“…Meeting his second wife helped pull him out of a period of “absolute self-destruction,” he told Bullz-Eye.com in 2009 while promoting Out of Ashes. “I don’t know when to stop when I’m in that mode. I’ll go through a gallon of Jack Daniels and down some antidepressants in one night and keep on going. I just hated my life at one point. I loved my band, career and friends, but when I got home from tour, I couldn’t deal with stuff. I would just begin drinking.”
Friday 21 July 2017 16.10 BST Last modified on Friday 21 July 2017 22.00 BST
The death of Chester Bennington, vocalist with the rap and nu-metal band Linkin Park, at the age of 41, curtails a brilliantly successful career that brought a string of awards and multimillion-selling albums and singles. Linkin Park enjoyed enormous and immediate acclaim with their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000), released on Warner Bros after the band had been rejected by several labels. The combination of Mike Shinoda’s rapping and Bennington’s soaring, impassioned singing became the band’s instant focal point, with the group’s metallic thunder enhanced by edgy electronic treatments. Their sound became emblematic of the nu-metal genre, alongside like-minded artists such as Korn and Limp Bizkit.
Hybrid Theory sold nearly 5m copies in its first year and to date has sold more than 20m, and reached No 2 on the US chart and No 4 in the UK. The singles Crawling, One Step Closer and In the End became radio favourites, receiving heavy airplay on MTV, and in 2002 Crawling won a Grammy for best hard rock performance. The album Reanimation (2002) comprised remixes of Hybrid Theory songs plus additional material, and was another international multimillion-seller.
When the band released Meteora in 2003, following intensive touring in the US, including dates with their own multi-artist Projekt Revolution tour, it shot to the top of the US and UK album charts and spawned a fresh batch of hit singles, including Somewhere I Belong, Breaking the Habit and Numb, the last of these an anthem of Bennington’s disconnection from the world. The album went on to sell more than 10m copies. In 2004, Linkin Park teamed up with Jay-Z on the EP Collision Course, mixing rap with metal; the track Numb/Encore, splicing together the band’s Numb with Jay-Z’s Encore, went to 20 on the US singles chart and 14 in the UK. In 2005 it won a Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration.
But while his music provided a cathartic outlet, Bennington had experienced an assortment of emotional and drug-related issues since childhood. He was a close friend of Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden, who killed himself in May, and wrote a heartfelt posthumous letter to Cornell. Bennington was found dead at his home in California on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
Bennington was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother, Susan Elaine Johnson, was a nurse, and his father, Lee Russell Bennington, a police detective who often worked on child abuse cases. They divorced when he was 11, after which his father gained custody of Chester. He had two older sisters and an older half-brother, Brian. Since his father often worked double shifts, Chester frequently found himself at home alone. He fell into a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse, and, he once told Metal Hammer magazine, “dropped so much acid I’m surprised I can still speak. I’d smoke a bunch of crack, do a bit of meth and just sit there and freak out. Then I’d smoke opium to come down.”
His emotional state was further affected by the fact that he suffered sexual abuse by an older friend between the ages of seven and 13. “It destroyed my self-confidence,” he told Kerrang! in 2008. “Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything. I didn’t want people to think that I was gay or that I was lying.” He was also bullied at school.
He found some respite in drawing and songwriting, and was a fan of Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots. At 17 he moved in with his mother, and worked at Burger King while attempting to become a musician. His first group, Sean Dowdell and His Friends?, made a three-track cassette in 1993, after which Bennington and Dowdell formed the alternative-rock band Grey Daze, who released three albums during the 1990s.
Bennington married Samantha Olit in 1996, quit Grey Daze in 1998 and moved to Los Angeles to further his musical career. He auditioned for a band called Xero, and when he was hired as vocalist he completed the original line-up of what then became Linkin Park (a pun on Lincoln Park in Santa Monica), alongside Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell, Rob Bourdon and Joe Hahn.
In 2005 Bennington put together a side project, Dead By Sunrise, featuring musicians from Orgy and the Street Drum Corps and comprising songs he considered “darker and moodier than anything I’d come up with for the band”. In 2009 they released their only album, Out of Ashes, which scraped into the US Top 30.
Linkin Park returned in 2007 with the album Minutes to Midnight, co-produced with Rick Rubin and marking a deliberate step towards a more mainstream rock sound. This delivered the big hit singles What I’ve Done, Bleed It Out and Shadow of the Day, which all scored heavily in the American alt and rock charts. New Divide, from the soundtrack compilation album Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen (2009), gave them another major hit. Their subsequent albums, A Thousand Suns (2010) and Living Things (2012), saw sales falling way below their earlier peaks, but they still delivered big hit singles including The Catalyst, Waiting for the End and the anthemic Burn It Down.
In 2013 Bennington joined Stone Temple Pilots after they fired the vocalist Scott Weiland, and, after recording the EP High Rise, stayed with them until 2015. “I got to create and perform with one of the greatest rock bands of our generation, that had so much influence on me growing up,” he said afterwards. He was back with Linkin Park for The Hunting Party (2014), on which they tacked back towards a heavier rock sound. One More Light (2017) was, by comparison with the group’s original sound, virtually a pop record. “It’s a great record, we love it,” insisted Bennington to hostile critics, and the album shot to the top of the US Billboard chart.
Bennington had tackled his addiction issues with some success, admitting falling off the wagon in 2005 when he divorced, but getting clean again in 2006 when he married Talinda Bentley, a schoolteacher and former model. In the run-up to the release of One More Light, he seemed optimistic and positive, saying that he had shaken off the depression he had felt two years earlier. “I know exactly who I am, I know exactly what I’m made of and I’m totally happy with it,” he said.
He is survived by Talinda and their children, Tyler Lee, Lily and Lila; by a son, Draven Sebastian, from his first marriage; and by two sons, Jaime and Isaiah, from a relationship with Elka Brand.
• Chester Charles Bennington, singer and songwriter, born 20 March 1976; died 20 July 2017
Previously unseen details of a medical trial by Glaxo in 1974 at a Cork mother and baby home have generated a whole new series of questions for the nuns and the companies involved, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.
For almost two decades, the public has been drip-fed revelations about medical testing by British pharmaceutical companies on children in care in Ireland.
These tests involved the trialling of various vaccine combinations by predecessor companies of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) — Glaxo Laboratories and Burroughs Wellcome. These revelations generated more questions than answers — answers it is hoped the Mother and Baby Homes Commission can provide.
However, it has now emerged thashoot Glaxo Laboratories was also trialling other products on children here — namely lactose and baby formulas.
