We have just had another antidepressant-induced murderous rampage at a school. As a biochemist and minister, I need to point out some things that are missing in the public discussion of these tragedies.
First, these antidepressants cause chemical imbalances. The body is well perfected by God and evolution. When you introduce an outside chemical to change the body, the body pushes back, reacts. For example, when you first start drinking coffee for the extra energy, you get jangles or nerves, the result of a chemical imbalance. Continue drinking coffee and the caffeine lift decreases as your body compensates to the chemical imbalance created by the caffeine. Stop drinking coffee and you get headaches as your body adapts to the chemical imbalance caused by caffeine withdrawal. Antidepressants create far worse chemical imbalances.
There is no chemical imbalance that causes the depression. This is an advertiser’s lie. Some, long term, inescapable problem causes the person to feel like they are being slowly destroyed. This is called suppression. Strongly suppressed people become depressed. The chemicals are balanced for the stress the person is undergoing. Giving the person drugs that make them feel happier does nothing to change the suppression. They just tolerate it better. If they are lucky, conditions change and they escape the suppression, and the drug is said to have worked. Often, the antidepressants don’t work because the suppression is not handled.
How the person reacts to the drug-induced chemical imbalances depends on the nature of the suppression that caused the person to become depressed. Murder and suicide are just the reactions that get noticed. These individuals have battled the suppression long before they became depressed and the anger and desperation built up determines how they lash out under the antidepressant-induced chemical-imbalance. Without the suppression and drugs, they would be fairly normal people.
The drug-induced chemical imbalance affects another principal of biology: Use it or lose it! The ability to cope with stress is a skill. Under the influence of these happy pills, the ability to cope deteriorates. Remove the drugs, and the stress is now too much, and the person takes desperate measures.
These antidepressants also erode the moral compass we all have. Normally, the idea of causing damage to our self or others stresses us, but less so under antidepressants. Under continued suppression, and now, with a weakened moral compass, people still look for ways to fight back. Elaborate plans can be developed, as we have seen at these school mass murders. Once the person has a plan on how to fight back, a calmness and determination sets it. The moral compass is discarded. The rest is history, and the future.
These murderous rampages will continue to happen because Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising of pharmaceuticals is increasing antidepressant consumption and annual multi-billion dollar sales, paid for by tax dollars and insurance dollars.
Advertising works! Describe a condition well enough and anybody listening will believe they have it, and ask for medicine. It must be true if they say it often enough! Our government is spending millions in the war against drugs, and the pharmaceutical companies are spending so much more to keep us taking more drugs. Antidepressant consumption has skyrocketed. Antidepressant drugs are now measurable in river water leaving major cities, and occasionally in city drinking water. As drug sales go up, the violence will only get worse.
Two actions are required. First, repeal direct-to-consumer drug advertising! Call your congressman, demand it! Second, be a friend, care, take time to listen, and be willing to butt in to stop suppression, bullying and injustice. This message has been repeated by great people throughout history; Love thy Neighbor. Drugs are not answer. Listening and understanding is. The wrong thing to do is nothing. A punch line to an old joke says it best. We don’t need psychiatrists; we have friends!
Edward C. Krug, Ph.D. is a resident of Denver.