cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck

Meet Larry..

Larry 1Meet Larry, 63. Larry underwent a ‘triple bypass’ operation last Christmas, which involved spending 26 days in the Mater hospital, Dublin. Open heart surgery is known to be a very serious procedure; not least because the sternum (which is opened during surgery) can take up to 12 weeks to heal. Cardiologists acknowledge that Heart surgery is life-changing, both physically and emotionally.

Larry was a good guy, the eldest of six. He was relaxed, funny, and easy-going, with a wife whom he knew since they were teenagers. He had 4 children and 7 grandchildren who adored him. Following Larry’s triple bypass, as is common following big operations, he started to feel a little down. He was prescribed an antidepressant Lexapro (Lundbeck’s poison and the same drug Shane was prescribed). He took Lexapro as prescribed for about a week. He told his son that his head felt like it was exploding, that it wasn’t in sync with the rest of him and that he was ‘all over the place’.

Larry went back to the doctor and his medication was changed, this time to a newer antidepressant, Valdoxan (AKA Agomelatine, manufactured by Servier) and the Benzodiazepine Xanax, another potentially dangerous drug. Larry was prescribed this drug despite recent reports that Valdoxan is associated with serious hepatotoxicity (liver damage) and that caution is advised when prescribing for overweight/obese patients. I’m sure Larry wouldn’t mind me saying that he was more like Pavarotti than Rudolf Nureyev. Either way, I’m not quite sure why any medical professional would prescribe this drug considering the doubts surrounding its efficacy and the possible dangerous adverse effects. Warning here.

According to Larry’s family, following the later prescription for Valdoxan and Xanax, he became manic, unable to function; the simplest of tasks became mammoth. He behaved bizzarely, for example: he wouldn’t allow his wife out of his sight, insisted on holding her hand at all times, seemingly afraid to let go. This was totally out of character for the usually easy-going Larry. As usual, this change was put down to the after effects and trauma of this huge operation, not the mind-altering drugs which are prescribed to unsuspecting patients, including Larry.

On 27th Febuary 2013, Larry took a rope into the garage of his old family home and less than the required 12 weeks it took for his sternum to heal, this easy going 63 year-old man was dead.

There are 2,370 suicides and 1,539 Cardiac arrests reported as a drug- reaction (of Xanax) in the RxISK website. Valdoxan (Agomelatine) is not on the RxISK website because it is not approved by the FDA in America. This drug has been called ineffective, potentially dangerous and ‘a dog’ and had 3 (acknowledged) suicides in clinical trials, before it was even approved. For more of Valdoxan’s dodgy trials and other dodgy dealings with this IMB approved drug, retired psychiatrist and scientist ‘1 Boring Old Man’ explains it here.

The Valdoxan patient information leaflet (PIL) has the usual IMB inadequate suicide warning, although directed at under 25s:

 A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled clinical trials of antidepressants in adult patients with psychiatric disorders showed an increased risk of suicidal behaviour with antidepressants compared to placebo, in patients less than 25 years old. Close supervision of patients and in particular those at high risk should accompany treatment especially in early treatment and following dose changes. Patients (and caregivers of patients) should be alerted to the need to monitor for any clinical worsening, suicidal behaviour or thoughts and unusual changes in behaviour and to seek medical advice immediately if these symptoms present.

The fact that the so-called psychiatric ‘experts’ in Ireland deny that these drugs can cause suicide, arguably negates the above warning. Even though Larry was aware of Shane’s case and the role that antidepressants played, he, like most people, trusted that the medical professionals knew better.

RIP Larry.

Lexapro PIL

Valdoxan PIL

Xanax PIL

Newspaper and internet articles

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.


psychiatry, Shanes story.

TomAto/tomato, Schizo/mad person?



Schizo/mad person?

I can understand why people get upset when the language used to describe a person suffering with a mental illness, becomes compartmentalised. Using an ‘inappropriate’ description to describe an already vulnerable person, can cause distress, albeit maybe unintentional.

To the person who has/is suffering, or whose family member has experienced a ‘mental’ illness, an inappropriate    descriptive word can be extremely hurtful, and even worse, can seem condescending. But does it really, in the grand scheme of things, matter at all?

