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Ann Blake-Tracy says:
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After two decades of tracking mothers and babies exposed to SSRI
antidepressants during pregnancy I shutter to ever see a mother take one of
these drugs. If those adverse effects listed in this article are not bad enough
to consider exposing a baby to, we have yet to witness the full effects of these
drugs upon offspring. These babies brains will not be fully developed until they
are in their 20’s. The full negative effects upon that developing brain will not
be known until then. Knowing what I know after 20 years of researching these
drugs and tracking patients who have taken them, I DO NOT WANT TO SEE WHAT IS
Understanding Paxil Birth Defects
In December 2005, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) posted its Paxil findings on its
website regarding pregnant women taking antidepressants. In this announcement,
GSK noted that it was revising its pregnancy precaution category from C to D.
This revision was based on recent studies that indicated positive evidence of
human fetal risk. In addition, GSK was placing this information in the WARNINGS
section of the Paxil label.
The FDA then advised pregnant women to switch from Paxil to another SSRI
drug, such as Prozac or Zoloft. This warning was based on the results of an
analysis of Sweden’s birth registry that showed women who took Paxil were 1.5 to
2 times more likely to give birth to a baby with heart defects than women who
took other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or no antidepressant
Studies also showed that complications were reported for babies born to
mothers who had taken antidepressants such as Paxil in the third month of
pregnancy. Such complications included breathing difficulties, turning blue,
seizures, changing body temperature, feeding problems, vomiting, low blood
sugar, stiffness, tremor, irritability or constant crying. In other words, just
like adults, newborn babies of mothers who have taken Paxil while pregnant,
experience similar withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, tube feeding, help with
breathing and longer hospitalization may be needed. Premature births in pregnant
women exposed to SSRIs such as Paxil have also been reported.
Based on such reports obstetricians went so far as to recommend that
women avoid Paxil and reconsider using any SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy.
Still, other physicians maintain that the benefits of mothers getting treatment
for their depression outweigh the risks to the fetus.
The most common birth defects caused by antidepressants have been found
to be holes or other malformations in the chambers of the heart. Often the
defects heal on their own, but more severe cases need surgical procedures. GSK
is investigating how Paxil could be causing such defects.
In addition, antidepressant drugs are known to imbalance blood sugar
metabolism thereby worsening gestational diabetes. However, it is doubtful that
this is explained to expectant mothers who are given such drugs.
Medical professionals in women’s mental health point out that it is
important to aptly gauge the timing of medications prescribed for women who are
pregnant. Paxil is currently one of the most popular antidepressants in the
world, and roughly 25 percent of its users are women of childbearing age —
between 18 and 45.
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Paragraph three reads: “The reports also indicates that Clackamas
County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeffrey A. Grahn was taking antidepressants that
can trigger suicidal thoughts. Grahn also told witnesses he had a
couple of drinks before heading out on what would become a horrific
Last three paragraphs read: “He then grabbed Charlotte and hustled
her out a door near the bandstand. Once out in the alley, he pulled a
.40-caliber Glock 27 semiautomatic pistol from his sweatshirt pocket,
placed it against her head and fired.”
“Grahn then went back into the club and shot Schulmerich in the back
of the head, execution-style. He shot Hoffmeister in the face.”
“In the ensuing chaos, Grahn went back out in the alley, put the
pistol in his mouth and fired his fourth fatal shot.”
Reports detail jealousy, suspicion behind Clackamas sergeant’s murder-suicide
By Rick Bella, The Oregonian
February 26, 2010, 6:15PM
GRESHAM — In the end, age-old jealousy and suspicion fueled an
off-duty sheriff’s sergeant’s blinding rage, culminating in a Feb. 12
triple murder-suicide at a Gresham lounge.
Complete report online
Gresham police released the complete report Friday into the Feb. 12
shooting rampage at the M&M Lounge.
That’s the conclusion that emerges from hundreds of pages of
investigative reports released Friday by Gresham police.
