Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Iatrogenesis, psychiatry

Get the Hippocratical Boat

The Zebra

Earlier this year, a formal complaint was submitted to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) against its president Wendy Burn, and David Baldwin (Chair of its Psychopharmacology Committee).  The complaint stated that Professors Burns and Baldwin (in a letter published by The Times in February),  misled the public over antidepressant withdrawal by falsely stating that in the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing antidepressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment. Signed by 30 high profile medics (including Irish psychiatrist Pat Bracken) and people with lived experiences, the complaint stated that the latter is incorrect, not evidence-based and is misleading the public on an important matter of public safety – with potentially hazardous consequences. One only has to read a fraction of the damage caused by the RCPsych’s ‘discontinuation’ stance to see the harm caused to unsuspecting consumers – see James Moore for a prime example.

Sadly (for me at least), psychiatry from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) are equally irresponsible in providing misinformation to the public, with their ‘mental health difficulties are chemical imbalances in your brain’ tripe (I have addressed this before). Despite much ridicule and requests to retract this unfounded and equally dangerous statement, this public declaration by Ireland’s largest medical school is still available in all its inglorious glory on Twitter. This is a false and very dangerous message to give to vulnerable people, mainly because it gives the impression that only drugs can fix this ‘imbalance’. Indeed, the ‘imbalance’ belief can also have a detrimental affect on one’s personal autonomy, as it implies that external factors such as behavior or life changes will not improve our mental health – as the ‘inherent fault’ in our brains or character is at issue. Indeed, Dr Terry Lynch from Limerick even wrote a book about it, and very informative it is too (not biased at all, at all – although, I was happy to get a mention).

While the RCPsych and RCSI are not alone in providing misinformation to the masses, they are a fundamental part of the problem and complicit in causing harm. Indeed, psychotropic drugs (including widely-prescribed antidepressants and benzodiazepines) that target our mood, the way we feel, the way we think, are still largely hailed as ‘safe’. While some seem to tolerate these drugs with little adverse effects, others find the opposite, with disastrous, sometimes fatal, consequences. Violence is just one of the bizarre effects that can be caused by taking a drug commonly prescribed by one’s friendly GP. While drug companies have warned of reports of antidepressant-induced violent behavior, such as harm to ones-self and others, GPs and Psychiatry still seem oblivious to the dangers. No Zebras in their line of vision, no siree doc.

For example, a ‘Dear Doctor’ Letter sent to healthcare professionals in 2004 can be viewed here. It includes the following:

There are clinical trial and post-marketing reports with SSRIs and other newer antidepressants, in both pediatrics and adults, of severe agitation-type adverse events coupled with self-harm or harm to others. The agitation-type events include:
akathisia, agitation, disinhibition, emotional lability, hostility, aggression,
depersonalization.

No doubt the friendly GP didn’t include THAT in his sales pitch for the ‘mild antidepressant’ he/she was prescribing. Indeed, iatrogenesis, however well-intentioned, doesn’t change the outcome and as we have seen with the RCPsych and the RCSI, the legalities of Informed Consent is still seemingly a very far-off concept. As for a drug that is specifically targeted at one’s emotions, mood and behavior – what could possibly go wrong? See the aforementioned zebra.

So, one wonders what disastrous drug-induced effect will be revealed to the public next? My money (and my RCSI Thesis) is on sex – see the RxISK website. Josephine/Joe, I foresee a more permanent problem.

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Cases, Featured, Iatrogenesis

Jake’s Amendment Fails. And Yet..

 

Grace McManus, John Lynch, Stephanie Lynch and Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Grace McManus, John Lynch, Stephanie Lynch and Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke. I know, I know, this quote is painfully overused, but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate one here.

