When Science and Anecdote Collide

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For decades, declarations by perturbed relatives that a loved-one’s death was iatrogenic (induced by medical treatment), were often dismissed as anecdotal. Accounts imparted by concerned loved-ones were likely to be rejected, albeit often kindly – yet thrust aside as the demented rantings of a grieving loved-one. Placated with persuasive words, relatives often slink away, suitably chastised by the medic’s evidential superior knowledge. The rantings of the grieving widow or mother will be controlled and placated, with the vociferator patronized and often pitied as misinformed dissidents. Thus, relegated to the anecdotal tray, rather than adverse-reaction tray, the iatrogenesis will likely continue, surfacing some time later to harm another. Many feel this practice is particularly pervasive within psychiatry, where protecting the medical model seems paramount over the safeguarding of patients.

The perception of the American ‘shrink’ listening attentively, while the horizontal patient spills his innermost torment, is one that persists today. In reality, this is far from the norm, with the prescribing of psychiatric drugs taking precedence over the tedium of treating a traumatised patient. Drugs that often mask the problem with disinhibition and emotional blunting are seemingly prescribed with wild abandon, yet only the families affected can see the harms done – while medics seem oblivious. When Cochrane Scientists and expert psycho-pharmacologists, are publicly stating that antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs are causing ‘more harm than good’ and many deaths, dismissive medics who continue to recklessly prescribe are walking a fine line between acting irresponsibly and negligently. However, a vast disparity still exists between scientific findings that psychiatric drugs are the third leading cause of death in Europe (and the U.S) and psychiatry’s Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) declaring these drugs are safe – even declaring that ‘the public should have no concerns about these drugs’. 

When publicly challenged, KOLs usually retaliate with the mantra ‘correlation does not imply causation’. Pushed a bit further, their hackles will rise and they’ll state ‘these people are causing harm, by stopping people from taking life-saving medication’. Yet, even a utilitarian argument that these drugs provide ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ has been debunked by Peter Gøtzsche (scientist and co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration). He stated recently, to no small uproar, that these drugs are ‘doing more harm than good’ and that almost all psychotropic drug use could be stopped without deleterious effect (due to withdrawal, discontinuing is not advisable without medical supervision).

However, the problems run deeper than the KOLs defence of psychiatric drugs. An interesting article on MIA (Mad in America) tells the sorry tale of a dad who recently discovered that the American drug regulator (FDA) is ‘hiding reports linking psychiatric drugs to homicides’. It will be interesting to see what happens next within the FDA.

Furthermore, the statement that ‘the public should have no concerns about these drugs’ was made following an inquest in Ireland, where concerns were raised by the deceased’s family about a recent prescription of Sertraline (Zoloft/Lustral). However, as is common practice, the family’s concerns were dismissed. They had no way of knowing that in 1998, the Irish Drug Regulator (HPRA), following reports of Sertraline-induced suicide, had requested that the drug company in question (Pfizer) search its database for similar cases. There were 594 ‘suicide events’ reported from non-clinical sources, of which causality was not investigated. Of the 252 from clinical trial cases, Pfizer’s internal report concluded that 54 were directly related to Sertraline treatment. Interestingly, 11 of the ‘suicide events’ reported (from both sources) came from Ireland, with 2 found causally related to Sertraline. The latter were from ‘confidential’ documents released through court proceedings and provided by Kim Witczak who lost her husband Woody to Sertraline.

Nevertheless, it seems that science may be catching up with the anecdotal evidence, with some interesting studies published recently. Following the Study 329 debacle (as yet unretracted), the latest study by Jureidini et al ‘The citalopram CIT-MD-18 pediatric depression trial: Deconstruction of medical ghostwriting, data mischaracterisation and academic malfeasance’ shows how Forest Labs, through greed and fraudulent practices, actively ignored the prospective likely harms to children. The study concluded:

Deconstruction of court documents revealed that protocol-specified outcome measures showed no statistically significant difference between citalopram and placebo. However, the published article concluded that citalopram was safe and significantly more efficacious than placebo for children and adolescents, with possible adverse effects on patient safety.

Another study by Selma et al ‘The relevance of cytochrome P450 polymorphism in forensic medicine and akathisia-related violence and suicide’ expressed that a genetic predisposition to iatrogenesis can be traced back to pharmacogenetic interactions, namely the inability of some to metabolize prescribed drugs, making ordinarily ‘safe’ drugs, lethal for some. The study concluded:

“CYP450 status is an important factor that differentiates those who can tolerate a drug or combination of drugs from those who might not. Testing for cytochrome P450 identifies those at risk for such adverse drug reactions. As forensic medical and toxicology professionals become aware of the biological causes of these catastrophic side effects, they may bring justice to both perpetrators and to victims of akathisia-related violence. The medicalization of common human distress has resulted in a very large population getting medication that may do more harm than good by causing suicides, homicides and the mental states that lead up to them”.

