Mother Who Killed Her Kids Before Committing Suicide Was On Antidepressants

The Highlands Ranch mother who recently shot and killed her two young sons before turning the gun on herself was on antidepressants, making the incident yet another stunningly tragic act of violence linked to psychiatric drugs.

Jennifer Laber had two antidepressants, desmethylvenlafaxine and bupropion, in her system when she took the lives of her sons, ages 3 and 5, and then ended her own life on November 29, according to the autopsy report released by the Douglas County Coroner’s Office.

Desmethylvenlafaxine, marketed as Pristiq among other trade names, has known side effects that include depression and suicidal thoughts and actions.  Pristiq was ranked #10 on the list of the top 10 prescription drugs most linked to violence compiled by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in 2010, after analyzing reports of drug side effects filed with the FDA.

The other antidepressant Laber was taking, bupropion, is marketed as Wellbutrin and Zyban among other trade names, and its known side effects include suicidal thoughts and attempts and thoughts of hurting or killing others.

Laber also was taking the anti-convulsant drug lamotrigine, marketed under the trade name Lamictal, which is sometimes prescribed for depression.  Known side effects of Lamictal include changes in mood, aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

The 38-year-old mother was prescribed all three of these drugs despite her long history of depression, which included suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, according to the autopsy report.

Laber is not the first Colorado mother on antidepressants who killed her children.

Stephanie Rochester, a 34-year old mother in Superior, was prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft the week before she smothered her infant son in his crib in 2011.

A 38-year-old Lamar mother, Rebekah Amaya, was on antidepressants when she drowned her 6-month-old son and 4-year-old daughter in their bathtub in 2003.

To date, 160 drug regulatory agency warnings from 11 countries and 225 research studies from 31 countries have warned about antidepressants’ dangerous side effects, which include:

  • suicide, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal attempts
  • hostility, violence or aggression
  • self-harm
  • mania or psychosis
  • hallucinations or delusions
  • depression
  • homicide and homicidal thoughts

Half of the top 10 prescription drugs most linked to violence are antidepressants, according to the 2010 study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Research Showing Antidepressants Are Neither Safe Nor Effective

Numerous research studies point to antidepressants being harmful, ineffective, and an obstacle to recovery from depression.  Among the more recent studies:

  • Researchers in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that antidepressants can cause chronic and deepening depression in adults and suggest that discontinuing the drugs is the solution. (See important “Warning” below on discontinuing antidepressants.)
  • A 2012 report from the Associate Director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School, an expert who has studied the effects of placebos (pills with no drug in them, or “sugar pills”) for 36 years, has concluded that antidepressants are no more effective than sugar pills for most people – and the placebo has none of antidepressants’ dangerous side effects.
  • In a 2012 research paper published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology, a team of researchers reviewing previous studies of the effects of antidepressants concluded that, by disrupting many different processes in the body that are regulated by serotonin, antidepressants are actually doing patients more harm than good.
  • In a 2015 study posted by the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, researchers who reviewed prior research on antidepressants concluded the unproven theory that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin cause depression appears to be wrong, and that the best available evidence appears to show there is more serotonin in depressed individuals, not less – which actually makes antidepressants an obstacle to recovery from depression.

An epidemic of mothers killing their children – and doing so by more and more violent methods – began in the early 1990’s, according to Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness.  “These [mothers] were often described as the very best and most caring mothers,” she notes.

What was driving these mothers to such violence?  “The most common denominator was the use of an antidepressant by the mother who had killed her children,” Tracy said.

Antidepressants Are The Most Common Denominator in Mass Murders

Beyond the tragic instances of mothers taking the lives their children, antidepressants are the most frequent common denominator in other “inexplicable” acts of violence and mass murder.

At least 35 school-related acts of violence in the U.S., including at least 14 school shootings, have been committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, especially antidepressants.  (In other school shootings, information about the shooters’ psychiatric drug use was not released.)

In Colorado, shooters in the mass murders at Columbine High School and at an Aurora movie theater were driven by antidepressants.

Tracy points out that the same common denominator of antidepressants is found in other mass murders, such as the mass murders committed by the truck driver who plowed into a crowd and killed 84 people this past summer in France, the German Wings co-pilot who deliberately crashed his jet into the French Alps and killed 150 people in 2015, and the bus driver who crashed into the wall of a Swiss tunnel and killed 28 people in 2012.

