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What I AM saying is that it is absurd -- and incredibly irresponsible -- for our leaders, and our culture, not to be fully investigating the correlation between antidepressants and manic/suicidal behavior.

And what makes Arianna think that the correlation is not being investigated? For example what about the

 

clinical trial [that] found that Prozac caused mania in 6 percent of the children studied.

 

Now let me make it perfectly clear that I am NOT saying that antidepressants are what caused Cho to go off the deep end and kill 32 people and then himself

But you are strongly implying that antidepressents are what caused Cho to go off the deep end.

 

But we do know that one school shooter after another was on prescription drugs. Kip Kinkel was taking Prozac. Columbine killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox. Red Lake Indian Reservation shooter Jeff Weise was taking Prozac. James Wilson, who shot 2 elementary school kids in Greenwood, South Carolina, was taking anti-depressants. Conyers, Georgia school shooter T.J. Solomon was on ritalin. Is this just a coincidence?

I'm betting he stopped taking his meds and/or he was taking other drugs. Wonder what the autopsy will show?

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quoting arianna huffington: <snip>

To me this is a set of nonsensical rhetorical questions given to try to establish blame. The trap with cases like this is that many make an attempt to establish a very simple causal relationship (kid is disturbed/doctor prescribes pills/pills make him murder students) when what drives someone to this state likely has many layers of complexity and interconnection.

 

It may be quite interesting to understand what the research shows with regard to mania and prescription anti-depressants. It might also be interesting to have an honest discussion about possible holes we might have in the research done to date. But Ms. Huffington doesn't seem to have that on her mind with the written line of questioning.

 

yes, that would be interesting. but unlikely. it seems that the FDA is in bed with Big Pharma. right now, not all studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry are required to be published..this results in only the positive findings making its way to the general public...along with the clever three minute television advertisements(an abomination that i have only found in the united states) that urge patients to ask their doctors about xanax or zoloft or prozac. instead of spending money on advertising, they, big pharma, would be better off getting permission to add prozac(and as it follows logically, viagra)in the water supply. why not? i'd wager that half the country is medicated anyways.

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yes, that would be interesting. but unlikely. it seems that the FDA is in bed with Big Pharma. right now, not all studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry are required to be published..this results in only the positive findings making its way to the general public...along with the clever three minute television advertisements(an abomination that i have only found in the united states) that urge patients to ask their doctors about xanax or zoloft or prozac. instead of spending money on advertising, they, big pharma, would be better off getting permission to add prozac(and as it follows logically, viagra)in the water supply. why not? i'd wager that half the country is medicated anyways.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

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yes, that would be interesting. but unlikely. it seems that the FDA is in bed with Big Pharma. right now, not all studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry are required to be published..this results in only the positive findings making its way to the general public...along with the clever three minute television advertisements(an abomination that i have only found in the united states) that urge patients to ask their doctors about xanax or zoloft or prozac. instead of spending money on advertising, they, big pharma, would be better off getting permission to add prozac(and as it follows logically, viagra)in the water supply. why not? i'd wager that half the country is medicated anyways.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

 

fine.

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yes, that would be interesting. but unlikely. it seems that the FDA is in bed with Big Pharma. right now, not all studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry are required to be published..this results in only the positive findings making its way to the general public...along with the clever three minute television advertisements(an abomination that i have only found in the united states) that urge patients to ask their doctors about xanax or zoloft or prozac. instead of spending money on advertising, they, big pharma, would be better off getting permission to add prozac(and as it follows logically, viagra)in the water supply. why not? i'd wager that half the country is medicated anyways.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

 

fine.

Don't be sad. Here, have a Quaalude.

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The drug discussion seems to start from the big assumption that the FDA's review procedure is inadequate or not being properly conducted. That may be true, and it may be false, but it's a big assumption.

