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Weekly Wrap Up: Suicide, Mayhem, and the Rx Effect

Keep Calm Write OnBy Dan Olmsted

Our humble blog has published a number of excellent articles in the wake of the Newtown mass shooting, pointing out the lack of relationship to the killer's supposed autism diagnosis, and looking at whether the use of psychiatric drugs could have been a factor in his behavior. We still don't know what drugs, if any, he may have taken, but as several writers have pointed out, the link between such events and the kinds of medication being given routinely to troubled young men is indisputable.

Indisputable, but largely ignored by the mainstream media and medicine. In any one case, it is impossible to "prove" the drug played a role, so we are left with abstract discussions of adverse event labels. Then when we get down to cases like Newtown, we wait and wait for official reports, and are reminded that any evidence in this one instance is necessarily anecdotal. Meanwhile, senseless deaths pile up.

That's not good enough. We need a robust national discussion about whether any drug is acceptable that, as a "side effect," can lead to mass casualties among people not even taking it.  And that's where my previous reporting on a totally different drug, called Lariam or mefloquine, remains instructive to me. That anti-malaria pill has been linked to psychosis, depression, suicide, and homicidal violence so many times and ways that there is really no question about its capacity to cause those things. And yet the drug rolls on, the denial continues, and when an inexplicable death or outburst occurs, no one even thinks to raise the queation. It's a familiar pattern, and I'm sure that's how Pharma likes it.

But here are two recent cases that ought to raise exactly those questions. You may have heard the Job Price reports that one of the most senior SEAL commanders, Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, committed suicide in Afghanistan last month.

To anyone familiar with the military's elite Special Forces, this sounds very strange. These highly trained operatives are used to stress and have been vetted for mental health problems. Of course, bad things happen, but before deciding this is one more casualty of frequent deployments or family stress, the question needs to be asked: Given that he is of an age to have served multiple tours in combat zones, and given that Afghanistan is one of the places where the military routinely prescribed mefloquine, did he take it? Did he exhibit any of the signs of toxicity like anxiety, troubled dreams, paranoia, etc.?

Sadly, the question is relevant even if he had not taken it recently. The drug is fat soluble and easily passes through the blood-brain barrier, where its half-life is exceptionally long. There are countless veterans who continue to suffer disabling mental and physical effects from the drug.

The military vows a full investigation, but that's a laugh. The Pentagon has a long and miserable record looking the other way when this drug, which it invented and licensed, is a plausible suspect in suicides or homicides, starting with its sickening coverup of the string or murder-suicides at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, among Special Forces soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan.

Now we have a top Special Forces officer killing himself a decade later. Meanwhile, the military's suicide rate has continued to rise to one a day despite all the therapy, awareness, and other interventions announced with great fanfare. In fact, environmental, not strictly emotional, factors are surely at work but resolutely ignored, including the massive over-medication of troops for everything from an imagined anthrax threat to psychiatric drugs to suppress anxiety.

Kate middleton nurseThe second case at first glance seems preposterous to speculate about in this context: The death of Jacintha Saldanha, who slashed her wrists and hung herself in what appeared to be humiliation after connecting a prank calerl pretending to be the Queen inquiring about Kate Middleton.

From the beginning this was obviously an out-of-proportion response to a mild embarrasment. The two radio deejays involved were mortified that a benign prank had been followed by a death; the head of the station pointed out that such a horrible outcome "could not have reasonably been anticipated."

It has subsequently been revealed that there was a good deal more to the story. Saldanha had tried suicide twice in the past year. According to The Australian:

"Indian and British media claim that Saldanha attempted suicide on December 30 [2011] with an overdose of pills during a family visit to India. The London Daily Mail reported yesterday that Saldanha survived after being rushed to hospital but tried to take her own life nine days later by jumping from a building.

"Saldanha was admitted to the Father Muller Medical College Hospital in Mangalore for treatment for head injuries and was then transferred to the psychiatric ward where she was treated for depression. On her release, she was given a nine-month course of anti-depressants."

So she was on anti-depressants, which may in some cases raise suicide risks. And her first attempt, as far as we know, came when she was visiting her family in a part of India where malaria is rampant. Was she taking mefloquine, or another in that family of anti-malaria drugs with known psychoactive properties? It's seems unusual to go visit your family in your homeland and try killing yourself when you get there.

