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THE ASSASSINATION OF OUR YOUTH

SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are the pharmaceutical companies latest cash cows. Their use has skyrocketed in the last ten years. Nicknamed "Chemical Babysitters" and designated anti depressants, they are causing dozens of murders, thousands of psychoses and are altering the minds of millions of users. All but a very few of the latest "Mass Murderers" have been on these drugs. Schools encourage parents to put their children on these drugs for the smallest signs of "non conformity". Schools receive more money for "disabled" students.

Here is one of the most informative articles on SSRIs I've found by Dr. Julian Whitaker MD:

The Scourge of Prozac

When I first heard about the Columbine High School massacre, my initial thought was, "Lord help us, were they taking Prozac?" Nine days later, it was reported that Eric Harris, one of the shooters, was taking Luvox, which, like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, belongs to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In one out of every 25 children taking it, Luvox causes mania, "a psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur…and overproduction of ideas."

Guns Are Blamed, but What About Prescription Drugs?
Likely due to pressure from the pharmaceutical industry-heavy advertisers in all media-the national debate on the epidemic of teen violence has ignored the widespread use of prescription drugs in teens and particularly those who have committed monstrous acts. However, the drug-violence link is frighteningly common. Fifteen-year-old Shawn Cooper of Notus, Idaho, fired a shotgun at students and school staff. According to his stepfather, he had been taking an SSRI. Thirteen-year-old Chris Fetters of Iowa killed her favorite aunt. She was taking Prozac. Kip Kinkel, a 15-year-old youth, went on a rampage in Oregon. He first shot and killed his parents, spent the night with the bodies (characteristic of the dissociative reaction these drugs often cause), then killed two and wounded 22 of his fellow students at Thurston High School. He was taking Prozac.

SSRI Drugs Can Turn People Into Monsters
Look, folks, these are the acts of monsters. The accessibility of guns and violent movies alone does not create monsters out of children. But prescription drugs that markedly alter brain chemistry can-and do! Particularly drugs like Prozac, which are, in my opinion, the chemical equivalent of a ghoulish Stephen King monster hiding in the closet. A few people have tried to warn the neighborhood, but no one is listening. And SSRIs don't backfire in children only. In November 1991, 66-year-old Barbara Mortenson attacked her 81-year-old mother, biting her more than 20 times and leaving chunks of flesh strewn on the floor. Barbara had been taking Prozac for the previous two weeks. Kristine Marie Cushing, age 39, had been separated from her husband for several months. In October 1991, she took a .38-caliber pistol and shot and killed both of her children, Elizabeth age 8, and Stephanie Marie, age 4, while they lay sleeping in their beds, then shot herself, inflicting a non-fatal wound. Prosecutors stated that they "couldn't find one iota of information to show that she was anything but a very giving, caring and sweet human being." After a plea of insanity, she was committed to a mental institution. What made her snap? She had been taking Prozac. Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D., author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?, has been studying the violent, dark side of SSRI drugs for ten years. She has researched 32 murder/suicides that involved women and their children. By interviewing their families and studying autopsy reports, news accounts and medical histories, she has determined that in 24 of these 32 cases, the women were taking Prozac or another SSRI.

These Drugs Alter Normal Brain Function
The explosive nature of these drugs is predictable. Studies show that they can cause a condition known as akathisia. Akathisia comes from the Greek word meaning "can't sit still," and refers to significant physical and mental agitation. Akathisia is to violence what a match is to gasoline. This condition has been reported in one out of 16 Prozac users, but its incidence is likely under-reported because Prozac also produces mania, hypomania, anxiety and restlessness, which are first cousins of akathisia. The defenders of Prozac say that millions are being helped by it, but this claim is spurious. In the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for registration, Eli Lilly studied the drug in less than 300 people and for only four or six weeks. However, one out of every seven participants dropped out of the study because of side effects of the drug. In fact, in a recent evaluation of the usage of Prozac and other SSRIs, it was found that nearly 70% of those who are prescribed the drug do not take it as prescribed, probably due to its undesirable side effects. Imagine that, for a drug touted to make people feel better! Furthermore, there are no studies demonstrating that taking any antidepressant prevents suicide or violent behavior. In fact, according to Peter Breggin, M.D., author of Your Drug May Be Your Problem, "there is substantial evidence that many classes of psychiatric drugs-including antidepressants, such as SSRIs-can cause or exacerbate depression, suicide, paranoia and violence." Did you know that one out of every 12 patients (and this figure, too, is likely under-reported) admitted to mental hospitals for psychosis is taking SSRIs?