Tracy, an expert who frequently testifies on the adverse effects of antidepressants, points out that antidepressant drugs are most similar in action to the hallucinogens LSD and PCP.

“Neither homicide nor suicide is an acceptable ‘side effect’ to what we are calling safe and effective ‘medications,’” she said.

Warning: Anyone wishing to discontinue an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drug 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 experienced violence or suicidal thoughts or actions from taking an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drugs, please report it to the FDA by clicking here.  And we want to talk to you about your experience.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Study Finds Antidepressants Double The Risk Of Suicide And Violence in Adults With No Mental Disorders

A study recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concluded that antidepressants double the risk of events leading to suicide and violence in adults with no signs of any mental disorder.

As the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has been warning for years, the study confirms that antidepressant drugs themselves cause violence and suicide.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most serious black-box warning on all antidepressants to warn that the drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in young adults ages 18 to 24, but the warning does not currently extend to adults older than 24.

The link between antidepressants and violence, witnessed firsthand in Colorado in the deadly actions of Eric Harris at Columbine and James Holmes at an Aurora movie theater, is not yet reflected in any FDA black-box warning.

The new study, which reviewed published clinical trials found in online searches and clinical study reports obtained from European Union and United Kingdom drug regulators, concluded that the harm being caused by antidepressants extends to all age groups and that the harm includes violence.

bullets“While it is now generally accepted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents (although many psychiatrists still deny this), most people believe that these drugs are not dangerous for adults,” the study authors wrote.

“This is a potentially lethal misconception.”

The researchers calculated that one of every 16 mentally healthy adults taking antidepressants experienced harm related to suicide or violence.

Warning: Anyone wishing to discontinue an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drug 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 experienced violence or suicidal thoughts or actions from taking an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drug, please report it to the FDA by clicking here.  And we want to talk to you about your experience.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Psychiatrist: Columbine and Aurora Theater Shooters Were Driven By Psychiatric Drugs

pills4
Image by Victor

A psychiatrist involved in the legal actions related to the shootings at Columbine High School and the Aurora Century theater has concluded that psychiatric drugs were the main contributing factor in both mass murders.

Peter Breggin, M.D., a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, has been involved in criminal and civil cases related to a number of mass murders.  He recently reported his conclusions concerning the role of psychiatric drugs in five mass murders, including the two worst in Colorado history.

We previously reported that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes experienced his first episode of mania after taking the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) prescribed by his psychiatrist, at which time he wrote in his journal that his hatred was unleashed.  Weeks later, Holmes went on the shooting rampage in which he killed 12 moviegoers and injured 70 others in July 2012.

We also previously reported that Eric Harris became obsessed with homicidal and suicidal thoughts within weeks of starting on the antidepressant Zoloft.  He was then switched to another violence-linked antidepressant, Luvox, which he was taking at the time he and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School, killing 12 students and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in April 1998.

Zoloft and Luvox are in the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  To date, 26 warnings by international drug regulatory authorities and 34 studies have warned that the adverse effects of SSRIs include mania, aggression, suicide and violence.  Both Zoloft and Luvox are on a list of prescription drugs with the most incidents of violence reported to the FDA, according to a 2010 study published by the Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS One).

Without the SSRI antidepressant, Holmes “probably would not have committed mass murder”

In his recent report, Breggin makes this observation about the psychiatric treatment James Holmes received: “Given the [psychiatrist’s] concerns about [James Holmes’] psychotic thinking and his obviously violent tendencies, exposing Holmes to Zoloft was like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

Breggin says Holmes was on Zoloft for about 94 days before abruptly stopping around June 30, just 20 days before his deadly rampage.  But it was not the sudden withdrawal that brought on the violence, according to Breggin.

“An abrupt withdrawal might have worsened his condition, but the main contributing factor to the violence was his lengthy exposure to a drug that worsened his condition and drove him into psychosis,” he writes.  “He had a manic-like psychosis while taking the Zoloft and this would not have abated for some time after stopping the medication.”

