Dachel Media Update: Oregon Tragedy Places Asperger's in Spotlight
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Modern Mass Murder and Autism: Sometimes it’s Just the Drugs

PERFECT STORM DRUG INDUCED VIOLENCE 2 Adriana Gamondes

By Adriana Gamondes

On August 18th, 2015, Chris Harper Mercer, the gunman responsible for the murders of 9 people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on October 1st, wrote on his Facebook page:

I have a pill bottle with like five types of pills mixed in. I don't know which ones are the sleep aids so I just took four of each.

The following is a screenshot of this Facebook post taken within minutes of Mercer’s name being released to the media by a PhD in psychology and activist (who prefers to remain anonymous) just moments before the page was taken offline. It was then disseminated by Nancy Rubenstein Delgiudice, a contributor to journalist Robert Whitaker’s blog, Mad in America, and director of public education and volunteer coordinator for the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights.org).

AG Chris Harper Mercer

The chain of possession of the screenshot is probably important to mention since Oregon authorities as well as the FBI are actively researching Mercer’s background for clues about what may have led to his crime. The screenshot was not hacked and no one from Age of Autism actually knew him. Mercer’s page apparently had minimal privacy settings before it was taken down and was accessible to the public.

Providing information about what medications Mercer may have taken is not intended as a plea for sympathy for perpetrators of mass violence. Though children, those detained in psychiatric facilities and the severely disabled may not have a choice or can’t legally consent to treatment, most adults can choose treatment methods—and with choice comes responsibility, particularly in the web age.

Mercer and his mother Laurel Harper Mercer spent a great deal of time online according to reports. Much has been written about Laurel Mercer’s admissions that both she and her son had Asperger’s and their views on guns (she and her son were apparently avid collectors and gun rights proponents), but very little has been written about her views on mainstream medicine. Laurel Mercer, an RN, reportedly spent hours a day answering questions on Yahoo Answers under the tag Tweetybird. Her views on a range of issues— from antidepressant use to the connection between vaccines and autism—are still online (herehere and here).

AG Yahoo Vax Autism

 

AG Antidepressants

 

The New York Times reports that Laurel Mercer sometimes had difficulties getting her son to take his meds.

Alexis Jefferson, who worked with Ms. Harper at a Southern California subacute care center around 2010, said the gunman’s mother sometimes confided the difficulties she had in raising her son, including that she had placed Mr. Harper-Mercer in a psychiatric hospital when he did not take his medication.

“She said that ‘my son is a real big problem of mine,’ ” Ms. Jefferson said in a telephone interview. “She said: ‘He has some psychological problems. Sometimes he takes his medication, sometimes he doesn’t. And that’s where the big problem is, when he doesn’t take his medication.’ ”

Typically if prescription drugs are even mentioned in association with bizarre behavior or criminal acts, the media will usually stress the medication-refusal correlation and will likely continue to do so despite recent revelations that young people on antidepressants are more likely to commit violence. From the Los Angeles Times

Researchers have identified a troubling side effect of a widely prescribed class of antidepressants -- they may make some patients more likely to commit violent crimes.

Data from Sweden show that young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 who had filled prescriptions for the drugs were more likely to be convicted of a homicide, assault, robbery, arson, kidnapping, sexual offense or other violent crime when they were taking the medications than when they weren’t. The researchers found no link between antidepressant use and criminal activity for older patients.

The findings, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, build on other evidence that the antidepressants – known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs – work differently in the brains of adolescents and adults. For instance, several studies have shown that the drugs actually boost the risk of suicidal thoughts in children, teens and young adults, but not in older adults.

The link between SSRIs and crime is less clear. One analysis of trends in the U.S. found that the “great American crime decline” that began in the 1990s coincided with the emergence of SSRIs, including Prozac, Celexa, Paxil and Zoloft. But reviews of safety data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration have found that SSRI use was associated with an increased risk of violent behavior.

