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Blogger links antidepressant withdrawal and youthful shooters


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Citing the website SSRI Stories: Antidepressant Nightmares, which prominently warns

 

WARNING!

 

Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs, usually over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified specialist. Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.

 

http://www.realitysandwich.com/shooters

 

Shooters

Steven Taylor

12-18-12

 

....amid the sickening media parade endlessly looping, one aspect of the mass shooter phenomenon is continually skipped, but a survey of press reports on the spate of bizarre violence that has arisen since the 1990s reveals a pattern.

 

In the past few days, following the Newtown murders, various experts have weighed in on the difficulty of profiling the mass shooter type. (An accurate psychological profile, presumably -- and hideously problematically -- could enable parents, teachers, doctors, and law enforcers to predict which individual is headed toward being the next shooter.)

 

Despite the difficulty of such profiles and predictions, there are two things that such characters have in common. First, they are mostly young white males. Second, many of the perpetrators are reported to have been taking psychoactive prescription medication.

 

The website "SSRI Stories: Antidepressant Nightmares" offers a sortable database of more than 4,800 newspaper articles, scientific journal reports, and TV news items linking antidepressant use to cases of extreme violence.

 

It is important to note that this site is not peddling some conspiracy theory. It is not speculative at all. The website is an index to reputable sources reporting on actual criminal cases, and in all cases reported, prescription meds are implicated.

 

The articles show that these violent acts were perpetrated by consumers in the 50 billion dollar a year selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) industry. This is a class of drugs whose warning labels and pharmaceutical literature note that a small percentage of SSRI consumers fantasize about and/or exhibit extreme violence.

 

I was originally tipped to this in July of 2012 in an article by RS regular Jonathan Zap, which he wrote in the wake of the so-called Batman shootings of that summer.

 

Zap notes as follows.

 

"Mass shootings, like the one that just happened in Aurora [Colorado], have become a recurrent nightmare that haunts the collective psyche. As the nightmare repeats, we see patterns emerging. One, which we don't have confirmation on yet in this case, is that the shooter will almost always turn out to be on an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). For example, Colorado's other most famous mass shooting, Columbine, was masterminded by 18-year-old Eric Harris who was on the SSRI medication Luvox. Here's an index of shootings and the SSRI connection someone put together."

 

The website Jonathan links us to, "SSRI Stories: Antidepressant Nightmares," concentrates on reports implicating Prozac (the FDA's number 2 drug for violence), Zoloft, Paxil (number 3 for violence), Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Remeron, Anafranil, Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq, and Wellbutrin.

 

Here are a few samples of reports from the site, with comments.

 

"Tim Kretschmer . . . walked into Albertville Secondary in Winnenden, near Stuttgart, at 9.30am on Wednesday armed with a 9mm Beretta he had stolen from his gun enthusiast father and wearing a K4-Schutz bulletproof vest and the black fatigues of Germany's elite forces, the Kommando Spezialkräfte. . . . He killed nine pupils at Albertville, all but one a girl, and three teachers, all women, in less than 10 minutes. He then shot and killed three bystanders as he tried to escape, before taking his own life after a shootout with police. . . . It emerged that Kretschmer had been suffering from depression . . . and receiving medication for the condition." --Scotland On Sunday, Edinburgh, March 14 2009.

 

"Hours before he walked into a Northern Illinois University lecture hall and inexplicably started a shooting rampage that ended five lives and his own, Steve Kazmierczak called one of the people he was closest to and said what would be a final goodbye. . . . [According to his girlfriend] 'he was anything but a monster. He was probably the nicest, most caring person ever'. . . . [she said] he saw a psychiatrist monthly but stopped taking Prozac a few weeks ago. She said the medicine 'made him feel like a zombie'." --Chicago Sun Times, February 8, 2008.

 

What we might call the "zombie effect" seems to come up in many of these cases. Also common is that the violent behavior tends to occur when the patient is either having the dosage adjusted, or has just stopped taking the pills.

 

The "SSRI Stories" site notes the following.

 

"The danger of withdrawal from antidepressants and antipsychotics is well documented. The brain tries to compensate for the blockage of the serotonin and dopamine receptors by growing additional receptors for these neurotransmitters. When the medications are discontinued, these additional receptors contribute to an 'overload' of serotonin and dopamine flooding the receptor. This is known as 'supersensitivity psychosis' and 'antidepressant discontinuation syndrome'."

