Baby Boomerang

July, 17, 2017 | 28 Comments


  1. One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about recently – not directly relevant here but part of the bigger picture:

    a crucial, confounding factor in getting adverse effects – from relatively mild to catastrophic – properly acknowledged by Big P, prescribers, health care professionals, many patients and friends and family is that fact that I know many people who happily pop the pills with no devastating and obvious ill effects. Maybe a bit of stomach trouble for a week or so? (Leaving aside any long term damage). So – Big P starts from a huge advantage – show us all these people who cut themselves, attempt suicide….where exactly are they? Hiding the trial data is arguably easier, because deep down few lay people have direct experience of really appalling drug-induced agitation/disinhibition/violence. A fair few people I know believe the drugs I took had nothing to do with what I did. Others are willing to suspend an embedded belief that any drug could cause anyone to go berserk, but I guess, deep down, are sceptical. As for medics – when I was on the rampage I was under the care of psychiatrists, at the ‘secondary’, expert, consultant level. I very, very rarely saw a GP. How many of us here, were under the sole care of a GP?

    (Huge thunderstorm just started so posting in haste)

    I would love to get a ball park percentage for how many of those, prescribed an antidepressant, have the sort of extreme reaction I had. We are a self-selected cohort here – but any number cruncher who could tot up the number of prescriptions, look at reported data around akathisia and make a (necessarily crude) calculation would be doing me a big favour. It would be interesting too, to calculate how many people get passed from GP to psychiatrist because they are getting worse on the pills, not better. We have a very bi-partite system here – once you’ve been thrown to the consultants, that’s pretty much it. Then the thorny matter of diagnoses of personality disorder and bi-polar showering down …as I write, I realise it’s a big, messy matter. But I just yearn to get a handle on the numbers. Sadly my maths skills are zilch. Although given the numbers, I could wield a calculator I suppose.

    • Sally, do you think it might be an idea for you to make a list of the questions you would like answered, maybe with yes/no/other tick boxes and a space to explain if reply is ‘other’? Just thought it may be easier for you to glean the necessary info in this way? – not that I’m a fan of tick boxes but would serve a purpose here I feel!
      Good luck with your survey – will you accept replies from family/friend/carer if memory of the one on tablets is patchy? If so, I’ll fill you in soon.

  2. Commenting on Lacasse and Leo’s work, Professor David Healy of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, said: “The serotonin theory of depression is comparable to the masturbatory theory of insanity.

    “In the case of these myths, the key question is whose interests are being served by a widespread promulgation of such views rather than how do we test this theory.”

    Leonie‏ @leoniefen 10h10 hours ago

    Replying to @Fiddaman @BarendsTherapy
    Via @DrDavidHealy

    Adult Boomers …

  3. It just goes to show ..

    Do English mental health services know whether they followed N.I.C.E. guidelines with patients who killed themselves?

    Accessing suicide-related information

    The UK government just published a National Suicide Prevention Strategy (Public Health England, 2017). One of its five action areas is ‘Improving data at national and local level and how this data is used to help take action and target efforts more accurately’.

    Given that preventing suicide is one of the primary purposes of any mental health service, and one of the justifications for forcibly detaining and medicating people, services must have systems for monitoring compliance with NICE guidelines.

    It is concerning that 45% of the organizations provided no information. It seems particularly problematic that we found four private organizations operating beyond the jurisdiction of the FOI Act. Three stated this explicitly. One simply ignored the request. There should be a level playing field for NHS providers and private organizations serving NHS patients.

    • Annie
      You appear to be saying that organisations and their practitioners should be following the NICE guidelines. If a practitioner was publishing their own outcome statistics (there is a large international movement to see all practitioners in mental health using Routine Outcome Monitoring tools), and some are, and they were getting better outcomes than those following NICE guidelines, would you be so keen to see NICE guidelines followed. A number of practitioners in MH have been forced out due to not complying with NICE guidelines despite clear evidence of superior outcomes.

  4. Mary – you’ve put me very properly on the spot! I’m fond of throwing out ideas, less fond of getting off my backside and doing something myself. That’s an excellent idea. I’ll have a think about a very simple questionnaire and/ or whether it would work in a blog format. Meanwhile anyone reading who is comfortable with numbers/figures could help hugely? As for imperfect memory/recall – I don’t think that matters one iota. I was thinking in very crude (unscientific) terms anyway. Thanks for the push.

  5. Open letter endorsing the Report of the United Nations special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

    The ‘Horlicks’ stays in India ..

