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(courtesy DrVino)

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    • ABSOLUTELY. 99% or so of mass shooters are on SSRI drugs. The inference seemed to be that they were being PREVENTED from taking them, which is the biggest stinkin’ CROCK of 2013 so far!!

      • I think the photo collage, above, makes a different point than your response. SSRI’s are anti-depressants, not anti-psychotic medications, which are what the photo panel shows. Yes, most of the shooters were prescribed SSRI’s. They should most likely, given the reports of their symptoms, have been on long-acting anti-psychotic medications. Anti-depressants actually have the opposite effect from what a psychotic person needs in order to get their feet on the ground.

        • Not all.
          When you do functional imaging, you see that some are stimulating (especially to the frontal lobes) and others are depressing. Sometimes, it is wholly appropriate to include an SSRI in the regimen.
          There is a regional, “brain systems” dimension to psychopharmacology that has not yet been completely explored.

        • Basically what the doc means is we throw the spaghetti against people’s brains and see what sticks. What doesn’t stick goes crazy and eats someone else’s face, or shoots up a school. But it’s only got a .5% chance of making my kid fly through ten walls and think his mom is a demon! That should mean it’s ok to give to 10 million kids right? *headdesk*

          One of the ONLY things Brits got right.

    • Exactly. Psychotropic drugs are known to cause outbursts of rage and make non-violent people become violent to themselves or others. My wife works at a state mental health facility and people are getting on these drugs and bringing their children in to get on these drugs so that they can get disability checks. It’s insane.

      In 2005 118 million people were on these drugs.

      Plus we are pumping our kids full of these medicines as well. “American children are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications for conditions such as ADHD and bipolar disease than European children are, a new study finds.”

      If people are really concerned about violence in our country perhaps we should investigate the cause instead of demonizing the tools used to carry out these acts.

      • There is much to know and It take a long time for a med student to get a grasp on the basics.

        To boot, the neurotransmitter theory at the root of psychopharmacology is only about 70 years old. It is constantly evolving (and while you can blame the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies or the the fact that medical science does not turn on a dime, but requires repeated study and testing to validate a notion), there is much not yet incorporated into the collective accepted understanding of psychopharmacology.

        I said earlier that many times drugs are incorrectly prescribed, but that DOES NOT mean that these guys should not have been treated.

        • One would hope that great care is given to what amounts to frontal lobotomy by psychotropics. If the choice is being locked up or free with these drugs I can reluctantly go along with them. Randy

  1. While I understand the sentiment, I do not think it is a good idea to give these psychopaths any further exposure than already given.

    • The “sentiment” is 180 degrees from the truth. THAT’S what needs exposure.
      Who’s responsible for that whopper?

      L-I-E! LIE!!!

  2. Guys, REALLY….
    While drugs are often misprescribed, to say that these guys did what they did because they were given meds (and I’ll bet they refused to take them….) is as bad as trying to ban Personal Defense Rifles, or to engage in conspiracy theories.

  3. Anything to further the celebrity status of spree shooters is in bad taste, in my opinion. Including this picture.

    The same point could have been made without showing their picture and just using their names.

  4. But… But…. The ACLU said we can’t do that!!!
    Oh yeah right guns are the bad guys, duh I totally forgot that one!

    Honestly though we don’t have the full text of the executive orders Obama wants to sign. The one about having medical records in NICS is worrisome. I get it, we don’t want crazy people to have guns, ok fine, I think we can all agree on that, but…..

    How do you do that while maintaining doctor patient privilege? There also needs to be a well defined adjudication process that won’t take years, and millions of dollars to deal with.

    I honestly don’t know if there is a way to do it, in which there will be no abuse of the power. At what point do you say the needs of the many far out way the needs or rights of the few, and simply not implement anything.

    • If someone has ever been court ordered for treatment by a judge it is on record, in MI that will keep you from getting a pistol during a background check but I do not know about a rifle, I work in mental health and I feel bad for how many people “for safety” have to have there guns removed from their home before the Dr will allow d/c, but I have heard people talk in detail about wanting to shoot their family, voices telling them to shoot themselves and I have even seen the after effect of 12 gauge double 00 buck when someone does what the voices say and shoots themself in the leg…

    • There is an additional problem: Some of the anti-psychotic medications shown (including Zyprexa and Seroquel) are often prescribed “off-label” for temporary help with serious sleep disorders. I suggest anyone falling into that situation immediately seek a different class of medication for their sleep problems!

