SSRI Suicide … The ‘Causation’ Conundrum…

causation |kôˈzā sh ən|

the action of causing something : investigating the role of nitrate in the causation of cancer.
• the relationship between cause and effect; causality.

A very close friend of mine is writing her final year thesis on the language that psychiatry uses in order to confuse and obscure the fact that it is an entirely redundant pseudo-belief system which is of no use whatsoever in the treatment of mental health problems. She is writing this thesis through the lens of English critical theory. Critical theory deconstructs and analyses the syntax, terminologies and definitions of words and language. It makes a kind of order out of language. Psychiatry uses language as a weapon and my friend’s thesis aims to examine and explore how it does this. I can’t wait to read her final draft.

One very interesting thing that she intends to scrutinize is this idea of ‘causation’ when it comes to SSRI suicides. Psychiatry and the drug companies claim that there is no way to prove ‘causation’ in a suspected case of SSRI induced suicide . This is indeed quite true, because, if an individual successfully completes a suicide from an SSRI, it is impossible to determine if it was the individual ‘illness’ of mind which led them to successful suicide or the effects of the drug. Depression and other emotional disorders have a risk of suicide, so psychiatry and drug companies can easily manipulate this fact to their favor and they can then dismiss every SSRI suicide down to the individual’s prior mental state.

Basically, to prove causation, an individual would have to kill themselves twice (which is of course entirely impossible). To prove (or to successfully make a claim) that an SSRI causes suicide, an individual would have to firstly kill themselves whilst on an SSRI, then kill themselves again whilst taking an SSRI again. It is because of this conundrum that Psychiatry and the drug companies can easily defend SSRI’s and constantly re-assert that ‘causation’ cannot be determined. When people hear this type of language , ‘causation cannot be determined’, they immediately think in scientific terms, and even the layperson goes along with the jargon, because it sounds convincing to the ear. It sounds plausible because the language employed sounds definitive. But, what it disguises is, the method and theory which could prove causation is mortally and scientifically impossible to enact, therefore what psychiatry should really say is, ‘causation cannot be proven but neither can it be disproven’ because the methodology is scientifically unsound. This would be a far more accurate conclusion. It is all the more sinister when you consider that it is impossible to prove nor disprove ‘causation’ when it comes to SSRI completed suicides. When someone is dead, they can’t come back and complain about side effects can they? It is disturbing when death becomes a way of protecting an ideology. But it seems that psychiatry is quite content in trading and profiting on this gruesome premise.

But there is a way through this…

How about testing SSRI’s on people who are not depressed, not mentally ill and not emotionally disturbed. In other words, how about seeing what their effects are on ‘healthy volunteers’?

Dr David Healy has seen studies that GSK have done with Seroxat on healthy volunteers. These studies are under seal in the Glaxo archives and some of the results are very disturbing. If GSK was an ethical company it would release these studies to the general public, but it seems that it is close to impossible to get access to them. The Seroxat conundrum could easily be solved, but the only way to do that would be through the courts. GSK cannot be allowed to get away with the Seroxat Scandal. Too many people have been damaged, and hurt. This is a human rights issue above and beyond its legal implications. Let’s hope 2012 is the year of Justice. Read on :

As part of my background research for this case, I had been given access to GlaxoSmithKline’s Seroxat healthy volunteer archive. This involved being brought into a room with several hundred thousand pages of data from healthy volunteer trials.

The reason to chase these files was that it had shortly before become clear to me from a study conducted in north Wales on healthy volunteers taking sertraline, another SSRI, and from looking through the healthy volunteer archives held by Pfizer on sertraline, that SSRIs could trigger suicidality in even healthy volunteers.

Access to GlaxoSmithKline’s archive in Harlow had only been granted, as far as I know, essentially a week before my final report in the case was due to be submitted.

Nevertheless, it was possible to find and assess all the records that were present from studies conducted before Seroxat came on the market. Some records were clearly missing and have not been provided since.

Key studies

It was clear from this that Seroxat caused agitation in around 25% of takers, that it made things worse when the dose of the drug was increased and problems cleared up when the drug was stopped only to re-emerge when it was restarted.

According to the usual rules therefore this drug was causing agitation. There had also been a suicide in the program. And Seroxat in one healthy volunteer study was linked with withdrawal effects in around 85% of subjects.

The Tobin case raised questions about how much of a company’s defense in these SSRI cases depended on ghost-written, or company only authored publications, or how often when there was medical testimony it was based on tabulated figures provided to an expert rather than the raw data.

In the course of the proceedings, it was not contested that key studies had been terminated early with their results left unpublished.


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