I have always found it strange that people get so emotional over trivial, throwaway comments, intended to help, not to hinder. Many people, thankfully, will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing or offending the poor ‘psycho’ or even the ‘schizo’ next door. The obsession with saying the right thing however, never offending and using the right ‘politically correct’ words, can get a tad boring, and in my opinion, further restricts the ‘mental illness sufferer’ from moving forward. Professor Richard Bentall of the University of Manchester, among others, called for the term ‘schizophrenia’ to be abolished. Prof Bentall stated “I think the concept [schizophrenia] is scientifically meaningless, clinically unhelpful and ultimately has been damaging to patients.”[i]

Whether the word itself offends, the treatment results should be highly offensive to society. Prof Healy opined that the risk of suicide in the first year of treatment for schizophrenia is extraordinarily high. He said that the risks of suicide [in schizophrenia] were 100 times greater than those of the general population.

“For schizophrenia generally you are 10 times more likely to be dead at the end of the first year of treatment than you were 100 years ago – there may be no other disorder in medicine where you could say this.”

Is this not an enormous tragedy? A paper authored by Prof Healy et alMortality in schizophrenia and related psychoses: data from two cohorts’ was published recently in the British Medical Journal.[ii]

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest when people commit the serious ‘faux pas’, referring to a suicide victim as a person who has ‘committed’ suicide. The act of suicide is of course no longer a crime in Ireland since its abolishment under The Criminal Law (Suicide) Act, 1993.[iii] I don’t even mind if a person says that Shane ‘committed’ suicide, even though the jury rejected that particular verdict.

The point I am trying to make, is that whatever the psychiatric label, whatever the wording used, people who are suffering ‘mentally’ need help. The methods currently being used are not working, if anything, they are making things worse. Our respective governments are ignoring the ‘problem’, doctors and  psychiatry (including Irish psychiatry) are just doing what they know best; pushing dangerous pills.[iv] Despite the increased prescriptions, the suicide numbers are rocketing; what does that tell you?[v] The College of Psychiatry’s webpage wouldn’t fill a person with confidence. On antidepressants, the website states:

The manner in which antidepressants help to restore normal mood isn’t known for definite, but it is probably related to their effect on regulating the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These are chemical messengers that help brain cells communicate and pass signals to each other. The chemicals most involved in depression are serotonin and noradrenaline and antidepressant medications influence their activity. There are other theories to explain the effectiveness of antidepressants in depression, such as their effect on the inflammatory and immune system and on their potential to promote nerve cell growth or (‘neurogenesis’) in certain brain areas. It may be through a combination of these effects that they are helpful in depression…”[vi]

Ah yes, the chemical imbalance theory, and one of the worst pieces of ‘pharma industry propaganda’ ever. Actually, for the pharma industry, the best piece of propaganda; seems to be working well for them at least. The terrible reality, that psychiatry is pushing this idiocy, just makes it much, much worse.

In a recent tweet, Professor Healy stated that ‘MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS CAUSE MORE SUICIDES THAN THEY PREVENT’. This would suggest, that by pushing the ‘medical model’, the body entrusted with the expertise to help the most vulnerable in our society are actually causing more deaths than they are preventing. So, pardon my inexperienced musings and call me ‘mental’ if you like, call me schizo, call me whatever you wish, just don’t ignore the accumulating bodies.




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Was Minister McEntee let down by the Government he loyally served?

Shane McEntee and his mum. Image courtesy of 'The Sun' Newspaper.This week sees another high profile suicide, this time a Fine Gael minister, Shane McEntee. The picture shown is of the Minister with his mum. This poor woman, who was obviously loved by her son, is now left without him and with no explanations, only a ton of unanswered questions.

By all accounts Minister McEntee was a nice man and cared deeply for his constituents, a rarity in Irish Government, it seems. Most of the papers are running with the story that he was upset about some online abuse, which he received after a recent throwaway comment he made. Cyber abuse and bullying have also been reported in relation to other Irish suicides recently. I think the media are completely missing the elephant in the room here. Minister McEntee was 56, he had been in Government since 2005, so I’m sure he was well used to different opinions and abuse thrown at him. He had been a farmer, a politician, a publican and was involved in the GAA, so he would certainly have been used to interacting with all walks of life and personalities. He  managed to get to the age of 56 before he ended his life.

Today’s Independent states “The minister was said by friends to have been under stress at the time of his death. According to sources, he had agreed to see a doctor. Friends said that several issues appeared to be weighing on Mr McEntee in the weeks and days before his death, which is in accordance with expert opinion on suicide.”

