Once-missing Virginia Tech mental health records regarding a student who killed 32 people and himself in a campus rampage were released Wednesday, 8/19/2009.
Read the full news article here.
Seung Hui Cho was reported to have been prescribed “depression” drugs.
During a 1991 Food and Drug Administration hearing, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a psychiatric watchdog group, was first to raise awareness about the serious risk of suicide and violent behavior linked to antidepressants.
CCHR says that mental health professionals today are continuing to protect their multi-billion dollar drug industry at the expense ofÂ victims of violenceÂ and their families. While unconscionable, it is predictable, as the same scenario unfolded following the Columbine school shooting, netting the mental health industry untold millions of dollars in government funding and more â€œrightsâ€ to scrutinize schoolchildrenâ€”all aimed at preventing another Columbine, all of which have failed.
CCHR says that mental health â€œexpertsâ€ have used theÂ Virginia TechÂ tragedy to push for mandatory mental health screening, psychiatric drug treatment and tougher commitment laws in a frightening Brave New World agenda which, if accepted, will only make matters worse and lead to further senseless massacres.
The idea that psychiatrists can predict or prevent a school shooting by screening students or treating them is a lie, CCHR says. There is no scientific means by which to predict violent behavior and the psychiatric community acknowledges that there is an 84% chance of incorrectly diagnosing a student as suicidal. The idea that the â€œriskâ€ of school violence can be minimized by drugging individuals, against their will, while committed to an institution, is also false. The truth is that neither the absence of such drugs, nor the failure to take them, is the problem.
CCHRâ€™s policy statement in response to these moves for mandated screening and treatment, warns:
Psychotropic Drugs and Violence
+Â Â Â Â Â Â Of the 1.5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. currently taking antidepressants, 4% could potentially become manic and violentâ€”potentially 60,000 potential time bombs driven to senseless acts of violence. Mandatory toxicology tests for psychotropic drug intake are needed in all cases of violent crime and suicide. Congressional Hearings are needed into the link between psychiatric drugs and school violence.
+Â Â Â Â Â Â Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, author of Prozac Backlash, says antidepressants could explain the rash of school shootings and mass-suicides over the last decade. Those taking antidepressants, he said, could â€œbecome very distraughtâ€¦.They feel like jumping out of their skin. The irritability and impulsivity can make people suicidal or homicidal.â€
+Â Â Â Â Â Â In September 2006, Dr. David Healy, director of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, and colleagues published the findings of their study of the antidepressant, Paxil, in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine stating: “We’ve got good evidence that the drugs can make people violent and you’d have to reason from that that there may be more episodes of violence.”
+Â Â Â Â Â Â In August 2006, The Archives of General Psychiatry published a study by Mark Olfson, MD, MPH stating that in children and adolescents, â€œthe risk of suicide attempts was nearly two times higher after antidepressant drug treatment compared with no antidepressant drug treatment.â€ In 2005, Norwegian researchers found that Paxil was seven times more likely to induce suicide in people taking it than those taking placebo.
Screening/Predicting Violent Behavior
It is not possible for psychiatrists to determine with any accuracy violent or criminal behavior and they should not be given any increased powers to vent their lack of science.
+Â Â Â Â Â Â Terrence Campbell writing in the Michigan Bar Journal, said, â€œThe accuracy with which clinical judgment predicts future events is often little better than random chanceâ€ and the rate of â€œerrors in predicting dangerousnessâ€ average â€œabout 85%.â€
+Â Â Â Â Â Â The Supreme Court rendered the opinion that â€œthe professional literature uniformly establishes that such predictions [of criminal behavior] are fundamentally of very low reliabilityâ€¦psychiatric testimony on the issue of future criminal behavior only distorts the fact-finding process.â€
+Â Â Â Â Â Â Legal experts say that involuntary commitment is especially problematic when based on a prediction that an individual may become violent or the potential for deterioration in the individual’s mental status without treatment because such assessment is rooted only in speculation.
The Case Against Enforced â€œTreatmentâ€
+Â Â Â Â Â Â Self-determined decisions about oneâ€™s treatment is an interest long protected by the common law and encompassed within the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Violation of this fails to recognize that forcing treatment counters any potential therapeutic benefits and can cause substantial injury to the individual.
+Â Â Â Â Â Â On June 30, 2006, the Alaska Supreme Court recognized that psychiatric drugs should not be easily forced on someone, stating: â€œPsychotropic drugs â€˜affect the mind, behavior, intellectual functions, perception, moods, and emotionâ€™ and are known to cause a number of potentially devastating side effectsâ€¦.â€ Further, â€œGiven the nature and potentially devastating impact of psychotropic medicationsâ€¦we now similarly hold that the right to refuse to take psychotropic drugs is fundamental.â€
Click here to download and read CCHRâ€™s publication, Psychiatric Drugs And Anger Management Curriculaâ€”A Perspective on School Violence.