    John Woodcock‏Verified account @JWoodcockMP 19h19 hours ago

    Company is clear its decision is not related to Brexit. But decision to cancel shows GSK made a monumental misjudgement of biopharm market

  6. “Completely changes the game” – MHRA

    The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told Sky News that the availability of sedatives, tranquilisers and opioids on the platform “completely changes the game”.

    Danny Lee-Frost, head of enforcement at the MHRA, told Sky News: “The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous.

    “People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive.”

    Sky News investigation: Prescription drugs sold illegally on Facebook

  7. One step ..

    Special task force formed

    “We will show the hunger, the positivity and the spirit which led to Ulverston being singled out for the now cancelled biopharm investment in the first place”

    Mr Woodcock added: “I spoke to life sciences minister Lord Prior this morning who made clear the government will assist our efforts to save the plant after the shock announcement. The cancellation is a big blow for UK PLC as well as the Cumbrian economy so it is vital the government steps up to help turn this situation around.”

    Two-step ..

    Tim Farron: GSK should leave ‘dowry’ for future investment and jobs

    “People feel betrayed and many residents are understandably concerned about the impact on jobs. GSK should commit to leaving a substantial dowry of several million pounds, to show good faith to the local community.

    Leaving even a fraction of the £350million that GSK would have invested would help to support local jobs and partially compensate local residents for this blow. Our local community has shown deep commitment to GSK. GSK must now show an ongoing commitment to our community. Anything else will be an appalling betrayal.”

    – Tim Farron, South Lakeland MP

    Out of step ..

    Describing the approach after presenting her first set of results in April, she said: “We will need to be switching off some areas.”

    Isn’t it just incredible that Seroxat is never referred to, as a former blockbuster, and one wonders when Seroxat will be up for sale or even siphoned off .. I would imagine Emma Walmsley will be considering her options and may be it will be mentioned on Wednesday, 26 July on the live Investor Event Webcast at 2.00 pm and a few hours later on Panorama ..

    A Prescription for Murder” @ShelleyJofre investigates the link between SSRIs and homicide via @BBCPanorama BBC1, WED JULY 26, 21:00 BST

    Latest afternoon reporting is from Clr Brook

    Cllr Brook said that although the current SLDC local plan, which determines housing development, will not be changed there is a possibility any future plans will take the GSK withdrawal into account.


    I was reading copious amounts of news about GSK and Ulverston when the Sky News line flashed at the bottom of the page about Drugs on Facebook. I left Ulverston to check out the story which gave out the admission from Danny Lee-Frost, quote below, from my comment.

    Danny Lee-Frost, head of enforcement at the MHRA, told Sky News: “The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous.

    “People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive.”

    Bob Fiddaman


    The original article was posted on Sky News at 10.14am

    I contact the MHRA aand Danny Lee-Frost at 11.38am

    Sky News change their page with edits at 3.15pm

    This is the ‘changed quotation’ from Danny Lee-Frost

    Danny Lee-Frost, head of enforcement at the MHRA, told Sky News: “The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous.

    “Sleeping pills particularly, they can be addictive. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive.”

  9. The research from her book has prompted  a 1 hour BBC Panorama Special that investigates whether  an antidepressant could be the cause of  one of the worst mass killings of this century.  It is due to air on 26 July at 9 pm. 

    The Pill That Steals Lives/About

    The book has been  endorsed by leading academic and world expert on antidepressants Professor David Healy:

    “If you think this case is exceptional, think again. Katinka Blackford Newman eloquently and vividly describes a medical horror coming your way soon”

    Oliver Thring
    July 23 2017, 12:01am, 

    The Sunday Times


    A dribbling, suicidal mess — until I kicked the kill pills

    Antidepressants are being linked to psychosis and even mass murder. One woman who nearly lost everything tells Oliver Thring how she thought she had stabbed her children

    In January 2012, after 13 happy years, Katinka Blackford Newman’s marriage suddenly fell apart. That September she realised she would not be able to keep the family home in north London that she shared with her children Lily and Oscar, then 11 and 10. She grew anxious and unhappy. The worrying led to insomnia, so Blackford Newman, a documentary film maker, went to see a psychiatrist. He took 20 minutes to diagnose clinical depression and prescribe escitalopram (Lexapro), a common antidepressant.

    After a few doses Blackford Newman had become psychotic. She began raving incomprehensibly, unable to stop moving because of a painful and frightening condition called akathisia. Her vision blurred and she started hallucinating …

  10. Previously ..

    Fiddaman Blog

    Did the British drug regulator, the MHRA, contact Sky News and request for the word “antidepressants” to be removed from original article posted on the Sky News website last week?

