I would like to know what is being done about this, is it just being accepted? Did any of our (extremely well paid) ‘esteemed’ experts take the opportunity to figure out if there was a common denominator here? Were any or all of these victims on medication with known suicidal side-effects, usually antidepressants? Did any of our ‘top’ experts on suicidology use this opportunity to get to the underlying cause? I realise that suicide is a very sensitive subject and not all families want (or are able) to talk about the suicide of family members, but some, like my family will want to know the reasons behind it.
I have previously spoken to a person from the central statistics office who told me that there are no statistics held for suicide victims and the medication they were on at the time of their death. This is done in other countries, so why not here? A Swedish writer, Janne Larrson, has written a paper on the subject. Here.
Wexford has had a big problem with suicide for a number of years; in 2005 the Irish Independent reported that Wexford had the second highest rate of suicide in the country.
I personally spoke to a pathologist, whose name I won’t mention, who said, that in the last 5 autopsies that he has performed on suicide victims, 4 had been recently introduced to an ssri antidepressant. His opinion is that there is a big problem in this country with these drugs. He also said that after one particular Inquest, he was approached by one of Irelands ‘leading’ psychiatrists who said that if he continued to say what he was saying, he would be doing Irish Psychiatry out of their jobs.
For the benefit of people in countries not originally colonized by England, who have no idea what an inquest is; A Coroner conducts an inquest (in public) into any violent, suspicious or unexplained death. The purpose of an Inquest is to determine ‘who, how, when and where’ a person has died. In Ireland, Inquests are regulated by The Coroners Act 1962.
A letter published coincidently on Thurs 8th, in the Irish Times Letter section prompted, I think, by Dr Moosajee Bhamjee’s proposal to add lithium to Irish drinking water in a bid to lower the suicide rate (more medication, did he ever hear of informed consent), gives his opinion on psychiatry and their practice of medicating for human distress!
A chara, – If any branch of medicine thinks it can medicate its way out of a “problem”, it is psychiatry. Irrespective of attacks on human and constitutional rights (letters, passim) the idea of putting lithium into drinking water is flippant and fanciful.
While depressive symptoms arising out of adverse social conditions might be “managed” this way, the causes – unemployment, poverty, deprivation, negative equity – remain untouched. However, if psychiatrists could prescribe money in the way the Government “prescribed” it for the banks and bondholders . . . – Is mise,
Lecturer in Psychiatric Nursing,
School of Nursing and
Trinity College Dublin,
D’Olier Street, Dublin 2.