Breggin’s conclusion: “I have no doubt that Zoloft contributed to Holmes’ escalating violence and that without it he probably would not have committed mass murder.”

Lengthy exposure to SSRI antidepressants brought on Eric Harris’ violence

Concerning Eric Harris, Breggin noted in his recent report that the Columbine shooter did not begin planning his violent assault until he had been on antidepressants for months.

Harris was switched to the SSRI antidepressant Luvox in April 1998, a year before the attack on Columbine High School, and the autopsy toxicology report confirmed it was still in his system at the time of the shooting.

Again, it was the lengthy exposure to Luvox that brought on Harris’ violence, according to Breggin, who noted that the writings in Harris’ journal “grew increasingly bizarre and violent over the period in which he continued to take increasing amounts of Luvox.”

Breggin states that psychiatrists not only failed to detect or prevent the violence perpetrated by Holmes and Harris, but “gave drugs that caused violence or amplified any pre-existing violent tendencies.”

Why are these drugs on the market?

Breggin points out that “careful scrutiny of the FDA testing for drug approval shows that antidepressants do not work any better than placebo, but that they do make many people very mentally disturbed and increase the rate of suicide and violence.”

“Why are these drugs on the market?” he asks.

Breggin concludes: “Curtailing or stopping the use of SSRIs and other antidepressants would vastly diminish an infinite number of aggressive and violent acts committed by individuals taking these drugs….”

If you or someone you know has experienced violent outcomes from taking SSRI antidepressants or any other psychiatric drug, please report it to the FDA by clicking here.  And we want to talk to you about your experience.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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.

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.

Lubitz 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.

Researchers See Antidepressants As Obstacle to Recovery from Depression

Image by Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Researchers who reviewed existing research, looking for evidence to support the unproven theory that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin cause depression, have concluded the theory appears to be wrong.

According to the researchers’ paper, posted by the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the best available evidence appears to show that there is more serotonin in depressed individuals, not less.

If so, the psychiatric treatment of prescribing serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs for depression may actually make it harder for depressed individuals to recover, according to lead author Paul Andrews, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University.

“It’s time we rethink what we are doing,” Andrews says. “We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery.”

Andrews, an evolutionary psychologist, has argued in previous research that antidepressants leave patients in worse shape after they stop using them, and that most forms of depression, though painful, are natural and beneficial adaptations to stress.

InfoWars—Dr. Lynne Fenton, the Batman killer, drugs and drug money

Jon Rappoport
Infowars.com
July 31, 2012

“This is a high stakes game. WHAT DRUGS WAS HOLMES TAKING?”

People don’t get it. The media don’t get it and they don’t want to get it. Billions of dollars are riding on the drugs Dr. Lynne Fenton may have prescribed to her patient, James Holmes, the accused Batman shooter.

And when billions of dollars in potentially lost revenue are hanging in the balance, the interested parties take action. They’re serious about their money. They don’t screw around.

You see, if James Holmes was, for example, taking Prozac, all of a sudden no one wants to take it. If doctors prescribe it to patients, the patients say, “Hey, wasn’t this the drug that nutcase took before he killed all those people in the theater?”

So right now, in Aurora, there are pharmaceutical people on the scene

And that’s not all. Congress holds hearings, not because they want to, but because they want to look like they’re doing the right thing. And at those hearings, all sorts of nasty stuff comes out about Prozac. It’s big news. The studies that showed the drug was dangerous, that it could and would cause people to commit suicide and homicide. Boom. More bad press for the manufacturer. More investigations. More lost revenue. So right now, in Aurora, there are pharmaceutical people on the scene. Not just low-level goofballs, but competent investigators. They want to know what drugs James Holmes was prescribed. They need to know. And behind the scenes, people with clout are making phone calls. These pharma types are talking to government agents and it’s crazy time and damage-control time, and nobody is laughing. This is a high-stakes game. WHAT DRUGS WAS HOLMES TAKING?

There is pressure on both attorneys in the case, too. And the cops. With an insanity plea lurking in the wings, Holmes’ medical records could very well see the light of day. That would let everybody know what the drugs were. So somebody is calling the governor of Colorado, and other state officials, and they’re trying to maneuver and manipulate the legal process, to make the medical records vanish.