      • Don’t forget older generation SSRIs for premature ejaculation. Which is why any solution to “flag” high-risk individuals to NICS should not be on the basis of med Rx history or total diagnosis, but specific symptoms: though disorder, psychosis, paranoia and delusional thinking- to name a few.

        • I feel that the NICs should only incorporate those that have been deemed a danger to self or others, include court ordered patients and if someone has been admitted volunteer after threatening suicide or homicide, include them on a temporary list for example 1 year and psychiatric reevaluation.

    • Thanks man! That’s the kind of sentiment that will help bring more people in the medical community to our side! Just as an AR owner doesn’t have blood on his or her hand, the medical community doesn’t either…

  5. I don’t think forcing anyone to take those drugs is the answer we are looking for. In fact a good case could be made for said drugs being responsible for the actions of some lunatics. Lets face it, when people with mental problems are identified, they need constant supervision. Whether in a mental hospital or however you want to do it, but they can’t be allowed free will. What CAUSES people to kill is the problem, not what they USE to kill.

    • Psychiatrists and Family Practitioners generally know how to differentiate people with mild or non-dangerous mental complaints from the dangerous. Indeed, this has been the basis for decades to differentiate between those forced into 3-day observations or court-ordered out-patient treatment, versus others. The problem with the four people pictured (and their ilk) is that violent, hate-filled, and/or suicidal ideation was noted by others, but not acted upon successfully. That should change.

        • Ignorance of the law isnt a valid legal excuse for violating the law, so too claiming the law didnt proscribe it to occur doesnt mean they still arent responsible for their INACTIONS!

    • I think the point here is that we can no more bar sane, law abiding citizens from owning AR15s and 30 round mags than we can lobotomize, forcibly institutionalize or medicate people suffering from certain conditions.

      HOWEVER, only one of those two groups above is more heavily represented in the list of mass shooters…..

  6. I might be mistaken but I dont recall ever seeing a label on any rifle saying “may cause suicidal thoughts and violent urges.”

    Perhaps if you gave them enough meds to sufficiently vegatize them you’d have something here but as it is those pills are helping shatter already broken brains.

  7. Pharmaceutical researcher here. Like the poster says, these guys weren’t taking their meds. What is really the problem is the inability to commit mentally-ill patients to facilities where they can be treated. The ACLU forced the closing of these facilities and the deinstitutionalization of mental patients (noticeable uptick in homeless people, mass shootings, etc.). Newtown had the Fairfield Hills Hospital which was shut down in the ’90’s–Adam Lanza should have been there, not kept at home with Mom because there was no alternative.

    • Here’s a quick summary of what’s really in our jail/prison system…

      The release of a study by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2006 showed that 64% of local jail inmates, 56% of state prisoners and 45% of federal prisoners had symptoms of serious mental illnesses. As in other data from the criminal justice system, African Americans are overrepresented.

      It should be noted that the numbers of young people with a mental illness in the juvenile justice system are even higher. Young people who come into this system are more likely to have a mental illness, live in poverty, be uninsured and be a minority. Most of the studies put the prevalence rate around 70%. The Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies found that Caucasian youth were more likely to be placed in residential treatment and group homes while youth of color were more likely to be placed in corrections or foster care.

      Here’s a 5 pager for those inclined to read more. It’s from NAMI Minnesota. But it speaks about the national picture.

      • This is what is currently done in PA: Group Home psychiatric “clients” are told “We can’t force you to take your meds, but if you stay off your meds you will be treated as a criminal, not a patient, if you act violently.” That definitely does not advance the interest of the seriously ill to whom those words are spoken. Often enough they end up in prison.

  8. The wording on that is horrible. The issue isn’t that they weren’t forced to take those drugs, it is that they did take those drugs. Some of the side effects were from taking the drugs, and others from withdrawing from those drugs. The accountability is on the doctors that pass them out like candy knowing full well what they do to people.

