Diet is Strongly Associated with the Risk of Depression

A team of researchers from England and France found that dietary patterns over a five-year period had a significant effect on the risk of feeling depressed.  People eating a predominantly natural-foods diet of mostly vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains were one-fourth less likely to have depression.  Those eating mainly processed foods, including processed meats, refined grains, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, and sweetened desserts were more than 50 percent more likely to feel depressed.  The natural-foods diet is richer in vitamins, minerals, and good fats that help maintain healthy moods.  (Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, Ferrie JE, et al.  Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age.  British Journal of Psychiatry, 2009;195:408-413)

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Increased Blood Clot Risk with Antipsychotic Drugs

Scientists in the UK believe that antipsychotic drugs raise the risks of dangerous blood clots

This risk had already been spotted by some scientists and seems now to be confirmed by a new study. Almost 16,000 people suffered a deep vein thrombosis (formation of a blood clot in a deep vein) and 9,000 people suffered a clot in the lung.

Study subjects taking newer “atypical” antipsychotics had a 73% higher chance of developing a clot, reports BBC News.

Other studies have already revealed a higher stroke risk among patients taking antipsychotics.

For more information on psychiatric drugs, visit CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects search engine.

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Antidepressants Have Been Found Contaminating Fish in Boulder

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado have found antidepressants, like Prozac, accumulating in the brains of fish near Boulder’s wastewater treatment plant, causing the reactions of the fish and their response to predators to slow down, according to the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_16037537.

Fish act as an early warning system for the presence of contaminants in water supplies. Studies have already documented the disruption to the reproductive systems of fish from contaminants finding their way into Colorado waterways.

In a recent article in The Durango Herald about personal care and pharmaceutical products in our water, Mike Meschke, environmental health director for the San Juan Basin Health Department, says, “Many of these compounds are not biodegradable and persist in our rivers and streams because they pass through treatment plants.” The chemicals may produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in humans and wildlife. “We’re rolling the dice,” according to Meschke, “We’re playing with an environmental cocktail in our water.”http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/Features/.

With concern growing over the potential danger to humans, wildlife and the environment, Colorado and federal authorities have ramped up efforts to test state rivers and reservoirs.

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Man Died in Restraints at Colorado State Psychiatric Hospital

CMHIP withholds data requested by the district attorney and county coroner

An obese man who died in the custody of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) suffocated while being restrained face down on a table. He may have been hog-tied.

Troy Allen Geske, 41, died August 10 at the psychiatric institution. An affidavit for a search warrant says that Geske died after he was put in four-point restraint, in which the feet are attached to the hands behind the back.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services, which oversees the psychiatric facility, denied Geske was in four-point restraint. But Pueblo County District Attorney Bill Thiebaut said the information in the affidavit is corroborated by evidence that has been collected, including video of Geske in restraints, according to the Pueblo Chieftain:
http://chieftain.com/news/local/article_f75a23c2-b72f-11df-9494-001cc4c002e0.html
http://chieftain.com/news/local/article_59e5ca9c-b653-11df-8d64-001cc4c002e0.html

At 5-feet-8 and 265 pounds, Geske was at greater risk of “positional asphyxiation” when he was restrained on his stomach with his own weight pressing down on his lungs and diaphragm. Federal law requires constant, close monitoring of anyone face down in restraints to prevent suffocation.

The results of an autopsy and toxicology tests have not yet been released.

After Geske’s death, hospital police could have called in the 10th Judicial District’s critical incident team (CIT) for an independent investigation of the incident by a team of investigators from outside law enforcement agencies, but did not do so, according to the Pueblo Chieftain: http://chieftain.com/news/local/article_b4e5d92e-b7f1-11df-abf2-001cc4c002e0.html

The CIT investigates serious incidents involving police officers under an agreement to which CMHIP is a party. Hospital police were reportedly present when staff attempted to revive Geske.

CMHIP has also refused to turn over certain information requested by investigators. District Attorney Thiebaut says he will go to court if necessary to get information he believes his office is entitled to, according to the Chieftain.

For more than 40 years, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights has advocated against any form of psychiatric treatment that is torturous, cruel, inhuman or degrading, as laid out in its Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights.

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Another Death at Troubled State Psychiatric Institution in Pueblo

Facility received 1,100 patient complaints in 2008-09, reported 11 patient deaths in 2009

Another person has died while in the custody of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP), according to the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15822489. The cause of death of 41-year-old Troy Allen Geske, who died several days ago, will not be known until an autopsy is complete.

His death is being closely followed because of recent revelations of other deaths at the psychiatric facility, including the suicide of Sergio Taylor.  An autopsy report indicated 23-year-old Taylor died of asphyxiation in September 2009 after complaining about conditions at the CMHIP.  He was found by law enforcement officers under blankets with a plastic bag over his head in a supposedly high-security area of the psychiatric facility.  About a month earlier, Taylor and 19 other patients had signed a petition that said, “The sense of hopelessness has set in….  History has shown here…that when patients are feeling bored, hopeless and warehoused, …assault and suicide attempts transpire.”

As a direct result of Taylor’s death and citing concerns that other patients could die, the Colorado Department of Health conducted an immediate investigation of CMHIP in October 2009, according to The Denver Channel (KMGH): http://www.thedenverchannel.com/print/24085289/detail.html. In its report, the health department found patients at the state hospital in Pueblo to be in “immediate jeopardy” and detailed serious errors by the institution’s staff.  The department conducted an unannounced inspection of the facility again this past May.

CALL7 investigators from The Denver Channel, who have been reporting on deaths at the state hospital for months, also uncovered the death of another patient of the CMHIP, whose death was never reported to the state health department by CMHIP.  Josh Garcia died after being overdrugged and neglected by staff at the psychiatric institution.  According to his family, Garcia was given a number of powerful psychiatric drugs and suffered serious adverse effects, including severe abdominal pain.  He complained to the staff but was ignored, according to his family.  By the time Garcia was taken to a hospital, it was too late.  His bowels burst, severe infection set in, and he was brain dead within hours.  His family sued and recently received a settlement from the state over his death.

The Colorado Legislative Audit Committee has also called for repeated investigations of the CMHIP in recent years, due to complaints it receives.  In a report released in December 2009, the Office of the State Auditor found numerous deficiencies in the operations of the CMHIP that compromised safety and proved costly to the state.  Among these deficiencies, the institution did not adequately record, investigate or resolve patient complaints.  For 25 percent of the 1,100 patient complaints relating to staff behavior and quality of treatment issues the facility recorded in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, the database did not even contain the names of the 270 staff members who were the subject of the complaints.  The report also revealed that there were 11 patient deaths at the facility last year, the highest number in the three years covered in the report.  How many of those were suicides, besides the suicide of Sergio Taylor, is unknown.  Another audit is underway currently, again at the request of state legislators, to determine if there are other patients who have died of neglect at the state psychiatric hospital.

The CMHIP also has a history of failing to keep the public safe from the mentally ill housed there who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with serious crimes.  Nine such patients escaped in 2009, with patient escapes at a three-year high.

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