It is easy to dismiss this line of inquiry as rampant speculation. But someone has to do it. Someone has to ask whether a veteran SEAL commander's suicide was triggered by a toxic drug, or whether a nurse who had recently traveled to a malarial area, and twice tried to kill herself there and in the days after, was still so fragile that even the small matter of a prank phone call could push her to the unthinkable.

The failure to ask, let alone answer, these questions is endemic to the drug-sponsored media and medical culture we're living in, as is the random acts of self-harm and violence that increasingly affect us all. But I think we all can sense a change is coming.

--

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Comments

Lou

"To anyone familiar with the military's elite Special Forces, this sounds very strange. These highly trained operatives are used to stress and have been vetted for mental health problems."

Please allow me to speak freely. Anyone who has seen 70 or more years in the USA and is paying attention can tell you that things "that sound very strange" are occurring on an almost daily basis.

Some Recent Things in the Military that "Sound Strange"

o Navy Seals do NOT commit suicide

o After the raid that "killed Osama Bin Laden" the members of seal team 6, those seals involved in the raid, were privately protesting that the details of this raid were blatantly false.

o 22 SEALS from seal team 6 were killed when Afghan Insurgents Shot Down Helicopter transporting them. "insurgents" did not shoot down the seals.

o Each and every seal on this earth KNOWS that seals are being murdered and they have a good idea who is doing it. These SEALS are smart and tough. The enemies of the USA have acquired a formidable fore. Welcome aboard SEALS!

o Ranger Pat Tillman did not commit suicide in Afghanistan. Pat Tillman was murdered. The Army chain of command up to and including the three star general in charge of Afghanistan operations covered up this murder.

o Most Rangers on this earth KNOW Ranger Pat Tillman was murdered.

o More active Military "commit suicide" (SSRI drugs et al?) than are killed by the "enemy"

o Big Picture: The US Military is being used to set up "governments" controlled by Muslim Radicals in the middle east and elsewhere. This is being done to foment a holy religions war, the most destructive type of war, between the Christan and the Muslim religions, both of whom are currently largely peaceful.

o The people who rule this earth are not good people. The USA is currently controlled at the highest political levels by these people.

Benedetta

Adriana:
A very well written article and a lot to think on.

You will get no argument from me
about saftey, human rights, the possiblity of making things worse than better.

After all these are the same association that thought lobotomies was a brillant discovery.

Adriana

Shannon-- "lone gunman" as far as inexplicable mass murder. One not gang or mob related, not ideologically motivated by someone with militant ties, not stalking/sexually motivated, not financially motivated and not the serial killer profile. Those are the "classics" as in "always been around."

I have to say the records are spotty on the history of these crimes.

Jen

RIP, Aaron Swartz (cofounder of Reddit, activist in Demand progress), fighter for Internet and information freedom. Obviously he was a threat to the government/ industrial complex who want a monopoly on information. Looking at some of his quotes, one gets the feeling of a deeply idealistic, beautiful mind. When he says.. "or a plan has gone horribly awry" one wonders if he was grappling with some regret over who/what bought Reddit and larger issues of justice that he would have been aware of. I'm starting to wonder if alot of the Internet itself is becoming a bit of a joke- taken over, posing as objective but controlling information- "Wikipedia" and "WOT" (Web of "trust") being some examples. Perhaps he was "suicided." One thing is for sure, most citizens are wakiing up to the control; you only see a few trolls with their pro-censorship agenda. MIT will no longer attract the brightest and best minds. People like him will not apply.

shannon wasserman

Most of the mass murders in the 20s were related to Prohibition or domestic violence but 21 of them were the public mass murders (from what I've read). What I find interesting is that the suicide rate has been very consistent since 1950. I don't know if it was higher, lower or the same, previously. The use of anti depressants has sky rocketed, but no change. Just so you know, I think most "normal" people need an hour of exercise a day, instead of a pill.

Jeannette Bishop

re shannon's quote:

The peak mass murder rate in 1929 sounds to me like it could also be associated with the Prohibition black market? The Amendment was repealed at the end of 1933. Were other drugs possibly also peddled with the alcohol?

