Michael Moore – Reveals the real cause of Columbine.


Michael Moore obtained a copy of Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare” at the premier of “Bowling for Columbine” in Denver, CO. After learning more about these drugs, see his statement from the movie he recently appeared in with Ann Blake-Tracy, Mark Taylor, Neal Bush, and others in the Gary Null production “The Drugging of our Children” Full Video http://video.google.com/videoplay?doc… OTHER SCHOOL SHOOTINGS go to. http://www.ssristories.org/index.php AntidepressantsKill.com

Michael Moore obtained a copy of Ann Blake-Tracy’s book,

“Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightamre”

at the premier of “bowling for Columbine” in Denver, CO.

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Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red Lake Together

Monday, 20 April 2009

PRESS RELEASE:
Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red
Lake Together
DATE: APRIL 20, 2009
TIME: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Place: Clement Park, Littleton,
Colorado
INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
INFORMATION INCLUDED:
– Joint statement from the family of a Columbine victim & the family of
the Red Lake, MN school shooter – total dead 25, total wounded 31
– FDA testimony of Columbine shooting victim Mark Allen Taylor
– Statement by Michael Moore about the cause of Columbine after making
the movie, “Bowling for Columbine”
– New Medical Article Linking Antidepressants to Murder/Suicide in
the Spring Issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
COLUMBINE & RED LAKE COME TOGETHER AT COLUMBINE
ANNIVERSARY
Donna Taylor: Mother of Mark Taylor, the first boy shot at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 as Eric and Dylan, on their way into the school, shot at those gathered to discuss scriptures outside. Eric Harris shot Mark 6 – 13 times with 9mil bullets. Mark survived earning himself the title of “The Columbine Miracle Boy.”
Tammy Lussier: Daughter of Officer Daryl (Dash) Lussier of the Red Lake Police Department and aunt to Jeff Weise who shot and killed Tammy’s father, his own grandfather, and eight others before taking his own life with his grandfather’s police firearm.
Our Message: Here we are together at the 10th Anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine High School. So, why would a family member of a school shooting victim and a family member of a school shooter come together? We want the world to know that antidepressants cause violence with the most popular antidepressant on the market today listing “homicidal ideation” as a potential side effect.
Many shot at Columbine have learned to do is to forgive Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold for doing what they did to them. We have just celebrated the glorious Easter season filled with the reassurance that through the mission of Jesus Christ we can overcome death and live again. As we remember Columbine we feel it is crucial to recall
that as Christ hung on the cross He plead with His Father in Heaven for those who were in the process of taking His life from Him “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In forgiving Eric and Dylan we believe that we are forgiving them for the same reason Christ asked for those taking his own life to be forgiven – they did not
know what they were doing April 20, 1999 when they took 15 lives, including their own, and injured 24 more.
Although USA Today attempted to rewrite history this past week and erroneously reported that the Columbine shooters were not on antidepressants we are here to remind the world that Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Whether Eric was sharing his meds with Dylan, which is far too common with kids, or was on his own prescription we will never know as his records were sealed. In the Red Lake school shooting Jeff Weise was taking
the antidepressant Prozac. Our statement today is that minus antidepressantswe feel sure that the shootings at Columbine High School and Red Lake, MN High School would never have happened and neither would the
majority of the other school shootings and workplace violence shootings (see www.ssristories.drugawareness.org for a long list of documented cases).
Antidepressants push the user into a dream state leaving one to act out nightmares. Columbine was a nightmare acted out by Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold, just as Red Lake was a nightmare acted out by Jeff Weise which took another 10 lives and injured 7 more. We do not believe they were conscious and coherent enough to fully understand what they were doing because of the adverse effects of antidepressants.
Over the past two years Donna has watched her son Mark go from a normal boy to someone she does no longer recognize because he was given two short bouts of similar drugs given to Eric Harris. Now Mark is living and
experiencing firsthand similar adverse reactions to what Eric was when he shot Mark. How ironic and tragic!
See Mark’s powerful statement below given before the FDA about these drugs that have now robbed him of who he is or was. [UPDATE: Please see the following video to see what has happened to Mark since this press release: http://www.drugawareness.org/mark-taylors-fight4columbine/ ]
If we want the shootings of Columbine and Red Lake to end we MUST learn the truth about the potential dangers of antidepressant medications.
____________________________________

Mark Taylor’s testimony before the FDA
9/13/2004

I am Mark Allen Taylor and I am a victim of the SSRI antidepressant era. I took six to thirteen bullets in the heart area in the Columbine High School shooting when Eric Harris on Luvox opened fire that now infamous day.

They almost had to amputate my leg and my arm. My heart missed by only one millimeter. I had three surgeries. Five years later I am still recuperating.

I went through all this to realize that SSRI antidepressants are dangerous for those who take them and for all those who associate with those who take them.

I hope that my testimony today shows you that you need to take action immediately before more innocent people like me, and you, do not get hurt or die horrible deaths as a result.

As Americans we should have the right to feel safe and if you were doing your job we would be safe. Why are we worrying about terrorists in other countries when the pharmaceutical companies have proven to
be our biggest terrorists by releasing these drugs on an unsuspecting public?

How are we suppose to feel safe at school, at home, on the street, at church or anywhere else if we cannot trust the FDA to do what we are paying you to do? Where were you when I and all of my classmates got shot at Columbine?

You say that antidepressants are effective. So why did they not help Eric Harris before he shot me?

According to Eric they “helped” him to feel homicidal and suicidal after only six weeks on Zoloft. And then he said that dropping off Luvox cold turkey would help him “fuel the rage” he needed to shoot everyone. But he continued on Luvox and shot us all anyway.

So, why did these so called antidepressants not make him better? I will tell you why. It is because they do not work!

We should consider antidepressants to be accomplices to murder.

_____________________________

To listen to Michael Moore’s statement about the cause of the Columbine tragedy after making the movie “Bowling for Columbine” – go to http://www.drugawareness.org/michael-moore-cause-of-columbine/

______________________________________

“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibior [SSRI]
Drugs: More Risks Than Benefits?”

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Volume 14: number 1: Spring 2009, there is an article by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., [Professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.]
In regard to the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, the study reads on page 10: “The International Coalition for Drug Awareness in cooperation with the Prozac Survivors Support Group has produced a website on which about 1,600 [now 3,000] violent incidents associated with SSRI use are described (www.ssristories.drugawareness.org/index.php).”
In regard to SSRI Stories www.SSRIstories.net documenting the link between thousands of cases of multiple murder/suicides and antidepressants, Dr. Kaufmann made the following statement on page 10: “Since no clinical trial involving multiple homicides is ever likely to be run, no firmer evidence is likely to be found. Healy noted that much of the evidence for suicide and murder came from the efforts of journalists and lawyers”.To read the full article and see the data go to the journal’s websitehttp://www.jpands.org/jpands1401.htm or http://www.jpands.org/vol14no1/kauffman.pdf

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PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:26 pm

“Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was delirious when he killed his wife.