Perhaps we will just have to wait for the hapless KOL to catch up, not only with the scientific evidence but with collective anecdotal evidence from families. It would seem that underestimating anecdotal evidence is unwise – not least as science often evolves from this very valuable source.

The citalopram CIT-MD-18 pediatric depression trial: Deconstruction of medical ghostwriting, data mischaracterisation and academic malfeasance.

The relevance of cytochrome P450 polymorphism in forensic medicine and akathisia-related violence and suicide

Family calls for more research into anti-depressants

The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides

Ah Yes; The Lundbeck Salute.

Lundbeck two finger saluteI have always said that I never get angry, but I think I may have to revise that statement. You’d think by the following conversation, that I had lost my purse or something equally trivial, but hey, what’s a son to Lundbeck pharmaceuticals?

Sept 20 2013

Causality Assessment.

RE; My son’s death (Shane Clancy)

To whom it concerns,

It has come to my attention that the CIOMS report which I have received for my son’s death is unfactual. The box marked ‘did event reappear after reintroduction’, is inexplicably blank. As you can see from my son’s medical records which I have attached for your attention, there is clearly a challenge, dechallenge and rechallenge period. The significance of my son’s suicide attempt shortly after his consumption of Citalopram and his completed suicide shortly after rechallenge surely did not go unnoticed by your pharmacovigilance department?
As this seems to be an oversight on Lundbeck’s part, can you rectify this important issue and get back to me and the Irish Medicines Board with another assessment. As I’m sure that deceased children are of huge importance to Lundbeck, this matter is surely one of utmost importance in order to prevent future fatalities.
Regards,
Leonie Fennell
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Reply Sept 25 2013

Dear Ms Fennell,

I refer to your query below concerning the CIOMS report for your son’s case. The CIOMS form was completed in compliance with pharmacovigilance legislation which requires a revision of the form on the receipt of relevant new information. There is no requirement for a revision of the CIOMS form, as the case is considered up-to-date by the Irish Medicines Board.

Yours sincerely,
Medical Department,

Lundbeck (Ireland) Ltd

Wicklow Casper Conference

PresentationWell, I did it. I survived the conference with Maria, I didn’t run out the side door and she didn’t have to slap me; well not too hard anyway. Maria was fabulous and I couldn’t have asked for a more experienced ally.

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She was able to give people a real feel for her son Toran, along with an abundance of science behind drug-induced deaths. The stories we heard on Saturday were tragic and very avoidable, but hopefully we can inform the future generation and stop the madness that SSRIs are inducing. 

Maria is the CEO of Casper NZ. New statistics have shown that in the groups which Casper has helped, there has been a 20% reduction in deaths by suicide. For young people that is a stunning reversal, because in the previous year there had been a 45% increase in 15-19 year olds taking their own lives. That has never been done in Ireland and we need to take notice. Despite all the suicide awareness groups, pharma funded and otherwise, the suicide rate in this country is huge. Maria has been asked to speak in other countries including Dubai, The Cook Islands, Australia and the US. I have no doubt she is making a difference; can we possibly ignore these results or will we just keep over-prescribing the unhappy pills which double the risk of suicide and violence?

PS. Thank you so much to everyone who made a huge effort to attend, from all over the country and indeed from across the water. I am humbled! Video to follow once my son Jake gets his act together and posts to Youtube.

When is a suicide not a suicide?

@AntiDepAware

This blog was written by Brian today. His blog ‘AntiDepAware‘ is such a revelation. His knowledge on prescription drug-induced deaths, coupled with brilliant investigational skills, surpasses no-one that I’m aware of.

It may come as no surprise that most of the victims in this particular blog were on Citalopram. Despite drug companies admitting that antidepressants (SSRIs in particular) can cause a person to commit suicide, Coroners seem to be lagging way behind in informing themselves. Have a read for yourselves:

When is a suicide not a suicide?

Robert Keywood was married and had two daughters, lived in Kent, and worked for Kimberley-Clark as director of human resources.

A few weeks before his death, he had travelled to Poland and America on business and was having trouble sleeping. He went to see his GP, and was prescribed sleeping tablets and antidepressants.

One Friday last November, Mr Keywood drove to the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham, where he took his own life by jumping from the top of the multi-storey car park (right). A note left on the passenger seat of his car read: “You’re better off without me, love Bob.”Multi story

Ann, his wife of almost 30 years, told the inquest her husband had acted “agitated” and “out of character” on a number of occasions before he died.

CoronerDeputy assistant coroner Alison Summers (left) said, “One gleans some insight into a particular person’s life and it’s clear to me this was very out of character,” before recording a verdict of suicide.