This occurred in 1974 in the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork and had never been made public. Once again, the revelation has generated lots of questions but few answers.
A trial sheet obtained by the Irish Examiner reveals that Glaxo Laboratories carried out a “clinical acceptability and safety trial” of “Golden Ostermilk and Lactose”, while a separate trial sheet reveals a trial of “overseas milk powders (by 0111)”.
The “clinician responsible” for the tests was Eithne Conlon — a local Cork GP who worked with the institution for many years.
The trial sheets recorded a range of reactions to the products. These included vomiting (slight, moderate, severe, or none), excessive regurgitation, wind (slight, moderate, severe, or none), stools (locae, normal, or constipated) and stool colour (yellow, grass green, olive green, yellow green, no stools, meconium, changing).
Other “abnormal conditions” were also noted. These included excessive crying, irritability, napkin rash, thrush, and others.
The latter trial sheet was contained in the records of Breda Bonass, who had sought information on her medical history from Tusla under Freedom of Information.
The former only came to light when Ms Bonass sought further information from Tusla.
However, this only confused matters further as the trial sheet for “Golden Ostermilk and Lactose” was found in the antenatal records of other women — and all contain identical details including patient numbers — something which the FOI officer told Ms Bonass was “perplexing”.
“In the majority of cases where this record was present the record was glued to another copy of the same record [front to front] and details about the respective baby’s feeding schedules, types of formula given, reactions to feeds, etc, were hand written on this paper,” said the FOI officer.
“When I pried the two sheets apart I noticed that these trial sheets all contained the exact same patient and trial numbers and identifying details as the trial sheet located in your file.”
Ms Bonass went to the religious order which ran Bessborough — the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary — and GSK looking answers.
The nuns responded via their solicitors, telling her they no longer held the records nor had any access to them and that she should go to Tusla.
GSK’s UK data protection section informed her that the data had been “destroyed” as the “retention period has already expired some years ago”.
The Irish Examiner contacted GSK in an effort to get answers as to why this trial was carried out in Ireland, how many children it involved and if consent was sought.
It responded by saying it was “unable to locate any records relating to a 1974 study” but that it had located records relating to a trial from 1967.
“The assumption therefore would be that the 1974 study’s purpose was to compare current milk powder with a newer formulation. The records contain no names or information about the children involved,” said GSK in a statement.
It had no documentation to explain why Ireland was chosen as a location, but that the 1967 trial was also carried out in the UK, Kenya, Argentina, Malaysia, “and probably more”.
With regard to the consent of mothers, GSK said that, due to the fact that it had no records, it could not confirm who gave consent but that its assumption was that it would have been “those Sisters running the homes as the legal guardians”.
Obtaining consent would been left to the doctor conducting the trial.
The company said that, to the best of its knowledge, no financial remuneration would have been provided to the Order for allowing children in its care to be used for the trial.
GSK said the identical sheets were probably blank forms or templates and that the information entered “appear to be codes, possibly relating to a spreadsheet collating all responses”.
It also confirmed that this was the first time it was made aware of this study and that it had not been asked to disclose it in any official capacity, “as this is clearly outside of the current Commission’s [Into Mother and Baby Homes] vaccines inquiry”.
That, of course, is technically correct. The Commission is only tasked with examining vaccine trials carried out by GSK legacy companies. This latest revelation confirms that it wasn’t just vaccines that were being tested on children in care here.
The involvement of Burroughs Wellcome and Glaxo Laboratories in trials on children in Mother and Baby Homes and other institutions is worth repeating.
It’s been a long tale which saw a previous State inquiry —the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA) in 2000 — try and fail to fully investigate the matter.
Before that inquiry was halted following a Supreme Court ruling in 2002, GSK had confirmed just three vaccine trials in the 1960s and 1970s involving more than 250 children.
In 2011, in a response to an RTÉ investigation, it acknowledged a fourth trial but stated that this was the only other clinical trial sponsored by Wellcome using children in institutions in Ireland.
However, in 2014, documents uncovered by Michael Dwyer of UCC’s School of History revealed a fifth trial of a measles vaccine on 34 children took place in 1965.
It was carried out by Irene Hillary and Patrick Meenan of UCD’s microbiology department and AJ Beale of Glaxo Laboratories. The UCD academics (both now deceased) were also involved in the first two vaccine trials also.
Earlier that year, Dr Dwyer also discovered evidence that Wellcome had carried out vaccine trials on more than 2,000 Irish children in 24 residential institutions between 1930 and 1935.
Despite this, the Inter-Departmental Group on Mother and Baby Homes published in 2014 only referred to three vaccine trials. It also failed to mention a 1965 trial of a 5-in-1 vaccine carried out on Philip Delaney at Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork.
Questions around the involvement of British pharmaceutical companies in vaccine trials in Ireland have been popping up in the media for almost three decades now.
They first hit the headlines in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 1997 that then health minister Brian Lenihan gave an undertaking that the matter would be examined.
This resulted in the Kiely Report in 2000, by Jim Kiely, chief medical officer of the Department of Health, which confirmed three trials had been conducted on behalf of the pharmaceutical company the Wellcome Foundation.
The i nstitutions involved were Wellcome Laboratories in Britain, the Department of Medical Microbiology in UCD, and the Eastern Health Board.
The first trial took place between December 1960 and November 1961 in four Mother and Baby Homes — St Patrick’s on the Navan Road in Dublin (14 children), Bessborough in Cork (25 children), Castlepollard in Westmeath (six children), and Dunboyne (nine children).
Four children from Stamullen baby home in Meath were also used for this trial.
The purpose of the trial was to look at the response the children would have to a 4-in-1 vaccine — diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio.
The second trial involved 69 children from St Anne’s Industrial School in Booterstown in Dublin being administered an intranasal rubella vaccine. A further 53 children from the wider community in Kilcullen in Westmeath were also used in this trial.
The first two trials were carried out by Prof Hillary and Prof Meenan from the department of Microbiology in UCD, as well as other doctors.
The third trial involved 53 children in a number of residential institutions in Dublin including St Patrick’s Home, Madonna House, Bird’s Nest, and Boheenaburna.
A total of 65 children living at home in Dublin also received the vaccine.
The aim of the third trial was to compare commercially available batches of the 3-in-1 vaccine — Trivax and Trivax D — with that of equivalent vaccines prepared for the trial. There is no published paper or report of this trial, but the Eastern Health Board was aware it was being conducted.
