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Re: Drug-related Violence

Posted by andrew on May 29, 2000, at 16:44:54

In reply to Re: Drug-related Violence , posted by Cam W. on May 29, 2000, at 6:55:11

>>>(Cam wrote:)The reason for these suicides while taking Prozac was that the Prozac was relieving the depressive symptoms in these people who committed suicide. These people already had suicidal ideation and the Prozac had given them more energy to act upon their impulses.

Cam, that is my point exactly. I was not talking about stigma, or really about the definition of mental illness as relates to propensity for violence, which is a neccessary consideration in reviewing these studies. For example, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of New York was arrested, tried and convicted for terrorizing his mistress. At trial, he was deemed competent. In the prison system, he was housed in a psych hospital and treated as a mentally ill person. His own assessment, if I correctly recall and interpret his autobiographical book, was that he had intellectually matured, sufficient to become a Chief Justice, but that he had failed to mature emotionally. Was he criminal, mentally ill, immature or all three?

Perhaps stigma should be considered as a factor in Harris' case - if he had not been stigmatized, if that is what happened when he was disqualified for military service because of the medications he took, he might have been among the small percentage of military personnel who are actually cabable of close-quarter killing in combat. (Read Lt. Col. (retired) David Grossman's On Killing). Are we talking about a choice between Mia Lai or Columbine?

At some point we need to consider both the pervasive aggression and social stratification at public schools, which seemed to be as prejudicial to Harris as are stairs to a person in a wheel chair, and the pervasive glorification of lethal ideation in the military that seemed to play a role in the actions of Calley in Vietnam and perhaps McVeigh in OKC. Therein lies the risk of painting all these things into the "chemical imbalance, brain disease" corner - we collectively absolve ourselves from considering how persistantly we might be knocking people off balance. Blaming the imbalance on "biology" and ignoring sociological, contextual influence seems to be yet another way of stigmatizing people.

I was talking about the role of SSRIs in mass shooting, more or less from a public safety standpoint. I must not understand your reply, I doubt if you meant it this way - perhaps you inadvertantly implied that some people are as well off dead as depressed, or that the possible risk of death while being treated for depression is worth the possible result of being happy. Maybe you were just saying it happens that way without offering a value judgment.

>>>>Cam wrote: So, yes, I guess you could say that it was the Prozac that caused their death by relieving their depression. I guess if these people were never treated, and were depressed for the rest of their lives, they wouldn't have committed suicide.

While I would say choose life, even if it is a dark life, we are talking about both suicide and homicide. The point you make is exactly the one I make - that the drugs facilitate mutation of the abnormality, or illness, or whatever word your social set agrees to use. The resulting hypermania, or the abundance of reinforcing neurochemicals (5HT) seems in some cases to lead to homicidal behavior, especially among people who previously had homicidal ideation.

My social set is definatly not Scientology and my concern over the effect of legal drugs is not informed by Scientology literature. Nor is my consideration limited to peer-reviewed academic studies.

>>>Cam wrote: Drug companies have backed up their drugs in court, most notably Eli Lilly in the early 1990s.

Again, that is my point. We tend to jump from considering medical processes to legal processes. If you want to assess the legal process that established the definition of safety for these drugs, consult someone familiar with the legal system. In the Standard Gravieur case, which set the precedent for other cases involving a drug-makers liability for the risks you recognize (above) Eli Lilly paid the plaintiff to not introduce evidence of their incomplete human testing, specifically the phase of testing that would have revealed the problems you cite (above) and also paid the plaintiff not to introduce evidence of Eli Lillies previous criminal convictions in cases involving falsified testing reports.

Power to Harm is not alarmist Scientology rhetoric. It is a studious review of legal processes whereby Eli Lilly "backed up their drugs in court". Killers are sometimes acquited in court. If Eli Lilly were as concerned about informing the public of the contraindications and risks of their medicines as they were about absolving themselves of liability, we might have a better handle on how usefull their drugs may or may not be.




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