    “People shout ‘kiddy killer’ at him in the street

    Soon after Blackford Newman left hospital, she met David Healy, a psychiatry professor and former secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. Healy has spent years warning of the alleged dangers of antidepressants and other drugs. He notes that 25 years ago about 1 in 10,000 patients in Britain received a diagnosis of depression; today between half and a fifth of us will receive the diagnosis during our lifetimes.

    “The clinical trials show that more people commit suicide on these drugs than are saved by them,” he says. “The same applies to homicide.”

    Healy estimates that across Europe up to 2,500 suicides every year and a similar number of violent episodes could be triggered by reactions to antidepressants. The figures, he claims, are broadly similar in America. They are disputed by the pharmaceutical industry and most psychiatrists, who say the drugs save lives.

    After leaving hospital, Blackford Newman met David Carmichael, director of a Canadian government fitness programme. In 2004 he increased his dosage of a common antidepressant, paroxetine (Seroxat). This had been found in 2002 to cause more withdrawal problems than any other drug then licensed in Britain.

    In 2001 GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Seroxat, paid a $6.4m settlement to the relatives of a “non- violent family man and doting grandfather”, according to reports, who had murdered his wife, daughter and granddaughter before committing suicide while taking the drug. Blackford Newman alleges drug companies have paid billions of dollars settling similar cases.

  11. He has taken out a $20 million lawsuit against Glaxosmithkline, the maker of Seroxat, on the grounds of personal injury and product liability.

    ‘I believe there have been many, many deaths associated with Seroxat and I want to see the data on the table,’ says David.

    A spokesman for Glaxosmithkline said: ‘Mr Carmichael’s case is clearly a tragedy, but medicines like paroxetine are an important option for treating depression and have helped many people.

    ‘Patient safety is our priority and there is no scientific evidence that paroxetine causes homicidal, psychotic, or violent behaviour.

    ‘We continue to monitor paroxetine’s safety and make our research available. It is important that patients do not change how they take their medicine, or stop taking it altogether, without speaking to their doctor.’

    Professor Healy believes David Carmichael was ‘almost certainly’ in the grip of SSRI psychosis when he killed Ian.


    When is A Prescription For Murder? on BBC One, who is Shelley Jofre and what’s the documentary about?

    Who is James Homes and what was the Aurora massacre?

    James Eagan Holmes was born December 13, 1987 and is an American convicted mass murder.
    He was responsible for the Aurora cinema shooting that killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a Century movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012.
    He walked into a midnight screening of Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises and threw two gas canisters into the audience.
    Many in the audience thought it was a publicity stunt until he began spraying the crown with the shotgun, then the assault rifle and finally the pistol.
    A witness said he went outside and and shot people as they ran.
    Cops apprehended Holmes in his car behind the cinema within minutes of the shooting.

    He told them that he was “The Joker”.

    On August 7 2015 Holmes was sentenced to life in prison without parole, avoiding the death penalty because the jury could not come to a unanimous decision.

    With exclusive access to psychiatric reports, court footage and drug company data, reporter Shelley Jofre investigates..

  13. ‘Unite’ in the Backlash ..

    ‘Tony Devlin, national officer for the pharmaceutical industry, added: “We will be meeting with the UK senior management next week to discuss the reasons behind this announcement which has come as a significant blow for Unite members and looking at the detailed business case for these proposed redundancies and changes in national strategy.

  14. Home country ..

    Apropos, Sky News and MHRA gate .. and ..

    The new CEO has already shown she is prepared to reverse the direction, and some of the promises, of her predecessor Andrew Witty, and has the courage to take steps likely to be politically unpopular in the home country.

    GSK will increase its presence in the chronic drugs space by “getting products from parent’s innovation pipeline and partly by local and international deals,” said Andrew Aristidou, its chief financial officer.


    TRM123 July 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

    More courageous advocacy providing hope that those prescribed SSRIs may be better informed.

    Of utmost importance: – a chance for patient and prescriber to be aware of the most dangerous of the psychotropic drug induced toxicities – AKATHISIA.

    The Court Transcripts – (Dolin v GSK) Chicago 2017 reveal how the dangers of SSRI induced akathisia had been allegedly hidden from prescribers and their patients by the both SSRI manufactures and the drug regulators.


