Electroshock Devices Will Never Have To Prove Safe Or Effective Under Proposed FDA Rule

You would think a machine that shoots electricity into a person’s brain would have to be proven safe and effective and be approved by the FDA before it could be used.  You’d be wrong.

No formal tests have ever been conducted or required by the FDA to determine the safety of the devices used to deliver electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), more commonly known as “shock treatment.”

Now the FDA is proposing a rule that would lower the classification of shock machines to a less dangerous class without any proof ever having been provided that the device, or the treatment given with the device, is either safe or effective.ECT1

ECT sends an electrical shock into a person’s brain in order to produce a seizure.  No one has ever explained exactly how this “works” as a mental health treatment.

Worse still, there is no federal or state regulation of ECT protocols for using ECT machines, or for who can use ECT devices, or for which patients should or should not be “treated.”

A little history: In 1976, Congress enacted legislation giving the FDA authority to regulate medical devices.  However, ECT equipment was grandfathered in, exempting it and allowing it to continue to be used without FDA testing.

In 1979, the FDA classified ECT machines as experimental Class III medical devices, a class of devices that must typically be approved by the FDA before they are marketed.   According to the FDA, “Class III devices are generally the highest risk devices and are therefore subject to the highest level of regulatory control.”

But due to the grandfathering in 1976, the FDA still has never tested ECT devices to see whether they are safe or effective.

Shocking Your Brain = Wearing a Condom

The FDA is now attempting to reclassify ECT machines as less dangerous Class II devices, a class that includes wheelchairs, acupuncture needles, and condoms.  Yes, condoms.

In fact, there has long been documented evidence of the damage ECT devices and shock treatment can cause, including prolonged or permanent memory loss and other physical damage.

A top ECT researcher, Harold Sackeim of Columbia University, conducted the first large-scale, prospective long-term study of cognitive function following ECT treatment.  His study, reported in the January 2007 issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, concluded that “adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.”ECT2

Beyond the damage to memory and other mental functions, the FDA itself has determined that ECT devices and procedures are associated with a long list of health risks, including:

  • Prolonged seizures
  • Physical injury to the body and dental fractures from the violent convulsions
  • Heart attack, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and stroke
  • Breathing complications from the drugs used to sedate the person or from the person inhaling his vomit
  • Skin burns from excessive electrical current or faulty electrodes
  • Worsening of psychiatric symptoms when ECT treatment is ineffective
  • Mania
  • Death

Tell the FDA to require ECT machines to undergo stringent testing to prove whether the devices and the treatment given with the devices are both safe and effective, instead of reclassifying them with devices no more dangerous than wheelchairs and condoms.

To send a comment to the FDA, click here.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by shock treatment, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We welcome your comments below.

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Four Colorado Psychiatrists Surrendered Their Medical Licenses In 2015 – Was One Of Them Yours?

Three psychiatrists permanently surrendered their licenses to the Colorado Medical Board in 2015 in order to avoid formal disciplinary hearings on complaints filed against them with the Board, according to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies online listing of Board actions. A fourth psychiatrist agreed to a non-permanent surrender of his license.

The psychiatrists who permanently surrendered their licenses are:

  • Wallace R. Arthur (Denver) – The Board alleged Arthur violated the Colorado Medical Practice Act by engaging in a sexual act with a patient within the six months immediately following the termination of his treatment of the patient, which constitutes unprofessional conduct under Colorado law.
  • Lawrence L. McReynolds (Ridgway) – McReynolds surrendered his license in the state of California after allegations of repeated acts of negligence and failure to keep proper records in his treatment of a patient there, then failed to notify the Colorado Medical Board of that fact, as required.
  • Walter C. Young, Jr. (Colorado Springs) – The Board alleged that Arthur failed to take any steps to ensure the safety of a patient who expressed suicidal thoughts, prescribed the same patient pain medications and large quantities of high-dose opiates over periods of time between prescriptions that were too short, and terminated treatment of the patient the same day he received notice of the complaint in this case without giving her proper notice or helping her find another provider.

The psychiatrist who agreed to a non-permanent surrender of his license is:

  • Steven P. Miller (Louisville) – The Board alleged that Miller was treating a female patient who was an exotic dancer and, on returning from an out-of-town trip, he drove to the place his patient was performing. She sat on his lap without recognizing that he was her psychiatrist, she left when she realized who he was, and Miller allegedly stayed on the premises and talked to her later.  Several months later, the patient overdosed on drugs, but before passing out put her parents in contact with Miller by phone.  Miller allegedly got the parents to bring their unconscious daughter to his residence, put her in his bed, allowed her to live with him for a period of 7 to 14 days, fed her, took her out to dine with him, and had an inappropriate relationship with her during that time.

