The Trouble with SSRIs

Antidepressant Drugs Linked to Suicide and Homicide

If the black-box label on SSRI antidepressants said, “Warning: May cause mass murder of small schoolchildren,” how long do you think these drugs would stay on the market? Even if only a very small percentage of SSRI users commit murder, mass murder, or suicide, are these drugs worth the risk, particularly when safe effective alternatives exist?

In all the outcry about the mentally ill and guns in the wake of the latest mass shooting, there is deafening silence as to the role of antidepressants and other drugs. A cursory Internet search turns up hundreds of murders and suicides linked to SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). In fact, prescription antidepressants and other drugs are implicated in most if not all of the notorious mass shootings.

Here are a few where the shooter(s) were taking SSRIs or similar drugs:

Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez

Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza

Navy yard shooter Aaron Alexis

Aurora theater shooter James Holmes

Side effects of Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac, three of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs, include the following: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, or trouble sleeping; feeling irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or more depressed; and having thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

In Side Effects: Death Confessions of a Pharma Insider, John Virapen, former executive director of the Swedish Branch of Eli Lilly and Company, describes how antidepressants and SSRIs were known to contribute to suicidal and homicidal side effects during clinical trials and how this information was suppressed.

In 2004, the FDA required that a black-box warning be included for SSRIs, warning about the increased potential for suicide, as well as irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania.

Overwhelming evidence shows a causal link between SSRIs and violence, whether against oneself or others. The real question is why this issue is not being raised in all the handwringing over mass shootings.

It is theorized that depression is caused by a deficiency of serotonin (there is no such thing as a deficiency of Prozac or Zoloft). SSRIs supposedly remedy a serotonin deficiency through altering brain chemistry, causing serotonin to, in effect, be recycled and reused. It is well-documented that the amino acids 5-htp and l-tryptophan help the brain to naturally produce serotonin without altering brain chemistry and without the sometimes tragic “side effects” of prescription antidepressants. Studies have also shown aerobic exercise to be as effective as SSRIs in alleviating depression in many people. Low omega-3 levels are also linked to depression. Unfortunately, most doctors are unaware of the nutritional bases underlying many cases of depression and instead prescribe SSRIs.

So I want to know what drugs Elliot Rodger was taking. He was under psychiatric care, which guarantees nowadays that he was taking at least one, and likely more than one, prescription drug.

The public deserves this information. We deserve to know whether our hearts are being continually broken from the ubiquitous prescription of antidepressants and similar drugs.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.