Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Psych meds linked to 90% of school shootings: edited *

Obligatory disclaimer: Aside from the following article, I don't recommend World Net Daily as a source of information, given that it's a hate site known for promoting unviable economic programs. One of the dangers of polarized thinking about the school shootings issue is that both sides of the political spectrum are seriously flawed in their analysis of how to treat the problem. The left wants to provide more "mental health treatment" which inevitably means tens of thousands of adolescents being forced to take psychiatric medications that have been proven to produce homicidal ideation. Many on the right, on the other hand, would rather respond to their disturbed teenagers by beating them senseless while insuring that even more Americans have access to the same assault rifles that enabled the massacres in the first place.

Countless holistic health practitioners have successfully used a wide variety of modalities to treat serious mental health issues. Personally, I've found homeopathy to be particularly useful for treating violent ideation resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder. One of the results of PTSD, for me, was a change in an initial belief system organized around non-violence towards one that allowed for things like capital punishment and vigilante justice, and the reasons justifying these acts became increasingly more flexible with every passing year it went on. As homeopathic treatment has progressed, I've returned to my initial belief system and have become more psychologically stable while my physical health has also improved. How would the treatment of psychological illness be affected by the widespread return of homeopathic hospitals, which were far more common throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries?

The efficacy of homeopathy can be demonstrated by the exponentially greater survival rate of Spanish flu patients treated in homeopathic hospitals as compared to those treated in conventional hospitals. The widespread acceptance of homeopathic treatment could also make possible an affordable universal health care program, considering that homeopathic treatment is infinitely cheaper than virtually anything associated with conventional Western medicine. One thing is certain. I sure wish all the right wing lunatics calling for even less gun control had access to it so nobody would have to read their neurotic rants about how assault rifles will make us all safer. Even so, this is a necessary article that everyone calling for more mental health treatment should be reading.

Psych meds linked to 90% of school shootings

NEW YORK – From the moment news emerged Friday that a young man had carried out a horrific massacre of elementary-school children, politicians from local city halls to the White House have been restoking the age-old push for more gun control. While guns have been a common denominator in mass slayings at schools by teens, there’s another familiar element that seems increasingly to be minimized.

Some 90 percent of school shootings over more than a decade have been linked to a widely prescribed type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, according to British psychiatrist Dr. David Healy, a founder of, an independent website for researching and reporting on prescription drugs.

Though there has been no definitive confirmation that drugs played a role in the Newtown, Conn., assault, that killed 20 children and six adults, media have cited family members and acquaintances saying suspect Adam Lanza was taking prescription medication to treat “a neurological-development disorder,” possibly Aspergers.

Healy cautioned that the public needs “to wait to find out what Adam Lanza was on, and whether his behavior does fit the template of a treatment-induced problem.”

However, in an email to WND, he said he suspected prescribed psychiatric medications was the cause of Lanza’s violent behavior. Healy said that while the public waits to learn more about Lanza, there are two general points that can be made. First, he said, “psychotropic drugs of pretty well any group can trigger violence up to and including homicide. Second, the advocates of treatment claim both that it is the illness and not the drugs that causes violence and that we are leaving huge numbers of people untreated.”

But Healy argued that if this were the case, “we should not find that comfortably over 90 percent of school shootings are linked to medication intake.”

Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant at the National Institute of Mental Health, told WND it’s likely that problems for Lanza began with “getting tangled up” with psychiatric medicine. Breggin insisted there has been overwhelming scientific evidence for decades correlating psychiatrically prescribed drugs with violence.

Writing in Ethical Human Sciences and Services, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, in 2003, Breggin concluded SSRI drugs could be a factor in suicide, violence and other forms of extreme abnormal behavior, as evidenced in case reports, controlled clinical trials, and epidemiological studies in children and adults...Breggin testified to Congress that research conducted in the medical science demonstrates a causal relationship between antidepressant drugs and the production of suicide, violence, mania and other behavioral abnormalities. He warned Congress of the risks of giving these drugs to heavily armed young men and women in the military....He believes the Lanza case fits the pattern of school shooters in some of the most famous incidents in recent memory, including the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007...In many school shootings carried out by minors, court documents are sealed and the extent of chemical use is unknown to the public.

But in a number of high-profile cases, the link has been reported:

Kip Kinkel was withdrawing from Prozac and had been prescribed Ritalin when he murdered his mother and stepfather then shot 22 classmates, killing two, in 1998.
Christopher Pittman was withdrawing from Luvox and from Paxil when he killed his paternal grandparents in 2001.
Elizabeth Bush, who fired at fellow students in Williamsport, Pa., in 2001, wounding one, was on Prozac.
Jason Hoffman, was on Effexor and Celexa when he opened fire at his El Cajon, Calif., high school, wounding five.
Shawn Cooper of Notus, Idaho, was on antidepressants when he fired a shotgun on students and staff.
T.J. Solomon, on antidepressants, wounded six at his Conyers, Ga., high school.
Eric Harris was taking Luvox when he and fellow student Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 24 others before turning their guns on themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado.
At Virginia Tech in 2007, where 32 were murdered, authorities found “prescription medications related to the treatment of psychological problems had been found among Mr. Cho’s effects,” according to the New York Times.

“Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” Healy said in a statement last month. “Never before in the fields of medicine and law have there been so many events with so much concealed data and so little focused expertise.”

*edited to correct the full name of WND, because it's been quite awhile since I spent any time over there and a mistake was made initially. Excuse the sloppiness but life's too short to waste much time on sites whose usual commentary veers alarmingly close to neofascism, barring few exceptions such as the included article.