Six more Colorado psychiatrists received other forms of disciplinary action from the Medical Board in 2015, based on complaints the Board received about treatment they had given their patients:

  • Peter U. Berndt (Denver) – Berndt provided psychiatric treatment to a patient he then included in his family life, including but not limited to dinners at Berndt’s home and Berndt’s wife helping to decorate the patient’s home. This constitutes unprofessional conduct under Colorado law.  The Medical Board sent Berndt a letter admonishing him for these boundary violations, placed his license on probation indefinitely, and ordered him to take an ethics course.
  • Matthew J. Burke (Chandler, AZ) – Burke failed to respond to complaint letters the Colorado Medical Board sent him concerning a patient’s complaint against him. Failing to respond in an honest, materially responsive, and timely manner to a complaint sent by the Board is unprofessional conduct under Colorado law.  The Board then sent him a letter, stating the Board “must assume that the allegations raised in the complaint may have merit” and cautioning him that “complaints disclosing any repetition of such practice may lead to the commencement of formal disciplinary proceedings against your license.”
  • William W. Dodson (Greenwood Village) – The Board sent Dodson a letter admonishing him for prescribing a patient high doses of a controlled substance that exceeded FDA-approved dosages, then failing to monitor the patient adequately, having documented only two appointments with her over a roughly five-month period. He was warned that any similar complaint in the future could lead to formal disciplinary proceedings against his license.
  • Natalie M. Hogan (Littleton) – In a letter admonishing Hogan, the Board found she failed to properly assess a patient and prescribed Valium to him, in spite of his documented history of drug dependence and abuse of multiple drugs. During the hospitalization of another patient for alcohol withdrawal and behavioral problems, Hogan also failed to properly assess the patient and prescribed addictive narcotic substances, despite the patient’s history of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence.  The Board also expressed its concern that Hogan failed to coordinate both patients’ discharge from the facility where treatment occurred, when both were taking multiple psychiatric drugs.  She was warned that any similar complaints in the future could lead to action against her license.
  • Frank E. Leone (Thornton) – The FDA requires that patients taking clozapine be registered with the drug’s manufacturer and monitored by both the company and the psychiatrist. When the drug company notified Leone to discontinue clozapine for one of his patients who had developed a severely low white blood cell count, he falsely claimed he had secured a waiver from the company allowing him to continue prescribing the drug to the patient.  The patient was suffering side effects consistent with use of the drug and was unable to advocate for herself.  The Medical Board sent Leone a letter admonishing him for unprofessional conduct and required him to take an ethics course.
  • Halbert B. Miller (Alpharetta, GA) – Miller failed to renew his Massachusetts license in 2013 or update his address, so he did not receive a letter from the Massachusetts Medical Board notifying him that his license had expired. He continued to practice psychiatry without a license.  He also fraudulently claimed in his license renewal application that he was Board-certified in addiction psychiatry, but the certification had expired in 2008.  The Massachusetts Medical Board publicly reprimanded Miller and fined him $2,500 for his misconduct.  The Colorado Medical Board then sent a letter of admonition to Miller, stating that his actions were also unprofessional conduct under Colorado law and warning him that any similar conduct in the future could lead to formal disciplinary action against his Colorado license.

File Complaint

How do you know if the Medical Board has ever taken action against your mental health provider?  Actions taken by Colorado licensing boards against psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, registered psychotherapists, professional counselors, and psychiatric technicians can be found by searching the provider’s name on the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website. DORA encourages consumers to check for disciplinary actions so they can make more informed decisions about healthcare providers.

DORA also encourages you to file a complaint about any unprofessional conduct you experienced.  If you want to make a complaint against someone who has harmed you with psychiatric drugs or mental health treatment, we want to talk to you.  Contact the Colorado chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.

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Colorado Medical Board Takes Emergency Action to Suspend The License of Lakewood Psychiatrist Harry Taub

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

The Colorado Medical Board took emergency action in January to suspend the license of Lakewood psychiatrist Harry Taub after reviewing information that he deliberately and willfully violated the Medical Practice Act and/or that he has a physical or mental condition that makes him unsafe to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients.

Documents related to the case, which date back to 2003, are posted on the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website.  The documents detail a history of substance abuse that started with Taub’s addiction to cough syrup, which began sometime after he was issued a resident’s Training License to practice medicine in North Carolina in 2001.

In 2003, Taub was arrested in North Carolina on a felony charge of obtaining a controlled substance by forgery.  Taub admitted he had written prescriptions for Percocet for himself under a fictitious name for about a year.  He entered into a deferral agreement, under which the charge against him would be dismissed if he followed his treatment plan and submitted to drug testing while on supervised probation for one year.

In 2008, Taub was arrested again and charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud/forgery.  He pled guilty to the charges, was given a suspended sentence of four to five months and was placed on supervised probation.  He entered a substance abuse treatment program.  The North Carolina Medical Board indefinitely suspended his license to practice, and records show the license subsequently became inactive in 2009.

In 2011, Taub applied for a license to practice in Colorado.  An evaluation by the Colorado Physician Health Program concluded Taub was safe to practice if he was under treatment and monitoring.

In May 2012, the Colorado Medical Board granted a restricted license that required Taub to comply with numerous conditions for a period of five years, including treatment monitoring and abstinence from addictive substances, monitoring of the prescriptions he wrote, and monitoring of his psychiatric practice.

