With respect to (2), the propensity of psychiatric drugs to cause violence, attached is the Statement on the Connection Between Psychotropic Drugs and Mass Murder recently issued by the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP), demonstrating the clear link between psychiatric drugs and violence. As the ISEPP Statement points out:
• Christopher Pittman was on antidepressants when he killed his grandparents.
• Eric Harris, one of the gunmen in the Columbine school shooting, was taking Luvox and Dylan Klebold, his partner, had taken Zoloft and Paxil.
• Doug Williams, who killed five and wounded nine of his fellow Lockheed Martin employees, was on Zoloft and Celexa.
• Michael McDermott was on three antidepressants when he fired off 37 rounds and killed seven of his fellow employees in the Massachusetts Wakefield massacre.
• Kip Kinkel was on Prozac when he killed his parents and then killed 2 children and wounded 25 at a nearby school.
• In fourteen recent school shoots, the acts were committed by persons taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in over 100 wounded and 58 killed.
• In other school shootings, information about the shooter’s prescription drug use and other medical history were kept from public records.
This last point is very important — the involvement of psychiatric drugs in many mass shootings is being withheld from the public. There have been reports that Adam Lanza was on psychiatric drugs, but that has not been confirmed to my knowledge. It is essential that the involvement of psychiatric drugs in these tragedies be investigated and reported to the public.
What is clear, is that the involvement of the mental health system and mental health professionals does not prevent these horrors and being diagnosed with a mental illness is not a reliable predictor of violence.
Given that mental health services appear to have overestimated the strength of the evidence base for antipsychotic medication, while underestimating the seriousness of the adverse effects, it seems sensible to re-evaluate the risk – benefit ratio of such drugs. This risk – benefit profile may be a factor in the high rates of non-adherence and discontinuation of medication found in patients with psychosis; thus, some decisions to refuse or discontinue antipsychotic medication may represent a rational informed choice rather than an irrational decision due to lack of insight or symptoms such as suspiciousness.
…the sunsets helped inspire one of the world’s best-known paintings: Edvard Munch was walking with some friends one evening as the sun descended through the haze: “it was as if a flaming sword of blood slashed open the vault of heaven,” he recalled; “the atmosphere turned to blood – with glaring tongues of fire – the hills became deep blue – the fjord shaded into cold blue – among the yellow and red colours – that garish blood-red – on the road – and the railing – my companions’ faces became yellow-white – I felt something like a great scream – and truly I heard a great scream.” His painting The Scream (1893), of which he made several versions, is an enduring (and much stolen) expressionist masterpiece, a vision of human desolation writhing beneath an apocalyptic sky, as “a great unending scream pierces through nature.”
Not enough to fill my hand—
ashes and chips of bone.
I offer you—
the dust of your body
(dust of my body)
a rose garden lacing a pint-sized pond
where children will skate
on the hard frozen days of your birth.
Though it poses as a solution, today’s nihilistic ecotheology is actually a significant obstacle to dealing with ecological problems created by modernization— one that must be replaced by a new, creative, and life-affirming worldview. After all, human development, wealth, and technology liberated us from hunger, deprivation, and insecurity; now they must be considered essential to overcoming ecological risks.
photo by greg parker, 2012 National Geographic
Often seen floating in thin strands on freshwater streams and ponds, Spirogyra cells are filled with chloroplasts — packets of chlorophyll that allow the plants to generate energy via photosynthesis — whose spiraling shapes give the genus its name.