By Dr. Mercola
More than a decade ago, Dr. Yolande Lucire started noticing high rates of hospital admission and suicide among patients treated with antidepressant medications and antipsychotics.
Since then, she has gathered evidence that makes it clear that many people being treated with antidepressants can't metabolize them due to common genetic mutations.
Dr. Lucire has been campaigning to introduce ways of minimizing over-prescription of antidepressants.
"[The enzyme] CYP2D6 (cytochrome P450 2D6) acts on one-fourth of all prescription drugs, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), beta blockers, opiates, neuroleptics, antiarrhythmics and a variety of toxic plant substances.
Up to 15 percent of the population has a slow acting form of this enzyme and many of these a fast acting form.
Thirty-five percent are carriers of a non-functional CYP2D6 allele, especially elevating the risk of adverse drug reactions when these individuals are taking multiple drugs...
This means that potentially up to 1 billion people on the planet cannot metabolize and eliminate the commonly prescribed drugs from their bodies".
Antidepressants Among the Most Dangerous Drugs Available
The past few decades have been marked by a massive con job by the pharmaceutical industry. This deception has not only targeted you, the consumer, but also government agencies like the FDA and unsuspecting physicians who really believe they are helping their patients by prescribing antidepressants and other drugs. These treatments have been marketed as safe and effective, when in reality, they are neither.
It appears that antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs (also called neuroleptics) may be among the MOST dangerous drugs of all. Antidepressant drugs cause 40,000 deaths per year, yet they're handed out like candy to adults and children alike.
The very legitimacy of science and scientific literature has been seriously undermined by the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, which is able to disguise their propaganda as a "scientific study," then worm its way into a highly prized medical journals. Time and again, brave whistleblowers have revealed the truth about "studies" that are outright fraudulent, aggressively advertised, and carefully concocted by drug makers in an effort to shamelessly deceive the public.
And thankfully, truth-seekers who have no ties to Big Pharma occasionally conduct and publish studies that reveal the truth about what these drugs are doing to people. The study cited above is the latest example.
From Depressed to Homicidal: The "Miracles" of Modern Pharmacy
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Yolande Lucire and pharmacogeneticist Christopher Crotty found a significant association between genetics, metabolism of psychiatric drugs, and severe "homicidal akathisia." Akathisia is a medical term describing a condition of motor restlessness, marked by anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, or the sensation of "jumping out of one's skin" and the inability to sit quietly or sleep. Akathisia is a common side effect of neuroleptic drugs. Chronic sleeplessness itself can lead to a long list of physical and emotional symptoms.
It has long been known that many antidepressants cause akathisia, especially SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a category that includes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and other commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Some researchers and physicians believe that akathisia is the chief symptom that triggers impulsive violence in certain individuals who take antidepressant drugs.This is thought to be an extreme form of akathisia. Homicidal impulses and murderous behavior due to akathisia is now being called "homicidal akathisia."
The akathisia issue first came into public view shortly after Prozac entered the marketplace in the mid-1980s, when reports of murder and suicide among patients taking Prozac were publicized by the media. Since then, there have been thousands of reports of violent behavior by individuals taking antidepressant drugs. There is even a website devoted to collecting and indexing these reports in a sortable database. The site lists more than 4,800 cases, from murder-suicides to road rage to school shootings.
In spite of adamant denials by Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly that the drug could not cause violent behavior, by early 1991 some 350 suicides by Prozac patients had been reported to the FDA. Most of the patients were NOT suicidal prior to taking the pharmaceuticals, despite claims that the increased violence could be explained by the fact that patients prescribed these drugs represented a high-risk population to begin with, in which suicide rates were higher.
It was also observed that fixation with violence and death abated when patients discontinued their antidepressants, further pointing the finger at drugs as the cause.
Lucire's CYP450 Gene Study
In the featured study, 138 people were tested for CYP450 genes; a family of genes thought to have metabolic consequences that lead to serotonin toxicity and resultant severe akathisia in some individuals.
