Psychiatric Drugs and Mass Shootings

Psychiatric Drugs and Mass Shootings

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For the last two decades, numerous people have written on, and public figures have exposed the clear correlation between mass shootings and the influence of psychiatric drugs. What is too often absent in these discussions, however, is a scientific explanation as to how psychoactive drugs can cause or influence people to harm themselves and others.

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Are there objective facts that support the notion that psychoactive/psychotropic/entheogenic drugs do influence people to self-harm or to harm others, and are these powerful drugs directly linked to mass shootings? To answer these questions, a scientific discussion of drug theory and drug action is necessary. Of course, as with all things, Scripture and valid science agree.

Though these drugs are marketed and prescribed as medicines, such an essential discussion on chemical properties and effects is not medical advice. Nor is it a condemnation of those who choose to consume psychiatric drugs. It is merely a study of objective facts by which people can become more educated and better understand how these drugs “activate the mind” (psychoactive), “change the mind” (psychotropic), and “generate the divine within” (entheogenic).

If you are taking prescribed or illicit drugs and at any time wish to stop, please do so under the care and counsel of a licensed physician. These drugs are incredibly dangerous, and they typically cause severe abnormal states during withdrawal.

The Drugs’ Claimed Action

The drugs most correlated to mass shootings in the last two decades are commonly known as “antidepressants,” “mood stabilizers,” and “antipsychotics.” Since individuals more commonly consume antidepressants than others, our discussion in this booklet will center mostly on so-called antidepressants’ actions and effects. The same truths discussed in this booklet, however, apply to these other prescribed drugs as well.

Pharmaceutical companies assigned the label “antidepressant” as a marketing ploy and a speculative suggestion of these drugs’ chemical action. Presenting hopelessness, sorrow, and guilt as a biological disease allowed pharmaceutical companies to market drugs as necessary chemical remedies that allegedly target depression. This problem is a foundational theory of modern psychiatry and psychopharmacology, which Emil Kraepelin proposed in the late 1800s. The renowned psychiatrist, Joanna Moncrieff, comments,

The idea that psychiatric drugs work by targeting underlying biological processes that are specific to particular sorts of mental health problems or symptoms is central to the way people administer psychiatric treatment, present it, and the way they research, design, conduct, and interpret drug treatment. – Joanna Moncrieff, The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 8-9.

Today, much of society widely believes that “antidepressants” are medicines that allegedly treat the disease of depression, “mood stabilizers” allegedly treat bipolar, and “antipsychotics” allegedly treat psychosis. Matching human impairment, distress, or false beliefs with a psychoactive drug and labeling them similarly creates a circular argument that sustains the biological model. Assigning a seemingly medical label for common human fragility and depravity and blaming it on a chemical imbalance allows drugs to be presented as a remedy, and marketing chemicals as a necessary remedy encourages the belief that depression is a physical disease.

The Chemical Imbalance Theory

Foundational to pharmaceutical marketing and powerful circular reasoning is the false claim of chemical imbalances in the brain. For several decades, pharmaceutical companies have marketed the idea of chemical imbalances to both physicians and society. Since psychiatric constructs, like depressive disorders, began to be viewed as chemical imbalances in the brain, chemicals then became the logical and seemingly only viable remedy.

In other words, pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists, working together, created supply and demand for each other in their joint labeling system. Ronald Pies, Editor in Chief of one of the most popular psychiatric journals, The Psychiatric Times, however, explains that the chemical imbalance theory was created and popularized by pharmaceutical companies and has no validity:

I am not one who quickly loses his temper, but I confess to experiencing markedly increased limbic activity whenever I hear someone proclaim, “Psychiatrists think all mental disorders are due to a chemical imbalance!”

In the past 30 years, I don’t believe I have ever heard a knowledgeable, well-trained psychiatrist make such a preposterous claim, except perhaps to mock it. On the other hand, the “chemical imbalance” trope has been tossed around a great deal by opponents of psychiatry, who mendaciously attribute the phrase to psychiatrists themselves.

