JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/08/im-shocked-shocked-i-say.html (13 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1218774887-595519  Draven at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 04:34:47 +0000

When Prozac first came out, there was some mention made that it might occasionally cause homicidal rages. But i guess everyone considers it an 'acceptable risk'.

jsid-1218774913-595520  Anthony at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 04:35:13 +0000

Great blog you have here, I really enjoy reading it.

Just a small note about SSRI's, theoretically they should not remove or reduce inhibitions to suicidal violence. They should be doing just the opposite if prescribed correctly. And that is where we may be running into the problem. Many people want the drugs over the therapy and pressure practitioners into just giving them drugs, and sadly insurance companies pressure the same thing because it is cheaper for them.

jsid-1218801646-595527  Robb Allen at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 12:00:46 +0000

Well, the only thing I'm going to say is that people take anti-depressants because, well, they're depressed. They're ALREADY having issues.

To test your theory, you'd need to take millions of non-depressed people, feed 'em Paxil and see if any of them go bonkers.

Truth in Advertising here - I take Paxil for panic attacks, not depression. I also own a lot of firearms. It does scare me when I hear people say "Antidepressants = Homicidal Rage" because it doesn't take much before some ass-hat gun banner decides that anyone on AD's should be a prohibited person or that simply taking them is 'probable cause' for all kinds of violations.

For me, the medication keeps my brain chemicals in balance. I don't suffer depression any more than any normal person. In fact, I think I'm in better control of my emotions than most.

Then again, my doctor worked with me through several medications and doses to see what worked best, telling me from the get go that it was a bit of guess work to get it right, if it could be done at all.

jsid-1218806359-595528  Kevin Baker at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 13:19:19 +0000


I'm not saying that the drugs don't do good, I'm saying that a tiny, tiny percentage of people have bad side-effects (those things you hear rattled off at high speed on the TV commercials for Cialis and Nexxium, etc., etc.) Unfortunately, instead of priapism, sleep-driving, or anal leakage, I believe one of those side effects is a reduction in inhibition towards violent acts, either toward themselves or others. But the tendency has to be there first.

I understand exactly what you're saying. I have a genetic condition, Acute Intermittent Porphyria, that can (though it doesn't in my case) cause mental aberration. "The Madness of King George" is believed to have been AIP induced, for instance. All it does to me, mentally, from all indications, is make me more sardonic. BUT some legislator could, theoretically, decide that my right to arms should be removed because I might go nutso.

People want to know why we have so many rampage shootings in this country, especially where the shooter doesn't know any of his victims. I really do believe that these drugs are a contributing factor, but the incidence rate is so low there's literally no way to prove it, statistically.

jsid-1218810035-595531  Robb Allen at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 14:20:35 +0000

I still think some people are just nucking futs. People who are nucking futs tend to end up taking medicine to hopefully make them not so nucking futs.

Sometimes, they just lucking foose it, anti-nucking futs medicine or no.

jsid-1218812459-595534  Stormy Dragon at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 15:00:59 +0000

This is an example of the (ironically named in this instance) Texas Sharposhooter Fallacy

jsid-1218812759-595535  Robb Allen at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 15:05:59 +0000

Stormy, I've never heard that term, but I shall use it relentlessly from now on.

Many, many people argue using that exact technique.

jsid-1218831910-595543  Matt at Fri, 15 Aug 2008 20:25:10 +0000

Well, its hard to say if anti-depressants are a contributing factor, but doctors are now starting to believe that SSRI type drugs (like prozac) do not work in the way they thought. They do not make a person less depressed by modifying the chemicals. There is an article out that I can't find that explains it.

jsid-1218845067-595550  Jake at Sat, 16 Aug 2008 00:04:27 +0000

"Many people want the drugs over the therapy and pressure practitioners into just giving them drugs,"

The opposite is also true. Many practitioners offer their patients psych drugs in the first session. In most cases, that's way to early to determine if drugs are appropriate.

jsid-1218920678-595581  LabRat at Sat, 16 Aug 2008 21:04:38 +0000

One part of it is indeed just how radically differently people can react to the same medication. One of the books on my wish list (and therefore distant to-read future) is Biochemical Individuality, a treatise originally published in 1956 arguing that everything we understand about genetic and anatomical variability must imply that humans are as chemically unique as they are physically, and meant to warn against exactly the kind of one-size-fits all approach that has caused such problems with drugs and diets. Obviously, no one paid him much mind at the time.

Another problem is that depression is a catch-all term for a state of mind that can have many different causes and many different forms- for example, psychologists are just beginning to admit that mania and depression aren't the singular sliding scale they thought, and that it's possible for folks with "bipolar" to have "mixed states" that include the energy (and sometimes psychosis) of mania and the dark mood of depression. Notably, it's sometimes a very bad idea to use SSRIs to treat the depressive states of bipolar.

I'll give you an example from the increasing veterinary use of psychotropic medications as a helper in training dogs with behavior problems. The idea is to use the medication to remove the mental state that makes it impossible for the dog to learn, then teach. For dogs that are "reactively" aggressive- that is, have a response all out of proportion to something or someone that scares them, that only escalates until the dog is nearly out of its mind, it's not unheard of to try anti-anxiety or occasionally anti-depressant medication. Usually, this results in a dog that's able to control itself and doesn't have such a driving need to protect itself with aggression.

Sometimes, it creates a dog that is MORE aggressive. If it was too afraid to try biting but really wanted to bite, it frees the dog from the anxiety *inhibiting it from biting*. Perhaps for a few folks, what antidepressants remove is the remaining inhibitions against suicidal violence.

jsid-1219043072-595630  Windy Wilson at Mon, 18 Aug 2008 07:04:32 +0000

Isn't it a closely guarded secret as to how many of the school shooters in the last 15 years or so have been on anti-depressants or Ritalin?

jsid-1219045936-595631  Draven at Mon, 18 Aug 2008 07:52:16 +0000

Not really.

Lets just say, most of them if not all were on some form of psychotropics.

jsid-1219067193-595633  Robb Allen at Mon, 18 Aug 2008 13:46:33 +0000

Here's something else even scarier - All the school shooters had consumed public water all their life which contained fluoride!!!!

Does that mean the water caused their outbursts? No. But it sounds as credible as saying they were all on a particular medicine.

Until you can do a control group where you feed the stuff to normal people and they lose their shit because of it, you can't really blame the medicine. Again, those people were already disturbed so the fact they were taking the medicine is no surprise. Diabetics take insulin. Crazy people take Prozac.

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