Even the Bright Side of SSRIs Is Dark
As Dr. Breggin points out in his earlier book, Talking Back to Prozac, these drugs rob people of their humanity-they lose their capacity for empathy. "A lot of what we are seeing is individuals losing their feeling for the people in their lives. They stop caring about their husbands or wives or children. They stop caring about God." Though zombie-like numbness may initially be felt to be an improvement by someone with depression, it can hardly be considered healthy, or even desirable. It is this loss of empathy in my opinion, that allowed Kip Kinkel to kill both of his parents, then spend the night in the same room before heading out to shoot his classmates in Oregon. It is precisely why Eric Harris could wander around shooting his classmates in Columbine High School, even kids he liked, and laugh about it. It's beyond my comprehension how any doctor could knowingly prescribe a drug that may generate violence and numb the individual to its consequences!

We Are the Drug Companies' Guinea Pigs
This is not the first time Eli Lilly and other large drug companies have polluted our culture with mind-altering, hallucinogenic drugs. Did you know that Eli Lilly first produced and marketed LSD as a legal drug in the 1950s, promoting it as an aid to psychoanalysis, a cure for alcoholism and a way to clear up mental illness? Did you know that PCP, often referred to as angel dust-one of the most dangerous street drugs because it produces irrational, violent behavior-was once legally marketed as an analgesic and painkiller by Parke-Davis? Did you know that both LSD and angel dust act by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, precisely the same mechanism of SSRIs? Dr. Tracy reports that people who have taken LSD in the past sometimes have LSD flashbacks when given Prozac or a similar drug. These drugs are not helping people. At best, they blunt your experience of both the joys and the sorrows of the human experience. At worst, they are our most frightening nightmare.

More SSRI-induced Tragedies
Two years ago, Matthew Miller had achieved every 13-year-old boy's dream-he had reached 100 pounds. He had also changed schools and was a little melancholy. He saw a psychiatrist, who gave him some samples of Zoloft, an SSRI, with the instructions to "give it a try for a week." His parents were happy and trusting, though a little perplexed that it all seemed so easy and that no other form of therapy was even mentioned to help Matthew with what they felt was a common adjustment reaction for a child his age. The drug produced akathisia in Matthew. His sister complained that he was being loud and bothering her more than normal. His grandmother noted that Matthew "could hardly sit still through our Sunday brunch." In the early morning hours of his seventh day on Zoloft, Matthew committed suicide. He hanged himself in his closet. His father, now painfully aware of what these drugs can do, wrote: "There was no cry for help. No scream. Nothing…but that single, fateful, horrifying and irreversible act. For a bright, healthy and loved young man, Matt had every reason to live. Yet under the power of this debilitating drug, he found a way to die. We know it was not our Matt who took his own life. This was a Matt 'high' on a legalized pill. Reality and nightmares became indistinguishable for him. The universe that was his chemically stimulated, serotonin-enriched, emotionally tortured brain came crashing down around him with such ferocity, he had no way out."

We Must Get the Word Out
Drug companies are pushing to sell more and more SSRIs, thereby drugging larger segments of our population. Believe it or not, it's reported that many children under the age of three have already been given Prozac, and it will soon be made in flavored form for children! Folks, you must educate yourself and others on this issue. There are at least two current lawsuits against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft. The family of the late television actor Phil Hartman claims that Brynn Hartman, Phil's wife and the mother of their two children, aged 9 and 7, was under the influence of Zoloft when she shot and killed her husband while he was sleeping, then killed herself. Another SSRI murder-suicide. The family of Matthew Miller is also suing the company over the fatal consequences of this drug in their son. As evidence like this mounts, the tide is bound to turn against these dangerous drugs and, just like LSD and PCP, I believe they will ultimately be taken off the market. It's just a question of how much human suffering must be endured before that occurs.

