ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS AND SUICIDE

BY MICHAEL SAVAGE

This past week has seen the tragic suicides of two celebrities who seemingly had it all. Kate Spade, the iconic fashion designer, took her own life by hanging in her Park Avenue home. Later, chef and travel host Anthony Bourdain took his own life while shooting on location in France.

Both deaths struck a chord with Americans as it brought to light the escalating crisis of suicide reported by the CDC to have increased by nearly 25% in recent decades. While no reports established whether or not Spade or Bourdain sought drug treatment for their mental health, their shocking loss sparked a national dialogue on suicide, depression, and the prescriptions so closely associated with psychiatric treatment.

I assure you the mainstream media will not report the relationship between antidepressant drugs and suicide although the correlation was first noted in 1990 and has been generally accepted since 2002. In a 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen revealed that pharmaceutical companies were not offering the full impact of these medications in reports. Their research concluded that suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior doubled in children and adolescents who used medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI).

Even more concerning from their findings was that they determined that antidepressants do not offer their prescribed results in children. Nordic Cochrane Centre Professor Peter Gøtzsche said: “Antidepressants don’t work in children, that is pretty clear, in the randomised trials children say that they don’t work for them, but they increase their risk of suicide.”

In response to this study, a spokesman for Eli Lilly told The Telegraph, “No regulatory authority has ever determined that Lilly withheld or improperly disclosed any data related to these medications.”

Experts said the reviews findings were startling and deeply worrying, stating that people in the UK are consuming more than four times as many antidepressants that they did two decades ago.

Now what about the United States? America is no stranger to the antidepressants either as our nation increased use of antidepressants by 65% in 15 years. I’m sure you know a number of people who run on antidepressants like M&Ms. But this is no laughing matter, rather an alarming moment for our nation as a growing number of us are beset by depression.

If we examine the school shootings in America, in almost every case these deranged children were on antidepressant medications but inevitably it is swept away by the drug companies before we can recognize these perils.

My concerns were only solidified as the media once again pushed the use of antidepressants in reaction to these high profile suicides. Instead of recognizing the risks associated with antidepressants, a Reuters article called for pharmaceutical companies to introduce new antidepressants to the market:

“A spike in suicide rates in the United States has cast fresh light on the need for more effective treatments for major depression, with researchers saying it is a tricky development area that has largely been abandoned by big pharmaceutical companies.”

With more research pointing to the dangers of these medications, we would expect news outlets to warn the masses about these worrisome outcomes, but unfortunately they won’t. As I have maintained for years, we must consider the board of directors of major media companies and then check out the interlocking corporate directorships.

Ultimately, the answer may not be antidepressant medication that may be an immediate solution in a crisis but it’s not the long-term solution.

 

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