I’ll tell you what I think happened: Minister McEntee was feeling under pressure and the cyber abuse wasn’t helping. He went to his doctor for help. The first line of treatment which uninformed doctors will dish out, is antidepressants, usually SSRIs. These drugs which double the suicide risk, can cause: Suicide, Violence, Mania, Worsening depression and of course Akathisia. Described as inner restlessness, Akathisia is the condition which can cause, among other things, a person to die by suicide. People who have survived this condition, have described the terrible inner turmoil, of which the only way out seems to be death as a welcome release, by whatever means. In a recent tweet, Professor Healy stated that ‘MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS CAUSE MORE SUICIDES THAN THEY PREVENT’. That’s CAUSE, in case you misunderstood!

Today the Daily Mail reported that the nurse in the radio ‘hoax call’, Jacintha Saldanha, was on antidepressants. I would have been surprised if she wasn’t.Pill question mark The majority of people who die by suicide are on these drugs. Are they working? Or are they causing these deaths? Despite the increasing number of prescriptions for antidepressants, the suicide rate is rocketing. Blame the recession, cyber bullying or as in Anna Byrne’s case, the fact that she wanted a girl and found she was carrying twin boys; IT’S THE PRESCRIBED DRUGS!

The sad thing is, if I am right and Minister McEntee had recently been prescribed these drugs, members of the Irish Government knew that these drugs are causing numerous Irish deaths. In May of this year, in a meeting with Kathleen Lynch, the Minister with responsibility for children and Mental Health, Professor Healy told her that these drugs are ‘the leading cause of death within the mental health field’. He said it’s not the condition which causes suicide but the drugs themselves as he had seen it firsthand in ‘healthy volunteers’. Dr Declan Gilsenan, forensic pathologist, told her that he ‘had more than a hunch’ that these drugs were causing suicides. Kathleen Lynch has done nothing! If I am right, she is, by her inaction,  partly responsible for Minister McEntee’s death. Enda Kenny and James Reilly are equally responsible. I have e-mailed them both with my concerns; indeed Kathleen Lynch, after the meeting in May,  said she would consult with James Reilly. The cosy relationship that the Irish Government have with the pharmaceutical industry seems to be holding their blinkers firmly in place.

How many more deaths by suicide will Ireland see before Enda Kenny, James Reilly and Kathleen Lynch will do the job they are paid to do, and protect Irish citizens instead of the pharmaceutical industry? The pharmaceutical companies have to admit, in a court of Law, that these drugs can cause suicide, yet will deny it to the public, as Lundbeck did in Shane’s case. These drugs come with a black box warning in America because of the risk of suicide, yet Irish people, due to the misinformation from Irish Psychiatry, are allowed to believe these ‘mind altering drugs’ are safe. Psychiatry’s Key Opinion Leaders (KOPs) will attend inquests to deny that these drugs can cause suicide (or violence); yet the same psychiatrists accept ‘honoraria’ (cash payments) from the same pharmaceutical companies who make the ‘implied’ drug, for speakers fees and other ‘work’. Yep, that’s an ‘independent expert’ opinion alright!

Rest in peace Minister McEntee and sincere condolences to his family.



cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Random, Shanes story.

Are they mad or what?

I have written an article which appears in the ‘health and living’ section of the Irish Independent today; here.

The writing is all mine this time, so for anyone who doesn’t agree; it’s all my work and I stand by everything I said. There was a paragraph missing to do with antidepressants and miscarriages; I feel this is very important so I’ve left it in here. All stats were verified by Prof David Healy.