Come on. This isn’t just a murder case. Now it’s about money. Big pharma lawyers are reading up on Colorado law to find loopholes, ways to get around revealing Holmes’ medical history.

Holmes is now a pawn. He’s the nowhere kid who is going to be shuttled around on the game board to save the drug money for the people who own it.

Holmes’ psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, was reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, in 2005, for prescribing drugs to several patients, including herself, without entering the information in patient records

The money is dirty. It always was. It’s filthy. It’s been made on the backs of people who have died at the rate of 100,000 a year in the US alone. That’s a million people per decade—pharmaceutically caused deaths. The heads of these drug companies and their allied banks are Mafiosa. They inflict more human damage in a day than all the goombahs who have ever shot up pizza joints on Mulberry Street or dealt narcotics to addicts across the world, since Sicily puts itself on the map as the center of the Cosa Nostra.

Holmes’ psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, was reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, in 2005, for prescribing drugs to several patients, including herself, without entering the information in patient records. She could now find a target painted on her back, as the drug companies try to make her a patsy, an “irresponsible and incompetent doctor who didn’t give Mr. Holmes what he truly needed.” They would do this to take the drugs off the hook. “In the hands of a good psychiatrist, the proper medications would have worked well.” Who knows? Maybe they’ll claim she didn’t even treat Holmes directly, but supervised interns or grad students, who actually worked with Holmes.

I wrote the following as part of a 1999 white paper for The Truth Seeker Foundation, in the wake of the Columbine massacre. So the information is from that period. The white paper was titled: WHY DID THEY DO IT? THE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS ACROSS AMERICA.

It’s quite long; I’ve only printed an excerpt here. You can go to my blog and read the whole thing. It’s very relevant to the issues at hand.

http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com

The bulk of American media is afraid to go after psychiatric drugs as a cause of violence. This fear stems, in part, from the sure knowledge that expert attack dogs are waiting in the wings, funded by big-time pharmaceutical companies.

There are doctors and researchers as well who have seen a dark truth about these drugs in the journals, but are afraid to stand up and speak out. After all, the medical culture punishes no one as severely as its own defectors.

If the mothers of the young killers and young victims began to see a terrible knowledge about the psychiatric drugs swim into view, a knowledge they hadn’t imagined, and if THEY joined forces, the earth would shake.

And what of the federal government itself? The FDA licenses every drug released for public use and certifies that it is safe and effective. If a real tornado started at the public level, if the mothers of the young killers and young victims began to see a terrible knowledge about the psychiatric drugs swim into view, a knowledge they hadn’t imagined, and if THEY joined forces, the earth would shake.

After commenting on some of the adverse effects of the antidepressant drug Prozac, psychiatrist Peter Breggin notes, “From the initial studies, it was also apparent that a small percentage of Prozac patients became psychotic.”

Prozac, in fact, endured a rocky road in the press for a time. Stories on it rarely appear now. The major media have backed off. But on February 7th, 1991, Amy Marcus’ Wall Street Journal article on the drug carried the headline, “Murder Trials Introduce Prozac Defense.” She wrote, “A spate of murder trials in which defendants claim they became violent when they took the antidepressant Prozac are imposing new problems for the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly and Co.”

Also on February 7, 1991, the New York Times ran a Prozac piece headlined, “Suicidal Behavior Tied Again to Drug: Does Antidepressant Prompt Violence?”

In his landmark book, Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Breggin mentions that the Donahue show (Feb. 28, 1991) “put together a group of individuals who had become compulsively self-destructive and murderous after taking Prozac and the clamorous telephone and audience response confirmed the problem.”

Breggin also cites a troubling study from the February 1990 American Journal of Psychiatry (Teicher et al, v.147:207-210) which reports on “six depressed patients, previously free of recent suicidal ideation, who developed intense, violent suicidal preoccupations after 2-7 weeks of fluoxetine [Prozac] treatment.’ The suicidal preoccupations lasted from three days to three months after termination of the treatment. The report estimates that 3.5 percent of Prozac users were at risk. While denying the validity of the study, Dista Products, a division of Eli Lilly, put out a brochure for doctors dated August 31, 1990, stating that it was adding ‘suicidal ideation’ to the adverse events section of its Prozac product information.”