Most sources that report on drug risks will end every article with the caveat that the risk for violence or suicide is greatest during withdrawal from psychiatric medications, though withdrawal effects may only amplify some individuals’ reactions. Columbine shooter Eric Harris wrote that he kept up with his doses of Luvox because it helped him “feel the rage.” And with the news that Chris Mercer could have abused his medication may come reassurances that sticking to prescribed doses is perfectly safe.  Although this may be true for many, several mass killers had clinically recommended doses in their systems at the time of their crimes according to reform psychiatrist and expert witness Dr. Peter Breggin, author of Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Violence, Suicide and Crime.  Breggin further points out that these reactions can occur among patient groups that are presumably carefully monitored:  a year after Medication Madness was published, Breggin testified before congress to present his paper Antidepressant-Induced Suicide, Violence, and Mania: Risks to Military Personnel on the potential connection between the practice of recycling combat-stressed troops with medications and the current 22-a-day suicide rate and rise in violent psychosis among members of the armed forces.

What independent whistleblowers like Breggin and others hope for in attempting to bring attention to the clinical association between prescription drugs and violence is mostly that these types of crimes might be prevented in the future, to stop the practice of forced treatment, to provide the public with truly informed consent as well as to prevent entire disabled populations from being framed for the crimes of a few.  Clearly victims of crime and their surviving families are not served when spin creates more victims, a predictable consequence in an age when the mentally disabled—even disabled veterans—are subjected to progressively abusive treatment; when three individuals with special needs—mostly children— die in schools and institutions every week due to restraint and seclusion; when the disabled are frequently dying in prisons where they are increasingly warehoused; when the FBI has repeatedly entrapped the mentally ill in various terrorist plots; when 50% of individuals killed by police are mentally disabled; and when the rate of mental disability has doubled among adults and has risen an estimated 35-fold among children in just two decades. Because of these bleak factors, it's become more destructive than ever to sew up the cause of all evil under certain diagnostic labels.

For instance, despite the fact that only a tiny fraction of individuals among the many hundreds who’ve perpetrated random mass violence have been diagnosed with autism, suppositions of  a general connection between the two things have run wild in the media and academia in the past several years. All of it effectively takes the onus off a much more compelling common denominator in modern mass assaults: that, according to drug expert and Pharmageddon author David Healy, about 90% of school shooters in North America and Europe were on prescription drugs.  

Sadly, what may give the correlation between disability and random violence staying power is the rate of drugging among the developmentally disabled with medications that carry black box warnings for violence and suicide. The rate may be as high as 90% according to Peter Breggin— a drugging rate approximately 1000% higher than the already high American average. This virtually ensures that a certain percentage of disabled individuals will periodically be in the news for violent acts.

Nevertheless, as most in the autism arena understand, the disabled are still statistically far more likely to be victims of assault than to commit it; that, at a current rate of 1 in 34 boys being diagnosed with autism, autism is— again— greatly underrepresented among hundreds of modern mass killers; and that the vast majority of those with autism— the low- to nonverbal "babbling idiots" that Laurel Mercer differentiated from her high-functioning son in a NY Times quote— are far too disabled  to ever plan and carry out elaborate crimes. As AofA Managing Editor Kim Stagliano pointed out in Huffington Post at the time of the Virginia Tech massacre and speculations about whether the perpetrator had autism, there’s a “wide chasm” between the impulsive or defensive behaviors exhibited by some individuals with autism and mass murder.

There are many reasons that people are prescribed certain drugs, though those reasons may not be the direct cause of mass violence. Instead, these reasons and all the life stresses and misfortunes that fuel prescribing practices and industry profits may simply be the gateway to prescriptions that, in some instances, are themselves the cause.  Sometimes it’s just the drugs. Americans, with their love of magic bullet cures, may find this hard to accept. David Healy responded to a few typical arguments against the correlation:  

…most of us know people on antidepressants none of whom are violent. This makes it difficult to accept a link to prescription drugs. For many even raising the idea that [Aurora shooter James Holmes] may have been crazed by a prescription medicine is likely to sound deranged or the excuse of a bleeding heart liberal.

But in fact there is a great deal of publicly available clinical trial (Hammad 2004, p40-41) and other data highlighting the risks of violence from psychotropic drugs. There is far more hidden data. There is in fact no other area of medicine in which there is so much hidden data on a risk that has consequences for the lives of so many innocent third parties…

In the case of violence, the published trials show antidepressants cause it, probably at a greater rate than alcohol, cannabis, cocaine or speed would be linked to violence if put through the same trial protocols that brought the antidepressants on the market. The labels for the drugs in a number of countries say the drugs cause violence. And there is at least one clear and well-known factor, just like autopsy rates, that can account for the findings – young men. Violence is linked to young men, and episodes of lethal violence are falling in all countries where the numbers of young men are declining.