“He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of thecrime.”

Well Mr. Forensic Psychologist just for your information (which I am sure drug companies have paid enough to your institution of higher learning to assure you never learn), the reason that ” . . . nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide [that you have] evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the crime” is because the large majority of those
defendants charged with domestic homicide are on SSRI or SNRI antidepressants which affect memory so adversely that “amnesia” is listed as a frequent side effect. WAKE UP!!! If they cannot even remember who they are, how can they remember what happened?!!!

And if this case was prosecuted by the same prosecutor I went up against in Fayetteville a few years ago, who could not make one statement without first reading it from the SSRI Prosecutor’s How to Manual, it is no wonder the courts’ time is still being wasted prosecuting such cases when they should be immediately dismissed and apologis and settlements issued directly from the
drug manufacturers to these families! How very tragic for this poor old man and his family!!!

[The SSRI Prosecutor’s manual is distributed by the drug manufacturers in criminal cases to make sure that anyone who commits a crime, while under the influence of their drugs, goes immediately to jail . Why? So that their drugs remain “innocent” and therefore lucrative because who would want to use a drug that a court has just said produced a suicide or murder or other violent crime? Is providing such a manual illegal? No, but probably should be. Is it unethical? Without a doubt!!!!

But it was obvious to me when testifying in these cases that this manualexisted due to prosecutors asking the same questions of me, almost word for word in every case, no matter which SSRI was involved or where in the country the case was tried. So, while working as the defense attorney on Christopher Pittman’s case, Andy Vickery asked for the manual as evidence and got a copy
for us. If anyone would like to waste their time reading it let me know and I will gladly send you a copy.]

Now back to this elderly man’s case:

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

[If you would like to test out this idea on your own, do what I do. Every time you see someone who is not elderly, but generally is overweight and is
carrying around an oxygen tank, ask them which antidepressant they have been on and how long. Then explain to them that the main function of serotonin is the
constriction of smooth muscle tissue which includes the lungs and bronchial tubes [and all major organs] which is why they now need oxygen. And then give
them our website because they are going to want to know what else these drugs have done to their health. But always stress that abrupt or rapid
discontinuation of the drug/drugs is very dangerous.]

Paragraph 4 reads: “Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had a reputation for violence and always got along with his
wife, could have committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.”

Paragraph 7 reads: “Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety

and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get
oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said, especially in the elderly.”

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Ross for being able to understand the real reason for Autry Basham’s delirium was lack of oxygen!!! I wish more
doctors would work a little harder to see what is actually happening in these cases to produce such out of character behavior rather than following the old
school where the drugs involved were very different. Perhaps lack of oxygen leading to delirium is an easier conclusion to arrive at in an elderly patient,
but it does happen in all age groups and is a huge contributing factor in these tragic cases. It is also another reason why hyperbaric oxygen treatment
is so very helpful after using these drugs and subsequently suffering from elevated serotonin levels.

There should be grave concern in our country about such tragic cases as this one where a couple has had a long and loving marriage relationship and in an
instant it is ended in such horror because of what we call “medication”! For those of you who are younger and sadly may not be aware, things like this
DID NOT HAPPEN in the world we grew up in!!!! Cases like this (which I now see far too often) were basically non-existent before the widespread use of
serotonergic drugs.

As it states on the front cover of my book, these drugs have literally turned our world upside down! For this we owe the younger generation and those
generations to come our deepest apologies for the extensive damage we have allowed to occur. I fear we have left you a terrible, terrible legacy that at
this point I do not know if we can make restitution for it.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org(http://www.drugawareness.org/) &
www.ssristories.org (http://www.ssristories.org/)
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our
Serotonin Nightmare & the audio, Help! I Can’t
Get Off My Antidepressant!!! ()

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/
(http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/)

SEBASTIAN COUNTY : Sides dispute delirium led to husband’s killing of wife
BY DAVE HUGHES

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008

GREENWOOD ­ A Fayetteville psychiatrist said Wednesday that 85-year-old Autry Basham suffered from delirium brought on by pneumonia and a sleep
disorder when he slashed the throat of his 83-year-old wife last year.

The testimony of Dr. Robin Ross in Sebastian County Circuit Court in Basham’s first degree murder trial bolstered the defense’s contention that Basham of
Mansfield is innocent of murder because of a mental disease or defect at the time he killed his wife of 64 years, Lola Marie Basham, on Aug. 27, 2007.

The jury trial before Circuit Judge James Cox began Monday and is expected to wrap up today.

Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had areputation for violence and always got along with his wife, could have
committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.

She said tension and anxiety Basham may have been feeling over the falling out between his wife and son Jerry Basham didn’t play a role in triggering
the delirium.

Prosecutors have told jurors they believe Basham killed his wife after they argued the weekend before about her failing memory and her belief that their
son didn’t pay as much attention to them as he should, given the financial and other help they gave him over the years.

Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which
were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said,
especially in the elderly.

Delirium was defined as a disruption of consciousness and a change in perception that can come on rapidly and can come and go over time. It would
have been possible for Basham, she said, to be delirious and still carry out a sequence of events in killing his wife.

In rebuttal, the prosecution called Little Rock forensic psychiatrist Raymond Molden who testified there was no direct evidence that Basham suffered
from delirium.

He said the fact that Basham called his son and daughter-in-law before killing his wife and then carried out the series of actions in killing his wife
showed that he took steps in a logical sequence to bring about a result.

Following a logical sequence of steps, he said, was inconsistent with aperson suffering from delirium.

Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was
deliriouswhen he killed his wife.

He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in
the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the
crime.

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

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Sen. Grassley: Drug Companies “Bamboozled the FDA” on SSRI Antidepressants

Mon Nov 10, 2008

The following information should go out to every reporter and every other
human on the planet. Please. Please. Please help us get this information out to
as many as possible as a warning. [BUT in doing so always remember to warn
of the extreme potential danger of abrupt withdrawal with the FDA warning that
such can cause suicide, hostility or psychosis.

