Connecticut Shooting Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call for Federal Investigation of America’s  Failed Mental Health System

In the coming days, as a nation, we will respectfully bow our heads for those brief moments of silence in remembrance of the victims of Newtown, CT. Then, with the same outrage expressed at the murderous act, the nation must rise up and demand a sweeping investigation behind all the possible causes, including the mental health system itself.

According to news reports, the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, was a product of the mental health system and had been taking “medication” since the age of ten and reportedly seeing a psychiatrist from at least the age of 15.  Lanza’s mother reportedly told friends that Lanza “was getting worse” and “she was having trouble reaching him.” The questions that need to be answered is when did Adam Lanza first receive mental health treatment, what diagnoses did he receive and what drugs had he been prescribed over his short life.

The larger question is how many times does this senseless scenario have to play out before lawmakers finally acknowledge that the supporting data already exist and, to date, has repeatedly and deliberately been ignored. Between 1998 and 2012, fourteen school shootings occurred, taking the lives of 58 and wounding 109. All fourteen of those shooters were taking or withdrawing from a psychiatric drug and seven of them had been under the “care” of a psychiatrist or psychologist.

In other mass shootings, such as James Holmes, the suspected perpetrator of the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, it is known that Holmes was seeing psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, yet no mention has been made of what psychiatric drugs he had been prescribed.

The majority of these shooters had been prescribed psychiatric mind-altering drugs that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, for treatment of children under the age of 18. Yet, antidepressants are at the top of the list of drugs indicted in these shootings, including Prozac, Trazodone, Effexor, Celexa and Luvox, to name a few.

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Sign the Petition for Federal Investigation into the relationship between school shootings and psychiatric drugs.


Drugging our Troops

The Creation of Psychopharmaceutical’s Multi-Billion Dollar Market

CCHR International announces the third in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara exploring the epidemic of suicides and sudden deaths in the military and the skyrocketing use of psychiatric drugs being prescribed to soldiers and veterans.

In the third installment, O’Meara examines the history of the psychiatric-military alliance and how psychiatry has created a multi-billion dollar market for military psychiatrists and big pharma.

As has been well documented in the first two parts of this investigative series, the military is at a mental health crossroad. Soldiers are dying by suicide and other sudden unexplained deaths at record—even epidemic—levels; an epidemic that seems to have been spawned by nearly $2 billion the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have spent on antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs, despite international drug regulatory warnings of mania, psychosis, suicide and death. Even according to DoD’s own policy, “Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Psychiatric Conditions and Medications,” antipsychotics like Seroquel are disqualifiers for deployment.

Given that under the advice of mental health professionals suicides and other unexplained deaths still are increasing, why does Command continue to listen to what, for all practical purposes, appears to have miserably failed? Despite the fact that since 2009, mental health staffing has doubled in Afghanistan and a mental health survey of deployed troops found that stress levels among Service members in Afghanistan nearly tripled between 2005 and 2010.

Click here to read the full article now.

Another School Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug?

Federal Investigation Long Overdue

Fact: Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.

Fact: At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.)

Fact: Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.

Of the 14 shooters documented to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs, seven were seeing either a psychiatrist or psychologist. See the list of school shooters on psychiatric drugs by clicking here.

School shooters aren’t the only cases commonly found to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs; here is a list of 10 more recent murders and murder-suicides, committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in an additional 43 dead and 37 wounded.

Click the following links to view all documented drug regulatory warnings and studies on Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Anti-Anxiety, and ADHD drugs.

The correlation between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence and homicide is well documented — both by international drug regulatory warnings and studies, as well as by hundreds of cases where high profile acts of violence/mass murder were committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs.

While there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases — prescribed psychiatric drugs which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation.

It is an injustice that the general public are not being informed about the well documented links between psychiatric drugs and violence.

Contact your local, state and federal legislators and officials; contact your local schools and school boards; contact your state boards of education; contact your local and state police; contact your newspapers, radio and TV stations — let them know the proper questions to ask in every case of senseless violence or suicide:

  • Was the perpetrator subjected to psychiatric treatments prior to the violence?
  • Was the perpetrator on psychiatric drugs at the time of the violence?
  • Has the perpetrator been on psychiatric drugs in the past?

Watch the CCHR documentary video “Psychiatry’s Prescription for Violence” at Find Out! Fight Back!

DSM-5 Controversy in the News

It’s in the news. A lot.

The American Psychiatric Association board of trustees voted on December 1 to approve the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.)

Not everyone was pleased.

Professor of Social Work Jerome Wakefield at New York University was interviewed on NPR December 6. He was not particularly pleased. Speaking about DSM-5 labeling bereavement as a major depressive disorder, he said, “So you’re basically medicating people who are going to remit on their own, are probably going to do fine. I think given the side effects of medication, the uncertainties of medication, it’s a mistake to make it routine; to open up people to medication under these circumstances. We do want to help people who are suffering, but to re-label suffering as a mental disorder subjected to psychiatric treatment seems like opening the door to a very different way of thinking about ourselves and people that might not actually be so helpful after all.”

Professor Wakefield also wrote a scholarly article about this subject. In DSM-IV, bereavement was generally excluded from consideration as a major depressive disorder (called the “bereavement exclusion”), for the very real reason that this is a normal human emotion and most people recover just fine. The DSM-5 removes this exclusion, and here is what Professor Wakefield says about that: “…there is no scientific basis for removing the bereavement exclusion from the DSM-5.”