Shortly after Healy’s article was published, a study in the The American Journal of Public Health reported that suicides now outnumber car accidents. The old adage about suicide is that violence turned inward may sometimes turn out, though this risk seems particularly high when drugs are in the mix. For example, the German pilot who crashed a commercial plane into the French Alps in March, 2015 was reportedly suicidal. The reason he decided to take 149 people with him was considered a mystery, though his prescription for antidepressants was not.

One of the key arguments against focusing solely on preexisting mental conditions is that it isn’t merely psychiatric medications that can trigger radical personality change and violence in individuals with no history of it. David Healy listed 90 medications in ten separate classes of drugs that carry warnings and/or have clinical associations to these effects. On the list is the anti-malarial drug Lariam which was investigated several years ago by Age of Autism editor Dan Olmsted and UPI’s Mark Benjamin following a spate of murder-suicides on an American army base. Then antibiotics, antihypertensives and even some of the newer birth control medications have also been linked to violent psychosis.

What’s more, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications—the drug classes most often associated with violent adverse events— are no longer prescribed solely for mental affliction. A patient can walk into a doctor’s office with a stiff neck, migraines or fatigue from obvious cause (overwork, young children, etc.) and walk out with a prescription for Paxil, Prozac, Ritalin, Adderall or any number of drugs with explicit black box warnings for suicidality and violent psychosis. Roughly 8% of those patients will at some point be hospitalized for drug-induced psychosis and a fraction of that subset might go on to commit violence against themselves or others. The risk to each individual might be relatively low, but considering that 1 in 9 Americans currently take some type of mental health drug, often more than one, and when it’s factored that, in the rare instance that someone becomes murderously psychotic on the drugs, they may take ten, twenty or hundreds with them,  the statistical potential for fallout is enormous as journalist Robert Whitaker argues in Anatomy of an Epidemic.

There’s another argument against framing preexisting conditions for mass murder—that the specific adverse effects that lead to violence may not be occurring directly through the brain but through the immune and mitochondrial systems. Psychopharmaceutical expert Grace Jackson’s Drug Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime cites hundreds of studies demonstrating that certain medications have a compounded effect on mitochondrial health aside from inducing brain swelling and mass brain cell death that mark the larval stages of dementia. What Jackson’s research suggests is that, though individuals already suffering from organic brain diseases (which are rare and do not include so called “brain chemical imbalances” promoted by the drug industry) or previous toxic injuries that effect these relevant cellular systems may succumb all the more quickly to the effects of certain drugs, the drugs can also induce these effects without any help.

This could explain the documented cases of violence committed by individuals who were given psychiatric medications by pharmacy mistake—say, Celexa instead of Celebrex—though they lacked any criminal history or history of mental illness. Susceptibility to side effects may eventually boil down to otherwise benign or even beneficial immune alleles (associated with natural defenses against some cancers or infections) or mitochondrial polymorphisms (associated with high IQ) that do not on their own manifest as mental health disorders—that is, if anyone would investigate vulnerable subsets. As with vaccine injuries, there seems to be official resistance to researching drug-susceptible subsets when the very pursuit may stand as an admission that something is wrong with a profitable product line.

The final argument for taking a closer look at the effects of certain modern medications is history. Nonideological mass murder is a relatively new phenomenon. To clarify, “nonideological” is meant as a reference to perpetrators who act without ties to militant organizations, lack financial or other pragmatic motive or whose motives are senselessly convoluted and in direct conflict with the identity of the killer (i.e., a Jewish Dylan Klebold suddenly identifying with Nazis; a mixed-race individual identifying with Nazis and the IRA; disproportionately petty grievances; someone irreligious who suddenly hears the voice of God or who sends victims off to “meet God,” etc.).

There has always been ideological mass violence associated with militant hierarchies, whether religious or political or connected to organized crime. There have been serial killers for as long as anyone remembers, and Americans have always been heavily armed.  But despite all the brutality and harshness and gun-totingness of past eras that— under the theory that trauma or violent video games and access to fire arms cause modern mass violence— would certainly have spurred something similar to present horrors,  it’s nearly impossible to find cases that genuinely resemble today’s high profile peacetime mass murders prior to 1966.