Dr Kiely’s report in 2000 concluded that, given the conditions which the vaccines sought to counter, the decision to conduct the trials was “acceptable and reasonable”.
However, Dr Kiely said there was a lack of documentation available to clarify whether consent was either obtained or sought from the parents of the children or the managers of the institutions.
However, an entry in the 1962 British Medical Journal concerning the first trial seems to confirm that parental consent was not sought.
“We are indebted to the medical officers in charge of the children’s homes for permission to carry out this investigation on infants under their care,” it wrote.
Responding to the Kiely Report in 2000, Prof Hillary said it was her “invariable practice at the time to obtain consent of the competent authority”, be it the mother, the manager, or the medical officer.
However, no record of written consent has been acknowledged. The religious orders who ran the homes involved in the trials have also denied that they authorised any clinical trials.
Of the victims of the vaccine trials who have located their natural mothers, all mothers have said they were not asked for their permission.
In 2000, then minister for children Micheál Martin admitted the Kiely report was “incomplete” and raised “as many questions as it answered”.
However, despite this, Mr Martin reassured the Dáil that the trials appeared to have had no medically negative consequences for any of the children involved.
In an effort to deal with the matter, the Government decided to extend the terms of reference of CICA.
This was done despite objections that the trials could not adequately be dealt with by an inquiry looking primarily into physical and sexual abuse.
The ‘Vaccines Module’ of CICA began investigating in early 2002.
It obtained documentation from GSK — the successor of Wellcome — and identified the names and addresses of some of those involved in the trials.
It also sought records from a range of religious orders who were caring for the children used in the trials.
In November of last year, the Irish Examiner revealed that the files of vaccine trial victims from Bessborough involved in the 1960/61 4-in-1 vaccine were altered just weeks after the CICA sought discovery of records from the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The document listing the changes opens with: “8.8.02 Checked the 20 files.” This is immediately followed by: “9.8.02 Made the changes.”
The changes made to files Nos 5, 8, 11, 12, and 15-20 are then detailed.
The changes include:
The alteration of discharge dates of mothers (by a period of one year and two years):
The changing of discharge dates of children;
The changing of admission dates of mothers;
The alteration of the age of a mother (by two years);
The alteration of dates of adoption;
The changing of baptism dates and location of baptism;
The insertion of certain named locations and information into admission books.
In a series of statements, the order said it wished to “categorically state that no documents were altered”.
“In your recent correspondence, you are suggesting that something illegal or inappropriate had occurred in regard to the documents to which you refer. This is entirely untrue; and we will continue to deal directly with the official commission on all such matters,” said a statement.
This document listing the changes was discovered in the Bessborough archive handed over to the HSE by the nuns in 2011.
It wasn’t discovered until 2016 — some 13 years after CICA’s investigation into the vaccine trials was suspended.
This occurred after the probe was hit with a Supreme Court ruling which upheld Prof Meenan’s challenge against a High Court order directing him to give evidence before the inquiry.
The court also criticised the decision to ask the commission to examine the vaccine trials in the first place, stating they had “only the most tenuous connection, if any, with the appalling social evil of the sexual and physical abuse of children in institutions, which was the specific area into which the commission was established to inquire”.
Mr Justice Hardiman stated that Prof Meenan’s involvement in vaccine trials related only to one trial in 1960/61 and that the issue of the “reputational damage” associated with being involved with a commission primarily looking at sexual abuse had to be considered.
Following this, Prof Hillary challenged the Government’s order directing an investigation into the vaccine trials and when the the Government declined to appeal this decision, the work of the Vaccines Module ceased in November 2003.
However, at the time, many people believed there were far more than three trials carried out by Wellcome here.
The Third Interim Report from CICA in December 2003 confirmed as much when it stated that the documentation it received from GSK “disclosed a considerable amount of information in relation to other vaccine trials conducted in the State”.
When RTÉ’s Prime Time asked the pharmaceutical giant about this statement in 2011, it confirmed a fourth trial had taken place in 1965. This trial involved giving differing doses of the measles vaccine to 12 babies aged between nine and 19 months in the Sean Ross Abbey mother-and-baby home in Tipperary.
GSK stated that this fourth trial was the only other clinical trial sponsored by Burroughs Wellcome using children in institutions in Ireland.
Then, in 2014, the Irish Examiner revealed a fifth trial also occurred during this period.
An article in The Lancet medical journal in August 1965, discovered by Dr Dwyer confirms that Glaxo Laboratories Ltd carried out another measles vaccine trial on 34 children aged between eight months and just over two years.
The trial was carried out by Prof Hillary and Prof Meenan and AJ Beale of Glaxo Laboratories. It is also the first trial which confirms Glaxo Laboratories involvement in a vaccine trial.
The report does not mention an institution. However, it makes reference to the fact that the reaction to the vaccine were monitored by “the adults looking after the children”.
It also says examinations were done on the children from day six to 14 at the same time — 6pm — indicating the children were in a group setting.
However, in response, GSK disagreed that these references amounted to evidence that the trial was carried out on children in care.
The pharmaceutical giant pointed out that, in other papers by the same investigator, it was stated explicitly that the study was carried out on children in care. GSK said if it had any evidence that this trial was carried out on children in care, it would have handed it over to the CICA at the time.
So, three years on, we now know that it wasn’t just vaccines that were being tested on children in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes.
Now, we know that clinical acceptability and safety trials of lactose, Golden Ostermilk and “overseas baby powders” were being trialled in at least one Mother and Baby Home.
Can and will the commission examine this latest development? Why was a British company testing such products in Ireland?
Were religious orders benefiting financially by allowing children in their care to be involved in such trials? Was the consent of mothers obtained, or was it even sought?
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission said it will investigate all aspects of living conditions and care arrangements at Bessboro.
The drugs don’t work – psychiatric guru Ivor Brown says he would never give antidepressents to anyone
Our reporter talks to psychiatric guru Ivor Browne, who says he would never give antidepressants to anyone as they are ‘ineffective’. Others in his profession say the advice is misguided and even ‘dangerous’. As a new film opens detailing his methods, we explore the answers
For decades, Ivor Browne has been one of the best-known psychiatrists in the country.
Lauded by his admirers like a mystical guru, he has been credited with breaking down the walls of our mental hospitals, and freeing many patients from incarceration.
As a sprightly octogenarian who meditates twice a day and lives in a house named Gandalf – in honour of a character in JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – he is no ordinary doctor.
One visitor to his home in South Dublin said the white-bearded figure looked like he had walked straight out of the pages of the Bible.