So, yesterday myself (and himself) went to Seanad Éireann (the Irish Senate) to witness the second stage of a bill to amend the Coroner’s Act (called Jake’s Amendment). Jake Lynch is the forever-14 year old child at the centre of all this. His parents, Stephanie and John Lynch, assisted by Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, have worked tirelessly on this bill since 2015 – a proposal to amend the Coroner’s Act to include a verdict of ‘iatrogenic suicide’ (treatment-induced suicide). Sadly, the bill failed at a vote of 12-19. However, there were many surprising elements to yesterday’s Seanad Shenanigans. Firstly, few showed surprise (or denied) that antidepressants can cause suicide; that is a major shift in opinion in a few short years. Secondly, among the senators who voted for Jake’s Amendment, several were willing to put their heads above the parapet and publicly support Jake’s Amendment. Lastly, the only one who argued a ‘causal’ link was the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, and he seemed to be directly quoting from Irish Psychiatry’s statement following Shane’s inquest – so hardly a surprise. Indeed, it seems all may not be lost with him either – as following the vote, he approached Jake’s family and expressed an interest in meeting up to discuss the issue. I have a feeling that little Jake Lynch (and his parents) will make a difference – and I for one, am very proud to call them my friends.

Background:

You may remember that Jake Lynch was a 14 year old boy (diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome) who was prescribed fluoxetine, aka Prozac, to ‘help with his exams’. Five weeks after being precribed fluoxetine (where the dosage was doubled without his or his parents’ knowledge), off-label and with nil informed consent, Jake ended his own life. As his mother Stephanie said – the only thing that changed in his short life was the prescription for fluoxetine. Available literature from the Irish Drug Regulator (the HPRA), provides that ‘Prozac is not for use in children and adolescents under 18’, due to the increased risk of side effects such as ‘suicide attempt, suicidal thoughts and hostility’. However, it provides that in the case of a child aged 8-18 with ‘moderate to severe depression’, a doctor may prescribe it off-label (not licenced for that indication) – if he/she decides it is in the child’s ‘best interest’. While the pros and cons of off-label prescribing have been oft-debated, it should be remembered that Jake did not have depression and was prescribed the drug ‘to help with his junior certificate’. Clearly, as he is now dead, it seems that Prozac proved to be in ‘his worst possible interest’.

Notably, Jake had no history (or diagnosis) of depression and his death came out-of-the-blue to all who knew him – seemingly inexplicable. Indeed, after a long and protracted inquest, the coroner concluded that Jake was not in his right mind on the night he died (resulting from the prescribed fluoxetine) and returned an ‘open’ verdict. This was largely due to an email that Jake sent shortly before he died, saying he felt ‘drugged out of his mind’ and further (demonstrating a shocking lack of consent), he expressed that he was never told that the drug was an antidepressant.

While the Seanad vote was disappointing, it was hardly surprising. Although 12 Senators voted to support the bill, the majority (19) voted against. The general reasoning was that an inquest cannot apportion blame and thus, a prescribing physician might be held accountable (imagine the horror!). However, this was addressed in the proposed bill and was not the intent of Jake’s Amendment. Indeed, this particular reasoning does not explain why ‘medical misadventure’ or ‘unlawful killing’ are permitted – and surely a ‘suicide’ verdict blames the deceased? It was also mentioned that there were other alternatives in circumstances where medical treatment causes harm, such as taking the legal route. However, this failed to consider that in Ireland (and indeed, Europe), taking a case against a pharmaceutical company or medical establishment means that a plaintiff must have the means to meet the costs of the defence if the action fails. Thus, for the majority of plaintiffs with relatively ‘normal’ means (who haven’t won the lotto), a legal action is nigh on impossible. This is not justice.

It was both humbling and inspiring to see ordinary extraordinary family members, stand firm with the courage of their convictions, in the face of any establishment. Senators like David Norris, Francis Black, (the very kind) Maire Devine, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Rose Conway-Walsh, were all thoroughly inspiring.

Contraindication?

While Senator (and doctor) James Reilly was among the opposers – it was hardly a revelation. Indeed, he took umbrage with Senator Norris stating that Prozac was contraindicated in ‘those with Aspergers’ – which he said was untrue. Hmm, let’s see, shall we?

Definition of contraindicate – To indicate the inadvisability of something, such as a medical treatment. 

According to a 2010 Cochrane literature review Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for autism spectrum disorders (ASD)’There is no evidence of effect of SSRIs in children and emerging evidence of harm (I have full text if required).

According to the NICE guidelines (section 1.4.22) – Do not use antidepressant medication for the routine management of core symptoms of autism in adults.

And again, per NICE (reviewed in 2016) – Do not use antidepressants for the management of core features of autism in children and young people. 

