoming a [00:44:00] depression, you first have to know their individual story, the way they cope, and the way they live.


So, some of the things that you're saying does, you know, would , you know, fish oil in, line up against an antidepressant in a clinical trial. Yes. They would experience the same results because of what I mentioned earlier. It's the placebo response. It turns to what the person is going to believe is going to help them.


Now, I will be the first to tell you if you believe that you're going to find feeling better from some pill you're going to take or just one food you're going to eat, I'm going to tell you that it's probably not going to provide you the lasting benefits that you need. Now, if you're malnutritioned, and you're really metabolically sick, well, certainly that's going to affect your mood and that has to be a target intervention.


That has to be part of the overall treatment. We have to look at your diet. We have to look at your exercise. If you're sedentary, [00:45:00] yes, we have to target that with behavioral activation and movement and engagement. So that is all a piece of a larger, bigger, holistic approach to trying to help someone. But the bottom line is you can't give blanket recommendations.


Because each person is unique, and until you understand exactly what that person is going through, why they got depressed, and why they're staying depressed, you can't really help them, and you're going to fall short by trying to assume that the same things are going to work with everybody. That's how we've gotten to this problem in the first place.


But generally speaking, when somebody is experiencing, you know, depression, I want to know who they are, and when this, when the depression started, started it. So most depressive episodes are episodic, and this is really important information that if someone was in a real moderate to severe depressive episode, it is more likely than not, if they never sought out professional intervention, that it would resolve itself in six [00:46:00] months.


That's science because our mood is episodic. And so what's going to happen in six months? Well, the original stressor may have resolved itself. They may have adapted, coped, overcome, right? Emotions are temporary just as everything in our lives are temporary. So even if you did nothing, the majority of people are going to get better in about six months. Now, a percentage of people won't, right? They'll fall into like a chronic state of being depressed. It could be related to multiple factors. They're coping their history, their, the quality of their life, their lifestyle, a number of factors in the way that they think the way they behave, they can be creating patterns in their life where they're getting the same results, right?


Doing the same thing over and over again, getting the same results. If you are lonely and you don't have the skills to be able to develop relationships, then you're going to continue to be lonely, you're going to continue to get rejected. So whatever is [00:47:00] going on there, we have to disrupt the pattern and create new experiences.


So I think the best treatments for depression are active, skill based ones that are promoting change. If you have somebody doing the same thing, thinking the same way, living the same way, we would be insane in any way to think that anything is going to change. We also have to communicate that depression in itself is episodic.


It is short term. It's designed to serve us. Our emotions aren't there. We haven't evolved feeling the way we do. We're not broken. We're not diseased. We're not sick. They've evolved to be partners with us. They're indicators that something in our life has to change and we want to use it to our advantage.


We don't want to sit there and hope that something is different in our life. Like there's some magic pill that is going to make us feel better. And we don't think the way we do, and we don't live the way they do. It's just not going to work. And so, you know, essentially I think really good therapies or really good coaches [00:48:00] or people who are pushing someone in their life to make changes, you know, that active process that creates new learning, that creates new experiences, that gets somebody to live again, is what ultimately leads someone to overcome that episode.


Jacqueline Genova: And I'm sure, too, even just the act of going to see a therapist is helpful in itself, right? You're doing one thing to benefit yourself and I'm sure that has spillover effects., But going back to, to factors, I'm very interested in the area of epigenetics, as I'm sure you are too. And my question to you is, is this whole concept of depression being genetic, just part of this narrative that we're being told or is there any truth to that even, if it's less than 1 percent of the population


Dr. Roger McFillin: That research has really been abandoned. We haven't been able to identify any specific gene that leads to depression. Instead, I want people to think about things a little bit more. With more complexity, for example, okay? So, is it more likely that a [00:49:00] depressed parent will have a depressed kid? Well, yes.


And why would that be? Well, a depressed parent is probably less attentive, less loving. A depressed parent probably is thinking about life in a certain way. That creates fear. That creates hopelessness. So there's a lot of variables of learning that would take place in a home environment, about growing up in an environment with someone who is struggling, whether it's with substance abuse or, with mental health related concerns, or there's abuse or neglect.


That is the best predictor that someone is going to struggle the rest, you know, into their adult life. But the idea of epigenetics, I think, is really, really interesting. That, every single one of our ancestors, right, we have, is encoded, every one of their experiences is encoded in this mysterious way, genetically, in ways that we, we're not even close to [00:50:00] being able to understand.