Please give them our 800 order line or website to download or order my CD, “Help! I Can’t Get Off My
Antidepressant!” so that they will have the formula for safe and almost
painless withdrawal and methods of recovery from the damage they have suffered.]
Now if you have read my book most of this will sound all too familiar and
old. But now the cold hard facts are coming out to the public with Iowa’s own
Senator Grassley leading the way because these drugs grabbed his attention
after overseeing many of the hearings on children and antidepressants. THANK
YOU

SENATOR GRASSLEY FOR YOUR EFFORTS!!!
Some of the most important points in the article to file in your memory
banks and repeat as often as possible to as many as possible are as follows:

#1 US HIGHEST USER OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS & ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE AMERICA’S
MOST WIDELY PRESCRIBED DRUGS:

“Antidepressant prescribing is more rampant in this country than any other.
The US accounted for 66% of the global market in 2005, compared to 23% in
Europe and 11% for the rest of world, according to a December 2006 report by
Research and Markets.
“A June 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control of doctor and
hospital visits in 2005 showed that the most commonly prescribed drugs were
antidepressants, with 48% of the prescriptions issued by primary care
physicians. They have remained in the number one position ever since. Last year, 232
million prescriptions were filled for antidepressants worth nearly $12 billion,
according to a March 2008 report by IMS Health. . . .


#2 YET THE MANUFACTURERS KNEW AND HID THE FACT THAT THESE DRUGS INCREASE
THE RISK OF SUICIDE:

“For fifteen years, the SSRI makers fought against adding a warning about an
increased risk of suicidality, knowing all the long that the risk existed.
[We had the data in court cases for years but could not get the press to cover
it.] Now, the companies are making the irresponsible argument (in defense of
lawsuits claiming they failed to warn doctors and the public of the risk)
that the FDA did not require them to add a warning, so they are immune from
liability. . . .

#3 SINCE 1989 THE MANUFACTURER OF PAXIL KNEW THAT THIS DRUG INCREASES SUICIDE ATTEMPTS BY EIGHT TIMES MORE THAN PLACEBO!

“The report shows that Glaxo [makers of Paxil] knew in 1989, long before
Paxil was FDA approved, that people taking the drug were 8 times more likely to
engage in suicidal behavior than people given a placebo, or sugar pill. Now,
it stands to reason that even the most depressed person would decline to take
Paxil if given these facts. Also, parents certainly would decline if they
were told about the risks. . . .

“The FDA approved Paxil on December 29, 1992, with no warning to doctors or
patients of the significant increased risk of suicidal behavior,” he writes.
. . .

#4 SENATOR GRASSLEY FINDS THAT PAXIL MAKER “BAMBOOZLED” THE FDA PUTTING
PATIENT SAFETY AT RISK

“Senator Grassley has also asked the FDA to go back and review the clinical
trial data submitted on Paxil. In a statement on the Senate floor on June 11,
2008, he said: “Essentially, it looks like GlaxoSmithKline bamboozled the
FDA.”
“We cannot live in a nation where drug companies are less than candid, hide
information and attempt to mislead the FDA and the public,” he stated. “These
companies are selling drugs that we put in our bodies, not sneakers.”
“When they manipulate or withhold data to hide or minimize findings about
safety and/or efficacy they put patient safety at risk,” Senator Grassley said.
“And with drugs like Paxil, the risks are too great.”
Now I need to note here that the only reason Paxil is taking so much heat
and the only reason we have all of this inside information on Paxil is because
of the information obtained during the Wyoming murder/suicide case of Donald
Schell. Before that these companies were settling cases so that they did not
have to go to court and disclose all of this information to the attorneys
working in our behalf.
After waiting three long years for one attorney to decide if he would take
the case, it went to Andy Vickery’s office. Andy took the case and Glaxo
allowed it to go all the way into court instead of settling the case. The jury
heard and saw enough to rule that the two pills of Paxil that Donald Schell
took before getting up one morning and shooting his wife, his daughter and his
baby grand daughter before shooting himself was the main cause.
Glaxo did all they could to seal that information back up again, but it was
too late. The cat was out of the bag. And it is long past time to let the cat
out of the bag on all these other antidepressants as well!
#5 THE RESULTS OF SENATOR GRASSLEY’S INVESTIGATION OF THE LARGE PAYMENTS
AND KICKBACKS TO DOCTORS BY DRUG MAKERS

“According to Senator Grassley’s June 4, 2008 statement in the Congressional
record, although conflict-of-interest disclosure forms make it appear that
the Harvard psychiatrists only received a couple hundred thousand from drug
companies over the past 7 years, the true figures show Dr Biederman received
over “$1.6 million,” Dr Spencer “over $1 million” and Dr Wilens “over $1.6
million” in payments from the drug companies.

“Based on reports from just a handful of drug companies,” he states, “we
know that even these millions do not account for all of the money.”
“Senator Grassley also notes that Dr Schatzberg owns stock worth more than
$6 million in one drug company. Ed Silverman reports on Pharmalot that there
are “30 or so physicians at two dozen universities which the Senate Finance
Committee is probing concerning disclosure of grants from drugmakers.” The
names of those 30 doctors, along with the research mills they operate out of,
need to be made public. . . . .


#6 RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND ACADEMIA ON THE TAKE FROM DRUG MAKERS AS WELL
ACTING AS “APOLOGISTS FOR COMMERCIAL SCIENTIFIC FRAUD” – SENIOR ACADEMICS
PROSTITUING MEDICINE.

“It is no longer a case where Americans need only be concerned about the
amount of money the academics are pulling in. The pharmaceutical industry also
has a stronghold on most major research institutions in this country. Many
could not exist if the drug companies withdrew all their research funding, a
state of affairs that did not occur by accident.

“In fact, according to Dr Aubrey Blumsohn, who publishes the Scientific
Misconduct Blog, when all is said and done:

“The chief villains remain our academic institutions and medical leadership.
They have colluded with and have acted as apologists for commercial
scientific fraud. They have tolerated the telling of lies by senior academics.
They have encouraged the prostitution of medicine. They have allowed abuse of the
most fundamental safeguards of science. Most importantly, they have set
terrible examples for our students.”

#7 WHO TOOK THE MONEY TO PUSH ANTIDEPRESSANTS TO CHILDREN?

“. . . . While Dr Keller took the lead on pushing Paxil for children and
adolescents, Dr Emslie was the main man on the Prozac trials, and Dr Wagner was
the queen bee on Zoloft studies. The co-authors of papers that appear in the
medical literature encouraging the use of SSRI’s for kids include Drs
Biederman, Schatzberg, Wilens and, of course, Charles Nemeroff.
“Dr Nemeroff was recently forced to resign as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry
department after Senator Grassley’s investigation revealed that he failed to
disclose to his university more than a million dollars in drug industry
income. All total, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from drug companies
between 2000 and 2007, but failed to report at least $1.2 million. . . . .