I've been trying to figure out when the combination of thimerosal and aluminum salts in vaccination is first used widely in the U.S. NVIC says aluminum was used with pertussis vaccine in the early 1940s, then combined with diptheria, tetanus, and thimerosal. It was recommended for use in 1947. The link below also mentions the first case study published in 1948 showing brain inflammation and damage after this vaccine. I do not have a good idea of what age it was generally given at the time, but is this the first time those two metals were injected into U.S. infants? And is this a possible explanation for why the mass murder rate "began surging again in the 1970s through 1990s" (per shannon's quote from Slate.com) as these children reach adulthood?

http://www.nvic.org/Myths-and-Facts.aspx


The Mother Jones article on lead and violent crime is also interesting, but the delayed graph does not show quite the same drop off of crime as the use of leaded in gas.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

Of course the exposure to injected Hg/Al was beginning to increase about at the point the two lines on the graph seem to diverge.

shannon wasserman

If someone considers Howard Unrue the first "lone gun man" I think they have skipped over earlier examples.

no vac

Aaaron Swartz, the internet freedom fighter, has be suicided.

http://www.naturalnews.com/038650_Aaron_Swartz_suicide_assassination.html

Cherry Sperlin Misra

I agree that the Indian nurse may have been taking anti malarial medication that caused hallucinations. I have earlier described my English friend who was taking such a medication for prevention of malaria when she came to India for a visit and she found herself looking up at the fan and seeing huge knives whirling around. Somehow she regained her composure and realized that her back was pressed against the wall in terror. Fortunately she realized that this effect was caused by the drug. I do not know the name of the medication.

Adriana

Shannon-- the devil is always in the details and like the TV detectives say, the more time passes from a crime, the fewer details are available and cases go cold. But two things stand out about "inexplicable massacres" in North American history: they go from vanishingly rare to common over the past century and there are some overlapping clues about earlier non-ideological killers about whom little is otherwise known.

For instance, Howard Unruh died in a psychiatric hospital in 2009. He's considered the first "lone gunman" in American history to commit an "inexplicable" mass civilian attack. What little was known about him-- WWII vet, studied to be a pharmacist, went nuts and killed people in his neighborhood after someone stole his gate.

During WWII, use of amphetamines by the US military to keep combatants "up to speed" was greater than use by the rest of the world. Speed stored in depots in Japan for use by US soldiers poured into the black market setting off an epidemic of amphetamine addiction. I don't know if amphetamines are as "efficient" in driving people into violent psychosis as modern meds but it's said that the "amphetamine-like" properties of Prozac are part of why SSRIs cause psychosis.

There is almost no available biographical information about Michael Slobodian, the Brampton Centennial school shooter who opened fire on his high school in 1975 and is considered the first "school shooter" in history in terms of students who mass murder in their own schools (Barbosa in 1974 reportedly was not aiming at his school). The 1970's was well into the Ritalin/Valium era and no one knows whether Slobodian even saw a psychiatrist or did street drugs, which were all over the place at the time.

There are other famous cases which aren't drug associated on the surface but start showing some overlaps on closer look. The mother of Marc Lepine, the Montreal mass murderer, was director of nursing at Montreal Hospital when Lepine was a teenager and Lepine later worked for the hospital and was fired before his assault for increasingly "agitated, aggressive" behavior. Hospitals now have lockdown systems on prescription drug supplies because of the number of hospital staff who would steal meds. Was this true of Lepine or had his medical professional mother sent him to a psychiatrist? His sister died of a drug overdose.

Mother Jones also put out a list which did not include any reference to psych drug associations, though the majority on the list are on many of the published "psych drug killer lists." MJ's line up is kind of a hodgepodge of the more "classic" domestic violence motivated killers, militant killers like Huberty and the more modern drug-associated mass murders. Going back to the earlier part of the timeline, they left out the fact that Carl Brown was treated by a psychiatrist just prior to his mass attack and there's no mention of his militant racism. It only says Brown's wife claimed he "refused psychological help" which is misleading. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map?page=2

What's so disturbing is how much more frequent nonideological mass attacks become after 1987.Here's a list for 2012 alone:
http://www.businessinsider.com/mass-murders-in-2012-2012-12

