How can the ‘great and the good’ of Irish psychiatry get it so wrong…

In a letter to the Irish Times, the ‘great and the good’ [my irony] of Irish psychiatry wade in to the Shane Clancy case (detail here) to sort out a few misunderstandings for us mere mortals (and Dr Michael Corry) who they think know nothing…

“…A controversial statement has been made … namely that antidepressants cause homicide, which we wish to rebut…”

“…There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that antidepressants cause homicide…”

“…the erroneous belief that antidepressants induce aggression and homicide…”

“…those with severe depressive illness, who need antidepressants for continuing wellbeing…”


Pretty black and white then, or so they would have us believe. However in reality it’s not so clear cut… There is much evidence (anecdotal and trial and pharmacovigilance data) that to points to a link between antidepressants and violence.

For instance I wonder if any of these very impressive Irish professors have read the paper Antidepressants and Violence: Problems at the Interface of Medicine and Law.

Published on September 12, 2006, this study by David Healy, Andrew Herxheimer and David B. Menkes deals with an issue that cannot be ignored. So many people take Seroxat and find it starts to give them unexplained violent and aggressive episodes.

“Recent regulatory warnings about adverse behavioural effects of antidepressants in susceptible individuals have raised the profile of these issues with clinicians, patients, and the public. We review available clinical trial data on paroxetine and sertraline and pharmacovigilance studies of paroxetine and fluoxetine, and outline a series of medico-legal cases involving antidepressants and violence.

Both clinical trial and pharmacovigilance data point to possible links between these drugs and violent behaviours. The legal cases outlined returned a variety of verdicts that may in part have stemmed from different judicial processes. Many jurisdictions appear not to have considered the possibility that a prescription drug may induce violence.

The association of antidepressant treatment with aggression and violence reported here calls for more clinical trial and epidemiological data to be made available and for good clinical descriptions of the adverse outcomes of treatment”.

The link to the paper is here and I suggest you scroll down to the end and read the 9 cases listed in the annex.

Also I wonder if any of my Irish ‘friends’ have ever seen this website – SSRI stories.

I guess my take on this is one of disbelief – how can these Irish psychiatrists not know enough to admit there may be a problem here and it needs more careful investigation – at the very least? A very reasonable and sensible point of view, I would have thought.

But no – the Irish Professors have told us they are right and everyone else is wrong… happily in the UK there are less and less of this kind of medical dinosaur in practice – shame about Ireland though.

And shame on this list of Doctors who want to stifle free speech and modern thinking.


[And the cynics amongst us would ask for each and everyone of the above named to list their earnings from Pharmaceutical companies in the past 10 years… just to be sure there could be no possible conflict of interest in their views.]


4 Responses to “How can the ‘great and the good’ of Irish psychiatry get it so wrong…”

  1. not a scientologist! Says:

    Irish psychiatrists are no different than all the others. If you know about psychiatry and it’s twisted love affair with the pharmaceutical industry (and the cash, fake prestige and glory it provides them with) , all this comes as no surprise. But, the difference here is, the agendas are so blatantly obvious! For those whom cannot be bothered to state the obious, I guess I will have to .

    The psychiatrists you have mentioned are all well known “pharma-whores” . They defend these drugs because the pharmaceutical companies who make these drugs provide bursaries , sponsorship and research grants for them. The pharmaceutical industry keeps them in the lifestyle and deluded notion of importance that these psychiatrists crave more than anything. You only have to flick through the pages of any psychiatry related media in Ireland to see the massive ammount of pharmaceutical sponsorship, the whole profession of psychiatry in Ireland is awash with pharmaceutical cash. Of course conflicts of interest and bias arises with such an situation, but the shocking thing here is, they are blatantly trying to suppress and twist the truth about these drugs, and in doing so, they are choosing to burn their colleague (the good) Dr Michael Corry at the stake. Why? Because he is interfering in their business interests, he’s bursting the bubble, he’s sticking a grenade under their nice little psychiatric/pharmaceutical alliance in Ireland. How dare he? Who does he think he is? Ruining their nice little set up, a set up where they feel so very important, omnipotent, validated, in control, and of course – rich.

    Unfortunately, Shance Clancy had to go on a murder/suicide rampage and blow they whole thing up in the Irish media, Michael Corry choose to speak of the truth , which he always does, but the pharma-psychs didn’t like that very much, they prescribe these drugs, they promote them, they advocate for their use and there goes Michael Corry trying to wreck it all with his opinions!

    “How dare he”
    Burn him at the stake” – cry the upset psychiatrists, “throw him to the dogs” -they scream, discredit him, bully him, stamp all over his career until there is nothing left!, fuck dead patients!, fuck the truth and SSRI induced-murder-suicidal rampages! Fuck all of it! We want prestige!, we want to feel important, we have the illusion of psychiatry to perpetuate , we studied this bullshit for years, we bought the ideology and we got the all expenses paid trips from Lundbeck pharmaceuticals. we need money, money, money, money. Don’t take away our money, god forbid, anything but that!.

