Mass Killings, Including Sandy Hook Elementary, Suggest Government And Psychiatric Medications Can Be DeadlyWritten by: Rob Print This Article
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In the aftermath of the December 14, 2012, mass murder of 27 presumably innocent victims at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, the mass media is predictably filled with discussion about gun control laws. When you consider the full story behind mass killings in schools, this is highly irrational and irresponsible. It is akin to discussing banning cars because of driving fatalities caused by people using prescription drugs.
This comparison is doubly apt because so many school killers were using dangerous antidepressant prescription drugs. Recent media discussion mentions that Adam Lanza, the accused shooter, may have suffered long-term mental health problems including an unspecified personality disorder and possible autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
Given how the mental health care system in the US works, it is likely that Adam Lanza was taking one or more psychiatric drugs. While many take these drugs without killing anybody, there are numerous cases in which patients with no history of violence took such drugs for even just a few days and became highly violent and committed suicide or homicide. Given what happened at Sandy Hook, it is important for authorities to investigate and reveal any medications that Adam Lanza may have been using.
Guns Are Not The Problem
Guns are not the only way to maim and kill large numbers of people. Further, they virtually never kill anybody without direct action by a person who has made the gun dangerous by misuse.
Guns Don’t Kill People, People Do
Even in China, where guns are outlawed and the government quickly stomps on anybody opposing its opinions including by military violence against its own citizens, troubled people still harm school children with ease.
On the same day as the Sandy Hook massacre, Min Yingjun is accused of attacking a group of school students walking to school using a knife. Reports claim that 22 kids and one adult were injured.
This follows other attacks on Chinese school children in recent years that also featured numerous injuries and fatalities with weapons other than guns.
A box-cutter attack on children at a Shanghai daycare center focused on 3 and 4 years old as targets. The accused attacker in that incident was a 30 year old mentally ill woman.
Eight school children were killed at the entrance to their school by a man with a knife in March 2010 in Fujian province. Five others were severely injured but survived.
What is so far the deadliest school killing in the US happened in 1927 using a car bomb in Bath Township, Michigan. The school treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, killed 38 school children, two teachers, four other adults, and himself. Neighbors described him as torturing animals including beating a horse to death. Extreme cruelty to animals is often a sign of a sociopathic personality disorder. Comments about his impatience and believing he is always right also suggest a streak of narcissism which can be a feature of personality disorders such as NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and others. He was also described as highly intelligent, and his plan took apparently a year to execute. During this time, he fooled everybody as he prepared to destroy his home and the school and kill his wife who was sick with tuberculosis that had led to financial ruin.
Clearly knives and other weapons can be very lethal, and at least some of the killers are very intelligent and capable of long-range planning. So in my view the focus on gun control is misplaced. Take away the guns, and many of these attackers will find other weapons to use. The weapons may be worse than guns. You may see pipe bombs, poison gas, explosives, and other readily portable weapons used in place of guns. Many of these can pass through metal detectors that schools and other organizations might use to try to catch guns and knives. Car bombs are certainly another ready possibility.
If we as a society really want to stop mass murders, we need to look beyond the gun controversy.
Societal Conflict Behind Some Mass Killings
When the government and its representatives (including school staff) persecute people, often those people will turn against their tormentors and others connected with them.
The first school shooting in America reportedly involved American Indians gunning down school staff and children in Pennsylvania in 1764. Anybody who knows what Europeans did to the Native American population should be thankful the American Indians didn’t engage in much retaliation, otherwise the death toll from such societal conflicts would have been much worse.
Several school shootings in the 1800’s were retaliation against school staff perceived to be abusive.
Many school attacks in the early 1900’s involved arson and explosives. Again, guns are hardly the only way to kill.
Many of the modern school attacks in the past few decades seem to be motivated in part by social exclusion and derision against the perpetrators. Misfits who are mistreated may retaliate lethally.
People being more kind to each other, including the unpopular kids, is likely to help reduce the number of kids who feel so beaten up that they resort to lashing out at others. Campaigns to stop bullying in schools might help, if they can overcome human nature to exclude and persecute others.
