Lessons from SSRIStories #5: What Does Research Tell Us About the Connection between SSRIs and Violence?

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November 12, 2015 | 13 Comments


  1. We have learned, through research, that too many innocent people have been accused due to the endemic fault of prescribers…

    Thank you for a fine series, Julie.

    There is some really interesting stuff going on the Rxisk Center for Medication Withdrawal looking for the helpful and the common threads



    There are really good Contributions from people trying to put two and two together as you have done so well yourself.

    Who Cares in Sweden.com/facebook has given you some good coverage, too, in case you missed it.

    • I can NOT believe what I am reading about our psychiatric medications and violence. Your are detailing my entire life story. Right down to the severe alcoholism I developed to combat my side effects, adverse reactions, and their withdrawals. I’m shedding more tears out of joy this time. WOW !

      Thank you for sharing our stories with the world. Because we have been silenced by our own mental healthcare system who claimed they were going to help us, who prescribed the drugs in the first place, and then threw us away by not believing what we were telling them.

  2. Excellent, outstanding series of posts Julie Wood.
    I’ve lived it, “alongside” Paxil.

    Now when it comes to getting this truth out there, I Think the obstacle isn’t its complexity to explain. But with the strength of the opposition.
    If this had been a drug prescribed to a few thousands each year, it’d been banned allready.
    It grew too big to fall.

    My smalltown senior psychiatrist that prescribed me the drug is affected by the global implications too, otherwise he would’ve had no problem whatsoever to connect the dots between Paxil and what I lived through. Instead he stayed silent. To this day, he has never mentioned any Connection to violence.

    And as far as me, and “me” without Paxil, the difference cannot be more self-explanatory.
    Almost 24 years without as much as a “blip” of a warningsign, in all walks of Life.

    Then? Well pretty much all that Paxil is associated with….

  3. This has been a wonderful series! It’s great to have an analysis of those studies purporting to show that psych drugs “reduce, not increase” violence by looking at crime rates. There are so many factors behind violent crime, from the economy, to the illegal drug trade, that it is plumb stupid for ANYONE to expect to learn something about prescription drugs this way. Even a few hundred extra murders a year due to drug side effects would be a cause for grave concern — but set against the background of 15,000 to 25,000 murders per year in the US, you would be searching for a needle in a haystack.

    One thing about violence due to street drugs: Yes, they can all trigger violence to some degree. Stimulants like meth or cocaine probably cause a lot more than heroin or marijuana. But most so-called “drug-related violence” is tied to the fight for control of the illegal drug trade, and the crimes people commit to get money for an expensive black market commodity. If all drugs were legal, cocaine or meth might not cause a great deal more violence than Adderall or Vyvanse.

    To the same degree that prescription drugs get a free pass, illegal drugs are often demonized. One rationale for all the repressive laws targeting crack cocaine was the idea that children born to coke-using mothers would be hopelessly impaired. But the expected wave of severely disabled “crack babies” never appeared. Currently “Molly” (which like Ecstasy is related to amphetamines) is having its day as a Demon Drug — but legal stimulants used in the same quantities are likely no safer. (In fact, both Molly and Ecstasy are rumored to cause warm fuzzy feelings of camaraderie among party-goers … something you never hear about amphetamines.)

  4. Re: Good Drugs and Bad Drugs: There’s been some breathless reports in the Western press about “Captagon”, a stimulant said to be popular with Syrian fighters on all sides, from the Assad regime to ISIS. This dreadful addictive drug allegedly makes them indifferent to pain and lets them “kill with numb, reckless abandon.” Turns out Captagon is just dextro-amphetamine, the major ingredient in Adderall, combined with fenethylline, which is on the order of a caffeine pill.


    If anything it’s a bit less likely to make a berserker out of you than Adderall, and is no more addictive, either. In fact it’s prescribed to kids in many Middle Eastern countries for ADHD. So much for the “clash of civilizations” … the humanistic rational West vs. those Stone Cold Jihadis? Oh well. You’d hope the shocked journalists would take a closer look at Adderall, but I guess that’s asking too much.

  5. PH also goes berserkers..

    A lone British Journalist never stops talking about it…on radio, on tv, in his column….a fan


    The pills myth finally crumbles

    The huge power of the pill-makers, and the potent lobby of influential people who swallow their products, have long prevented a serious discussion of alleged antidepressant medications.
    Do they have severe side effects? (Yes.) Are they as effective as their makers claim? (No.)

    This is hugely important, as in some parts of this country one person in six is taking such drugs.

    Last week, the dam began to break. First, an Oxford University study noted that young people aged 15 to 24 who take certain kinds of ‘antidepressant’ medication are more likely to commit violent crimes, more likely to be involved in non-violent crime, and to have alcohol problems.
    They didn’t say the pills caused these difficulties. They don’t know. But they called for further research. So do I. Soon afterwards, scientists writing for the New Scientist re-examined drug trials of an ‘antidepressant’ and found that the original test was dangerously wrong, and that none of the 22 named authors of the resulting report had actually written it.

    It was instead penned by a writer hired by the manufacturer of the drug.

    This sort of thing stinks, as do the colossal amounts of money made by this industry. Nothing short of a proper Government-backed inquiry will do.

