SSRI Stories

I’ve had the link to SSRI Stories in my blogroll from day one.

It’s building into a fantastic resource and a damning body of evidence against SSRIs and SNRIs.

If you’ve never looked at SSRI Stories, then go over there now:

This website is a collection of 2800+ news stories with the full media article available, mainly criminal in nature, that have appeared in the media (newspapers, TV, scientific journals)  or that were part of FDA testimony in either 1991, 2004 or 2006, in which antidepressants are mentioned.

Antidepressants have been recognized as potential inducers of mania and psychosis since their introduction in the 1950s.  Klein and Fink described psychosis as an adverse effect of the older tricyclic antidepressant imipramine. Since the introduction of Prozac in December, 1987, there has been a massive increase in the number of people taking antidepressants. Preda and Bowers reported that over 200,000 people a year enter a hospital with antidepressant-associated mania and/or psychosis. The subsequent harm from this prescribing can be seen in these 2800+ stories.

This web site focuses on the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac was the first.  Other SSRIs are Zoloft, Paxil  (Seroxat), Celexa, Sarafem (Prozac in a pink pill), Lexapro, and Luvox.  Other newer antidepressants included in this list are Remeron, Anafranil and the SNRIs Effexor, Serzone and Cymbalta as well as the dopamine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant Wellbutrin (also marketed as Zyban).

14 Responses to “SSRI Stories”

  1. Rosie M. Says:

    I appreciate that you have had http://www.SSRIstories.com on your blogroll from day one.

    We are trying to get the word out to the general public.

    Rosie M.: SSRI Stories: Moderator

  2. Joseph Says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing you fresh ideas about SSRI antidepressant drugs. I have learned a lot. Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers.

  3. ron Says:

    when will they ban these drugs,what more can the press do then rhey are doing allready, meaning everybody sane must be convinced enough by now that this ssri range of pills are bad as hell.

  4. steve Says:

    I have been aware of the problems with SSRIs for a few years now and it is to the point where I can hear a news story and accurately predict when SSRIs had to be involved. I believe these drugs are a true scurge on society and the violence that is a direct result of them is a horrific crime.

  5. Jake Says:

    I’ve taken SSRI’s to deal with the onset of severe depression that began since I stopped smoking weed. In fact, I just took 2700g of effexor and drank a mickey of rum. I love to go on 5 day benders w/o sleep and forgetting the things that I do.

    WTF is wrong with that?

  6. Know The Information About Panic Attacks | Healthcare Information Says:

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  7. Annie Says:

    The poorly designed SSRI Stories is also poorly written and doesn’t consider any of the following:

    1) Sometimes people do crazy, stupid stuff. Dangerous stuff. Horrible stuff. A glance through newspapers pre-SSRI and pre-antidepressant will show that. Just because someone happens to be on an SSRI doesn’t mean that’s the reason they did something bad or wrong.

    2) As noted above, people do bad stuff. SSRI doesn’t even bother to factor in similar crimes in which antidepressants are NOT cited as a factor. A fair look at whether or not SSRIs are causing more crime and problems would be to observe and count ALL types of the stories collected in SSRI stories, make a subset of the ones linked to SSRIs and then see if the percentage of linked stories is bigger than the percentage of the population on SSRIs. (Random example for which I have done NO research: if fifteen percent of people are on SSRIs and twenty percent of all murders are done while on SSRIs, one could conclude that there is a slightly elevated risk while on an SSRI.)

    3) The site overlooks the fact that people are, generally, on SSRIs for a reason — they have mental health issues. A quick look at any prison will show that there is a higher percentage of people with mental health issues within the prison system than there is in the general public. People with mental health problems can be unstable. Sometimes an SSRI might make that worse, sometimes an SSRI might not work at all. And if you suffer from mental health problems, getting put on a medication and not seeing an improvement can cause a decline because you start to think that nothing will ever help and you’ll be this way forever — a sort of reverse placebo effect.