Taub treated children and adolescents.  In June 2013, a monitor’s review of Taub’s practice found his treatment and medication management of three child and adolescent psychiatric patients fell below generally accepted standards and that he failed to make essential entries in the records of seven patients.  This is unprofessional conduct, as defined in Colorado law.

The Medical Board found that the situation required emergency action.  Instead of an immediate suspension of Taub’s license, it allowed Taub to enter into an agreement not to practice, pending further evaluation and investigation by the Board.

In July 2013, the Medical Board placed Taub’s license on probation for five years and required him to meet a lengthy list of conditions, including treatment and drug monitoring, keeping a log of prescriptions he wrote, practice monitoring, an education program, and quality reviews.

On January 8, 2016, the Colorado Medical Board received information that Taub had used alcohol and a controlled substance and that he has a physical or mental condition that renders him unsafe to practice.  The Medical Board concluded the situation required emergency action and suspended Taub’s license to practice, pending further resolution of the matter.

You decide.  Has the Medical Board handled this psychiatrist’s case appropriately?

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Prescription Terrorism: ISIS Fighters Widely Reported to be Fueled by ADHD Drug

image001CCHR has been exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and violence for decades. Today, CCHR joined ranks with the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and hundreds of news outlets in  reporting that “The War on Drugs” has taken on a literal twist, with ISIS fighters being fueled by a stimulant drug known as Captagon – a pharmaceutical cousin of the ADHD drug, Adderall. As The Boston Globe reports, Captagon is a “toxic fuel” that creates “super-human” fighters. The drug “quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.”

And a November 21st article, “Breaking Bad: The Stimulant Drugs That Link ISIS and the Nazis,” posted in Haaretz, the world’s leading English-language website for news and analysis of the Middle East, points out, “ISIS is far from the first murderous group to drug its fighters before battle…. The Persian Hashashin did it way back in the 11th century, as did Japanese kamikaze pilots, African militias, Chechen fighters and Nazi soldiers.”

Click here to read the full article.

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Are Psychiatric Drugs Behind The Current Epidemic Of Military Suicides?

Rising right along with the current epidemic of military suicides is the huge increase in the number of psychiatric drug prescriptions written for active military and veterans. soldier

Fact:   Between 2005-2011, military prescriptions for psychiatric drugs increased nearly seven times (682%) – more than 30 times faster than the civilian rate. One in six American service members takes at least one psychiatric drug.

Fact:   There are nearly 50 international drug-regulatory agency warnings that psychiatric drugs – including antidepressants – can cause suicidal thoughts and suicide.

Fact:   In 2012, more active military died by suicide than from combat – nearly one a day.  A total of 273 committed suicide in 2014, and 2015 is on track to post a similar number.

Fact:   Military veterans are committing suicide at the staggering rate of 22 every day.

Fact:   Some 80% of vets labeled with PTSD receive psychiatric drugs; 89% of them are given antidepressants.  A questionnaire used to screen for depression and PTSD is copyrighted to Pfizer, the company that manufactures the antidepressant Zoloft and other psychiatric drugs.

Retired Army Colonel and psychologist Bart Billings says:

 “If you take a look at people who commit suicide, most of those people – I would say as much as 80% – are on some type of psychiatric medication where there’s a black box warning…for suicidality, poor judgment and reasoning, anger and hostility, which can translate to homicide, depression, etc.”

And:

 “In my 47 years of treating people, although I had access to using psychiatric medication, I never recommended a single psychiatric drug. In all these years, I can state unequivocally, I therefore never had a person commit suicide or a homicide while in my care.”

pillpistolWARNING: Anyone wanting to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

 

“The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda”

To view the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) documentary detailing how psychiatry uses the military as its testing ground, click here and then click on “Military Documentary.”

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs or other mental-health treatment, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We welcome your comments below.

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35 School shooters/school related violence committed by those under the influence of psychiatric drugs

At least 35 acts of school-related acts of violence, including mass school shootings, have been committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs documented in 22 drug regulatory agency warnings to cause mania, psychosis, hostility, aggression and homicidal ideation.

Fact: At least 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking orwithdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 169 wounded and 79 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs).  The most important fact about this list, is that these are only cases where the information about their psychiatric drug use was made public. (See full list below)

The below list includes individuals documented to have been under the influence of psychiatric drugs and not only includes mass shootings, but the use of knives, swords and bombs.  22 international drug regulatory agency warnings cite side effects including mania, violence, psychosis and even homicidal ideation.