The reports also indicates that Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sgt.
Jeffrey A. Grahn was taking antidepressants that can trigger suicidal
thoughts. Grahn also told witnesses he had a couple of drinks before
heading out on what would become a horrific shooting rampage.
The reports, forming a two-inch-thick stack, detail interviews with 53
witnesses, seven members of victims’ families and eight other people.
In all, 40 police officers from Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview, Oregon
State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office worked on the
Also Friday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office released a
separate report on a 2009 investigation of domestic abuse allegations
against the same sergeant.
The reports provide new information about the Grahns’ relationship and
Jeffrey Grahn’s actions.
According to interviews, Grahn and his wife, Charlotte M. Grahn, were
trying to repair what had been a volatile marriage. Grahn had moved
back to their Boring-area home after ending an affair with a Clackamas
County Courthouse employee.
Meanwhile, Grahn had tried to befriend other women through Facebook,
at one time carrying on sexually tinged conversations with a married
woman, all while telling friends he suspected his wife was cheating.
On Feb. 12, Charlotte Grahn and four friends went on a “ladies night
out” to Gresham’s Fourth Street Brewing Co. for dinner. Two friends
then went home, and Charlotte Grahn continued on to the M&M Lounge &
Restaurant with Kathleen Hoffmeister and Victoria Schulmerich to hear
Around 9:45 p.m., Jeffrey Grahn drove up to the M&M in a white pickup
and bulled his way into the crowded lounge and confronted his wife,
who was sitting at a table with Hoffmeister and Schulmerich. Grahn
then picked up a glass of beer and threw it in Schulmerich’s face,
yelling “What are you doing, bringing my wife into a place like
He then grabbed Charlotte and hustled her out a door near the
bandstand. Once out in the alley, he pulled a .40-caliber Glock 27
semiautomatic pistol from his sweatshirt pocket, placed it against her
head and fired.
Grahn then went back into the club and shot Schulmerich in the back of
the head, execution-style. He shot Hoffmeister in the face.
In the ensuing chaos, Grahn went back out in the alley, put the pistol
in his mouth and fired his fourth fatal shot.
— Rick Bella
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NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): ALWAYS KEEP IN
MIND THAT THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN THESE ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND SNRI
ANTIDEPRESSANTS. THEY ARE VERY POWERFUL SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS INHIBITING
MULTIPLE SEROTONIN RECEPTORS!!! AND ON TOP OF THAT ARE SEROTONIN AGONISTS
Seroquel, a medication for which he has prescription. The drug is
given to bipolar disorder and is an antipsychotic
Police say one of the side effects of the drug is
impaired thinking and reactions, and that people should also avoid alcohol
when taking it.
Man accused of drugging, raping Orem woman
2/18 3:20 pm
OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Police say a Utah
County man drugged a woman he met at a bar and raped her.
Police say on
Friday February 12, Orem officers responded to a report of a rape that
had been reported from the night before.
Police say the victim
is a 24-year-old woman from southwest Orem.
police, the victim met 26-year-old Jason Christensen at a bar in
Police say both the suspect and alleged victim had been
drinking and went back to her apartment when Christensen gave her a pill to help
After taking the pill, police say the only thing the
victim remembered was waking up for a moment while the
suspect was sexually assaulting her.
After that, police say the
victim doesn’t remember anything for several hours until she woke up and
According to police, Christensen gave the victim the
pill at about 3:00 a.m. on the 11th and she didn’t wake up until 11:00 a.m. the
Police say the drug Christensen gave to the victim was a
300 mg Seroquel, a medication for which he has prescription.
The drug is given to bipolar disorder and is an
Police say one of the side effects
of the drug is impaired thinking and reactions, and that people should also
avoid alcohol when taking it.