Brent Dean Robbins, PhD, director of the psychology program at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, was not pleased, and was quoted on saying, “…we believe strongly that the DSM-5 will not provide clinicians with the confidence that they are using a scientifically reliable and valid tool to asses the mental health of patients.”

Allen Francis, Professor Emeritus at Duke University and chairman of the DSM-IV task force, was not pleased. Here is what he says in The Huffington Post on December 3: “This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry. The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM-5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound. … Our patients deserve better, society deserves better, and the mental health professions deserve better. Caring for the mentally ill is a noble and effective profession. But we have to know our limits and stay within them. DSM-5 violates the most sacred (and most frequently ignored) tenet in medicine — First Do No Harm! That’s why this is such a sad moment.”

Well, we’ve been saying all along that there is no scientific basis for the DSM period. Watch the CCHR documentary DVD, “Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam,” for the truth of the matter. Show it to everyone you know. We have a few DVDs left; become a member of CCHR St. Louis this year and we’ll send you a complimentary DVD.

Psychiatrist forfeits license in Iowa

A former psychiatrist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) has surrendered his medical license to settle a complaint that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female patient.

An article in the November 21, 2012 Burlington Hawk Eye states that the Iowa Board of Medicine accepted the settlement with Sergio Paradiso, who was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with a mental health patient and violating professional boundaries for physicians. Paradiso had practiced in Iowa since 2000, and was also an associate professor at the University before resigning in August. The patient now has a lawsuit pending against Paradiso, and the malpractice insurer, Iowa Medical Mutual Insurance, obtained a court order stating it has no obligation to defend Paradiso or to cover any damages resulting from the case.

Click here for more information about psychiatric rape.

Innovation in Drug Discovery and Development

We were idly perusing, the President’s web site, when we came across a press release from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology dated September 25, 2012, about “Innovation in Drug Discovery and Development.” It has an interesting quote:

“…treatments for psychiatric diseases, which impose a tremendous burden on society, are frustratingly limited in their efficacy…”

The full report further says that, “…many major pharmaceutical companies are closing down or severely curtailing drug discovery programs…”

Unfortunately, the report recommends “doubling the output of innovative new medicines that meet critical public health needs over the next 10 to 15 years,” and “…the creation of a public-private ‘Partnership to Accelerate Therapeutics,’ involving representatives from the bio-pharmaceutical industry; the academic biomedical research and ethics community; physician societies and pharmacists; patient-focused research foundations and advocacy groups; healthcare providers and insurers; and the Federal Government.”

Without fully understanding the reasons why drugs are not effective for mental distress, nor the actual harm that these drugs do, they yet blindly recommend not just finding more of these drugs, but also accelerating their discovery, manufacture, and use in society.

Did you think the psychopharmaceutical industry was just going to roll over and die because we recognize the harm, the fraud, and the abuse?

You might want to express your opinion about psychiatric treatments, particularly psychiatric drugs, to your local, state and federal officials, to the White House, to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and to the authors of this particular press release. Then let us know who you contacted, briefly what you said, and what they said in response. Find Out! Fight Back! Do It Again!

The Man Versus the Therapeutic State

Read a fine remembrance of Dr. Thomas Szasz, by Senior Editor Jacob Sullum in Reason magazine: “He relentlessly attacked the ‘therapeutic state,’ the unhealthy alliance of medicine and government that blesses all sorts of unjustified limits on liberty. … I will always be grateful for Szasz’s courage and insight, and so should anyone who shares his passion against coercion.”

Dr. Szasz, co-founder of CCHR, passed away in September at the age of 92.

There are others who recognize the dangers, the fraud and abuse, within the psychiatric industry.

Robert Whitaker, in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, had some interesting things to say. Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. In 1955, psychiatrist E. H. Parsons, speaking about chlorpromazine (Thorazine) said, “We have to remember that we are not treating diseases with this drug. We are using a neuropharmacologic agent to produce a specific effect.” And in 1955, Bernard Brodie, an investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health, “planted the intellectual seed that grew into the theory that depression was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.” In experiments with rabbits he noticed that an herbal drug used in India to quiet psychotic patients lowered brain levels of serotonin and also made them lethargic and apathetic. We’re not saying that psychiatric drugs turn humans into rabbits, but “lethargic and apathetic” may be inferred.

Psychiatry has had to use coercion to survive as an industry because their treatments simply do not cure anything.

In a July 2000 interview with Dr. Szasz, Mr. Sullum said, “I once asked a psychiatrist I knew if he was familiar with Szasz’s work. ‘Oh, he’s crazy!’ he exclaimed, inadvertently illustrating Szasz’s point that such labels are often used to stigmatize people who offend or disturb us.”

Szasz said during the interview, “There are two things that I would have done very differently, and they really have to do with my passion against coercion, especially unnecessary coercion and especially coercion outside of a due-process legal system. The first thing I would have done is to stop all further involuntary psychiatric interventions. This is unthinkable stuff, because this means stopping the fundamental social function of psychiatry, which is partly to relieve society, families, physicians of unwanted people and partly to “prevent suicide.” “Dangerousness to self”: This to me is the keystone in the Roman arch. Until it is knocked out, it’s impossible to destroy the edifice. People should not be protected from themselves by involuntary psychiatric interventions. Psychiatrists should play no more of a role in this than priests do.” Read the full interview to find out the second thing Szasz would have done.

Have you or someone you know experienced the Therapeutic State? Fight back! Show the CCHR documentary DVDs to everyone you know.