Stephen Lendman, Contributor
Headlines like this should shock: Suicides Outpace War Deaths. Surge in Military Suicides. Nearly Two Dozen Veterans Commit Suicide Daily.
These reports and similar ones reveal imperialism’s dark side. War takes its toll. Civilians suffer most. So do many combatants and veterans after returning home.
Most people don’t know. Little gets reported. Why do active duty personnel and vets take their own lives?
Unbearable emotional pain consumes them. Daily trauma builds. So does intolerable stress. Relief is desperately sought. Suicide is chosen. It’s a last option. Others were exhausted. Preventable warning signs aren’t heeded. They include depression, withdrawal, lethargy, loss of interest in usual activities, appetite, weight, sleep and other behavioral changes, recurring suicidal thoughts, and feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Daily stress is bad enough. Combat exacerbates it. It’s intolerable for many. The little known human cost of war raises disturbing questions. America consumes its own.
Epidemic post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) levels affect hundreds of thousands of combat forces and vets.
The VA estimates over 30% of Vietnam vets, around 10% of Gulf War forces, and up to 20% of America’s Afghanistan and Iraq troops.
VA and DOD officials consistently understate problems. Independent reports reveal more. Some say nearly half of Afghan and Iraq vets have emotional and/or physical combat injuries.
In May 2012, AP said America’s vets “are filing for disability benefits at (a) historic rate.” They’re the “most medically, mentally troubled generation in US history.”
War’s toll is one of the most underreported stories. Hundreds of thousands of combat vets won’t ever be the same again.
They come home sick. They stay that way. They’re traumatized. They’re unable to cope. Emotional damage done goes largely unrecognized. It’s an unseen wound. Many needing help don’t get it.
The emotional ordeal is overwhelming. It’s terrifying. War vets are gravely affected. PTSD causes emotional numbness. Left untreated, it worsens. Horrifying flashbacks are commonplace.
Images, sounds, smells and subconscious feelings trigger them. Emotions well up inside. They surface self-destructively. It can happen any time. Some victims recover in months. For others it’s much longer or never.
War is a destructive slippery slope. It drives victims to emotional hell. They’re sure what afflicts them. PTSD prevents normal functioning.
Victims say they’re too tired. They can’t think. They can’t function normally. Their brains are overwhelmed.
They lash out at others for no reason. They harm those they love. They can’t explain why. Diagnosing PTSD is tricky. Often it’s not done. Victims needing help don’t get it. Others get too little. There’s no cure.
Measurable physical/biological symptoms aren’t apparent. Those mentioned above are commonplace. Others include headaches, unexplained pain, inability to cope, severe anxiety, rage, and survivor guilt for those who lost buddies.
Toughing it out depends on developing coping mechanisms. It’s not easy without competent professional help. For many it involves long-term struggle. Too often it’s too much to bear.
Broken human psyches aren’t easily repaired. Shocking suicide numbers explain best. More on that below.
David Grossman analyzed the art of killing. His book titled On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society explained an inherent aversion. Doing so causes mental anguish and harm. For many it’s too much to bear.
Combatants have to be taught to kill. Many do it reluctantly. Others abstain or try to. Either way takes a toll. Killing “comes with a price, and societies must learn that their soldiers will have to spend the rest of their lives living with what they have done,” said Grossman.
Jobs involved in harming others cut both ways. War is hell. Who knows better than combat vets. Understated VA data say plenty. Its 2012 Suicide Data Report said about 22 vets commit suicide daily.
Double the number wouldn’t surprise. Only 16 states indicate cause of veterans’ deaths. VA uses three-year old data. Many deaths aren’t called suicide. They slip under the radar unnoticed. Many war zone-related suicides are misreported.
Those that are outnumber combat deaths. Officials numbers reflect nearly one a day. DOD and VA officials shun publicity. Getting it harms recruiting. Unwary kids are mislead. They’re unaware what awaits them.
Many suicide victims are age 50 or older. Combat-related trauma is long-lasting. According to a Center for a New American Security (CNAS) suicide report, veterans commit suicide every 80 minutes.
Study authors Margaret Harrell and Nancy Berglass said:
America is losing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members. And as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow.
Many vets return home feeling helpless. Marine Corps vet Jason Christiansen watched his life unravel. “At one point, I was sitting there with a gun in my mouth,” he said. A friend urged him to seek help.
The Veterans Crisis Line gets hundreds of thousands of calls. CNAS said from 2005 – 2010, “approximately one service member committed suicide every 36 hours.” Too little to late reflects DOD/VA policy.
Feb. 7, 2013 — Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, is one of the most common types of neurological disorder, affecting approximately 1.3 million Americans annually. It has received more attention recently because of its frequency and impact among two groups of patients: professional athletes, especially football players; and soldiers returning from mid-east conflicts with blast-related TBI. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of the more than 2 million U.S. soldiers deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan have experienced TBI.
Article Date: 06 Feb 2013 – 1:00 PST
Visual symptoms and abnormalities occur at high rates in people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) – including Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans with blast-related TBI, reports a study, “Abnormal Fixation in Individuals with AMD when Viewing an Image of a Face”, in the February issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
Vision problems are similar for military and civilian patients with TBI, and are common even after relatively mild brain injury, according to the report by Gregory L. Goodrich, PhD, of the VA Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System and colleagues. “Comprehensive eye examinations are recommended following even mild traumatic brain injury,” comments Anthony Adams, OD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Optometry and Vision Science.
Published February 04, 2013
The most extensive study yet by the U.S. government on suicide among military veterans shows more veterans are killing themselves than previously thought, with 22 deaths a day – or one every 65 minutes, on average.
The study released on Friday by the Department of Veterans Affairs covered suicides from 1999 to 2010 and compared with a previous, less precise VA estimate that there were roughly 18 veteran deaths a day in the United States.
More than 69 percent of veteran suicides were among individuals aged 50 years or older, the VA reported.
“This data provides a fuller, more accurate, and sadly, an even more alarming picture of veteran suicide rates,” said Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington state, who has championed legislation to strengthen mental health care for veterans.
The news came two weeks after the U.S. military acknowledged that suicides hit a record in 2012, outpacing combat deaths, with 349 active-duty suicides – almost one a day.
That was despite sharper focus at the leadership level at the Pentagon and VA on the suicide problem, and came during an overall rise in suicides in the United States. The number of suicides in the United States rose 11 percent from 2007 to 2010, the VA said.
THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) — When you think of all the challenges that soldiers face, poor sleep might not top the list. But sleep problems and lack of sleep are common among active-duty U.S. military personnel, according to a new study.
The findings show the need for the military to make changes in sleep practices and in attitudes about sleep, the researchers said.
They looked at 725 active-duty members of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy, and found that 85 percent of them had a sleep disorder. The most common was obstructive sleep apnea (51 percent), followed by insomnia (25 percent).
The participants slept an average of only about 5.7 hours per night, and 42 percent of them reported sleeping five hours or less per night. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to feel alert and well-rested the next day, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Editor’s note: Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth’s mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson.(CNN) — The brain is by far the most complex thing that we know of in the universe.
And yet, for all its complexity, sometimes the brain responds to events in ways that are so remarkably predictable that we can use these responses to help people who are suffering.
Nowhere is this more true than in what we know about how the brain, along with its close attendants, the mind and the body, responds to catastrophic traumas such as the shootings Friday outside the Empire State Building in New York.
Before talking about the predictable way that the brain responds to traumas, it is also important to emphasize that all of us have complex and conflicting responses to horrific events such as mass shootings.
Millennials report a higher average stress level than the national average, according to the American Psychological Association.
Sure, Americans are a stressed-out bunch, but it seems that the Millennial generation has it the worst.
A new study by the American Psychological Association, ” Stress in America: Missing the Health Care Connection,” has found that young adults aged 18 to 34 have a higher average rate of stress than the US population — 5.4 out of 10 compared to the nation’s 4.9.
Almost 40 percent of Millennials said that their stress levels had gone up in the past year, and 52 percent admitted to letting anxieties keep them awake at night, CBS News reported.
“Many of these young people have come out of college or graduate school with horrendous student debt into a job market where there are not very many jobs,” Katherine Nordal, the APA’s executive director of professional practice, told NBC News. “This has put their life plans, probably, on hiatus.”
SUNDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) — Emotionally exhausted women are much more sensitive to sounds when they are stressed, according to a new study.
For some of these women, even a normal conversation can be painful, Swedish researchers found. Doctors may need to consider patients’ stress and exhaustion levels when treating hearing problems, the study suggests.
“When you are hypersensitive to sound, some normal sounds, such as the rattle of cutlery or the sound of a car engine, can feel ear-piercing,” Dan Hasson, an associate professor in the department of physiology and pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute, explained in an institute news release. “Given how common it is for people to work in environments with different kinds of disturbing sounds, this hypersensitivity can be really disabling for certain individuals.”
