A Swedish writer has accused the National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) of covering up evidence suggesting a connection between psychiatric drugs and suicide. Under a recent law, Swedish health-care providers must fill out reports on all suicides committed by patients under their care or within four weeks of a health care visit. The reports are then sent to the NBHW, which compiles and analyzes them.
Recently, the NBHW released the first report analyzing the 367 suicides recorded in 2006. “Not a single word is written about the most compelling fact: Well over 80 percent of persons killing themselves were treated with psychiatric drugs,” Janne Larson writes.
According to data received via a Freedom of Information Act request, more than 80 percent of the 367 suicides had been receiving psychiatric medications. More than half of these were receiving antidepressants, while more than 60 percent were receiving either antidepressants or antipsychotics. There is no mention of this either in the NBHW paper or in major Swedish media reports about the health care suicides.
Why the truth won’t be reported in the mainstream media
“It was contrary to the best interests of Big Pharma and biological psychiatrists” to expose the information, Larson writes. “It blew the myths of antidepressants and neuroleptics [antipsychotics] as suicide protecting drugs to pieces. It would also have hurt the career of many medical journalists to take up this subject; journalists who for years have made their living by writing marketing articles about new antidepressant drugs.”
These statements are quite true. The conspiracy of silence between Big Pharma and the mainstream media is now so strong that accurate news about the dangers of psychiatric drugs is rarely reported. As we recently saw in the death of Heath Ledger, the mainstream media is quick to blame the victim, but slow to realize that the real cause of these behavioral problems rests with the chemicals that alter brain function (and therefore alter behavior).
Evidence has emerged that a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) actually increases the risk of suicide in those who take them. While such claims have been hotly disputed by the pharmaceutical industry and many psychiatrists, experimental, epidemiological and case study evidence continues to emerge that reinforces such a link. The evidence suggests that those taking SSRIs are approximately twice as likely to commit suicide as those not taking such medications. This risk increase appears to be independent of the specific diagnosis or other underlying health factors.
Even worse, recent research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS Medicine reveals that antidepressant drugs don’t work any better than placebo at reducing depression. This study looked at all the clinical trials conducted on SSRIs, not just the ones selected by drug companies for publication. It reveals that SSRI drug manufacturers committed scientific fraud in censoring studies that did not show positive results. Now, the whole world knows that the disease mongering and hype behind antidepressant drugs was based on pure scientific fraud.
Links between SSRIs and suicide
The link between SSRI use and suicide in youths has been firmly established enough that the United States and United Kingdom have licensed only one such drug (fluoxetine, marketed under the brand name Prozac) for use by those under the age of 18. In the United Kingdom, off-label use by children is blatantly illegal. In the United States, the FDA requires a “black box” warning that SSRIs may increase the risk of suicide in those under the age of 18, but that warning is routinely ignored, and hundreds of millions of doses of Prozac have been taken by children and teens.
A “black box” warning is the most severe warning the FDA can issue without withdrawing a product from the market. In December 2006, an FDA advisory panel recommended increasing the age on the SSRI black box warning to 25 years of age. In reality, the black box warning is a way for the FDA to allow dangerous drugs to remain on the market: It gives them an excuse to say, “We warned you!”
The dangers of Prozac
Prozac has been found to increase the risk of aggressive and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. When the drug was first submitted to the FDA for approval in 1985, the agency’s then-chief safety investigator, Richard Kapit, suggested that the drug bear a “labeling warning [for] the physician that such signs and symptoms of depression may be exacerbated by this drug.” In 2004, the FDA finally added the labeling requirement.
Antipsychotics may also increase suicide risk by inducing a condition known as akathisia — a subjective, often-misdiagnosed feeling of inner restlessness that can range from mild anxiety to a feeling of overwhelming doom. Akathisia can also be induced by certain SSRIs, including Prozac and Paxil. A 2006 study published in PLoS Medicine concluded that akathisia induced by antipsychotic use is significantly correlated with suicide, and that the condition appeared to be overwhelmingly more likely in patients taking SSRIs than in those taking a placebo, with 10 times as many patients on SSRIs exhibiting symptoms severe enough that investigators were forced to pull them from the study.
Yet Larson alleges that the Swedish government has failed to investigate any potential link between SSRIs or antipsychotics and suicide. The investigation form that the government sends to local healthcare providers to fill out after a suicide does not contain any questions about drug treatment.
According to Larson, a truly objective investigation would have to look at whether the patients exhibited symptoms that could be attributed to akathisia (which is nearly always a drug side effect) and whether suicide was preceded by an increase or abrupt drop in drug dosage.
“[NBHW] claimed: ‘Every investigated suicide where one can see flaws that can be taken care of, can contribute to the prevention of further suicides,'” Larson writes. “Yet no investigation at all was done in the suicide-inducing effect of antidepressants and neuroleptics.”
Suicides and violent behavior
It is important to note that nearly every school shooting that has happened in the United States over the last decade has been conducted by young males who were taking antidepressant drugs. The drugs not only cause suicidal behavior, they also seem to promote extreme violence towards other individuals. In most school shooting cases, the young men committing the violence also committed suicide after killing classmates and teachers. These are classic signs of antidepressant use.
Dr. Fred Baughman (The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes “Patients” of Normal Children) has spoken extensively about the link between antidepressants and violent behavior, and has accused the drug companies of lying to the public about depression in order to sell more antidepressant drugs. His most recent article is published at OpEdNews: NIU Murders Due to “Chemical Imbalances” or “Chemical Balancers” – Drugs.
See more on antidepressant drugs at: DrEddyMD.com