  1. Tallahassee, Florida – November 20, 2014: 31-year-old Myron May, a Florida State University alum, opened fire in the school’s library, wounding three before he was shot and killed by police. ABC Action News found a half-filled prescription for the antianxiety drug Hydroxyzine in his apartment after the shooting. In addition, according to May’s friends, he had seen a psychologist and had been prescribed the antidepressant Wellbutrin and the ADHD drug Vyvanse. He also checked himself in to a mental health center called Mesilla Valley Hospital around September of 2014. Shortly after this, his friends discovered the antipsychotic Seroquel among his prescriptions.
  2. Seattle, Washington – June 5, 2014: 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra opened fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University, killing one student and wounding two others. Ybarra planned to kill as many people as possible and then kill himself. In 2012, Ybarra reported that he had been prescribed the antidepressant Prozac and antipsychotic Risperdal. A report from his counselor in December of 2013 said that he was taking Prozac at the time and planned to continue to meet with his psychiatrist and therapist as needed.
  3. Milford, Connecticut – April 25, 2014: 16-year-old Chris Plaskon stabbed Maren Sanchez, also 16, to death in a stairwell at Jonathan Law High School after she turned down his prom invitation. According to classmates and a former close friend, Chris was taking drugs for ADHD.
  4. Sparks, Nevada – October 21, 2013: 12-year-old Jose Reyes opened fire at Sparks Middle School, killing a teacher and wounding two classmates before committing suicide. The investigation revealed that he had been seeing a psychiatrist and had a generic version of Prozac (fluoxetine) in his system at the time of death.
  5. St. Louis, Missouri – January 15, 2013: 34-year-old Sean Johnson walked onto the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts campus and shot the school’s financial aid director once in the chest, then shot himself in the torso. Johnson had been taking prescribed drugs for an undisclosed mental illness.
  6. Snohomish County, Washington – October 24, 2011: A 15-year-old girl went to Snohomish High School where police alleged that she stabbed a girl as many as 25 times just before the start of school, and then stabbed another girl who tried to help her injured friend. Prior to the attack the girl had been taking “medication” and seeing a psychiatrist. Court documents said the girl was being treated for depression.
  7. Planoise, France – December 13, 2010: A 17-year-old youth held twenty pre-school children and their teacher hostage for hours at Charles Fourier preschool.  The teen was reported to be on “medication for depression”.  He took a classroom hostage with two swords. Eventually, all the children and the teacher were released safely.
  8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – September 21, 2011: 14-year-old Christian Helms had two pipe bombs in his backpack, when he shot and wounded Socastee High School’s “resource” (police) officer. However the officer was able to stop the student before he could do anything further.  Helms had been taking drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.
  9. Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown.  Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression.  He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.
  10. Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself.  Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.
  11. Fresno, California – April 24, 2008: 17-year-old Jesus “Jesse” Carrizales attacked the Fresno high school’s officer, hitting him in the head with a baseball bat.  After knocking the officer down, the officer shot Carrizales in self-defense, killing him.  Carrizales had been prescribed Lexapro and Geodon, and his autopsy showed that he had a high dose of the antidepressant Lexapro in his blood that could have caused him to be paranoid, according to the coroner.
  12. Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.
  13. Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
  14. Texas – November 7, 2007: 17-year-old Felicia McMillan returned to her former Robert E. Lee High School campus and stabbed a male student and wounded the principle with a knife.  McMillan had been on drugs for depression, and had just taken them the night before the incident.
  15. Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
  16. Sudbury, Massachusetts – January 19, 2007: 16-year-old John Odgren stabbed another student with a large kitchen knife in a boy’s bathroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. In court his father testified that Odgren was prescribed the drug Ritalin.
  17. North Vernon, Indiana – December 4, 2006: 16-year-old Travis Roberson stabbed another Jennings County High School student in the neck, nearly severing an artery. Roberson was in withdrawal from Wellbutrin, which he had stopped taking days before the attack.
  18. Hillsborough, North Carolina – August 30, 2006: 19-year-old Alvaro Rafael Castillo shot and killed his father, then drove to Orange High School where he opened fire. Two students were injured in the shooting, which ended when school personnel tackled him. His mother said he was on drugs for depression.
  19. Chapel Hill, North Carolina – April 2006: 17-year-old William Barrett Foster took a shotgun to school and took a teacher and a fellow student hostage at East Chapel Hill High School. After being talked out of shooting the hostages, Foster fired two shots through a classroom window before fleeing the school on foot. Foster’s father testified that his son had stopped taking his antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs without telling him.
  20. Red Lake, Minnesota – March 21, 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 5 students, a security guard, and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
  21. Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.
  22. Red Lion, Pennsylvania – February 2, 2001: 56-year-old William Michael Stankewicz entered North Hopewell-Winterstown Elementary School with a machete, leaving three adults and 11 children injured. Stankewicz was taking four different drugs for depression and anxiety weeks before the attacks.
  23. Ikeda, Japan – June 8, 2001: 37-year-old Mamoru Takuma, wielding a 6-inch knife, slipped into an elementary school and stabbed eight first- and second-graders to death while wounding at least 15 other pupils and teachers. He then turned the knife on himself but suffered only superficial wounds. He later told interrogators that before the attack he had taken 10 times his normal dose of antidepressants.
  24. Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.
  25. El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
  26. Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
  27. Oxnard, California – January 2001: 17-year-old Richard Lopez went to Hueneme High School with a gun and shot twice at a car in the school’s parking lot before taking a female student hostage.  Lopez was eventually killed by a SWAT officer.  He had been prescribed Prozac, Paxil and “drugs that helped him go to sleep.”
  28. Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
  29. Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox.  Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling.  Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
  30. Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed antidepressant and Ritalin.
  31. Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.
  32. Blackville, South Carolina – October 12, 1995: 15-year-old Toby R. Sincino slipped into the Blackville-Hilda High School’s rear entrance, where he shot two Blackville-Hilda High School teachers, killing one. Then Toby killed himself moments later. His aunt, Carolyn McCreary, said he had been undergoing counseling with the Department of Mental Health and was taking Zoloft for emotional problems.
  33. Chelsea, Michigan – December 17, 1993: 39-year-old chemistry teacher Stephen Leith, facing a disciplinary matter at Chelsea High School, shot Superintendent Joseph Piasecki to death, shot Principal Ron Mead in the leg, and slightly wounded journalism teacher Phil Jones. Leith was taking Prozac and had been seeing a psychiatrist.
  34. Houston, Texas – September 18, 1992: 44-year-old Calvin Charles Bell, reportedly upset about his second-grader’s progress report, appeared in the principal’s office of Piney Point Elementary School. Bell fired a gun in the school, and eventually wounded two officers before surrendering. Relatives told police on Friday that Bell was an unemployed Vietnam veteran and had been taking anti-depressants.
  35. Winnetka, Illinois – 20 May 1988: 30-year-old Laurie Wasserman Dann walked into a second grade classroom at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, Illinois carrying three pistols and began shooting children, killing an eight-year-old boy, and wounding five others before fleeing. She entered a nearby house where she shot and wounded a 20-year-old man before killing herself. Dann had been seeing a psychiatrist and subsequent blood tests revealed that at the time of the killings, she was taking the antidepressant Anafranil.