Friday, February 08, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Well, Natural News has been making the connection for some time now, and it appears that, finally, other media outlets are beginning to do the same thing: Other media outlets, including the so-called conservative press – which has been reluctant to do so until recently – are reporting that many of the mass murders committed over the past 10-15 years have involved shooters who were taking, or had been taking, some sort of prescription psychotropic.
Conservative commentator Alan Caruba, in a recent blog post, noted the connection in an essay entitled, “Making Little Murderers by Prescription,” in which he observed that one positive thing that could come out of the Newtown, Conn., massacre is, finally, “a national discussion of the role of various psychological medications that have been foisted on a generation or two of young Americans in the nation’s schools.”
One in an occasional series about the stars with a cause who come to Washington in search of a megaphone. Friday’s visitor: Bradley Cooper.
Bradley Cooper at the Center for American Progress Friday. (Jim Bourg/Reuters) Venue: A panel discussion/press conference at the Center for American Progress.
Purpose: A discussion on removing stigmas and improving services for the mentally ill.
Bona fides: Oscar-nominated star of “Silver Linings Playbook”, a best-picture nominee about a man grappling with bipolar disease.
Backup: Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.); Andrew Sperling of National Alliance on Mental Illness; Barbara Van Dahlen of Give An Hour; CAP policy wonks.
What he wants: To raise awareness of mental illness. The “only open to press” event did not correspond with a legislative push, though Cooper screened the film at Walter Reed and led a discussion with vets Thursday.
Editor’s note: Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman is professor and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University and the president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.
(CNN) — It has been a long time since a Hollywood movie actually seemed like it could help people suffering from mental illness, their families and those who treat them.
That’s why I’m so encouraged by the response to “Silver Linings Playbook,” which has enjoyed wide critical support since its release last fall — including eight Academy Award nominations — and is attracting a large national audience. It is the first film I’ve seen in years that portrays mental illness in such natural and poignant terms.
The entertainment industry has made a lucrative habit of exploiting deranged behavior for ostensibly artistic purposes, and has a long history of stereotyping “crazy” characters as killers, stalkers or perverts and misrepresenting mental health care.
Nearly 40 years after the release of the single most stigmatizing film in history –“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” — it is still invoked by people criticizing or trying to avoid care as if it is, or was, an accurate portrayal of mental illness and psychiatric medicine.
by Jon Rappoport
January 30, 2012
After the Sandy Hook murders, psychology and psychiatry have taken another leap forward in expanding their influence throughout society. “More mental-health services” is the catch-all phrase our leaders use in “solving” these massacres—along with gun control.
But just as grabbing guns won’t reduce the bulk of gun violence in America, the vague mental-health dictum won’t work, either.
This article focuses on psychology, which is a branch of false knowledge different from the false knowledge of psychiatry.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has received special training in diagnosing and prescribing drugs for “mental disorders,” none of which disorders can be confirmed to exist by any test.
A psychologist doesn’t need to be a medical doctor. With an advanced degree and a license, he can do therapy with patients and try to resolve “mental and emotional issues,” for which no diagnostic tests exist.
From the beginning of the history of psychology, it was really a simple trick. Establish a loose category called “mental problem,” pour money and research into solving it, and enroll patients.
This approach has become so pervasive that most people can’t conceive of an alternative. A person is acting strange, he has a problem, and a mental-health practitioner can help him solve it. What else do we need to know?
CBS New York
February 9, 2013
The New Jersey State Assembly has voted in favor of physician-assisted suicide.
The measure passed by a vote of 7-2 with two abstentions.
The Death with Dignity Act would allow terminally ill patients to be prescribed medication that would end their lives.
Under the measure, the lethal medication would only be made available to patients who are told by two doctors that they have six months or less to live.
Published February 08, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. – A push for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide is under way in a half-dozen states where proponents say they see strong support for allowing doctors to prescribe mentally competent, dying individuals with the medications needed to end their own lives.
The large number of baby boomers facing end-of-life issues themselves is seen to have made the issue more prominent in recent years. Groups such as Compassion & Choices, a national end-of-life advocacy organization, have been working to advance the cause.
Advocates received a boost from last year’s ballot question in Massachusetts on whether to allow physicians to help the terminally ill die. Although the vote failed, it helped to spark a national discussion, said Mickey MacIntyre, chief program officer for Compassion & Choices.
“The Massachusetts initiative lifted the consciousness of the nation and in particular the Northeast region to this issue that there are other alternatives patients and their families should have an opportunity to access,” MacIntyre said.
Bills legalizing assisted suicide are being considered in Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Kansas and Hawaii – and in Massachusetts, where proponents decided to resume their efforts after the public vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative trends. There are also bills related to the issue under consideration in New Hampshire, New York, Arizona and Montana.
Officials with the Missouri state mental hospital at Fulton are talking up the idea of expanding the hospital to accomodate mentally ill people with violence problems. . .people who now are either on the street or in prison.
The Fulton state hospital is Missouri’s only maximum- and intermediate-security psychiatric hospital. It’s also the oldest public mental hospital west of the Mississippi River.
The state Department of Mental Health is proposing a new 300-bed, high-security facility at a cost of about 211 million dollars.
Officials say current facilities at Fulton are so old that a new building would save about 3-million dollars a year in utilities, staffing and workers’ compensation.
Monday, February 04, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The rate at which children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) jumped dramatically over the past 10 years, according to a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente, the West Los Angeles Medical Center and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey-School Public Health and published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics (formerly Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine).
ADHD is officially classified as a neurobehavioral disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD affects between four and 12 percent of all school-aged children in the United States, making it one of the most common childhood disorders. Between 66 and 85 percent of these children maintain the diagnosis into adolescence and adulthood.
Yet, both the rate at which children are diagnosed with ADHD, and even the existence of the disorder itself, have proven controversial, with many critics alleging that doctors are now too quick to slap children with the label.
The implications of the controversy are significant: treatment of children with ADHD runs between $36 billion and $52 billion per year in the United States. Children diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to miss school, have trouble learning, suffer from injury, and have troubled relationships with family and peers.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by: Jon Rappoport
(NaturalNews) To understand even a little bit about real psychiatry, versus the false picture, you have to know that someone running around the streets naked and screaming has nothing to do with a mental disorder.If you can’t grasp that, you’ll always have a lingering sense that psychiatry is on the right track. It isn’t, and never was. Not from its earliest days, and not now, when it has the full backing and force of the federal government behind it.Psychiatry is the kind of all-out fraud few people grasp.
In a moment of weakness and exhaustion, Allen Frances, the most famous and honored psychiatrist in America at the time (2000), understood part of it. He told Gary Greenberg of Wired Magazine, “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”
That’s on the order of the designer of the Hindenburg, looking at the burned rubble on the ground, remarking, “Well, I knew there would be a problem.”
After a suitable pause, Dr. Frances remarked to Greenberg, “These concepts [of distinct mental disorders] are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the borders.”
This was an admission that the bible of the profession, the DSM, the latest edition of which Frances himself had led in compiling, could not draw separations between the 297 official mental disorders listed in it. It was, in other words, a pretense. The whole bible.
In a PBS Frontline episode, Does ADHD Exist?, Dr. Russell Barkley, an eminent professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, spelled out the fraud even more clearly.
Here it is.
PBS FRONTLINE INTERVIEWER: Skeptics say that there’s no biological marker – that it [ADHD] is the one condition out there where there is no blood test, and that no one knows what causes it.
The prescription ADHD drug Adderall, shown above, has spawned knockoff OTC supplements that claim to mimic its effects.
Health experts are sounding the alarm on over-the-counter knockoffs of the drug Adderall that claim to be a risk-free way to stay hyperfocused.
Marketed as “study aides” and bearing catchy names like “ADDTabz” and “AdderRx,” the pills are clearly meant to mimic the drug commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In fact, they rely some of the same active ingredients.
By Barbara Bronson Gray
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) — Many parents pursue costly and time-consuming treatments to help their children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Now, a new study finds little evidence that non-drug interventions reduce key symptoms of ADHD.
A multinational team of experts identified no positive effects from psychological treatments including mind exercises (cognitive training), neurofeedback and behavioral training (positive reinforcement). And the researchers discovered only small benefits associated with dietary treatments: supplementation with omega-3 and omega-6 free fatty acids, and elimination of artificial food coloring.
Article Date: 08 Feb 2013 – 2:00 PST
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced today that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved a label extension for aripiprazole for the treatment up to 12 weeks of moderate to severe manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder in adolescents aged 13 and older.
This will be the first centrally approved indication for the treatment of moderate to severe manic episodes in Bipolar I Disorder in this age group in Europe.
“Our endeavours to bring this aripiprazole adolescent indication to market demonstrates our long-term commitment to discover and develop new treatment options for the most challenging psychiatric diseases,” said Dr Giuseppe Di Benedetto MD PhD, Senior Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Compliance, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd.
After studying the brains of violent killers, rapists and robbers, German neurologist Gerhard Roth claims to have found a “dark patch” in the center of the brain — he calls it the evil spot, a genetic source of violent behavior.