Are they mad or what? 
The Irish Independent have asked me to write this article; are they mad or what? ‘Mad’ is a word I am well used to hearing. Having lost my son in the ‘most’ tragic circumstances in 2009, I’m left as most mothers with a dead child are left: in cloud cuckoo land, extremely sad and just a little bit mad. In my case I’d say ‘more than a little mad’ but I don’t want to tar every bereaved mother with my madness brush. What is it with Irish people and their reluctance to talk about death and dead people? I have never heard so many people talk about the ‘dreadful’ weather; whatever you do, don’t mention that big fat elephant in the room. Most of the time I couldn’t tell you what day of the week it is, never mind what the ‘dreadful’ weather is like, but please feel free to talk about that big fat grey thing with the huge trunk; my son. He’s dead, not erased from existence, but don’t upset the ‘mad’ bereaved woman whatever you do! Say the wrong thing, by all means, but don’t pretend he didn’t exist and talk about the ‘dreadful’ weather! I can’t tell you how close some people have come to manual strangulation, simply by saying ‘it’s a lovely day’ or more likely ‘the weather’s terrible, isn’t it?’
Before I get shot down for using the ‘m’ word, I’d like to say that the so-called ‘mad’ people that I’ve met in the last three years are no madder than most of you, and definitely not I. Some of these people have been told that they have a ‘chemical imbalance’ of the brain; so in order to keep their brain functioning as it’s supposed to, they will need to stay on medication for the rest of their lives. These mad dysfunctional lot could teach the so-called ‘normal’ society a thing or two; mainly about kindness, compassion and a willingness to help others. They are also the ones who are shouting from the rooftops that the chemical imbalance theory is just that; a theory. For decades we were led to believe that depression was caused by low serotonin levels in the brain. There is no way, never has been, to measure serotonin in a person’s brain, and absolutely no evidence that low serotonin levels ever caused depression.
By way of background; my son killed himself and another young man in 2009. He was prescribed an approved SSRI antidepressant 17 days beforehand. I absolutely believe that these ‘mind altering drugs’ are killing people at an alarming rate. Professor David Healy (a world leading expert on these drugs) has said that the pharmaceutical companies, in a court of law, have no choice but to admit that these drugs can cause suicide. According to Professor Healy, “there are 20 more Irish suicides per year than there would have been and 20 extra Irish cases of violence per year that can be linked back to antidepressants.” So given that the SSRI antidepressants have been on the market for 20 years; that’s 800 extra cases of suicide and violence caused by antidepressants in this country alone.
The first major Case involving antidepressant induced suicide/homicide was in the US and involved a 60 year old man, Donald Schell. This man was put on Seroxat by his doctor, not for any mental illness, but for anxiety; yet 2 days later he shot and killed his wife, his daughter, his 9 month old granddaughter and then himself. The jury found that the drug had caused him to become suicidal and homicidal and found the pharmaceutical company liable, in that Case GlaxoSmithKline. There have been similar Cases since, the most recent in a Canadian trial where the Judge found that an antidepressant caused a 16 year old to kill his friend. The Judge (Justice Heinrichs) concluded that the teenager was no longer a danger and that at the time of the killing “his mental deterioration and resulting violence would not have taken place without exposure to Prozac.”Shane was sad, I know that; was that depression, no! Can these prescription drugs help with a broken heart or some other awful life experience? Can they un-break a heart or un-dead a loved one? No, but they can cause these terrible tragedies.
From the time Shane was prescribed these drugs, he became very restless, which was very unlike him. He seemed to find it hard to stay in the one place for any length of time. What I didn’t understand until later was that this condition is called ‘akathisia’ and is known to be the precursor to suicide and/or homicide. Akathisia is an adverse effect which can be caused by these drugs and is described as ‘inner restlessness’. People suffering from this condition have described it as ‘a living hell’ and also that they would do anything to stop this feeling, including death as a welcome release. My son went from being well respected and loved by his lecturers, friends and family, to a person capable of destroying his own life and that of another human being in 17 days. Whether people believe me or not, matters little to me, as I cannot win either way. I can tell you this though: I knew my son inside out, and if it could happen to Shane, it could happen to you.

The level of ‘antidepressant’ prescribing has never been so high and yet the suicide rate is rocketing. Join the dots here if you dare and please don’t argue the recession point; I’ve heard it already. We’ve come through the famine, oppressive English rule, Centuries of emigration and barefoot children; for goodness sake, get a grip! The suicide rate has never been so high and the barefoot children are long gone; presumably dead from old age and natural causes, not by their own hand. Each year there is (at least) one antidepressant prescription per year for every man, woman and child in Ireland. If these drugs actually cure people; how come we once had less than 1 per 1000 of us depressed, and now it’s more than 1 in 10? In the year 2010 the cost of medicines in the health service was €1.9 billion. Have we all gone mad? Why do we need €1.9 billion worth of medication every year; were we all born with inherent defects that only the (billion dollar) pharmaceutical industry can fix? Wake up and smell the pharma coffee when you take that statin this morning! Is that antidepressant you just consumed keeping you happy or can you remember either way? Without doubt the most medicated Country in the world is the US; would it surprise you to know that the life expectancy in the US has fallen below that of Cuba?