1966 was the date of the Bell Tower massacre committed by Charles Whitman, who had been taking amphetamines and possibly one of the then-new MAO inhibitors for his migraines— a combination known to cause psychosis.  But before 1966, reported cases of nonideological random mass murder were vanishingly rare around the world. Even the extent to which these few ideologically ambiguous instances are hashed over and argued about only highlights their scarceness. And the only historic “rash” of motiveless mass murders that existed before the 1980s were 19th century Javan knife rampages, though these weren’t actually a departure from the med madness theory. The latter were associated with the first and lesser known Opium War and the killers were widely reported to be drugged out of their minds.

All the same, despite history, clinical evidence and basic humanity, the media correlation between diagnostic categories and mass violence continues, ironically increasing the drum beat for mandated treatment. This certainly benefits the media’s corporate sponsors, since the pharmaceutical industry spends upward of $4.5 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising alone, not to mention the $57.5 billion and rising that industry spends on drug promotion (an old figure that's likely been doubled over the past 12 years as a reader points out).

The inquisitorial environment created by omission of preventable, man-made factors in modern mass murder and default conclusions that natural born mass killers are all around us certainly benefits psychiatric institutions held by the massive private prison industry that consumes taxpayer dollars. It benefits the private security industry that makes up 80% of the NSA and is largely responsible for the country’s current Orwellian trajectory. And these associations also feed misleading information into a public need for devils to wear horns—for mass killers to be endowed with supposedly inherent traits that are easily identifiable: just turn that age-old witch-hunting hysteria lens on special education departments, group homes and the odd kid next door.  

The bogeyman construct of the autistic killer may make people feel safer, though in the end the red herring will make us all doubly unsafe. Not only have these random mass crimes killed hundreds of innocent people within a few decades and stand to kill hundreds more in the coming years, they spread the kind of terror that—in the absence of clear answers on cause— can brutalize society and easily double back as rationales to make further incursions on everyone’s civil rights.

Adriana Gamondes is a contributing editor to Age of Autism and one of the blog’s Facebook administrators.   

 

Comments

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brb

the medical IQ in our culture is so unbelievably low that it defies belief. Even among medical professionals. It's time to actually use our brains and THINK instead just regurgitating what someone else said.

It is amazing that even a uneducated adult would not be able to comprehend the following: (The majority of doctors and supposedly educated people don't!)

Medications would very unlikely correct the cause of mental illness since the biological abnormalities that would need to be corrected have not been identifed. The chemical imbalance theory has been dead for decades. No one knows how medications work. It's a russian roulette game not a genuine medical treatment.

It is even more unlikely that medications could correct the abnormalities in a developmental disorder as no one knows what they are and there are probably many while medications treat target just a spefic part of the metabolism or a specific pathway.

Most of the studies showing medications to be a effective are short term trials either done by the drug companies or by researchers that receive consulting fees. That is called BIA$.

Behavioural therapies can not really correct complex brain abnormalities as seen in autism. Would you believe they can treat Parkinson's disease or MS? Of course not. So why do you believe they can treat another neurological condition?

Correlation is not causation. Often it is unfortunately.

We see a lot of whining on how many people with depression and other mental illness do often not receive medical treatment and how important it is to get anyone on drugs and how many people who should be aren't.

Turns out that almost all of the shooters were taking drugs and did undergo psychiatric treatment at the time they lost it. Were are all the mentally ill untreated shooters that are not on drugs?

There should be many of them. Turns out you hardly see them!

So there is no correlation whatsoever!


Shelley Tzorfas

It is the increase in vaccines that brought about a need for kids to be medicated..The kids have been shot with Aluminum, Thimerosal/mercury and other toxins, but when you consider all the animal products; cells of pigs, cows (Containing Bovine Leukemia parts too small to be removed from the vaccine) parts of rats brains, dog kidney cells, monkeys, chicks, insects and others, do not be surprised when so many begin to act like animals! The animal products are DWARFING the normal emotional state of equilibrium.

Adriana

Aline and Grey one-- There is no bottom. Those are heartbreaking stories but need to be told.