Roth, a professor at the University of Bremen, told Germany news site Bild.de that he had shown short films to criminals and measured their brain activity. A small section at the front of their brains showed no reaction to violent scenes; it remained “dark” when shown dark scenes.
“Whenever there were brutal and squalid scenes, the subjects showed no emotions. In the areas of the brain where we create compassion and sorrow, nothing happened,” Roth said.
BioEdge, a blog dedicated to bioethics news, translated Roth’s German into English: “This is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks.”
The SSRI Stories website lists hundreds, if not thousands, of stories about the horrors related to taking psychotropic drugs.
The list below starts in April of 1988 and goes through October 2011. As noted on the SSRI Stories website, the person who kept that log has passed away, so probably it’s not been kept current.
However, I find the stories listed below implicating ‘guilt by association’ since the perpetrators of school shootings and other violence apparently were taking what’s called psychotropic drugs.
Personally, I think society, the law, and government health agencies must evaluate all that goes into violent behavior, just not guns, knives, rope, automobiles, alcohol, etc.
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health website ,
Recently, there has been some concern that the use of antidepressant medications themselves may induce suicidal behavior in youths. Following a thorough and comprehensive review of all the available published and unpublished controlled clinical trials of antidepressants in children and adolescents, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning in October 2004 about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents treated with SSRI antidepressant medications. In 2006, an advisory committee to the FDA recommended that the agency extend the warning to include young adults up to age 25.
The warning also notes that children and adolescents taking SSRI medications should be closely monitored for any worsening in depression, emergence of suicidal thinking or behavior, or unusual changes in behavior, such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations.
Personally, I don’t think guns, knives, or whatever instrument is used to commit violence and crime have any input into the children’s behavior, as you can note from what I’ve underscored above. Truly, it seems to me that something additional was instrumental in the aberrant behavior that led children to commit horrible crimes and/or threats against others.School Stand-Off Apr. 13, 1988 Idaho Zoloft antidepressant
School Shooting May 20, 1988 Illinois Anafranil Antidepressant
School Shooting Jan. 30, 1992 Michigan Prozac antidepressant
School Shooting Sep. 20, 1992 Texas Antidepressants
School Shooting Related July 23, 1993 Florida Luvox
School Shooting Oct. 12, 1995 South Carolina Zoloft Antidepressant
School Violence/Murder May 5, 1994 N.Y. Antidepressants
School Shooting May 21, 1998 Oregon Prozac antidepressant withdrawal
School Shooting Plot Dec. 1, 1998 Wisconsin Med for depression
School Shooting Threat Apr. 16, 1999 Idaho Antidepressant
School Shooting Apr. 20, 1999 Colorado Luvox & Zoloft Antidepressants
School Threats Oct. 19, 1999 Florida Prozac antidepressant
School Shooting Mar. 10, 2001 Pennsylvania Paxil
School Hostage Situation Apr. 15, 2001 Wash. Paxil & Effexor antidepressants
School Shooting Apr. 19, 2001 California Celexa & Effexor antidepressants
School Stabbings June 9, 2001 Japan Antidepressants
School Machete Attack Sept. 26, 2001 Penna. Med for depression
School Shooting Jan. 17, 2002 Virginia Antidepressant ?
School Shooting Threat May 31, 2003 Michigan Antidepressant
School Shooting Feb. 9, 2004 New York Paxil antidepressant
School Shooting Threat Oct. 19, 2004 N.J. Med for depression
School/Assault Feb. 15, 2006 Tennessee Zoloft antidepressant
School Shooting Mar. 24, 2005 Minnesota Prozac Antidepressant
School Shooting Aug. 30, 2006 North Carolina Celexa antidepressant
School Shooting Sept. 30, 2006 Colorado Antidepressant
School Hostage Situation Nov. 28, 2006 N.C. Antidepressant withdrawal
School Knife Attack Dec. 6, 2006 Indiana Med for depression
School Stabbing Dec. 4, 2006 Indiana Wellbutrin
School Shooting Apr. 18, 2007 Virginia Antidepressant questionable
School Threat Apr. 23, 2007 Mississippi Antidepressants
School Suspension July 28, 2007 Arkansas Lexapro antidepressant
School Shooting Oct. 12, 2007 Ohio Antidepressant withdrawal
School Shooting Nov. 11, 2007 Finland Antidepressant withdrawal
School Threat Jan. 25, 2008 Washington Prozac antidepressant
School Shooting Feb. 2, 2008 Illinois Prozac withdrawal
School Suicide/Lockdown Feb. 20, 2008 Idaho Med for depression
School Stabbing Feb. 28, 2008 Texas Med for depression
School Threat Mar. 20, 2008 Indiana Antidepressants
School Shooting Plot Aug. 28, 2008 Texas Med for depression withdrawal
School Shooting Mar. 13, 2009 Germany Med for depression
School Shooting Mar. 18, 2011 South Carolina Meds for depression & ADHD
School Hostage Situation Apr. 11, 2009 N.Y. Cymbalta antidepressant withdrawal
School/Assault Nov.4, 2009 California Antidepressant
School Shooting Threats Jan. 25, 2010 Virginia Celexa antidepressant
School Shooting Feb. 19, 2010 Finland SSRI drug
School Knifing/Murder Apr. 28, 2010 Mass. Medications for Depression & ADHD
School Incident/Bizarre Aug. 22, 2010 Australia Zoloft
School Hostage Situation Dec. 15, 2010 France Med for depression
School Massacre Plot Feb. 23, 2011 Virginia Prozac withdrawal Illinois
School Shooting July 11, 2011 Alabama Zoloft Antidepressant & ADHD med
School Stabbing Oct. 25, 2011 Washington Med for depression
For those interested in finding more information about SSRI drugs, you may want to check out this rather informative website, Anxiety Medication and Kids at Education.
Too many physicians are too quick, in my opinion, to prescribe SSRIs for kids. Recently I heard that physicians will be labeling more and more children as bipolar, which means more psychotropic drugs. Will there be more violent crimes committed by children who may not be responsible for their acts, as such acts are drug-induced—not gun or knife induced, as many would have the public believe? When on psychotropic drugs, kids can be compared to a person who may be chronically drunk because of how those drugs change personality traits.
In May of 2012 ABC News reported “Childhood Bipolar Boom: More Cases or Misdiagnoses?”
A 40-fold rise in bipolar disorder is being reported by physicians. Why so? My suggestion would be to reconsider all the neurotoxins and toxic chemicals found in vaccines that are being pumped into kids as soon as they exist the womb [Hepatitis B vaccine] with more vaccinations in multiple combinations at 2, 4 and 6 months! Doesn’t medicine realize that those chemicals and neurotoxins cross the blood brain barrier? Poisons were not meant to enter the brain. Isn’t that what the blood brain barrier is all about?
That’s why there’s the need for federal health agencies to stop kowtowing to Big Pharma and take a serious look at the ramifications of what chemicals do to the human brain, especially in infants, toddlers, and teens. Let’s examine every aspect of probable chemically-induced crime, and not pin the tail on just one donkey in this game of what actually may be a prelude to the taking away of 2nd Amendment rights for some apparent spurious reason. At least that’s how I assess it.
UPDATE: Here’s documentation that there’s more to the culture of violence in the USA than just guns. NBC News reported January 25, 2013 in a feature story, “Teen’s confession: Horror film inspired murder of mom, sister,” that 17-year-old Jake Evans admitted in a four page confession that he got the idea to shoot and kill his mother and sister after watching the remake of “Halloween” three times during that week! Another gun killing story apparently precipitated by entertainment. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/25/16692073-teens-confession-horror-film-inspired-murder-of-mom-sister?lite
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies.
Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:13pm EST
(Reuters) – The U.S. mental health system has huge gaps that prevent millions of people with psychological problems, including children and teens, from receiving effective treatment that could prevent tragic consequences, experts told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday.
Just over a month after the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, experts told a Senate hearing that three-quarters of mental illnesses emerge by age 24, but fewer than one in five youths with diagnosable problems receive treatment that could avoid later problems including violence and suicide.
Overall, experts said as many of 45 million Americans experience mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and drug abuse each year. But only 38 percent get treatment.
“These are the chronic disorders of young people,” said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
The hearing, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, was held in response to the shootings at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a young 20-year-old man described as having mental issues gunned down 26 people including 20 young children with assault rifle on December 14. It was the first time the committee has addressed the issue of mental health since 2007.
The Newtown tragedy and other mass shootings in recent years have ignited a debate about gun control and mental health, including a push by President Barack Obama for stronger gun controls and better mental health training for schools and communities.
But the committee’s Democratic chairman, Tom Harkin, warned against drawing a bold parallel between mental illness and violence against others.
“One of the most insidious stereotypes about people with mental illness is that they are inherently violent,” said the Iowa senator. “People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than they are to be perpetrators of acts of violence.”
The research included 237 Hispanic girls, aged 10 to 17, in the United States who were asked a range of questions, including how they felt about their bodies, whether they had any eating disorder symptoms, their overall satisfaction with their lives, and whether or not they felt inferior to other girls (a measure of peer competition).