To give a verdict of suicide, a coroner needs to be certain that the person intended to kill himself or herself. Often, the existence of a written note is regarded as evidence of intent. In this case, Mr Keywood had written just seven words on a piece of paper left in his car.

In a case where medication could well be the cause, however, it is surely relevant to ask the question: “Would the person have killed him/herself if he/she had not been taking medication?” In this case, like so many before it, Mr Keywood had no recorded history of depression, and only began to act agitated and out of character after having been prescribed medication. From the newspaper report, it would appear probable that an adverse reaction to antidepressants was responsible for Mr Keyword’s death. Therefore, unless there are circumstances that have gone unreported, suicide may not be the correct verdict in this case.

Like Mr Keywood, Trina Clinton, a 54-year-old housewife from Redditch, took her life by falling from a multi-storey car park in March 2005. Worcestershire Coroner Victor Round originally recorded a verdict of suicide but told the court that a blood test revealed the prescribed antidepressant Citalopram in Mrs Clinton’s blood.

After Mrs Clinton’s sister-in-law said that the antidepressant “must have been a contributory factor”, Mr Round changed the verdict to “suicide while under medication”. He then modified his verdict again to record an open verdict.

In the same month, Carwyn Lewisa 38-year-old air steward from Carmarthen, was found dead in a bath full of water with a travel case full of books on top of him. He had been suffering from depression for some time.

But the coroner said he could not record a verdict of suicide because of the possible side-effects of the antidepressant drugs that Mr Lewis had been taking. He recorded an open verdict.

Ian Fox, a 65-year-old retired postal worker from Edgware, died in July 2008 after throwing himself in front of a train at Finchley Road Tube station.

He had been prescribed the antidepressant Citalopram for just one month before taking his life and he had expressed a wish to come off it, complaining of confusion and anxiety.

At his inquest, Mr Fox’s wife blamed her husband’s sudden death on the medication, saying that her husband’s action was completely out of character. She described how, until he began taking Citalopram, he had only been suffering from mild depression, brought on by retirement from his job and a foot injury.

Coroner Dr Andrew Reid recorded a narrative verdict in which he accepted that Mr Fox had jumped in front of the train, but added: “I’m satisfied he did so while the balance of his mind was disturbed while suffering the adverse effects of Citalopram.”

Brian PalmerIn September 2011, self-employed electrician Brian Palmer (left), 63, from Littlehampton, visited his GP as a consequence of financial worries. He was prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Zopiclone. A few days later, Mr Palmer shot himself.

At the inquest, Mr Palmer’s widow Jennifer told the inquest that days after Mr Palmer began taking the drugs, his mental health deteriorated. She said: “I noticed a change in him almost straight after taking the pills. I asked to see the box in the days before but he said he couldn’t find it. I found it a few days after his death and it listed all the changes I had seen in him. My heart just stopped. I didn’t go down there with him, when he picked up the prescription – I wish I had. We have had to learn the hard way. I can’t bear to think of any other families going through this kind of trauma.”

Coroner Penelope Schofield recorded a narrative verdict, in which she concluded that Mr Palmer took his own life following the prescription of antidepressant pills.

In each of the four cases above, the deaths have been linked to the victims’ reactions to antidepressant medication. Yet two of the cases resulted in open verdicts, while in the other two, narrative verdicts were recorded.

My database also contains cases where coroners have turned a deaf ear to evidence pertaining to reaction to antidepressants. This was particularly noticeable in inquests into the Bridgend hangings.

At the inquest of Christopher Ward, for example, a police officer provided the information that 29 year-old Mr Ward “had been prescribed Citalopram for depression.” Even so, Coroner Peter Maddox declared that: “There was a lack of anything in the system that would have altered his judgement, you would expect him to understand what he was doing and the consequences,” said Mr Maddox. “I can’t ignore the circumstances in which he was found, the toxicology results which suggests he was in control of his faculties.” Mr Maddox recorded a verdict of suicide, thus completely ignoring the possibility that Citalopram may have “altered his judgement”.

Lana WilliamsIn the case of 20 year-old mother Lana Williams (right), her fiancé said she had seemed “in good spirits” when he had left the house for work on the morning of her death. A police officer reported that “although Miss Williams had suffered post-natal depression, for which she was still taking medication, there was no other history of mental health problems.” After hearing the evidence, “Coroner Peter Maddox said he thought an appropriate verdict was that Lana Williams took her own life.”

It has been proposed that there should be a separate verdict for those who have taken their lives while under the influence of prescribed medication. This would be a verdict of “Iatrogenic Suicide”, the word iatrogenesis being defined as an inadvertent adverse effect or complication resulting from medical treatment or advice. This would be supported by those who are concerned that suicide figures are underestimated due to the number of self-inflicted deaths registered as open or narrative verdicts.