#8 YET AMAZINGLY ENOUGH . . . .

“Shrinks on the take are so addicted to industry money that it’s impossible
to embarrass them. Last year, the press ran major stories when this report
came out, highly critical of how much money they were making. This year, the
average amount rose by 25%.

Now for some hard questions. . . .

*** When Glaxo knew in 1989 that Paxil was inducing suicide at a rate EIGHT
TIMES HIGHER than with a placebo and did not warn, is that not at least
negligent homicide?

Or is it not in some way contributing to a premeditated loss of life?

How often do we read in criminal cases where someone has died and someone
else did not assist that person in need but instead allowed the death to happen
and that person has then been prosecuted and given a prison term?

What is the difference here? The only difference I see is that these people
at Glaxo made a lot of money by keeping quiet and allowing these deaths to
continue!!

*** I have been asking this question for a very long time. Why is it okay
for our academic institutions to peddle drugs and use our students as guinea
pigs in studies?

Why is it okay for them to make so much money from drug companies? Much of
their operating expenses come from this drug company blood money.

Why would anyone be surprised, when seeing this close financial situation
with the drug companies and the academic institutions, that so many students
are placed on these same drugs by campus health centers often addicting them to
the drugs for many years to come?

*** How can shrinks be so stupid, or just plain “in your face” with it, as
to take even more money from these companies while they are already in the
process of being investigated for doing so???

Oh, that’s right we already know the answer to that one – they take more of
these mind altering drugs than just about anyone else! The psychiatric nurse
attending my lecture last year estimated that at least 75% of her colleagues
are on these drugs.

And why are they on these drugs? Because the drug reps are telling them all
that they are in a stressful profession and that sooner or later they are
going to be hit by the anxiety or depression that comes with the stress . . .
so they need to start on the drugs now so as to ward off “the pending
inevitable” anxiety or depression.

Of course then we need to ask the question, “How could they have fallen for
that old sales pitch?” That alone makes you wonder about their sanity!

But then you must ask if it is okay for a drug user to then be a drug pusher
even when we are discussing “legal” drugs? Because that is exactly what we
are seeing happen with this situation with antidepressants – doctors on the
drugs pushing them to others – no different than what you see in street drug
use where those hooked on the drugs are the ones pushing them to others. When
you see how similar in action these antidepressants are to LSD or PCP that
whole scenario becomes totally transparent.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
_www.drugawareness.org_ (http://www.drugawareness.org/) &
_www.ssristories.org_ (http://www.ssristories.org/)
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our
Serotonin Nightmare & the audio, Help! I Can’t
Get Off My Antidepressant!!! ()

_atracyphd1@…_ (mailto:atracyphd1@…)

_http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0811/S00080.htm_
(http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0811/S00080.htm)

Pharmaceutical Industry Hustlers – Part I
Thursday, 6 November 2008, 1:25 pm
Column: Evelyn Pringle
Pharmaceutical Industry Hustlers – Part I
SSRI Antidepressants Pushers

By _Evelyn Pringle_
(http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=HL0811/S00080.htm#a)
After twenty long years, it appears that the epidemic in mental disorders in
America might be coming to an end. It won’t happen because of any great
medical breakthrough but rather because the perpetrators of the greatest
healthcare fraud in history are finally being exposed. The demolition of the
giant “psycho-pharmaceutical complex” appears to be on the horizon.
For far too long, the focus has been on the drugmakers only. In recent
months, the spotlight has shown where it belongs – on the highly-paid
opportunists responsible for fueling the epidemic in prescribing of psychiatric drugs by
doctors in every field of medicine and the research institutions that enabled
the process.
The antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or
SSRI’s, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro are at the center of
the storm. These drugs have been prescribed to more Americans than any other
class of medications over the past two decades. Cymbalta, Effexor and
Wellbutrin are often referred to as SSRI’s, but they are slightly different
chemically. However, the drugs all carry similar side effects and warnings.
The top sales pitch for SSRI’s has been the “chemical-imbalance-in-the-brain”
myth.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that depression is caused by a
biochemical imbalance,” says Dr Peter Breggin, one of the world’s leading
experts on psychiatric drugs and author of the new book, “Medication Madness.”
People take for granted pronouncements such as, “You have a biochemical
imbalance,” and “mental disorders are like diabetes,” he explains in the book.

“In reality,” Dr Breggin writes, “these are not scientific observations –
they are promotional slogans, so adamantly repeated in the media and by
individual psychiatrists that people assume them to be true.”
“The psycho-pharmaceutical complex fosters these falsehoods in order to
promote the widespread use of their products,” he says. “Reluctant patients by
the millions are pushed into taking drugs by doctors who tell them with no
uncertainty that they need medication.”

“If you have got a biochemical imbalance in your brain,” Dr Breggin advises
in the book, “the odds are overwhelming that your doctor put it there with a
psychiatric drug.”

All Eyes on Glaxo
At the moment, all eyes are on Paxil maker, GlaxoSmithKline (formerly
SmithKline Beecham), due to reports that the company is under investigation by
the US Department of Justice, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, with
Iowa’s Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Committee,
leading the charge.

The report that led to the investigation by Senator Grassley was generated in
litigation and was only recently made public after it was unsealed by the
court. It was submitted by Dr Joseph Glenmullen, a Clinical Instructor in
Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of “The Antidepressant
Solution”

and Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and
Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives.” He was retained as
an expert by the Los Angeles-based law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.
The litigation involves several Paxil-induced suicide cases, including a 13-year-old child.

The report shows that Glaxo knew in 1989, long before Paxil was FDA approved,
that people taking the drug were 8 times more likely to engage in suicidal
behavior than people given a placebo, or sugar pill. Now, it stands to reason
that even the most depressed person would decline to take Paxil if given
these facts.

Also, parents certainly would decline if they were told about the
risks. Dr Glenmullen explains that, by submitting what he refers to as “bad” Paxil
numbers to the FDA, Glaxo was able to avoid adding a warning about suicide to
the label when the drug was approved. “GlaxoSmithKline’s ‘bad’ Paxil numbers
carried the day: The FDA approved Paxil on December 29, 1992, with no warning
to doctors or patients of the significant increased risk of suicidal behavior,” he writes.

Instead, Glaxo listed suicide and suicide attempts that took place during the
“run-in” period of the studies as if they happened in the placebo group. The
run-in period, also called the “wash-out” phase, occurs when all patients
are taken off their existing drugs to let the old drugs wash out of their
systems, and all patients are given placebos. The rationale for washing out old
drugs is to prevent them from confusing the results of the study, so that
patients start out in a similar condition, according to the report.
The official trial only begins after the wash-out phase, once the patients
are assigned to receive either the antidepressant or a placebo. The patients
who continue to receive the placebo are referred to as the placebo group.