    1 in 5 of patients taking SSRIs will have clinically significant akathisia.
    As high as 50% with antipsychotics.
    The suffering of the patient and that of their loved ones is profound.
    The intense and increasing agitation, pacing, iatrogenic change in behaviour and personality, aggression and acute neurotoxicity-induced self harm, violence against self or others predispose to incompetent and erroneous misdiagnosis of serious mental illness (SMI) where none exists.
    Such failure of basic differential diagnosis may result in detention and enforced “medication” with more of the same classes of drugs that induced this life threatening adverse drug reaction. (ADR).
    There appears little medical interest in the potential to prevent akathisia and its incumbent risk of iatrogenic suicidality and completed suicide by using genomic sequencing tests to identify those who have an impaired ability to metabolise prescription psychoactive drugs.

    Thank you Katinka.

    TRM 123. Retired Consultant Physician.

  16. The Telegraph
    Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

    26 July 2017 • 12:39am

    Antidepressants linked to murders and murderous thoughts

    UK-based psychiatrist Professor David Healy, who was an adviser to Holmes’s defence team and interviewed Holmes while he was awaiting trial, told Panorama: “I believe if he hadn’t taken the sertraline he wouldn’t have murdered anyone.”

    However court psychiatrist Dr William Reid who also interviewed Holmes before the trial, told the programme makers that he thought the killings were a result of mental illness and “completely unrelated to the medication.”

    Prosecuting Attorney George Brauchler told Panorama: “I don’t think the medications caused these shootings, I think this guy with his evil thoughts, having concluded that he had no other alternative future, with the mental illness, led to this, that’s what I think did it.”

    The role of the drugs was not explored in court, and the defence team did not call on Professor Healy to give evidence.

    The Telegraph
    By Nick Allen, Los Angeles

    11:33PM BST 16 Jul 2015

    But two other psychiatrists appointed by the court concluded Holmes was sane, despite being severely mentally ill.

    Prosecutor George Brauchler said: “That guy was sane beyond a reasonable doubt and he needs to be held accountable for what he did.

    “They (the audience) came in hoping to see a story of a hero dressed in black, someone who would fight insurmountable odds in the name of justice and trying to protect others.
    “Instead, a different figure appeared by the screen dressed all in black. And he came there with one thing in his heart and in his mind, and that was mass murder.”

  17. Pre Views ..

    Simon Wessely Retweeted

    Paul Summergrad‏ @paulsummergrad Jul 24

    Replying to @VahabzadehMD @dineshbhugra and 2 others

    @WesselyS @PeterDKramer Any medication can have adverse effects, @thesundaytimes calling antidepressants “kill pills” is irresponsible

    What is irresponsible is closing your mind, not looking at the data, not publicly sharing your views and using twitter as your platform

    I have not heard one useful word .. kill pills does not mean jettison pills, it means that there is a lot of data to suggest some pills cause some people to appalling acts of violence

    If this is not understood, then the parity just gets wider .. and the investigations stop before they have even started …

    BBC Panorama’s ‘A Prescription For Murder?’ Prompts Fears People Will Stop Taking Anti-Depressants

    They’re urged not to ‘worry unnecessarily’.

    A BBC spokeswoman said: “People have not yet seen the programme and should judge it once it broadcasts.

    “It is in the public interest for the BBC to investigate the possible adverse side effects of SSRIs that could potentially affect a minority of people. 

    “The programme is a serious and considered work, which includes a range of voices in Psychiatry in both the US and the UK. It is stressed throughout the programme that these drugs are safe for the majority of users and people should not change or stop taking medication without seeking medical advice first.”

  18. Eyebrow-raising ..

    Investment bank Goldman Sachs commented in a note: “The lack of upside to previous 2020 guidance is disappointing on the margin”.

    However, she stressed, GSK’s reason for existing remains unchanged: “This company does important work. Our purpose matters – to help millions of people do more every day, feel better and live longer. We keep hundreds of millions of people well – from new-born babies to the elderly. This purpose will remain the ultimate priority under my leadership.”

    And this is a message that cannot be stressed enough. Ms Walmsley admits that, in common with other big businesses, GSK has suffered an erosion of trust in recent years.

    Rebuilding that will be every bit as challenging as the operational and efficiency improvements she has unveiled.

    “can we get your name”

    “like Sherlock”

  19. Sitting on the sofa .. with Victoria ..

    Simon Wessely Retweeted

    If you are unsettled by media coverage on #antidepressants, discuss concerns with your doctor and decide together whether to continue

    AntiDepAware Retweeted

    Victoria Derbyshire‏Verified account @VictoriaLIVE 8h8 hours ago

    ‘If he hadn’t been on anti-depressents he’d be alive now’ Leonie Fennell whose son killed his girlfriend’s new partner then himself.

    Simon says: the benefits outweigh the risks and Simon says ..


