The College of Psychiatry of Ireland, their dismissal of Professor Healy, my son and the coroner’s court!

The College of “Psychiatry of Ireland” issued a press statement following my son’s inquest last year, here is an abstract of what they said and the full statement is also linked at the end. This was written in May, 2010 and to be honest, I didn’t have the heart or the inclination to reply to this trash, but following numerous publications from “renowned psychiatrists” on this issue, and the fact that the “College of Psychiatry of Ireland” never once asked me about Shane and never knew the Shane we knew, I do feel I have a right to reply! Solicitors letter, pending I’m sure!

 Here’s an excerpt of  what they had to say, in the Irish Medical Times…

                             Clarification on antidepressants and potential adverse effects, By Greg Baxter

In the past month, there has been considerable discussion in Ireland of suicidality and homicidality as potential adverse effects of antidepressant medications, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants in particular. Much of this discussion has been speculative. Clearly, suicide and homicide are events of the utmost gravity and any possible role of any treatment in precipitating such tragedies warrants the most thorough investigation.

Homicide

Antidepressants do not cause violence.

Evidence at recent inquest
Evidence was given in a recent inquest at the Wicklow Coroner’s Court that the self-inflicted death of a person (and by inference, the killing of another person) was most likely the direct result of SSRI antidepressant use – specifically, citalopram. The College of Psychiatry of Ireland is conscious that the events leading to these deaths are not completely understood nor is the mental state of the individual at the time.

We address the inquest here simply to respond to the sworn expert evidence, which was, in our view, speculative.

It was claimed that an individual may have acted as he did because he was in a supposed ‘delirium’, brought about by high blood levels of citalopram, on the night in question.
It was further suggested by this expert witness that if not a delirium, the explanation could have been a ‘mental automatism’ caused by SSRI intoxication.

Link to full article; The Irish Medical Times.

My point…

Now, you will have to excuse my ignorance, myself not being a professor or a medical professional, but this is a picture taken from the antidepressant Effexor, patient information leaflet, and does it not say Homicide ideation right there in the middle? Maybe a trip to specsavers would be a good idea!

Their reference to the sworn expert evidence; surely they are not referring to the world renowned (Irish) medical expert, Professor David Healy? There are very few experts in this area, and Prof. Healy has been an expert witness in numerous trials concerning ssri’s and suicide/homicide.

Did Lundbeck not admit to reports of “self harm and harm to others” (AKA suicide/homicide) in this letter. Amazing how this article never refers to the fact that the jury recorded an open verdict, rejecting a suicide verdict, on account of the citalopram in Shane’s system and the reports from the state pathologist, Declan Gilsenan, and the medical expert, Prof. Healy!

As I have said before, If the “College of Psychiatry of Ireland” would like to ask me any questions and come to an informed opinion on my son, please feel free to ask, or do they know it all already?


8 thoughts on “The College of Psychiatry of Ireland, their dismissal of Professor Healy, my son and the coroner’s court!

  1. It does seem strange how Lundbeck admit in their PIL that Cipramil can cause homicidal ideation yet the college of Irish psychiatry deny it exists. Very strange indeed.

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  2. Personally, I think you have every right to defend Shane, for he is not here to defend himself against these assumptions by the Irish Psychiatric Association. And I think also, you are doing very well.

    The full article is very interesting.

    These are some quotes that I have issue with..

    ” Untreated depression can have a fatal outcome”

    Untreated depression can have a fatal outcome, but so can untreated flu and many other human experiences. This is a red herring argument. Treated depression with SSRI drugs can be just as fatal. I believe this statement is scaremongering.

    “The lifetime risk of completed suicide approximates 6 per cent in unipolar or bipolar depression and may be closer to 15 per cent in severe depression. Antidepressants are effective in the treatment of depression and thus lead to a reduction in suicidal thoughts. The effective treatment of depression is an important means of reducing suicide rates”

    “lifetime risk”?
    Where are the studies done on lifetime risk?
    Are these lifetime risks for non-SSRI treated depression or Drug-treated depression? or a mixture of both?

    Most people prescribed SSRI drugs do not have severe (or ‘clinical”) depression, therefore to use the extreme example of depression in this instance is another red herring argument.