“Confusing the pre-study placebo wash-out phase with the placebo group in the
actual study is improper,” Dr Glenmullen writes, “especially when the
concern is a potentially lethal side effect.”

The “correct data shows that suicide attempts in patients on Paxil occurred
at a rate eight times higher than the rate in patients on placebo,” he notes.
Senator Grassley has also asked the FDA to go back and review the clinical
trial data submitted on Paxil. In a statement on the Senate floor on June 11,
2008, he said: “Essentially, it looks like GlaxoSmithKline bamboozled the
FDA.”

“We cannot live in a nation where drug companies are less than candid, hide
information and attempt to mislead the FDA and the public,” he stated. “These
companies are selling drugs that we put in our bodies, not sneakers.”
“When they manipulate or withhold data to hide or minimize findings about
safety and/or efficacy they put patient safety at risk,” Senator Grassley said.
“And with drugs like Paxil, the risks are too great.”

A good start as the Glaxo scandal unravels, the public will learn that other
antidepressant makers such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Wyeth and Forest Laboratories
are equally guilty. Likewise, there are many more supposedly independent academic
doctors who have been receiving substantial financial benefits from drug
companies than are currently identified in the media as being under investigation.

Exposing Harvard University’s Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer, Timothy
Wilens, Stanford’s Alan Schatzberg, Brown University’s Martin Keller, Melissa
DelBello at the University of Cincinnati, and Drs Karen Wagner and John Rush,
who operated out of the University of Texas, might be a good place to start, but
the trail of Big Pharma’s funding academic research for marketing
purposes certainly does not end with a handful of psychiatrists.

According to Senator Grassley’s June 4, 2008 statement in the Congressional
record, although conflict-of-interest disclosure forms make it appear that the
Harvard psychiatrists only received a couple hundred thousand from drug
companies over the past 7 years, the true figures show Dr Biederman received
over “$1.6 million,” Dr Spencer “over $1 million” and Dr Wilens “over $1.6
million” in payments from the drug companies.

“Based on reports from just a handful of drug companies,” he states, “we know
that even these millions do not account for all of the money.”
Senator Grassley also notes that Dr Schatzberg owns stock worth more than $6
million in one drug company. Ed Silverman reports on Pharmalot that there are
“30 or so physicians at two dozen universities which the Senate Finance
Committee is probing concerning disclosure of grants from drugmakers.” The names
of those 30 doctors, along with the research mills they operate out of, need
to be made public.

The new book, “Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a
Best-selling Antidepressant on Trial,” by investigative journalist Alison Bass,
provides the inside scoop on the fraudulent SSRI research conducted at Brown
University by Dr Keller.

The book also supplies background information on the financial ties between
the so-called “opinion leaders” in psychiatry and the other antidepressant
makers. For instance, Ms Bass explains that Drs Schatzberg and Keller worked as
a team a decade ago to promote Bristol-Myers Squibb’s antidepressant Serzone.

In 1998, Dr Schatzberg was paid to moderate an industry-sponsored symposium
that touted the benefits of Serzone, and Dr Keller was one of the paid
speakers at the event. The same year, Dr Keller received $77,400 in consulting
fees from Bristol-Myers, Ms Bass points out.

Dr Keller later published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine also
touting the benefits of Serzone. The drug was removed from the market in
2004 after it was found to cause liver damage but not before a number of
patients died.

Ms Bass reports that Keller did not report any income from Glaxo on his 1998
tax return. But during her research for “Side Effects,” she discovered he had
earned personal income from Glaxo in 1998, as well as subsequent years.
Keller admitted as much during a September 2006 deposition for a lawsuit filed
against Glaxo, she says.

It is no longer a case where Americans need only be concerned about the
amount of money the academics are pulling in. The pharmaceutical industry also
has a stronghold on most major research institutions in this country. Many could
not exist if the drug companies withdrew all their research funding, a state
of affairs that did not occur by accident.

In fact, according to Dr Aubrey Blumsohn, who publishes the Scientific
Misconduct Blog, when all is said and done:

“The chief villains remain our academic institutions and medical leadership.
They have colluded with and have acted as apologists for commercial
scientific fraud. They have tolerated the telling of lies by senior academics.
They have encouraged the prostitution of medicine. They have allowed abuse of the
most fundamental safeguards of science. Most importantly, they have set
terrible examples for our students.”


U
niversities keep corrupt academics on board for good reason. “Side Effects”
reports that, between 1990 and 1998, “Martin Keller brought in nearly $8.7
million in research funding from pharmaceutical companies.”
The clinical trial industry itself provides a perfect slush fund. Spending in
the U.S. was an estimated $25 billion in 2006 and is expected to reach about
$32 billion by 2011.

Most of the money for trials comes from private
industry, and federal funding assumes a second place position, with the
National Institute of Health budgeting $3 billion for clinical trials in 2006, according
to the paper, “State Medical Board Responses To An Inquiry On Physician
Researcher Misconduct,” by Dr Stefan Kruszewski, Dr Richard Paczynski and
Marzana Bialy, in the Journal of Medical Licensure and Discipline 2008: Vol 94 No 1.
Paxil Study 329 “Side Effects” also covers the whole sordid affair on Paxil Study 329, the
most infamous fraudulent pediatric trial of all time. The study “offers a
landmark for the point at which science turned into marketing,” according to Dr
David Healy.

Dr Healy is a Professor of psychiatry and Director of the North Wales School
of Psychological Medicine at the University of Wales, and an outspoken critic
of the psycho-pharmaceutical complex, with 21 books to his name, including
“The Creation of Psychopharmacology.”

He explains that, in 1998, Glaxo’s original assessment of Study 329 had
concluded that it and another study had shown Paxil did not work for children,
but that it would not be “commercially acceptable” to publicize this finding.
“Instead the positive findings from the study would be published; they were in
an article whose authorship line contains some of the best known names in
psychopharmacology (Keller et al., 2001),” Dr Healy writes in the 2007 paper,
“The Engineers of Human Souls & Academia.”

Dr Keller gets most of the credit for the study, which was completed in
the mid-90’s. Keller et al had some difficulty getting it published at first,
but finally found a journal willing to take the bate in 2001, the Journal of
the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In all, 20 academics
allowed their names to be attached to this ghostwritten infomercial, and not
one has stepped forward to acknowledge wrongdoing or to admit that a mistake
was made.

