by Julie Wood
Summary of Post #1: Hard as it may be to accept, there is evidence that SSRIs, along with some other drugs, legal and illegal, can cause people to become violent. The connection between psychoactive medications and violence is not understood. News reports that mention psychoactive medications in a story about a violent incident tend to treat the drugs as “proof” of mental illness. Consequently the public at large perceives that mentally ill people are violent, when most of the time, the medication caused or contributed to the violence. These side effects can result from stopping the drug (withdrawal) as well as from taking it. SSRIs can result in craving for alcohol, which is unfortunate because drinking while taking SSRIs magnifies the impact of both substances.
Usually, when the use (or cessation) of an antidepressant is reported in a news item about a tragic incident, it is not because it is considered a potential causal or contributing factor. Mental illness is blamed, when without the medication, the incident probably never would have occurred. Medication prescribed to alleviate anxiety, depressed mood, extreme emotions and other difficult, but transient, human states can create deadly outcomes with permanent consequences. Yet, the finger is almost always pointed at the person taking the meds, and the incident attributed to an inherent condition, instead of recognizing that the medication might be to blame. A few examples are summarized through excerpts from articles posted on SSRIstories.org:
These few article excerpts illustrate the media’s lack of awareness that medications may have played a role in the tragedies. Journalists are taken in by the illusion just like everyone else. Thus, even as they describe a violent or suicidal act following shortly after the introduction, dose increase, or termination of an antidepressant, they do not appreciate what they are describing. There are hundreds of these stories on SSRIstories.org; a virtual mountain of evidence right under our noses that there is a connection between SSRIs (and other psychoactive drugs) and violence, but it goes unnoticed. It is “hiding in plain sight”.