For more information read Another School Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug? Federal Investigation Long Overdue

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New Study Confirms What CCHR Has Said for Decades—Antidepressants Cause Violence

psych-drugs-suicide-300x207By Kelly Patricia O’Meara
September 22, 2015

Antidepressant drugs can cause violent behavior.

That’s what mainstream press such as the LA Times and Reuters are reporting, based on a new study published in a respected medical journal, PLOS Medicine, which found young adults between the ages of 15-24, were nearly fifty percent more likely to be convicted of a homicide, assault, robbery arson, kidnapping, sexual offense and other violent crime when taking the antidepressant than when they weren’t taking the psychiatric drug.

To have heavy-hitters like the Los Angeles Times cover the issue is precedent setting, as the link between psychiatric drugs and violence has long been ignored by mainstream press. But the fact that antidepressants cause violence isn’t a new revelation as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has been at the forefront of exposing this connection for nearly two decades.

CCHR’s efforts to expose the link between violence and antidepressants goes back to 1991 when CCHR helped organize hearings before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where victims and experts gathered to testify that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) cause not only suicide but violence, including homicide.

The testimony by parents, about the violent self-inflicted deaths of their young children, was gut-wrenching. Yet, despite overwhelming data provided by experts, and the first-hand accounts of suicide and violence caused by antidepressants, the FDA Advisory Committee, many of which had financial conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical companies, refused to warn the public of the link between suicide and antidepressants, and did not provide any consideration of whether the antidepressants may be responsible for other violent behavior.

Click on graph to view larger
There have been 22 international drug regulatory agency warnings issued on psychiatric drugs causing violence. Click on graph to view larger.

But, as was expected, increasing numbers of suicides and other violent acts continued to add up and, finally, more than a decade later, in 2004, the FDA was, again, forced to address the issue.  This time, though, the data provided by whistleblowers within the industry could not be shrugged off and more than a decade after the federal agency first knew of the deadly consequences associated with SSRIs, a “black box” warning for suicidal ideation and behavior finally was issued on all antidepressants. Yet the connection to violence and homicide continued to be ignored. To this day, despite 22 warnings on psychiatric drugs causing violence from international drug regulatory agencies, and despite the fact that t least 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 169 wounded and 79 killed, the FDA has never issued black box warnings on antidepressant drugs causing violence.

For nearly two decades, CCHR has taken the lead on calling for toxicology reports of school shooters to be made public so psychiatric drug information may be collected and identified as a possible cause of the violent behavior. It is CCHR that has provided numerous white papers to lawmakers, both at the state and federal level and, for decades, CCHR has met with Congressional lawmakers, exposing the link between violence and school shooters and other acts of mass violence.

Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects. Click image for more information.
Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects. Click image for more information.

This latest study, linking violence and antidepressants, only serves to support decades of CCHR’s research and efforts to elicit action by those in a position to make a difference. To date, 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs and, between 2004 and 2012, there have been nearly 15,000 reports to the FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects.

Coincidentally, the study linking antidepressants with violent behavior comes on the heels of another recent report exposing the fraudulent research of GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant, Paxil.  According to a review of the data used for the approval of the antidepressant, Paxil is not effective in the treatment of children and there is significant risk of suicide associated with it.