They were also asked about their social media use and to name their three favorite television shows and to rate the attractiveness of the female actresses in those shows.
Overall, neither television images of thin “ideal” women nor social media use predicted body dissatisfaction, but peer competition did, researchers Christopher Ferguson and colleagues at Texas A&M University found.
TV shows and social media did not predict eating disorder symptoms in the girls, while peer competition predicted eating disorder symptoms in the long term, but not in the short term.
Article Date: 29 Jan 2013 – 1:00 PST
A study conducted at the University of Granada has demonstrated that men like female thinness more than women and they find female overweight more unpleasant than women. In addition, the study revealed that women who are not comfortable with their body perceive women with a “normal” body – i.e. women with a healthy weight – as a threat. Specifically, when these women see a “normal” body they experience feelings of displeasure and lack of control, since they feel they have not any control on their own body and cannot make it be as they want.
This research study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada. The authors found that women who are not comfortable with their body feel embarrassed and uneasy when they see themselves in a picture or video, especially if they are imitating the poses of a professional model.
When his office began using a questionnaire to screen adolescents for depression, Dr. Robert Dudley was skeptical.
“What’s the chance these nine silly questions are going to pick something up?” he wondered. “I’ve known this kid forever. I’ll know if they’re having troubles or not.”
Then he started using the questionnaire.
The number of patients identified as having mental health issues skyrocketed.
“It’s really amazing how many kids come up positive with it,” he said. “It’s really sort of a shocker to me. I thought we were doing a pretty good job of asking kids [before].”
Screening tools like the one Dudley uses are relatively simple. They resemble multiple-choice quizzes, with questions like whether or how often a person felt down, had little interest in doing things, or had trouble sleeping. Patients can circle the answers.
There’s evidence that they can accurately identify major depression in adolescents, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. But Dudley, a pediatrician at Community Health Center in New Britain, is in the minority in using them regularly.
“It is the rare pediatric practice that routinely screens children for mental health problems,” said Lisa Honigfeld, vice president for health initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut.
Most adolescents who plan or attempt suicide have already gotten at least some mental health treatment, raising questions about the effectiveness of current approaches to helping troubled teenagers, according to the largest in-depth analysis to date of suicidal behaviors in U.S. teenagers.
The study, posted online last week by the journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that 55 percent of suicidal teenagers had received some therapy before they thought about suicide, planned it or tried to kill themselves, contradicting the widely held belief that suicide is due in part to a lack of access to treatment.
The findings, based on interviews with a nationwide sample of more than 6,000 teenagers and at least one parent of each, linked suicidal behavior to complex combinations of mood disorders like depression and behavior problems that include attention-deficit and eating disorders, as well as alcohol and drug abuse.
The study found that about 1 in 8 teenagers had persistent suicidal thoughts at some point, and about a third of them had made a suicide attempt, usually within a year of having the idea.
Previous studies have had similar findings, based on smaller, regional samples. But the new study is the first to suggest, in a large nationwide sample, that access to treatment does not make a big difference.
Watch Study Shows Many Teens at Risk for Suicidal Behavior on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
More than half of the young people who planned, thought of, or attempted to kill themselves had received at least some treatment. Nearly 1,400 between the ages of 13 and 18 took their own life in 2010.
For more about the study and some of the issues it raises, we talk to two experts.
The growing problem of teenage mental health and suicide prevention in Irish schools ‘is not about going to one person anymore,’ Irish Minister of State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch told the press this week.
According to the Irish Times, Lynch was addressing a joint launch by the Department of Health and the Department of Education of new national mental health guidelines for Irish schools.
The 10-point guidelines will be posted to Irish high schools this week, with the intent of helping school staff to recognize and support at risk pupils, one in ten of whom reportedly experience mental health disorders as children and teenagers.
‘Whether it’s the caretaker, the person serving the food, the guidance counsellor, the principal, the teacher or the classroom assistant,’ Lynch said, adding that responding to the mental health needs of Irish pupils was ‘the business of everyone in the school.’
This new whole-school approach caused some mental health professionals to scoff, however. A spokesperson for the Irish Institute of Guidance Counsellors described the guidelines as ‘a code for nobody’s responsibility.’ By widening the number of potential non-professional adult intermediaries, the ministers were essentially diluting any potential culpability, they suggested.
These results showed the need for major changes in treatments for suicidal teens and prevention efforts, since current treatments and prevention efforts are not always effective in helping suicidal teens.
Study conclusions suggested that instead of providing general mental health treatment for suicidal behaviors and general suicide prevention efforts, both aspects need to be more specialized.
Researchers behind the study proposed that suicidal behaviors are somewhat common for U.S teens, and many of these teens have preexisting mental disorders.
“We need to continue to hold support systems for families who have told us over and over again that they can see their children are experiencing mental illness diagnoses,” Senator Kathy Sheran told reporters Friday.
“They see the symptoms but they’re not able to find the support systems anywhere.”
Sheran, a Mankato Democrat, is well versed on the subject of the gaps in care. By trade she is a nurse, and spent her career specializing in the care of persons with serious mental illnesses.
She will soon introduce a bill that, among other things, expands the program known as School-Linked Mental Health Grants. It is designed to connect students and their families with mental health professionals.
“That will help serve more children than have ever been served before, many of whom have never had contact because of the lack of resources with the mental health system,” Sheran said.
Sacia Morris believes that the best way to heal youths suffering from mental health issues is to treat them close to home, supported by family and friends.
That is why she and her husband, Dr. David Morris, chose to donate $1 million through their family foundation to the adolescent unit in Gundersen Lutheran’s new Inpatient Patient Behavioral Health Building, she said Saturday.
“It is clearly a place that will help young people in our community begin to heal,” she said after a ceremony unveiling the Dr. David L. and Sacia B. Morris Family Foundation Adolescent Unit.
Published February 06, 2013
Mentally ill adults in the United States smoke cigarettes at a 70 percent higher rate than adults without any kind of mental illness, according to a report released by federal health agencies on Tuesday.
Statistics show smoking by the mentally ill is a “very serious health issue that needs more attention” and should prompt mental health facilities to ban the habit, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We need to do more to help smokers with mental illness quit,” Frieden told reporters during a telephone briefing.
The CDC study found 36 percent of mentally ill adults smoke, compared with 21 percent of other adults. Those with mental illnesses also smoke more heavily, consuming an average of 331 cigarettes per month, compared with 310 for other smokers, the report found.
Published: Sunday, February 03, 2013
By Chad Selweski
For The Oakland Press
U.S. Rep. Sander Levin warns that Congress’ current path toward cuts in mental health research stands in contrast to national support for blocking the emotionally deranged from gaining access to guns.
The impending automatic, “sequester” cuts on Congress’ agenda would exacerbate a trend in which only one in six requests for grants from the medical community currently receive approval from the National Institutes of Health. For the National Institutes of Mental Health, the news is much worse: less than 5 percent of funding requests are granted.
“If we’re going to rely only on spending” to reduce the deficit, “that would have a major impact on programs such as NIH,” said Levin in an interview with The Macomb Daily “With … so much emphasis on gun control and mental health issues of late, to have such a drop in funding in child development and mental health is very worrisome.”
The sequester cuts would require a $1 trillion reduction in federal spending, over 10 years, that would chop funding mostly from the Defense Department and a wide array of “discretionary funding” – everything from food stamps to national parks to border patrols.
By JANET PEARSON Associate Editor
Published: 2/3/2013 2:10 AM
Last Modified: 2/3/2013 7:29 AM
Even before the Newtown, Conn., tragedies focused the spotlight anew on mental health, advocates here were painfully aware of how serious the need for expanded services and treatment is.
Thankfully for our state, which has some of the worst mental-health problems in the nation, Gov. Mary Fallin and a growing number of other state leaders recognize the need for improving treatment. For the second year in a row, Fallin has made such improvements a top priority.
This session, she is seeking an additional $16 million for the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – funding that would go toward a third community crisis center, the first-ever state-funded suicide prevention program, prescription drug abuse treatment and a comprehensive program for families with seriously troubled children.
Fallin displayed a welcome understanding of mental-health issues in announcing her goal. “We can do a better job of assessing an issue that a person might have as it relates to a behavioral issue – whether it’s a mental health issue, a substance abuse issue or whether they have some criminal behavior within themselves,” she said. “And where does that person really belong? Do they belong in a mental health facility? Do they belong in a correctional facility? Or do they need treatment for some type of substance abuse problem?”
Discussing a psychiatrist’s objections to mandated treatment.
To the Editor:
Recent tragic events have linked mental illness and violence. Some people — I, for one — consider this link dangerously stigmatizing. People with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Moreover, psychiatrists have limited capacity to reliably predict violence. Nonetheless, these events increase pressure to identify people who might conceivably commit violent acts, and to mandate treatment with antipsychotic medications.
For a tiny minority of patients who have committed serious crimes, mandated treatment can be effective, particularly as an alternative to incarceration. But for most patients experiencing psychotic states, mandated treatment may create more problems than it solves.
