Virginia Tech massacre, crimes of violence, drugs and SSRI anti-depressants
Just last week I was telling my wife that, after having heard hundreds
of violent crime stories from victims and their families over the years, it was my conclusion that in the vast majority of cases, the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, or prescription drugs, and that without this influence, the violent crime probably would not have taken place.
Today I’ve had a chance to finally catch up on some of the news regarding the Virginia Tech massacre. I’ve looked through quite a few of the articles, and nowhere was it mentioned that Cho Seung-Hui was on an anti-depressant medication. My bet, however, was that he was on an SSRI (e.g., Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, etc…
SSRI’s are given out like breath fresheners in this country; sometimes it seems as if every patient I see is on one. Unfortunately, most physicians don’t realize how radically these drugs can alter someone’s brain to transform personality and thought.
To me, it is remarkable that many of the mass killers in this country were on an SSRI at the time of the massacres (Columbine included) as noted in this article, and it would not be surprising if it’s eventually revealed that Cho Seung-Hui was on one too.
The public (and the many physicians who liberally prescribe SSRIs) needs to be better informed of their consequences- not only for homicide, but also suicide. Their marked potential for heightening aggression and triggering violence (both against others and self) is clearly well documented. [Reference 1] To quote the article’s abstract:
Evidence from many sources confirms that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRIs) commonly cause or exacerbate a wide range of abnormal mental and behavioral conditions. These adverse drug reactions include the following overlapping clinical phenomena: a stimulant profile that ranges from mild agitation to manic psychosis, agitated depression, obsessive preoccupations that are alien or uncharacteristic of the individual, and akathisia. Each of these reactions can worsen the individual’s mental condition and can result in suicidality, violence, and other forms of extreme abnormal behavior. Evidence for these reactions is found in clinical reports, controlled clinical trials, and epidemiological studies in children and adults.
This is the information drug companies don’t want you (or your physician) to know about. Not when $8 billion/year is at stake.
Let’s just hope the guys who have their fingers on the Big Red Button aren’t on these meds….
[Reference 1]: Ethical Human Sciences, Journal of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psycholoy. Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY, USA.