It seems pretty clear to me that Senator Norris was actually correct when he said that the SSRI prozac was contraindicated for ‘those with Aspergers’. What is not clear, is why Dr Reilly was unaware of the NICE guidelines or the Cochrane review.

So, back to business as usual, the families fight on for justice and Jake, the 14 year old child at the centre of all this, remains irrevocably and needlessly dead. There is little doubt that this is not over – at least until the fat skinny lady sings (aka Stephanie).

The recording of the Seanad can be seen here from 26 minutes and concludes here.

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Cases

Panorama – A Prescription for Murder.

This week the BBC aired a Panorama documentary titled ‘A Prescription for Murder’ which has stirred some much-needed debate on the mind-altering effects of SSRIs. The very-astute presenter Shelley Jofre is known for tackling ground-breaking medical-related issues, including ‘Who’s Paying Your Doctor‘ and ‘The Secrets of Seroxat‘. (Due to the circumstances surrounding my son Shane’s death, I make a brief appearance in this documentary. )

As expected, the documentary caused a huge furore, with many defending the antidepressants drugs they take ‘that don’t cause them to become murderers’, accusing Panorama of being irresponsible and increasing the stigma of mental illness. Indeed, psychiatrists came out in their droves with their usual defense of psychotropic drugs, with seemingly no concerns whatsoever of adverse effects – or of their profession’s incestuous relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. The possible stigmatization of the people who suffer from serious and well-documented adverse effects of these prescribed drugs never entered the debate.

Anyway, watch the documentary and see what you think. I will say what I have always said – My lovely son would still be alive if he hadn’t gone to the doctor, whose fateful decision to prescribe citalopram for heartache proved fatal. 17 days after being prescribed the drug, following a series of red-flags that the drug was causing havoc, Shane was dead.

Citalopram is an SSRI antidepressant, sold under the brand names of Cipramil in Europe and Celexa in the U.S.

Sertraline, the SSRI that James Holmes was prescribed, is sold under the brand names of Lustral in Europe and Zoloft in the U.S. It was interesting to hear Delnora Duprey speaking on the programme; In 2001, three weeks after he was prescribed sertraline, Delnora’s grandson Christopher Pittman shot and killed both of his paternal grandparents. Then there was David Carmichael, whose account of his time on Paroxetine (Seroxat/Paxil), leading to the death of his young son, is equally harrowing.

Since their inception and without exception, all the SSRI drugs have been implicated in suicides and extreme violence, including homicide. With drug-company reports of ‘self-harm and harm to others’ and regulatory warnings of suicidality, violence, mania, akathisia, worsening depression, severe withdrawal, long-term sexual dysfunction, birth defects, depersonalization, etc., the stance that these drugs are safe for all is no longer tenable.

For more information, see the available research here, and documentation by AntiDepAware and SSRI Stories.

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Dolin v SmithKline Beecham, Iatrogenesis, Paroxetine, Paxil, Random, Seroxat

GSK’s Dirty Little Secret

Stewart
Dolin v SmithKline Beecham

So, myself and my friend Stephanie were in Chicago this week. We had traveled across the Atlantic to hear the opening arguments of Dolin v. Smithkline Beecham Corp (now GlaxoSmithKline – GSK). For more background to this case, see here.

We arrived straight into an unprecedented weather event, Storm Stella – described in the media as a weather bomb, having undergone bombogenesis (haven’t a clue either). Thus, while we were a little worried that the trial might be postponed, we were more concerned with the liklihood of two Irish females freezing to death. However, despite hitting a cool minus-8, with some pretty bizarre white-out conditions, we survived and the trial went ahead as planned (with the Hon. William T. Hart presiding).

This case centers on Wendy Dolin, the plaintiff, alleging that her husband’s death in 2010 was drug-induced and that GSK failed to warn of the increased risk of suicide in older adults taking the antidepressant Paroxetine. Her lawyers, Baum Hedlund, contend that GSK hid a ‘dirty little secret’ – that the drug can cause akathisia, often coded under the innocuously-sounding ‘inner turmoil’. However, this drug-induced condition is far from harmless and injury to oneself and/or others, can quickly follow. Furthermore, as alleged in this case, it can often prove fatal; see here.

