The Columbia Missourian newspaper thinks that training various professionals in how to recognize and treat suicidal impulses would help prevent suicides in Missouri.
Not to say they are wrong, but they are missing some information about the causes of suicide.
They say that in Missouri, one person dies by suicide every 8.5 hours, and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Missouri; Missouri is ranked 18th out of the 50 states for the highest suicide rate. Nationally, 117 people die by suicide every day.
Mental health groups are lobbying to pass laws requiring mental health professionals to undergo specific suicide prevention training. We suspect these are the groups that would benefit monetarily from providing the training.
Of course, what they don’t say is that there is overwhelming evidence that psychiatric drugs cause violence and suicide: 22 international drug regulatory warnings cite violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis and even homicidal ideation as potential side effects of psychotropic drugs.
Despite these international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs causing violence and suicide, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. 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.
For example, The Commission of the European Communities in 2005 issued the strongest warning against child antidepressant use stating that the drugs were shown to cause suicidal behavior including suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.
In 2009 the U.S. FDA required warnings on some antidepressants for symptoms of suicidal thoughts and behavior.
Congressman Ron Paul in 2013 said, “Right now we’re suffering from an epidemic of suicide in some of our veterans, and we have a lot of violence in our schools and somebody just did a study in which they took the last ten episodes of violence where young people went and took guns and irrationally shot people, all ten of them were on psychotropic drugs.”
The Eli Lilly corporation for nearly fifteen years covered up their own internal investigation that showed that anyone on Prozac is twelve-times more likely to attempt suicide than those using other antidepressants.
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.
Rather than reducing suicide, a review of published SSRI antidepressant clinical trials determined that they increase the risk of suicide. Suicide is the major complication of withdrawal from Ritalin and similar amphetamine-like drugs.
Suicide and violence have been escalating among youths. Too often this has been falsely attributed to their “mental illness,” when, in fact, the very methods used to “treat” such “illness” are the cause of the problem. In a report that Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published in August 2013, it stated, “Antidepressant medications have been shown to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior.”
A study of 950 acts of violence committed by people taking antidepressants found 362 murders, 13 school shootings, 5 bomb threats or bombings, 24 acts of arson, 21 robberies, 3 pilots who crashed their planes and more than 350 suicides and suicide attempts.
Furthermore, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) said it had “found no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.” Which speaks against the Columbia Missourian‘s push for suicide training.
In the U.S. Military, potentially up to 50 percent of those committing suicide had at some point taken psychiatric drugs and up to nearly 46 percent had taken them within 90 days. The suicide rate increased by more than 150 percent in the Army and more than 50 percent in the Marine Corps between 2001 to 2009. From 2008 to 2010, military suicides were nearly double the number of suicides for the general U.S. population, with the military averaging 20.49 suicides per 100,000 people, compared to a general rate of 12.07 suicides per 100,000 people.
Yet the practice of prescribing seven or more drugs documented to cause cardiac problems, stroke, violent behavior and suicide (to veterans) is still prevalent.
What causes violence in people who take psychiatric drugs? One reason may be a common side effect called akathisia commonly found in people taking antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants. Akathisia is a terrible feeling of anxiety, an inability to sit still, a feeling that one wants to crawl out of his or her skin. Behind much of the extreme violence to self or others we see in those taking psychiatric drugs is akathisia.
It is not just the taking of antidepressants that can cause extreme violence. Withdrawal from antidepressants can cause extreme violence too.
The first step toward creating less violence and self-harm is to recognize the role that psychiatric drugs play. “Given the nature and potentially devastating impact of psychotropic medications…we now similarly hold that the right to refuse to take psychotropic drugs is fundamental.” [Alaska Supreme Court, 2006]
The bottom line — by all means train professionals about suicide; but include the real causes, and don’t push psychiatric drugs as the solution.