The writer Colm Tóibín, who has attended his therapy sessions, once said of him: “There’s an aura off him that is almost holy.”
The psychiatrist prompted Tóibín to unleash “unexperienced” pain over his father’s death when he was a boy of 12. Tóibín once wrote of how he once lay on a mattress and screamed with grief, having suppressed it for years.
As a psychiatrist, Browne is said to have “dried out” Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners, and there is no shortage of well-known figures who are prepared to endorse him.
Few doubt that he helped to shake up the world of Irish psychiatry over the decades, and shed light on a hidden world of mental anguish. But his views opposing the use of antidepressants are also highly controversial, and are heavily contested by many other psychiatrists working in Ireland today, including those who advocate talking therapies.
The psychiatrist is again in the spotlight as the subject of a documentary, now showing at Dublin’s Irish Film Institute. It not only tells the story of Browne’s life but also lifts the lid on our attitude to mental health and depression. Browne tells how when he started as a medical student, doctors were giving residents of mental hospitals lobotomies.
He recalls how he helped in operations, where holes were drilled in patients’ heads. A knife was inserted to sever the frontal lobes of the brain.
Browne sought to close the often inhumane institutions that house those with mental illness and wanted to integrate the patients into the community.
He acknowledged that this was only a partial success, and believes that many people out in the community are now institutionalised by heavy drugs.
The semi-retired former professor of psychiatry at UCD this week reaffirmed his view that there is a vast overuse of antidepressants in Ireland.
The debate over antidepressants is of concern to tens of thousands of people. The mental health support organisation Aware estimates 450,000 people are affected by depression in Ireland, the equivalent of one in 10, at any one time.
It is hard to quantify the number of prescriptions for antidepressant pills in Ireland every year, but Browne says if he was writing prescriptions nowadays he wouldn’t dream of giving an antidepressant drug to any of his patients. He claims they are “highly habit-forming and difficult to get off”.
“I think they are ineffective. They can give temporary relief but they don’t achieve any far-reaching results,” he tells Review.
It is a long-held view that inevitably makes Browne the target of criticism and out of kilter with the psychiatric establishment, particularly in cases where patients may be suicidal.
Browne, himself the former chief psychiatrist at the Eastern Health Board, emphasises that he is not totally against the use of drugs when treating patients. He says he would prescribe antipsychotic medication in cases of acute psychosis.
That is where a patient loses grip on reality, and may suffer severe hallucinations or delusions. As Browne puts it: “It’s what in ordinary parlance we would call ‘mad’. Otherwise I would not prescribe medication because I think it’s better to work with people’s difficulties, to help them discover the source of their problems,” he says.
“In my experience, medication makes it more difficult to deal with the underlying reasons for depression.”
So if the drugs don’t work, in his view, what would he recommend as the best treatment for depression?
“I would say, in broad terms, effective psychotherapy. If you can work on the person’s life story, and more specifically deal with any traumas people have suffered from the womb through birth, or in later development, you will make more progress.”
Browne says the deepest trauma of all is to be rejected or not wanted by a mother or father, or both.
The psychiatrist has often referred to his own complex relationship with his father, and a form of rejection from the time of his birth. Brought up in Sandycove at the southern tip of Dublin Bay, he regularly heard his father suggesting within his earshot: “I’m afraid Ivor was a mistake. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to educate him.”
He has told how that his parents, wishing to have only two children, used an unorthodox form of birth control in which his mother kept the bedroom door locked. But Ivor, the third child, was conceived when his father crawled in through the window.
“I was seen as something of a problem and not the full shilling.”
His critics have suggested that depression is not always caused by trauma that can be uncovered by delving into the past. They point to those who suffer the condition without abusive incidents, hidden grief or neglect.
“I agree that depression is not always down to trauma,” says Browne. “Bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression), for instance, was recognised right back through the history of psychiatry as involving a genetic component but also involved the person’s life story.”
He says some people have a natural tendency to such disorders but before the use of drugs became prevalent the incidence of this was rare.
“I would say that too much emphasis is placed on giving medication before exploring the person’s life story and any traumatic events as part of this.”
While those who have been treated by Browne are full of praise, is an effective talking cure really available for ordinary punters across the country suffering severe distress? Not everyone has access to a therapist of his calibre.
Browne is concerned that virtually anyone can set themselves as a psychotherapist, but believes the field is becoming more regulated now, especially at an EU level. He says treatments such as regression therapy, where patients go back through the subconscious memory to try to confront and tackle forgotten childhood incidents or traumas, require specialist skill.
“The ‘talking cures’ are not effective where the psychotherapist has not had proper training.”
Browne has often been prepared to go out on a limb during his career, and has attracted controversy as a result. In the 1990s, after it emerged that his patient Phyllis Hamilton had had a child with the high-profile priest Father Michael Cleary, Browne spoke out publicly with her consent to confirm her story. He was censured by the Irish Medical Council for breach of confidentiality, but the council rejected the charge that he had failed to act in the best interests of his patient.
It was a sign of a changing country that the council attracted as much criticism for its judgment as Browne did himself.
Browne now attributes growing dissatisfaction and depression to the changing nature of our society, and has said it is hardly surprising that people are unhappy when they spend eight hours at a computer screen and two hours driving in a day.
He likes to quote the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society.”
The Wonder Eye: Meetings with Ivor opened at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin last night
“…by the time he was 19, they dragged him to a psychiatrist, who prescribed an antipsychotic drug, a tranquilizer and an antidepressant…”
“He wasn’t someone who was living in the real world.”
“…He said the family had taken Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel to a doctor who prescribed medication to counter his depression, but described his son as “always alone, always depressed” and not wanting to talk..”
Mental illness (whatever that is) is not to blame for many of these violent acts. The common denominator in many cases like these is psychiatric drugs (known to cause dangerous, often violent side effects).
Check out the website- Antidepaware for hundreds of documented cases of psychiatric drug induced violence. And check out madinAmerica for brilliant articles from many highly respected and educated people (working in the mental health arena) willing to speak out about these dangerous psychiatric drugs…
What ‘medication’ was the Nice Attacker ( Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel) prescribed over the years? what psychiatric drugs was he on before or during the attack?