Poor Mental Health Care Major Culprit In Recent Mass Killings
As with many recent US mass killings, those in China have often involved people with mental illness who are not getting proper treatment. In China, this is in part because the medical care is being wasted on people who don’t need it or who won’t benefit from it:
Though the reason why children and schools have been the target of these grisly attacks is unknown, the common factor that is the perpetrators’ mental illness cannot be ignored. Many of the previous attackers have been diagnosed with dementia, schizophrenia and psychosis. The Fujian school tragedy, and the incidents following, increased national concern about the nation’s inadequate mental health care system and its care for those diagnosed as mentally ill.
“I have seen people sent to mental hospitals for being gay, for domestic disputes and for political dissent,” he wrote.
“Many whose lives could be improved will never receive medical attention, and many who don’t need it are held in confinement in the name of medicine.”
In the US, political dissenters and those accused of DV are also put into psychiatric confinement or prison. See the case of political activist Brandon Raub’s false imprisonment in a mental health facility in 2012 as an example. But gays are not treated this way, and overall the mental health care system also has much higher capacity to treat patients. The American problem is not the availability of psychological and psychiatric care, it is the poor quality of that care in large part because of corruption in the US FDA.
The FDA has granted a virtual monopoly on psychiatric treatment to companies selling what are largely ineffective and dangerous drugs. They do this because it is lucrative for them, earning billions in “user fees” for the FDA and tens of billions for the companies benefiting from the corruption.
Compounding the problem, the FDA has ensured that the food and water consumed by most citizens are tainted with toxins that damage health. Mercury contamination of many processed foods is widespread and was covered up by the FDA until one of its employees quit to reproduce and publicize the findings. Fluoride, a known toxin that damages the pineal gland, is pumped into most of the water supplies of the US as a way to sell toxic waste from fertilizer, mining, and nuclear industries. The government claims it helps reduce tooth decay, but studies show that is not true as most Western nations do not put fluoride in their water and still see declining dental cavity rates. The pineal gland is instrumental in rest and repair of the body, so damaging it worsens sleep and is very likely to adversely affect mental health.
A very large proportion, some say virtually all, of the modern mass shootings in the United States have involved a murderer using mass-market psychiatric drugs, particularly SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). These people have generally been diagnosed with a mental illness and then drugged up with profitable psychiatric drugs such as Prozac (which contains fluoride), Paxil (also with fluoride), Celexa (fluoride yet again!), Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and many others that are pushed onto the rightly depressed American populace like they are breathe mints for a real illness.
The problem with these drugs, even those that do not have fluoride as an ingredient, is that they can alter brain chemistry in highly destructive ways. They often worsen despair and trigger suicidal thoughts and violence even in people with no history of violence problems. Although these side effects often go away after a few weeks, in the interim some of these adversely affected people are becoming violent and hurting themselves and others. This has prompted the FDA to put “black box” warnings on these drugs warning of their risk for causing suicide. But the risk of these drugs is not just suicide as is made clear by the many homicides associated with them.
In 2001, a $6.4 million verdict against the makers of Paxil was awarded because of how it triggered a 60 year old man to kill his wife, his daughter, his granddaughter, and himself after taking the drug for only 48 hours.
SSRI drugs should also feature a warning for homicide, too, but of course the FDA wants people to take these drugs so their big pharma partners and they will continue to profit handsomely so long as the truth is covered up. Although there are many nutritional supplements that studies show can help improve depression with little risk of serious side effect, the FDA has only intensified its efforts to crack down on companies selling such products because it prefers more profitable and dangerous big pharma drugs to be widely used.
Many studies show these drugs are no better than placebo in mild to moderately depressed and anxious people. If you can get people to talk with you honestly, it is not hard to find cases of people who were feeling anxious or depressed who were prescribed these medications and then suffered very severe negative effects. I personally know some who have suffered SSRI side effects. These are not people who you would expect to get into trouble based upon personality and history.
As this video by a licensed doctor below discusses, many of these people without any history of violence are triggered into distress and aggression by these drugs.