In the latest revelation within the mental health arena (Oct 2012), the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a paper which showed that the risk of suicide (in the first year of treatment) for schizophrenia is extraordinarily high. For schizophrenia generally, you are 10 times more likely to be dead at the end of the first year of treatment than you were 100 years ago. Did you read that? 10 TIMES MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO! Professor Healy (one of the authors) said “the actual risks of suicide (in the first year of treatment) were 100 times greater than those of the general population.”
Also this week, to much fanfare it has to be said, Minister Reilly said a “very good deal” was made with the Pharmaceutical Industry, to cut the State’s drugs bill by up to €400 million. This he said would benefit patients and the taxpayer. Right; excuse the cynicism here but that’s €400 million over 3 years, which is equivalent to a saving of €133 million a year. What’s €1.9 billion divided by €133 million? The Pharmaceutical industry may find this as amusing as I do; laughing all the way to the bank.

It amazes me that drugs with adverse effects such as suicide, depression, aggression and birth defects can be licenced by the Irish Medicines Board and yet the ‘free will’ of the pubic to medicate themselves is taken away by the banning of herbal remedies. I doubt if my son would be dead as a result of consuming a large dose of ‘Echinacea’. While I realise that all prescribed medications come with side-effects, we in Ireland are not afforded the same level of warning that other countries are. For example, all antidepressants come with a black-box warning in the US which signify that these drugs can have serious or even life-threatening adverse effects.
Of course herbal medicines are not without controversy either; St John’s wort, which has similar properties to an antidepressant, was widely known in the farming community to cause miscarriage and birth defects in cattle. Farmers took steps to prevent this drug from coming into contact with their animals; yet pregnant women are afforded no such warning. 1 in 10 pregnant Irish women are on antidepressants, leading to about 40 extra babies with significant birth defects and 200 extra miscarriages each year. So in the last 20 years, antidepressants have caused birth defects in 800 Irish babies and 4000 miscarriages.

I’m not entirely stupid; I know that some drugs can save lives and there will be people who say “the drugs have saved my life”. Who will speak for the dead people though, do they have a voice? €1.9 billion worth of drugs? Surely I’m not the only one who thinks that this is the biggest wheeze of the 21th Century. The number of people requiring medication is increasing every year. Will we eventually face a world where the majority of the human race will be ‘a bit mad ted’ and will therefore be the new class of norm? It could be seen as ‘the’ miracle of the 21th Century, where the meds are cast aside as the now normal ‘mad’ people don’t need them anymore; let’s all embrace the madness. It would surely be interesting to see what subsequently happens to the pharmaceutical industry; spontaneous combustion? Or just a frantic scrambling to find a way to convince people that medicating the ‘normal’ is actually now in Vogue? The old tale of ‘be careful what you wish for’ springs to mind. Dreadful weather, isn’t it?

The Irish Medicines Board declined to comment.
Link to article. (Courtesy of Mike)
cipramil (celexa) stories,, Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

David Healy v Veronica O’ Keane

Prof Healy

Last week Professor Healy spoke on RTE radio with Professor Veronica O’ Keane, consultant psychiatrist in Trinity College. The debate (podcast) centered on the ‘increased use of sedatives and antidepressants‘.

Professor O’ Keane stated that antidepressants are not addictive drugs, where-as Professor Healy said that they are indeed highly addictive and that it’s easier to come off benzodiazepines than antidepressants. Professor O’ Keane was ‘astonished’ at this ‘claim’ and gave a little snigger to show how absurd she thought this claim was.

Speaking on the long term use of antidepressants she said “Depression is not a condition that goes away; it’s a recurring condition and if people stop taking their antidepressants with this recurring condition, their chances of killing themselves are increased by two.” Professor Healy stated that it’s actually the drugs which increase the risk of suicide and violence and that “antidepressants come with ‘black box’ warnings in the US saying that they cause suicide.”

Professor O’ Keane then went on to say that “the black box warning that David is referring to is for under 24; there is no such warning for individuals over the age of 24 and in fact it reduces suicidal ideation in those over 65”. No mention of the black-box warning in this article where she states “Anti-depressants work in young people, in terms of alleviating suicidal ideation secondary to depression.” In the radio interview, she further went on to say “It’s very important that the public are aware, that the problem here is not antidepressants, the problem here is depression. Depression is the real killer.” Ah yes, it’s the person and not the drug.

