Sad News of the Passing of our Board Member Dr. Candace Pert


Candace Beebe Pert 1946 – 2013

It is with a deep sense of loss and great sadness I must announce the sudden death of our long time board member and dear friend Dr. Candace Pert as reported in the Washington Post just last night. Candace was a giant in her field of expertise and an amazing human being with a brilliant mind, great sense of humor, and heart of gold. Following this short bio of Dr. Pert and her work is some very interesting information that all who are or who have ever taken an antidepressant need to know. In my opinion this is one of the greatest pieces of information left for us all by Dr. Pert.

Bio: Dr. Candace Pert was an internationally recognized pharmacologist who published over 250 scientific articles. She received her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, served as Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH-for just over 13 years I believe), held a Research Professorship in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and was currently working in her own private company developing an AIDS vaccine in addition to treatments for other diseases.

Dr. Pert appeared in the feature film What the Bleep Do We Know!?? and Bill Moyer’s TV program Healing and the Mind. She is the author of the book Molecules of Emotion: The Scientific Basis Behind Mind-Body Medicine (Scribner, 1997), Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d (Hay House, 2006), and the musical guided imagery CD Psychosomatic Wellness: Healing your Body-Mind. —–

Without the work of Dr. Pert in discovering the opiate binding process the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors would never have been born. With that in mind read what she had to say about them….

Candace’s Infamous Statement & Profound Warning on Antidepressants

Far too few who take antidepressants are aware of Candace and her work although they should be fully aware. In TIME Magazine, in October 1997 Dr. Candace Pert made one of the boldest and most significant statement on SSRI antidepressants ever made:

β€œI am alarmed at the monster that Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon Snyder and I created when we discovered the simple binding assay for drug receptors 25 years ago. Prozac and other antidepressant serotonin-receptor-active compounds may also cause cardiovascular problems in some susceptible people after long-term use, which has become common practice despite the lack of safety studies.

β€œThe public is being misinformed about the precision of these selective serotonin-uptake inhibitors when the medical profession oversimplifies their action in the brain and ignores the body as if it exists merely to carry the head around! In short, these molecules of emotion regulate every aspect of our physiology. A new paradigm has evolved, with implications that life-style changes such as diet and exercise can offer profound, safe and natural mood elevation.”

I was shocked beyond belief, and still am, that anyone would ever consider taking an antidepressant after reading that statement by Dr. Pert! I was convinced this would be the final nail in the coffin for antidepressants – the end of our Serotonin Nightmare. But I would quickly find that I would be the only one to ever quote Candace’s statement after that. The only places anyone could find it was the original TIME article or my book or our website while that information alone could have saved untold numbers of lives.

Our Friendship and Her Participation on ICFDA Board

After reading her statement in TIME I called Candace and we became instant friends talking for long periods of time. I sent her a copy of my book and we began to work together. After reading my book and learning of my work she gave me my greatest compliment ever calling me a “heroine” and my work “of great importance.”

Candace saw firsthand the damage antidepressants produce with the long suffering of her own sister and then the subsequent loss of her sister’s life not long after we met … all due to the ravages of the antidepressant Welbutrin.

Candace and I first met in person in the early 2000’s when she came to Utah, where I was living at the time, to lecture for BYU. She spoke of a profound dream she had where, if I recall correctly, she was falling and in a panic until a beautiful quilt came underneath her and caught her letting her gently down. She told everyone that the hand made quilt they had just presented to her as a gift for coming to speak was the same quilt she had seen in her dream. I thought that was interesting and wondered if she had ever figured out the meaning, but we both stayed much too busy for us to have much opportunity to visit about it again.

I persuaded Candace to testify in her first SSRI murder/suicide case, the Forsyth Prozac-induced murder/suicide case in Hawaii led by Andy Vickery. She was so funny! I could not believe that she was absolutely petrified to testify. I thought it ironic that she wanted ME to coach HER on what to do! πŸ™‚ She just was not familiar at all with a courtroom setting having never testified in court before. Although the case was not won, but was settled later, I thought she did very well. She did most things in life very well which you will see in the article from the Washington Post about her work which follows below.

She joined ICFDA not long after that as a member of our Board of Directors. She felt she could do more working silently behind the scenes working with other scientists to help them to understand rather than working with us in a high profile position. She did her own thing which we were both good at doing. Together we felt we would be able to wake up the world to Our Serotonin Nightmare. As the Executive Director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness I commit to you and to Candace to carry her message about the dangers of antidepressants to the world.

To her family, her husband, children, siblings, and first grandchild, we wish to express our sincere condolences for your sudden and tragic loss of your wife, mother, sister and grandmother. And we would also like to thank you all for sharing her with all of us.

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness &
Author: “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

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