On the other hand, Dr David Healy writes that: “If someone jumps to their death from a 10th floor balcony under the influence of LSD, unless there is clear evidence beforehand that this was what was planned, an open verdict would be more appropriate than a suicide verdict.”

SSRIs are capable of causing similarly tragic outcomes, and bereaved families who recognised that their loved one’s death was caused by a reaction to medication would be disappointed to receive a verdict of suicide in such cases.

My sister Lori.

Lori

This is Lisa’s story of the sudden and tragic death of her sister Lori in 1981. Lori was 25 years old and Lisa was 13. It took almost 3 decades for Lisa to find out the truth about her sister’s death. Here is Lisa’s story:

My sister Lori Died Suddenly on Sept. 22, 1981. She was 25 years old. I always knew my Sister’s sudden death was suspicious. I had searched for years for the answers to why, which included contacting the police department, and going over the report many times! Someone had to do this to her, she would not have killed herself! This I knew for sure! I would sit in my driveway where she lost her life, and look at my house many times over, and say how did you sit here, looking at our families home with your daughter, niece, sisters, and parents sleeping inside, how how could you have done this to us, and yourself?!

Nothing made sense then, and for the decades that followed. However, now almost three decades later “2009″ the truth has finally surfaced. I now have the answer I have searched for my entire life since that tragic morning I found her in her 1977 Buick with our father’s handgun in her lap. I promised her that morning I would not give up until I found the “truth” about what really happened to her. My sister loved life, and her family, and knew we loved her! She would not have taken her own life. So why did she?
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Summary of Lori’s Story:
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My sister moved home, and filed for divorce in 1980. I am her younger sister Lisa, and we spent most of this time together when she moved back home. I was going into the 8th grade that year. I was so happy that she was moving in with us, and that I would have time to spend with her. We were very close, very similar. Lori was a strong, smart woman, and she was determined to make it on her own! She worked for the county that we lived in, and was very well liked at her job. She also made enough money where she would be able to live. People that she worked with were shocked like everyone else was to hear about her sudden, so out of character death.
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At the time she lived with us she was doing fine, going to work everyday, and taking one day at a time to rebuild her life. Throughout her divorce it was stressful, just as much as expected in any divorce situation. It is a life change. Suddenly the last month to weeks of her life I noticed that she had changed. I listened, and I watched her suddenly turn into someone I did not know. I could not figure it out? Why was she acting like this? Saying these things to me? Finding it funny to scare me? Lori suddenly started to talk about death, and dying! In which she would include me in her plans/ideas on how I/We could end her life!
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Some examples are as follows:
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1. Lori would loop a belt around her neck, and ask me to pull it as hard as I could until she stopped breathing!
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2. Lori would ask me to come in the middle of the night, and put a pillow over her face to suffocate her in her sleep!
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3. Lori would lay still in her bed, and when she heard me coming down the hallway she would lay still, and pretend to be dead. When I shook her to wake her up she would not move. She stayed so still until she couldn’t anymore, and started to laugh out loud hysterically at me, and then would say to me “I’m just joking Lisa, I just wanted to see what it would feel like to really be dead, and what you would do if I really was?! Then she would go on to say to me, “you don’t have to worry I wouldn’t really do anything, I’m too chicken!”
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4. Lori suddenly changed by saying things to me like “HE” is in your room, closet and going to get you! Will you sleep with me in my room on the floor next to me? She also would say things that did not make sense like.. see this pin this will pop your face, see this curling iron, this will burn your face! It Never made sense the things she started to say..that was not her!
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5. Lori suddenly at times would go from laughing, and joking about something into anger, (suddenly she pushed me into a file cabinet, it, and myself fell on the ground) Lori never would hurt anyone, especially me;  agitated, and confused mood. (suddenly she would look at me with sadness in her eyes, and say to me I don’t know why I am saying or doing these things.. I must be going crazy.
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Lisa and Lori6. Something else happened shortly before her life ended in such a tragic horrific way. Lori suddenly became very sick she came down with the flu. She lost weight, she could not eat, drink, or get up out of bed she was very pale, and weak, frail looking. I felt so bad I could not help her feel better. I had never seen her so sick before. She could not hold food down and was growing weaker by the day.
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7. Lori also suddenly started to fall asleep with her bible on her face. As if she were reading. praying for help to feel better. I had to take the bible of her face a few times when she finally was able to sit still, and take a short nap.
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8. Lori’s sleeping patterns suddenly changed as well.
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9. The night before she died, I remember it so clear. Lori kept rocking in our rocking chair that we had in our living room. She would not stop! She also was talking much faster than usual, and walking much faster as well. When I finally asked her to stop rocking so fast she just looked at me like she couldn’t stop, or didn’t want to. It was like someone was pushing her to rock. I thought it very odd at the time but soon overlooked it because of all her sudden behaviors had been so altered lately that I almost was getting use to the changes.
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10. That night my sister’s were staying up to watch the Deer Hunter a movie that came out in the 80′s I believe. They wanted me to stay up also to watch it with them but I was tired, and only made through some of it. The Russian Roulette camp scene came up. Where each of the prisoners were made to put a loaded handgun to their heads, some chambers were full, some were not. Each prisoner was made to take a chance when it was their turn. If it was empty they lived. If it was not they died. Lori made the comment/question: Do you think if I did that it would work the first time? Then she laughed it off. Then she started talking about our German Shepherd Dog who was aging. Lori said what are we going to do with Champ when he dies? Then she said well it doesn’t matter, if we bury him the worms will eat him anyway! Again she laughed.