    • No doubt. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 14 (circa 1990). The prescription was Ritalin and Prozac. One is low-grade speed that makes you fall off a cliff when it wears off. The other just gave you a nervous stomach and didn’t make you feel any better about yourself. Needless to say when I stopped taking the drugs life got better.

  9. Aren’t we supposed to be about personal responsibility and not blaming the actions of criminals on outside sources?
    Guns and prescription drugs are merely a scapegoat. This is no better than saying that guns were the problem and inviting more right restricting laws into our lives.
    If these drugs were the problem, and there are MILLIONS of people on them every single day, don’t you think we would see more of this behavior?

    Don’t slump to their level folks. We’re better than this. Blame the perpetrator, not the tool.

    • Homicidal thoughts are a known and listed side effect of these drugs (both from using and from quitting them). Guns can’t make you do anything, but drugs that literally change how your brain functions can. That is why these drugs are so dangerous, and why there needs to be a lot more responsibility in passing them out. Yes there are millions that are on these drugs. Why do you think people are so worried about what happens if there is a real depression and the drugs stop flowing?

      • Plenty of normal, sane people have some fugly thoughts – including homicidal ones.
        These guys, though, lacked the insight and executive function (as part of their disease) to tell themselves these acts are not acceptable.
        Again, you keep insisting that they were under influence of medications when a review of what has been reported (most notably about Loughner, but to a less extensive degree about Holmes) will show that they were noncompliant with treatment.

        • “Again, you keep insisting that they were under influence of medications”

          No I bloody did not. I said that they were on or coming off of medications. Both using and ceasing to use those meds have those side effects.

        • I don’t know your credentials in medicine, but I work with psychiatric patients.
          What you say, that “Homicidal thoughts are a known and listed side effect of these drugs (both from using and from quitting them)” is at best inaccurate…..

  10. The ACLU and other groups block laws that can get the people the help they needed before the committ mass murder. They say you can’t infringe on their rights. So the solution is to infringe on mine. Nope. If I need to chose one group to be scrutinized it’s going to be the crazy people. Chances are they will do something violent regardless of a gun ban. Letting them continue to run free AND taking away the best means to defend yourself against them is insane.

  11. As someone who has been treated with anti-depressants for years and has never had a violent inclination either on or off of them, I’d be pretty annoyed if this turned into another witch hunt against people who are on such meds. I get enough crap for being pro-2nd amendment. I don’t need any crap for knowing enough about my own moods to know when to seek help. Saying people can’t buy guns if they’ve ever been on anti-depressants is just asking for people who own guns not to bother to seek help with their problems.

    • First, it isn’t about witch hunting those on, going on, or going off these meds. It is about appropriately monitoring these people when they start taking, and if they stop taking these meds.

      Second, I’ve yet to see a single case where these drugs were used where legitimate mental therapy wouldn’t have been 10x better. These drugs are pharmaceutical wallpaper that is being used to paper over both real mental issues that get ignored and for vague suspicions of mental issues that never existed to begin with.

      • ‘Legitimate mental therapy’ doesn’t apply in cases such as these; Psychiatry, and clinical psychology, are simply not CAPABLE of ‘fixing’ the severely mentally ill. Mental-health professionals can work WONDERS with those who are mildly disabled in interactive skills, the depressed, those suffering from phobias, those who have (or had) a grasp on reality and may be chemically imbalanced, or have non-organic neurological disorders that can be treated with therapy and certain drugs.
        On the other hand, there is NO cure for those who have organic brain disorders, whose wiring just ‘ain’t right’, who are psychopathic and/or sociopathic, or dangerously schizophrenic, delusional, deeply paranoid, or have anything else wrong with them mentally that prevents them from discerning reality from illusion, innocence from threat, right from wrong.
        ‘Treatment’ of the truly dangerously-mentally-‘sick’ is either to drug them into zombie-hood and keep them that way, or to keep them secured away from those that they endanger.
        No, I’m not speaking off-the-cuff; 19 of my years as a police officer were spent as a negotiator.
        The truly sick ones mentioned above are really not uncommon; What’s amazing is that more of them don’t do what they did. What else is amazing is that we know that these human beasts exist, but we still let them walk amongst us, as many people still truly believe that there is ‘no such thing as a bad boy.’ Trust me–there are some rotten, evil, defective monsters out there.