Let's Get Rid of These Drugs
I urge you to state your views on this important matter in a letter to Jane Henney, M.D., Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 1471, Rockville, MD 20857. Send copies of your letter to your Senators and Congressman, and the International Coalition for Drug Awareness at P.O. Box 1044, West Jordan, UT 84-84 (www.drugawareness.org).

Want to Know More?
Three books I strongly recommend are Ann Blake Tracy's Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? (which may be ordered by calling 800/280-0730) and Peter R. Breggin's Your Drug May Be Your Problem and Talking Back to Prozac (both available in bookstores). Jon Rappoport's in-depth analysis of teen violence, Why Did They Do It? An Inquiry into the School Shootings in America may be downloaded from his web site
http://home.earthlink.net/~alto/.

Two other excellent web sites for obtaining detailed information on the human tragedies and the dark side of "happiness in a bottle" are Dr. Tracy's International Coalition for Drug Awareness at drugawareness.org and the Prozac Survivor's Support Group at pssg.org.

This is the warning given when SSRIs are prescribed:

Dropping "cold turkey" off any medication, most especially mind altering medications, can often be more dangerous than staying on the drugs. Tapering off very, very, very slowly--over months, not just weeks!-- has proven the safest and most effective method of withdrawal from this type of medication, thereby giving the body time to readjust its own chemical levels.

Here are the psychosis warnings for the following drugs from the warning labels of each:

Prozac, Mania/Hypomania:
During premarketing clinical trials in a patient population comprised primarily of unipolar depressives, hypomania or mania occurred in approximately 1% of fluoxetine treated patients. The incidence in a general patient population which might also include bipolar depressives is unknown. The likelihood of hypomanic or manic episodes may be increased at the higher dosage levels. Such reactions require a reduction in dosage or discontinuation of the drug.

Zoloft, Activation of Mania/Hypomania:
During clinical testing in depressed patients, hypomania or mania occurred in approximately 0.6% of sertraline-treated patients. Activation of mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with Major Affective Disorder treated with other marketed antidepressants.

Effexor, Activation of Mania/Hypomania:
During Phase II and III trials, mania or hypomania occurred in 0.5% of venlafaxine-treated patients. Activation of mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with major affective disorder who were treated with other marketed antidepressants. As with all antidepressants, venlafaxine should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

Paxil, Activation of Mania/Hypomania:
During clinical testing in depressed patients, approximately 1% of paroxetine treated patients experienced manic reactions. When bipolar patients were considered as a sub-group the incidence of mania was 2%. As with other Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), paroxetine should be used with caution in patients with a history of mania.

Serzone, Activation of Mania/Hypomania:
As with most antidepressant agents, activation of mania/hypomania has been reported rarely in patients with Major Affective Disorder treated Brim nefazodone. In unipolar depressed patients in clinical trials, hypomania or mania occurred in 0.4%, 0.3%, and 0.5% of patients treated with nefazodone, tricyclic antidepressants and placebo, respectively. In bipolar patients included In these studies, the corresponding rates of occurrence were 3.1%, 10%, and 0% for nefazodone, tricyclic antidepressants and placebo.

Anafranil Psychosis, Mania-Hypomania, and other Neuropsychiatric Phenomena:
In patients treated with tricyclic antidepressants, activation of latent schizophrenia or aggravation of existing psychotic manifestations in schizophrenic patients may occur; patients with manic-depressive tendencies may experience hypomanic or manic shifts; and hyperactive or agitated patients may become over-stimulated. A reduction in dose or discontinuation of clomipramine should be considered under these circumstances.

All of the above drugs contain the following disclosure results in testing:

Suicide:
The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in depression with or without obsessive-compulsive disorder. These patients should be carefully supervised during treatment with clomipramine, and hospitalization or concomitant electroconvulsive therapy may be required. To minimize the risk of an intentional overdose by a depressed patient, prescriptions should be written for the smallest possible quantity of the drug consistent with good patient management.

During testing an average of 11.5% of patients showed some adverse reactions to the drugs.

Peter Jennings ABC News: September 15, 1999

Peter Jennings: "Just when is the drug actually making a difference?