 

"BEMIDJI, MINN. -- Jeffrey Weise had ‘a good relationship' with the grandfather he shot and killed on Monday as prelude to his deadly assault on students and others at Red Lake High School, according to relatives who are struggling to understand what might have pushed the teenager from sometimes bizarre behavior to mass murder and suicide. . . . They wondered, too, about medication he was supposedly taking for depression, and a recent increase in his prescribed dosage. . . . 60 milligrams a day of Prozac." --Star Tribune (Minnesota), March 24, 2005.

 

Consistent with the "zombie effect" noted above, many sources indicate that some perpetrators who survive their crime scenes report being in a dreamlike state in which they feel they are watching their actions but not in control of them. Some of the literature notes sleep disorders, and speculates that the drugs induce a state of waking dream in which one becomes a passive witness to one's actions. (Christopher Pittman, who killed his grandparents and set fire to their house told his father afterward that it had been like watching a TV show.) Other sources say the shooters do not remember their crimes or do not associate themselves with what occured.

 

"Huntsville, AL. -- 15 year old Hammad Memon is free on bond, awaiting trial on murder charges for the February 2010 shooting death of fellow Discovery Middle School student Todd Brown. . . . Memon has a history of being treated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Depression. He was being medicated with Zoloft and other drugs for the conditions. . . . Memon's mother is quoted as saying 'My son is not normal. He is immature (mentally) for his age. He has become very depressed and withdrawn for the past 2 years, especially in the last 12 months. He does not have insights into what crime he has committed'." --The Free Republic (Alabama), Feb 5 2012.

 

"CARTHAGE, NC -- Jurors in the Robert Stewart murder trial reached a verdict Saturday. He was found guilty of eight counts of second-degree murder in a shooting rampage at a North Carolina nursing home in 2009. . . . Stewart's defense lawyers said the 47-year-old was essentially sleepwalking at the time due to taking a combination of prescription drugs. . . . Defense attorney Jon Megerian said Ambien and other drugs in Stewart's system caused him to be in a zombie-like state of mind when he entered the nursing home. . . . In pleading Stewart's case, his defense said he was full of remorse, but couldn't remember anything. --WTVD television, North Carolina.

 

There have been a number of cases where defendants have been found not responsible for their actions due to the effects of the medication.

 

"STAMFORD, CT -- A Stamford lawyer who shot at a motorist, then broke into his ex-wife's house was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect yesterday. Eric Witlin, 40, will be committed to Whiting Forensic Institute for evaluation until he returns to court July 14. Judge Richard Comerford could commit Witlin for the time he could have been sentenced to prison, a total of 70 years. . . . Two psychiatrists, including one hired by the prosecution, testified that Witlin suffered a psychotic episode brought on by Adderall and Prozac, which were prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and depression. . . . Senior Assistant State's Attorney James Bernardi said Witlin's mental state on the night of the incident was uncontested, since both psychiatrists agreed. --Stamford Advocate, May 20, 2008.

 

"Anna L. Tang, the troubled former Wellesley student, is finally free to resume her life and has been discharged from court custody. . . . Tang came to the attention of most MIT students in October 2007 when she stabbed her ex-boyfriend, Wolfe B. Styke, then a freshman, in his Next House dormitory room. . . . Tang has bipolar disorder, which she sought help for when she first arrived at Wellesley in 2005. At that time, she was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed an antidepressant. However, as Tang’s psychopharmacologist Michael J. Mufson testified during the trial, bipolar disorder cannot be treated with antidepressants. Doing so creates oscillatory behavior. ­ 'It made her lows lower and her highs get higher', Mufson said. That combination of misdiagnosis and mistreatment led to her attack on Styke. Judge Henry found in December that Tang lacked the substantial capacity to conform her actions to the requirements of the law and that she lacked the capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions. The Tech (MIT student newspaper), Feb 8, 2011.

 

In other legal news, there have been some 450 suicide-related lawsuits settled out of court by GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil.

 

"Since Paxil came on the market in 1992, there have been three separate types of failure to warn lawsuits filed: birth defects, suicide, and addiction. Roughly 150 suicide cases were settled for an average of about $2 million, and about 300 cases involving suicide attempts were settled for an average of $300,000, according to a December 14, 2009 report by Bloomberg News. Glaxo paid an average of about $50,000 each to resolve about 3,200 cases linking Paxil to addiction problems. . . . All total, Glaxo has paid out close to $1 billion to resolve Paxil lawsuits since the drug came on the market in 1992. The company's provision for all legal matters and other non-tax disputes as of the end of 2008 was listed as $3.09 billion in its annual report." --Dissidentvoice.org.