And then when certain conditions, present themselves, well then that provokes a response or a reaction that's meant to have us either survive, or procreate, right? You know, it's really from a very biological level, we are meant to, to survive and we're, we're meant to procreate. And so a lot of things that happen within us, if we can understand evolutionarily in that manner, we'd be better off in being able to accept responses, not as disease or something that's malfunctioning within the body, but yet something that is normal and expected for some greater purpose.



Jacqueline Genova: A recent study I read suggested, and this falls underneath the umbrella of more lifestyle epigenetics rather than actual genetics, but it said that women who are pregnant who have negative thoughts or who are fearful or nervous those thoughts can actually affect the nervous system of the developing child.


Have [00:51:00] you have you seen research on that?


Dr. Roger McFillin: I have. I do think that that's a very critical period in development and, you know, that baby is feeling everything that the parent, is feeling and we would think that to be true as well. So let's just think about it throughout history, right? So if, if, if a family was experiencing famine or war or some other, some other crisis that would potentially impact their ability to survive.


It makes sense for you to be on guard, it makes sense for you to be anxious, to be hypervigilant, to be in a problem-solving mode, to be able to stay alive, to be able to forage food, to hunt food, whatever that may be. So the fact that that would be also passed down to your developing child who's going to be born into that same kind of conditions or environment. It just [00:52:00] makes sense to me biologically why we would expect those things to happen.


Jacqueline Genova: So much research out there. There's just so many things we can chat about, but one thing I did want to touch on with you – I realize we're coming up on the hour, but the whole concept of medical freedom, right? You do such a wonderful job discussing this in your podcast, but that freedom was replaced with what people have been saying of “trust the experts” in 2020, in which we were told to essentially refrain from questioning everything.


And those of us who did were labeled as being dangerous or threats to society. And I think my understanding now is that the COVID vaccine is still mandatory in some cases, which is absolute insanity, but in this environment, what are some ways that we can advocate for our medical freedom? 


Dr. Roger McFillin: Good question. You know, first of all, I think medical freedom is one of the defining moments of our generation, of our time, because it is at risk. Our personal liberties are at risk. The trust the [00:53:00] experts wasn't necessarily trust the experts. It was trust this government bureaucrat. Who's representing this entity, this government, this industry, this belief system, and what they tell us, you have to blindly accept it.


And that's part of the entire sick care model is that influence government, CDC recommendations, which then obviously are put out by our major medical organizations into protocol and these doctors just follow what the government says. That's not what science is. Science is an evolving process. To me, the experts are the ones that are independent.


If you are influenced financially and you have a conflict of interest in any way, I am automatically not going to assign You, the term expert, I think we throw that around way too often. Unfortunately, the doctor you're most likely going to is not an expert in anything. They're just following protocol.


They're just following what they were told. An [00:54:00] independent physician or an independent clinician in any field is one who is devoted to the scientific process. And that scientific process is always something that's evolving. And there are risks and there are benefits. depending on the person that is in front of you.


So you as the individual have to understand that Anything that the doctor is going to recommend is a potential, has a potential risk. It also might have a potential benefit. What medical freedom is, is that you have the choice what goes into your body. You have the choice of how to live your life, how you see health, how you get better.


I mean, if I went to a primary care doctor right now, I know most of the things they would ask me to do, I would disagree with. 


And so, you know, my freedom is that I shouldn't, my job shouldn't be at risk if I don't do what you tell me to do, right, based on your limited [00:55:00] knowledge or the information you're just repeating that was told to you.


I want somebody who has a thorough grasp of the totality of the science and in respects my individual right to make those choices. So if we walk into a health care center, and we blindly sign a consent form before we're ever evaluated. We have to do it quickly before we get in there for our eight minute appointment.


And then we go in there and we take a quick checklist and they want to give us jugs right away without telling us any of the risks. That in itself, we have to resist that. If we allow that to be the standard course of health care, then start blaming ourselves, right? Now, if we know better and we just continue to do it, then blame yourself, right?


We have to resist. And be unwilling to sign that, that paperwork. We have to be unwilling to accept the medical intervention unless the doctor explains alternatives, has a thorough grasp of what that drug can do. And so, you [00:56:00] know, it goes back to what we've talked about earlier. I do think in a lot of ways, we have to reconstruct a new system.


And reconstruct a new system that is emphasizing and more focused on how to restore health and considering all the alternatives that have been suppressed from the mainstream medical research. When I say suppression, I mean suppression. It is not out there all the ways that we could potentially heal.


And back to, you know, you're talking about like breast cancer, for example. You know, were women told if they go on hormonal birth control, what that does as far as increasing a risk for breast cancer, they're not. And that might start as young as, you know, 15, 16 years old, where they're not told of the potential long-term risks.


