Antidepressants and school shootings

David Healy, author of Pharmageddon, psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist, writes:

In the case of violence, the published trials show antidepressants cause it, at a greater rate than alcohol, cannabis, cocaine or speed would be linked to violence if put through the same trial protocols that brought the antidepressants on the market.
And there is at least one clear and well-known factor, just like autopsy rates that can account for the findings – young men. Violence is linked to young men, and episodes of lethal violence are falling in all countries where the numbers of young men are declining.

Antidepressants and School Shootings

School shootings were almost unheard of before the SSRIs appeared on the scene. Correlation is not causation but in between this and the next blog post I will be laying out the evidence that antidepressants cause violence up to and including homicide at two lectures in Chicago – including the evidence that real life antidepressants as opposed to Ablixa can in fact cause sleep walking and murder. A video of the lecture will be posted on as soon as possible afterwards.

Hat tip: Bruce Charlton.


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William Bjornson, Aloha, Oregon says February 14, 2013

A long time ago, I was given Diazepam as a muscle relaxant. About the fifth day in, I was driving in Chicago about 2 am and a CTA bus cut me off. I pulled the bus over and proceeded to attack the bus, climbing up the front pounding on the windshield trying to get to the driver, completely insane with rage. It finally passed and I got back in my car and drove away. Albeit my name is the Norweigian root for ‘berserker’ and I am an exMarine, I had never experienced such a thing previously. It was interesting from an experiential point of view but the side effects list, as I subsequently discovered, includes RAGE. As I recall, Travis, the pubescent male Chimp who ripped the lady’s face off was earlier given Xanax.

I, too, have wondered how many ‘violent offenders’ sitting in our prisons today are victims of Big Pharma with, apparently, no one calling attention to this issue. I look forward to your video.

Anonymous says February 17, 2013

As someone who thinks both the positive and negative effects of SSRIs are greatly overhyped I find the idea that SSRIs cause extreme violence pretty unlikely.

However, low serotonin levels are linked to mood swings, and I guess it’s possible that if someone failed to follow their doctor’s instructions and suddenly stopped taking a high dose of an SSRI they could suffer extreme mood swings.

Even when taken properly drugs can only do so much to control people’s behaviour and when not taken properly they can make things worse.

These are two good reasons why I thin more mentally ill people should be put into sheltered employment, mental hospitals etc where they can be closely monitored.

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