For many medical conditions, better outcomes occur when patients share in treatment design and disease management. Imposed treatments tend to engender resistance and resentment. This is also true for psychiatric conditions.
Patients with psychotic symptoms often feel that their own experience is dismissed as meaningless, like the ravings of an intoxicated or delirious person. Decisions to decline antipsychotic medications are often regarded mainly as a manifestation of illness — an illness the person is too sick to recognize — even though many people might reject antipsychotics because of metabolic and other toxicities.
Can there be a solution to America’s gun problems? Anderson Cooper looks at both sides of the debate in “Guns Under Fire: an AC360º Town Hall Special” Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.
(CNN) — Last November, Oklahoma City police officers went to check on an elderly woman after relatives reported they hadn’t heard from her in a while.
At 77, Janet Hume was living with her adult son, Gerald, who the family said was schizophrenic. Since she typically kept in close contact with relatives, police decided to investigate.
They visited the Hume home on three occasions. Each time, her son refused to let them inside, insisting “everything was OK,” according to a police affidavit.
But it was far from it.
What police eventually discovered instead was a horrendous case that underscores how little the country’s current gun laws can do to stop a mentally ill person from buying a gun — even if, like Gerald Hume, they have a documented history of violence.
Feb. 02, 2013 @ 06:46 PM
Psychologist Chris Lootens understands, in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, why the public and politicians have turned to the issue of limiting access to weapons by mentally ill individuals.
But Lootens and other health care professionals wonder if the push to pass new laws and practices will recognize the endless complexities with diseases and abnormalities of the mind.
“What this debate boils down to is that you are trying to make predictions about behavior. The goal of this effort is to predict who will be violent, who will shoot people. When it comes to predicting violence, so many factors go into that. So how could we predict that for any one person?” said Lootens, assistant professor of psychology at High Point University.
Dr. Stephen Kramer, a psychiatrist and faculty member with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said it’s understandable why the public and elected officials want to address the issue because of mass shootings.
“Everyone wants to make the situation better, and no one has a good solution,” Kramer said.
It’s nothing new: horror stories about people whose mental illnesses turned them into killers; a safety net that failed to catch them; and now, politicians in Olympia vowing to do something.
It’s nothing new: horror stories about people whose mental illnesses turned them into killers; a safety net that failed to catch them; and now, politicians in Olympia vowing to do something.
“There’s suddenly a lot of movement, and it’s sad that it’s taken a series of catastrophic tragedies to start addressing this, but it’s a catalyst,” said Larry Thompson, a therapist at Western State Hospital in Lakewood who said he’s more hopeful for change than he has been in years. “Maybe the iceberg that has been funding for mental health is starting to thaw and break apart.”
Momentum does seem to be building for action on mental health. But state lawmakers still haven’t paid the bill from the last time they acted.
That was in 2010, when they voted unanimously to make it easier to detain potentially dangerous people for treatment of mental illness.
The new standards would have allowed more consideration of a patient’s past behavior for what is known as an involuntary commitment, which now requires some kind of immediate threat or danger. But cost estimates pushed lawmakers to postpone most of those changes until mid-2015.
“We’re seeing the impacts of that. The amount of mentally ill in the jails just awaiting evaluation has skyrocketed,” Thompson said. So many mentally ill inmates have crowded the Pierce County Jail, many while awaiting a Western State Hospital evaluation, that corrections officers are piling up overtime.
Now that the conversation about gun violence is front and center, it is time to be focusing on the relationship between mental health and gun violence. It is here that psychologists and other mental health professionals can make a difference and become part of the debate on this issue.
As a psychologist, I am deeply committed to a life as free as possible from any type of harm and also committed to the needs of people who are experiencing mental, emotional and behavioral problems.
The mental stability of a person seeking to obtain firearms is only one aspect of the wider picture to control and reduce gun violence. Although California is among those states with stringent gun control measures, I believe there remains a void to be filled when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of people who are experiencing severe mental health disorders and associated behavioral problems.
There needs to be a conversation about how to integrate mental health assessment into access to guns. This will not be a complete solution to reducing gun violence. But an opportunity for our state to address how we can do the best job possible to deny the purchase of firearms from those who have the most potential to do harm.
FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) — Use of psychiatric medications is most prevalent in the southern United States and least prevalent in the West, according to a new U.S. study.
Although people living in the West are the least likely to use antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants, the Yale researchers found that the drugs’ use is 40 percent higher in a large section of the South than in other parts of the country. The study authors attributed this discrepancy to variations in local access to health care and marketing efforts within the pharmaceutical industry.
“The geographic patterns we identify are striking and map onto the patterns found for a host of other medical conditions and treatments, from cognitive decline to bypass surgery,” Marissa King, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, said in a school news release. “Our work suggests that access to clinical care and pharmaceutical marketing may be critical for understanding who gets treated and how they get treated.”
The study, which included data on 60 percent of the prescriptions written in the United States in 2008, revealed that patients living in sections of the South were 77 percent more likely to fill a prescription for a stimulant. Southerners also were 46 percent more likely to fill a prescription for an antidepressant and 42 percent more likely to do so for an antipsychotic.
“We identified clear regional clusters where the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants was elevated,” King noted. “The geography of the cluster for each class of medication was different, but they overlapped each other, with Tennessee as the center point.”
Updated: 12:40 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 | Posted: 12:40 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. —
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing to spend $10 million to help get mental health care sooner for those who need it.
The funding is included in the state budget released this past week by the governor’s office and is part of Nixon’s response to recent gun violence. Mental health services have gained attention nationwide after several high-profile shootings, including one at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Nixon said the proposal would help get Missourians timely, effective treatment.
“We must do everything in our power to get folks the treatment they need, before it’s too late,” Nixon said during his State of the State speech Jan. 28.
The biggest share of the funding would go toward an emergency room diversion project through the Department of Mental Health. Teams could respond quickly and begin working with a patient when an emergency room requests assistance.
Mental health officials plan to try the project at seven hospitals and would include a facility in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, central Missouri, south-central Missouri, southeastern Missouri and in the Kirksville or Hannibal areas. The Department of Mental Health estimates 1,100 people per year could be assisted through emergency room diversion.
Mental Health Department Director Keith Schafer said working with people who have mental health problems frequently is a challenge for emergency rooms. When a patient is displaying psychiatric or substance abuse problems, the team could take over responsibility and relieve the emergency room of trying to determine what to do.
“It’s one of the critical places where we may quickly be able to come into contact with some of these folks who need ongoing help form us,” Schafer said.
Conflict and neglect affect health through adulthood
By Ian Chant
Stress and neglect at home take an obvious toll on kids as they grow up. Many decades of research have documented the psychological consequences in adulthood, including struggles with depression and difficulties maintaining relationships. Now studies are finding that a troubled home life has profound effects on neural development.
Kids’ brains are exquisitely sensitive. Even sleeping infants are affected by family arguments, a new study concludes. Researchers at the University of Oregon showed with functional MRI scans that infants from families who reported more than the usual levels of conflict in the home were more sensitive to aggressive or angry voices. While asleep, these babies had an uptick in brain activity in response to sentences read in an angry tone of voice, with most of the activity clustered in the parts of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and stress.
“Infants are constantly absorbing and learning things, not just when we think we’re teaching them,” says Alice Graham, a doctoral student who led the study, forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science. “We should expect that what’s going on in the environment is literally shaping the physical connections in their brains.”
Feb. 4, 2013 — Study says binge drinking, smoking, and illegal drug use may be used to cope with depression and anxiety
Poor mental health leads to unhealthy behaviors in low-income adults – not the other way around, according to a new study¹ by Dr. Jennifer Walsh and colleagues from the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in the US. In this study, stress and anxiety predicted subsequent health-compromising behaviors, such as smoking, binge drinking, illegal drug use, unprotected sex and unhealthy diets. One possible explanation for these findings is that health compromising behaviors may be used as coping mechanisms to manage the effects of stress and anxiety. The study is published online in the Springer journal, Translational Behavioral Medicine², and is part of an issue focusing on multiple health behavior change.
Dr. Walsh and her team explored the relationship between health-compromising behaviors and mental health in the context of socioeconomic disadvantage to determine whether mental health problems lead to subsequent unhealthy behaviors, or whether these behaviors lead to mental health problems.
Article Date: 09 Feb 2013 – 0:00 PST
Abusive bosses who target employees with ridicule, public criticism, and the silent treatment not only have a detrimental effect on the employees they bully, but they negatively impact the work environment for the co-workers of those employees who suffer from “second-hand” or vicarious abusive supervision, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.
In the first ever study to investigate vicarious supervisory abuse, Paul Harvey, associate professor of organizational behavior at UNH, and his research colleagues Kenneth Harris and Raina Harris from Indiana University Southeast and Melissa Cast from New Mexico State University find that vicarious supervisory abuse is associated with job frustration, abuse of other coworkers, and a lack of perceived organizational support beyond the effects of the abusive supervisor.