This is the personal account of an Australian soldier who deployed to Timor Leste with the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) in 2000-2001. During this tour 1 RAR soldiers were used to trial the experimental quinoline anti-malarial drug tafenoquine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, in one of a series of tafenoquine studies undertaken by the Army Malaria Institute. The Department of Defence claims that “there is no evidence that tafenoquine causes serious neuropsychiatric effects, either acute or chronic”, only by ignoring the fully documented medical histories of this veteran and many others like him.Among the 492 tafenoquine trial subjects, not one single severe neuropsychiatric adverse event was attributed to their use of this drug in the published trial report. Yet there are scores who were subsequently diagnosed with serious, chronic psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar and other personality disorders. Many were medically discharged from the Army and remain chronically ill, while the Department of Defence refuses to accept any responsibility or to undertake follow-up studies.This account is typical among the survivors of the trial.
“I was put in the locked psychiatric ward at Townsville under close surveillance and remember being isolated with some other very mentally sick people. What I went through there in hospital can’t really be explained to someone who hasn’t crossed the line to insanity.”
I was 19 years old when I was deployed on Operation Tanager to East Timor. To be a soldier was all I ever wanted to be and I joined because I wanted to make a difference and help people. I was a soldier of 2 platoon Alpha Company 1 RAR, and I was prescribed Tafenoquine as part of the anti malaria drug trial in 2000.
A lot of things happened over there on tour that had a great impact on my life. It’s been 15 years since I returned home from that deployment and the following is a summary of what has happened after my battalion returned from war-like service on Anzac Day 2001.
Like most of us, I had some trouble adjusting to society when we came back to Australia. The first thing out of the ordinary for me was that I just felt like being alone. That wasn’t normal behavior for me and I turned down invitations from friends to just stay inside on my own for days. I felt a bit shut off and I became more withdrawn and in particular from strangers and civilians. I found when my mind was occupied with work though, I seemed to be doing alright and I didn’t really think it was a problem at the time.Later that year in 2001 was where things started to go very wrong for me. My mind started to deteriorate over a period of 2 months which lead me for the first time down the path of mania. Initially I was in good health and felt great. I had a happy and positive outlook and a huge thirst for life. I felt really strong, confident, and powerful. I started noticing I seemed to have a lot more energy than ever before, and my thoughts began to slowly race.Things that seemed difficult before were now quite simple to me. My mind was very sharp and fast and was getting faster each day. So much so that it began working overtime. In a space of 2 weeks I rarely slept, I remember walking the line between dreaming and being awake and thinking that I was fine, when in reality I had lost 20kg from over-exercising, looked exhausted and was talking so fast and rapidly shifting from one subject to the next that no one could understand me. I was becoming irritable, quick to anger and quicker to another emotion in an instant. Any fear or inhibitions holding me back were gone, and I would wake to a new day excited like it was an epic adventure. I started to believe I had a heightened sense of state as ordinary things or circumstances started to communicate with me on a second level to what I would normally understand. I found intricate meaning in anything that I was immersed in which would be entirely delusional to anyone but myself. I was completely irrational and psychotic, and it wasn’t until I didn’t show up for parade one morning that I completely lost it. I have trouble remembering, but I’m told that I was found in my room which was in a state of chaos, and I remember my boss bringing me some food and taking me to hospital.I was put in the locked psychiatric ward at Townsville under close surveillance and remember being isolated with some other very mentally sick people. What I went through there in hospital can’t really be explained to someone who hasn’t crossed the line to insanity. To give you an indication of my thought process though, I believed I was at the centre of some extraordinary story where I’d been taken to a facility not of this Earth, and that the people I met were reincarnated versions of others I once knew.To say the least, for me to come back to reality was a long, slow and difficult process. I had no idea what was happening to me, and was under very heavy drug sedation. I eventually came to grips with the fact that I was told I had a major psychotic episode and needed time in hospital to recover which played out to three months.I was put on leave and sent home to be treated as my family tried to piece together what was happening. My memory of this time is hazy as I was heavily sedated and physically unable to get out of bed at times from the medication. After 4 or 5 visits to a Psychiatrist I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I didn’t know what that was and to this day I think doctors have a hard time understanding it themselves but the diagnosis lead me to understand that my future in the services was over. I lived and breathed the Army so this was very hard to take. The day I was told that I would be medically discharged was probably the most I’ve ever felt ashamed and lost.A couple of amazing Vietnam Vets tried to help me when I was first discharged. I was still in a daze from the medication the doctors were trying to treat me with and frankly in a bit of shock from what I had been through. An advocate put together a case for me on my behalf. I kept quite a comprehensive written journal of my accounts in Timor but any evidence I had was not enough to support my claim for Bipolar Disorder.Timor was new and I needed to show evidence that I had been through a stressor significant enough with the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder being within 6 months of that stressor to warrant a claim.
When presenting my case coincidentally on Remembrance Day the Vets on the board asked whether I had been in any contacts or fired my weapon throughout the tour. When I answered no, I knew my claim would be denied and it was.Since my discharge I’ve tried to live my life as best as I could, but I soon discovered new problems. I had my first taste of major anxiety and depression in early 2004. I slowly started withdrawing into myself and lost more and more of my personality over a few weeks to a point where my mind felt numb, and everything I did seemed like I was just going through the motions of basic communication. I felt on edge and my cognitive skills were almost freezing up as I couldn’t function or make a decision. This was new and I tried to escape from it by drinking heavily one night. I remember waking up the next morning frozen with what I now know is anxiety. I knew I needed to call for help but couldn’t work out what to say or how to do it and felt just about paralyzed in my mind. I had to once again recover and quit my job and move home for my family to take care of me.What followed was a long drawn out depression. It would hold on to me and little I can do to this day can help it. When depression comes it comes, and I just have to hope for the best, but when it does come, suicidal thoughts come with it leading to suicidal ideation. In the trough of depression it’s close to the only thought that you have. You’re mind convinces you it’s the only choice that’s left to solve what’s happening. For me, it’s not a feeling of sadness, it’s a feeling of nothing at all. It’s just about the opposite of mania, you’re mind runs slowly, and simple tasks seem overwhelming. You just want to be alone, you don’t want to do anything, and you just want to die. I’ve had more depressive episodes than I can say, and have been close to being hospitalised for it on a number of occasions. They can last for months on end and the anti-depressant medication treatment I’ve had for it doesn’t seem to have any effect.I was 23 by this stage after going through these two major episodes and started to have little hope for my future. I took a very basic job at a factory where I worked along side older people that had trouble mentally but were able to put in a days manual labour. It was hard for me because despite my psychological problems I was reasonably bright and young.I had a lot of nightmares, and continue to have one vivid reoccurring one where I’m in a contact scenario back in Timor with my section. Each dream is in a new location but it’s always the same, I can’t seem to find my weapon while my mates and I comes under fire. I wake up in terror and a cold sweat. I find occasionally in social situations I get a similar cold sweat and I panic. I avoid anything army, in particular Anzac Day or anything that reminds me about my service which I find hard as some of my closest friends still serve and I have a respect for it. I’ve found in the past when I bring things up, or relive what I went through on deployment it often leads to me becoming unwell.