Can Antidepressants Cause Violence?
As the video discusses, nobody yet knows how SSRIs work in people. They “presume” (without solid evidence) that they influence mood by changing how serotonin is used in the brain. Despite a lack of understanding of what they do to people at a biochemical and neurological level, the FDA has given a rubberstamp to physicians to push these drugs on the largely unsuspecting masses.
Exploding Usage And Danger Of Antidepressants
Since Prozac was approved for widespread use in 1987, SSRI antidepressant usage has grown so rapidly that an estimated 11% of the population over age 12 has taken some kind of antidepressant.
Not all antidepressants are SSRIs — some older types predated them and are still in use, but are far less popular with doctors often because they had even more obvious side effects.
This CDC study also revealed that less than one third of patients taking a single antidepressant have seen a mental health provider in the last year. So what you have is widely expanded usage of dangerous drugs being prescribed by doctors who are poorly educated on mental health given to patients who are not monitored well.
There is often nobody properly trained involved on a frequent basis with these patients to even notice what is going on until something really bad happens. FBI profilers often say that people around the assailants report they said things like threats to kill a bunch of people, but nobody took them seriously. Families and friends need to be advised of what these dangerous drugs can cause to happen so that they might take homicidal and suicidal thoughts and planning more seriously.
The effects of these drugs go way behind improving low mood and high anxiety. In fact these drugs often trigger worsened anxiety and something called akathisia making it hard for people to be calm and stay still which might be part of what provokes them into extreme aggression.
Some studies show that SSRIs can help some people, particularly those with major depressive disorder (MDD). But the opinions of many in the know are that these drugs are being overused and abused.
There are many interventions with diet, nutritional supplements, and counseling (talk therapy) that can help people and should be tried for some time before an antidepressant or SSRI drug is prescribed. These interventions should often continue along with the medication because they may have additive or even synergistic effects and may help lessen side effects. This is part of what is behind a class of prescription active B vitamins (brands such as Deplin and Metanx) being prescribed by psychiatrists to make antidepressants work better in patients in which they have little effect.
Even when an SSRI might be appropriate, there is still danger. That danger is the greatest at abrupt dosage changes. This is particularly the case for people starting the medications and for those stopping them. These medicines should be treated as the volatile bombs they are. Jostle the dosage too quickly and you are likely to get an explosion in the form of bad side effects including suicidal thoughts and violent behaviors. Gently change the dosage over a periods of many weeks and you are much less likely to get a severely bad result. Use synergistic therapies with low rates of side effects such as activated B vitamins and fish oil. Educate the families and friends of these patients about the drug side effects and advise them to get immediate medical attention for the patient if those side effects show up. Even though there is still more that could be done, with those steps we might render this class of drugs a lot more safe than it is today.
Gun Control Not The Answer, Medical Care Reform Might Be
Take a look at the firearm related fatality rates in countries around the world. The linked chart contains not just the aggregate rate, but also a breakout by homicide, suicide, and accidental deaths. What I notice right away when looking at this chart is that the rich Western nations have the vast majority of their gun deaths from suicide. This is not so in many other nations where full statistics are available.
Even supposedly “safe” people who are authorized to use guns are involved in school shootings. A 1998 case involved a sheriff’s deputy who was on antidepressants who shot his wife dead in a school.
Dangerous drugs are tied to violence by other weapons, too, as this 2011 case involving a girl using antidepressants stabbing another an estimated 25 times.
Japan has strict gun control laws. That didn’t stop a man from killing eight kids in first and second grade and injuring at least 15 others in a 2001 attack by a man who overdosed on 10 times his normal dose of antidepressants.
Pursuing a strategy to help the mentally ill with more than drugging them with today’s time-bomb SSRIs is in my opinion a lot more likely to have a big effect on reducing mass killings than increased gun control is. But this isn’t going to happen without a gutting or dismantling of the FDA and its big-money political medicine. The powers-that-be today think it is just fine that hundreds of people are slaughtered in mass killings because it costs them almost nothing compared to the billions in profits they are making over the same timeframe.
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