    Listen …

  20. One thing I have encountered with people on SSRIs (who are quite devoted to them) are obviously diminished inhibitions: people behaving in socially aggressive and often rather unacceptable ways (of course, well short of murder). In these cases it was evident that medication was making life more tolerable for them but not necessarily for anyone else. To emphasise, I am talking about nothing which was remotely criminal yet the diminution of inhibition could – if this is the way they work – on similar principles easily lead to actual criminal behaviour. They certainly led to loss of judgment.

  21. Attila the Hun’s point about ‘loss of judgement’ here is key. Also Sally Macgregor’s earlier on this string about wanting to know who is adversely affected by these meds and who (seemingly) isn’t. Her survey idea is excellent. I hadn’t read this till now but had been thinking the same way on the next post on David’s Blog. The great excuse always trotted out by unbelieving doctors and ‘friends’ is that they know so many others that have been fine on these meds, ‘so why do you expect us to accept your anecdotal evidence of harm as fact?’

    Like Sally says, once you are shipped off to the psychiatrist’s care, you are rarely seen by the GP. If interviewed by the former, probably by then already on SSRIs, your judgement is skewed and the stuff you say isn’t necessarily typically your normal rational approach from when you still had your normal ‘judgement’ working. This is where we need to keep harking back to The History, and sometimes maybe the family should seriously be listened to. Always bearing in mind that they may be biased against the patient, so may put their own spin on things. But facts are facts. And some useful stuff should surely shine through.

    As to The Pill and it’s effects. Well, I felt myself starting to feel unreal and anxious within days of taking it, three months before my wedding in 1971. The feeling got so bad, the world began to look so bleak, that I broke off my engagement. One could argue that the negative attitude of my rather peculiar manipulative mother-in-law-to-be at the time was wearing me down, but that wasn’t it. My manic depressive dad’s grandiose ideas about a marquee in his small garden wasn’t helpful either, (he was in a manic phase at the time) but it wasn’t that. It wasn’t external stresses, it was something that seemed to make me unable to reason and think properly. So I stopped it, did get married after all as the world looked normal again (still married happily 46 years later) and never touched it again till I was 29 and had the mini Pill prescribed for ‘missed abortion’ – (means, where you miscarry because the embryo doesn’t attach in the uterus properly). Within a couple of days of taking it, my mind ‘went’ again, into an even worse state of dread and foreboding, body shaking, sweating with fear, when looking out at my garden, it looked unreal, weird. I would cry in front of the sink, not knowing how to tackle the washing up, feeling incapable! (Maybe we all cry inside looking at a stack of washing up, but that’s not what I mean 🙂 ), This washing up actually looked ‘sinister’ . It took me a year to ride out the anxiety that kept sweeping over me in waves, and I would never ever touch any variety of The Pill again. But I had a similar reaction to steroids (for 11 days for allergy) which again took a year to abate, when I was 47. So, I concluded that whatever was in these medications messed up my hormone balance so badly that my brain didn’t think normally any more. But what was amazing that having stopped them soon after taking them, the weird feelings in my head persisted for a whole year.

  22. In addition, regarding the Mini Pill, I forgot to mention the most alarming side effect I got 2 weeks after stopping it – I had only taken it for about 3 days because the horrendous ‘fear’ in my brain had started then. Two weeks later I developed a breast lump; it took 3 weeks to find out what it was, whether malignant etc. As my mother had died aged 61 just over a year before that with undiagnosed breast cancer (which she had endlessly reported to her GP over the previous 2 years but for which he sent her away with yet more mastitis cream) I was very worried. I had a little son aged 2 and a half, I really did not want to die yet, and think of him brought up under the control of my peculiar and manipulatively spiteful mother in law, nor having to cope without me when his delightful but manic depressive Grandpa went manic or depressed. His poor dad would be piggy in the middle with this lot. So in my Notes I see that when I expressed concern about The Lump, but was also suffering Anxiety from the mental effect of the Mini Pill, I am described as ‘cancerophobic’…… So that was another Mini Pill side effect, and when it had been forced on me by the first gynaecologist, despite my protestations that I had bad side effects from the Pill in 1971, he said the Mini Pill was much better than the one I’d had before, it was balanced progesterone and estrogen.

    Finally, 2 years later and several missed abortions later, another gynaecologist opened me up, found the uterus stitched to the bladder so it was in a position where no embryo could hold on tight and develop. Hence all those early losses. He put things in position, secured them in a Ventro suspension, and a year later our son Olly was the result. I told this man about my reaction to the Mini Pill. His words are still with me. “With some ladies, you could drop a brick on their head and they wouldn’t notice. With some, a drop of water is felt in their hair.” Obviously I was not the sort who could manage the brick…..

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