This is all important information that CCHR has been providing the public, media and lawmakers for decades—psychiatric drugs are ineffective and cause violent behavior. On the upside, though, given the media’s apparent new willingness to report on the dangers associated with psychiatric drugs and pharmaceutical fraud, there’s no telling how quickly the story could turn to the real issue… the fraud of psychiatric diagnosing. CCHR already has it covered.

 

Kelly Patricia O’Meara is an award-winning former investigative reporter for the Washington Times’ Insight Magazine, penning dozens of articles exposing the fraud of psychiatric diagnosis and the dangers of the psychiatric drugs—including her ground-breaking 1999 cover story, “Guns & Doses,” exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

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Aurora Theater Shooter Felt Mania and Hatred After Taking Psychiatric Drugs Linked To Violence

The first time they met, the psychiatrist who treated Aurora theater shooter James Holmes prescribed him psychiatric drugs linked to violence and homicide, even though Holmes openly admitted he was obsessively having thoughts of killing people.

In fact, Holmes told the psychiatrist that his homicidal thoughts “were the worst they had been.”

Some time after taking the psychiatric drugs, Holmes writes in a notebook that the “first appearance of mania” occurs, that he has “no fear of consequences,” and that his “hatred [is] unchecked.”

Holmes

Holmes is currently standing trial on charges related to his killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in an attack on the Aurora Century 16 movie theater during a packed, midnight screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 19, 2012.

Holmes was a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado when he contacted the Student Mental Health Center for help with his obsessive thoughts of killing people and his anxiety in social situations.  He was referred to psychiatrist Lynne Fenton for treatment.  He met with Fenton five times in the final months before he dropped out of school.  He went on his deadly rampage a few weeks later.

In a notebook where Holmes recorded his thoughts during the time he was meeting with Fenton, he noted that at their first meeting, Fenton “immediately prescribed antidepressants.”  The notebook entry went on to report that the drugs were ineffective: “No effect when needed.”

This is followed by a chilling series of statements:  “First appearance of mania occurs, not good mania.  Anxiety and fear disappears.  No more fear….  No fear of consequences…  No more fear, hatred unchecked.”

Meds psychiatrist prescribed are on list of drugs most associated with violence

According to Fenton’s court testimony, Holmes told her at their first meeting about his obsessive thoughts about killing people.  He used the psychiatric term “OCD” (obsessive compulsive disorder) to describe the recurring thoughts.

Fenton testified about Holmes having these homicidal thoughts (“ideation”): “He said that his OCD symptoms – and that was referring to his thoughts of homicidal ideation – were the worst they had been.”

Fenton prescribed the psychiatric drugs sertraline and clonazepam to Holmes for his anxiety at that first meeting.

Both drugs are on the list of prescription drugs most associated with incidents of violence reported to the FDA, according to a 2010 study in the Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS One).  After reviewing data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s adverse event reporting system, the authors of the study concluded that 31 drugs were disproportionately associated with violent thoughts and actions – including homicide.  These 31 drugs accounted for 79% of all the reports of violence the FDA received from 2004 through September 2009.

Sertraline, marketed under various names including Zoloft, is a drug in the newer class of antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin uptake reinhibitors).  To date, 34 studies and 26 warnings issued by international drug regulatory authorities have warned about the dangers of sertraline and other SSRI antidepressants.  The very long list of dangerous side effects include abnormal behavior, emotional changes, suicide, anxiety, agitation, aggression and violence.

Clonazepam, marketed as Klonopin, is a DEA schedule IV controlled substance in the class of addictive drugs known as benzodiazepines, which the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns can cause hostility.  The Canadian national public health department, Health Canada, warns that clonazepam can cause hallucinations and delusional thinking.

The next two meetings between Fenton and Holmes were short “meds checks.”  Fenton discontinued the clonazepam when Holmes reported it was ineffective.  She recommended another antipsychotic drug, quetiapine, marketed as Seroquel.

Quetiapine (Seroquel) is also on the PLoS One’s list of the 31drugs most associated with violence.

Holmes declined to take Seroquel.

Psychiatrist testifies: “No indication of any threat from him”

In her meetings with Holmes, Fenton asked him to tell her more about his obsessive thoughts of killing people, according to her testimony in court, but he withheld any further information, saying he “won’t give details” or refusing to give any answer at all.

He did admit to her that he hated people.  Fenton testified that in one meeting, Holmes emphasized he wouldn’t hurt himself, but she said that he left her with the impression he could hurt others.

Holmes told her that he “had read Nietzsche, Kaczynski, and the Tylenol terrorist.”  Nietzsche was a German philosopher whose rejection of any universal moral law was summarized in his statement “God is dead.”  Ted Kaczynski is the serial killer known as the Unabomber.  The so-called Tylenol terrorist caused deaths through drug tampering.

Still, Fenton apparently believed him when he said he had no specific plans for killing and no specific targets in mind.  She testified that there was “no indication of any threat from him.”  She saw no change in his demeanor during the months she met with him, testifying that there was “no difference in presentment” between their first and last meetings.