 

To summarize, FDA warnings, court finding, and too many news reports to count make a connection between one of the most widely prescribed drug types and bizarre, ostensibly "inexplicable" violence. And though there are thousands of sources and multiple vectors of association implicating the 50-billion-dollar business in SSRIs to some of the most hideous crimes of our day, the major media continue to spin their wheels about the "unexplainable." This story needs to go viral. Now.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for sharing this, Alto.

 

I think these shooting incidents provide a lot of opportunity for people to advance their causes. I've read articles attributing shooting violence to guns, divorce, white-male-privilege, bullying, not having girlfriends, feminism, hollywood, video games, insufficient school spending, insufficient salaries for social workers, insufficient resources for single moms, bad dads, bad moms, bad teachers, social failure to institutionalize, and so on.

 

Without examining the dozens and dozens of factors, I do think it is important that someone recognize:

 

1.) A wildly disproportionate number of middle-class, suicide-homicide rampages are committed by children on psychiatric drugs.

2.) Psychiatric drugs are proven to increase incidents of homicide, suicide and aggression. (That this is accepted given the push to protect the reputation of these pills speaks to the power of the evidence.)

 

Perhaps a politician should look into that, though it's not going to benefit that guy when his primary challenger gets the $ from the drug lobby.

 

The journalists used to love opportunities like this but it's tougher to make objective cases now.

 

The March of Time...

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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I might expect someone to say I am advancing my pet cause, being anti-psych meds.

 

That's why I feel hopeless about my health sometimes.

 

If a kid takes a drug proven to cause behavior A. Kid does A.

 

Almost nobody attributes A to drug proven to cause A.

 

If I get healthy, I really owe it to integrity to take the low hanging fruit and do some good with it.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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I might expect someone to say I am advancing my pet cause, being anti-psych meds.

 

That's why I feel hopeless about my health sometimes.

 

If a kid takes a drug proven to cause behavior A. Kid does A.

 

Almost nobody attributes A to drug proven to cause A.

 

If I get healthy, I really owe it to integrity to take the low hanging fruit and do some good with it.

 

Hi Alex,

 

If everyone was honest, they would admit they are advancing their pet cause. It is very hard to find someone who looks at a situation with alot of objectivity. I realize that no one can be completely biased free but it would be nice if people made more of an effort in this area.

 

Speaking of advancing my pet cause, I feel that bullying is greatly minimized as an issue in these shootings. I have started to read a book about Columbine by Brooks Brown, who was a friend of the shooters and he says they were definitely bullied. Surprise, surprise, this has been minimized by the mainstream media. Of course, it easier for schools to not face their failings vs. blaming something else for the shootings.

 

Regarding psych meds, there is doubt in my mind that in some of the cases, psych meds were the cause of the shooting. The Illinois shooter definitely under that scenario. I recall when it occurred, I read everything I could about him and it was clear he had had way too many quick med changes. And the fact that his girlfriend was so shocked was a tip off.

 

However, in other cases, I think the roles of meds are unclear like with Cho and the Columbine killers. It also is inconclusive about Lanza.

 

Therefore, I think in order for us to have any credibility, we have to be careful about coming across as crying wolf each time out. We don't like it when psychiatry links depression to everything known to human beings so we have to be careful not to engage in similar type actions.

 

You go on to say, ""Perhaps a politician should look into that, though it's not going to benefit that guy when his primary challenger gets the $ from the drug lobby.""

 

I am wondering if it would help to say in response to the folks who claim the shooters didn't get mental health care - "Well they were obviously in the system since they were taking meds, why didn't that work?" Ask questions in the manner that Whitaker has.

 

Of course, there would be responses like well, they weren't on enough meds but the intelligent folks in our community could counter that like Whitaker has done.

 

Just brainstorming.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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The big shooting events are so rare, of course can not all by blamed on SSRIs.

 

There are 300 million people in the US and there are, I don't know, three or four media-frenzy shootings each year. But there are hundreds of non-frenzy homicides, suicides and acts of rampage every decade in which psychiatric medication is too frequently involved.

 

Saying that the Connecticut kid or the Batman guy or Columbine kids, that any one of their actions shouldn't be blamed on drugs, I think that's right. I mean, weird stuff happens all the time. Last year some naked man in Miami ate another naked man's face. Somebody will killed this year by having intercourse with a horse or elephant. Unusual stuff will happen.

 

In the aggregate there is definitely an effect from psychiatric medication. There has to be from a statistical stand point.

 

I understand what you are saying about pet causes. And the Connecticut murder rampage is a worn out topic for, probably, everyyone. I'm happy to let it go.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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