    There is no real concrete proof that ant-depressants are effective or that they lead to a reduction in suicidal thoughts. Certainly over the long term, they can exacerbate depression and make it a chronic condition.

    Robert Whitaker has made a case for this, as has Richard Bentall ..

    see : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307452417?ie=UTF8&tag=thneyoreofbo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307452417

    http://truthman30.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/richard-bentall-doctoring-the-mind/

    ” The effective treatment of depression is an important means of reducing suicide rates”

    No one would disagree with this, but it all depends on your perspective of what constitutes “effective treatment”. Irish suicide rates have risen dramatically, yet also, so has Irish consumption of SSRI’s. If they are so effective then why does it appear that they do not reduce suicide rates?

    “Indications for anti-depressant use

    Antidepressant medications are approved by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB). The indications for which antidepressants are licensed in Ireland include major depressive episodes, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, bulimia nervosa and anxiety disorders. About 3 per cent of Irish adults are current users of antidepressants.”

    Just because a drug is approved by the IMB does not mean it is safe nor does it automatically equate to efficacy or tolerability. A lot of drugs are approved, and a lot of drugs are subsequently removed. Therefore, yet another red herring argument.

    “Adverse effects
    People taking antidepressant drugs may experience adverse effects. In the past month, there has been considerable discussion in Ireland of suicidality and homicidality as potential adverse effects of antidepressant medications, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants in particular. Much of this discussion has been speculative.
    Clearly, suicide and homicide are events of the utmost gravity and any possible role of any treatment in precipitating such tragedies warrants the most thorough investigation. However, discussion of the risks involved must be based on evidence rather than conjecture or unfounded personal opinion.”

    Adverse effects are direct affects, side effects are direct effects. Just because they are unpleasant or unwanted, does not mean they are less potent in their effect.

    “Much of this discussion has been speculative”

    The entire psychiatric paradigm is based on speculation. Thus, this argument is again, a red herring.
    The evidence was provided, and the verdict was given, in an Irish court. Does psychiatry Ireland believe that it operates above Irish law? Because thats what it sounds like. Does psychiatry Ireland think that its opinion is unquestionable but everyone else’s opinion is open to ridicule and debasement?

    All psychiatric opinion is ‘personal opinion’ , therefore this logic is highly ironic.

    “At an individual level, treatment usually commences at a point when the patient’s depression is worsening. As the therapeutic effect of antidepressants can be delayed for several weeks, there can be a period, early in treatment, when the illness is unresponsive (and possibly progressing) before the restorative effect of the treatment emerges. This leads to a period of risk following commencement which requires additional non-pharmacological support.”

    “Anecdotal cases of suicide sometimes mistakenly attribute these tragic events to the treatment rather than the illness itself. Also, people who are beginning to respond to antidepressant treatment may be more able, as energy and motivation returns, to act on suicidal thoughts that are inherent to their condition. That the early recovery period is potentially a period of increased risk for suicidality is something of which all doctors should be aware.
    The College of Psychiatry of Ireland, in unison with the IMB’s advice, recommends close monitoring of all individuals commenced on antidepressant therapy.”

    This quote beggars belief. Depression does not have a knowable timeframe, nor does its response to treatment. Depression can be left untreated and it can pass in the majority of cases. Who is to know when a depression is at a beginning, middle and end phase? Does psychiatry Ireland have a crystal ball? This is a very clever argument, its well phrased, but it still does not hold up. The fact is, once an SSRI is ingested, from the very moment it passes from mouth to stomach, and from stomach to blood, from blood to brain, there is an immediate effect. Perhaps this effect is not ‘therapeutic’ for some people? perhaps this effect is dangerous?

    How closely does a GP monitor for this risk? Does a GP spend 24 hours with a patient for several weeks? Obviously not. Even if psychiatry Irelands cleverly worded spin was true, which it is not (in my opinion), then the fact that there is little ( if ever any) real adequate monitoring of patients during this period, is dangerous in itself. “Close monitoring” is another red herring argument. Because, “close monitoring” is not feasible, realistic, not does it happen in actuality.

