ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Antidepressant-Induced Violence in America

Paragraphs 23 through 25 read:  “Breggin studied medical
and other records of 50 cases of the newer antidepressants and violence, suicide
or disruptive behavior for his book, he said.”

In one case, a man
on an antidepressant wanted to die so badly that he ran into a police
officer with his car so he could knock him down, get his gun and try to shoot
himself.
Breggin said the police officer
didn’t press for a lengthy jail sentence because he thought the drug had
essentially driven the man crazy.”

“He said there is

no question that antidepressants can lead to
violence.”

Are claims just an excuse?

Poyner said she’s aware that critics will charge that antidepressant
claims merely offer criminals an excuse.

“I know that and I would have
said the same thing until I read this research,” Poyner said. “I worked
in prisons. I’ve treated inmates and so I tend to be very skeptical of somebody
trying to blame something on something else, especially a medication that is
prescribed by a doctor. But now I’m taking a second look at that thought and
saying, ‘Wait a minute.’”

http://newsok.com/oklahom-experts-look-at-antidepressants/article/3419386

Oklahoma experts look at antidepressants
Recent violence in Fort Hood,
Nichols Hills has some looking at links with medication

BY SONYA COLBERG
Published: November 22, 2009

As soon as news hit that the alleged Fort
Hood
, Texas,
shooter was a military psychiatrist, a disturbing thought struck Oklahoma
psychologist Gail Poyner.

  • Questions
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  • 11/22/2009 The debate over whether antidepressants play a role in suicides
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“I wondered if….

“I think it would be interesting to know if
he had been taking an SSRI (antidepressant). It seems, based on news reports,
that he was very depressed. He may have taken an SSRI and that may have played a
part. Hopefully that will be investigated to determine,” said Poyner, a Ph.D.
with a practice in Choctaw.

Poyner was out of state and was shocked to
hear of the local allegations against Dr.
Stephen Paul Wolf
, jailed on murder and assault complaints in connection
with the recent stabbing death of his 9-year-old son, Tommy. The Nichols
Hills
doctor told the medical licensure board that he took antidepressants,
records show.

Wolf told the board he was hospitalized for depression and
under psychotherapy until his 1988 graduation from medical school at the University
of Oklahoma
.

He told the board in 1996 that he was hospitalized
again for three days in 1995 for acute depression.

“I suffered this as a
result of all of the stress in my busy practice of internal medicine and all the
demands in making the final arrangements for my marriage,” Wolf wrote in a
letter to the board. “I returned to work after my hospitalization on adjusted
dosages of antidepressants.”

It is unclear whether antidepressant usage
might have played any role in the Nov. 16 stabbing.

“Crimes that involve
this horrendous departure from one’s character and typical behavior may warrant
an investigation,” Poyner said. “Investigators may want to look into a possible
connection between his behavior and a recent introduction or increase in an

antidepressant.”

She added that every crime committed by someone taking
an antidepressant isn’t necessarily related to the antidepressant. A small
percentage of people have a genetic abnormality that can cause a violent
reaction to certain antidepressants, she said.

“We’re finding there are
cases of criminal behavior, especially violent and out-of-character criminal
behavior, that may be linked to these antidepressants,” Poyner said.

If
there’s blood on someone’s hands, investigate whether antidepressants were in

their systems, some experts say. The drugs are considered particularly dangerous
when certain patients are just beginning antidepressants, increasing the dosage
or getting off antidepressants, Poyner said.

But other experts say
there’s no clear evidence that antidepressants and violence go hand-in-hand.

Fort Hood raises questions
Dr.
Peter Breggin
, a medical doctor, former Johns
Hopkins University
faculty associate and author of “Medication Madness: The
Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Violence, Suicide and Murder,” said he immediately
wondered if Maj.
Nidal Hasan
was self-medicating.

“I think it was very likely,”
Breggin said.

Hasan was charged recently with 13 premeditated murder
counts stemming from the shootings. Investigators have made allegations about
Hasan exchanging e-mail with a radical imam, connecting with al-Qaida

members, lionizing suicide bombings and yelling “Allahu Akbar!” as the shootings
began. But Breggin said something more subtle might have been missed.

“It’s very possible that if he was … self-medicating, it could have
been Xanax.
I would say not that the drug did it but it might have pushed him over. But we
don’t know,” Breggin said.

He said that, as a psychiatrist, Hasan could
have easily taken antidepressant samples, and he could write his own
prescriptions for antidepressants. The FBI
removed possible evidence from Hasan’s apartment and then allowed media into the
dingy rooms. Among the things reported left behind were bottles of medications,
including some that he prescribed to himself.

Some call studies
inconclusive
For some people, Breggin said, newer antidepressants are “a
virtual prescription for violence.”

Dr.
Jayson Hymes
, though, said the studies are somewhat inconclusive. Some
research suggests the newer family of antidepressants, SSRIs (selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors), might have a role in causing violence. But
British studies show they decrease the likelihood, he noted.

“Walking
past a bottle of antidepressants is not going to do anything,” Hymes said. “It
sounds to me, in this situation, that a lot of things just got missed by a lot
of people.”

He said the drugs under question are those antidepressants

that have become popular in the past 10 or 15 years: drugs such as Zoloft
and Celexa.
Probably the most violent behavior is a desire in some people to commit suicide,
he said.

A personal theory Hymes has developed indicates that along with
the suicidal thoughts come fatigue and the inability to make a decision and act
on it. The SSRIs work fast so the person’s energy level increases more quickly
than the mood elevation, he said. So the patient, particularly children and
young people, may still feel depressed and suicidal but suddenly has the energy
to act out.

Researcher claims violence tie
Breggin studied medical
and other records of 50 cases of the newer antidepressants and violence, suicide
or disruptive behavior for his book, he said.

In one case, a man on an

antidepressant wanted to die so badly that he ran into a police officer with his
car so he could knock him down, get his gun and try to shoot himself. Breggin
said the police officer didn’t press for a lengthy jail sentence because he
thought the drug had essentially driven the man crazy.

He said there is
no question that antidepressants can lead to violence.

But Hymes said
controversy over antidepressants can lead to frightening people away from drugs
that they may need.

“People can … moan about antidepressants all day
until they look at a loved one lying on the couch, only able to get up and go to
the bathroom and that’s it. In which case, it’s like, ‘Where’s that

antidepressant?’” Hymes said.

Oklahoma’s Poyner recently testified as an
expert witness in a murder case in which the defendant had been on
antidepressants. In the weeks leading up to the trial she examined studies and
stories on the correlation of antidepressants and violence. That research opened
her eyes to the possibilities of some famous cases such as housewife Andrea
Yates
’ drowning of her five children in 2001. But she remains shocked about
the horrible nature of such crimes, she said.

Are claims just an
excuse?

Poyner said she’s aware that critics will charge that antidepressant
claims merely offer criminals an excuse.

“I know that and I would have
said the same thing until I read this research,” Poyner said. “I worked in
prisons. I’ve treated inmates and so I tend to be very skeptical of somebody
trying to blame something on something else, especially a medication that is
prescribed by a doctor. But now I’m taking a second look at that thought and
saying, ‘Wait a minute.’”

Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahom-experts-look-at-antidepressants/article/3419386#ixzz0Xb21LiSq

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