Wiki hosts an American school shooting list which is telling. Early on there are wild-west type duels in schools, tons of domestic murders of spurned suitors killing school teachers, a few teachers going ballistic and the usual revenge killings aimed at specific targets over specific grievances. As you go towards the 1970's, the crimes start becoming more gang-related with a few "inexplicable" murder suicides showing up every few years. Then towards the 90's the prevalence of "inexplicable" multiple murders starts to lead the pack and escalate. In 2012, there were 18, many of which fall under the "inexplicable" category.

shannon wasserman

I though this was interesting from article "Going postal pre pistol, Slate.com "The U.S. mass murder rate does not seem to rise or fall with the availability of automatic weapons. It reached its highest level in 1929, when fully automatic firearms were expensive and mostly limited to soldiers and organized criminals. The rate dipped in the mid-1930s, staying relatively low before surging again in the 1970s through 1990s. Some criminologists attribute the late-century spike to the potential for instant notoriety: Beginning with Charles Whitman’s 1966 shooting spree from atop a University of Texas tower, mass murderers became household names. Others point out that the mass murder rate fairly closely tracks the overall homicide rate. In the 2000s, for example, both the mass murder and the homicide rates dropped to their lowest levels since the 1960s."

Cynthia Cournoyer

Thanks for bringing this up Dan. I agree, that with all the training these men (and others) go through, it couldn't be simply their experience that sends them over the edge. With drugs that are intended to alter mental states, it isn't such a leap to assume that something could also go wrong. As far as the over medication of our population, and especially those in the service, when is it too much? What is the breaking point in the brain?

I would like to hear more about the coverage of all the concussions in pro football. If concussions can be implicated in "brain cell damage" and that could lead to suicide, then why couldn't the damage done by chemicals also lead to suicide?

ANGUS FILES

Jeannette Bishop if any good can come from such a terrible shooting it gives us all a bit of hope...but the cover up , lies/spin, that will be going on to suit political gain will be beyond belief...as we all know oh! to well on here..

no vac

Like the others, I also don't see a positive change coming, the government is becoming more fascist (in Mussolini's sense), as it became a corporatocracy - a merge of corrupted politicians with corrupted, often genocidal corporations. IMO, the real change will come only, when the whole system collapses together with corporations, because most people in the US will be brain damaged and the US will turn to a III-rd world nation. It will not be a positive change, of course, but will be a change. The only thing we can do now is to inform as many people as we can about toxic meds and vaccines, hoping that parents will protect their children. The resistance is our only tool for fighting this system of oppression and medical genocide. Sorry for pessimism, but that how I see the situation.

Jeannette Bishop

I'm not certain, but in the public commentary of articles about these recent shootings, to me, it seems like there is greater awareness of the frequent involvement of anti-psych drugs and violence.

For Shannon

Hi Shannon

What are the earlier examples?

Shannon Wasserman

I don't think we can say Lanza didn't have mental health history and the Texas shooter may be considered first but I found several similar examples earlier in time.

ANGUS FILES

Great Dan ..also an article i noted a bit back..

"But there is another factor that might be playing a role in the increasing rates of the disorder, one that has escaped attention: the military’s use of stimulant medications, like Ritalin and Adderall, in our troops

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/why-are-we-drugging-our-soldiers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Adriana

Shannon--

"New" is probably relative. Charles Whitman is generally noted as the first school shooter who fit the modern profile of non-ideological mass crime performed in peace time by an individual who lacked long term history of severe mental illness or disability, who acted alone, not as part of a militant operation, made no attempt to escape or conceal his identity, etc. Otherwise history is riddled with massacres and mass killers.

Linda

There will be no change, because we are powerless to bring about change. Somewhere along the line our government went from a representative democracy to a new form of government that arose in the 1900's. We are now a corporatocracy dressed up to look like a representative democracy. Absolutely nothing will change unless the change benefits those in power. All public attempts toward regaining control will be twisted and manipulated to benefit the corporations.
Want proof? The Supreme Court ruled that corporations can freely influence elections. Corporations now choose elected officials, not the people. We get to choose from the small pool presented to us by those in power.