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Lori 2I went to bed soon after that part of the movie, I was very tired. Lori came into my bedroom late that night, and stood in my doorway. She was talking to me, and asked are you awake? I remember mumbling back to her yes, but was half asleep still. She looked at the last supper picture I had on the wall, and asked me who was so and so? I don’t remember the name she said. Then she went on to look at her daughters picture on my wall, and said aww, isn’t she so cute! Then the last thing she said to me was “Well I’ll see you in the morning ok?!” and off she went down the hallway, I heard the front door slam as it usually did behind her around that time of night. That night Lori was not sad, depressed, crying, or irritable, just sounded so full of life! Energized.
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I did not know it then, but that was the last time I would hear her voice. That early morning of September 22, 1981 I was getting ready for school. I went into her bedroom to borrow a shirt of hers, and I quietly asked her if I could borrow it? Lori did not answer, so I took it, and got ready to catch the bus. As I walked out the front door down our driveway I had to pass her car, from a far distance all I could see was the color RED. My first thought was “here she goes again, She is trying to fool me again, and this time it looks like she used Ketchup!
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Well as I got closer, I saw my sister through the car window, she was on her side with her head on the armrest of the passenger side door. I could see her face clearly, Her eyes were closed, and there was blood dripping from her mouth, and bottom lip onto the seat. Still I was in total disbelief. Our other sister ran back into the house right away, and was calling me to come with her. I stayed by the car window, pounding on the glass waiting for her move, or waiting for her to laugh because she fooled me again! She did not move, or laugh.
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Our father came out of the house, and broke the driver side window, unlocked the door and got inside the car, reached across Lori’s body to unlock the passenger side door, ran around the car as fast as he could, got in and picked her up to hold her. Lori’s body lay across my fathers lap, and he just kept repeating WHY?
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Lori3Our father came up to the house finally, hands and clothing full of blood, and said to me, your sister is gone. She had a open casket, I was not going to attend until a friend told me I should go say goodbye or I would regret it later. So I went. I finally went up to the casket where her body lay. All I could remember was the things she had said to me, and done those last weeks of her life. I was afraid, and confused to what had happened to her. It just never made sense! As I sat and looked across the room at her in the casket all I could think of was that this was not real. She was not Dead. She is pretending, etc. Even though In reality I did know she was gone. Just didn’t know why?!
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*Lori did not drink,smoke, or do drugs- We had no answers. No clues so we thought. So for decades her sudden change, which followed to her sudden death remained “suspicious!”
THE NOTE SHE LEFT BEHIND SAID:
“IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT, I JUST FLIPPED!”
:)
(WITH A SMILEY FACE AT THE BOTTOM.)
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Decades later the truth surfaced! Finally I was able to put it all together. In 2009 I was going through my sister’s box of things that I had packed away almost 28 years ago, off the top of her dresser. I came across many things I remembered from the time… one which included a medicine bottle. We knew Lori was put on a medicine to help her with the stress of her divorce, so it was not a surprise to me that I packed the bottle. Like I said we all knew she was taking something for anxiety. Back then it was similar to taking an advil. No big deal. As long as a doctor gave you something, it was ok to take. Safe.
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However..the shock came to me when I typed the name of the drug into the computer just months ago. Slowly it all started to come together, and I mean all of it! As I read the side effects of the medication she was on, it all suddenly linked! Including the things she said, the things she did, the rocking in the chair, the things she was seeing that were not there, and finally to the flu like symptoms that she was displaying shortly before she ended her life at the young age of 25.
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Lori 3NOW..EVEN THE NOTE SHE LEFT BEHIND MAKES SENSE!….SHE DID FLIP, LOST HER MIND, HOWEVER, SHE DID NOT KNOW IT WAS DUE TO THE CONCEALED SIDE EFFECTS OF A PRESCRIPTION DRUG SHE TOOK FOR JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS!!
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HERE IS THE WARNING ON THIS SAME DRUG TODAY (2013):
Imipramine and Suicides:
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Your healthcare provider should monitor you (or your child) carefully when you are first starting an antidepressant. You should also be watchful for any signs of suicidal behavior. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you (or your child) have any of the following:
*Thoughts about death or *committing suicide, Suicide attempts, *Depression or anxiety that is new or worse, *Agitation, restlessness, or panic attacks
*Trouble sleeping (insomnia), *Irritability that is new or worse, *Aggressive, angry, or violent behavior, *Acting on dangerous impulses, *Unusually increased talking or activity*Akathisia
An analysis of a large clinical trial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2008 estimated that up to 35 percent of people taking antipsychotic drugs experience akathisia.
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Symptoms include: Fidgety movements*, Leg swinging while sitting*, Rocking from foot to foot or pacing*, Motor restlessness; inability to sit still*, Feelings of anxiety*, Insomnia*. The combination of these symptoms and depression and impulsiveness may also contribute to aggression and suicide in some patients. Other strange changes in mood or behavior. (* I put a star next to every side effect she had!)
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BLACK BOX WARNING (2004)
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/psn/transcript.cfm?show=34 Today we have commercials warning of these dangers. We also have computers where we can do our own research. Back then, we had nothing! Some say maybe no-one knew back then… Not true! Facts below:
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Pharmacosis:
* The first descriptions of a drug causing suicide came in 1955. A few years later in 1958 and again in 1959 the problem was described with imipramine.* Treatment induced suicide became a prominent media issue in 1990 with a paper by Teicher and Cole. (MY SISTER DID NOT HAVE TO DIE!) *It was not until 2004 that regulators and companies conceded that these drugs can cause a problem.
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Closure.
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In 2009 I was able to give our parents some kind of closure to Lori’s death, however, this in no way made up for the three plus decades of pain and suffering they as parents had to endure. Our Mother said: You mean she died because people had to be greedy, and make money? Our Father said: It don’t matter now, because she is gone, and nobody will care! HAD WE KNOWN THE CONCEALED SIDE EFFECTS OF IMIPRAMINE, MY SISTER WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY!
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WELL MY STORY IS NOW ONLINE, AND PEOPLE DO CARE, AND HOPEFULLY LIVES CAN BE SAVED BY READING HER STORY! IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY SISTER… SHE MAY NOW, AFTER ALMOST THREE DECADES, REST IN PEACE.
I LOVE YOU.
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To contact Lisa directly – plastercaster68@yahoo.com
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Brian’s Beachy Head Stories

