Matching Grant Challenge
BruceMatch
We’re slowly making headway in our annual fund drive, but not nearly fast enough to meet our make-or-break goal.  On the bright side, a generous CounterPuncher has stepped forward with a pledge to match every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate.

Day 17

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

pp1

or
cp-store

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Another Killer on Anti-Depressants?

Are Drug-Pushing Shrinks Manufacturing a Generation of Spree-Shooters?

by JOE GIAMBRONE

Well, you probably don’t want to look at more than 60 different documented school shooters and stabbers who were on antidepressant drugs when they attacked innocent children in suicidal, violent outbursts.  Not if your mind is already made up that “it’s the guns” and that yet another “gun control” law will suddenly fix things.  It won’t.  Nor will the congressional testimony of Dr. Peter Breggin on the dangers of SSRIs and the proven links to suicide and violent ideation interest you, as long as there is one factor, and one solution, and this sort of information doesn’t fit into your preconception.

If this latest psycho-killer boy, Adam Lanza, had stolen a car and run over 26 people, would the most glaring problem be not enough car regulations?

Or if he had chosen to run around with a chainsaw instead, would the call now be for more chainsaw control?  Or would the focus have turned to just banning the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films?

Why do they do it?

More than a little evidence suggests that antidepressant medications, prescribed by psychiatrists – who have a vested stake in the public perception of this issue – are a contributing factor in the majority of such spree massacres.  The drug corporations, which produce these medications and which pay for massive advertising campaigns on TV, in newspapers, on the radio and in magazines, certainly want their friendly press outlets to come up with a different culprit.  However, the lengthy list of warnings, right on the labels of these drugs, is an indication that the links are real, not very well understood, and potentially catastrophic.

Even Time Magazine reported on links between prescription drugs and violence:

Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) … 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

Venlafaxine (Effexor) … 8.3 times…

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) … 8.4 times…

Triazolam (Halcion) … 8.7 times…

Atomoxetine (Strattera) … 9 times…

Mefoquine (Lariam) … 9.5 times…

Amphetamines: (Various) … 9.6 times…

Paroxetine (Paxil) … 10.3 times…

Fluoxetine (Prozac) … 10.9 times…

Varenicline (Chantix) … 18 times… (Time)

As Dr. Breggin calls it on his website:

“Antidepressants cause emotional anesthesia and numbing or sometimes euphoria, providing a fleeting, artificial relief from emotional suffering. … In the long run, all psychiatric drugs tend to disrupt the normal processes of feeling and thinking, rendering the individual less able to deal effectively with personal problems and with life’s challenges.  They worsen the individual’s overall mental condition and produce potentially irreversible harm to the brain.”

Breggin provided expert testimony and dire warnings to a congressional committee and cautioned against dispensing antidepressants to military personnel out of a very real fear of resulting violence by well-armed troops.

Even the FDA has had to impose stronger warnings on these “medicines” over the years, in response to the real world data.  The 2007 update to the “Black Box” warnings, which are mandatory and included with all antidepressants says:

“Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. … Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.” (FDAemphasis added)

The United States abandoned its mentally ill citizens back in the 1980s.  Now they live under bridges.  I see them with their tent city near my favorite Chinese restaurant.  The great shining city on the hill doesn’t give a damn who’s living outdoors now.  The stigma about mental illness has worked its way through the rest of society, but not in the obvious way.

People don’t reject “treatment” as long as it’s a pill you can take, a brain fix-all.  This convenience culture idea of the quick fix is what has lived on, and now psychiatric “treatment” consists primarily of trying various drugs on patients, having them report the way the drugs affected them, and then trying other drugs.  Repeat ad infinitum.  This guinea pig approach to psychiatry is what I have witnessed for many years, and with a variety of different psychiatrists.  They no longer seek out the underlying traumas of patients, as in the old quaint days.  It is all about the drugs today, and nothing else is even discussed.

Psychiatrists are corporate America’s drug pushers.

Banning Guns For Citizens?

Now I’m going to get a lot of hostile responses for bucking the knee-jerk hysteria about banning assault rifles that’s going around.  It seems to me like this issue was custom-tailored to distract the nation from the “fiscal cliff” backroom betrayals currently gutting your Social Security and Medicare inside the centers of power.  There are numerous massacres, unfortunately.  The media volume generated by this particular one is like a tsunami and changes the top story away from the machinations of the White House and Congress, where their long-planned deal-making could potentially kill many, many more people than the occasional shooting spree.  They actually do kill many, many more children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere… but that’s a different article.

I see no problem clamping down on high-capacity assault rifles.  But I don’t for a second believe that’s going to change anything.  What exactly can you do with an assault rifle, that you can’t do with a thousand other different kinds of guns?  Reloading isn’t really that time-consuming or difficult.  Multiple weapons are easy to obtain, especially if one is motivated enough and doesn’t care if they make it out alive.  So how does that solve the problem?

Similarly, the “background checks” don’t catch spree shooters who don’t have criminal records and just one day snap.   There’s nothing to check, and future-crime has not been wiped out yet.

Ah, the nuclear option – ban all the guns.  That’s next.

There’s an interesting idea.  With 300,000,000 guns in America, it should be no problem to just collect them all.  Criminals would be first to line up at the weapon depository and rape scan center.  Once the criminals are disarmed, things will go smoothly.

Some suggest that the population doesn’t need to be armed, as an armed rebellion against a tyrannical regime is futile. That’s a selective reading of history (and of the Bill of Rights), but even granted it was true, weapons are useful for self-defense from whomever.  They can be indispensable in times of chaos or collapse.  We do retain the right to defend ourselves, but apparently a lot of liberal/left types would make that technically impossible, by forcibly disarming everyone who complies.

Oh, no doubt, you could be re-armed by enlisting in some civilian human-drone force, as Obama first proposed back in 2008.  Selective service in some organized policing force or military unit in order to graduate from high school was a wet dream proposal of the current president’s.  There explains the “450 million rounds of 40 caliber” hollow-point ammunition that the Department of Homeland Security just ordered.  Perhaps forced teenage DHS police labor can replace professional local police forces, which can be laid off in order to enact even more budget cuts around the nation.  There’s a great idea.

But guns are here to stay.  They aren’t going anywhere.  America is an “armed madhouse” as Greg Palast phrased it, so perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the “mad” part of the equation.

Joe Giambrone is a filmmaker and author of Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire. He edits The Political Film Blog, which welcomes submissions. polfilmblog at gmail.