At the time of his death, Stewart Dolin was 57 and was a corporate lawyer with ReidSmith. While suffering from work-related stress, he was prescribed Paroxetine by his physician, Dr. Martin Sachman – a family friend. Paroxetine is perhaps more widely recognised by its trade name Paxil, or Seroxat in Europe. Six days after being prescribed a generic form of the drug, Stewart died by jumping in front of a Chicago train. He was affluent, well-liked by colleagues and well-loved by his family. Per one of his colleagues “Stu Dolin was a close personal friend, valued colleague and a great leader in our firm. His energy and spirit benefited everyone around him. The lawsuit claims that GSK failed to adequately warn doctors (including Dr. Sachman) of the increased risk of suicidal behavior in adults. Indeed, GSK’s opening argument proclaimed that ‘Paxil does not cause suicide’. That was then contradicted by GSK’s very own literature, where a 2006 analysis showed a 6.7 times greater risk of suicidal behaviour in adults (of all ages) taking Paxil, over placebo.

Doctor David Healy was on the stand for 2 full-days, as an expert witness for the plaintiff. His testimony included an account of how GSK had hidden suicide events from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), thus manipulating the suicide-ratio and effectively hiding the bodies. Explaining drug-induced suicides to the jury, his world-leading expert status in psychopharmacology was unquestionable. No doubt, GSK ‘s legal team will attempt to annihilate that particular status before he exposes any more ‘dirty little secrets’. Like how 100% of Paxil consumers will experience sexual dysfunction – another life changing adverse-effect he mentioned in court, and another one not precisely admitted to by the manufacturers.

Not surprisingly, GSK’s lawyers (King and Spalding), became increasingly apoplectic, interjecting every few minutes with their objections, which proved fascinating in itself. The last hour before the court adjourned for the week-end proved to be very enlightening indeed, with their team looking increasingly agitated. Doctor Healy was then asked some questions by the plaintiff’s legal team:

(1) Do you have any doubt that Paxil can cause suicide? He answered ‘No’.

(2) In your opinion, did GSK warn doctors of the increased risk of suicide in adults? Again he answered ‘No’.

There seemed little doubt to anyone listening that Paxil could cause Akathisia and/or a drug-induced suicide. However, no doubt GSK will have many experts to refute that, whatever the evidence has shown. Having listened to this week’s testimonies, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Steward Dolin’s death was induced by the Paxil he was taking in the final 6 days of his life. However, the trial will most-likely go on for another few weeks when the jury will ultimately decide. Sadly, as is normal in these legal cases, every aspect of Wendy and Stewart’s private life will be publicly torn to shreds, with their every move dissected to try and put doubt into the jury’s mind. Whatever the outcome, Stewart’s wife Wendy, is one very, very brave lady.

Clearly, GSK’s lawyers are particularly polished and well used to court proceedings. That said, following the jurys’ retirement for the weekend, there was a last minute crucial objection from their legal team. One of their lawyers raised a final grievance – that a lawyer for the plaintiff’s side had the cheek to say ‘have a good weekend’ to the jury. Seriously? Drug induced suicide was the issue here and this farewell gesture caused offence to GSK’s legal team?

Anyway, if you would like to see the three video depositions that were shown to the court; they were uploaded yesterday. You really don’t need to be a body language expert to determine how truthful these GSK experts are being – or not.

GSK Biostatistician John Davies Deposition in Paxil Suicide Case:

Damning Testimony from Former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier in Paxil Suicide Case:

Former Glaxo Executive Jeffrey Dunbar Deposition in Paxil Suicide Case:

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles

The Pill That Steals Lives

London July 2016

This week myself and Tony abandoned the minors, left them in the care of the (sergeant) majors and took ourselves off to London. With promises of presents and various forms of bribery, they waved us off without a second glance – the deals were struck. With one condition – as long as we were back for Henny-Benny’s 12th birthday on Wednesday, we could do whatever else we liked. The purpose of our trip overseas was to attend a book launch in Waterstones of Kensington – Katinka Blackford Newman’s ‘The Pill That Steals Lives’. Having read excerpts in the Mail and spoken to Katinka over the last year, I was really looking forward to it.

