The Trouble with SSRIs

Antidepressant Drugs Linked to Suicide and Homicide

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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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.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

From the article:
"…So I want to know what drugs Elliot Rodger was taking…"

Two references have come through my RSS feeds to date:

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

"1. Santa Barbara, California – May 23, 2014:... He explained in his manifesto that he had psychiatric drugs and made them part of his plan in ending his own life. On page 133 of the manifesto, Rodgers explains that he’ll shoot himself in the head and 'I will quickly swallow all of the Xanax and Vicodin pills I have left….' ”


'Elliot Rodger Was Taking Xanax In Days Before Mass Shooting, Insider Says'

"Elliot Rodger‘s parents Peter & Li Chin have told law enforcement that their son had been taking Xanax in the days before the horrific murders, and feared he could have been abusing the anti-anxiety medication…

"The Xanax had been prescribed to Elliot by a family doctor, according to law enforcement sources.

“'Elliot had been taking Xanax for awhile, according to his parents … there were fears he might have been addicted to it, or taking more than was prescribed,' a law enforcement source told 'The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department will be conducting formal interviews with Elliot’s doctors, and will review his medical and prescription drug records.' "

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)


'No, Mentally Ill People Would NOT Necessarily Have Become Violent Without Anti-Depressants
Scientific Evidence Shows that New Anti-Depressants MAKE Disturbed People Violent'

The problem, as per your example of Eli Lilly, is that up to 80% of the transnational corporations producing these products are criminal organizations, according to the New England Journal of Medicine [ ], and have been repeatedly found guilty of felony crimes, most related to suppressing safety information.

The top ten transnational pharmaceutical corporations extract from U.S. citizens annual profits of $35.9 billion, more than the profits for ALL the remaining 490 Fortune 500 companies. So there's an enormous amount of funds available to "educate" health practitioners to dispense these drugs.

In a foreword to the book, 'Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare,' entitled...

'Is the pharmaceutical industry like the mafia?'
[ ],

...published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Richard Smith, former BMJ editor, demonstrates that the transnational pharmaceutical industry has "incentivized" doctors, academics, journals, professional and patient organizations, university departments, journalists, regulators, and politicians.


At the bottom of this page...

…one can find Corporate Research Project rap sheets for:

• AstraZeneca
• Eli Lilly
• GlaxoSmithKlein
• Merck
• Novartis
• Phizer

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mary Barker (et al):

Another source, posted today.

'Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)'

"...Based on interviews with Elliot's parents, Peter and Li Chen, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department 'is being told that he was likely addicted to Xanax ... Peter and Li have been doing basic research on addiction to Xanax, and based on what they have read, they believe the tranquilizer made him more withdrawn, lonely, isolated, and anxious,' a source told Radar. 'It's their understanding that when Xanax is taken in large amounts, or more than the prescribed dosage, these are some of the side effects.'…"

Note also this from the article:

"While the mainstream media predictably blames guns for all mass shootings…."

There's a reason for that; I wrote about the nexus between the corporate media hyping these tragedies and the criminal drug dealers (i.e. transnational pharmaceutical companies) at the first comment at this 29 May article:

'Isla Vista Killings: Shock. Suffering. Survival.'

I probably shouldn't bring the entire comment over here, but it begins…

"The corporate media is there to capitalize on this tragedy in order to vacuum up a huge amount of additional advertising revenue based on its increased ratings, much of it coming from the transnational pharmaceutical industry…"

…and includes a link to an [02:47] interview with a forensic psychiatrist, of which I transcribed a paragraph.

JohnTieber (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 9:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Xanax is Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine, as is Valium. It, and that class of drugs, is/are not related to SSRI's or SNRI's.

SSRI's stopped me from hurting myself, helped me control my anger when nothing else did, including the supplements mentioned in this letter. They helped my immediate, extreme, acute depression due to job stress, and longer-term hormonal issues that prevented me from functioning well. I never turned my anger on any other person, I usually punched walls and offended people. Yes, I broke fingers. These drugs are not all bad. Granted, I did not take them as a teen. But I did have the symptoms and problems that got worse as I aged and am grateful for these drugs. Yes, I've experienced numbness; I adjust my dose or go off the drugs.
Nothing is black and white, all bad or all good.
I don't give a crap about sharing too much. I fight against the stigma.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 9:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As I posted on another thread, Rodgers was taking these drugs because he already was demonstrating bizarre behavior, not the other way around. Sadly, some people simply are not safe to have running around in the general population, and need to be in a humane--but supervised environment.

For my lack of knowledge I cannot comment on Geraldbostock's post per specific drugs, but I agree with the post overall, especially that part about nothing being black and white.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 10:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

𝐅𝐮𝐜𝐤 you, and 𝒇𝒖𝒄𝒌 the Independent for publishing this.

Was the Oak Creek shooter on SSRIs? Was the Overland Park shooter on SSRIs? There have been at least 62 mass shootings in the US since 1982: —Can you link them all to SSRIs?

Of course even if you could that wouldn't prove what you want, because Rodger's actions weren't caused by mental illness alone—misogyny was an enormous factor as well. 14% of all murders in the US involve the killing of domestic partners, and in the vast majority of cases the killer is male: —But sure, let's just pretend violence against women is a modern phenomenon resulting from mentally ill people seeking treatment.

typo (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 10:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Misogyny IS mentall illness.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 10:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No, it's not. Calling misogyny a mental illness is both insulting to people with mental illness, and minimizes how prevalent misogyny is in our society.:

1. Misogyny is mental illness.

2. The vast majority of people aren't mentally ill.

3. Therefore misogyny is the fault of a small minority.

Do you see the danger of that reasoning?

typo (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 11:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No, because hatred of women is a mental illness. It doesn't minimize misogy/misandry; it properly categorizes it as a mental illness. The vast majority of people aren't misogynists/andrists as much as some one might want them to be..
Do you see the danger in your reasoning as categorizing misgyny as a normal condition? It's not. It's not at all mentally healthy to blanket hate/objectify men or women.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 3, 2014 at 11:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, I will get into this, and have my two cents worth. My understanding of mental illness is an inherent medical problem--brain chemical imbalance. Misogyny, like racism, usually comes from cultural attitudes, fanned by whatever existing fear one has of the unknown, or what is different. In Eliot Rodgers, there was mental illness, and misogyny. From everything I can see, the drugs did not cause his rampage, nor those of others.

I would argue his killing spree didn't happen because of the drugs he took, but in spite of them. Violence against women has been happening a lot longer than these drugs have been around.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 4, 2014 at 12:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's just weird to me that anyone would have that kind of attitude so to me they're whack. 12:30 and no election results. Good night.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 4, 2014 at 12:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Another point: What's with the rise of teenage suicides? How can this not be part of the same societal mechanism that drives people such as Eliot Rodger?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 4, 2014 at 5:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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