Guns weren’t the only weapons involved in many of our nation’s mass shootings over the last two decades.
After the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last December, President Obama signed 23 executive orders relating to guns and gun violence in this country. Of those 23, seven were specifically related to mental health issues. One of the orders directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify and research the most pressing topics related to the causes of gun violence.
The CDC asked an Institute of Medicine committee to set the agenda for this research, which was just released last week:
“The committee’s proposed research agenda focuses on the characteristics of firearm violence, risk and protective factors, interventions and strategies, the impact of gun safety technology, and the influence of video games and other media.”
How ironic that it’s called the ‘Institute of Medicine’ and yet, the organization is going to completely ignore the obvious role that psychotropic medicines such as antidepressants have had in many of the mass shootings in this country in the last twenty years. In fact, medications are not mentioned even once in the entire four-page research agenda.
Many doctors have come forward to point out the link between antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and violent behavior, suicide and homicide:
Over five percent of American adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 take antidepressants, and over 60 percent take them for at least two years or more. So many of our nation’s kids are growing up on these mind-altering drugs, the Wall Street Journal even referred to them as “The Medication Generation“.
Back in 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the required “black box warning” on all prescription antidepressants “to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment.”
The FDA labeling revisions state:
“Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.”
A black box warning is the strictest warning the FDA can put on prescription medications — medications that perhaps the FDA should just consider banning instead?
Is it really so far off the mark to assume that, if a medication can cause one emotional extreme (irrational self-harm), it can cause the other extreme (irrational violence towards others)? Of the top ten prescription medications that are reported to cause violent behavior, five of them — half — are antidepressants.
The website SSRI stories lists numerous school shootings carried out all over the word by a people (mostly teens) who were either taking an antidepressant medication or in the process of withdrawing from one. The site lists a whopping 67 incidents of school shootings, school violence or school violence plots linked to psychotropic meds.
A Canadian judge even ruled that SSRIs can cause children to kill.
All this blatant evidence and a directive to study mass gun violence that came following a school shooting, and yet, the CDC is going to focus on violent video games and pretty much every other factor except for antipsychotic medications even though the CDC itself just came out with a new report that 1/5 of American children have a mental illness. Mental illnesses are typically treated with antipsychotic medications in this country.
Of course, in reading Obama’s initial executive order plan, one of the main goals is to “Reach 750,000 young people through programs to identify mental illness early and refer them to treatment.” Again, the typical treatment for mental illness in this country involves antipsychotic medications.
Kinda makes the whole guise of it being real ‘research’ a total joke.