It runs deep, but I'm convinced at this point we have to educate ourselves. And there's a lot of information out there. There's a lot of alternative independent doctors. There's research around the globe. You can read books on hormonal birth care. You can read the books on [00:57:00] antidepressants. Everything that we're, you know, communicating today, there is a wealth of information out there.


You're not going to find it on the first Google page. You're not going to get it from your primary care doc, but it exists out there, and you have to have a willingness to educate yourself.


Jacqueline Genova: Have you read How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert Mendelson? 


Dr. Roger McFillin: I love the title. 


Jacqueline Genova: You would love it. It's essentially, a conventionally trained pediatrician writes this whole book on basically, like, why your pediatrician is perhaps one of the worst enemies for your child from the standpoint of over-vaccinations and prescriptions.


It was an incredibly insightful and eye-opening book, and I, I highly recommend it. But yeah, on a personal note, I mean, I find myself staying out of the doctor's office unless absolutely necessary, e. g. stitches several months ago. But the only time I will go is when I want a prescription for blood work written. That's the only way insurance will cover it. So, I actually had to go to my primary care doctor a few weeks ago just to have her write some blood work for me. And I remember [00:58:00] the physical lasted about 15 minutes. And 80 percent of that visit, Dr. McFillin, was basically me telling her why I disagreed with the flu vaccine and how I've, I've never gotten it before. I don't believe in it. And it was just really funny because I feel like I may have changed her stance on a few things with some of the stats I was providing. And again, like they either haven't seen it, they just choose to be ignorant or like we've been discussing this whole episode they're just abiding by what their superiors are telling them. But it's just funny when you speak to a quote unquote health care professional who tends to have more of the power in that patient doctor relationship and you're the one actually educating them. You kind of see this shift in their face when they're hearing this information and it's, it's sad because you question, are they actually going to change anything differently?


Dr. Roger McFillin: In all likelihood, that doctor, the flu vaccine is mandated for that person to work there. So, you know, they, they work on their system where they are, there are forced vaccinations. They are [00:59:00] still in our healthcare centers. Medical professionals, frontline healthcare workers have to get a flu vaccine.


They have to get a COVID vaccine. Despite efficacy, despite potential harms, they're communicated things that are more marketing propaganda and promotion than they are any actual science.


Jacqueline Genova: You had mentioned in one of your episodes, your daughter was facing this issue, or is she still facing it where I think her profession requires her to get a flu vaccine.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, real quick. She's a, she's a doctoral student in physical therapy at Temple University. And so she's approaching her full clinical year where she does rotations. And these health care centers, majority of them, that are part of the rotation for Temple University, they require either COVID vac, almost all of them require flu vaccines.


And some require COVID vaccines, which as you well know, that's something that we're going to be vehemently against [01:00:00] based on science and health. There was a time we followed these recommendations. My daughter was actually injured by a, by a flu vaccine. And has a medical exemption, and that's still not good enough.


Jacqueline Genova: That's insanity.


Dr. Roger McFillin: That's insanity. And so these are the things we have to, we have to resist, right? And this is medical freedom. I and she would, would rather withdraw from a program than have to blindly follow a medical recommendation because they told we have to, like forced half, forced into doing something that could create harm.


So I don't know where we go when we still have so many Americans who blindly follow these recommendations and just accept them as, as truth. We need a wide scale like awakening for people because there's a lot more of us than them. You know, once you, once you become awake and you [01:01:00] resist some of these practices, they'll be forced to change because they can't financially benefit off of this model. So, you know, unfortunately healthcare is huge, huge business. And this fast-food style of healthcare of getting shots, drugs, lotions, pills, and being sent on your way after 10 minutes just keeps everybody stuck in this symptom management, being sick, not until the next time, just living life until I get my next, you know, disease. And that becomes the center of my life.


Jacqueline Genova: And can you briefly share Dr. McFillin in some of the stats that you've come across with regards to efficacy of the flu vaccine, because I'm sure many listeners out there are just not aware.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Yeah, I think the first thing that people know is we don't have these wide scale, randomized clinical control trials that let us You know, let us know what the efficacy is. You hear these things like 30, you know, it reduces the, the flu, on a good year, reduces flu or symptoms by 30 to 40 percent, but I don't know how they come to those conclusions [01:02:00] without randomized, controlled, blinded, controlled, you know, studies, so I think they're making it up. Basically this, I found a paper where, you know, it kind of reviewed. the efficacy and safety of the flu vaccine. It was from another country. It basically came to this conclusion. On any given year, generally speaking, on average, there's about a 2 percent risk of, of developing the flu. I mean, not a cold, not a virus, like the real flu.