And yes—the “chemical imbalance” image has been vigorously promoted by some pharmaceutical companies, often to the detriment of our patients’ understanding. In truth, the “chemical imbalance” notion was always a kind of urban legend—never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists. – Ronald Pies, “Psychiatry’s New Brain-Mind and the Legend of the ‘Chemical Imbalance,’” Psychiatric Times, July 11, 2011.

Neuroscientists Jeffrey Lacasse and Jonathan Leo also explain how scientific research does not support the chemical imbalance theory of serotonin:

In the United States, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are advertised directly to consumers. These highly successful direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) campaigns have largely revolved around the claim that SSRIs correct a chemical imbalance caused by a lack of serotonin.

Contemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder and has in fact provided significant counterevidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency.

Modern neuroscience has instead shown that the brain is vastly complex and poorly understood. While neuroscience is a rapidly advancing field, to propose that researchers can objectively identify a “chemical imbalance” at the molecular level is not compatible with the extant science. In fact, there is no scientifically established ideal “chemical balance” of serotonin, let alone an identifiable pathological imbalance.

To equate the impressive recent achievements of neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake. – Jeffrey Lacasse and Jonathan Leo, “Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature,” PLoS Medicine 2.12 (2005): e392. PMC. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Similarly, renowned psychiatrist Peter Breggin remarks,

There are no known biological causes of depression in the lives of patients who routinely see psychiatrists. There is no known genetic link in depression. There is no sound drug treatment for depression. The same is true for mania: no biology, no genetics, and little or no rational basis for endangering the brain with drugs. – Peter R. Breggin, Toxic Psychiatry (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991), 183.

Other psychiatrists, such as professor of psychiatry at the University of London Joanna Moncrief, have written several books on the subject (e.g., The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment). Despite the overwhelming rejection of the notion by educated clinicians, the chemical imbalance theory continues to be a favorite but false belief in society. Although psychiatrist Ronald Pies claims that pharmaceutical companies are responsible for promoting the idea of the chemical imbalance theory, he confesses in another article that psychiatrists regularly lie to their patients telling them they have a chemical imbalance:

Of course, there certainly are psychiatrists, and other physicians, who have used the term “chemical imbalance” when explaining psychiatric illness to a patient, or when prescribing medication for depression or anxiety. Why?

Many patients who suffer from severe depression or anxiety or psychosis tend to blame themselves for the problem . . . . Most psychiatrists who use this expression feel uncomfortable and a little embarrassed. So, some doctors believe that they will help the patient feel less blameworthy by telling them, “You have a chemical imbalance causing your problem.”

It’s easy to think you are doing the patient a favor by providing this kind of “explanation,” but often, this isn’t the case. Most of the time, the doctor knows that the “chemical balance” business is a vast oversimplification.

My impression is that most psychiatrists who use this expression feel uncomfortable and a little embarrassed when they do so. It’s a kind of bumper-sticker phrase that saves time and allows the physician to write out that prescription while feeling that the patient has been “educated.” – Ronald Pies, “Doctor, Is My Mood Disorder Due to a Chemical Imbalance?Psych Central.

In essence, the chemical imbalance theory of drug action is a delusion propagated by those who allegedly treat delusions caused by chemical imbalances. (For further study, see Terry Lynch, Depression Delusion: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance, Vol. 1 (Mental Health Publishing, 2015).) The acceptance of both the psychiatric labels and the false belief that “antidepressants” have a drug action that corrects alleged chemical imbalances in the brain or a biological defect has enabled big pharmaceutical companies to be successful in hiding these drugs’ true effects from the general public.

The Labels’ True Nature

It may come as a shock to many that leading psychiatrists admit that psychiatric disorders such as depression are not diseases; they are social constructs that attempt to explain an approach to common human mindsets, emotions, and behaviors. Considered at the turn of the century to be the most powerful psychiatrist in America, former head of psychiatry at Duke University Medical School, and chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition), Allen Frances explains,

We saw DSM-IV as a guidebook, not a bible—a collection of temporarily useful diagnostic constructs, not a catalog of ‘real’ diseases. – Allen Frances, Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2013), 73.