    YES there needs to be reform in the mental health system and in the prescription of mental health drugs. There needs to be closer supervision of patients and better screening processes to ensure that the drugs are needed.

    But NO, correlation does not imply causality. SSRI Stories is jumping to conclusions and doing more harm than good. If it truly believes and wants to show that SSRIs are a problem to society, it needs to use better sociological and statistical methods of research to come up with conclusive findings.

  8. Rosie Says:

    Annie,

    You forget that people who are depressed have always been notoriously known as non-violent. Do a little research, o.k.

    What you propose is interesting, comparing the number of murders with those on SSRIs as to those not on SSRIs, but this would be a little difficult to do since only one person is involved in maintaining SSRI Stories and this is a full time job in itself.

    This is what a peer reviewed Journal Article had to say about SSRI Stories:

    In the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Volume 14: number 1: Spring 2009, there is an article by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., [Professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.] which is titled: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibior [SSRI] Drugs: More Risk Than Benefits?”

    In regard to SSRI Stories, Dr. Kaufmann made the following statement: “Since no clinical trial involving multiple homicides is ever likely to be run, no firmer evidence is likely to be found. Healy noted that much of the evidence for suicide and murder came from the efforts of journalists and lawyers”.

    To read the full article go to:

    http://www.jpands.org/vol14no1/kauffman.pdf

  9. Rosie Says:

    Annie,

    On SSRI Stories, the drugs are changing the known ratio of men to women who are committing completed murder-suicides.

    I started with 189 completed murder-suicides – 55 by women and 134 by men appearing on SSRI Stories. In order to compare these numbers, I must scale them to account for the fact that women are two and one-half times more likely in the general population to be taking an antidepressant.

    So I took the number 55 [women an antidepressants] and scaled it to account for this additional two and one-half times [more women an antidepressants] and came up with the number 22. Thus, after the scaling, I ended up with 22 women and 134 men for a total of 156. Looking at 22 women out of 156 people, I get 14.1 percent. But I would have expected, in the general population, to have only 5 percent [ because I have already scaled ] of women committing these completed murder -suicides. The 5% figure comes from a study of the year 2007 [ six months of records nationwide for completed murder-suicides]. http://www.tcfv.org/tcfv-content/new-study-on-murder-suicide-cases/

    Thus, I have concluded that women are almost three times as likely [14.1% vs. 5%] to commit a completed murder-suicide using the SSRIs as are men.

    If anyone is interested in finding out if the rate of murder-suicides by men is also rising, this would be an excellent idea. I think SSRIs are effecting men and woman equally so, if women are committing more completed murder-suicides while on SSRIs, then, it follows as the night the day, that men must also be doing the same.

    • Annie Says:

      Rosie,

      You make the assumption that depressed people are non-violent and that SSRIs are only being given to depressed people. First, depression and anger are inextricably linked. Anger can (not always, CAN) lead to violence. You don’t cite any studies or even anecdotal evidence to suggest that depressives are non-violent. I come from a long line of depressives — many of which have gone untreated and ended in suicide. While some depressives lay in bed all day and can’t bear to go on, many manifest themselves as abusive towards spouse and children, alcoholics, or worse yet, suicide. The intense hatred of oneself and one’s life to the point of being willing to murder oneself is inherently violent. And suicides have been happening since the dawn of time — they are not a new addition to society since SSRIs.

      Also, SSRIs are no longer being prescribed simply for depression, but for other things such as social anxiety and bipolar disorder. At the very least, sufferers of bipolar disorder can be violent, especially while in an extremely manic or mixed state.

      So to assume that people who wouldn’t have been violent are now driven to violence because of an SSRI is again linking correlation to causality.

      “What you propose is interesting, comparing the number of murders with those on SSRIs as to those not on SSRIs, but this would be a little difficult to do since only one person is involved in maintaining SSRI Stories and this is a full time job in itself.”

      So because it is a difficult task, it should be continued to be done incorrectly and spread possibly false information regarding mental health?