The fear of that first psychotic episode is what keeps me in check. I’ve had several further manic episodes and they seem to come when I’m under stress. The most recent one I had was quite severe and I was starting to lose my grip on reality again with delusions and seeing signs in ordinary things. I’d take wild risks in decisions and not consider the consequences. Some of the thoughts I’ve had in these times I won’t mention but could have lead to some dangerous scenarios. I would show signs of violence, bursts of anger, just breaking down emotionally, and generally not be in control of myself. You try to use your brain to figure out how to solve the situation, but the problem is your brain is the part that’s broken. Each time I have an episode, my mind seems to be in a worse state than before. I get headaches, my short term memory deteriorates, and my focus or concentration to stay on a simple task at times seems more confused. People will talk to me and quite often I’m far away. Im still a bit unsure of the cause of what has happened to me. All I know is this – I went to Timor fit and healthy, and didn’t return that way and have never been the same since.
Despite what has happened to me, somewhere deep down is that 19 year old soldier that doesn’t give in. I fight to hold on to who I am, and not let things get to me. Some days I lose though, weather the storm and lock myself away from the world for a day or two, but I carry on.I’ve managed to persevere and live a pretty good life of sorts really. There were long periods where I was healthy and it was here I managed to do really well. With the money I made in Timor, and from the factory I had a deposit to buy a house. I left the factory, studied, travelled, opened a business, got married and started a family. Throughout all this I’ve cycled through mental health problems and states of mania, depression and anxiety. Sometimes I have outbursts of these problems where they’re short lived or blend together.
In 2009 my girlfriend who is now my wife experienced what happens to me when I have a major depressive episode. She didn’t know what to do at first as I became more distant and withdrawn and slowly couldn’t communicate what was happening to me. It got pretty severe quite quickly and I ended up at hospital once again. This time I managed to get some help. I met with some new doctors who were a bit more in touch with young veterans. Since then I’ve been treated by a psychiatrist for Bipolar Disorder. After all this time with him I’ve rarely spoken about my deployment but talking with him has helped me stay on track with my condition. For a long time I was taking Epilem to control my moods, and sleeping medication when necessary to reduce the risk when I go high in mania but I’ve been drug free now for over 18 months and reasonably healthy. I know what the future holds for me though, and what has happened to me is permanent. I think what hurts me the most is putting my family through the process.I owe my life to my family and friends. Without them or an understanding support network, I wouldn’t be here. Strangely, I’ve also found having looked after a dog has helped. It gets me out of the house and my dog’s outlook on life is pretty inspiring. Physical fitness or activities have also really helped when I’ve been depressed. Forcing myself to go out and be with friends. A job that keeps my mind occupied and gives me a purpose. The belief that no matter how deep or dark a depression is, that it will one day eventually pass. A good night sleep and not too much stress to set things off. I’ve found that having a sense of humor has helped me through the years. A Vietnam Vet once said to me that when you’re a digger, if you’re platoon went through a bad situation you would have a laugh along the way, and that’s how you get over things, deal and survive. I think also that none of us fought in Timor on our own.Going on tour to help the East Timorese was one of the defining moments of my life. I haven’t been in contact with anyone I served with for nearly 15 years now and being isolated hasn’t really helped me. For a long time I literally thought I was a minority, mentally weak and just unfortunate for what happened to me. A friend recently sent me a link to the online group for us Timor vets and it’s answered a lot of questions. I hope to answer more and personally with what I went through hope to find peace in knowing that I wasn’t at fault for what I’ve suffered. I also hope to live the rest of my life as mentally healthy as I can, and that one day I can pay back my friends, family and the great people who have helped me.
I thought it might be timely re-introduce Kevin P Miller’s documentary (from 2008) Generation RX. Generation RX documents the epidemic of prescription drug addiction (such as dependence on psych drugs like SSRI’s Paxil etc) and the havoc and damage these drugs cause in people’s lives. Kevin’s new documentary is a follow up to the original, it’s called Letters From Generation RX, and it should be on general release very soon.
“…Looking back years later, I realise that there was depression. That’s something I learned from the film: I didn’t know she took Seroxat as a teenager. I didn’t know about the bulimia either, until towards the end of working with her, when she dropped a massive amount of weight real quick. It’s very easy to look back, it’s very hard to see things all around you at the time…”
Sunday 14 June 2015 08.30 BST Last modified on Monday 15 June 2015 12.04 BST
Nick Shymansky met Amy Winehouse when she was 16, and worked as her manager between 1999 and 2006. Together they released her debut album, Frank, in 2003. He now works as senior A&R manager at Island Records.
How did you become Amy’s manager?
An artist I was looking after, Tyler James, said he knew a girl called Amy Winehouse who’d dropped out of school, and things weren’t happening for her. Looking back on it, I was 19, working in the music industry but I didn’t really know anything. I called her and pretended I was this big manager who could make things happen, giving it all the showbiz talk, and obviously she thought I was a wanker, she made it very clear. She flicked my ego away like it was a pea on my shoulder, and I realised humour was the backup plan, and that’s how we connected. The whole time she was saying she had absolutely no interest in making music. I got this package through the post with a demo tape with two songs on, and the jiffy bag was covered in stickers of hearts and kisses, and it had “Amy” scribbled over it about 100 times. It didn’t fit with the girl who didn’t want to be noticed. I put it on in my car and it blew my mind. As soon as producers heard her they were in. From the off, she was very funny, very blunt. She was different, she used to make a lot of her own clothes. She was a personality.
What was your relationship with her like as a manager?
We connected on music, we used to go to a lot of gigs. I’d feel completely inadequate because I thought I knew my music – I assumed, I’m the guy in music, I’m gonna know more than you – and I learned very quickly that she knew so much more. It was my job to get her from A to B. If I booked in a session and didn’t literally get her out of bed, in the car, drop her off, pick her up, sit in on the session, it just didn’t happen. There were two motivations: one, you had to make it fun. Two, there had to be a strong musical pull. If there was a good studio with loads of instruments, or some musician who could really play, she’d be out the door like a flash. We were young, we were kids, we were figuring it out in our own ways.