Beachy HeadThis post was recently written by Brian at AntiDepAware. Here he argues the idiocy of experienced Coroners who should know better. The post involves Beachy Head inquests which are largely presided over by Coroner Craze and Deputy Pratt (and no I didn’t make that up).
Incidentally, while looking for a picture of Coroner Craze I realized that he was the same Coroner who decided that author Elspeth Thompson died by suicide. At the time of her death she had also been recently prescribed antidepressants. When will Coroners grasp the fact that a drug-induced suicide is not suicide? Ireland has a similar ‘hotspot’ in the Cliffs of Moher. Here consultant psychiatrist Dr Bhamjee states that the ‘suicide’ issue needs to be tackled, although considering his stance on NewsTalk last week, he wont be blaming the mind altering drugs! Now there’s a surprise!
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Beachy Head Stories

Posted on April 18, 2013 by 

Beachy Head is a chalk headland in Southern England, close to the town of Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex. The cliff there is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres above sea level. Its height has also made it one of the most notorious suicide spots in the world.

There are an estimated 20 deaths a year at Beachy Head. The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team conducts regular day and evening patrols of the area inSamaritans Call-box attempts to locate and stop potential jumpers. Workers at the pub and taxi drivers are also on the look-out for people contemplating suicide, and there are posted signs with the telephone number of Samaritans urging potential jumpers to call them.

During the past 10 years, the majority of inquests relating to these deaths have been carried out either by Alan Craze, coroner for East Sussex, or by his Deputy, Joanna Pratt. Remarkably, not many of the inquest reports to be found in the newspapers of East Sussex mention either toxicology findings, or the medical history of the victims. It would seem fair to assume that these tend not to be brought up at the inquests themselves – at least, not instigated by the coroner.

Nevertheless, here are just a few of those stories.

In November 2003, Mr Craze presided over the inquest of Oliver Carter, an ex-soldier from East Sussex who drove his car off Beachy Head after breaking up with his girlfriend. Mr Carter had been discharged from the Army the previous year, when he was diagnosed as having a depressive illness. He had been placed on the antidepressant Citalopram. His brother Toby said: “I saw him six hours before his death. It was the best I had seen him for a good long while that night.” Mr Craze delivered a verdict of suicide, without considering why Mr Carter’s mood had changed so drastically.