Long before the paper was published, the authors of study 329 were fanned out
all the way to Canada giving lectures and presentations to prescribing
doctors at medical conferences and seminars to promote the off-label use of
Paxil for kids. More than any other paper, Study 329 led to an epidemic in
pediatric prescribing. “After its publication, the use of antidepressants for
children skyrocketed,” Dr Glenmullen notes.

These handsomely paid key opinion leaders all deserve to have their names
in lights, especially Drs Graham Emslie and Karen Wagner from the University
of Texas.

Between 2000 through 2005, Glaxo paid Dr Wagner $160,404, but the only
payment she reported to the university was $600 in 2005, according to Senator
Grassley. Dr Wagner also failed to disclose earnings of more than $11,000 from
Prozac-maker Eli Lilly in 2002.

On August 18, 2008, the Dallas Morning News reported that a state mental
health plan naming the preferred psychiatric drugs for children has been quietly
put on hold over fears drug companies may have given researchers consulting
contracts, speakers fees or other perks to help get their products on the
list.

The Children’s Medication Algorithm Project, or CMAP, was supposed to
determine which psychiatric drugs were most effective for children and in what
order they should be tried at state-funded mental health centers, the Morning
News explains.

The academics who developed the CMAP include Drs Wagner and Emslie. Records
show Dr Emslie may have made up to $125,000 from drug companies since
2004, according to the report in the Morning News. While Dr Keller took the lead on
pushing Paxil for children and adolescents,Dr Emslie was the main man on the Prozac
trials, and Dr Wagner was the queen bee on Zoloft studies.

The co-authors of papers that appear in the medical
literature encouraging the use of SSRI’s for kids include Drs Biederman,
Schatzberg, Wilens and, of course, Charles Nemeroff.
Dr Nemeroff was recently forced to resign as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry
department after Senator Grassley’s investigation revealed that he failed to
disclose to his university more than a million dollars in drug industry
income. All total, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from drug companies
between 2000 and 2007, but failed to report at least $1.2 million.

A complete list of academics who should to be investigated can be found among
the authors of the SSRI papers and studies highlighted in the 2006 Third
Edition of, “Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology,” described as “a
synopsis and update of the most clinically relevant material from ‘The American
Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology,'” by none other than Drs
Schatzberg and Nemeroff.

Keep Following the Money
On July 10, 2008, Senator Grassley extended his investigation to include
psychiatry’s top industry-funded front group with a letter to Dr James Scully,
Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychiatric
Association, asking for “an accounting of industry funding that pharmaceutical
companies and/or the foundations established by these companies have provided to
the American Psychiatric Association.”

The Senator wants records from January 2003 to the present. According to the
July 12, 2008, New York Times, in 2006, the “industry accounted for about 30
percent of the association’s $62.5 million in financing.”
A factor rarely discussed in this debate is the amount of money doctors who
prescribe SSRI’s make during brief office calls charged at regular rates. This
practice has taken a tremendous toll on public healthcare programs and has
resulted in higher insurance premiums and overall healthcare costs for all
Americans.

In fact, the bilking of public healthcare programs is what led to the current
investigations by the Finance Committee, which has the responsibility of
overseeing spending in Federal programs. When doctors prescribe drugs for
unnecessary uses, public programs not only have to pay for the drugs, they must
also pay the fees of the prescribing doctors and for the medical care for
injuries caused by the drugs. Government spending tied to the prescribing of
psychiatric drugs has gone through the roof in the past decade.

While testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform on February 9, 2007, Lewis Morris, Chief Counsel at the Department of
Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, discussed kickbacks to
doctors and told the panel:

“Kickbacks potentially increase the costs to Federal programs because they
encourage overutilization and may encourage the prescribing of more expensive
drugs when clinically appropriate and cheaper options (such as generic drugs)
may be equally effective.”

Mr Morris explained that, “kickbacks offered to prescribing physicians by
pharmaceutical manufacturers take a variety of forms, ranging from free samples
for which the physician bills the programs to all-expense-paid trips and sham
consulting agreements.”

Vermont is a rare state in requiring the pharmaceutical industry to disclose
the money paid to doctors. On July 8, 2008, Vermont’s Attorney General
William Sorrell released the state’s annual report on “Pharmaceutical Marketing
Disclosures,” which lists the payments made by drug companies in 2007. Of the
top 100 recipients, once again, psychiatrists received the highest payments.
Eleven psychiatrists received a total of $626,379, or about 20% of the total
value of payments made, according to the report.

Shrinks on the take are so addicted to industry money that it’s impossible to
embarrass them. Last year, the press ran major stories when this report came
out, highly critical of how much money they were making. This year, the
average amount rose by 25%.

The report also analyzes the payments based upon the drugs being marketed. Of
the top 10 drugs for which disclosures were reported, five are used to treat
mental illness and include Lilly’s Cymbalta and Forest Lab’s Lexapro.
Ironically, Cymbalta sales are also up 25%, according to Lilly’s latest SEC
filing.

Overall, estimates indicate that the drug industry spends $19 billion
annually on marketing to physicians in the form of gifts, travel, meals and
other consulting fees, according to a May 22, 2008, press release by Senator
Grassley’s office. In the November 1, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine
paper, “Doctors and Drug Companies Scrutinizing Influential Relationships,” Dr
Eric Campell, associate professor at the Institute of Health Policy at
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, writes:

“Individual physicians can take some steps to maximize the benefits for
patients and minimize the risks associated with their own industry
relationships. They can start by recognizing that such relationships are designed to
influence prescribing behavior and by carefully considering the potential
effects that their own associations may have on their patients.”

“And they can bear in mind,” he says, “that the costs of industry dinners,
trips, and other incentives are passed along to their patients in the form of
higher drug prices.” Antidepressant prescribing is more rampant in this country than any other.
The US accounted for 66% of the global market in 2005, compared to 23% in
Europe and 11% for the rest of world, according to a December 2006 report by
Research and Markets.

A June 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control of doctor and hospital
visits in 2005 showed that the most commonly prescribed drugs were
antidepressants, with 48% of the prescriptions issued by primary care
physicians. They have remained in the number one position ever since. Last year, 232 million
prescriptions were filled for antidepressants worth nearly $12 billion,
according to a March 2008 report by IMS Health.

The top dogs in the pharmaceutical industry are literally laughing all the
way to the bank. For example, in 2007, Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler’s pay package
was worth $9.5 million, according to the March 14, 2008, Wall Street Journal. A
previous CEO, David Shedlarz, left last year with an “exit package” worth
over $34 million. In 2007, the total value of Wyeth’s then-CEO Robert Essner’s
pay package was $24.1 million, the Journal reports.