    Another Voice Urges an Inquiry About Mind-Altering Drugs and Violence

    Some of you may be interested by this article by Christopher Booker in today’s Sunday Telegraph, in which he supports my call for a inquiry into the correlation between the use of mind-altering drugs and many episodes of political and non-political violence in recent years:


    The secret evil lurking behind terror

    What do modern terrorists have in common? Yes, they are fanatical, and usually (but not always) from ethnic minorities.

    But there’s something else very interesting. They are invariably on mind-altering drugs, usually cannabis. The Bombay killers took cocaine and steroids. Anders Breivik took steroids. At least one of the Boston bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers, smoked cannabis (one heard voices in his head, one of them was without doubt a dope dealer). Lee Rigby’s killers, Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, smoked (a lot of) cannabis. Omar El-Hussein, the Copenhagen killer, had twice been arrested for cannabis offences. Seifeddine Rezgui, the Tunisian beach killer, was a cannabis user. Ayoub el-Khazzani, who tried to kill passengers on the Amsterdam to Paris train, is a convicted dope user. The Charlie Hebdo killers, the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly were known cannabis users. The killers of two Canadian soldiers, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, were cannabis users.
    And now we know that the same is true of the November 13 killers: Ibrahim and Salah Abdeslam were heavy users of marijuana. Abdelhamid Abaaoud had likewise ‘drifted into a life of thievery and drugs’. Omar Ismail Mostefai was on police records for buying illegal drugs. As for Hasna Aitboulahcen, who was blown to pieces in the St Denis siege, she ‘hung around with drug dealers’.

    Don’t try to avoid the significance of this information by accusing me of saying things I don’t.

    The point here is that drug abuse appears to be a common factor. So why completely ignore it? If the police of North America and Western Europe stopped turning a blind eye to it, they might be a lot more use in the struggle to defend us all from terror.

    Mad In America Weekly Newsletter: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    “David Healy on the history of psychosis and Study 329”

    • Thanks Annie – have just read both articles. I truly believe that the tide may be turning – ever so slowly. Having Peter Hitchen ‘onside’ is an obvious plus point as he says it as it is and cares not one iota whether he offends the reader/listener- which, I feel, is just what’s needed at this point in time. Someone ‘out there’ who (this time anyway!) feels exactly the outrage that we feel that we can’t get the general public and those in power to see things that should be as clear as the nose on your face. I hope he keeps hammering away until he is successful. Good luck to him!

  6. The Mayo Clinic have for a long time if not recommended, certainly suggested genetic enzyme tests, in particular for CYP 2D6 may contribute towards safer prescribing of SSRI and other antidepressants. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cyp450-test/basics/definition/prc-20013543

    In 1995, the same year my daughter died, Neil Adams-Conroy and Jayne Conroy-Adams lost their son and eventually sued the doctor, over the Feb. 26, 1995, death of their 9-year-old son, Michael Christopher Adams-Conroy, whose death was caused by Prozac toxicity but was first classified a homicide. http://ssristories.org/9-year-old-boy-dies-from-prozac-toxicity/

    I usually explain (non medical qualified explanation) that if one is a slow metaboliser the drug is slow to pass out of system and toxic levels can be in the body – i.e. unintended overdose!
    Could this also be the cause of other sudden deaths considered wrongly to be suicide?

    The adverse drug reaction known as akathisia,not uncommon with SSRI, SNRI and similar antidepressants, was described to me as ” I felt I wanted to jump out of my skin”. One can only imagine what may result from that adverse reaction.

  7. I cannot resist sharing this article courtesy of Dr. J. O’Brien on IBOM:


    I am spellbound with the comments, particularly, this one

    The lightbulb moment, right here

    We have debilitating disorders and are diseased person (s)

    Maim on ides (dies)


    I certainly share with Dr. Tasman the hope that our field will pursue the “neuroscientific” aspects of psychiatric illness, while never losing sight of the person who is suffering with these debilitating disorders. In this respect, we would do well to heed the great physician, Maimonides: “The physician does not cure a disease…[but]…a diseased person.”

    With all good wishes,
    Ron Pies
    Editor-in-Chief Emeritus (2007-2010)

    • reply
    Ronald @ Thu, 2014-10-16 16:26 – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/history-psychiatry/most-exciting-time-history-psychiatry#sthash.jmydzrEc.dpuf

    Of course, we’ve all heard of Maimonides

  8. My son Ty was gunned down by the Police last Friday night. He ran at a Policeman with knives in his hand and was killed instantly.
    He was released from the Hospital 18 hours previously where he was undergoing treatment for Pancreatitus. He was prescribed Paxil and it was administered in his Hospital Stay. He had eaten NO FOOD from Monday night through Friday night when he was killed. He exhibited paranoia, agitation and auditory and visual hallucinations in the hours prior to his death. ( At his brother’s house ). He left there and went to a shopping center where he was observed walking around with two kitchen knives in his hand. The 911 caller has stated that he said ” Just send help”. Instead, a Policeman arrived with a rifle. He called me on the phone and said , in a hysteria filled voice ” Dad; I am going to do something very stupid. Suicide by Cop”. More to come.

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