Antidepressants are very popular these days: sales are up 17% from just last year. Millions and millions of prescriptions now are being written to battle depression and mood swings. Tonight, are these drugs really doing everything that people think they are? Here's ABC's Deborah Amos "

Deborah Amos: "These depression fighting pills are 60 - 70% effective in bringing relief according to the medical literature. But Thomas Moore, who studies drugs at George Washington University, says the numbers are misleading"

Thomas Moore: "Millions of Americans believe that the benefits of these drugs are much greater than they are"

Deborah Amos: "To investigate, Moore analyzed all drug company tests on five major drugs submitted to the FDA prior to market approval: for Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Serzone and Prozac. The effectiveness of the drug was measured against a placebo or sugar pill."

Thomas Moore: "The effect of antidepressants drugs on depression is only very little different than the effect of a completely inactive placebo."

Deborah Amos: "The highlight of Moore's finding is the case of Prozac with more than $2 billion dollars in U.S. Sales. About 90% of Prozac's overall effectiveness is about the same as patients taking nothing stronger than a sugar pill. But the label for antidepressant drugs, the prescribing detail for doctors, usually do not spell out the small overall differences between the drug and the placebos."

Thomas Moore: "At the very least the FDA product labeling should include a more balanced picture of all the information they have received about the drug, - about all the clinical trials."

Deborah Amos: ""The FDA says it does not put that kind of detail on the label because it is not helpful in predicting individual outcomes. So what does it all mean for patients, when a placebo can have almost the same benefits as a dug, and particularly, when a drug can have unpleasant side-effects.

(a psychologist from the University of Conn., who has teamed up with Thomas Moore.)

"It suggests that the frontline of treatment for depression should be psychological rather than chemical."

Deborah Ames: "The problem is that good therapy is expensive and not always available. Pills are cheaper and more easily available. Deborah Ames, ABC News, New York."

Grieving father warns of drug dangers:
Wife, mother who took lives of their
two young children was under treatment

By DENNIS STANLEY


Nearly six weeks after his wife took the life of their two children and then her own at a scenic overlook to Center Hill Lake, Robert Kirkwood of Lebanon wants the public to be made aware of the dangerous side effects of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac, Effexor and Zoloft.

Kirkwood believes his wife’s medication played a role in her decision to shoot their two young children and then turn the gun on herself.

"That’s the only reason I’m calling, so this will not happen to someone else," he said in a telephone interview Monday. "This is such a deep, dark hole, such a pain in a person’s heart. Nobody should have to go through this."

It was early the morning of July 16 when State Trooper Sherry Beaty was called to investigate a parked vehicle at the scenic overlook to Center Hill Lake on Highway 56 near the DeKalb-Putnam County line.

When she arrived, Beaty found four-year-old Kelly Diane Kirkwood and her brother, three-year-old Kyle, shot to death in the back seat of a Jeep Cherokee. Dead in the driver’s seat was the mother, Rosemarie Kirkwood.

Following an investigation, authorities revealed Mrs. Kirkwood was taking anti-depressant medicine and beer was also found in the vehicle.

Robert Kirkwood said he "was given no advance warning, no instructions from anybody on what to look for or to know about what might or could happen" to his wife, who at one time was taking 15 different medications between those prescribed by her primary care physician and her psychologist.

He said Monday his wife started taking Zoloft about a year ago and then some six months later was prescribed Effexor, a medication he said is often described as "Prozac with a kick."

Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Director of the International Coalition For Drug Awareness and a Doctor of Psychology and Medical Sciences, said Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Serzone, Effexor, and Anafranil increase serotonin, the same brain chemical that LSD, PCP and other psychedelic drugs mimic in order to produce hallucinogenic effects.

According to the coalition’s website, side effects to increased serotonin include: vivid and violent dreams, inability to feel guilt or cry, breathing or lung problems, cravings for alcohol, confusion, mood swings, altered personality, symptoms of mania, inability to see any alternatives in situations; aggressive or violent behavior, impulsive behavior with no concern about consequences, paranoia, feeling "possessed" or that something evil is inside; self destructive behavior and suicidal ideation; and suicide attempts.