Congressman Dan Burton, set to retire soon, found himself powerless in trying to remove mercury from vaccines. I believe Representatives Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings, et. al., are sincere when they talk about change. Nothing changes. They are powerless. Government committees like the IACC are chaired with loyal corporatists guaranteeing that there will be no change. The autism community's wishes were not honored with respect to who would chair that committee because it's all a show. Barack Obama wanted universal health care. Instead, what we got was a good deal for those in power - the corporations.

Dr. Oz has a history of imploring the American public on many episodes of his show and in print, to avoid GMOs, agricultural toxins and low nutrient Big Ag "food". In 2012, his wife narrated Jeffrey Smith's documentary, "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Then, all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, Dr. Oz uncharacteristically authors a Time Magazine article slamming organics (and organic consumers) and supporting GMO and Big Ag. He previously admitted that he has not vaccinated his own children, yet now he is on the air promoting vaccines.

Americans are taught in government schools how to follow along, to keep in line, to be good consumers and good workers (to keep the economy i.e. the corporations, going), to respect authority and above all, to conduct all our thinking within and never outside of the assigned box - which may explain why most Americans seem to be oblivious.

Response to the latest mass murder is for mandatory mental health treatment (i.e. drugs) of anyone deemed to be potentially violent (which could apply to anyone that those in power would like to chemically lobotomize). American media is one big propaganda machine that swings into high gear whenever there is profit to be made or independent thought to sway. The only change I see coming is that there will be more oppression, more propaganda, more drugs, an even greater clampdown on the American Government (if that's possible). The machine will protect itself at all costs.

This is not exactly what our forefathers had in mind when they built into our government a system of checks and balances so that one branch of government couldn't become too powerful. They didn't plan for - couldn't have envisioned - other powers that would develop. The Constitution doesn't protect Americans from Corporations that would rise up to become more powerful than the three branches the forefathers designed.

shannon wasserman

Hi everyone, I just started reading about this a couple of days ago and I am curious what you think about a couple of points. From my browsing around the web it seems that 1. the suicide rate for men and women per 100,000 has been pretty much steady since 1950 and 2. When you google "long history of school shootings" you will come up with some articles that claim it isn't really a new phenomena.

I've read about the malaria drugs and it seems like they commonly cause paranoia and psychosis and military suicides have jumped dramatically.

cmo

With the rush to the flu vaccine this week, someone might state that there are only about 130 million doses available and that TWO THIRDS of Americans will NOT BE GETTING A VACCINE.

It would seem that with the children's deaths, the news media would be interviewing some of the parents of these children to help warn others, and sell more vaccines.

...Unless they are simply hyping up the problem or if some of the children who died were actually vaccinated.


Dr. Nancy and the 2009 H1N1 .....WORLD PANDEMIC Flu season.... that never really got going....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I05xIFyBIPs&feature=related

Thankfully......no one turned violent..... FIGHTING over access to the 2009 H1N1 flu shot.

Zed

I agree with Bob. As much as we'd like to see conventional opinion shift to holding psychiatric drugs responsible, the causes will be shifted to "societal ills."

I mean, after all, these are the same folks who are still saying the cause of autism is "mysterious." Maybe suicide will be the new epidemic.

Bob Moffitt

I wish it were so .. but .. I don't "sense a change coming" in regards to the damage being done by prescribed psychotrophic drugs.

What I do "sense" is the continuation of the ongoing "delay, deny, till the day they die" response by professional mental health associations, public health officials (FDA/CDC/IOM etc), highly paid professors from the best universities, editors of the most prestigious medical publications in the world .. and .. not to be forgotten .. a main-stream media that relies heavily upon the psychotrophic drug industry for millions of advertising dollars.

Yesterday in NYC, a disturbed man .. after threatening his wife and child with a knife .. burned down their apartment building .. killing some occupants .. then assaulted first responders to prevent them from any rescue attempt. Initial report claimed the man's wife said "he went off his meds recently".

Face it .. the pyschotrophic drug industry has the perfect "business plan" .. if someone commits a violent act while on the "meds" .. we will never know what "meds" he was on because that would be an invasion of his "privacy".
(The former SEAL "suicide" is an example of this)

However, if someone commits a violent act because he "went off his meds" .. he then becomes the perfect example of how important the meds are.

Either way .. THEY WIN.

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