    If anyone is interested, try googling the names of these “doctors” and couple that with the name of a pharmaceutical company. It’s amazing how inextricably linked these psychiatrists are to the pharmaceutical industry, you would have to wonder with all the time spent pharma-whoring, how do they ever get round to drugging and ECT’ing the heads off their patients! Maybe they do that in their leisure time, for kicks and for fun?

  2. Dorothee Krien Says:

    I checked the Pubmed archive and found that neither Healy’s nor Breggin’s nor Kauffman’s review studies are listed although all three had been published in peer-reviewed journals.
    Suicidality, violence and mania cause by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis

    In the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 14, Number 1, Spring 2009, there is a article by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., which is titled: Selecjournal tive Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Drugs: More Risk Than Benefits?”
    In reference to, 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”.

    In view of the known dangers of SSRIs it would be unethical to run studies and watch how many participants kill themselves or how many get murdered but perhaps the eight well-known Irish psychiatrists would be willing to volunteer and get other psychiatrists to join them for a double-blind trial. If they really believe that SSRIs are so safe, a unique chance to prove it shouldn’t be missed.
    No sarcasm intended.

  3. shaun Says:

    it was an irish psychiatrist who put me on seroxat 30 mg in 2001 and im still on them now (way to go)

  4. truthman30 Says:

    One of the “great and the good” of Irish psychiatry, Patricia Casey, has just paid out 500,000 to an Irish child born with birth defects from anti-depressants . Casey was treating the mother for anxiety and depression. Of course “no liability” was admitted on Caseys part… (but then again they never do admit anything do they?)

    For more on this story (which is exploding alll over the Irish media in Ireland right now) : check out these links –

    High Court approves disability settlement
    Tuesday, 9 February 2010
    The High Court has approved a settlement of €500,000 to an eight-year-old girl who was born with disabilities allegedly caused by prescription drugs taken by her mother while she was pregnant.

    Rebecca McGillin took the action against consultant psychiatrist Patricia Casey and obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Mary Holohan, through her father Barry.

    It was alleged that Rebecca suffered injuries as a result of the negligent treatment of her mother, Lisa Glynn-McGillin by the doctors.

    AdvertisementMs Glynn-McGillin claims she would have come off the two drugs she was on if she had been advised there were risks to the foetus.

    She was taking Epilim, an anti-epileptic drug used as a mood stabiliser, and Lithium.

    Rebecca was born in 2001 with a deformed hand and other disabilities consistent with sodium valproate syndrome.

    Both doctors denied all the claims and the settlement was made without admission of liability.

    Ms Glynn-McGillin also received an undisclosed settlement.

    Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he had looked through the medical reports and believed the settlement was a good one.

    He said the legal process was never certain and there must be great comfort in closing off the risks involved.

    He said Rebecca was very lucky to have two such good parents who had devoted themselves to ensuring she had progressed as well as she had.

    Outside the court, Ms Glynn-McGillin said she was delighted for her daughter and delighted it had been said in court that she, as her mother, was not to blame for what happened.

    She said it was not about the money, but it would help to secure the future for her ‘sweet, lovely, bright, caring and pretty’ little girl.

    Doctor’s treatment ‘appalling’, mother tells court

    By Tim Healy

    Friday February 05 2010

    A MOTHER told the High Court yesterday that consultant psychiatrist Prof Patricia Casey advised her that drugs she took for her psychiatric illness while pregnant represented certain risks to babies.

    Lisa McGillin’s daughter Rebecca was born with foetal valproate syndrome (FVS), including a deformed hand and motor difficulties.

    Ms McGillin told the court she understood from both Prof Casey and her gynaecologist, Dr Mary Holohan, that her child would not be at risk if she took high doses of folic acid.

    She was being cross-examined by Murray McGrath SC, for Prof Casey, in the continuing action by Rebecca, suing through her father Barry McGillin, of Gainsborough Avenue, Malahide, Co Dublin, against Prof Casey, practising from the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, and Dr Holohan, practising from the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

    Ms McGillin told the court she trusted advice from Prof Casey to the effect she should come off lithium (a mood stabiliser) for the first three months of pregnancy but could continue taking Epilim, an anti-convulsant used to treat epilepsy and as a mood stabiliser. She denied she knew there was a residual risk from Epilim.

    She decided herself, having read a mother and baby book, to come off all drugs about four months into pregnancy but didn’t tell Prof Casey — because the psychiatrist was “quite formidable” and might be “angry”.


    Prof Casey described her as “a blubbering mess” in April 2001, shortly after Rebecca’s birth, and said FVS was not even proven to exist, Ms McGillin said. “Her treatment of me was appalling,” she added. Her daughter was diagnosed with FVS shortly after birth and she ceased attending Prof Casey in August 2001.

    It is alleged Rebecca was exposed to a risk of injury as a result of the alleged failure of the defendants to properly assess or advise her about the drugs taken by her mother before and into pregnancy. Both defendants deny the allegations.

    When counsel put it to Ms McGillin that Prof Casey had, in September 1998, sent her an article about anti-epileptic agents and birth defects, she said the first time she saw that article was in documents sent by Prof Casey to Ms McGillen’s solicitors. When he put to Ms McGillin that the final decision on the medication was hers, she said: “Someone has to take responsibility for what happened to my daughter”.

    The case continues.

    – Tim Healy

    Irish Independent

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