Reader

@Linda1, you've gotta love the psychopathic media. Haha even Rupert Murdoch is clearly desperate to pitch Carson instead of Trump. We all know why Trump would scare Murdoch and his GSK pHarma ties!

kapoore

Thank you for turning the spotlight on prescription drug use and abuse. I had a recent personal experience with a relative who practically died while coming off opium type painkillers. He is not autistic. The paramedics said death from prescription drugs was so common as to be routine. They also said he was lucky to be alive because his wife was there to call 9 11. He had multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors and had in the last six months used 21 different prescriptions. When you hear the ambulance sirens wailing day and night a common reason might be prescription drug overdose. So in addition to the autism epidemic, the massive corruption at the CDC where falsified studies become the basis for state mandates, abuse of autistic children in institutions and so on there is a major crisis in prescription drug abuse that is also killing, maiming, young people. Hmmm jeepers creepers.

Barry

Modern Mass Murder and Autism: Sometimes it’s Just the Drugs

************

Focusing on the side effects of the drugs which treat the side effects of vaccines, is kinda like hitting the Outer Bull's eye in darts.

Although you're really really close … you're still missing the target.

Linda1

I heard the infamous Tom Insel interviewed on the radio today. With all the authority and BS he could muster, he explained that mental illness does not cause violent behavior IF - ONLY IF it is treated adequately, and unfortunately, he explained, mental illness is either not being treated at all or not adequately, and that's why we're seeing this horrible violence.

Meanwhile, antidepressants are supposedly the third most prescribed drugs in America. Not even including antipsychotics and other psych drugs. According to Insel, more prescriptions need to be written.

It was all I could do to not throw up.

Angus Files

and another interesting thought is as we know the News is not the News just Corporation News.

Chris Hedges

The Myth of the Free Press

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_the_free_press_20141026

MMR RIP

Angus Files

on here it is well documented that a lot of our kids do not respond to medication and show aggression ,and are a lot worse on any medication.

We know our kids cant swallow a glass of milk as it will result in every type of adverse behaviour.

The really sad thing is, it is going to happen again,and again, and again, until Pharma is taken control of.

MMR RIP

Benedetta

Is it true that Prozac and all the SSRIs main - most important ingredient is fluoride?

I think Prozac use to be called fluoxetine, and then they change it.

If that is true? Then it makes you wonder if they just didn't make it up about it helping prevent cavities.

aline

RISPERDAL+ ÉPIVAL + BIPHENTIN+ SEROQUEL ..Québec Canada PSY Michel Lemay and Sylvain Palardy and Éric Fombonne MCH Montréal Medhi is a little boy aged 10. He was born in Quebec from an Algerian mother who is engineer and a father whose own goal is to destroy his wife through their son Medhi.
The story is very long to tell, but Mehdi’s mother and grand-mother have been fighting for since 2008 to have him back home.
When he was 2 years old, Mehdi had a speech delay which was transformed after some years to the diagnosis of autism. The mother never believed in this diagnosis after plenty of medical evaluations which do not correspond to autism. Unfortunately, with the help of Quebec youth protection services and the father, Medhi was heavily medicated and is now prisoner of his mind and ... of the Quebec youth services.
He could sing and talk when he was 4, he does not talk anymore at the age of 10 because of the heavy medication.
He was happy when living with his mother, he does not smile anymore.
You can see plenty of video from this child until the age of 4 when he lived with his mother :
You can see plenty of video from this child until the age of 4 when he lived with his mother :
At the swimming pool :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=676042285810453
Medhi playing :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=672721239475891&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
Mehdi biking :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=672712819476733&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
Mehdi does not want to go to school (after a week’s holiday spent with his mother... the father has the custody of Medhi and after he will let him go to the social services, he says he wants to die).
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671817139566301&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
Mehdi wants to eat and open the fridge :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671810552900293&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
Mehdi playing with his cousin :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671797209568294&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
Mehdi playing with a puzzle
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671615552919793&set=vb.645774755503873&type=2&theater
How is Mehdi now?
From a smiling baby to a zombie...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=171202709740790
Summer 2010 : Mehdi is “frozen” because of Risperdal. He cried all the time after he was separated from his mother (and given to the father fist who left him after to the social services) and became very anxious. As a response, doctors gave him risperdal and restricted the visits of his mother (from 2 hours per week to one 30 minutes a month).
Summer 2010 : after 9 months in Risperdal, Mehdi lost his speech and became incontinent (he was not any more since the age of 2).
In the last slides, you can see how is Mehdi now.
This is the Facebook page of the mother :https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soutien-à-lenfant-drogué-au-Risperdal-et-enlevé-à-sa-mère-par-le-DPJ/645774755503873
As a mother, I consider it’s a crime against this child!
As a mother, I consider that medication is for curing people not for destroying them.
As a mother, I consider that it is a great scandal that a child goes to school with heavily handicapped people although he has a normal intelligence. If he lost his speech, it’s because of Risperdal.
His mother and grand-mother are reliable persons who are ready to take him back home. Whatever the situation, it is absolutely inconceivable that doctors don’t let the child develop normally or improve his skills. Because of Risperdal, Mehdi cannot write or read. They consider him as a laboratory animal testing a medication on him.
What can we do now?
In whatever language, support the mother in a Facebook page!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soutien-à-lenfant-drogué-au-Risperdal-et-enlevé-à-sa-mère-par-le-DPJ/645774755503873
And if you have experience in giving media coverage to this scandal, don’t hesitate to let her know!
video of Mehdi on youtube before and after medicationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn9T1HwjFNY
http://histoiredegregoire.over-blog.com/article-the-story-of-medhi-124403863.html