Researchers examined 129 subjects who experienced drug-induced adverse events (mainly akathisia). Of the 129, 12 suffered disastrous consequences while taking antidepressant drugs:
- 8 committed homicide
- 3 committed suicide
- 1 sleepwalked to her death
So, these individuals sought help for ordinary emotional distress related to various life stressors, such as bereavement, marital difficulties, and work-related stress—and the treatment resulted in homicide, suicide and unintentional death.
How can antidepressants that aim to improve your mood have such tragic and unintended consequences?
A certain family of genes, called CYP450 genes, cause metabolic processes in some people that lead to serotonin toxicity and severe akathisia.
These genes were found to be more prevalent among patients reporting akathisia than in the general public. What this means is, if you have these genes and you take antidepressants or a number of other drugs, you can develop serotonin toxicity and uncontrollable violent impulses.(For a complete list of CYP450 interactions, refer to this table on the Indiana University School of Medicine website.)
Patients experienced complete resolution of their akathisia when their antidepressant drugs were discontinued. Of course, it was too late for the four patients who had already killed themselves, and no way to bring back to life those killed by the other eight.
The authors concluded:
"The results presented here concerning a sample of persons given antidepressants for psychosocial distress demonstrate the extent to which the psychopharmacology industry has expanded its influence beyond its ability to cure.".
But this isn't the only study that has shown these drugs to be extremely risky. The following are two more very recent studies that should give you serious pause before filling your prescription for a mind-altering medication.
Antidepressants Increase the Risk of Death Among the Elderly
In a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in August 2011, more than 60,000 adults over age 65 diagnosed with depression were tracked between 1996 and 2007. The findings are disturbing. Antidepressants were linked with higher risk of death from heart attack, stroke, falls, and seizures.
- Seniors not taking any antidepressant drugs had a 7 percent risk of death from any cause.
- Seniors taking older (prior to SSRI) antidepressants showed an 8.1 percent risk of death.
- Seniors taking SSRIs (the newer antidepressants) showed a 10.6 percent risk of death.
Have PTSD? Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Drugs May Be a Waste of Time and Money
A very large study of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), published in JAMA in 2011, showed that antipsychotic agents are no better than placebo at reducing the symptoms of PTSD. Government data shows that 10 to 20 percent of soldiers who see live combat develop PTSD. Of these, about one fifth are prescribed an antipsychotic drug, such as risperidone (Risperdal), after antidepressant treatment fails.
The lead author of the study, Dr. John Krystal, stated they could find NO benefit of antipsychotic drug treatment for the soldiers. Although this study involved only one antipsychotic medication (risperidone), the findings can be extrapolated to the entire class of drugs, including Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.
This is such a typical approach of our healthcare system—a hit and miss strategy, juggling mixtures and doses of different drugs in a ramshackle attempt to find something that works. Antidepressants aren't working, so they try you on antipsychotics, which turn out to be just as worthless. Meanwhile, your condition gets worse so you are given numerous other drugs to manage your ever-growing list of side effects.
Senior scientist Dr. Charles Hoge at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research commented on the PTSD study's findings:
"I think it's a very important study, given how frequently the drugs have been prescribed. It definitely calls into question the use of antipsychotics in general for PTSD."
So what's the message here?
You have to address the root cause, and these drugs treat only your symptoms—and even THAT, they do poorly. But if drugs are ineffective and even dangerous, what can you do if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or PTSD?
How to Address the Root Cause of Your Problem
I strongly believe that energy psychology is one of the most powerful tools for resolving emotional issues—specifically a technique called EFT —and I'll be talking more about that in a moment.
The effectiveness of any energy psychology technique will be significantly improved if you combine it with the following:
- Dramatically decreasing your consumption of sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods. (In addition to being high in sugar and grains, processed foods also contain a variety of additives that can affect your brain function and mental state, especially artificial sweeteners.)
- Adequate vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to depression and affects one in four people.
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels, ideally through regular sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important for your mood. One study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels.
The best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to SUNSHINE, not swallowing a tablet. Remember, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that we know is related to sunshine deficiency, so it would make sense that the perfect way to optimize your vitamin D is through sun exposure, or a safe tanning bed if you don't have regular access to the sun.
- Plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are crucial for good brain function and mental health, and most people don't get enough from diet alone. Make sure you take a high-quality omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.
- Evaluate your salt intake. Sodium deficiency actually creates symptoms that are very much like those of depression. Make sure you do NOT use processed salt (regular table salt), however. You'll want to use an all natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt, which contains more than 80 different micronutrients.
- Adequate daily exercise. Exercise is one of the best-kept secrets to preventing depression.
New Research is Shining a Light on the Benefits of EFT
I have been a fan of energy psychology for many years, having witnessed its effectiveness in my medical practice and in my own personal life. However, studies have been few and far between as science has been trying to "catch up" with clinical experience.
All of that is changing now.
The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I most highly recommend to manage stress and optimize your emotional health. Several studies have recently been published that show just how safe and effective EFT really is. For example, the following three studies show remarkable progress in a very short amount of time for people with a history of trauma:
- A 2009 study of 16 institutionalized adolescent boys with histories of physical or psychological abuse showed substantially decreased intensity of traumatic memories after just ONE session of EFT.
- An EFT study involving 30 moderately to severely depressed college students was conducted. The depressed students were given four 90-minute EFT sessions. Students who received EFT showed significantly less depression than the control group when evaluated three weeks later.
- A study of 100 veterans with severe PTSD (Iraq Vets Stress Project) showed an astounding reduction of symptoms after just six one-hour EFT sessions. After completing six sessions, 90 percent of the veterans had such a reduction in symptoms that they no longer met the clinical criteria for PTSD. Sixty percent no longer met PTSD criteria after only three EFT sessions. At the three-month follow-up, the gains remained stable, suggesting lasting and potentially permanent resolution of the problem.
[The Iraq Stress Project is still recruiting veteran volunteers. If you are a veteran and interested in participating, you can get more information here.]
Compare these EFT studies to the studies about antidepressant drugs, and you will see the stark contrast!
Operation Emotional Freedom
In a new documentary film entitled Operation: Emotional Freedom, directed by Eric Huurre, a number of Veterans and their families went through intensive therapy using EFT. The results were truly astounding. EFT developer Gary Craig, along with other EFT practitioners worked very closely with Veterans who recently returned home from war.
They were all suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety and a few were suicidal. At the end of treatment, each one of them describes a new feeling of peace and hope that there is help and they were able to overcome emotional traumas experienced in combat.
This film is a close look at the current state of health care for combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The film is about examining the myths and misconceptions surrounding the medical/chemical approach to treating emotional conditions and why drugs are not "the answer" that pharmaceuticals promise. Instead, the story follows this group of volunteer Vets and their families on a journey from the hell of their post-war experiences through a newer vision of health and recovery for PTSD and trauma.
Visit the official website www.operation-emotionalfreedom.com to learn more about efforts to assist veterans and their families through energy psychology.
Clearly, energy psychology beats pharmaceuticals HANDS DOWN as a safer, more effective, longer-lasting treatment for stress and emotional problems. And there have been EFT successes with a wide range of other issues—both emotional and physical. EFT is easy to learn, no matter what your age—children included—so I encourage you to add it to your stress-busting tool kit.
You Can't Separate Your Mental Health from Your Physical Health
I want to reiterate that depression can indeed be a very serious condition. If left untreated, it can have a devastating impact on just about every aspect of your life and your family. Depression can lead to suicide, with or without antidepressant drugs.
Please remember that your emotional health is intimately connected with your physical health, which is largely controlled by diet and lifestyle choices and your reactions to stress. These daily habits have enormous impact, whether you want to overcome depression or just continue enjoying great health.
So please, actively investigate and consider the natural treatments I've suggested above, ideally with the support and guidance of a knowledgeable natural medicine friendly healthcare practitioner.
- Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine August 2011;4:65-81
- Prevent Disease November 9, 2011
- Alliance for Human Research Protection August 11, 2011
- SFGate January 4, 2004
- SSRI Stories
- Indiana University Department of Medicine
- BMJ August 2, 2011
- JAMA 2011
- New York Times August 2, 2011
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Soul Medicine Institute
- Iraq Vets Stress Project