        Some of them have been elected to public office.

      • There are cases where medication is necessary, usually because various glands aren’t producing the right amounts of various chemicals.

        It’s kinda like being a diabetic who’s body doesn’t produce the right amount of insulin, but instead of insulin, it affects brain chemistry.

        • Funny you mention the insulin example. Type II diabetes is directly cause by and can be cured through diet and exercise habits. But since giving insulin is “easier” that is what is done.

          Sorry for the pharma fanbois getting panties in a knot, but get over it.

    • Depression and SSRI’s seem to me wrongly lumped together with psychoticism and anti-psychotic meds. The two are very different in their nature and risks. In other words, I agree with you.

  12. The neurotransmitter theory of mental disease, cited in one of the previous posts, has a long way to go before it should be given much credence. For example, such theory as it relates to “schizophrenia” is that the schizophrenic’s brain has too much dopamine. But to my knowledge there has never been any direct evidence that that is true. Nor have the brains of depressives been found to be deficient in serotonin, as one of the neurotransmitter theories of depression supposes. Bottom line: those who place their faith in the ability of psychopharmacological agents that are believed to regulate brain chemistry, reliably to control or abate “crazy” thinking and behavior, are likely to be sorely disappointed.

  13. Those four scumb@gs are proof that certain people cannot be allowed to walk among decent folks. They all should have been in custodial care. Eighty people are dead and dozens more wounded because maniacs are entitled to lollipops and roses.


  14. Lets just say a few things

    1) More study is needed on the causes and treatment of mental illness and if certain drugs are truely dangerous because many of the studies are old and nobody seems to want to have new ones. There are studies that say women who are obese could have children with mental issues. Who knows, more study is required.
    2) The ACLU can FOAD regarding the rights of those who may cause harm to themselves or others and those people should be documented and seperated from firearms and other dangerous tools. The police, EMS and fire dept should all be trained on identifying and dealing with those who are mentally ill and have the authority to take them in for evaluation
    3) A program where patients can have out patient treatment provided they stay on their meds and seek treatment needs to be developed in every state. Starting with local, regional and state level treatment options.
    4) NOT EVERYONE with a mental disorder needs to be locked up — that is purely
    5) Specific care and responsibility needs to be had by gun owners with family members with substance abuse or mental illness issues.
    6) This is a national problem, and putting a tax on bullets is not the answer since this can happen to everyone.

    Notice how the mental illness has recieved pretty much ZERO press even though yesterday there was task force session just on mental health. Nobody wants to talk about the problem.

  15. Could be these kids are double or tripleing their dose just looking for a buzz. You know they might think one feels good, two would be better. Then they start hearing voices & flipping out. Just another possibility.

  16. Weren’t they all on drugs? Also those drugs, from what I heard (even the commercials state this), make a person want to harm others and themselves. They become suicidal and violent.

    If that be the case why drug them up when it will lead to violence? If you need to have someone on drugs, in the attempt to keep them apart of society, then maybe they shouldn’t be.

    The family is responsible for these people when they choose not to have them committed to a help center. If family and friends have firearms they should always have them locked in a safe and they should keep the code secret.

    The problem is that parents refuse to acknowledge their kids issues or their failures as as parent. They don’t want to deal with it what so ever, they run away from the issue every time it comes up. They feel that as long as they have their child inside the house they will not have any problems. Just let them go on the internet, watch TV and play video games all day. Of course that is until their child kills themselves or harms others.

  17. There is no “depression” on-off button in the brain.
    There is no “homicidal/suicidal” on-off button in the brain.
    And so on.