What was her songwriting process like? There were two sides to how Amy would write: either playful, tongue-in-cheek, almost concept-based, like I Heard Love is Blind and Fuck Me Pumps, or extremely personal and deep. I remember the first two songs she came up with for Back to Black were two completely opposite styles of her: Addicted, which went “you got me addicted, more than any dick did”, although this was way before any signs of any problems. The first really serious one I heard was Unholy War, where she used this very current phrase that was all over the news, and she’d made it about her own mess and unsolvable problems.
What was Amy like to hang out with?
At times it would be very difficult, but most of the time she’d be so sweet and funny. There are lots of things though which I now look back on and think, shit, that was a sign [of things to come].Once we were out in this really nice hotel in Miami, having the best time, and she came downstairs in a bad, bad mood, and she just kicked a metal chair across the restaurant. She must have felt instantly bad, and said, “I’m in a really bad mood and I don’t know why, I’m just really angry, and it’s not your fault, I’m really sorry.” Looking back years later, I realise that there was depression. That’s something I learned from the film: I didn’t know she took Seroxat as a teenager. I didn’t know about the bulimia either, until towards the end of working with her, when she dropped a massive amount of weight real quick. It’s very easy to look back, it’s very hard to see things all around you at the time.
How did Amy change in later years? I’ve never experienced such a drastic change in a human being. I’d been on holiday in 2005, and when I got back she told me she’d met this guy and fallen in love, and that he was “a right wrong’un, but a good boy”. I walked in and he was there, and that’s when I first met Blake [Fielder-Civil]. And I thought, something’s really wrong. I don’t have any evidence of this, but I feel instinctively that she was doing something heavy, like crack or heroin. It was horrible to see her going from someone so tender and brilliant and warm to being kind of derelict and lost. But at the same time there was something vulnerable about Blake. I get angry when I see him in the film, and I’ve been very angry with him in the past, but at the end of the day he wasn’t a grownup, he was a lost kid who had his own issues.
What happened after that? The next year was just hell, things got very dark – phone calls in the middle of the night, her talking gibberish, “come and get me, I’m in the toilet at the pub”, “what pub”, and the phone would hang up. I’d be driving round Camden at 2am, trying to see where there were lights on in pubs. She knew that I knew something wasn’t right, and around me she was kind of ashamed. I felt really protective. There were glimpses of [the old] her here and there, but she never got back to that place ever again.
Amy will be in UK cinemas from 3 July, following a nationwide preview on 30 June
“A psychiatrist’s report said it would be safe to allow him back to the family home, subject to his being on whatever medication and receiving any psychiatric attention he needed.”
Which psychiatric medication was Micheal Greaney prescribed? What dose? And why was he, or his family, not warned of the dangers?
“They expressed fears that the glass of wine may have reacted with his medication to drastically alter his mood.” (Evening Herald 30/12/2014)
It looks like there had been another murder-suicide in Ireland, and this case, like the many others, in Ireland and world-wide, it seems likely that it’s linked to psychiatric medication. It has been well established that psychiatric medication can cause hostility, aggression, suicidal thoughts and homicidal impulses. These effects are now listed in patient information leaflets, however many people are still in the dark about these dangerous side effects and withdrawal symptoms. I felt these side effects on GSK’s Seroxat drug, an SSRI which is notorious for causing suicide, violence, and sometimes murder/suicides. I wonder was Michael Greaney’s family warned of these side effects, and particularly the dangers of mixing psychiatric meds with alcohol. Irish psychiatrist, Dr David Healy, has been warning of these lethal dangers of psych-drugs for decades, and Irish state pathologist, Declan Gilsenan has also spoken out on what he said were “too many suicides linked to these drugs.” Many other psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, researchers, and in particular (ex) psych service users, have also been calling for wider warnings on psychiatric drugs for years now…
“Dr Gilsenan, who retired last year, says he has seen “too many suicides” among people who had started taking the drugs. In his considered view the evidence was “more than anecdotal” and he now hopes to raise the matter with Kathleen Lynch, minister of
Gardaí have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with an incident in which a man was found dead, his wife stabbed to death and their 21-year-old daughter left critically injured.
The bodies of Michael Greaney (53) and his wife, Valerie (49), were discovered in their house at O’Neill Place in Cobh, Co Cork, and their eldest daughter, Michelle, was lying in the road after fleeing the house.
Mr Greaney had returned to the family home in recent weeks after being discharged from the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin in November.
“He seemed to be in quite good form coming up to Christmas. I think his friend just wanted to wish him well for Christmas over a quick drink,” a former Irish Navy colleague of Mr Greaney’s told the Herald.
They expressed fears that the glass of wine may have reacted with his medication to drastically alter his mood.
Mass Murderers and Psychiatric Drugs
by PHIL on SEPTEMBER 22, 2014323
There’s an interesting article in the current issue of the National Psychologist written by David Kirschner, PhD, a New York psychologist. The National Psychologist is a newspaper-type magazine that publishes articles of general interest to psychologists and others working in this field. Most issues contain a mix of opinion pieces, news, changes in government regulations, etc…
Dr. Kirschner’s article is titled Mass shooters received only limited treatment.
Here are some quotes:
“As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.”
“After each episode of school killings or other mass shootings, such as the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie murders and Tucson, Ariz., killing of six and wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, there is a renewed public outcry for early identification and treatment of youths at risk for violence.
Sadly however, most of the young people who kill had been in ‘treatment,’ prior to the violence, albeit with less than successful results.”
“Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.”
“Prior to the violent event, for which he is currently serving a life without parole sentence, Jeremy [Strolmeyer], an honor student with no history of violence, was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ‘treated’ with nothing more than a bottle of Dexedrine following a brief 20-minute ‘cost-effective’ psychiatric consultation.”
“And so, despite ongoing congressional debates regarding stricter gun control laws vs. improved access to mental health treatment, our concern should be about the quality of mental health care, not just a societal safety net insuring treatment for all children and young adults. Almost all of them are covered by some type of managed care or insurance company, and the issue is not access to preventive treatment. The real problem, in my opinion, is the quality and competence of therapy for potential violent offenders when insurance companies are the gatekeepers.”
Obviously it’s a compelling article, particularly Dr. Kirschner’s assertion that “almost all” 30 young murderers he has worked with had been in some kind of treatment and had been taking psychiatric drugs. Dr. Kirschner’s call for more competent and more intensive therapy makes sense, but as long as the mental health system is dominated by psychiatrists and psychiatric dogma, it is likely that psychiatric drugs will continue to be the essential ingredient of these interventions. And as long as this is the case, all that we can reasonably expect is more of the same.