Kirkwood said he talked to his wife’s psychologist after she had 15 pills of medication but was given little relief and was told "it would take about a year to help her out."

He said he has obtained a pharmacy prescription list "that is six feet long."

"I’d say one-third of it is 1998-99 (prescriptions)," Kirkwood said, adding that the psychologist’s name appears "34 times straight times for medication in an 8 to 10 week period."

"In no way in God’s name should that be going on," he said Monday. "There’s no way to chemically alter a person’s make-up."

Now, Kirkwood said his efforts to educate the public on the side effects of prescribed medication is "what keeps me going."

"I spend 70 percent of my time in front of the computer trying to educate myself and other people to become aware of alternative herbal and natural ways to prevent depression before that happens, prevent mania episodes from these type of medications," he said. "That’s all I got left right now. That’s what keeps me going. I’ve been passing out information to the sheriff’s departments in Gallatin and Lebanon. They re the ones who have to see all of this happening."

He said he also attends Titans football games because his wife had talked him into buying private seat licenses.

"I know she would have really enjoyed them (games)," said Kirkwood, an industrial sheet metal worker who often worked out of town. "I go and take a couple of friends every now and then. they had some great firework shows and I know my little girl would have loved that because every time I’d come in from out of town I’d buy fireworks and make like a celebration when dad came home from working. She’d always call me up and say ‘daddy, you got enough money for fireworks yet.’"

Kirkwood said he forgives his wife, "even in my anger for what has happened."

In an e-mail to the Smithville Review, he said it has taken five to six weeks "nearly 8-12 hours a day to find all that I have learned about just one medication" adding, "I must be under the grace of God for I could have been buried with them. This must be why I am still here, to tell others that you can be deceived by what you think is supposed to help you. If I knew a few months ago what I know today, I would not be telling you this now. Please be educated and not just by or on a doctor’s advice. They are very busy and they may not even be told the whole truth."

Kirkwood also said he appreciated Trooper Beaty’s "prayers for my children and for the mercy upon my wife’s soul. I often say the same thing. I still love my wife and kids very much."

For more information about anti-depressants and other medications, Kirkwood recommends the following Internet sites: www.drugawareness.org; www.pssg.org; and www.breggin.org.

(Next week: Comments from Dr. Tracy on the dangers of anti-depressant medications.)


Reader Submitted Opinions:

By: Diane on 1999-09-19
The loss Mr. Kirkwood has experienced is devastating, and unfortunately is quickly becoming common. I have been researching these drugs myself and am painfully aware of the adverse affects. My sister has been taking Paxil for about a year. At first she did real well on them. Now she is little more than a zombie. Doesn't care about her responsibilities, family or friends. She has been drinking a lot and is rapidly going down hill. Her children are neglected and are in dire need of a mother. Unfortunately their father has his own vice of alcohol and also neglects. I trust my 14yr old niece to watch my 7yr old daughter before her mother. I am scared for our whole family because of these drugs. We have just recently approached her about taking these things and seems to be paying attention, however I have little faith in her ability to think clearly. She is seeing the Dr. on Thurs and my fingers are crossed. I have little faith in a positive outcome as doctors rarely see beyond the financial rewards from the pharmaceutical companies.

Please seek alternatives to these SSRI drugs, they are very dangerous! During my research I have found what seems a good alternative (natural) called SAMe (pronounced Sammy)It can be found in health food stores and many web sights. I can only suggest you do research and learn from Mr. Kirkwood' unfortunate experience.

By: Curlysing on 1999-09-20
Please do not be fooled by anyone who says that psychiatric drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and other similar drugs are safe. They are not!! Due to a family tragedy of my own, I have done a huge amount of research on these drugs. Prozac had over 28,000 severe adverse reactions reported to the FDA several years ago, yet no action was taken. There are doctors who "vote" at the FDA who are on the payroll of the large pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, all they're interested in is lining their pocket-books. I also discovered that 94% of all "mental illness" is always caused by an actual physical problem which has been overlooked by doctors. Most psychologists and psychiatrists don't even bother to do physical examinations of their patients.

