Psychiatric Drugs — Catalyst for Disaster

Psychiatric Drugs–Catalyst for Disaster

Julian Whitaker, MD

More than 10 million Americans take antidepressants and other prescription psychiatric drugs—drugs that are known to cause mental and physical agitation and spark self-destructive, violent behavior. SSRI antidepressants are so hazardous that the FDA requires they carry a black box label warning indicating they increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in young people. These drugs can also induce dissociative reactions, making those who take them insensitive to the consequences of their behavior.

We can no longer afford to ignore the growing body of medical literature and clinical observation linking these medications to thousands of suicides, murders, and other brutal acts of violence. The following accounts of bizarre and destructive behavior by individuals using such drugs provide a chilling glimpse into their disastrous consequences, a hint of the damage they can, and do, cause. How long can we continue to ignore their obvious dangers? What is it going to take for us to come to our senses?

School Shootings

Blacksburg, VA, April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho went on a rampage of violence that ended with 33 dead and more than two dozen injured, making it the most deadly shooting spree in American history. Antidepressants were found among his belongings.

Littleton, CO, April 20, 1999: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, armed with knives, guns, and bombs, terrorized Columbine High School, killing 13 and wounding 23 before shooting themselves. Harris was taking Luvox.

Red Lake Indian Reservation, MN, March 21, 2005: Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, then went to Red Lake High School where he killed seven more people and wounded more than a dozen others before taking his own life. He was taking Prozac.

Springfield, OR, May 21, 1998: Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he killed two students and wounded more than 20 more. He was taking Prozac.

Bailey, CO, September, 27, 2006: Duane Morrison went into Platte Canyon High School and took six teenage girls hostage, sexually assaulting some of them and shooting one in the head before killing himself. Antidepressant medication was found in his Jeep.

Violence in the Workplace

Louisville, KY, September 14, 1989: Joseph Wesbecker marched into work with an AK-47 and other guns, killed eight employees, wounded 12, and committed suicide. He was taking Prozac.

Wakefield, MA, December 26, 2000: Michael McDermott gunned down seven of his colleagues at Edgewater Technology. He was taking Prozac.

Meridian, MS, July 8, 2003: Doug Williams opened fire on coworkers at Lockheed Martin with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing five and injuring nine others before taking his own life. He was taking Zoloft and Celexa.

Newington, CT, March 6, 1998: Disgruntled lottery accountant Matthew Beck killed four colleagues before fatally shooting himself. He was taking Luvox.

Royal Oak, MI, November 14, 1991: Ex-postal employee Thomas McIlvane shot nine people, killing three, at his former place of business before shooting himself in the head. He was taking Prozac.

Stoughton, MA, August 5, 1997: Richard Shuman fatally shot two of his business partners. He was taking Zoloft.

Brutal Murders

Huntsville, AL, March 10, 1998: Jeffrey Franklin killed both of his parents with a hatchet and attempted to murder three of his younger siblings. He was taking Ritalin, Prozac, and Klonopin.

Purcell, OK, April 12, 2006: Kevin Underwood murdered and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl. Authorities say he had plans for cannibalism. He was taking Lexapro.

Augusta, MT, August 26, 2002: Jeanette Swanson shot and killed her two youngest children while they slept. She was taking Paxil.

Boise, ID, September 2, 2003: Sarah Johnson shot and killed both of her parents, allegedly because they did not approve of the boy she was dating. She was taking Zoloft.

Wakefield, MA, January 10, 2001: Previously mild-mannered 81-year-old Anthony Dalesandro repeatedly stabbed his wife of nearly 50 years with a kitchen knife while she slept. He was taking several medications including Prozac.

Alamogordo, NM, July 5, 2004: Fourteen-year-old Cody Posey killed his father, stepmother, and stepsister. He then hid the bodies and broke a window with an axe to suggest an intruder had committed the murders. He was taking Zoloft.

Arson and Other Atrocious Acts

Quincy, IL, April 15, 2007: Zachary Q. Meeks set a house fire that killed five children ages five months to 10 years. He had recently stopped taking Prozac and other antidepressants.

Earlington, KY, April 2, 1997: Christopher Hogan and his cousin set fire to an apartment building. Three people died in the blaze. He was taking Prozac and Ritalin.

Jackson, NJ, December 14, 1998: Consumed with anger and stress due to a family situation, former volunteer fire chief Thomas Singer set fire to an abandoned building. He was taking Prozac.

Montello, WI, August 31, 2005: Seventy-one-year-old Donald Gross attacked his wife with a claw hammer while she was sleeping and then tried to smother her. He had been taking medication for depression for nine years.

Lake Township, OH, July 10, 2004: William Slabaugh held his estranged wife by the hair and sprayed acid on her, severely burning her face and 50 percent of her body. He had begun taking an antidepressant eight days before.

Bizarre Behavior

Parma, OH, January 6, 2005: Michael Gustafson was arrested and jailed for three days after pulling over a motorist who turned out to be a Cleveland detective. He was charged with five counts including impersonating an officer and carrying a concealed weapon. He was taking medication for depression.

Salt Lake City, UT, April 11, 1998: Shirley Jean Shay stole a fire truck and drove more than 50 miles before being stopped by police. She was taking Prozac.

Wayne, NJ, November 16, 2005: Wielding a 15-inch kitchen knife, Frank Sanabria charged police officers. They were forced to shoot him. He had recently been prescribed Wellbutrin.

Orangevale, CA, November 13, 2000: After wandering the streets waving and licking a 30-inch Civil War era sword, Matthew Blanford was shot eight times by police when he failed to comply with requests to drop his weapon. He was heavily medicated on antidepressants.

Grove City, OH, April 14, 2000: Elizabeth Cooper, a respected teacher, set 15 fires and committed a string of robberies over a two-week period, then ran her car into a house. She had been taking antidepressants for two weeks.

The Courts Agree

North Port, FL, November 4, 2003: After opening fire on a gas station, Larry Smith was charged with attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and resisting an officer with violence and battery. He was acquitted by reason of insanity after a jury found that he was “involuntarily intoxicated” by his antidepressant medication.

Santa Cruz, CA, June 20, 2002: Andrew Meyers violently attacked a longtime friend using a brass knuckles–type weapon after a minor dispute. He was acquitted on the grounds he’d had an adverse reaction to Zoloft.

Spokane, WA, September 26, 1999: Sharon Curry stabbed her 8-year-old daughter to death and then stabbed herself. She was acquitted by reason of insanity after a jury agreed that her medications (Paxil and Adderall) caused drug-induced psychosis.

The Evidence Is Mounting

I have no further comment. These tragedies, which are just the tip of the iceberg, speak for themselves. For a list of more than 1,600 news articles linked to psychiatric drugs, visit ssristories.com.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2007. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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