Gun Violence and Psychiatric Medication

by | May 26, 2014

mass killingHow often, despite the concern of many, are psychiatric medication and gun violence linked, especially in the mass media? It is rare to find even a passing mention of this connection.
This is unconscionable, considering that 90% of all multiple-victim violence (from Sandy Hook to Fort Hood) involved shooters who were on psychiatric drugs. The political solution of disarming peaceful citizens has no basis. If the politicians were actually concerned about the increase of mass killings, they would look for the common thread amongst these murderous incidents. It is not difficult to find.

  • Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of the Columbine school shooting, were both taking psychiatric drugs (Luvox, Zoloft and Paxil)
  • Doug Williams, killer of five (and wounded nine) of fellow employees at Lockheed Martin, was taking Zoloft and Celexa.
  • Kip Kinkel , killer of his parents, 2 children (and wounded 25) at a nearby school was on Prozac.

The list goes on and on. There have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings re: psychotropic drugs, specifically the side effects of suicidal and homicidal ideations, hostility, mania and violence.
The USDA and its counterpart in Canada require drug companies to include a black box warning of psychiatric drug risk involving suicide and violence. Studies as far back as the early 1950s linked psychotropic drugs and violence, and later studies confirmed the association of these drugs and violent behavior.
One of the more unpleasant side effects of psychiatric drugs is “akathesia” (defined on as “A movement disorder characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion, as well as by actions such as rocking while standing or sitting, lifting the feet as if marching on the spot, and crossing and uncrossing the legs while sitting. People with akathisia are unable to sit or keep still, complain of restlessness, fidget, rock from foot to foot, and pace.”
The psychiatrist’s Bible, the DSM IV, links akathisia with suicide, and states “Akathisia may be associated with dysphoria (feeling dissatisfied with life), irritability, aggression, or suicide attempts.”
Congress chooses to ignore the clear association between psychiatric drug use and crimes of utterly depraved violence against the innocent, even school children (as in the Sandy Hook horror)
Unfortunately, the men and women elected to protect and serve us are more interested in the campaign contributions to be gleaned from big drug companies. In 2012, an average of $29,000 was given to congressmen and women, and $45,000 per senator from Big Pharmaceutical companies. And these same drug companies spent $240 million lobbying Congress.
In the words of Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist (and whistleblower for his own profession) “Huge efforts have been made by the pharmaceutical industry to prevent the public and the health professions from knowing that antidepressant drugs can cause violence and suicide.”
Dr. Breggin also states “Psychiatry is a cause and not a cure for mass violence, and looking for help from psychiatry will only distract us from seeking genuinely effective solutions.”
It is time to listen to Dr. Breggin, and to others like him who are brave enough to state the truth about psychiatric medication.


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