An investigation should be conducted into the role that the side effects of psychiatric drugs might have on mass killings in the United States, says an organization that calls itself a mental health industry watchdog.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), based in Washington D.C., says more than 30 studies have shown that mind-altering prescription drugs have been a factor that might have driven people to commit senseless acts of violence.Read More »
Newer generation drugs
It points in particular to the newer generation antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Side effects of these drugs include anxiety, nervousness, agitation, mania, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and psychosis or homicidal thoughts.
People who take antidepressants can become distraught, says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School who has made a study of SSRIs. They feel like “jumping out of their skin,” he says, adding that the resulting impulsivity and irritability can cause people to become homicidal or suicidal.
Call for mandatory tests
The link between psychiatric drugs and violence must be studied to understand the role that this factor is apparently playing in the ongoing violence in the United States, the organization suggests.
The CCHR also calls for mandatory tests into the circumstances in every deadly incident to find out whether prescription drugs or illegal drugs were involved.
The organization says in its press statement that:
• Of almost 410 warnings by international drug regulatory agencies about psychotropic drugs, 27 warn of aggression, violence, hostility, psychosis, mania or homicidal thoughts.
• The Federal Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System indicates that 31 out of 484 prescription drugs are disproportionately linked with violence. Twenty-five of those are psychiatric drugs.
• At present, more than 45 million Americans are prescribed with antidepressants, including about 800,000 children and teenagers under 18.
• A report by the CCHR in 2018 outlined 60 cases of mass killings and violence by people who had been prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
• In a 2016 clinical trial at the Nordic Cochrane Centre, led by Andreas Bielefeldt, researchers gave antidepressants SSRI and SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) to adult volunteers who were healthy and had no signs of depression.
Their conclusion, published in the British Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2016, was that antidepressants double the risk of violence and suicidality.
Antidepressants are described as neurotoxic by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin because, he says, they disrupt and harm brain functions, causing abnormal behavior and thinking that includes aggressiveness, anxiety, loss of judgment, mania, and impulsivity, all of which can lead to violence.
The harmful behavioral and mental effects of antidepressants are especially severe and prevalent in youth and children, he adds.
WARNING: The organization warns that anyone who wishes to stop taking or change the dose of an antidepressant or behavioral drug should do so only under the supervision of a physician as potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms might occur if they do not do so.
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