By Noelle Talevi
There is a deadly connection between mind-altering, psychiatric drugs and violent, suicidal behavior.
David Burgos, the young man who recently committed suicide in a Connecticut correctional facility, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder. What mind-altering drugs was he on, and how long was he on them? David was in the custody of the Department of Children and Families since the age of 10. The majority of children under this agency’s control are on at least one, if not a cocktail, of psychiatric drugs. No one knows the exact number of children, because no one in Connecticut keeps track.
On July 1 the FDA issued a public health advisory to warn of the potential increased risk of suicide in adults taking antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft etc. On Oct. 1, 2004 the FDA ordered a “Black Box” warning on the same class of drugs warning of the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents. The Physicians Desk Reference warns that many of these drugs cause an increase in mania. It has been documented that eight out of 13 school shooters were taking these drugs when they went on their rampages.
Also on July 1, the FDA announced it will order labeling changes for the stimulant drugs used to treat “ADHD” to warn that they can cause “visual hallucinations, suicidal ideations, … aggression or violent behavior,” and “adverse cardiovascular reactions.”
There has been little or no coverage of these facts in Connecticut.
On July 11, People Magazine quoted the president of the American Psychiatric Association, saying, “we do not have a clean-cut lab test to detect ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain.”
Yet for over a decade the APA has been promoting its belief that mental illness is caused by a “chemical imbalance.” But there is no blood test, brain scan, biopsy or indeed any medical test validating the existence of ADHD or bipolar disorder or any other mental illness. The labels are, however, a multi-billion dollar cash cow for the mental health and pharmaceutical industries.
The fact is there are more than 150 diagnosable, medical conditions that can cause mental disturbance to a greater or lesser degree – including as severe as auditory and visual hallucinations. Psychiatrists and DCF social services don’t look for or test for any of these. The people involved write prescriptions. Prescriptions for drugs that cure nothing, only mask symptoms and come with potentially severe, sometimes deadly side effects.
Hundreds of children have died as a result of the amphetamines or antidepressants they have been put on after their parents have been convinced they had a “chemical imbalance.”
Whenever a tragedy like this happens in Connecticut, everyone scrambles to see which agency had a breakdown that can be blamed. The common denominator among all of these agencies is their heavy reliance on psychiatric labels and psychiatric drugs.
How many more children and adolescents have to die in this state before DCF, the state child advocate, the chief state’s attorney and the state legislature take a serious look at this very real cause?
Noelle Talevi is executive director of Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights of Connecticut, which is a private, nonprofit group dedicated to investigating and exposing psychiatric abuses. She lives in Higganum.