Days before his death in July 2008, Giles Parker had been prescribed antidepressants, following months of declining such treatment. Three days later he turned up at 6am at the hospital in Eastbourne saying he had taken an overdose of around 30 tablets the night before. He was seen by a doctor, and a series of tests were taken. He told staff he did not have suicidal thoughts and left the hospital. The inquest heard that a couple were walking on Beachy Head later that morning at around 10.15am when a vehicle that Mr Parker was driving sped by on a nearby track. A witness statement said, “He ran around the back of the vehicle, towards the cliff edge and dived off.” A post-mortem showed he had died of multiple injuries.

Mr Parker’s mother said she had no doubt he had taken his own life because he could no longer live with a mental illness. She, along with Mr Parker’s sisters, questioned why the team at the hospital on the day did not have access to his previous mental health records and why, if someone came into hospital having said they had taken an overdose, they would be considered not suicidal. A consultant at the A&E department said that Mr Parker was deemed a low risk and therefore the hospital could not stop him from leaving the premises. He told the inquest that the team did not have access to patients’ mental health records because of legal reasons. Had Mr Parker been seen by the psychiatric liaison team they could have accessed any such records.

Coroner Alan Craze said, “I find myself on so many occasions saying ‘if only’. If only Mr Parker had chosen to stay or there was something medically wrong this might have been different but the fact is he didn’t.” Recording a verdict of suicide he called Mr Parker’s death an ‘awful tragedy’ and added, “I can’t see that anybody linked to this tragedy could have taken different action.” Yet Mr Craze himself could have taken a different action. By 2008 he must have been aware how volatile antidepressants can be at the beginning of uptake. Nevertheless, he failed to let Mr Parker’s family know about the significance of the medication that had, in all probability, led him to the hospital, and from there to the cliff.

Medical student Matthew Campsall was spotted at Beachy Head by a coastguard who said he had seen a man who was pacing up and down over the fence line. He was then seen to walk to the cliff edge and disappear. Matthew, who had in fact driven all the way from Leicestershire, a distance of approximately 300 km, to take his life, had previously spent a few days in a psychiatric unit after presenting bizarre behaviour while in A&E.

His care co-ordinator said, “I think that he felt he had been working a lot, doing lots of odd hours, no sleeping pattern on top of revising for finals, he found he was under a lot of stress.” She added that he was making jokes the last time she saw him, a fortnight before his death. A psychiatrist added that Matthew had been relatively frank in meetings. Responding to these comments, Coroner Alan Craze said, “This is a rare case, even with hindsight there’s nothing to indicate to me as a lay-man or to you as a professional that he was at risk of taking his own life.”

He recorded a verdict of suicide while the balance of the mind was disturbed. Matthew’s parents gave an interview to the Sunday Mercury that revealed more of his story: “When his girlfriend left him, he had mild depression but literally just mild depression. He was prescribed Prozac, which we didn’t know about and were unhappy about, but he seemed to be recovered and had seen a counsellor. The moment you mention those things people start thinking there is more to this. But if you had seen him in the weeks before this – he went on holiday to Yorkshire and with his aunt to Bournemouth. “The only thing we can think is the failure on the course, but on the other hand 35 people failed this year. As far as we know six or seven of his friends had failed, so he was going to go back with them to retake it. But you don’t know what’s happening behind the eyes. We don’t understand why he did it.’’

Perhaps by now Matthew’s parents know more about the propensity of Prozac to induce suicidal thoughts. What is certain is that they were not given that information at Matthew’s inquest.

joanna_pratt

Mr Craze’s deputy, Joanna Pratt (above) appears just as adept at ignoring evidence concerning the effect of antidepressants. This can be seen in the inquest of Jason Edwards. The 40-year-old father-of-two had been prescribed antidepressants in November 2009 after suffering from sleep problems following a bad back. Paula Harding, his partner of 22 years and the mother of his children, said, “He wanted a short-term fix to enable him to get a few nights’ sleep so he could go up to London to further his business. “When he came back with anti-depressants I was surprised because he said he only wanted something to help him sleep. “The anxiety was down to getting his business moving. It was just frustration.”

Ms Harding said Mr Edwards changed after he started taking the medication. “Overnight he seemed to change,” she said. “He was restless and agitated. He said he felt like there was adrenaline sawing around his body.” Ms Harding said her husband had gone from being confident and easy-going to paranoid since he started taking the medication. She said, “I said, ‘you have got to go back, you need to get off this’. It was just not right.” Ms Harding always wanted her partner to get off the medication and she researched the drugs and found psychosis and paranoia were recognised side-effects.