The fact that psychiatric disorders (such as “depression”) are social constructs and not diseases is not to say that people’s hopelessness, guilt, and sorrow are not real. It simply points out that psychiatrists have framed these human realities as disease constructs (“depressive disorders”) to sustain their relevance and an attempt to explain the human condition within evolutionary/materialistic thinking.

Denying the validity of the secular constructs is not to deny that people have genuine problems. It is also not to imply that all of the issues within these constructs are sin problems as some incorrectly suggest (e.g., Christ was the man of sorrows; clearly, He was not in sin, and therefore sorrow is not sinful in itself). A former professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and full-time consultant for the National Institutes of Health Peter Breggin states,

It is a mistake to view depressed feelings or even severely depressed feelings as a ‘disease.’ Depression, remember, is an emotional response to life. It is a feeling of unhappiness—a particular kind of unhappiness that involves helpless self-blame and guilt, a sense of not deserving happiness, and a loss of interest in life. – Peter Breggin, The Anti-Depressant Fact Book (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group, 2001), 14.

Professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine Bessel van der Kolk also comments,

Now a new paradigm was emerging: Anger, lust, pride, greed, avarice, and sloth—as well as all the other problems we humans have always struggled to manage—were recast as “disorders” that could be fixed by the administration of appropriate chemicals. – Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (New York: Penguin Group, 2014), 27.

Similarly, former renowned Cambridge biological psychiatrist Robert Berezin remarks,

Psychiatry has lost its way and has become a distribution center for psychiatric drugs. It needs to face that psychiatric problems, and symptoms are human problems, no more and no less, derived from the formation of our characters as we adapt to our emotional environment. Real psychotherapy addresses what ails us, not psychiatric drugs.

Both human suffering and sin (weakness and wickedness) and a person’s responses according to his/her character are real, but the constructs that psychiatrists have erected to explain human nature represent beliefs about those common impairing mindsets, emotions, and behaviors and not real diseases.

In other words, hopelessness, deep sorrow, and guilt are all real, but the construct of depression is not a real disease caused by imbalanced chemicals or brain malfunction. On the contrary, these essential human experiences are an intricate part of typical human nature, and they are crucial themes in the Bible from Genesis until the end of Revelation. However, the psychiatric labels used to classify people are human-made and not valid diseases with pathology or biological diagnostic markers.

The Drugs’ True Action

Not only are the disorders listed in the DSM-5 not diseases, but there are also no drugs available to positively and permanently change a person’s character or fix human fragility or depravity (e.g., no drugs are true “antidepressants”). In fact, as psychopharmacologist Richard DeGrandpre in association with Duke University states in one of his books, there does not exist invented medicines to treat any psychiatric disorders. His book, The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World’s Most Troubled Drug Culture, explains how all prescribed psychoactive drugs are synthetic versions of their illegal counterparts.

For example, “The chemical properties and drug action of Ritalin and similar methylphenidates are virtually identical to cocaine.” They are so alike that the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) acknowledges that “Ritalin acts much like cocaine,” and the drug is widely referred to as “kiddie cocaine.” Ritalin can easily be considered synthetic cocaine—developed to mimic the 1950 results of cocaine’s effect on people’s minds and behavior.

Likewise, Adderall is a synthetic and slightly modified version of illicit Methamphetamine, and what are known as “mood stabilizers” (such as Lithium) are no different than tranquilizers used to suppress aggressive animals. These drugs are manufactured with slight differences and synthesized chemicals so that they can be privatized, legalized, sold as medicines, distributed under government supervision, and trusted by the consumer. No psychoactive drug on the market has been created apart from drug actions already found in illicit drugs.