    “Homicide
    There is no evidence of a link between antidepressant use and homicide. Commentators who assert that there is such a link rely largely on a small number of case reports of individuals who were homicidal after commencing antidepressants. However, case reports cannot demonstrate a causal link.”

    There is enough evidence, it is just not recognized as evidence by Irish psychiatry. Just because the evidence is ignored does not mean it lacks credence. The small number of case reports does not mean that the risk isn’t there. Another Red herring argument. Sometimes adverse events are small in number per population. The manufacturers admit the possibility, why is psychiatry Ireland not open to the existence of possibility? strange..

    “They cannot allow for the many factors that determine whether or not a person chooses to commit a violent crime. It is a fundamental error of thinking to argue that one event was caused by another because it occurred shortly afterwards.”

    Duh…

    Homicide by people who have recently started anti-depressants is incredibly rare, but it occurs. It is not reasonable to expect that no person who had recently commenced antidepressants would ever commit violent crime.

    Duh….

    “Antidepressants do not cause violence.”

    Hmmm, ok.. that’s a pretty definite statement. It’s also arrogant. There are many hundreds of thousands of users experiences online documenting aggression and violence solely from the ingestion of SSRI drugs. These stories are not studied by the psychiatric (pharmaceutical) community because they do not want to give any validity to the facts. Denial is the name of the game.

    “Neither are they, nor can they be expected to be, an inoculation against violence. The alleged link between antidepressants and violence is partly based on observation of an ‘activation syndrome’, which includes agitation, irritability, impulsivity and akathisia.”

    ‘activation syndrome’ .. don’t you just love their star-trek style terminology?
    I will tell you what activation syndrome and akathisia feels like, because, like many others – I have suffered it.
    It is an intense feeling, as if you want to rip your own skin off. Every muscle, nerve, neuron and thought feels like it is on fire, you literally feel like you are going to break into a million smithereens. Could someone get violent in this state of utter mental and physical hell? Yes, they can , and they do!

    “Akathisia is an unpleasant sense of inner restlessness that is often medication-related. It is an uncommon side effect of antidepressants, cited by some authors as a particular risk factor for violence. The leap from observing restlessness in an individual to imputing homicidal risk is a large one. No study has demonstrated a link between ‘activation syndrome’ and homicide or homicidality.”

    unpleasant? that’s putting it mildly. “uncommon”, according to who?
    No study has demonstrated it because drug companies are hardly going to focus on this in trials are they?
    No studies .. Another red herring argument.
    Just because no study had demonstrated the link (according to Irish Psychiatry) does not automatically mean that the link is not there.. Science is built on demarcation. It is also easy to be selective when talking about studies on virtually anything.

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  3. I won’t comment on Irish Psychiatry’s opinion on what happened to Shane that tragic night, out of respect for Shane, his family, the others involved and their families. And also because, quite frankly Irish psychiatry’s opinion on the event is offensive, condescending and arrogant and I do not think it deserves scrutiny on that basis alone. But, what I will say is, what happened was a tragedy, and that tragedy could have been prevented had Shane not been prescribed SSRI’s. It could happen to anyone who is prescribed SSRI’s. That is the very real and disturbing danger about these drugs. I’m speaking from experience, my experience of these drugs is that they are highly dangerous in some individuals who are prescribed them. I could have been Shane, anyone who is prescribed these drugs can have a violent or aggressive adverse reaction. I am 10 years researching this stuff. I do not spare my opinion lightly. It is informed and from genuine direct experience.

    “Concerns regarding stigma
    The College of Psychiatry of Ireland is concerned that a mooted link between antidepressants and violence, which does not have a basis in scientific evidence, risks perpetuating a false and stigmatising stereotype that people living with mental illness are violent.
    We would direct those interested in the matter to a seminal study recently published in the world’s most prestigious psychiatry journal. The take-home message of this prospective study of almost 35,000 people was that mental illness alone did not predict future violent behaviour. This is one of the most important findings in mental health research.
    In light of this and other findings, the College urges interested parties to avoid linking acts of violence to the symptoms or treatment of mental disorder without considering the evidence and the facts of each case.”