In the meantime, state Medicaid programs are going bankrupt as a result of
the mental illness epidemic occurring only in the US. Attorneys General all
over the country are using consumer fraud statutes to sue the drug giants to
recoup the money lost due to the illegal off-label promotion of psychiatric
drugs and the concealment of their side effects.

For instance, Baum Hedlund has been litigating Private Attorney General
consumer fraud class-action lawsuits against Glaxo since 2004, on behalf of
individuals and entities such as insurance companies in California, Florida,
Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio and
Washington.

The cases are based on documents showing Glaxo promoted Paxil for kids, fully
aware that Paxil failed to out-perform a placebo in the clinical trials and
had higher suicidality rates. A national class settlement of individual
claims was reached in April 2007 in which Glaxo agreed to reimburse parents for
all of the money paid for Paxil prescriptions for their children. A national
class settlement on behalf of third party payors (insurance companies) was just
approved in September 2008.

If not for the few law firms willing to stay the course, the truth would
never have been revealed. Baum Hedlund has been pursuing the SSRI makers for
nearly two decades. Most recently, it has taken up the fight for babies born
with birth defects caused by SSRI’s.

Because the industry was so successful at keeping the original SSRI trial
data hidden, the drugs most serious side effects largely became public only
as a result of the bravery and integrity of such medical experts as Dr Healy, Dr
Glenmullen and Dr Breggin, who could not be bought and could not be bullied.

For fifteen years, the SSRI makers fought against adding a warning about an
increased risk of suicidality, knowing all the long that the risk existed.
Now, the companies are making the irresponsible argument (in defense of
lawsuits claiming they failed to warn doctors and the public of the risk) that the
FDA did not require them to add a warning, so they are immune from liability.
Worse yet, the industry-controlled FDA under the Bush Administration is
supporting this audacious preemption defense and siding with the SSRI makers
against private citizens in courts all over the country, telling judges to rule
in favor of the drug companies and throw out the SSRI cases before they even
make it to a jury.

Although not an SSRI case, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case
involving federal preemption, in Wyeth v Levine, on November 3, 2008.
*************
Evelyn Pringle
epringle05@…
(Written as part of the Paxil Litigation Round-Up, Sponsored by Baum,
Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Department
_www.baumhedlundlaw.com_ (http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/) )


Search Engine Submission – AddMe

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10 Year Old Son Committed Suicide while Taking Effexor

“Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff!”

He was 10. Red headed, brown-eyed, full of life and laughter. His doctor spent 10 minutes with him and prescribed Effexor XR….said they would “ramp up” from 37.5 mg to 225 mg at which time his symptoms of ADHD would disappear.

They were RIGHT. Our son took 225 mg for exactly one day. We found him hanging in his closet by the belt of his new bathrobe that same night. Total time on Effexor: 27 days, each ramp up worse than the last in side effects. We were never told by the doctor nor the nurse that this drug could cause suicide or other very serious side effects.

We were never told to watch him closely. All I can say is don’t give this medication to your children unless you have all the facts, have been educated and feel you are making an educated decision for your child. Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff! If I knew then what I know now, he would have NEVER been on Effexor or any other drug.

Please help us fight for complete transparency in the FDA and push for the pharmaceutical companies’ complete disclosure of all studies, both positive and negative. It is the only way we will ever be informed parents. Please do not let my son’s death be only for the pharmaceutical companies’ gain. Be informed or refuse the drug outright.

Be SAFE, your kids are depending on you.

d.eriksson@comcast.net
Richardson, TX

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My Husband Took His Life on Zoloft

“I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia…driving him to suicide very rapidly.”

Dear all,

I am an emergency nurse in Ireland and I was married to Niall a 39 yr Nurse Tutor (psychiatry). Niall committed suicide on the 26th of December 2003 out of the blue, no note, no planning, against his beliefs and his character. Abandoning his 3 children (whom he adored) (5yr, 3yr and 10 months) in the house and my oldest boy (5yr) found him hanging in the garden shed. He was prescribed sertraline 50mg OD for mild depression after 4 days (adverse effects???) (I was not aware he changed drugs) the GP changed it to paroxetine 20mg OD which he took for 13 days before committing suicide. We had a lovely Xmas day and he was not suicidal then. I am convinced that SSRIs caused akathisia on the 26th driving him to suicide very rapidly, he had no choice or say in the matter. Frightening!!

Nuria O’Mahony
nurianiall@eircom.net

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16-Year Old’s Suicide on Zoloft

“Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, [then] took her own life.”

Bandon W. Ferris 1/04/85 – 7/22/01

My 16 year old step-son, Brandon Ferris, committed suicide, on July 22, 2001, approximately 3 weeks after he began taking the SSRI antidepressant known as Zoloft.

As husband to his mother Barbara, I helped raise Brandon from the time he was less than 2 years old. He was a bright and socially outgoing child who got along well with his brother, and step-siblings.

At age 12 he took an interest in martial arts, and we enrolled him in Seongs Tai Kwon Do Academy in Fredericksburg, VA. He found himself well suited to this discipline and worked his way trough the program to achieve his Black Belt. He made many friends there and became an instructor to other children and adults at the age of 15.

As a teenager Brandon’s other activities included sports games with his friends in the neighborhood. He also was active in our church’s youth group where he was involved in drama and many outside volunteer community projects. Additionally, Brandon held down a part-time job at a local coffee shop.

Maybe at this point you are thinking that I have painted a picture of the perfect child. Brandon also had a mischievous side that was more entertaining than bad. For instance he was very creative at finding ways to get out of chores that he didn’t think were fun. “Fun” was a key word for Brandon.

Because of Brandon’s busy schedule, and the fact that we believed his aptitude was beyond the public school system, Barbara and I decided to home-school him. This situation tended to work out well, and as a byproduct, provided more quality communication time between Brandon, Barbara, and myself. Barbara also worked part-time at the Tai Kwon Do School, so she was active in Brandon’s daily activities generally several hours per day.

In June of 2001 Brandon expressed to his mother that he had been feeling despondent over some issues surrounding his life, i.e. a close friend who was having personal problems, and a would-be girl-friend. It was also evident that Brandon was not his ordinarily energetic self. It was decided that 1) he should take some time off from his varied responsibilities, and 2) he should see a counselor.

The Licensed counselor expressed concern over Brandon’s general well-being and suggested that he see the family doctor. The doctor, who could find no evidence of physical malfunctions, gave Brandon a prescription for the drug Zoloft.