Though commonly believed to target depression, “antidepressants” do not work in this way. These same drugs are given to men who prematurely ejaculate, to people who contend with social anxiety, premenstrual dysphoria, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, traumatized soldiers who return from war, and for numerous other mental struggles. If these drugs were framed and marketed as “anti-premature ejaculatory medication” instead of as “antidepressants,” then most people would think differently about taking them. Drs. Jeffrey Lacasse and Jonathan Leo comment,

Although SSRIs are considered “antidepressants,” they are FDA-approved treatments for eight separate psychiatric diagnoses. – Jeffrey Lacasse and Jonathan Leo, “Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature,” PLoS Medicine 2, no. 12 (2005): e392. PMC. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

In truth, we have been lied to about what these drugs do—especially when it comes to children consuming them. The deceit is so bad that prestigious medical journals, like the Lancet, have published articles exposing the commonality of fraud in regard to giving SSRIs to children:

“The story of research into selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use in childhood depression is one of confusion, manipulation, and institutional failure. – Editorial, “Depressing Research,” Lancet 363 (2004): 1335.

Dr. Ray Williams also asserts,

Looking further, it’s evident that the pharmaceutical industry is fraught with fraud. For instance, the new generation of antipsychotics is the single biggest target of the False Claims Act. Every major drug company selling the drugs has either settled recent government cases for hundreds of millions of dollars or is under investigation for health care fraud. – Ray B. Williams, “How Drug Companies Are Undermining Scientific Research.

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk also remarks,

Over the past three decades, psychiatric medications have become a mainstay in our culture, with dubious consequences. Consider the case of antidepressants. If they were indeed as effective as we have been led to believe, depression should by now have become a minor issue in our society.

Instead, even as antidepressant use continues to increase, it has not made a dent in hospital admissions for depression. The number of people treated for depression has tripled over the past two decades, and one in ten Americans now take antidepressants. – Van der Kolk, Body Keeps the Score, 37.

The deceit is so bad that former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell published a book entitled, The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. She exposes many of the most blatant ways that big pharma functions and exists on fraud, false advertisement, misleading information, and refusal to fully disclose facts. Elsewhere, Dr. Angell has written on how big pharma controls both government officials who regulate the medical practice of physicians, but also how big pharma, along with their corrupt and deceitful practices, establish the clinical guidelines that doctors are expected to follow and trust:

(C)onflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices (e.g., psychiatry). It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. – Marcia Angell, “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption,” The New York Review of Books (January 15, 2009).

So if the “science” coming out of big pharma cannot be trusted, what then are these drugs’ true actions if they are not healing agents as advertised? Setting aside the psychiatric marketing name (e.g., “antidepressants”) and understanding a drug’s given name often reveals its true chemical action. For example, the most common “antidepressants” are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). The drug’s action can be observed in its name and is better understood to be a drug that perturbs or attacks normal bodily function and not a drug that heals dysfunction or imbalance. SSRIs are antagonists, which means that they work against the healthy functions of the nervous system.

More specifically, SSRIs block the normal reuptake of serotonin in the body, creating what many psychiatrists and physicians refer to as “emotional blunting,” “medical spellbinding,” “psychic numbing,” “psychiatric indifference,” and “neurological suppression.” As psychiatrist Peter Breggin notes, the official term is intoxication anosognosia, which describes not a healing action but suppression of healthy neurological function; it is a control mechanism that creates abnormalities in the nervous system.

It is not just “antidepressants” that are antagonists. In fact, the most common term used to describe “antipsychotic” drugs is “neuroleptics,” meaning “taking hold of (controlling) the neuron.” Professor of psychiatry at the University College London, Joanna Moncrieff, explains,

Prior to the 1950s the drugs that were prescribed to psychiatric patients were understood quite differently, according to what I have called the drug-centred model of drug action. This model is so named because it suggests that psychiatric drugs need to be understood first and foremost as drugs, that is, as chemical substances that alter the way the body functions.

According to the drug-centred model, rather than reversing some underlying brain abnormality, psychiatric drugs themselves create an abnormal or altered state of physical and mental functioning. – Joanna Moncrieff, The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 8-9.