Katinka is a film producer, director and author – she’s also attractive, clever and extremely funny (as are her 2 amazing children). Her book depicts a particularly harrowing year in her life, a year that started with a marriage break-up and a prescription for Escitalopram (Lexapro/Cipralex). She describes, in painful detail, her subsequent spiral into an emotionally-blunted, chronically-fatigued, medicated shell of her former self. Weirdly, as a result of running out of health insurance, she survived to tell this tale. Her autobiographical account of that year is told in a sometimes tragic, yet often humorous way – this book is a stunner. Considering the enormous increases in antidepressant prescribing, for every conceivable ailment (from exam woes to shyness), I hope it is read far and wide.

We had arranged to meet up with our friends before the book launch (Brian, his better half and Bobby Fiddaman). Brian and the Mrs were staying in a very posh hotel, where the concierges wore top hats and tails – we weren’t. A previous fiasco in Denmark led them to choose their own hotel this time – but that’s another story. Nevertheless, the concierge was very friendly and courteous and after equally posh aperitifs, we all travelled together to Waterstones bookshop on Kensington’s High Street.

It was fabulous. We met other Irish friends there too – Stephanie and John Lynch, whose son Jake tragically died from an antidepressant-induced death at age 14. There were people from all corners of the globe, all with similar stories to tell. I was delighted to finally meet David Carmichael, who had travelled from Canada to be there. David strangled his 11-year-old son while in a Seroxat induced psychosis – he’s a very nice man and I would trust him with my life.

Kirk Brandon, a singer and friend of Bobby’s was there too. While having Lunch the following day, Kirk told an equally harrowing story of his time on Seroxat. There are so many stories, from survivors (the lucky ones) but equally from those who didn’t survive, like Shane, Kevin, Jake, Ian, et cetera. The list goes on and on – read the book.

As is the norm for us in London, we had a few hiccups along the way. Thankfully, there was no flashing of ageing bodily parts this time around, certainly not mine anyway (I can’t speak for the others). Although, getting peed on, first by torrential rain and then by Ryanair, wandering aimlessly around London in the middle of the night (due to a raging fire near Clapham Junction) was all par for the course.

Even an impromptu overnight stay in London City Airport, coupled with additional flights costing a further 600 euro, could not dampen our spirits. It was worth every penny, although we did put ourselves in jeopardy of additional bribery – we missed Henny-Benny’s birthday. All is not lost though – he’s busy concocting up a repayment scheme for the trauma of this particularly bad parenting.

The Pill That Steals Lives.

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Cases, Depression, Our story., psychiatry, Shanes story.

Copenhagen Conference; Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good

Copenhagen, 16th Sept, 2015 – ‘Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good’. Peter Gøtzsche is the director of the Nordic Cochrane Center, Copenhagen and co-founder of the Cochrane collaboration. Peter’s new book Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial contains our personal stories of the harm done by psychiatric drugs. See our conference speeches below:

Leonie Fennell (me):

Stephanie McGill Lynch:

Kim Witczak:

Wendy Dolin:

Mathy Downing:

Peter Gøtzsche:

Robert Whitaker:

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, lundbeck, psychiatry, Random, Shanes story.

Jake and Shane’s story.

Psychiatric Drugs do More Harm Than Good.

Myself, Stephanie, Kim, Mathy and Wendy spoke at Peter Gotzsche’s Copenhagen Conference ‘psychiatric drugs do more harm than good’ (see the last post for details). I’m very proud to call these women my friends. This video shows Stephanie’s talk followed by mine. I’ll put the others up as we get them. Please be informed of the possible dangers of these drugs. For Jake, Shane and all the many SSRI victims..

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Cases, Newspaper and internet articles

Jake’s Amendment

Jake McGill Lynch16th July 2015

Imagine your 14 year old child being prescribed fluoxetine (Prozac), not for any ‘mental illness’ but to ‘help with his exams’. Then imagine going to the local pharmacy and handing in that same prescription in exchange for a bottle of innocuous-looking liquid and being sent on your merry way to administer this ‘elixir’ to your young son, who by-the-way trusts you with all his heart. Imagine him looking you in the eye each night while you ensure that he’s taking his prescribed medication. Imagine the inexplicable scenario that neither the prescriber nor the pharmacist told you that this drug could actually cause suicide, particularly in children.

