Those of us on this side of the psychiatric debate have long maintained that there is a link between the so-called antidepressant drugs and the mass murders that have become an increasingly common feature of American society in recent decades.
The call for a formal investigation of this link, however, has been consistently resisted, and instead there has been a well-orchestrated medical campaign clamoring for more mental health services and more active outreach and prevention services. As an example, see Jeffrey Lieberman’s guest post on Everyday Health, In the Wake of the Navy Yard Shooting: A Way Forward.
In December of 2012, after the Sandy Hook school shooting, a petition on the White House petition website asking for an investigation into the drug-violence link was removed without explanation, even though it was well on the way to gathering the required number of signatures in the time allotted.
To the best of my knowledge, no member of Congress has been willing to grasp this nettle – until this week.
On Monday, September 23, an article titled Did Psychiatric Meds Cause Navy Yard Tragedy? appeared on thenewamerican.com. It’s written by Rebecca Terrell.
Here’s a quote:
“Congress is investigating whether prescription medications played a role in last week’s massacre at the Washington Navy Yard when former reservist-turned-military contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and injured three. U.S. Representative Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs told Washington, D.C.-area radio station WTOP, ‘One of the medications that [Alexis] received does have a side effect that could in fact have been a problem.’ He said his committee has directed the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to save all records relating to the 34-year-old mass murderer. ‘We want to make sure everything that could have been done was done, and that the VA does not do something to change the storyline.'”
The article is interesting and well worth reading. It points out that trazadone, an antidepressant of the serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI) class, has been linked to several other murders, including a mass shooting in California in 2011.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in these kinds of incidents, but the fact that there is to be a formal government inquiry in this case is certainly a step in the right direction.
Incidentally, it was the fact that this particular mass murder occurred in a US Navy Yard that compels the government to investigate.
One can only imagine the kind of pressures that are building up in Washington to defang the inquiry board and sweep the truth under the rug. Pharma, of course, will be front and center, but it is likely that psychiatry will be there too, with their standard mantra – Don’t say anything that might induce people to come off their meds!
Let’s hope that the politicians will stand their ground, follow the facts, and begin the process of mending the truly horrendous damage that the psychiatric-pharma marketing machine has perpetrated over the past four decades.
I am sending the following email to my various political representatives in Congress, and to the President:
The announcement by the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of his intention to investigate the link between the Navy Yard murders and a psychiatric drug is long overdue. Please do anything you can to ensure that this investigation proceeds, and that it is not compromised by psychiatric-pharmaceutical interests.
I encourage my readers to take some similar action. The tide has turned, but there are powerful forces who will try to “kill” this inquiry.
Thanks to Randolph Kretchmar on Twitter for the above links.