Detectives caught up with Jason on
Wednesday at the City Center Motel in Provo where he was staying. He was
arrested and charged with Rape and Distribution of a
—-Information from: Orem
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Paragraph 11 reads: “A post-mortem examination also
found a mixture of other painkillers and anti-depressants
in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could have worked
to enhance the effect of the pills.”
Grieving nurse had spoken of suicide
A nurse who was found dead on her sofa had taken an overdose of her
daughter’s painkillers, an inquest heard.
Lindsay Davies, 50, was
discovered by her 22-year-old daughter at the family home in Southcote on August
She had just finished a 10-day stint of night shifts at the Duchess
of Kent House in West Reading and the inquest heard it was thought she decided
to have a few drinks and fall asleep on the sofa.
Her husband Ian, known
as Terry, woke to the sound of her falling off the sofa at 2am and went
downstairs to pick her up and put her back on the settee at their home in
Giving evidence at the inquest on Tuesday, Mr Davies
said that he had left for work at around 6.30am and his wife was still snoring
soundly on the sofa. He said: “She had just finished night shifts and was
exhausted. It was not unusual for her to have a few drinks and relax when she
knew she didn’t have to go to work the next day.
“She had mentioned a few
things about taking her life but it was soon after her mother died and I just
thought it was normal to talk like that. I didn’t think she would actually do
anything, especially not where her family would find her.”
who had a history of depression, had discussed taking her life with her daughter
but had said she would walk into the sea until she drowned and take her beloved
dog Charlie with her.
Her husband found a number of empty pill packets in
the house and some food bags of ham that had been laced with pills. But the dog,
who had been sleeping next to her, showed no signs of
Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said that Mrs Davies had pills
in her stomach containing a painkiller that was prescribed to her daughter who
also suffered depression.
The pills were a potentially fatal
A post-mortem examination also found a mixture of other painkillers
and anti-depressants in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could
have worked to enhance the effect of the pills.
Recording an open
verdict, Mr Bedford said: “There is not enough evidence to allow me to reach a
“There is no suicide note, there is only one drug that
she overdosed in her body when you expect someone to try and take all the pills
you could get your hands on, and the fact she had said she would not do it at
home where her daughter would find her.
“There is doubt for me
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counselors sometimes have to drive GI’s to their appointments and to the base
because they are so heavily medicated that they cannot drive themselves.
Many have chronic migraines that keep them from driving, she said.”
average, most of the soldiers I have talked to take 20 to 25 medications
per day and some look as though they are in the advanced stages of
Parkinson’s disease; some actually stumble from their meds,’ Under the
Hood counselor Matti Litaker said.”
Army psychiatrist Maj.
Nidal Malik Hasan’s alleged brutal shooting of 13 GI’s stationed at the
largest US military base, located just outside Killeen, Texas, drew sympathy
from the national, state and military political establishments and reinforced a
prejudice in the hearts and minds of many Americans.
coverage from the corporate media easily painted a picture of the story that
would reinforce the War on Terror while leaving unanswered the deeper and more
challenging questions about the state of US military establishments and the
mental and emotional state of our young soldiers serving in those institutions.
The Fort Hood shooting commanded an investigation into Hasan’s alleged
connections to Islamic radicals, but was unable to probe the everyday standards
and practices of the military base itself to find the hidden causes of GI
Introspection is needed to objectively analyze the effects of
the current political climate on our troops and see the hidden costs of war on
our country in order to reconcile tendencies towards racism in public perception
and to move on after this national trauma.
When President Obama
Hood to offer his condolences to victims of the November 5, 2009,
shooting, the GI’s were told by their chain of command to line up for their
chance to shake the president’s hand. One GI, Pfc. Michael Kern, member of the
Fort Hood chapter of
Iraq Veterans Against the War, knew the president was coming. Kern attempted
to hand the president a letter written on behalf of the veterans’ organization
demanding that the military radically overhaul its mental health care system and
halt the practice of repeated deployment of the same troops. Although he
couldn’t hand the letter directly to the president due to security reasons, the
letter did arrive to him through the proper channels.