The research is presented in the Journal of Social Psychology in the article “An Investigation of Abusive Supervision, Vicarious Abuse Supervision, and Their Joint Impacts.”
Abusive supervision is considered a dysfunctional type of leadership and includes a sustained display of hostile verbal and nonverbal behaviors toward subordinates.
“Although the effects of abusive supervision may not be as physically harmful as other types of dysfunctional behavior, such as workplace violence or aggression, the actions are likely to leave longer-lasting wounds, in part, because abusive supervision can continue for a long time,” Harvey said.
Those long-lasting wounds also are felt by the co-workers of the victims of bulling bosses.
Friday, February 08, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Feeling lonely disrupts the immune system and may lead to many of the same health problems as chronic stress, according to a pair of studies conducted by researchers from Ohio State University and presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans.”It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships,” researcher Lisa Jaremka said.The first study was conducted on 200 breast cancer survivors who had completed their treatment within two months and three years before the start of the study. The average participant’s age was 51. All participants had their loneliness assessed by a questionnaire on perception of isolation and loneliness called the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Their blood was also tested for levels of antibodies against two separate varieties of herpes virus: cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr.A majority of U.S. adults are infected with both herpes viruses, which have the ability to go dormant in the body and reemerge if the immune system ever becomes compromised. Therefore, levels of herpes antibodies in the blood are considered a reliable marker of immune stress.
Submitted by Neeraj Shahane on Fri, 02/01/2013 – 10:30
It becomes quite shocking that out of every seven patients in Scotland, one takes drugs.
This is something that directed the insurance company Aviva to conduct a research and figure out the main reason behind such a rising rate of antidepressants in the region. They surveyed around 2,000 people in the UK and revealed that 85% patients don’t want to wait for therapies as this may deteriorate their further condition. Upon questioning doctors in Scotland, the survey found that almost nine out of ten doctors prefer prescribing drugs to their patients. They believe that though therapies could prove to be more effective but drugs are the fastest way of treating mental health problems.
GPs across the UK were also asked to comment over talking therapies. And most of them, around 94% were found to be quite concerned about the waiting times involved in these therapies.
Article Date: 01 Feb 2013 – 0:00 PST
Mental illness also affected many of the women, with nearly two out of three showing symptoms of major depression and one in four experiencing moderate to severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of the women had significant violent experiences in their lifetimes, and one in five was in an abusive relationship at the time of the interviews.
“Prenatal visits are key opportunities for health providers to talk with expectant mothers about their stressors, especially since many rural areas have fewer or unsatisfactory resources such as mental health care and domestic violence shelters,” Bloom said. “Clinicians making referrals to resources should consider doing warm hand-offs, which involves sitting with the patients and making calls together or introducing them in person to people who can help them. Health providers also should keep in mind that rural woman have increased concerns about confidentiality and gossip and don’t want to feel judged.”
Bloom said rural clinicians need to ask pregnant women about their stress levels and their exposures to violence. In addition, medical providers need to let women know about available resources.
There have been countless studies to date that demonstrate the serious risks of women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs- a class of antidepressants) during pregnancy. The drugs have been linked to preterm delivery, miscarriage, and increased risk of behavioral issues, autism, and seizures in the child. And for every medial story we see covering these risks, we see a disclaimer about the risks of women going offtheir anti-depressants. What these arguments in favor of SSRI’s fail to recognize is that there are very real and very effective ways to help depressed women through pregnancy without the use of drugs.An estimated one-in-ten adults in the United States takes anti-depressants, and the majority of these are SSRI’s. They are the most popular prescription drugs, and people of all ages and all walks of life take them—this includes women who are pregnant.
These wildly popular drugs have wildly dangerous effects, however. It’s been estimated that anywhere from 15 to 30% of babies born to mothers who took SSRIs while pregnant have some neurobehavioral problem. These babies are also far more likely to be born preterm or to not be born at all. And often times, women are not being warned of these effects.
By Elizabeth Renter
January 25, 2013
Reported statistics vary, but about 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. The condition can manifest itself as severe mental retardation or mild behavioral issues.
But it’s the rate of autism and it’s steady increase over the past several decades that has researchers searching for a cause or even contributing factors. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northen Caroline may have found one cause to add to the list – mom’s antidepressant use.
Their study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at children who were diagnosed with autism and a random group of undiagnosed children. Then, they compared the mothers’ medical records.
What they found was that a pregnant mother’s anti-depressant use was linked to a higher incidence of autism. This is a correlation.
Mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy were twice as likely to give birth to a child with autism. The risk was significantly increased when the mother took anti-depressants in the first trimester. Then, the risk was three times higher.
“Our results suggests a possible, albeit small, risk to the unborn child associated with in utero exposure to SSRIs,” said Lisa Croen, lead researcher.
SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors represent the most commonly prescribed mental health drugs on the market. An estimated one-in-ten Americans take these anti-depressants. In other words, if all research pointed an accusing finger at anti-depressants, the pharmaceutical makers would take a major hit.
The researchers are cautious to put a dent in the profits of Big Pharma, telling people to carefully weigh the risks of anti-depressants with the benefits, saying that untreated depression has its own risks. (Maybe they aren’t aware of the evidence that says anti-depressants can actually make people more depressed and lead to suicidal thoughts.) What’s more, anti-depressants have been shown to hasten the thickening of arteries, contributing to heart disease.
What they fail to mention is that depression can often be successfully treated with diet, exercise, and natural solutions. Vitamin D, yoga, and acupuncture are just a few natural alternatives—ones that don’t come with unpleasant side effects like increased autism risk or suicidal tendencies. Choose holistic treatment for depression instead of harmful medication.
Posted by Nicole Behnam
January 15, 2013 | 2:18 am
Are antidepressants being prescribed too often and too much? Has the definition of clinical depression become too broad? And why are mass shootings now being linked to antidepressant use? The risk that antidepressants will ignite violent or self-destructive behavior has been the subject of renewed controversy.
After evidence that several gunmen involved in mass shootings were taking antidepressants during the time of their outburst, a number of threads have been appearing on the Web regarding this issue, but the media refuses to bring it up.
After all, companies like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline might stop advertising with news outlets if this notion is ever addressed, or even worse, researched in depth.
Under the influence of three powerful constituencies—the pharmaceutical industry, the social work industry, and the psychotherapy industry—along with their handmaidens—the government, the media, and advertising—it has become exceedingly difficult for people to believe that unhappiness might just be an ordinary reaction to unpleasant circumstances.
Because of false advertisements, millions of people per year are tricked into renaming their unhappiness “depression.” Even a television advertisement could lead you to believe that you are clinically depressed.
Leading questions like “feeling tired and hopeless?” are geared toward subconsciously convincing people that any given pill can cure all of their symptoms.
But try reading about the symptoms and reactions caused by these pills. Suicidal–and perhaps homicidal—thoughts are almost always prevalent in the long lists of side effects written in small print on a flimsy sheet of paper folded several times over.
Many psychiatrists have admitted that antidepressants may also cause manic or aggressive behavior, especially for those who are prone to bipolar disorder. So why are tens of millions Americans taking antidepressants?
Two experts confront this topic in the online version of the British Medical Journal.
According to Des Spence, M.D., a Glasgow, Scotland general practitioner, “we use antidepressants too easily, for too long, and that they are effective for few people (if at all).”
He acknowledges that depression is a serious illness, but argues that the current definition of clinical depression (two weeks of low mood — even after bereavement) “is too loose and is causing widespread medicalization.”
He also asserted that 75 percent of those who write these definitions have links to drug companies.
In the UK’s nationalized health system, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provide guidelines to direct cost-efficient medical care. Those guidelines do not support the use of antidepressant medication in mild depression, or even as first-line treatment of moderate depression. Instead, they promote talking therapies.
Yet physicians continue to prescribe medication as a first line of intervention.
Jan 22, 2013
Antidepressants are prescribed too easily, for too long, and have few, if any, beneficial effects.
That’s one side of a head-to-head debate over rising prescription rates for antidepressants put forward by general practitioner Des Spence, MB, ChB, and published online January 22 in BMJ.
On the other side of the argument, psychiatrist Ian Reid, PhD, professor of psychiatry, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, maintains that the claim that antidepressants are overprescribed requires “careful consideration,” asserting that the increase in prescriptions is due to small, but appropriate, increases in duration of treatment rather than more patients being treated.
For his part, Dr. Spence points out that the current definition of clinical depression, defined in both the fourth and the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as 2 weeks of low mood, is “too loose and is causing widespread medicalization.”
He also claims that 75% of those who write the definitions have links to drug companies.
“Mental illness is the drug industry’s golden goose: incurable, common, long term, and involving multiple medications. This relation with industry has engrained a therapeutic drug mindset to treat mental illness,” he writes.
I’ll give you another issue to consider. A common reason people don’t get better with treatment is that they stop taking the drug because of side effects.
Side effects are often mild, but they vary from drug to drug. Common ones are nausea, diarrhea, weight gain and sexual side effects. But many people stop taking their medicine even when the side effects are mild. They get discouraged and don’t try a different drug.