    There is a relatively low number of neurotransmitters in mammalian nervous systems.
    They are not specific to one circuit or pathway. They are not even isolated to the brain.
    There are some differences, regionally, in receptor sub-types but when you have a med acting on one type of transmitter, it does so on just about all locations where the transmitter is found.
    So SSRIs relieve the anxiety, rumination, hyperfixation and affective disturbances of some subtypes of depression – BUT if the clinician is not careful in selecting the right med for a patient, these drugs also diminish executive and attentional function – leading to poorer cognitive functioning, distractability, ADD-like symptoms or poor impulse control, etc.
    In that sense, they do not *make* one homicidal. But they do lower the ability of some to control impulses and urges most humans have.

    • In other words drugs are not the answer to your problems but a means to run away from them?

      Like flu medicine. It treats the symptoms not the problem.

      • NO.
        If you have type 1 diabetes you take insulin, if you have an arrhythmia you take the appropriate med. Those all treat the “symptom” .

        Do you know why?

        Because you and I and every human being ever to have existed has been dying from the day we were born and sometimes we ‘break down” (as in ‘mechanical failure’) on a molecular or cellular level. Besides, there is nothing available yet to completely reverse the problem when the causative derangement occurs at a sub-cellular level.

        The reason nobody gives you a treatment for a cold or the flu is that the natural history of the infection is to resolve itself, given an intact immune system. That, and the fact that each bout of the cold or flu virus is a different strain.
        If you’re immune-compromised, or very young or very old, there are antiviral meds but there is little reason to use them in the vast majority of cases.

        As to ‘running away’ from problems: the appropriate medication can make a night and day difference in a breaking a dysfunctional or counterproductive pattern or thinking or reacting and thus paving the way for things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help them not run away but deal with their problems.

        • +1

          Medical technology doesn’t have a cure for everything. Hell, there’s a lot of situations where they’re still figuring out how something broke.

          Sometimes, treating the symptoms is all they can do.

  18. The reason nobody gives you a treatment for a cold or the flu is that the natural history of the infection is to resolve itself, given an intact immune system.

    No, the reason is that we don’t have an effective antiviral. Yet. Influenza has killed 50+ MM people in the 20th Century alone. We can kick around the evolutionary ideals of them ‘deserving it’ , but the fact remains, they are dead.

    While I agree with you that the ‘appropriate meds’ may make a world of difference to the chemically imbalanced, we currently have little more than a scientific guess of what is wrong, and how the meds we have even function. Let alone how they work in specific cases. One of the most important things to having functional medicines is admitting how much we don’t know…

  19. Nearly all of the shooters in spree killings- especially those in schools- are either taking prescribed psychoactive medication or are withdrawing from those prescriptions. This is fact, and it includes SSRI’s as well as amphetamine-like drugs such as Ritalin. The premise of this meme is false; there is strong correlation if not outright proof that these drugs are causing psychic breaks leading to violence:

    • There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people either taking prescribed psychoactive medication or are withdrawing from them. Are you saying the acts of a handful of whackos on or off meds is enough to indict the rest of us? That argument is no different than viewing every gun owner with suspicion for the acts of a few. It’s pathetic.

      We know more hard facts about stars and planets thousands of light years away than we do the workings of the human brain and in that light modern medicine does an amazing job for an amazing number of people.

      In my very, very experienced estimation the bottom line is that if you haven’t, as an individual, dealt with mental illness you need to get off your high horse, shut up and listen to either those that have or those that deal with us as a profession.

      • Very true. We are just finally starting to develop the equipment and science to get a basic handle on brain function and chemistry.

        The most complex genetically-hardwired electro-chemical computer that we have seen. It’s gonna be a bit before we know how it really works or what defines it, let alone how to fix it.

        Right now, we throw darts in the dark. Sometimes they hit if we throw enough. But we have no real idea why.

    • And none of them have even so much as 5 minutes experience when it comes to dealing & interacting with the ‘mentally ill’.

  20. Al Capone was a psychopath. Did it take a skittles bag assortment of drugs to shut down his spree-killing operations or did it take hard work and bloodshed before the smoke could clear just enough to reveal the liberals wailing their usual cries of wolf and mantra’s involving ‘civil rights’.

    • I would tend to say that he was a sociopath from an observational history perspective. Not my field of expertise, but those who are seem to indicate that is the general consensus.

      He’d likely test the same as most successful CEOs do.


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