Prof O’ Keane

Professor O’ Keane has been described as an ‘expert on mental health during pregnancy’. She stated here that “There is an idea that depressed women should struggle through pregnancy without help, and stay ‘pure… But depression is a physical disorder and should be treated.” In a paper published in the British Medical Journal by O’ Keane et al, here, the study concluded that Untreated depression in pregnancy is associated with poorer maternal health practices and less favourable obstetric outcomes. 

A letter regarding this paper was later published by the British Medical Journal, written by Adam C Urato, an attending Physician (Maternal-Fetal Medicine) at Tufts University, Boston. Dr Urato made some interesting points:

(1) I have several concerns regarding the recent “Pregnancy Plus” article entitled “Depression during pregnancy” by Veronica O’Keane and Michael Marsh. I am concerned with the content of the piece as well as the lack of transparency regarding the financial associations of Dr. O’Keane.

Dr Urato

(2) In the introduction to the piece, the authors comment: “The case presented here highlights many of the key issues involved in the management of pregnant woman with depression, particularly the importance of active treatment.” Depression during pregnancy is a difficult issue and one that I deal with on a regular basis as a practicing perinatologist. Depression during pregnancy is very concerning, as is the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. Active treatment is usually with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and there is much to be worried about with maternal and fetal exposure to these drugs. Antidepressants have not been shown to improve maternal or child health outcomes during pregnancy. And in various studies antidepressant use in pregnancy has been associated with increased rates of spontaneous abortion, congenital malformations, preterm birth, low birthweight, fetal death, seizures, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and a possible predisposition to psychopathology.

(3) The question many readers might have after reading a piece that emphasizes the importance of antidepressant medication use in pregnancy is whether Dr. O’Keane is being paid by the antidepressant makers.

Professor O’ Keane has in fact listed her ‘Conflict of Interest’ as being with Eli-Lilly, creators of Prozac and Duloxetine (Cymbalta); Here. In another Article here, she said Prozac belonged to a family of compounds which represents ” one of the few major breakthroughs in the treatment of psychiatric illness in the past 40 years.”

Interestingly, numerous articles have been published this week regarding the dangers of antidepressants in pregnancy, including this one in the Irish Independent. This article quotes the same Dr Adam Urato: “Doctors are putting thousands of pregnant women and their unborn children at serious risk of harm by prescribing them anti-depressants, senior doctors are warning. Senior doctors say that ‘study after study’ shows the most widely used class of anti-depressant, called selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, cause pregnancy complications including premature birth and pre-eclampsia, which can both be fatal. Emerging research also suggests SSRIs can double the rate of autism in children, and increase the risk of lung and bowel diseases. The situation amounts to ‘a large scale human experiment’, according to Dr Adam Urato, assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at Tufts University, School of Medicine, Boston.”

So, who’s right and who’s wrong? I know who I’d believe. Professor Healy has coincidentally been saying for years that antidepressants can cause terrible birth defects in children “…even as the evidence accumulates that these drugs cause birth defects, double the rate of miscarriages, and cause mental handicap in children born to mothers who have been taking them.”

Considering Professor O’ Keane works in Trinity, the same College that Shane attended, it wouldn’t take much out of her day to speak to Shane’s lecturers. It would be interesting to hear her views on my son, who was loved and respected by his lecturers and who was known by them as ‘An Chroí mór’ (the big heart). Yet after 17 days on Cipramil, he killed himself and another. Maybe she’s so sure of her own opinion, that she doesn’t need to listen to us mere parents!

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How the Gardaí could save hundreds of lives…

(An important message from Brian.)

Antidepressants, irrational behaviour and “out of the blue” suicides – raising awareness among UK police officers

In 2009 my son, who had never been depressed in his life, went to see a doctor over insomnia caused by temporary work-related stress. He was prescribed Citalopram, and within days he had taken his life.

As a consequence I learned of the suicide risk of antidepressants, particularly in the early weeks of uptake or if the dosage is changed up or down.

At the time, I was working as a crime recorder for one of the UK’s 54 Police Forces. Some time after my son’s death, I was asked to consider an incident involving a man who had left his marital home and was living temporarily with his parents. One evening, police officers responded to a call from a member of the public and found the man, who was very agitated, in a position of risk. The officers talked to the man, calmed him down, and returned him to his parents’ home. The following morning two officers from the next shift went to the house in response to a call from the parents: the man had hanged himself in his bedroom during the night. One of the attending officers recorded on the incident log the significant piece of information that the man had been prescribed Citalopram the previous week.

