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.

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.

Psychiatry’s Role in Military Suicides Exposed

Today, with the military around the world awash in psychiatric drugs, 23 soldiers and veterans are committing suicide every day.  More soldiers are dying from psychiatric “treatment” than on the battlefield.

CCHR’s powerful new documentary, “Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda,” is the first to fully expose the decades-long history of psychiatry’s use of military personnel as guinea pigs for experimentation.  The documentary also details the link between the now-widespread use of mind-altering psychiatric drugs in the military and the growing epidemic of military deaths – especially suicides.

“We have never drugged our troops to this extent and the current increase in suicides is not a coincidence.  Why hasn’t psychiatry in the military been relieved of command of Mental Health Services?  In any other command position in the military, there would have been a change in leadership.”
— Lt. Col. Bart Billings, Clinical Psychologist U.S. Army Reserve, Ret.

Featuring over 80 interviews with soldiers and experts in a number of related fields, this penetrating documentary reveals how psychiatry is destroying our world’s militaries from within.

Here are some of the chilling facts contained in this documentary:

  • Officially, one in six American service members is taking at least one psychiatric drug.
  • Since 2002, the suicide rate in the U.S. military has almost doubled.  From 2009 to 2012, more U.S. soldiers died by suicide than from traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer and homicide.
  • Combat stress has been a fact in the military since ancient times.  But in 1980, psychiatrists created a new label for it: “post-traumatic stress disorder,” or “PTSD,” and later claimed, without any evidence, that it was a brain disorder.  Today, 37% of recent war veterans have been labeled “PTSD,” and 80% of them have been given a psychiatric drug for it.

 

Your help is needed to save lives. 

  • First, view the documentary yourself.  You can view the DVD online at no charge at the CCHR International website by clicking here.
  • If you are an active-duty member of the military, veteran, member of a military or veteran support group, or family member or associate of an active-duty member of the military or veteran, you can order a free copy of this DVD from CCHR International by clicking here.
  • Sign CCHR’s Petition for a Congressional Investigation into the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Military Suicides and Sudden Deaths by clicking here.
  • Please help us get this powerful documentary into the hands of military personnel, veterans, and those who are responsible for their care.  Contribute what you can by clicking here. Donations to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights® of Colorado are tax-deductible charitable contributions for U.S. income tax purposes.
  • See for yourself what the harmful side effects are, for the drugs being prescribed to the military personnel and veterans you know.  Warnings from international regulatory authorities and research studies on the harmful side effects of psychiatric drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

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

If you know an active-duty member of the military or a veteran who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs or other mental-health treatment or experimentation, 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 on this article below.

Colorado Springs Psychologist Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Her Military Client

A licensed psychologist in Colorado Springs was arrested December 31 and charged with sexually assaulting a client who is a combat veteran.

Dr. Janice Husted is accused of having a sexual relationship with a young man assigned to her to receive counseling related to his combat deployments.

Husted states in her online Healthcare Professions Profile that she is employed by the U.S. Department of Defense at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson.

The victim told investigators that when sexual relations started, Husted told him to keep it a secret.

In Colorado, sexual assault on a client by a psychotherapist is a class 4 felony.  Colorado law prohibits psychologists from any sexual contact with a client during the period of therapy and for two years following (Colorado Revised Statutes 12-43-222).

Sexual contact between therapists and patients appears to be far more widespread than reported.  In a 1993 British study of therapist-patient sexual contact, one in four (25%) psychologists reported they had treated a patient who had been sexually involved with a previous therapist.

If you have been sexually assaulted by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, file a complaint with the police.  Provide a copy of the complaint to your nearest CCHR chapter, which can assist you in getting your complaint investigated and prosecuted.  (For the location of the nearest CCHR chapter, click here.)

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 on this article below.

Why Was Death Of Ft. Carson Soldier On Psych Drugs Changed From Sudden Cardiac Death To Suicide?

 

By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pfc. Ryan Alderman was on a cocktail of psych drugs when found unresponsive, then dying in his barracks at Ft. Carson in 2008.  An ECG done by emergency medical technicians at the scene confirmed sudden cardiac arrest.  Inexplicably, military officials changed the cause of death to suicide.

Neurologist Fred A. Baughman Jr., M.D., wants to know why.  He challenges the military to produce the evidence to support the change.

In the bigger picture, Baughman continues to hammer away at the military to compile a database of medication use and reactions by soldiers and veterans, which would allow investigations into injuries and deaths due to the psychiatric drugs they were on.

Baughman’s own investigation into the “unexplained” deaths in 2008 of four West Virginia vets, all in their 20s, who died in their sleep, found that all were on the same drug cocktail for PTSD: Seroquel (antipsychotic), Paxil (antidepressant) and Klonopin (benzodiazepine).  All appeared normal when they went to sleep.  There were no signs of suicide.

Baughman concluded the vets did not commit suicide or overdose leading to coma, as claimed by the military, but were sudden cardiac deaths due to the prescription antipsychotics and antidepressants they were on.

 “I call on the DoD, VA, House and Senate Armed Services, and House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees to tell concerned Americans and the families of fallen heroes what psychiatric drugs each of the deceased, both combat and non-combat, soldiers and veterans were on,” said Baughman. “It is time for the military and government to come clean.”

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

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs prescribed by military doctors, 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 on this article below.

 

Urgent Message for Colorado and Wyoming Veterans: Antipsychotics Are Ineffective Against PTSD

Known Side Effects Of The Drugs Include Diabetes, Stroke and Sudden Death

First, antidepressants were found to be no more reliably effective than sugar pills.  (See: “Review of Studies Finds Antidepressants Not Reliably Better Than Sugar Pills”)

Now comes the news that the same thing can be said about antipsychotics in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to a report in the New York Times, a new study found that antipsychotic drugs widely prescribed for PTSD are no more effective than placebos (sugar pills).