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I'm not sure if there's a proven anti-massacre drug. :lol:

 

Cases like the VT mass killing always inspire handwringing and "what ifs." Most of them are unrealistic at best. The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of people running around exhibiting the same behavior as Cho (pre massacre, of course.) When you pass them on the street, you avoid making eye contact. On the subway you move to another car. Most of these people don't have jobs because they're too anti social to work but that doesn't prevent them from coming in to public buildings and making a scary nuisance of themselves. Deb can tell you plenty of stories.

 

As unpleasant as all this is the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of these people *never* do anything to physically harm others. There is no way to spot the one in 500,000 who will one day explode. So what are we going to do about them?

 

As Rail Paul observed upthread, the law is evolving in a civil libertarian direction. In the bad old days some of these people might have been commited to mental institutions. No more. We let them roam free and we're not about to change that policy.

 

We're also not about to start a massive national program of roving mental health counselors who will follow these folks around making daily risk assessments and dispensing theraputic drugs. Hell, lots of these people already have drug prescriptions but they refuse to take them. Are we going to send enforcement types to find them and force them to take their meds every day? That's not going to happen either.

 

About the best you can do is to keep guns out of their hands and make it hard for them to kill large numbers of people quickly. It's the solution I'd endorse but the gun lobby would resist that. The only way I'd see that changing is if we have 3 or four VT size massacres in the space of 2 years. That's not likely to happen.

 

Never underestimate the power of inertia.

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Yes, I agree with all that. One thing which I think might be improved, though, are the systems in schools and universities for monitoring potential problems. My impression is that the college had all kinds of relevant pieces of information about the guy scattered among various departments, with no-one "owning" the issue.

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My impression is that the college had all kinds of relevant pieces of information about the guy scattered among various departments, with no-one "owning" the issue.

According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, it doesn't appear that the school could have done very much anyway.

 

Laws Limit Options When a Student Is Mentally Ill

 

Federal privacy and antidiscrimination laws restrict how universities can deal with students who have mental health problems.

...

“They can’t really kick someone out because they’re writing papers about weird topics, even if they seem withdrawn and hostile,” said Dr. Richard Kadison, chief of mental health services at Harvard University. “Most state laws are pretty clear: you can only bring students to hospitals if there is imminent risk to themselves or someone else, so universities are in a bit of a bind that way.”

...

On the other hand, universities may be held liable if they do take action to remove a potentially suicidal student. In August, the City University of New York agreed to pay $65,000 to a student who sued after being barred from her dormitory room at Hunter College because she was hospitalized after a suicide attempt.

The laws are nice and murky, insuring that confusion and caution make quick and decisive action impossible.

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There was a program on school shootings on CBC last night. They visited with some former students of Centennial Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario, where in 1975 a 16-year-old student shot and killed a teacher and another student, and wounded 13 others before turning the gun on himself. One of the people interviewed was Scott Thompson of Kids in the Hall fame, who was a student present that day. He was being interviewed while walking through the school. He started out very matter-of-fact but became visibly more agitated as they got closer to the scene. He started whispering, and he looked like he might not be able to go on at one point. Others interviewed became tearful and upset while discussing it. That was over 30 years ago but clearly it was like yesterday to those remembering it. There were no special trauma teams or psychological counselling back then. I hope the students at the more recent tragedies get the help they need to recover -- if in fact one ever does.

 

(A fact from the show was that, five months after the Brampton shooting there was a copycat killing at Saint Pius X School here in Ottawa, and these two events were the impetus for the introduction of gun legislation in Canada in 1977.)

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As unpleasant as all this is the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of these people *never* do anything to physically harm others.

More often THEY are physically harmed by others, parents, bullies, predators. What I find interesting is that absolutely NOBODY on TV is talking about what his parents said last Thursday. He was a problem since infancy with little speech or eye contact and they came to America hoping for help. He was diagnosed at age 8 as being autistic (classical symptoms of no speech or eye contact) but given no helpful therapy or intervention because not much was known then and his parents could not access financially what WAS known. On Saturday, C-SPAN covered a two-hour Senate hearing on autism. THE FIRST ONE EVER HELD now that the statistics say 1 in 150 children are now born autistic. Heaven help us if we don't get this fixed soon.

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