There was a time when Mr Edwards stopped taking the medication for a short period and Ms Harding said his mood and behaviour settled. Mr Edwards had many appointments with his GP, was referred to the community mental health team in Littlehampton and tried meditation and hypnotherapy. He experienced ups and downs and admitted that he had suicidal thoughts when filling out a depression questionnaire at his doctor’s surgery. At that point, his GP changed his medication to an anti-depressant which he said was less dangerous in overdose. Presumably this would be an SSRI, which is particularly risky upon starting or changing dosage. Despite continuing his job and taking their daughter to school, Mr Edwards’ mental state worsened and on March 19 he sent a goodbye text message to his brother from the top of Beachy Head. His body was recovered from the foot of the cliffs by coastguard teams the next day.

After hearing all this first-hand evidence, Miss Pratt simply recorded a verdict of suicide.

The most recent name in my inquest database is Sally Ann Vye, a redundant shoe shop manager who, like Matthew, also made the 300 km journey from Leicestershire. Last June she travelled by bus to London, and then took another bus to Eastbourne. She was rescued on the edge of the cliffs by members of the local chaplaincy team, and taken back to Leicestershire. Twelve days later, she repeated the journey, but this time there was  nobody to stop her achieving her goal. She was on antidepressants.

http://antidepaware.co.uk/

http://antidepaware.co.uk/what-the-coroners-say-part-1-2003/

http://antidepaware.co.uk/what-the-coroners-say-part-2-2004-2005/

http://antidepaware.co.uk/what-the-coroners-say-part-3-2006-2008/

Twitt
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Is Minister Kathleen Lynch responsible for two more deaths?

Trust me Does Kathleen Lynch’s inaction make her partly responsible for the recent deaths of John Deegan and Deirdre Keenan?

This week the Irish Independent reported that John Deegan, a 53 year old farmer had shot and killed himself and his 51 year old partner Deidre Keegan. Both families are said to be ‘very shocked by what had happened’. It seems that this is another Irish case of murder/suicide, one in a long list of awful tragedies, and happening with increasing regularity.

Today the Independent reported that Mr Deegan had been suffering from depression and more importantly: “It is understood that Mr Deegan had been on medication prescribed by a doctor during the past couple of months.” The experts will say that incidents like this are enormously complex and that no-one knows the complexities or intent behind the perpetrator’s reasoning. What the experts won’t say is that these drugs can cause suicide, homicide, aggression, mania and akathisia (a known precursor to suicide and/or homicide). The dangerous period is upon starting, discontinuing and changing dosage (up or down). These are adverse effects of prescription drugs which are not widely known but the truth is, Minister Lynch, the person with responsibility for mental health, does know. She is well aware of the side-effects of prescription drugs.

The facts: Two experts met with Minister Lynch in Leinster House last May. Professor David Healy told Minister Lynch that SSRIs were causing people to kill themselves and kill others. He said that drug induced death ‘is the leading cause of death Minister Kathleen Lynch. Picture courtesy of Irish Election Literaturewithin the mental health field‘. Declan Gilsenan, assistant State Pathologist for over 30 years, told her of his ‘intuition’ that SSRI’s are causing suicides and that more people have died by suicide as a direct result of seeking help, than those who didn’t. He said in his 30-year experience carrying out post-mortems, he had seen way too many suicides of people who had just started on SSRI antidepressants. So you would think that Minister Lynch would have acted immediately in order to stop any more unnecessary deaths; nope, it doesn’t seem so! Despite both experts offering their services to stop the rising deaths, nothing has been done. It seems that upsetting psychiatry’s ‘medical model’ or pharma’s ‘apple cart’ isn’t an option.

Another issue is whether Mr Deegan was monitored when first prescribed these drugs. Was he warned of the risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription? These are two simple recommendations, among others, set down by the Irish Commission of Human Rights last year.

Co-incidentally, a few days before this latest tragedy happened, Prof Healy published this blog: Prescription-only Homicide and Violence. He also did a report for Shane’s Inquest which might be of interest, here. The Irish Government cannot cry foul at this stage, or say they were not aware, as the information below proves otherwise:

The Dáil; Here

The Seanad (Senate); Here

Leinster House; Here

IHRC RecommendationsHere

As for Kathleen Lynch, James Reilly and the latest Irish Government: In my opinion they are putting the pharmaceutical industry’s interests before the interests of the people they purport to serve.

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http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/killers-mental-health-clue-in-murder-of-mother-of-six-29096796.html

https://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/eli-lilly-and-the-irish-government/

https://leoniefennell.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/was-minister-mcentee-let-down-by-the-government-he-loyally-served/