2 percent chance. And that's not, you know, that's including old people, unhealthy people, sick people, 2 percent chance. If you get the flu vaccine, it may, and they say may, reduce your, the likelihood you'll obtain the flu by one percent. So you go from two percent to one percent. Now, when it comes to a cost benefit analysis, if you're young, [01:03:00] if you're healthy, why would you take that risk?


There are risks to adverse reactions. I tell the story on my podcast, I, there was someone who was a patient on my practice. She was a healthcare professional who got the flu vaccine, developed Gillian Barr syndrome, and she was in a wheelchair. You know, so why would I take a, take the risk of getting a flu vaccine that in all likelihood wouldn't work?


So we should stop calling it a vaccine that, you know, that's the power of language because when someone thinks of vaccine, they think they're inoculated. You get something and it boosts your immunity, to not obtain the illness or not to spread it to another person. Well, that's not the case. If it's not the case, then why do we call it a vaccine?


And if it only reduces the likelihood you're going to get that flu by such a small percentage of, such a small percentage, then why would we risk the adverse reactions to it? I've gotten the flu one time in my life. It was a, it was a year that I actually got the flu vaccine. [01:04:00] And I knew I had the flu because I got tested for it, and I was, you know, laid out for a week.


You know, the flu was serious, but I'm pretty sure that getting the flu vaccine impacted my vulnerability and my immune system for that year, and that's why I was knocked out with the flu. I haven't gotten one since. I've never gotten the flu. If I do, I'm pretty confident I'll be able to be okay and recover from it.


And so we have to stop with the fear mongering that exists and spreading the lies. You know, one of the things, one of the ways that they tried to guilt my daughter into getting the flu vaccine is that it would protect others, which makes no sense to me, right? And that's, that's how, that's how it's nonsensical.


When, when they tried to push the COVID vaccine on us, they said that the unvaccinated are going to [01:05:00] put the vaccinated at risk. How does that make sense? If a, if a vaccinated person is protected, how can someone who's unvaccinated, how can we, how can any way could that be logical? And that's the thing we've, we've found about our society is we've become.


Completely illogical. We just repeat things that people just repeated over because they were told it. They haven't even thought through it. If it's a true vaccine, if it's a true inoculation, you're protecting yourself and that's what matters.


Jacqueline Genova: I love everything you stand for, at the heart of this whole conversation it's being your own thinker, right? Being able to advocate for yourself. And again, that's the mission of my platform is to encourage people to be advocates of their own health. And that entails reading the literature, asking questions, not necessarily putting your trust in authority.


And I mean, I'm 28 years old and I'm at a point in my life now where I think truth is the opposite of everything we've been told from an education perspective and [01:06:00] medical perspective. So I, I truly do question everything. And then through that process, you obviously start to find other incentives that are hidden and, you know, ultimately will change the course of whatever you opt to pursue.


But I am just curious – I know vaccines necessarily aren't your specialty, but it's an area where there certainly are a lot of extremes, right? But where do you stand on that spectrum? I recently got into the topic of homeopathy and I found that so many families within that community opted to not vaccinate their children at all with anything, and these children have grown up to be healthy, robust individuals, strong immune systems. What are your thoughts on that? Like, where do you stand on that spectrum?


Dr. Roger McFillin: I'm a skeptic who's open to learning more about the background and history in the same way that I look, I investigated my history of psychiatric drugs. I think it's a similar playbook.


Some things are clear, just that some things are just [01:07:00] When they began to introduce, expand the vaccine schedule for babies and young and toddlers, we saw dramatic rises in autism.


Like those things are facts. I'm not saying that one is correlated with the other, but certainly for some people, parents have said as soon as they got that vaccination, their child changed. Right. And When I investigate the vaccine schedule and how they came to market, you see the same thing. There's not long-term studies, randomized, placebo controlled trials.


The gold standard of scientific investigation has not been met, and we are essentially doing a mass experiment on humanity and how the body responds or how it's or the impact it has on humanity is [01:08:00] something that we're experiencing because it's the first time it's happened in modern history, wide scale uses of these vaccines for conditions that aren't even risky.


We're giving them to kids anyway. We're just kind of shooting up kids, babies, even infants, even, as if they're not naturally designed, as if they didn't come into this world naturally designed through evolution to be able to, to thrive, to be able to be safe. And so how does that affect the body? Well, I'm going to leave that to other experts who are actually studying this.