An earlier study, from the September 1989 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, by Joseph Lipiniski, Jr., indicates that, in five examined cases, people on Prozac developed what is called akathisia. Symptoms include intense anxiety, inability to sleep, the “jerking of extremities,” and “bicycling in bed or just turning around and around.” Breggin comments that akathisia “may also contribute to the drug’s tendency to cause self-destructive or violent tendencies … Akathisia can become the equivalent of biochemical torture and could possibly tip someone over the edge into self-destructive or violent behavior … The June 1990 Health Newsletter, produced by the Public Citizen Research Group, reports, ‘Akathisia, or symptoms of restlessness, constant pacing, and purposeless movements of the feet and legs, may occur in 10-25 percent of patients on Prozac.’”

The well-known publication, California Lawyer, in a December 1998 article called “Protecting Prozac,” mentions other highly qualified critics of the drug: “David Healy, MD, an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist, has stated in sworn deposition that ‘contrary to Lilly’s view, there is a plausible cause-and-effect relationship between Prozac’ and suicidal-homicidal events. An epidemiological study published in 1995 by the British Medical Journal also links Prozac to increased suicide risk.”

When pressed, proponents of these SSRI drugs sometimes say, “Well, the benefits for the general population far outweigh the risk,” or, “Maybe in one or two tragic cases the dosage prescribed was too high.” But the problem will not go away on that basis. A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes: “Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”

In wide use. This despite such contrary information and the negative, dangerous effects of these drugs.

There are other studies: “Emergence of self-destructive phenomena in children and adolescents during fluoxetine treatment,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1991, vol.30), written by RA King, RA Riddle, et al. It reports self-destructive phenomena in 14% (6/42) of children and adolescents (10-17 years old) who had treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

July, 1991. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Hisako Koizumi, MD, describes a thirteen-year-old boy who was on Prozac: “full of energy,” “hyperactive,” “clown-like.” All this devolved into sudden violent actions which were “totally unlike him.” [Sound like James Holmes?]

September, 1991. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Author Laurence Jerome reports the case of a ten-year old who moves with his family to a new location. Becoming depressed, the boy is put on Prozac by a doctor. The boy is then “hyperactive, agitated … irritable.” He makes a “somewhat grandiose assessment of his own abilities.” Then he calls a stranger on the phone and says he is going to kill him. The Prozac is stopped, and the symptoms disappear.

[What is true about Prozac is true about Paxil or Zoloft or any of the other SSRI antidepressants. And be warned: suddenly withdrawing from any psychiatric drug can be extremely dangerous to the patient. See www.breggin.com on this subject and how to handle it.]

Ritalin, manufactured by Novartis, is the close cousin to speed which is given to millions of American schoolchildren for a condition called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADD and ADHD, for which no organic causes have ever been found, are touted as disease-conditions that afflict the young, causing hyperactivity, unmanageability, and learning problems. Of course, when you name a disorder or a syndrome and yet can find no single provable organic cause for it, you have nothing more than a loose collection of behaviors with an arbitrary title.

Correction: you also have a pharmaceutical bonanza.

Read the rest of the article here

To see a list of international drug advisory warnings and studies on psychiatric drugs and violence click here

To see a partial list of school shooters documented to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs, click here

To visit the psychiatric drug side effects search engine – click here 

 

The Aurora, Colorado Tragedy—Another Senseless Shooting, Another Psychotropic Drug?

As the world’s leading mental health watchdog, CCHR has for decades investigated hundreds of acts of senseless violence in coordination with the press and law enforcement as well as in legislative hearings, such as those held following the 1999 Columbine massacre (ringleader Eric Harris was found to be under the influence of the antidepressant Luvox, Dylan Klebold’s autopsy reports were never unsealed). And while there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases—prescribed psychotropic drugs which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation.

 Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. (Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.)

There have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings issued on psychiatric drugs causing violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis, and other violent type reactions. These warnings have been issued in the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

In determining what would prompt James Holmes, identified as the 24-year-old gunman in the Aurora, Colorado shooting, to commit such a brutal and senseless crime, the press must ask the right questions, including: What, if any, prescribed psychotropic drugs Holmes may have been on (or in withdrawal from).

Click here for more.