Dr. Kirschner’s comments are, of course, anecdotal. But there is an ever-growing body of anecdotal information implicating psychiatric drugs in mass killings and suicides. There is a desperate need for a formal study of this matter, but calls for such studies have been routinely ignored and resisted.
In December 2012, a petition on the White House “We the People” website calling for the government to initiate such an investigation was removed without explanation, even though it was well on the way to receiving the requisite number of signatures.
And let us not forget what Patrick B. Kwanashie, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, said on this matter on August 22, 2013 when he was pressed in a freedom of information meeting to release Adam Lanza’s history of psychiatric drug use.
“…you have to advance reasons that you actually do have a real interest in the…medical records. The plaintiff, the complainant have not shown any such interest. The complainant is proposing that they can make generalizations, generalized from one single incident, no matter how the outcome of the use of antidepressants, or the causal link between the use of antidepressants and the kind of violence that took place in Newtown. You just can’t, that’s not a legitimate use of that information. You can’t generalize just from one case. Even if you can conclusively establish that Adam Lanza’s murderous actions were caused by antidepressants, you can’t logically from that conclude that others would commit the same actions as a result of taking antidepressants. So it’s simply not legitimate, and not only is it not the use to which they are proposing to put the information not legitimate, it is harmful, because you can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications, stop cooperating with their treating physicians, just because of the heinousness of what Adam Lanza did. As the material, the FDA material that they submitted show, it would take a lot of studies over a long period of time and among, and within various demographic groups to even begin to establish causal links between antidepressants and aggressive actions or suicidal behavior. And the informed opinion has not quite reached the point to say definitively that there’s a causal link between the use of antidepressants and violent behavior. Having correlations, there are correlations, but to say there are correlations doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is causal. And this is an issue the FDA is still grappling with, and so far it’s been willing to do is ask the drug makers to put warnings on their products and to advise physicians, treating physicians, to follow monitor their patients closely at the beginning of the taking of antidepressants. So it’s a complex issue, and to pretend that you can just, based on this one case, make recommendations as to how people should make judgment choices is a disservice to the public and illustrates why these types of reports should not be made available, because in the wrong hands they can be the source of mischief.” [Emphasis added]
In other words, psychiatric drugs are safe until proven dangerous. And, apparently, the only acceptable evidence is a large scale, randomized, controlled trial. But the only group who has the data and the resources to conduct such a trial is psychiatry-pharma! And meanwhile we should cover up any anecdotal information that might cast the drugs in a bad light – because that might induce people to stop taking them!
Psychiatric drugs are not medications in any meaningful sense of the term. Whatever temporary lift they may give people in the short term, is offset by their adverse effects – particularly their contribution to suicides and murder.
Information on this issue is being spun and suppressed by psychiatrists, and by their moneyed collaborators in pharma. How much longer must this destructive charade continue?
Last updated by Phil at September 21, 2014.
The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Violence
Psychiatric Drugs and Suicide
Mass Murders and Mental Health
Another Mass Shooting: Link to SSRIs?
Opposition to Psychiatric Drugs is Fuelled by Puritanism!
The mainstream media are reporting that Robin Williams had no drugs in his system when he died, but what they mean is no ‘illegal drugs’. He did have two anti-depressant’s in his system, these are legal drugs, and they can often be worse than street drugs because the (side) effects are not as well known by the public. SSRI’s do have a narcotic-like effect, and they can cause all sorts of problems, from inducing self harm, mania, akathisia, suicidal ideation, aggression, homicidal thoughts etc… Anyone on them long-term is asking for trouble…but even short term they can cause all sorts of nasty side effects….
So what were the two anti-depressant’s in his system, what doses were they? And how long was he on them? I think Robin’s family deserve to know the truth about the dangers of anti-depressant’s…
It seems that some news sites are reporting the name of one of the anti-depressant’s – Seroquel-
“When authorities found Robin’s body … they saw a closed bottle of Seroquel, a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and depression. It was prescribed a week before he died.”
What was the other one?
What dose was he on, and how many psychiatric drugs had he been taking over the years?
This news site is reporting, both Seroquel (an A-typical anti-psychotic and mirtazapine (Remeron Zispin)
“In general, some antidepressants, especially SSRIs, can paradoxically exacerbate some peoples’ depression or anxiety or cause suicidal ideation. Despite its sedating action, mirtazapine is also believed to be capable of this, and for this reason in the United States and certain other countries it carries a black box label warning of these potential effects.”
There is an emerging controversy regarding quetiapine fatalities. The deaths of at least six U.S. military veterans who were given drug cocktails including quetiapine have been attributed to its inclusion by military doctors to treat PTSD. Approximately 10,000 lawsuits against AstraZeneca for problems ranging from slurred speech and chronic insomnia to death have been filed by individuals from civilian populations.
Some have argued that additional somatic and psychiatric symptoms associated with dopaminergic super-sensitivity, including dyskinesia and acute psychosis, are common features of withdrawal in individuals treated with neuroleptics. This has led some to suggest that the withdrawal process might itself be psychosis-mimetic, producing psychotic-like symptoms even in previously healthy patients, indicating a possible pharmacological origin of mental illness in a yet unknown percentage of patients currently and previously treated with antipsychotics. This question is unresolved, and remains a highly controversial issue among professionals in the medical and mental health communities, as well the public.
Tonight’s Emmy Awards will feature a tribute to iconic comedian and actor Robin Williams, who recently committed suicide after a lifelong battle with depression.
Like Williams, actor Ben Stein told CBN News he also struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide.
It’s unclear whether Williams took anti-depressants. But Stein said those drugs played a dangerous role in his personal battle with depression. He said the closest he came to actually taking his own life were the times he was taking anti-depressants.
“The absolute worst I’ve ever felt in my entire life was under the influence of two drugs called Thorazine and Mellaril,” he said. “That was a long, long time ago, when they were supposed to make you feel better and yet, suicidal thoughts – they had the exact opposite effect and I really came close to death,” Stein told CBN Health and Science reporter Lorie Johnson.
“And then within the last several years, a drug called Wellbutrin, which is a well-known anti-depressant was prescribed to me and it actually worked quite well for about two weeks. And then I felt an overwhelming compulsion to commit suicide and I stopped taking it and it went away,” Stein said.
Stein said he has kept his depression and thoughts of suicide at bay through prayer, rest, and fresh air, and getting in a 12-step program.
“Unless there’s some gigantic breakthrough I’m unaware of, I would never think of touching anti-depressants again. That being said, if they work for other people, God bless ’em,” Stein said.