Choosing an antidepressant is a trial-and-error process. This means your first drug prescribed may or may not effectively treat depression. Or it may cause mild side effects. Therefore, I suggest picking a drug based on which side effects you most want to avoid.
If you start a drug and feel uncomfortable, tell your doctor. You can try a different medicine. The real challenge, of course, is that depression has so many causes. We cannot predict who will respond to a particular drug. We don’t know in advance what unwanted effects will happen.
If you and your doctor work together patiently, there is a good chance that one of the many drug options will be the right one for you.
by Jon Rappoport
January 31, 2013
The ability to separate components of a machine, to increase the efficiency and power of each component, to link up all the elements in smoother ways; this is one of the hallmarks of the technological society.
And when the current machine is superseded by a new one, the process of improving efficiency starts all over again.
But a human being is not a machine, because consciousness is not a machine.
The rise of what has been called industrial psychology, or scientific management, tries to overcome that “flaw.” This is described well in Scott Noble’s film, Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century (posted at YouTube).
For example, the modern factory assembly line, in which workers did multiple tasks and functioned as skilled artisans, was overthrown in favor of a system in which each worker performed the same severely restricted, specialized task over and over again. A machine making machines.
And not just in America. In Russia, in the early stages of the revolution, worker-owned companies were on the rise. But that development was too conscious, too participatory. Lenin imposed his top-down version of human machines making machines, all in the service of constructing a super-state.
In the same way, the rise of psychology and psychiatry reflect the impulse to treat the mind as a machine. The expanding concoction of so-called mental disorders are arbitrary attempts at categorizing human thought, desire, and behavior as diseases.
Have you ever tried to solve an arbitrarily cooked-up problem for millions of people? Of course not. Who in his right mind would? Yet this is exactly what the “mental sciences” have accepted as their mission.
Consciousness is not public business. Its dimensions and capabilities are there for every person to explore on his own terms. This is called freedom.
In their fervor to take action against gun violence after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., a growing number of state and national politicians are promoting a focus on mental illness as a way to help prevent further killings.
Legislation to revise existing mental health laws is under consideration in at least a half-dozen states, including Colorado, Oregon and Ohio. A New York bill requiring mental health practitioners to warn the authorities about potentially dangerous patients was signed into law on Jan. 15. In Washington, President Obama has ordered “a national dialogue” on mental health, and a variety of bills addressing mental health issues are percolating on Capitol Hill.
But critics say that this focus unfairly singles out people with serious mental illness, who studies indicate are involved in only about 4 percent of violent crimes and are 11 or more times as likely than the general population to be the victims of violent crime.
And many proposals — they include strengthening mental health services, lowering the threshold for involuntary commitment and increasing requirements for reporting worrisome patients to the authorities — are rushed in execution and unlikely to repair a broken mental health system, some experts say.
“Good intentions without thought make for bad laws, and I think we have a risk of that,” said J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied rampage killers.
By Amy Sherman, PolitiFact Florida
In Print: Saturday, January 26, 2013
After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns has become one of the leading advocates for changing laws. One of those mayors, Mike Ryan of Sunrise, says some of Florida’s laws need another look.
“Now someone committed involuntarily for 72 hours under the ‘Baker Act’ (as a danger to themselves or others) will have their guns returned to them by the police automatically and immediately upon discharge after 72 hours AND their commitment is never entered into a background check database,” said Ryan. “As a result, there is also no impediment or second thought given to someone being released and purchasing a gun.”
Ryan’s claim suggests it’s a cinch for someone “committed” under the Baker Act to reclaim their guns and then stay off lists that would ban them from getting a new one. Is it?
Connecticut lawmakers Tuesday heard from mental health care experts and state residents about the difficulties assessing and treating patients in need.
In the third of four hearings scheduled by a legislative task force formed to prevent gun violence and improve school safety in the wake of December’s Newtown school shooting massacre, Patricia Rehmer, commissioner of the state’s Department of Mental Health Services, said risk assessments of mental-health patients are difficult and cannot be done with complete accuracy.
The hearings were prompted by the Dec. 14 shooting deaths of 26 students and administrators at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter, Adam Lanza, killed his mother before arriving at the school and took his own life there. While the focus of Tuesday’s hearing was on mental health, state prosecutors said they cannot discuss or release information about Lanza’s mental health because of state conduct rules for attorneys.
Jeremy Richman, whose daughter, Avielle, was killed at Sandy Hook, testified that he and his wife, Jennifer, have received thousands of letters asking “why someone could do such a horrific thing.”
“I believe it is up to ourselves to find the answers,” Richman said.
The Richmans have started the Avielle Foundation to honor those killed on Dec. 14 and to prevent future violent acts by enhancing mental health care and “fostering community.”
An unlikely pair of lawmakers are teaming up to introduce legislation aimed at improving access to mental health services for people in the country’s criminal justice system.
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Spring Hill, and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., hope the bipartisan Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act will help reduce the rate of repeat offenders and improve the safety of law enforcement officers.
“After 37 years in law enforcement, I have seen far too many tragedies result from mental health needs that either went unnoticed, untreated or misunderstood,” Nugent said in a statement.
He said the legislation will help give law enforcement more tools and training to improve the way the legal system handles people suffering from mental health issues.
In a statement, Franken said Minnesota’s jails are overwhelmed with people who would likely be better served by the mental health system.
Jan 22, 2013
This means a comprehensive data base, accessible by law-enforcement personnel and anyone else involved in doing background checks. These “problematic” patients will be kept from buying a new weapon, too. Otherwise, the law would have no teeth.
Death Panels Via Computer Authorize Claims So A Human Doesn’t Have to Even Touch The Claim! And guess what company we’re talking about? That’s right, folks, good old IBM! The same people that brought you this lovely invention:
(Read More reasons why IBM should’ve taken on a new name after helping a group of psychopaths commit mass murder here)
Well, now there’s a Watson tablet and computer app doctors can use to help treat lung cancer and another for health insurance companies to figure out which claims to pay, reports The Associated Press.
For the cancer program, Watson analyzed 1,500 lung cancer cases from medical records, plus millions of pages of medical text. It also is able to learn when corrected for generating a wrong answer. Armed with all this data, Watson will suggest to doctors which treatments will most likely succeed, prioritized by its level of confidence in them.
The Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and WestMed in New York’s Westchester County will both be using the lung cancer app by March.
Health insurer WellPoint, which actually will be selling both applications as part of an agreement with IBM, is already using the Watson app in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin to sift through insurance claims and determine which ones to authorize.
Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM’s pivotal role in the Holocaust — all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company’s co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler’s campaign to destroy the Jews.
IBM’s twelve-year alliance with the Third Reich was first revealed in my book IBM and the Holocaust, published simultaneously in 40 countries in February 2001. It was based on some 20,000 documents drawn from archives in seven countries. IBM never denied any of the information in the book; and despite thousands of media and communal requests, as well as published articles, the company has remained silent.
The new “expanded edition” contains 32 pages of never-before-published internal IBM correspondence, State Department and Justice Department memos, and concentration camp documents that graphically chronicle IBM’s actions and what they knew during the 12-year Hitler regime. On the anniversary of the release of the original book, the new edition was released on February 26, 2012 at a special live global streaming event at Yeshiva University’s Furst Hall, sponsored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists together with a coalition of other groups.
Among the newly-released documents and archival materials are secret 1941 correspondence setting up the Dutch subsidiary of IBM to work in tandem with the Nazis, company President Thomas Watson’s personal approval for the 1939 release of special IBM alphabetizing machines to help organize the rape of Poland and the deportation of Polish Jews, as well as the IBM Concentration Camp Codes including IBM’s code for death by Gas Chamber. Among the newly published photos of the punch cards is the one developed for the statistician who reported directly to Himmler and Eichmann.
The significance of the incriminating documents requires context.
IBM Gets An Ugly History Lesson
Betsy Schiffman, 02.12.01, 4:35 PM ET
NEW YORK – Like any efficiency-driven organization, the Nazis were big on technology. It wasn’t just to order and track office supplies–they had to keep track of all the Jews in concentration camps. And to do that, they used IBM equipment.
According to a new book, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, by Edwin Black, IBM (nyse: IBM – news – people) not only provided its technology* to the Third Reich, IBM also formed a “strategic alliance” with the Nazis. A class action lawsuit was also filed over the weekend against IBM on behalf of all Holocaust concentration camp survivors.
The lawsuit alleges that IBM aided the Nazis during World War II and then later tried to cover up its actions. Aiding genocide demonstrates poor business ethics in general, but beyond that, it’s even uglier given the possibility that IBM may have made a nice profit off the Nazis. Exactly how much IBM profited is far from certain.
The immediate question that rises is, who cares if the Nazis used IBM technology? The Nazis also used pencils and pens, but should those manufacturers also be held responsible for their roles in the Holocaust?