      Finally, yes, that is some good math down there at the end, and does seem damning. I fully agree. However, no other factors are taken into account, such as comparing the rate of all women committing murder suicides vs. all depressed women (untreated) committing murder suicides vs. all depressed women (on an SSRI) committing murder suicides. And that’s just a cursory comparison that would need to be done, let alone considering things like economic class, whether or not the medication was properly prescribed (using the correct protocol and/or by a psychiatrist rather than a GP), whether or not the woman felt that the SSRI was working (a non-responsive medication can make things worse because a patient feels hopeless), etc. I do not know how the results would skew then, do you?

      I understand that the task of assembling all these bits and bobbins of information (many of which would be impossible to maintain) into a cohesive look at SSRIs would be a massive task. However, I just don’t think that assembling a random and incomplete collection of stories related to SSRIs and violence does anything except promote bad science and misinformation, especially given the lack of context. Even the name is misleading — SSRI stories — suggesting that it is, in fact, stories about SSRI use. But instead it’s nothing but grim news in which SSRI use is linked to horrible things people do without any fair and balanced coverage. SSRI Scare Tactics would be a more fitting name.

      • Annie Says:

        In my last paragraph, I meant to say “Obtain.” As in, “(Many of which would be impossible to obtain.)”

        Whew. Morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. A shame, since it’s already afternoon.

  10. Rosie Says:

    Annie,
    I don’t have time to aruge but it is true that historically depressed people were not prone to violence. Perhaps you could do the research on this.

    And, yes, others are receiving the SSRIs for indications other than depression – a 15 year old girl was given Zoloft for warts and killed herself, for example.

    As for the violence, here is what the Japanese Health Ministry [the equivalent of our FDA] had to say about SSRIs.

    http://www.ssristories.com/show.php?item=3356

    First two paragraphs read: “‘Is the antidepressant I’m taking safe?’ I am hearing this question from my patients more and more. The reason? The media has recently reported that among antidepressant users, some develop increased feelings of hostility or anxiety, and have even committed sudden acts of violence against others.”

    “The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has investigated the side-effects of antidepressants and has decided to revise the warnings on the medication, stating, ‘There are cases where we cannot rule out a causal relationship with the medication’.”

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20090521p2a00m0na011000c.html

    No need to fear antidepressants if patients, doctors team up on diagnosis, treatment
    Rika Kayama

  11. clarissa Says:

    People are NOT always given these meds for depression. Social anxiety disorder, insomnia, IBS, shaking leg syndrome, hot flashes/menapause, addiction, fibromyalgia…you name it! Stressed over exams? Dog got run over and you’re sad? Shy at parties? Pharm have the SOLUTION. But the minute any of these normally benign people taking these pills harm themselves/or others – everyone says “they were obviously disturbed because they were on pills”. Annie wants to scrutinize “random, unsubstantiated information”. Perhaps people should hold pfizer, and the FDA, to the same high criteria. Why do they now have to list black box warnings to report to your doctor any thoughts of suicidal ideation and mania—because incidence of these things go up, and they know it. They didn’t get that black box warning (especially coming up against MAJOR opposition from pharma lobbyists), without plenty of scientific data supporting the claim. I am just SO tired of people saying that anti-depressant opponents are the uninformed ones. Please read the PLoS site (of actual scientists and doctors NOT being ‘sponsored’ by the druggies.

    No such thing as a chemical imbalance:

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392

    Ineffectiveness of SSRIs (no better than sugar pills):

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045

  12. SW Says:

    Annie, I will state here that you leave me with the impression that you are a PR for Big Pharma. Nothing you say makes sense but is written in a way that tries to convey some knowledge of the subject, clearly to obfuscate the real issue. You only have to read the testimonies of people who survived and after coming off the drugs realise that they did crazy things whilst on the drugs to know that this happens over and over again. There is a big industry that thrives on the whole mental health fiction that you have bought into and express above, and since no one genuinely concerned about people’s well being would do so, I can safely presume it is because you are part of that industry.


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