Before I begin this blog post, I would like to offer my sincere condolences for Sebastian Creane, his family, and Jennifer Hannigan and her family, and of course to Leonie, for Shane, and Shane’s family. Many people have suffered in this. Many people have been affected. This is a terrible tragedy which is hard for many to comprehend, and understandably so.
However, I sincerely believe that this tragedy would not have happened had Shane, or his family been warned of the potential side effects of SSRI’s. SSRI side effects such as Akathisa, agitation, anxiety, aggression, impulsivity and homicidal and suicidal ideation are commonly reported from patients on SSRI’s. They are even written in the Patient information leaflets now (although that’s more to cover drug companies from lawsuits than a humane act on their part, and also hardly anyone looks at the PIL, particularly young people, therefore it’s close to useless).
I have had these side effects whilst on SSRI’s and I have talked to many others who have experienced them also. There is a massive culture of denial within mainstream psychiatry because it is a pandora’s box which- if opened- would destroy the credibility of psychiatric drugs. If psychiatric drugs are perceived as unsafe then this undermines psychiatry. The industry and psychiatry have a vested interest in keeping the public in the dark about this. I don’t just think this, it’s a fact, and it is well known by those of us involved in bringing the truth about these drugs to public consciousness.
These facts cannot bring back a loved one, but they are significant for trying to understand why tragedies like this occur. One website which has documented SSRI murder/suicides is Antidepaware. What has been correlated here is quite staggering and in my opinion the evidence is irrefutable now. Shane’s case, is one of many, and anyone on an SSRI could end up in a similar situation, and the real tragedy is- the public are mostly completely unaware. These tragedies could be avoided if people were adequately warned, but the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatry do not want to be held accountable, therefore they continue to deny. Furthermore, the profits on these drugs are obscene, and profit and money is the bottom line here.
On Monday the 10th of March, Irish channel TV3, will air a documentary about the Shane Clancy tragedy called: “A search for justice: death in Bray. I wrote about Shane when this tragic event happened (see here and here) and it might seem premature writing a post before this documentary airs but I feel before the media spin kicks in, it is appropriate, as many important aspects might get lost in the sensationalism which will inevitably follow.
The reason why I first wrote about Shane, and why I care about all this- is because -like Shane, I was prescribed an SSRI drug for depression (mine was Seroxat, Shane’s was Cipramil). I was also around Shane’s age when this happened. I was 21, and Shane was 22. It was also, like in Shane’s case- my mother who brought me to a psychiatrist and a GP initially- because she was desperate to help alleviate the sheer despair I was experiencing from crippling depression. Shane’s mother Leonie, did the same thing as my mother, (as any mother would) and like myself and my mother, Leonie and Shane were not warned of the possible dangerous side effects from SSRI drugs. Effectively, there was no informed consent. We were not warned. This is appalling.
I will never forget the awful feeling in the first few days and weeks of taking Seroxat. I remember the swooshing, dizzying, giddy- unreality buzzing in my mind, as the chemical began to course through the blood into my brain. I went from being severely depressed, to severely out of my head. I would get these rushes and shivers, my eyes would roll and the world felt all lopsided. My teeth would shatter, my jaw would clench, and I’d get audio hallucinations during the day, and Stephen King style nightmares and sweats at night. If I stood up too quickly I would almost faint as my blood pressure was affected from the SSRI. I would stupor, and my eyes were like pinholes, I looked like a junkie. I would dribble on myself, as I sat numbed like a vegetable watching day time TV- as the levels of Seroxat accumulated, I felt more and more careless, more and more distant from me, my family and my surroundings. I became completely de-personalized.
It was undoubtedly a drugged up state, but not the kind of drugged up state which you would imagine these so called ‘happy pills’ to be. There was no happy-ness, no bliss, just a feeling of numbness, inhibition, blur and muddled confusion. A buzzy blur, an incoherency of thoughts and feelings all day, everything just out of whack and out of sync. As the weeks and months went on, and the Seroxat pills went down, I began to feel aggressive, particularly towards my family, I would snap at them and often they were afraid of me, or afraid of what the drug was doing to me, what I was becoming. The night sweats and nightmares turned into night spasms and horrifically violent dreams which scared the hell out me. I would wake up terrified, horrified that my mind could conjure up scenes of such horrible violence and mayhem. On a few occasions in the first few months on Seroxat I lashed out at my mother and my sister, and at one point I chased my father around his house, with every intention of attacking him. He rang the police and I left, like a possessed madman, slamming his door and shattering the glass. This aggression was completely and utterly out of character for me, I am the most passive, non confrontational person in the world. I have no doubt it was the effects of the SSRI. No doubts at all.
Since coming off Seroxat over 10 years ago, I have sought to inform and educate others and make them aware of the dangers of SSRI medications. I have spoken to others who have experienced the same effects. I have met government ministers, journalists, psychiatrists, educators, activists, the gamut of professions. I have tried my best to get the truth out there about Seroxat and SSRI’s. These drugs can be very dangerous for some people. It’s like Russian roulette- nobody knows how severe the side effects will be. The drug companies lie, the psychiatrists deceive, there are vested interests hell bent on keeping the extent of the damage of these drugs hidden and obscured. Depression does not make people violent or volatile, but SSRI’s can induce these affects in those who take them- it is only since the advent of the SSRI anti-depressant age that we have witnessed so many cases like the Clancy case.
I hope that this documentary gives a fair and objective account of SSRI dangers, but I have a feeling that the drug companies and psychiatry will do everything in their power to defend the drugs and blame Shane. Psychiatry always blames the patient, and psychiatry is the pharmaceutical industry’s apologist. That’s a well known fact. Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry are two branches of the same tree, intertwined.
I look forward to blogging more after the documentary is aired. But for now I will leave these videos here about SSRI’s, violence, volatility, and disturbing side effects, they are essential viewing. (there are hundreds more on youtube)