I just know one thing is I'm not blindly accepting your recommendations anymore, right? When my kids are older, when they were younger, we followed the recommendations of our pediatrician. We know better now. And so it, it changes the way that we think about our health and our life. We're as a family, me personally, I'm much more focused on how to [01:09:00] really live well than to get caught up in the fear mongering, going to the doctors all the time, getting test after test just for the possibility they might be able to screen something in advance. I'm getting out of the sick care mindset because I think fear and mindset are really important. If anything I'm learning from the literature on placebo is what we believe to be true gets manifested into reality in our own physical body and we have chosen not to tap into that.


So what am I doing? I'm eating clean foods, organic, mostly, you know, animal based, drinking raw milk, getting sun exposure, exercising, meditation, prayer, yoga. I care about having a robust immune system. I'm considering gut health. I think all those things matter. And I don't get sick. And I feel well. And I'm pushing 50 years old in my life.


And I feel [01:10:00] stronger and better than I did in my 30s when I was still in the sick care model. And I think other people should be exploring all these alternatives that exist. as well, especially for children, especially for newborns. Talk to other quote unquote experts. They're out there. You know, I had Dr. Adam Urato on my, on my podcast who's a maternal fetal medicine doctor. I just want to know what other people think. And you know, I'll read that book recommendation that you provided me.


I'm going to just see what other people think and make an informed decision. Right.


That's all I ask. I'm such a believer in Liberty and medical freedom. That is. You have done the research on your own. You've weighed the costs and benefits. If you make certain decisions for yourself or your family, I 100 percent support it. It's just that people aren't provided that opportunity. They're not given all the information.


And they're told they have to do something or they're a bad parent. And, we have to, you know, we have to just move beyond that in our system.


Jacqueline Genova: Yeah. I couldn't [01:11:00] agree more. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s simplicity, right? Going back to the basics – sunlight, whole foods, positive mental state. That's where it's at. And, you know, if people could just practice those on a daily basis, we wouldn't see the rates of disease that we're seeing today. Well, Dr. McFillin, again, I could speak with you for hours, but I do want to be conscious of your time. Where can listeners find you?


Dr. Roger McFillin: Well, I have a website, it's, and you can sign up for my substack there. My substack is where I'm writing free weekly newsletter. Radically Genuine Podcast is in the top 1 percent of global downloads right now. If you go to my website, you can also access our YouTube where I'll put other interviews up, including this one.


Let's see what else, on Twitter, which is now X @DrMcFillin. And we have recently started an Instagram. So that's doing pretty well now too. You can go to at [01:12:00] radically genuine for our, for our Instagram, but yeah, the main place, if you can get a lot from, you can get it all from


Jacqueline Genova: Wonderful. I will include the links to all of those in the show notes. And my last question for you is, what does being wellnstrong mean to you?


Dr. Roger McFillin: To me being wellnstrong means that you can live life fully with vitality and purpose. And you can carry that out, you know, in a manner that's, that's aligned with your own personal values. I do think that all of us have a real important life purpose. You know, there's a spiritual component to me, that I'm, I'm a real believer that we are here to, you know, act out an adventure.


And in that adventure, we learn. And whether, you know, it's getting closer to the universe or God or each other, you know, I think that our souls have a purpose and within that we have to feel well, to be able to love, to be able to create, you [01:13:00] know, we are all creators and so just, you know, being really strong, being well, being healthy is of mind, it's of body and it's of spirit.


Jacqueline Genova: I love that. Dr. McFillin, this has been such a wonderful and insightful conversation. Thank you for your time. I'm so excited to share this with listeners.


Dr. Roger McFillin: Thanks for having me.

What is the sick care model of healthcare?
The importance of informed consent
Dr. McFillin's background
Healthcare spending in the U.S. & the lucrative industry of big pharma
The medicalization of the human condition
Depression is a condition, not a disease
The percentage of adults currently taking an antidepressant
The chemical imbalance myth - why serotonin is not implicated in depression
The sick care model
The power of placebo
Physicians aren't as independent & critically minded as we think
Where do we start in correcting the current system?
The horrific effects of anti-depressant usage among young adolescent brains
Factors contributing to our increasing rates of chronic illness
Challenges that our doctors face
The lack of a personsalized approach & the drug solution in oncology
How to taper off drugs
Decreasing levels of testosterone
Over 80% of drugs prescribed by primary care doctors
Exploring rebates & financial payments from pharma
How to treat depression
Most depressive episodes are episodic
Could depression be genetic?
The impact of a mother's thoughts on the developing nervous system of her child
Ways we can advocate for our medical freedom
Birth control & breast cancer
Why the flu vaccine isn't effective
Hidden incentives among doctors
Where Dr. McFilin stands on the vaccine spectrum
Basic principles of good health