You should also know that EVERY one of the recent shootings in schools was done by a child who was on one or more psychiatric drugs. This is documented truth. Please take heed. Don't let your life be destroyed! Refuse to allow yourself or any member of your family to take ANY type of psychiatric drug. They ALL have documented horrible side effects! There are natural remedies which can handle any emotional problem without resorting to drugs that kill.

By: eponio on 1999-09-21
Most of tragedies today are because of this drugs,-Criminal children in Colorado School was under a psyche drug.
-Few days after that event in Atlanta other child create a similar scene. This child was also under psyche drug.
-Princess Diana's driver was under Prozac based drug.
I have no doubt that psyche drugs and psychiatrist (or sociologist) are the hidden responsible behind crime, social decadency and materialism.

From Clinical Psychiatry News
SSRI Prescribing in Primary Care Draws Fire Todd Zwillich, Senior Writer
[Clinical Psychiatry News 27(6):34, 1999. © 1999 International Medical News Group.]

------------------------------------------------------------------------
More primary care physicians are prescribing antidepressants, but some observers worry that patients aren't being evaluated closely enough for potential adverse reactions or monitored appropriately while taking the drugs.

Research is beginning to show that "large numbers" of prescriptions for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) aren't accompanied by a diagnosis of depression or any other mental condition, said Stephen Crystal, Ph.D., a researcher who studies prescribing trends at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

"We have a massive uncontrolled experiment going on out there," he said.

The number of doctor office visits including an antidepressant prescription more than doubled between 1985 and 1994 to more than 24 million, according to data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). Researchers attribute the rise to the popularity of SSRIs.

While an estimated 11 million psychiatrist appointments included an antidepressant prescription in 1994, more than 10 million other antidepressant prescriptions were written by primary care doctors. Preliminary analysis of survey data extending through 1996 shows that antidepressant prescriptions are now more common in primary care offices than in psychiatrists' practices, according to Dr. Crystal.

Managed care is at least partly responsible for the trend. Primary care physicians acting as gatekeepers in HMOs have been encouraged to treat potentially depressed patients rather than refer them to specialists. At the same time, primary care doctors are becoming more comfortable with the newer SSRIs because they are relatively easy to use.

Toxicity and overdoses are rare, and potential drug interactions are far less common than with other drug classes. The drugs may also provide a convenient way to treat somatizing patients who have a few depressive symptoms without a full-blown depressive episode.

But relatively few data exist to support SSRIs' efficacy in treating the "sub threshold" patients often seen in primary care. Many of those patients may get SSRIs without any official diagnosis, according to Dr. Harold Pincus, who last year published a study on psychotropic prescribing using NAMCS data.

Office-based psychiatry practices tend to aggregate around more affluent and better-educated patients in medium and large cities. Most observers agree that primary care's new dominance in antidepressant prescribing makes the drugs available to a wider range of patients.

"Those who are under served by specialists are nonwhite and not wealthy. They are the ones who benefit most from primary care physician prescribing," said Dr. Gregory Simon, a psychiatrist who studies prescribing patterns at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in Seattle.

The American Psychiatric Association recommends in its depression treatment guidelines that patients continue their SSRI prescription for 4-5 months after complete remission of their symptoms. But data from Group Health Cooperative--an HMO that emphasizes primary care treatment of mental conditions--show that only 34% of patients on SSRIs refill their prescriptions often enough to suggest continuous use.

At the same time, new data from the Rutgers group show that Medicare patients treated in primary care are more than twice as likely as similar patients treated in psychiatric settings to fill their SSRI prescriptions only once, Dr. Crystal commented.

Others worry that physicians are not paying enough attention to patient factors that could make initiation of SSRIs dangerous. Dr. Malcolm B. Bowers Jr., a psychiatrist at Yale University in New Haven, told CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY NEWS that SSRI-induced psychosis has accounted for 8% of all general hospital psychiatric admissions over a recent 14-month period. [emphasis added]

The pattern suggests that while SSRIs are a help to the majority of patients who take them, more needs to be done to make sure that doctors prescribing the drugs evaluate patients for psychotic predisposition vulnerable to SSRIs. Such patients may include those with a history of psychotic illness or early signs of mania.

"What is surprising is that this particular group of side effects is really underplayed," Dr. Bowers said.