On January 15,
2010, Kern organized a protest outside the east gate entrance to the base that
focused on overmedicating of the soldiers stationed there and the lack of mental
health resources and counseling. The protest, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m., maintained approximately 30 people throughout the day as protesters
rotated to avoid the cold and the rain. The event was co-organized by Under the Hood Café, a local coffee
house and outreach center that counsels soldiers coming back from war and offers
basic services to GI’s in need, including referrals for counseling, legal advice
and information on GI rights.
“If it wasn’t for Under
the Hood, I’d be dead,” Kern said after the protest.
Under the Hood Café
manager Cynthia Thomas said the coffee house concept originated in the 1960’s
during the GI movement against the Vietnam War. When the US invaded Iraq and
Afghanistan, Thomas began working with Iraq Veterans Against the War to have a house
Hood because it is the largest US military base in the world. The Fort Hood
Support Network helped Thomas to get a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for the
center, she said.
“The troops are overmedicated. We see it all the time.
Thomas said counselors sometimes have to drive
GI’s to their appointments and to the base because they are so heavily medicated
that they cannot drive themselves. Many have chronic migraines that keep them
from driving, she said.
“On average, most of the soldiers I have talked
to take 20 to 25 medications per day and some look as though they are in the
advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease; some actually stumble from their meds,”
Under the Hood counselor Matti
One active-duty soldier came back to the café after meeting
the protesters outside Fort Hood . The 20-year-old GI, Mick, would
only give his first name due to his active-duty status. Mick had suffered three
concussions after coming too close to an Improvised
Explosive Device in Iraq, and now has a Traumatic Brain
“They expect you to be the perfect soldier and the perfect
civilian,” he said. “The government expects us to be bipolar, to separate work
life from home life.”
After Mick had received his TBI, he tried to
“chapter out,” or leave the Army. He had a court date for an unrelated crime,
and was expecting to get a discharge when his superior told him that he would
make sure that Mick didn’t go to his court date so that he could stay in the
Army. He said that he was hopeful because he could get “med-boarded” for his TBI
and get a discharge.
Mick said he knew that another GI had been illegally
deployed when he was 17 and that while he was in Iraq during the 2008 election,
the absentee ballots for the soldiers vote did not come in until three weeks
after they were supposed to be due back in the states.
“I don’t think we
got to vote in that election,” he said. Kern backed up his account, saying that
he too did not get his absentee ballot in time to vote in the 2008
Kern said that he had joined the military with “hopes of doing
right for all of humanity.” Kern said that he didn’t join the Army for the
money, but because he believed in the mission of the Army and that when he
joined he supported the war. All of that changed when he killed a child in Iraq.
After he returned to the States he was transferred to the Warrior Transition Brigade,
where he saw many soldiers who were missing limbs and who were “messed up in the
He then found Under the Hood Café and joined the
Iraq Veterans Against
the War. Kern said that after he knew Obama had received the letter from the
IVAW, he wrote an email to the president outlining many GI concerns. He told the
president that he was planning on paying him a visit to talk about the issues on
behalf of the IVAW, but after Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan he
“realized [Obama] was the same as Bush.”
Kern is on many meds himself. He
pulled out his current medications prescription list. There were a total of 47
different medications that had been prescribed to Kern within the last 180 days
before January 15, 2010.
“If the Army asks, yeah I take it all, but I
don’t really take it all,” he said.
Kern said he believes that the
government and pharmaceutical companies are testing drugs on the soldiers in
war. He said that the soldiers were given an H1N1 vaccine that had not been FDA approved and that
later on after the GI’s had taken it, it was recalled.
He also said that the Army is giving the soldiers Botox injections for their
brain nerves, for pain, but that the procedure is not yet FDA
Kern is currently working on a piece called “Creating an
Activist,” which details his struggles overseas and as well as back home, both
inside and outside the Army.