Meanwhile, Holmes’s notebook shows that during the time he was meeting with Fenton, he was actively formulating elaborate plans for mass murder.  He acquired weapons, explosives, and other equipment to carry it out.  He practiced shooting at a target range.

Fenton testified that at her final meeting with Holmes on June 11, she “still had significant concerns about his homicidal thoughts and dangerousness.”  But she also testified that she “thought he was functioning well” and that his plans for his life after dropping out of graduate school “made sense.”

After their final meeting, Fenton never called or followed up with Holmes.

Five weeks later on July 19, Holmes suited up in body armor, armed himself with weapons, a gas canister and gas mask, and set out to commit mass murder.  He also left his apartment booby-trapped with explosives in an attempt to cause even more fatalities.

Holmes sent his notebook to psychiatrist to educate her

Entries in his notebook show contempt for Fenton and another psychiatrist, Robert Feinstein, whom Fenton brought into two of the five meetings she had with Holmes.  He referred to the psychiatrists as “mind rapists.”

After writing that he intended to “deflect incriminating questions” from the psychiatrists about his thoughts of killing, he indicated they made that easy, noting: “Oddly, they don’t pursue or delve farther into harmful omissions.”

He challenged Fenton in one meeting, asking her “Are you just a pill pusher?”

Holmes mailed his notebook to Fenton just hours before his deadly attack on the theater.  In an interview two years later, Holmes said he mailed the notebook to Fenton to educate her so that “something like this wouldn’t happen again.”

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Why Is There An Anti-Psychiatry Movement?

Stop the AbuseBehaviorism and Mental Health – March 23, 2015
By Philip Hickey, Ph.D.

On February 18, the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, former President of the APA, published a video and transcript on Medscape. The article was titled, What Does the New York Times Have Against Psychiatry? and was essentially a fatuous diatribe against Tanya Lurhmann, PhD, a Stanford anthropologist, who had written for the New York Times an op-ed article that was mildly critical of psychiatry. The essence of Dr. Lieberman’s rebuttal was that an anthropologist had no business expressing any criticism of psychiatry, and he extended his denunciation to the editors of the NY Times.

“Why would such a report be printed in a widely respected publication such as the New York Times? What other medical specialty would be asked to endure an anthropologist opining on the scientific validity of its diagnoses? None, except psychiatry. Psychiatry has the dubious distinction of being the only medical specialty with an anti-movement. There is an anti-psychiatry movement. You have never heard of an anti-cardiology movement, an anti-dermatology movement, or an anti-orthopedics movement.”

Social AnxietyI have already written a critique of Dr. Lieberman’s paper, but my purpose today is to address the question: why does psychiatry have an anti-movement? In my view, there are ten reasons.

1. Psychiatry’s definition of a mental disorder/mental illness embraces virtually every significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving, and psychiatry has been using this definition to formally medicalize problems that are not medical in nature for the past several decades.

2. Psychiatry routinely presents these labels as the causes of the specific problems, when in fact they are merely labels with no explanatory significance.

3. Psychiatry has routinely deceived, and continues to deceive, their clients, the public, the media, and government agencies, that these vaguely defined problems are in fact illnesses with known neural pathology.

4. Psychiatry has blatantly promoted drugs as corrective measures for these illnesses, when in fact it is well-known in pharmacological circles that no psychiatric drug corrects any neural pathology. In fact, the opposite is the case.  All psychiatric drugs exert their effect by distorting or suppressing normal functioning.

5.  Psychiatry has conspired with the pharmaceutical industry in the creation of a vast body of fraudulent research, all designed to “prove” the efficacy and safety of pharma products.

lab coat6. A great many psychiatrists have shamelessly accepted pharma money for very questionable activities. These activities include the widespread presentation of infomercials in the guise of CEUs; the ghost-writing of books and papers which were actually written by pharma employees; paid psychiatric “thought leaders” who promote new drugs and diagnoses for pharma; acceptance of fraudulent advertising in peer-reviewed journals; acceptance of pharmaceutical money by the APA; targeting of captive and vulnerable audiences in nursing homes, group homes, and foster-care systems for prescription of psychiatric drugs; etc., etc…
In addition, 70% of the DSM-5 task force members had received funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

7. Psychiatry’s spurious diagnoses are inherently disempowering. To tell a person, who in fact has no biological pathology, that he has an incurable illness for which he must take psychiatric drugs for life is an intrinsically disempowering act which falsely robs people of hope, and encourages them to settle for a life of drug-induced dependency and mediocrity.

8. Psychiatry’s “treatments”, whatever transient feelings of well-being they may induce, are always destructive and damaging in the long-term.

9. Psychiatry’s spurious and self-serving medicalization of every significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving, effectively undermines human resilience, and fosters a culture of powerlessness, uncertainty, and dependency.  Relabeling as illnesses, problems which previous generations accepted as matters to be addressed and worked on, and harnessing billions of pharma dollars to promote this false message, is morally repugnant.

