Archive for August, 2014

The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Senseless Violence

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Senseless Violence

There is overwhelming evidence that psychiatric drugs cause violence: 22 international drug regulatory warnings cite violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis and even homicidal ideation. Individuals under the influence of such drugs and committing these acts of senseless violence are not limited to using guns and are not limited to just schools.

There have been 10 studies in four countries on psychiatric drug-induced violence.

At least 34 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 166 wounded and 78 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). The list includes not only mass shootings, but the use of knives, swords and bombs.

School-related acts of violence aren’t the only cases commonly found to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs. There are 18 other recent acts of senseless violence committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in an additional 76 dead and 61 wounded.

Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects including: 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania & 8,219 cases of aggression. (Note: By the FDA’s own admission, less than 1% of side effects are ever reported to it, so the actual numbers of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.)

While there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts of violence, 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. To date, there has been no federal investigation of the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence.

For more evidence on the link between psychiatric drugs and violence, download and read the booklet “The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Senseless Violence”.

California Medical Evaluation Field Manual

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

California Medical Evaluation Field Manual

In 1991, Dr. Lorrin M. Koran prepared the Medical Evaluation Field Manual at the request of the California legislature.

Quoting from the Introduction:


“This Field Manual shows California mental health program administrators and staff how to screen their patients for active, important physical diseases. The Manual explains how, where, and when to screen, how to initiate and staff a screening program, and how to maximize its cost-effectiveness. The Manual also includes a list of clinical findings that characterize patients whose mental symptoms are quite likely to be caused by an unrecognized physical disease.

“For several reasons, mental health professionals working within a mental health system have a professional and a legal obligation to recognize the presence of physical disease in their patients. First, physical diseases may cause a patient’s mental disorder. Second, physical disease may worsen a mental disorder, either by affecting brain function or by giving rise to a psychopathologic reaction. Third, mentally ill patients are often unable or unwilling to seek medical care and may harbor a great deal of undiscovered physical disease. Finally, a patient’s visit to a mental health program creates an opportunity to screen for physical disease in a symptomatic population. The yield of disease from such screening is usually higher than the yield in an asymptomatic population.”


The conclusions drawn in this manual are not theoretical; they were arrived at by extensive experimental evidence, and include such findings as:

“1. Nearly two out of five patients (39%) had an active, important physical disease.

“2. The mental health system had failed to detect these diseases in nearly half (47.5%) of the affected patients.

“3. Of all the patients examined, one in six had a physical disease that was related to his or her mental disorder, either causing or exacerbating that disorder.

“4. The mental health system had failed to detect one in six physical diseases that were causing a patient’s mental disorder.

“5. The mental health system had failed to detect more than half of the physical diseases that were exacerbating a patient’s mental disorder.”

The step-by-step procedures in this manual detected more physical diseases than the mental health programs had detected among 476 patients sampled, did so at a lower cost per diagnosed case, and can be performed by mental health personnel after very limited training.

Why Is This Important?

CCHR has always recommended a full, searching medical examination by a non-psychiatric health care professional, with appropriate clinical tests, to determine if there are undetected and untreated medical conditions that could be causing or contributing to mental distress.

The Missouri Department of Mental Health, with the recent passage of Senate Bill 716, is now instructed to develop guidelines for the screening and assessment of persons that address the interaction between physical and mental health to ensure that all potential causes of changes in behavior or mental status caused by or associated with a medical condition are assessed. This legislation goes into effect August 28, 2014.

One expects that this implies that those medical conditions found would then be medically treated, rather than simply passing out harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, as is the more usual practice. We need to reinforce this expectation with our contacts, calls and letters to the Missouri DMH.

If you have professional expertise for helping to develop such guidelines, please volunteer your efforts to the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

If you would like to read the California Medical Evaluation Field Manual, you may download it from the CCHR St. Louis website.

War and Psychiatrists

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

War and Psychiatrists

We like to acquaint our readers with interesting things we read, and then work out how psychiatry is involved. The most recent interesting thing we have read (although not the most interesting thing in the world) is an article titled “The Truth About Iraq And why it matters” by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, in the July 21, 2014 issue of The Weekly Standard. (Click here to read the article.)

Keep in mind, we are not arguing for or against the Cheneys’ viewpoints; that is something about which one must come to one’s own conclusions. However, we’d like to take two quotes from the article, out of context to be sure, and expound on the issue as it relates to psychiatry.

Quote the first: “We also know, again confirmed in documents captured after the war, that Saddam provided funding, training, and other support to numerous terrorist organizations and individuals over decades, including to Ayman al Zawahiri, the man who leads al Qaeda today.”

A relatively innocuous statement, perhaps — but not to someone who recognizes the name and its relation to psychiatry (which the authors may not recognize, or may not consider significant.)

Here’s the point. Very few may know about an Egyptian psychiatrist, formerly Osama bin Laden’s right hand man, named Ayman al-Zawahiri. Former psychiatrist Ayman al-Zawahiri “is the guy—he’s the operational commander … number one, on the right-hand side of Osama [bin Laden] … He believes that violence is purifying.” [Vincent Cannistraro, former counter-terrorism official, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency]

Ayman al-ZawahiriWell, so bin Laden is now out of the picture, but al-Zawahiri is not.

A psychiatrist and surgeon who was convicted of terrorism in Egypt and sentenced to death in absentia; al-Zawahiri studied behavior, psychology and pharmacology as part of his medical degree at Cairo University. Interpol issued an arrest warrant for al-Zawahiri relating to his role in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Quote the second: “We won’t defeat our enemies by retreating. We won’t win if we adopt a false narrative about the past, fail to learn the lessons of history, or seek security in disengagement and isolationism. We will only defeat our enemies if we are clear-eyed about the threat and have the will to do what it takes for as long as it takes—until the war is won.”

Cheney was talking about Iraq and al Qaeda. We’re talking about war, terrorism and psychiatry. We think this quote still applies. What do you think?

Find out more about war, terrorism and psychiatry by clicking here.