Grey one

This article about a suicide of a lovely young 19 yr old in the cymbalta trials.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2005/09/drug_secrets.html
Thanks for a sadly pertinent article.
Wish journalists in mainstream were as adept.

Lisa

In the past year a study was published that strongly suggested the conventional wisdom on SSRIs has been completely wrong from the start. Naturally, it registered in the media for about a split second.

A respected scientist reviewed all the rat studies and reported that they pointed to depression being associated with HIGH serotonin levels, not LOW serotonin levels. Since SSRIs increase serotonin, they actually make depression WORSE, at least initially. But the brain doesn't like SSRIs, so it responds by launching its own defense against the drug, which results in serotonin levels coming down. For a time, serotonin may actually level off while on SSRI drugs. However, the effect is temporary, and the serotonin shoots right back up again unless the underlying illness is addressed (which hardly anyone is even trying to do).

Thus, in summary, SSRIs initially can be expected to make depression worse, which would explain why young people in particular would be inclined to act impulsively, committing suicide or homicide, in the early stages of SSRI treatment.

SSRIs also are not capable of balancing brain chemistry. The brain does not like SSRIs, so it shifts in response, and everyone eventually loses -- the brain, the drugs, the person, and society.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Adriana, for the above compilation and presentation. I hope we'll soon see an increased understanding of the risks of many substances currently classified as "healthcare."

I also wonder if the most culpable gateway drug(s) for setting up violent outcomes is/are injected with intent to create at least one long-term effect...something I would like to see vaccinated vs. never-vaccinated research look at.

Adriana

Thanks to everyone for the insights, particularly the personal notes and the added information, some of which has been incorporated.

Adriana

@David M. Burd-- Didn't miss it! It's in there with a link leading to the series: "On the list is the anti-malarial drug Lariam which was investigated several years ago by Age of Autism editor Dan Olmsted and UPI’s Mark Benjamin following a spate of murder-suicides on an American army base."

Leah

I get really tired of hearing the phrase "he didn't take his medication" which has become a way of blaming patients for their symptoms. Some or many of these drugs cause such upsetting and intolerable side effects that it is practically impossible to tolerate them and live any sort of life. A friend of mine recently was prescribed an anti-depressant after he lost his job and he was horrified by the way it made him feel. These medications may help some people, but the idea that anyone who won't take them is the main problem doesn't seem accurate to me.

Margaret

My son spent 18 months taking medication for seizures that probably didn't exist. (He has subclinical issues, and he may have had a seizure that resulted in a broken shoulder, which was why he was given medication.) He became increasingly violent on the medication. Before medication, I never had to hide from him in the bathroom. I couldn't say that while he was on medication. It took about two years to get him back to normal after I pulled him off everything. As he was sleeping less and getting more agitated, his medical providers became more insistent that it was all a matter of autism and no, not ever, nope, not possible to blame the medication. Physicians are simply not trustworthy. As far as I can tell, when they start practicing medicine, they take the oath of hypocrisy.