    The biggest red herring of them all.

    It is Psychiatry whom perpetuates stigma of mental illness, it is not the media, nor the psychiatric patients or psychiatric survivors. Effectively, a psychiatric diagnosis is a branding. Not unlike, the yellow star and the pink triangle of the Nazi Era. Those branded with a ‘psychiatric condition’ are branded for life. The stigma comes from the branding, the shame and the dis-empowerment comes from the branding. Human nature will not be boxed, nor dissected. We are not machines, we are not to be experimented upon by a regime hell bent on the perpetuation of its ideology.

    When psychiatry has had its day (like all zealous ideologies eventually do), it will not be remembered with good sentiment. It is a fatal error of one human being to believe they have the right to brand another, by doing this they do all of mankind an utter disservice. “Depression” was never associated with violence until the dawn of the SSRI age, but since the SSRI age there have been many incidents of SSRI related violence and aggression, school shootings etc. The link has been well established, but psychiatry cannot admit this, because admittance is an indication of grave error and failure of their paradigm. Psychiatry, above all, seeks validity. It is hostile to criticism because it is defensive and arrogant. It is a shame, because arrogance just might be its own achilles heal. The mentally ill are amongst the most vulnerable in society, they should be protected, not exploited.

    “Going to a psychiatrist has become one of the most dangerous things a person can do.”–Peter Breggin, M.D.

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  4. Can it be that you get a doctor’s degree in psychiatry in Ireland without being able to read and comprehend the English language? From the patient information leaflet it is clear to me that homicidal ideation is a side effect of the SNRI Effexor. .
    Dr. Healy’s evidence is not any more speculative than the psychiatrists of the College of Psychiatry of Ireland opinion. In fact Dr. Healy’s evidence is based on observation guided by scientific principles unlike the speculators who claim mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance of monoamine neurotransmitters — without any scientific evidence of any kind to support that theory.

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  5. Speaking from experiene I know SSRI can cause suicide ideation. When I first felt very low about 8 years ago about 8 years ago i was prescibed SSRI. At that stage I had not ever thought about suicide. Within months of taking Seroxat I tried to take my life and it is a miracle I survived. My heart goes out to Shane’s family and friends. When will the Psyciatrists wake up and smell the coffee and realise what they are prescribing is causing more harm than good. Or is the relationship with the Pharmaceutical companies too important.

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  6. Another cracking post Leonie.

    Way I see it is thus:

    What parent wouldn’t question the system if their child died?

    Psychiatry and pharma expect parents to just take it on the chin, neither of them have done any withdrawal studies regarding their drugs – the ‘withdrawal studies’ are basically phase 4 of the clinical trial and millions of people are part of that trial now – it’s called post-marketting.

    Taking GSK as an example, their spokespersons have claimed it takes just two weeks to taper from Seroxat – what study are these claims based on?

    I’ve wrote GSK an FOI, they have failed to respond, which suggests to me that they simply don’t have any answers.

    Pharma get the drugs out to the market and put money aside for any future litigation. That money would be better spent on a withdrawal study but they know it would show their drugs to be addictive.

    Look at the patient information leaflets for all SSRi’s – count how many times it states, ‘Talk to your doctor’ – if the makers don’t know the full extent of the side effects of these drugs, then how will a doctor know? It’s buck passing of the highest order.

    Great post, you are fast turning into a bad ass and I love ya for it 🙂

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  7. As Leonie said originally in her excellent post, what this all amounts to is ‘informed opinion’. We all know that drugs carry side effects, and we accept that. But, what is unacceptable is denial and suppression of those side effects when clearly those side effects and risks have been demonstrated time and time again. Deliberate, mis-informed, ill-informed, or misguided misinformation puts lives at risk. That’s the bottom line here.

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  8. Shall all of us mothers who have lost our dear sons and daughters stand together be it in Ireland, the United States wherever in the world that these “psychiatrist – poison pushers” continue to poison our children. I know my son, my best friend, I watched these medicines destroy his brain and finally destroy him. He was and is an angel (just ask anyone who knew him). He was intelligent, talented and after SSRI’s “TORMENTED”. God Bless all of our angels.

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