It was apparent that if the officers on the evening shift had been aware of the potential for harm in the man’s medication, they would have been in a position to offer positive support. He could have been informed that his agitated condition potentially had its source in adverse reaction to his prescribed medicine, which could be addressed with proper medical attention. Tragedy could well have been averted. The outcome could have been so different for all concerned, including the police officers who attended. Increased recognition of this risk could only be of benefit.

I decided to approach a senior officer to discuss a strategy to improve awareness of the irrational behaviour that can result from taking antidepressants, particularly in the early stages, or when the dosage is altered.

The officer remarked that he had seen several similar incidents of “out of the blue” suicides, as well as other irrational behaviour such as out-of-character domestic violence, involving Citalopram and other antidepressants. He asked if I would be prepared to give a series of briefings to groups of call-takers. These briefings were to be followed by talking to officers on training days. I did manage a few sessions with call-takers in the following weeks, but new procedures meant that I never got to talk to police officers as intended. Instead I was interviewed for the force’s in-house newspaper.

What I wanted to do next was to raise awareness in the other Police Forces. With this in mind, I wrote individually to each Chief Constable, asking them to provide me with a contact to whom I could send an article for distribution by email to all call-takers and front-line officers. The article concluded in this way:

The police are in a unique position to help. Front-line officers become involved in incidents of suicidal or irrational behaviour and are motivated purely by the need to keep the public safe.

Officers need to understand what these drugs can do to someone. They need to find out whether the person threatening to harm themselves (or others) is on medication, and if they know what it is they have taken. They can then at least try to convince the person that it is the drug that is making them behave like this, that what they are doing is irrational, and that they don’t really have these feelings.


The Police can have an influence on antidepressant-related incidents at three stages:


  • When the initial MFH (missing from home) or CFS (concern for safety) call is made, call-takers are already trained to ask if the person is acting out of character and if they are taking medication. Two more questions need to be asked: What are they taking? For how long have they been taking it? Anyone in their first few weeks on antidepressants could then automatically be deemed to be at risk, and a possible immediate response considered. If the person has been on medication for a longer time, ask if the dosage has been changed or stopped recently. The person would also be at risk in this case.


  • Knowledge is power: officers, including trained negotiators, attending a person who has placed themselves in a position of risk, need to ask the same questions or use what call-takers have found out to persuade the person that it is the drugs that led them there, not their own character or situation.


  • After a sudden death, officers are required to submit a form which provides part of the post-mortem report. They simply need to add any relevant information about antidepressants to this form so that the coroner becomes aware.

In all, 46 out of 54 forces (85%) requested this article. Among the replies I received were a few asking if I had any materials which could be used for training. I therefore put together a training pack, offering this to all the forces. Eventually, 41 forces (75%) requested the pack.

Recently, the Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention Strategy highlighted the number of suicides in custody. As a result, I re-contacted the Police Forces, and suggested that training could be extended to custody staff.

I have since retired from my job with the police. I have no idea how many police officers, call-takers or custody staff have read my article, or have received training, after my input. However, from the feedback I have received, I know that at least a few forces have adopted my materials and, in some cases, have amended their procedures.

I hope I’ve made a difference.



Update 07/Feb/2013 Brian’s new website: AntiDepAware

Prime Example; Martin Boyle

Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

‘Mother and Son’ both die by suicide.

I cannot tell you the amount of parents who have lost their children to suicide and have subsequently been prescribed ‘antidepressants’ by their family GP. What the pill is supposed to do is beyond me; un-dead the child maybe?

The tragedy of this casual prescribing is this: If a person has an adverse reaction to an antidepressant and goes on to die by suicide; the chances are that his/her family members may also have a ‘genetic predisposition’ to having an adverse reaction. Professor Healy warned me of this after Shane’s Inquest but it seems that most doctors are unaware of it.

Here’s an article in the ‘Mail Online‘ which reports on an Inquest in 2010. The article reports on the death of a young man, aged 24, and the subsequent death (2 months later) of his mother, aged 59. This young man jumped off the Humber Bridge (Lincolnshire/East Yorkshire) on his 24th birthday and two months later his mother jumped off the same bridge.