Christine

This mother said she is a nurse. If she were an RN, she'd say RN. She's very authoritative in her reply, but she's not very medically knowledgable- her pathology seems to be more right wing authoritarian personality. Which may explain why she bragged about all the loaded guns and full magazines she kept in the home, and called states who would abridge gun owners' rights (such as background checks) "lame states." This kid may have been impaired by meds, but his mother sure didn't help. To think she was giving advice to others dealing with ASD is ludicrous, especially vaccine advice- well, it would be laughable, if we didn't know what he was going to do.

david m burd

Adriana, Thanks so much!

I might add some info connected to your stating $4.5 Billion Direct To Consumer annual spending by Pharma pushing their drugs.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) published January 3, 2008 an extensive article by Authors Gagnon and Lexchin: It was titled: "The Cost of Pushing Pills: A New Estimate of Pharmaceutical Promotion Expenditure in the United States." Here is their summary for year 2004:

"Manufacturers spend more money on promotion than on research and development (R&D). In the United States, which represents half of the global pharmaceutical market in terms of sales, the industry is estimated to have spent US $57.5 billion in 2004 on drug promotion, as compared with $31.5 billion on R&D (Gagnon & Lexchin, 2008). Around one quarter of sales revenues (24.4%) were spent on promotion, as compared with 13% on R&D."

These expenditures are for direct promotions to doctors, nurses, institutions, insurance companies, etc. They are IN ADDITION to Direct To Consumer ads.

I hope everybody has read this carefully. Since that was back in 2004, it's clear that annual Pharma Promotion Spending today in 2015 is certainlly double the 2004 $57.5 Billion cited 11 years ago; to over $115 Billion THIS YEAR, in the U.S. alone.

david m burd

Bob Moffitt, Dan Olmsted and a Colleague about 10 years ago did Investigative Articles on the anti-milarial drug called Lariam (Mefloquine) showing it was a direct cause of psychotic murders and suicides by U.S. Military soldiers that all going to the MidEast had to take.

This psychotic-causing Lariam drug was further the Topic of Congressional Hearings soon after Dan's articles were published. Lariam has FINALLY - 10 years too late - been dropped by the U.S. Military (whereas all other nations' military never really used it because they realized how dangerous it was, causing psychotic behavior).

Dan has further referenced his discoveries on the Lariam topic here on AoA, several times; you have apparently missed these past discussions.

Benedetta

Going off their meds makes it sound like that it allowed this crazy person's mental illness to re-emerge

While the truth is: Withdrawal of that drug actually causes judgement problems, mood disorders and deep - deep depression even in a healthy, normal person.

John Stone

Thanks Adriana - remarkable to see this stuff.

Also, horrifying report today by Johanna Ryan on DavidHealy.org:

http://davidhealy.org/study-329-by-the-standards-of-the-time/

Bob Moffitt

Early this year .. maybe late last year .. CBS "60 minutes" reported that 22 .. retired and active .. US military members .. commit suicide every DAY in the United States.

When I first heard Steve Croft state that number .. I immediately thought he had surely misspoke .. the number of daily military suicides couldn't possibly be "22 a day". I was wrong and Steve was right.

In any event .. it has been reported that the military began an investigation to learn why so many of their former and present members are committing suicide .. but .. I haven't heard if the number of daily suicides has been decreased as a result of what they learned.

Anybody know the latest statistics .. or .. what measures the military has instituted to reduce the numbers of suicides?

In any event .. how is it possible for this ongoing tragedy to continue without SOMEONE investigating how many of those suicide victims had been prescribed SSRI's for a whole myriad of problems .. the result of 10 years of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan .. such as .. anxiety, depression, PTSD, sleeplessness, fatigue, on and on?

Is it just me .. or .. isn't it odd this military suicide phenomenon is occurring simultaneously with the growing number of "deranged individual" violent attacks on innocent civilians?

It can't be explained by claiming easy access to guns is responsible .. because the military has ALWAYS had easy access to guns.

By the way .. there have been a number of high profile NFL players who have committed suicide over recent years .. and .. these suicides are reported to be the result of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI's) via concussions suffered during games.

Again .. left unexamined .. is whether or not SSRI's .. routinely prescribed for individuals suffering post concussion neurological symptoms .. are in any way responsible for inducing tragic deaths.

I know .. correlation does not mean causation .. but .. jeepers .. are we supposed to ignore all correlation to plausible contributing factors to suicides and violent attacks .. such as .. SSRI's .. because .. those products are just too profitable to their industry?

AND THE BAND PLAYS ON .. AND ON ....

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