psychiatry. gun violence.

Let­ter to the president’s task force on gun violence:

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.

psychiatry. drugs. revaluation.

las­caux one

Antipsy­chotics: is it time to intro­duce patient choice?

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.

public domain. krakatoa.

The Kraka­toa Sunsets

…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.”

ecology. modernization. orion magazine.


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.

orion mag­a­zine