 

COLORADO HEAT WAVE SPIKES RISK OF DANGEROUS OVERHEATING FOR THOSE TAKING PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS

 

By Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Colorado’s current heat wave increases the risk of heat-related illness and death for those taking psychiatric drugs, most especially antipsychotic and “ADHD” drugs.

Psychiatric drugs cause people taking them to be less sensitive to signals from their body.  Many of the drugs also directly interfere with the body’s ability to respond to heat.  As a result, individuals taking psychiatric drugs can overheat when temperatures soar and not realize it, running a greater risk of heat exhaustion or life-threatening heat stroke.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, psychiatric drugs that interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down include antipsychotics, tranquilizers, and tricyclic antidepressants.   These drugs make individuals more susceptible to dangerous overheating.

Antipsychotic drugs, in particular, are known to increase the risk of heat stroke, as evidenced by a medical alert issued in April by the New York Office of Mental Health.  Children and the elderly – the most physically vulnerable – who are taking antipsychotic drugs face a still higher risk.

The risk of heat-related illness and death is also increased by stimulants, including the stimulant drugs prescribed for so-called ADHD.

Stimulant drugs raise body temperature, as well as interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down, so that high summer temperatures cause body temperatures already elevated by these drugs to go higher still.

Those taking psychiatric drugs should limit their exposure to summer heat and strenuous activity and drink plenty of water.  Seek medical attention for someone who becomes disoriented, whose skin is dry and hot, or who has difficulty waking up, with particular attention paid to children and the elderly.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue a psychiatric drug 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 experienced adverse effects from psychiatric drugs, 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.

A Question of Medical Ethics: Researchers Conclude Antidepressants Do More Harm Than Good

 

Image by George Hodan
Image by George Hodan

A team of researchers reviewing previous studies into the effects of antidepressants have concluded that the drugs are doing patients more harm than good, according to a research paper published yesterday in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology.

“The thing that’s been missing in the debates about antidepressants is an overall assessment of all these negative effects relative to their potential beneficial effects,” says professor Paul Andrews, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University in Canada and lead author of the study. “Most of this evidence has been out there for years and nobody has been looking at this basic issue.”

Most antidepressants alter the level of serotonin naturally produced by the human body in an attempt to alter mood.  But serotonin also regulates other important functions in the body, including digestion, reproduction, and the blood clotting to seal a wound.

“Serotonin is an ancient chemical,” said Andrews.  “It’s intimately regulating many different processes, and when you interfere with these things you can expect,  from an evolutionary perspective, that it’s going to cause some harm.”

Quoting from his research team’s paper:

“Because serotonin regulates many adaptive processes, antidepressants could have many adverse health effects….  Antidepressants can…cause developmental problems, they have adverse effects on sexual and romantic life, and they increase the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood plasma), bleeding, stroke, and death in the elderly.  Our review supports the conclusion that antidepressants generally do more harm than good by disrupting a number of adaptive processes regulated by serotonin.”

The full paper can be read here.

 

Proven risks outweigh questionable benefit

Following on the heels of other research on both the ineffectiveness and the risks of adverse effects of antidepressants, this latest research raises serious questions about whether physicians can ethically prescribe antidepressants for their patients.  After all, a cornerstone of medical ethics is that it may be better to do nothing than to risk causing more harm than good.  Antidepressants now have been shown in a growing number of research studies to cause proven harm, while providing questionable benefit.

For example, in an explosive report that aired recently on CBS’s 60 Minutes, an expert on placebos said that the difference between the effects of antidepressants and sugar pills is clinically insignificant for most people. (see “Expert Finds Antidepressants No More Effective Than Sugar Pills”).  Another recent study shows antidepressants can considerably worsen depression (see “Antidepressants can cause chronic and worsening depression”).  An earlier study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 linked antidepressants to an increased risk of major birth defects.

(For international studies and warnings on the side effects of antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug search engine.)

Professor Andrews believes his research shows the critical necessity of reevaluating the use of antidepressants.

“It could change the way we think about such major pharmaceutical drugs,” he says. “You’ve got a minimal benefit, a laundry list of negative effects – some small, some rare and some not so rare. The issue is: does the list of negative effects outweigh the minimal benefit?”

 

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant, 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.