Article Date: 10 Feb 2013 – 0:00 PST
A closer look at personalized or point-of-care healthcare was the focus of a recent international conference in India organized and chaired by NJIT Distinguished Professor Atam Dhawan. The IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) International Special Topic Conference in point-of-care healthcare technologies, broadcast around the world, focused on topics ranging from 21st century medicine with new smart cross-and trans-disciplinary technologies to how wireless communications will change how physicians care for patients.
“The last century witnessed a technology revolution in medicine and health through instrumentation, computer and information and communication technologies,” said Dhawan, an electrical engineer. “This revolution has continued into the 21st century innovations re-defining the relationship between patient and healthcare providers.”
Conference trends included the following.
Gun control laws are not meant to stop criminals. Gun control is about control and about disarming the American people because there are some very bad people who wish to do middle class Americans great harm. America needs to wake up and see gun control for what it is; gun control is most often a precursor to absolute tyranny and often culminates in genocide.
If this government was truly sincere about making the country safer, they would be corralling and controlling the reckless and negligent medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex. The present medical statistics demonstrate that death by doctor dwarfs death by gunfire as the following chart demonstrates.
Causes of Death (2010)
# of Deaths
Medically caused deaths
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome
Influenza and Pneumonia
Death by Firearm
In 2010, there were 14,043 homicides in the United States. This was 15th leading cause of death according to the CDC mortality statistics and a Wall Street Journal review for causes of death. However, when one isolates the number of deaths by firearms, the number of deaths caused by guns drops to 9,601. Gunfire, as a cause of mortality is not even ranked among the leading causes of death. The likelihoodof being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.Let’s take a moment to examine the leading causes of death and the possible reasons underlying the mortality statistics. Perhaps we should be looking at the Bovine Growth Hormones(cancer causing) put into cattle which makes its way into the human population by way of meat and milk consumption.We ingest these dangerous substances and literally, the entire country is on a secondary form of steroids. Subsequently, massive rates of obesity have beset our nation and not one word of discussion on this topic has taken place in the mainstream media or in the halls of Congress. Maybe the country should question the wisdom of taking the flu vaccine. There is not one shred of scientific evidence which supports the use of the vaccine which would serve to justify the hundreds of thousands adverse reactions. The use of the flu vaccine defies conventional wisdom. How does one make up a vaccine a year before the “new” strain appears. Is this medicine by crystal ball? And where is the supportive data?
With this kind of voodoo science, no wonder death by doctor is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Also, contributing to our demise, in these areas, are the massive amounts of untested, unregulated and unlabeled GMOs by which we have seen massive cancerous tumors in rats raised on a GMO diet. Monsanto has bought out and is controlling the FDA and the CDC, and subsequently is allowed to avoid all reviews of its products and food safety.
Finally when we take a look at chemtrails, perhaps we would be wise to be looking for a link between barium, found in chemtrails, and barium’s prevalence as a causal agent in the development of Alzheimer’s.
By Elizabeth Renter
January 28, 2013
Yet another study has come out recently showing a link between a vitamin D deficiency and increased feelings of depression. But, the specifics are still a bit shaky, according to researchers.
What we know is that lower vitamin D levels are associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. What we don’t know is which came first—it’s the proverbial chicken vs. egg debate.
In this most recent study, researchers looked at 12,600 study participants and collected their information between 2006 and 2010.
High levels of vitamin D corresponded with a decreased risk of current depression, whereas low vitamin D levels were associated with an increased incidence of depression—the link was particularly marked in people with a history of depression.
“Our findings suggest that screening for vitamin D levels in depressed patients—and perhaps screening for depression in people with low vitamin D levels—might be useful,” said Dr. E. Sherwood Brown, professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and lead researcher in the study.
While the researchers aren’t sure if the depression or vitamin D deficiency came first, it is safe to say, based on past research, that the vitamin D deficiency is partly the cause. One recent analysis found that women who received more vitamin D naturally from food sources had a lower incidence of depression.
The connection can especially be seen during the winter months, a time when depression strikes hard, and when the sun features less prominently, reducing your body’s ability to naturally synthesize the essential vitamin D. In other words, less sunlight equals less vitamin D, which leads to a negative impact on physical and mental health.
To naturally increase your vitamin D levels, spend more time exposing yourself to nature’s sunshine. Depending on your skin hue, anywhere from 10 minutes (light skin) to 30 minutes (dark skin) of near-full-body exposure in the summer sun without sunscreen will fulfill your daily vitamin D intake.Vitamin D aside, spending more time outside is a great way to stay happy anyway.
If you decide to supplement, choose vitamin D3 , as opposed to vitamin D2 (which is found in fortified foods). There is a real difference between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 you won’t want to ignore.
By Steven Reinberg
TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) — People taking certain antidepressants, including Celexa and Lexapro, may have a slightly increased risk of developing an abnormal heart beat.
Researchers say the drugs, which are in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may extend the length of electrical activity in the heart, called a QT interval. A long QT interval is an indicator of abnormal heart rhythms.
“For people who are taking higher doses of citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro), they should discuss these doses with their doctors,” said lead researcher Dr. Roy Perlis, director of the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics in the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“They should absolutely not just stop their medicine,” he added.
January 30, 2013
Article Date: 30 Jan 2013 – 4:00 PST
Some antidepressants have been linked to a long QT, which may increase the likelihood of having a serious heart rhythm abnormality. However, as they are extremely rare, the benefits offered by antidepressant far outweigh the risks and patients should not be alarmed, says the British Heart Foundation.
American scientists demonstrated an association between the antidepressants citalopram and escitalopram and a long QT interval in some patients’ ECGs (electrocardiograms). They reported their findings in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). A long QT is linked to a greater risk of serious arrhythmias (heart rhythm abnormalities).
In August 2011, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced that Celexa (Citalopram hydrobromide) should never be administered at doses higher than 40 mg per day, because of the risk of abnormal electrical activity in the heart, which may lead to potential fatal heart rhythm abnormalities, including Torsade de Pointes. The FDA added that doses higher than 40 mg per day do not improve depressive symptoms any better than lower doses.
Patients with existing heart conditions, as well as those who are prone to low levels of blood magnesium and potassium are especially susceptible to alterations in the heart’s electrical activity (prolongation of the QT interval).
US scientists gathered and analyzed the health records of over 38,000 adults and found that nearly one fifth of all patients who had been prescribed these antidepressant and underwent an ECG had an abnormal QT interval.
Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, June Davison, said:
“Having a long QT interval can potentially increase the risk of a serious abnormal heart rhythm. However, as these abnormal rhythms are very rare, the potential benefits in treating depression would exceed the risk for most patients.
The effect of these drugs on the QT interval has been known for a while and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued safety advice about this issue in 2011. This included recommendations about new maximum daily doses and information about when it’s not advisable to prescribe the drug.
People taking these drugs shouldn’t be alarmed and shouldn’t stop taking their medication without speaking to their doctor. If you’ve got any concerns, speak to your GP or pharmacist.
TRENTON, N.J. — The maker of Zoloft is being sued in an unusual case alleging the popular antidepressant has no more benefit than a dummy pill and that patients who took it should be reimbursed for their costs.
Zoloft’s maker, Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker by revenue, disputes the claim, telling the Associated Press Thursday that clinical studies and the experience of millions of patients and their doctors over two decades prove Zoloft is effective.
The lawsuit was described as frivolous by Pfizer and four psychiatry experts interviewed by the AP.
Not so, according to plaintiff Laura A. Plumlee, who says Zoloft didn’t help her during three years of treatment. Her attorney, R. Brent Wisner of the Los Angeles firm Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, argues the Food and Drug Administration shouldn’t have approved Zoloft because Pfizer didn’t publish some clinical studies that found the drug about as effective as a placebo.
“It’s about Pfizer deliberately withholding this information from consumers and then advertising this drug as very effective,” Wisner said.
Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:13am EST
(Reuters) – Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc said it would stop developing its experimental drug for major depressive disorder after it failed to meet the main goal of improving symptoms in patients in a clinical trial, sending its shares down about 8 percent.
The company said patients treated with the drug tasimelteon and those on a placebo showed about a 40 percent reduction in symptoms, based on a standard scale that measures severity of depression.
The trial, named Magellan, enrolled 507 patients in 43 sites in the United States, and was comparing a 20mg dose of the drug with a placebo.
Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and affects about 14.8 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
By Toni Clarke
Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:06am EST
(Reuters) – Forest Laboratories Inc (FRX.N) posted an unexpectedly large loss in its fiscal third quarter as sales of its antidepressant Lexapro were buffeted by generic competition and sales of its Alzheimer’s drug Namenda were negatively affected by higher rebates under a federal program that subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs.
The company, whose shares fell 5.3 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday, posted a net loss in the quarter that ended December 31, of $153.6 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with a profit of $278.4 million, or $1.04 a year ago. Sales fell 41.6 percent to $678 million from $1.2 billion a year ago.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said it expects its adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal year ending March 31 to be at the lower end of its previously forecast range of 45 cents to 60 cents a share. It expects revenue to be between $3.1 billion and $3.2 billion.
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