Imagine then a few weeks later, the horror of trying to remember that same trusting face after your 14 year-old child has fatally shot himself. That is most likely what Stephanie McGill Lynch does every night. I can just imagine her horror upon learning that the Irish Government already knew that these drugs were causing numerous deaths but chose to do nothing. It occurs to me that the Irish Government might just as well have shot and killed Jake, yet we are all passively allowing this to continue. Why, in an era awash in human rights activism, is nobody chaining themselves to the gates of our Government buildings for Jake, an innocent 14 year old child? Why are grieving parents left to fight a seemingly impenetrable system for justice? As one bereaved mother said recently “Why should it be down to the bereaved and harmed to battle for greater awareness of the dubious nature of ‘antidepressants’? These are random chemicals which can never merit the term ‘medicine’ until the day dawns when they are accompanied by effective information and support.”  Why indeed.

Today Jake’s parents are attending Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) where Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD will propose an amendment to the Coroner’s Act 1961. The amendment, while not apportioning blame or fault, will permit a coroner to record an Iatrogenic death. Iatrogenesis is death caused by medical treatment and comes from the historical Greek word meaning ‘brought forth by the healer'(WIKI).

If this amendment is passed, Ireland may finally redeem itself a little. It may even prove to be a world-leader, creating precedent in paving the way for victims of medical treatment, thereby allowing other countries to follow suit. As adverse drug events are now the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals and the leading cause of death within the ‘mental health’ field, this amendment could be a huge step in paving the way for a re-think in prescribing practices.

A big thank-you to Jake’s parents and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn for pushing this hugely important amendment. Thinking of Jake today and his very sad, yet very brave parents, who are taking this one giant step on the road to justice. Newspaper Article on Jake’s Amendment below..

Jake's Amendment 2

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Depression, psychiatry

Ireland’s academics and pharmaco-wha?

Shane and lucy hand

Today is the 1st of June 2015. Despite the huge strides that Ireland has recently taken, most notably in marriage equality, it seems, at least in medicine, we may have officially reverted to the dark ages. Despite wonderful world-renowned experts like David Healy and Peter Gotzsche making huge strides in making medicines safer for us all, three articles today in the Irish Independent shows just how far behind Ireland trails in pharmacovigilance.

You can make up your own mind –

Article 1. 

Two thirds who died by suicide not taking drugs prescribed for them

Professor Patricia Casey, University College Dublin (UCD) – Among the usual defence of the drugs, drugs, and more drugs, she states “Is non-treatment adherence and ultimately suicide an unintended consequence of the (black box) warning? This question cries out for an answer as life itself is at stake.” Eh, this study that Professor Casey refers to was done in Ireland – Ireland doesn’t have a black boxed warning Patricia!

Article 2.

Polarised public debate about anti-depressants deeply unhelpful

Brendan Kelly, also of UCD, decides to ignore the FDA, EU and HPRA warnings altogether. He states “Public debate about anti-depressants tends to be polarised to a point that is deeply unhelpful, especially for people with depression. The truth is that anti-depressants are not the magic bullets that some people hoped. But neither are they the evil little pills they are sometimes portrayed as”. Have you actually read the (drug company) leaflets Professor Kelly or did this come directly from a conversation you had with your colleague Casey?

Article 3.

Parents can be ‘too nice’ to their children when they’re ill, neurologist warns

Dr Suzanna O’Sullivan, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, this time from University College London, takes the proverbial biscuit. She says that “people shouldn’t pay too much attention to side-effects leaflets or they are likely to start experiencing the conditions psychosomatically” and further “Don’t read the side-effects labels on medication too closely… All these symptoms come from something already existing in your mind and your imagination”.

The dark ages – 

Yep, never mind that the victims and their families are saying otherwise, take that pharmaceutical drug company pill or the sky will fall in (and the experts may be out of a job). Interesting that all 3 articles came out today in the Irish Independent. I might be a little optimistic here but maybe we, the victims and their families, are getting somewhere – the feathers of academia seem unduly ruffled today.

These articles come shortly after Professor David Healy’s ‘Medico-Legal society’ lecture at Dublin’s ‘Kildare St and University Club’, which myself and the bold husband had the pleasure of attending. The lecture concerned the dangers of taking prescription drugs, particularly antidepressants, and the legal implications of same. Following his talk, it seemed that many academics within the medical and legal profession are well aware of the dangers, despite what these articles and so-called ‘experts’ in the Irish Independent are saying today. ‘Independent’ being the definition of irony here.

