Loose Screws Mental Health News

An article in the NYTimes addresses the issue of diagnosing mental health in developing countries. A startling fact:

Depression and anxiety have long been seen as Western afflictions, diseases of the affluent. But new studies find that they are just as common in poor countries, with rates up to 20 percent in a given year.

emoIn India, as in much of the developing world, depression and anxiety are rarely diagnosed or treated. With a population of more than one billion, India has fewer than 4,000 psychiatrists, one-tenth the United States total. Because most psychiatrists are clustered in a few urban areas, the problem is much worse elsewhere.

Looks like depression is really more than just a whiny rich American kid who chooses to be upset because he’s got nothing better to do. That’s “emo” for those who aren’t hip-to-the-jive. πŸ˜‰


On The Elite Agenda, Dr. Fred Baughman mentions Swedish writer Janne Larson who asserts that “over 80 percent of persons killing themselves were treated with psychiatric drugs.” Thank God for FOIA that provides the docs to back this up:

According to data received via a Freedom of Information Act request, more than 80 percent of the 367 suicides had been receiving psychiatric medications. More than half of these were receiving antidepressants, while more than 60 percent were receiving either antidepressants or antipsychotics. There is no mention of this either in the NBHW paper or in major Swedish media reports about the health care suicides.

I guess Sweden isn’t the only country in the world that wants to sweep unfavorable mental health coverage under the rug. By the way, Sweden also is considered to be the seventh happiest country in the world.

While the FDA has recognized that antidepressants can cause an increase in suicidal behavior (as indicated by the “black box warning”), antipsychotics seem to have fallen under the radar. In fact in 2002, Clozaril was approved to combat suicidal behavior in schizophrenic patients. Since then, research has shown that antipsychotics can increase suicidal behavior in schizophrenic patients twenty-fold.

Akathisia – a serious side effect that has occurred for nearly all psych drugs in clinical trials – has been found to be linked to suicidal behavior with not only antidepressants but also in conjunction with antipsychotics.

Finally, Baughman closes with this:

It is important to note that nearly every school shooting that has happened in the United States over the last decade has been conducted by young males who were taking antidepressant drugs. The drugs not only cause suicidal behavior, they also seem to promote extreme violence towards other individuals. In most school shooting cases, the young men committing the violence also committed suicide after killing classmates and teachers. These are classic signs of antidepressant use.

I don’t know if that’s wholly true but it’s a trend I’ve seen with Cho, Kazmierczak, and Eric Harris of Columbine. Since 1996, there have been 55 major school shootings all around the world; 43 of them occurred in the U.S. Makes you wonder how many of these gunmen were on a psychotropic drug – prescribed or not – of some kind.

(Image from Style Hair Magazine)

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6 Comments

  1. Gianna said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:13 am

    That article about India has big pharma slimed all over it…great new market for anti-depressants. And it’ll be lay people doling them out…it’s a nightmare waiting to happen.

  2. Gianna said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:17 am

    The Wellcome Trust is a United Kingdom-based charity established in 1936 to administer the fortune of the American-born pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome.
    That’s from Wikipedia and Wellcome Trust is backing the work done in India…suspicious yet?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellcome_Trust

  3. Prester John said,

    March 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

    It always surprises me to learn that the public is shocked to learn that many, if not most, of the people who commit suicide are or were taking antidepressants. Who commits suicide? Depressed people (usually). Who takes antidepressants? The lucky or rich depressed people. To me it’s like 1 + 1 = 2.
    The stats on antipsychotics and schizophrenics is disconcerting, especially to a paranoid (but not psychotic) guy like me. Makes me wonder if the drug companies and the government are colluding to do away with these “burdens on the system”. I don’t believe that is the case, but then again. Oh, annd I have no idea what twenty-fold means. Twenty percent, times twenty, to the twentieth power? I clicked over but don’t have time right now to try and figure the site out.
    Another excellent post.

  4. March 13, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Gianna,
    It looks like the extent of the Wellcome Trust’s recent work in the mental health community is funding research for CBT. But it does sound like the organization will become involved with pharmaceutical companies again.
    John,
    From the abstract results: “The suicide rate in schizophrenia between 1875 and 1924 was 20 per 100 000 hospital years, a lifetime rate of less than 0.5%. The suicide rate for all psychoses was 16 per 100 000 hospital years. Current rates of suicide for schizophrenia and other psychoses appear 20-fold higher.”
    The 20-fold higher – if I’m correct – means that the CURRENT suicide rate is 20 times higher than the suicide rate during the 49-year span of 1875-1924. Hope that answers your question.

  5. Gianna said,

    March 13, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Marissa,
    by the way—it’s wonderful to have you back!!!
    I’ve missed you.

  6. March 13, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Prior to being diagnosed with bipolar in December 2006 (After changing psychiatrists) antidepressants were doled out to me one brand after the other. It wasn’t until I began seeing a new doctor that he realised they were adding to the problem not solving it. On antidepressants I had more psychotic thoughts, my mood swings became increasingly violent, and they triggered rapid cycling. Antidepressants have helped a lot of people, but they can have adverse effects on many.
    Best Wishes,
    Zathyn


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