I have been drawing a lot of attention recently to the tragic case of the Shane Clancy SSRI induced tragedy. I feel very passionate about this case for one main reason- I could have been Shane Clancy; in fact, anyone who takes SSRI medications can end up killing themselves, harming themselves and harming others, these drugs can be lethal. SSRI’s (and generally all psychiatric drugs) are russian roulette.
I have been blogging and bringing awareness to the issues of SSRI induced suicide and aggression (amongst other things) for over 8 years now. It is 8 years ago since I came off the notorious SSRI drug Seroxat. If you google on the internet, you will see that Seroxat is possibly one of the most despised and loathed drugs amongst those who were unfortunate enough to be prescribed it. Seroxat is also amongst the most controversial drugs of the past decade. But Seroxat is not alone in its indiscriminate propensity to push you over the SSRI edge.
Seroxat belongs to a class of drug called SSRI’s. These drugs include the drug Shane was prescribed, a drug called Cipramil (Celexa). Although Seroxat has garnered the lions share of bad press in regards to cover-ups, controversy and headlines, it would be safe to say that the whole SSRI class of drugs can indeed cause the same, or similar detrimental affects. They belong to the same class for a reason, in that, they work in a similar way and have similar effects on the brain, the body and the mind. Drug companies have more or less admitted that the SSRI class can increase suicidal thoughts and behavioral changes, at their worst it seems in the ‘young adult‘ population. I was a young adult when I was prescribed Seroxat, I was 21, too young to understand the consequences of anti-depressants, too young even to comprehend what I was being medicated for. I am assuming, from what I know of Shane’s case, that he was too.
Unfortunately, there is much misinformation about depression and anxiety. This misinformation is perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry and the psychiatric community (and I say ‘community’ with my tongue firmly in my cheek- psychiatrists are usually amongst the most self-interested and self-serving individuals you could come across).
The psychiatric community and the psychiatric paradigm is an institution and a heavily influential and powerful ideology. But, that ideology would crumble if you took away their main columns of support- the pharmaceutical industry and the promotion of psychiatric medications. It is these insidious influences that keep psychiatry in its culture of denial. They take the pharmaceutical lines of defense and they defend the corporate-speak of the industry because the industry funds their institution. The industry owns psychiatry. The modern psychiatrist seeks to validate his profession as a genuine and effective medical practice, on par with radiology or cardiology. The psychiatrist attempts to deceive by alluding to psychiatry’s scientific basis. But there is one fatal flaw in this deception, Psychiatry has never proven its theories nor cured any patient; and some would argue that psychiatry has in fact perpetuated the many myths of mental illnesses, hindered the progress of understanding the depths of the human condition and harmed many more than it has helped.
Shane Clancy is a victim of the corruption of psychiatry by the pharmaceutical industry, although some would say it is not mere corruption, but in fact- collusion. – as both serve the agenda of the other. In other words, the industry needs people to take medications for mental illnesses as the mental illness market is a massively lucrative market. The psychiatrists have no real answers nor strategies to deal with ‘mentally ill’ patients, they get paid for deciding a diagnosis and writing a prescription. Psychiatry needs the industry, like a baby needs its mothers milk. The pharmaceutical industry funds research for psychiatric projects, it supports lectures for psychiatrists and helps them further their career. The psychiatric community defends and protects the industry because the industry takes care of the needs of psychiatry- it does this by way of validation, monetary gain and status.
Before I started to educate myself on the psychiatric system and the pharmaceutical industry, I was completely unaware of how inextricably linked both these entities are. I would have naively believed that psychiatrists were there to help people with mental illness. I would have trusted psychiatry. People are often amazed when they discover the truth about psychiatry, and at first I was too. But as I get older, I realize that the corruption of psychiatry is just another example of the dark side of human nature, the shades of greed, ego and power that exist in all forms of humanity are rampant in psychiatry. Ireland has had its fair share of dark moments, from colonialism to church domination, abuse, industrial schools and much pain inflicted on the most vulnerable and exploited in society. Irish psychiatry is shifting through a similar period of exposure. It is an ideology and belief system with a lot of power and political sway, it also has free reign of the most vulnerable, which is always a dangerous thing, but as Leonard Cohen once wrote ‘ There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’. Psychiatry is beginning to slowly crack, but there’s a whole lot of darkness in there which will need to be out-shadowed before justice and truth come to light. I hope that Shane Clancy, Sara Carlin, Sharise Gatchell and the many other casualties of the psychiatric-pharmaceutical alliance can be not victims anymore but beacons of that light in the darkness. We live in hope.