We allowed Brandon to go with his best friend’s family to the beach for several days. The friend’s parents were also close friends of ours and were fully up to date on Brandon’s situation. They made sure Brandon took his medicine and monitored his behavior. Reports were that “all had a great time”. However, it was noted that Brandon’s demeanor on a couple of occasions was uncharacteristically less than his usual polite self.

Back at home he seemed fine and appeared to be enjoying his time off from work.

Sunday July 22nd we awoke a little latter than planned to get to church. Barbara didn’t have time to get ready so Brandon and I went together. Brandon hung out with his buddies during the service, which was customary, and in the car going home we discussed current events. Because Barbara’s birthday was the coming Friday, and Brandon liked to cook, he volunteered to make the cake. He told me he had been invited to go on a boating trip on Wednesday, and asked my permission. I was agreeable as long as it was alright with his mother. Back at home he went down the street with friends and I didn’t see him again until later that afternoon, when he asked if he could go out to eat dinner with his older brother Randy. I said yes, and asked him if he planned to attend his usual youth-group meeting at 7:00. He said yes and that he would have Randy drop him off after dinner. Latter, Randy picked him up from church and he was home at approximately 9:15. He seemed fine and went across the street to a friend’s house. He came back at about 9:45 and on his way up stairs he stopped to ask his mother about the boating trip. She told him we would discuss it after the movie we were watching. At about 10:00 I called up to him to take out the trash. He did, and went back to his room. At approximately 10:30 he asked his brother, in the next room, if he could use the computer to check his email. Randy told him that he would be finished with the computer in about 15 minutes. At 11:00 I called upstairs again because Brandon had missed a box that needed to go out with the trash. He did not answer. Randy then went to his room and found him hung by the neck from a belt in his closet. We called 911 and performed CPR to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Having looked back the day’s events, and spoken to most of those whom Brandon had contact with in detail; I could not detect any indication of forethought to suicide. However, later conversations revealed possible clues, as does the following excerpt of a sympathy card from the parents of two of Brandon’s Tai Kwon Do students.

…The weekend night of Saturday July 21st Paul and I went to the movies. Brandon and a friend were there. Brandon got up and sat down next to us. He looked at Paul and said “Hi, how are you?” It took a second and then Paul recognized him. Brandon smiled. He said “I’m here with a friend, and I told him I was going to play a trick on you.” We asked Brandon how he had been doing. He said “I’ve had a bit of depression; I’m on medicine, Zoloft. Its better I guess, the medicine messes with your head. They told me not to do anything that requires too much thought, So, I’m taking a little time off from Tai Kwon Do. I’ll be back soon. It takes time to adjust to the medicine. I’m getting there.” His manner was upbeat, teasing a little, tired, but he seemed to recognize that some things required time to work through…

The obvious question is, “What happened in Brandon’s mind between 10:30 PM and 10:45 PM on the evening of July 22nd, 2001?”

I wish I could say that, that was the end of an unspeakable tragedy. However, approximately 5 months later, Barbara, Brandon’s mother, and my wife of 15 years, unable cope with loss of her youngest son, took her own life.

Since then I have collaborated with Brandon’s biological father, Dan Ferris, who has worked tirelessly to obtain information that would point to the cause of Brandon’s death. We believe, after having done much research, that the drug Zoloft, produced by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, had a causal effect in Brandon’s final actions.

Jeff Avery – Step-father
2204 Thornbury Dr. Richmond, VA 23233
jeffavery@comcast.net

Dan Ferris – Biological father
P.O. Box 29177 Richmond, VA 23242
Eaglespirit2020@cs.com

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Paxil suicide

“…we were devastated by his suicide.”

In May of 1995, my husband was taking Paxil. He made the comment that he was never going to stop taking Paxil, because it made him feel so much better. About 2 weeks later he killed himself by shooting himself under the chin. He left behind me, his wife and 2 children, along with many family members that were devastated by his suicide.

Christy Hunter
903-753-1093603
Audrey St.
Longview, TX 75601

2003

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 77

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Your Site Explains my Nephew’s

“Thanks for making people aware of the dangers of using any drugs.”

 

I wanted to thank you for your site, and the information on it has helped my family deal with a recent loss.

My 15 year old nephew took his life last month. In the week after this tradegy, his friends came forward and gave information to my brother that led us to research what had happened. They explained that about six of them had been introduced to Zoloft just 7 days before and had been taking those pills. Ray Jr took heavy doses six times. This information, coupled with research on the internet, including your site provided an explanation for what happened, and why he would be driven to do this, with this particular drug.

My brother put up a site at http://www.geocities.com/ray_burk/index.html about two weeks ago as memorial to his son, but also to make people aware of the dangers of using any drugs. He references your site and others to provide information that parents and their kids should read.

Thanks.

Jimmy Burk

 

12/25/2002

This is Survivor Story number 4.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Suicide would have been the easy way out.

“I honestly can’t believe that doctors are prescribing depressants for people suffering from depression. And that they are prescribing drugs that cause brain damage.”

 

Dear Sirs,

I can’t imagine anything worse than what happened to me when I was treated for depression. I was told that antidepressants had no permanent side effects so I thought that it would be logical to take the drugs just long enough to fix my “low serotonin” and then get off of them. I thought that as long as a drug had no permanent side effects I had nothing to loose. It sounded like I was taking vitamins for my brain. I expected to feel positive and full of energy and vitality after I fixed my “low serotonin”.

I took one drug and when that didn’t “kick in” I took another drug and then another, and so on. Over two and a half years I took a dozen different antidepressants, all of them at their maximum recommended dosage. I finally realized that the drugs were really depressants. I wanted to commit suicide every minute of every day. Suicide would have been the easy way out. But fortunately I have a strong will to live. I wouldn’t give these drugs to an animal. Drug induced depression was the worst experience of my life and I will never forgive the doctors who infected me with it.

It is now over four years since stopping the drugs and I still feel emotionally unbalanced, weak – both physically and emotionally, agitated, confused, dull, numb. Sometimes I get chest pains and I’m sure that I have heart damage from the drugs. I also still experience sexual dysfunction and low libido, which is a psychological hell. In short, I have absolutely no peace of mind. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be normal again. Nothing is more important to me than recovery. I only work part time because I am so weak and distracted.

I honestly can’t believe that doctors are prescribing depressants for people suffering from depression. And that they are prescribing drugs that cause brain damage. I thought that people suffering from depression were supposed to stay away from drugs like alcohol (and antidepressants), which are both depressants.

I’m a grown man and I barely survived antidepressants, I would hate to think that children are being tortured with these same drugs.

Sincerely,

John

John Mazza
john.mazz@worldnet.att.net

 

2/14/2002

This is Survivor Story number 42.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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