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Why Do Moms Kill their Kids?

April 28, 2011 | 50,195 views
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Mother DrivingOne night not all that long ago, a mother in Newburgh, NY, drove herself and her four children into the Hudson River. Her eldest son escaped and ran to get help, but the woman and her three younger children drowned. The tragedy brings to mind similar cases -- Susan Smith in 1994, Andrea Yates in 2001.

What leads a parent to kill their own child? Dr. Phillip Resnick, a leading expert on the subject, says there are several circumstances under which a parent might feel driven to it.

According to Resnick, as reported by Time Magazine:

"The first is 'altruistic.' The classic case is the mother who plans to take her own life and believes that the children are better off in heaven with her. Number two is the case in which the parent is acutely psychotic. The third type is fatal battering ... The fourth is an unwanted baby, for example an infant born out of wedlock. The final category is spousal revenge, typically after infidelity."

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Sadly, cases of moms killing their kids are not unheard of, and in fact are being regularly reported in the United States.

As Time reported, there was Andrea Yates who drowned her five children at home in 2001, Susan Smith who drowned her two sons in 1994, Julie Powers Schenecker who shot and killed her two children earlier this year, and then this latest tale of tragedy involving Lashanda Armstrong, who drowned three of her four children this month.

Was a History of Domestic Abuse, Stress and Postpartum Depression to Blame?

Media descriptions of Armstrong paint a picture of an overwhelmed single mother, possibly suffering from postpartum depression, who had just filed a restraining order against the father of her children, with whom she had a history of domestic problems.

The stress may have driven her over the edge, as it threatened to do to Daleen Berry, a woman who was in a similar situation and described her own intent to kill her children in this article on Yahoo News. Or she may have been going through one of the five circumstances noted above, which Dr. Phillip Resnick, a leading expert on parents who kill their children, told Time magazine are among the most common driving forces.

Perhaps she planned to commit suicide and believed her children would be better off dying with her. Or she wanted to exact revenge on her boyfriend, or may have been suffering from a form of psychosis.

Sadly no one will ever know for sure, but one contributing factor that should always be considered in cases of extreme violence such as this is whether or not the mother was taking any medications, specifically antidepressant drugs.

Were Antidepressants Involved?

Antidepressant drugs have been shown to CAUSE both suicidal and homicidal thoughts and behaviors. Seven out of the last 12 school shootings were actually done by children who were either on antidepressants, or going through withdrawal.

In fact those taking antidepressants are twice as likely to commit suicide than those that are not taking them.

It's unclear whether or not Armstrong was taking any type of mind-altering drugs, but it's well known that Andrea Yates was. She was reportedly prescribed four extremely potent mind-altering drugs for depression, including:

  • Haldol, an antipsychotic most often used to treat schizophrenia
  • Effexor, an antidepressant very similar to SSRIs
  • Wellbutrin, another antidepressant

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, a court-qualified medical expert, reportedly stated that:

"The mixture of Haldol, Wellbutrin and Effexor is unpredictable in its effects. Haldol actually can cause depression, and putting the three drugs together is somewhat experimental."

In another case, a jury ruled that the antidepressant Paxil caused Donald Schell to shoot and kill his wife, daughter and granddaughter. The jury found that the drug maker held 80 percent fault in the crime and his surviving family received $8 million in damages.

So when we hear of tragedies like the case of Andrea Yates or Lashanda Armstrong, it needs to be clarified whether any drugs they were taking played a roll in their actions. As reported in this Insight Magazine article, we need to be asking:

"Were these the actions of a severely depressed woman who "lost it," or did the mind-altering drugs push this emotionally distraught woman over the edge? Should the latter be established in the criminal court, it could raise an even greater issue: Who was responsible? Was it a chemically poisoned mother who carried out the crazed act, the physician who prescribed the mind-altering cocktails or the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured and marketed the treatment?"

Possible Hormone Connection

There are a number of reports that suggest progesterone may be related to postpartum depression.

Levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol all drop dramatically after a woman gives birth, and an estimated 85 percent experience some type of mood disturbances during the first days and weeks that follow.

For about 15 percent of women, that mood disturbance continues on and becomes full-blown postpartum depression, which can cause suicidal thoughts, and recurrent thoughts of death, as well as intense sadness, anxiety and despair that can put the mother and infant at risk.

Because progesterone levels rise throughout pregnancy and fall rapidly after birth, it's been suggested that this sudden drop could be a cause of postpartum depression. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, development of "maternity blues" was associated with high prenatal progesterone concentrations, low postnatal concentrations, and a steep fall in concentration after delivery.

The researchers noted:

"It may be possible to attenuate maternity blues by treating mothers with progesterone."

If you choose to use progesterone, make sure it is bioidentical and make sure that you use it properly. It really should not be swallowed but applied topically. However, ideally it should only be applied to mucosal areas like the vaginal or rectal area.

I have updated an extensive report on progesterone that goes into far more details.

[+] Sources and References

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