Incidentally, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) Code, which includes pharmaceutical payments to doctors, will come into effect shortly. Transparency issues are about to get much more interesting.

As I was writing this another study was published, a Finnish-Swedish study that analyzed the link between psychotropic drugs and homicide risk. The study here found “that the use of certain drugs that affect the central nervous system are associated with an increased risk of committing a homicide. The greatest risk was associated with the use of painkillers and tranquillizing benzodiazepines, while anti-depressants were linked only to a slightly elevated risk.”  Yep, harmless, whatever you do, don’t read the leaflet!!

Update 02/June/2015

Professor Casey’s article appears in the Indo today ‘Mind and meaning: Antidepressants work‘. As usual, most likely for fear of legal repercussions by Prof Casey, the Indo never allow opposing arguments. My comment didn’t stay up for long and despite my best efforts at truth, I guess my constitutional right to freedom of expression doesn’t override the Irish media’s fear of another legal action by Casey. Comment below..

Comment on Casey's article

Adverse Reaction to SSRIs, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry

And the mad shall inherit the earth..

Mad IrishCéad míle fáilte mo thóin. Apologies to all you Gaeilgeoirí – “Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Bearla cliste”.

Today the Irish Independent published an article which was just ‘shockin altogether’! Sure aren’t we Irish just plain feckin mad? The article confirms what we suspected all along, that over half of Ireland’s youth “may have a form of mental health disorder“. Now pardon my stupidity but more than 50% of anything then becomes the majority, doesn’t it? So if over half of our young population have a ‘mental disorder’, does that mean that ‘mental illness’ is now the norm?

Now there’s a further issue here, as the study was done in young people from schools in north Dublin, I wonder if it’s just northsiders who are mad – does it apply to my strange relations in Sallynoggin or are they in fact just bordering on insanity? Even worse, is it viral and will it spread out here to the friendly Wicklowites? Is that why the Stenaline axed the Dunlaoghaire to Hollyhead ferry, not because of any ‘ loss of revenue’ but instead to stop the spread of lunacy? It seems to be spreading at an incredible rate – considering in October 2013 (according to the Herald), ‘mental illness’ only affected 2 young people in 10, and now it’s spiralled to over 5 in 10.

The Independent article states that “Other research shows that the family is central to the young person’s mental health” – so therefore, surely the Dubs must be doing a shockin shite job at parenting? The same article references the College of Psychiatry of Ireland as underlining “the importance of ‘early intervention’ in order to try to give young people the best chance to get on with having full, productive and normal lives”. This is where it gets seriously ridiculous (or ridiculously serious). How early is too early for Irish psychiatry’s medical model?

Yesterday, amid the furore of Jeremy Clarkson and other important worldly news, a small article in the ‘Torquay Herald Express’ mentioned early intervention. The first line stated “authorities are to be asked to confirm the number of children in Torbay who are prescribed the anti-depressant Prozac”. The article referred to Councillor Julien Parrott and his fears for the number of 5 year olds (and older) being prescribed the antidepressant Prozac. I kid you not (no pun intended).

Early intervention? Prozac doubles the risk of suicide, doubles the risk of violence, comes with a black-box warning in the US and another EU warning for the emergence of suicidality.

Early intervention? Parents should be aware that the ‘early intervention’ programme is widely attributed to an Irish psychiatrist Patrick McGorry (living in Australia). In 2011 he found himself in hot water amid complaints that a study he was carrying out was unethical. 13 Australian and international experts lodged a formal complaint against him to stop this dubious drug trial from proceeding. The controversial study, which involved giving antipsychotic drugs to children as young as 15, was then aborted.

I believe that so-called ‘early intervention’ leads to the dangerous drugging of innocent children and to more deaths. Do we really believe that the majority of Irish children are inherently mentally ill?

C’mon – Leave our kids alone.  Fág ár páistí mar atá siad.

 

http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Councillor-s-fears-drugs-year-olds/story-26147394-detail/story.html

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/half-of-young-irish-may-have-mental-disorder-31053848.html

http://www.herald.ie/lifestyle/mental-illness-affects-one-in-six-children-29652738.html

http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/stena-line-axes-dun-laoghaire-ferry-service-30963858.html

http://www.smh.com.au/national/drug-trial-scrapped-amid-outcry-20110820-1j3vy.html