Could there be something more to the Fort
Hood shooting than Islamist extremism? Hasan himself was a psychiatrist,
prescribing meds to soldiers in order to make them “deployable,” and was about
to be deployed to Afghanistan before the shooting. What happened on November 5,
2009, was truly devastating, but the event can serve as an eye opener for the
state of the country, for the state of our soldiers, and for the state of the
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Paragraphs 15 through 18 read: “Dr. Bertram Pitt, a
cardiologist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, co-wrote an
accompanying editorial in the journal and notes that the relationship between
cardiovascular disease and depression poses intriguing research
” ‘The current therapy of depression doesn’t seem to be
doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link between
depression and cardiovascular disease,’ he said in an interview
from Ann Arbor.”
“In fact, he said there’s some evidence that
certain antidepressants increase cardiovascular
death when they’re taken with beta–blockers.”
” ‘So we have sort
of a real challenge that the current treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be
Happy people have lower likelihood of heart attack, Nova Scotia study
By Anne-Marie Tobin (CP) – 17 hours ago
hear the advice “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Smile, smile, smile” in upbeat
song lyrics. And when it comes to the health benefits of a sunny disposition,
they might be on to something.
A 10-year study that tracked more than
1,700 adults in Nova Scotia suggests people who are usually happy, enthusiastic
and content are less likely to develop heart disease.
published Thursday in the European Heart Journal, is believed to be the first to
show an independent relationship between clinically assessed emotions and
coronary heart disease.
“Being happy means you have less likelihood of
having a heart attack 10 years later,” said psychologist Karina Davidson,
director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia
University Medical Center in New York.
“What we don’t know yet is if
you’re not a happy person and you were to get an intervention to help you
increase your happiness, would that offset your risk?”
The team looked at
the association between positive affect – defined as the experience of
pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and
contentment – and cardiovascular events in 1,739 adults in the 1995 Nova Scotia
Health Survey. Trained nurses interviewed the 862 men and 877 women.
taped as they talked about their daily lives, what stresses them, how they
handle those stressors, and we then coded whether they had a lot of positive
affect,” said Davidson, who hails from Vancouver and began the research in 1995
while she was at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
“We had to wait quite a
few years as these people had heart attacks, and then we looked to see whether
being happy predicted fewer heart attacks, and indeed it did.”
researchers found that over the decade, participants with no positive affect
were at 22 per cent higher risk of heart attack or angina than those with a
little positive affect, who were themselves at 22 per cent higher risk than
those with moderate positive affect.
But Davidson notes that this is an
observational study, and rigorous clinical trials are needed to support the
A study would need to follow people with low levels of
happiness, and randomize them so that some receive usual care while others would
receive intervention from a trained professional to help identify ways to
increase joy and excitement in their daily lives.
“The key to adding
pleasurable or enjoyable activities to one’s life is that they also be heart
healthy,” Davidson noted.
“So if you can learn to enjoy going for a walk
after dinner, or going to the gym to do a regular routine, or you always enjoyed
hiking in your younger years and so you go on some hikes on a regular basis,
that will surely improve your heart health.”
One problem, she observed,
is that some people enjoy smoking, eating ice cream or other activities that
aren’t considered heart healthy – so they’d need to be steered away from
Dr. Bertram Pitt, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan
School of Medicine, co-wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal and notes
that the relationship between cardiovascular disease and depression poses
intriguing research questions.
“The current therapy of depression doesn’t
seem to be doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link
between depression and cardiovascular disease,” he said in an interview from Ann
In fact, he said there’s some evidence that certain
antidepressants increase cardiovascular death when they’re taken with
“So we have sort of a real challenge that the current
treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be that effective.”
The study by
Davidson is important because it points out there may be some new approaches, he
“I think if you can be happy and do things that make you happy, you
certainly can‘t lose, and you may have a great advantage in reducing your
cardiovascular risk in the future.”
Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press.
All rights reserved
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