10. Psychiatry neither recognizes nor accepts any limits on its expansionist agenda. In recent years, they have even stooped to giving neuroleptic drugs to young children, a “treatment”, the long term effects of which, can only be guessed at.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And that, Dr. Lieberman, is, at least for me, why psychiatry has an anti-movement. Psychiatry as a profession is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and has consistently demonstrated a marked aversion to anything remotely akin to critical self-scrutiny. There is nothing new in what I’ve written above. All of these points have been made over and over, by numerous writers, including, even a small number of psychiatrists. But the psychiatric leadership and the great majority of the rank and file, remain adamantly deaf and blind to these obvious shortcomings. Indeed, psychiatry’s general response to any kind of criticism is to re-assert its core tenets with renewed determination, as if an increase in zeal could somehow compensate for a lack of logic and evidence.

And the reason that there is not an anti-cardiology movement, or an anti-dermatology movement, or an anti-orthopedics movement, is because these, and other legitimate medical specialties, are not guilty of the spurious, destructive, and deceptive practices outlined above.

It’s not us, Dr. Lieberman.  It’s you and your psychiatric colleagues who have created something so rotten and flawed that anti is the only appropriate stance consistent with human decency.

http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/2015/03/23/why-is-there-an-anti-psychiatry-movement/

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Antidepressants Found In Home Of Germanwings Co-pilot Who Deliberately Crashed Plane

German police have reportedly found antidepressants in the home of the co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a Germanwings jet into the French Alps, killing himself and the other 149 people on board.

Initial reports said investigators seized a number of “medicines for the treatment of psychological illness” in the apartment of Andreas Lubitz, and found evidence that he had been treated by psychiatrists and neurologists.  The psych drugs have now been identified as antidepressants.

Andreas LubitzLubitz suffered a “severe depressive episode” six years ago, the German newspaper Bild reported, and spent 18 months in psychiatric treatment, which almost certainly involved antidepressants at that time.

Another report indicated Lubitz also had been treated for anxiety in 2010 with injections of an antipsychotic drug.  Still other reports suggest other psychological problems and treatment.

Apparently after all the years in the hands of psychiatry, after their diagnoses and their treating him with psych drugs that included antidepressants, Lubitz had not even received enough help to prevent him from committing mass murder and suicide.

What’s more, the antidepressants he was prescribed could well have been a cause or contributing factor in this tragedy.  Antidepressants are known to cause worsening depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, anxiety, panic attacks, mania, delusional thinking, hostility, aggression, psychosis, violence, and even homicidal thoughts.  The side effects can occur at any time during use or withdrawal from the drugs.

While the psychotropic (mind-altering) drug policies of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, are not known, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows the use of antidepressants by pilots, a policy instituted in 2008.  This is despite the fact there have been 134 warnings from regulatory authorities in 11 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Italy, cautioning that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts.

Not the first pilot to commit suicide by plane

If antidepressants were involved in Lubitz’s crash, it would be the latest in a growing number of such incidents.

In 2007, the FAA issued a report on the connection between U.S. fatal air crashes and the newer class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.  It found that of the 61 fatal civilian aviation accidents between 1990-2001 in which the pilot was found to have taken this type of antidepressant, the “pilot’s psychological condition and/or SSRI use was reported to be the probable cause or a contributing factor in 31% (19/61) of the accidents.”

Pills (2)Nor would Lubitz be the first troubled commercial airline pilot to crash a plane intentionally while on antidepressants.

A suicide by plane is believed to have occurred in the 2008 crash in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which killed all six people on board.  In 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on the probable cause of the crash.  With toxicology tests showing the pilot had the antidepressant Zoloft in his system at the time of the incident, the NTSB reported:  “Officials say the pilot ‘displayed non-professional behavior’ and that a cockpit voice recording documented the pilot singing, ‘Save my life, I’m going down for the last time’” shortly before crashing the plane.

Former girlfriend feared Lubitz’s erratic behavior

Lubitz reportedly had been exhibiting more disturbed behavior than just depression, behavior that would be consistent with some of the serious behavioral side effects of antidepressants.  Lubitz’s personal problems and erratic behavior had become so severe, according to a former girlfriend, a flight attendant, that she ended their relationship out of fear of his increasingly volatile temper.

“During conversations he’d suddenly throw a tantrum and scream at me,” she said.  “I was afraid.  He even once locked me in the bathroom for a long time.”

The woman also described him as erratic and controlling, and said he frequently woke up with nightmares.

Whether or not Germanwings co-pilot Lubitz at the time of the crash was on antidepressants or in withdrawal from them, there is more than enough evidence of the dangerous behavioral side effects of antidepressants to justify a ban on their use by pilots, both in the U.S. and abroad.

This ban would be all the more justified in light of numerous studies that have shown that antidepressants are no more effective in treating depression than placebos (sugar pills).  Recent research even suggests that antidepressants may actually make it harder to recover from depression.

If you or someone you know has been damaged by psychiatry or psychiatric drugs, we would be interested in hearing from you.  Contact the Colorado chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

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