The finding comes from the largest study of its kind in veterans, and directly and immediately challenges the drug treatment of returning military personnel.

The use of antipsychotics to treat stress in veterans has increased sharply over the past decade.  But the new study showed that after six months of treatment, veterans taking antipsychotics were doing no better than veterans given a placebo.

Worse still, antipsychotics have serious side effects, including obesity, diabetes, cognitive decline, heart problems, stroke, and sudden death.  (Adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs, as detailed in research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities and reports to the FDA, can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

The new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on Risperdal, but experts said the same results most likely apply to other antipsychotics, including Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.

Dr. Charles Hoge, a senior scientist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said about the study: “It’s very rigorously done, and it definitely calls into question the use of antipsychotics in general for PTSD.”

Veterans currently taking antipsychotics are cautioned against suddenly discontinuing them.  No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and supervision of a competent medical doctor.

If you or someone you know has been wrongly put on antipsychotics, 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 on this article below.

Brain-Injured Colorado War Vet Turns To Music As Alternative To Medications

Estimates of the number of traumatic brain injuries sustained by soldiers since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan range as high as 400,000 troops.

All too often the mental symptoms of these brain injuries are misdiagnosed as mental disorders and treated with psychiatric drugs, which are known to induce suicide and violence among long lists of other negative side effects.  (See Psychiatry’s All-Out Assault on the U.S. Military: The Unprecedented Rate Of Military Suicides Parallels Troops’ Use of Psychiatric Drugs).  But alternative treatments exist for those living with brain injuries.

After serving eight years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, William Rist returned to Colorado with a traumatic brain injury.  According to a report by Colorado’s 9News, Rist took prescription medications for years to treat the symptoms caused by his injuries.  But the drugs caused additional problems for him and his family.  “It actually affected every aspect of my life,” said Rist.

To reclaim his life and his family, Rist set out to find a workable alternative to the drugs and found it in learning to play the guitar.  He is now asking the Colorado VA hospital to make music therapy available at the facility.  Click here for the entire 9News report.

Psychiatry’s All-Out Assault On The U.S. Military: The Unprecedented Rate Of Military Suicides Parallels Troops’ Use Of Psychiatric Drugs

More U.S. military personnel than ever before are taking psychiatric drugs that are linked to suicides.  And more of them than ever before are killing themselves.

In fact, more troops are dying by their own hand than in combat, according to an Army report issued last July, entitled “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention.” What’s more, a full 36% of the reported suicides were by troops who had never been deployed.

In looking for causes of these suicides, the Army report considered the economy, the stress of nine years of war, family dislocations, repeated moves, repeated deployments, troops’ risk-taking personalities, waived entrance standards, and many aspects of Army culture.  What it barely considered are the antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-seizure drugs, with their known links to suicide, whose increase in use exactly parallels the increase in U.S. troop suicides since 2005.

According to a 2008 investigative report in Time magazine entitled “America’s Medicated Army,” about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan were taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills. These psychiatric drugs carry warnings of the increased risk of suicide.

It is no surprise, then, that the Time article reported that nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took mind-altering psychiatric drugs — overwhelmingly, the newer class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Prozac and Zoloft.

“The high percentage of U.S. soldiers attempting suicide after taking SSRIs should raise serious concerns,” says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The practice of prescribing numerous drugs simultaneously, known as polypharmacy, also increases the risk of death.  The Army’s own internal review of fatalities at its most closely supervised medical units, the Warrior Transition Units (WTU), concluded that the biggest risk factor to those patients may be polypharmacy.

WTUs were supposed to be restful havens, where injured soldiers could recuperate from physical and mental trauma.  Thirty-two such units were created in the aftermath of the scandals about substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  These transition units serve about 7,200 soldiers, with nearly 500 soldiers at the WTU at Fort Carson, just south of Colorado Springs.

Army Spec. Michael Crawford sought treatment at Fort Carson’s WTU upon his return from Iraq, where he had suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched members of his platoon burn to death.  He was prescribed a laundry list of drugs for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented.  Several months later, he attempted suicide.  In a scathing front-page New York Times article about the WTUs in April 2010, Crawford is quoted as saying, “It is just a dark place. Being in the WTU is worse than being in Iraq.”  The Times reported that at least four soldiers in Fort Carson’s WTU had committed suicide since 2007, the most of any WTU.

Undiagnosed brain injuries could also contribute to the unprecedented level of suicides.  A soldier with an undiagnosed brain injury can have the mental symptoms of his injury misdiagnosed as mental illness and treated with psychiatric drugs, which are linked to suicides.

Officially, the military says about 150,000 soldiers have suffered some form of brain injury since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.  But a 2008 Rand study suggests the toll is much higher, perhaps more than 400,000 troops.  The most common type are mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions.  Studies show that between 5% and 15% of those suffering concussions may suffer long-term physical and mental problems.

A joint NPR and ProPublica investigation into how the military handles brain injuries focused on Fort Carson.  In results published last June in an article entitled “Military Still Failing to Diagnose, Treat Brain Injuries,” as many as 40% of Fort Carson soldiers were found under more thorough examination to have mild brain injuries that were missed during the Army’s post-deployment health assessment.  As a result, some received psychiatric drugs for their mental symptoms instead of proper rehabilitative therapy for their brain injuries.

The Army has launched a three-year, $17 million study into more effective suicide assessment and prevention for those who serve in the military.  We strongly urge them to start with an investigation of the psychiatric drugs being prescribed to our troops.

It’s the drugs, stupid!

If you or someone you know was misdiagnosed with a mental disorder instead of a brain injury or has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, 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 on this article below.