The most important sentence in the article is this “Both Mrs Brown and her son had been put on anti-depressants by their GP before they died, the inquest heard”

Did this young man and his mother have an adverse reaction to antidepressants? What good was antidepressants going to do for a grieving mother and why are doctors not aware of this genetic predisposition? Is Professor Healy the only one with this information or the only one who cares?


cipramil (celexa) stories,, lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles

Triple Verdict following ‘Citalopram’ Inquest

Here’s a strange and unusual occurance which happened following the death of a woman from Wythall in 2005. Coincidentally, this area is adjacent to Solihull, the same place where Yvonne Woodley and Wayne Grew were prescribed Citalopram.

Have these English doctors been ‘Lundbecked’ and why are the Coroners not coming to a verdict which the evidence is clearly pointing to? The common demominator here is Citalopram!

Coroner has triple verdict

A CORONER changed his findings into the death of a Wythall woman (who jumped from a car park) from suicide to an open verdict, after pressure from her family.

Ms C fell to her death from the top of Kingfisher Centre Car Park off Redditch Ringway. Worcestershire Coroner Victor Round originally recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest but told the court a blood test revealed the prescribed antidepressant Citalopram in Ms C’s blood.

Mr Round changed the verdict to ‘suicide while under medication’ after Ms C’s sister-in-law and life-long friend said that the antidepressant ‘must have been a contributory factor’.

He modified his verdict again to record an open verdict.

As my friend who sent me this article said “Given another few minutes and a couple more interventions, this Coroner might have ended up with the verdict “Murdered” by Lundbeck!” Shame he wasn’t pressured a little more, although he obviously felt there was more to this woman’s death than meets the eye!

Link to article  Wayne Grew  Yvonne Woodley

lundbeck, Newspaper and internet articles, Our story., psychiatry, Random, Shanes story.

That’s nice! Now F**k off!

I suppose I should explain myself here. We Irish (for the most part) are notorious for using bad language. We rarely find bad language offensive and (more often than not) find it a source of amusement. I don’t know if people in other countries are aware of commedian Brendan O’Carroll? His TV series ‘Mrs Brown’ is a huge hit over here and in the UK. His irreverance is classic. In the (1 min) segment above, Mrs Brown refers to her ‘elocution lessons’ and says “I used to say ‘F**k Off!’ but now I say ‘That’s Nice’.

I have decided that, following Shane’s death, 3 years is long enough to be miserable. Rather than holding my tongue about the ‘experts’ who have involved themselves in Shane’s case, I have decided as Oprah would say, to find closure. I am dismissing these people with Mrs Browns ‘expert’ advice and in this instance, it’s definitely not a term of endearment.

(1) To Professor Patricia Casey, UCD, who attended Shane’s Inquest on behalf of the Irish College of Psychiatry, and who, coincidentally, has links to Lundbeck. For your opinion (directly after my son’s Inquest) that there were ‘aspects’ of the evidence with which the ‘College’ took issue. For your subsequent denials that SSRI’s can cause suicide and for the two solicitors letters that you sent me; That’s Nice!

(2) To Professor Timothy Dinan, UCC, who was very vocal in the media defending these drugs. For denying that these drugs can cause suicide or homicide and for also having links to Lundbeck and other drug companies. For stating (after Nicolas Maguire’s Inquest) that he was not aware of any convincing evidence linking Sertraline to suicidal behaviour; That’s Nice!

(3) To (Catholic priest) Fergus O’Donoghue who said (on the day of Shane’s funeral) that his actions were ‘pure evil’ and could not be explained away by ‘mental illness’. Bless me not father! Your God is obviously not the same as mine; That’s Nice!

(4) To Dr Justin Brophy (President of the Irish College of Psychiatry), for your statement concerning my son, including “A high volume of research in recent years has failed to establish a causal link between antidepressant use and suicide”; That’s Nice!

(5) To Ciaran Craven (Barrister), for the Irish college of psychiatry, who said, that there were “concerns about linking SSRIs to suicidal and homicidal behaviour.” Mr Craven said he was worried that without expert testimony from the college, people could be discouraged from taking medication perfectly suited to them; That’s Nice!

(6) To Lundbeck, for lying in their statment to RTE, stating “that there is no evidence linking citalopram to violent behaviour”; That’s nice!

(7) To all the ‘experts’ who are ignoring the huge amount of evidence (see Prof Healy’s blog) to the contrary; That’s Nice!

PHEW…That sure feels good. Maybe Oprah has a point!