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, who has successfully won dozens of lawsuits for clients against big pharma by proving scientifically and legally that these drugs incite violence and murder, also notes the same about drugs marketed as “antipsychotics”:

The pioneers of the first ‘‘antipsychotic drugs’’ were well aware that they had moved from surgical lobotomy to chemical lobotomy, and they never claimed that they had a specific antipsychotic effect. Calling them ‘‘antipsychotics’’ was a later and highly misleading approach to promoting the drugs (emphasis added).

Except for clozapine, all antipsychotic drugs cause a functional lobotomy by blockading dopamine neurotransmission, which is the main conduit to the frontal lobes . . . . This blockade is what causes chemical lobotomy with the sought-after effects of indifference, apathy, and docility. – Peter Breggin, “Rational Principles of Psychopharmacology for Therapists, Healthcare Providers and Clients,” Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 46 (PDF) (2016): 3.

Dr. Breggin, whom a federal court appointed to be the scientific expert for all cases brought against the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Prozac) concerning Prozac-induced violence, suicide, and crime, also comments on the universality of these drugs’ action. He dispels the popular but false claim that certain psychoactive drugs treat alleged mental disorders:

Anyone who argues that antipsychotic drugs have a specific impact on psychosis must answer these questions: ‘‘Then why do these drugs also ‘work’ everywhere that social control is sought—in nursing homes, in children’s institutions, in jails in the US, and in psycho-prisons in the old USSR (Podrabinek 1979).

Why do they work on children accidentally treated with them?’’ I was a medical expert in a malpractice case in which a pharmacy accidentally dispensed Zyprexa (an antipsychotic drug) instead of Zyrtec (an antihistamine), causing a child to experience overall mental and behavioral suppression and apathy. – Ibid.

These drugs are not healing agents; they do not seek out a biological problem and fix it; they are drugs that “work” by creating abnormalities in the nervous system.

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The Drug’s Chemical Attack

So how do these powerful chemicals correlate to violence against others, suicides, and mass shootings? One of the adverse effects often listed as a side-effect (though it is the drug’s true effect) is how the consumer becomes apathetic or numb to the world around him/her.

The person under the influence of these drugs begins to perceive others as they do non-living objects (e.g., a plastic cup). There is often no care or empathy while under these drugs’ influence, and many under the drugs’ control feel this way toward others; they perceive others as soulless objects and describe their state as “numb to the world.” The chemical attack on the nervous system also regularly causes akathisia—a feeling of restlessness and panic, and akathisia is sometimes associated with aggression, suicide, and violence. The American Psychiatric Association comments,

Akathisia may be associated with dysphoria, irritability, aggression, or suicide attempts” (along with) worsening of psychotic symptoms or behavioral dyscontrol. – American Psychiatric Association, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, IV-TR (2000), 801.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) found in clinical studies that suicidal ideation (feeling compelled to commit suicide) increased significantly when people digested SSRIs. These findings were so significant that the FDA requires that all packages of SSRIs contain the “Black Box Warning” –the strongest FDA warning:

“Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents.” Dr. Breggin remarks,

Especially at times of starting the drugs, or at times of dose changes up or down, antidepressants can cause a wide spectrum of mental and behavioral abnormalities, any of them typical of stimulant or activation reaction, including insomnia, anxiety, agitation, impulsivity, aggression and violence, depression and suicidality, and mania. – Peter Breggin, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, (New York: Springer Publishing, 2013), 71.

Dr. Breggin, who has testified in numerous depositions and trials of mass shooters (such as the Columbine shooter, Eric Harris, who was on “antidepressants” until he died) states elsewhere that,

“Some people become, so medication spellbound that they lose control of themselves and perpetrate horrendously destructive actions. My book opens with the story of an otherwise kind and gentle man who became agitated on an antidepressant and drove his car into a policeman to knock him down to get his gun to try to kill himself.

In another case, a ten-year-old boy with no history of depression hung himself after taking a prescription stimulant for ADHD. He documented the dreadful unfolding events while speaking in a robotic monotone into his computer.” – Peter Breggin, “Medication Madness: How Psychiatric Drugs cause, Violence, Suicide, and Crime,” Huffington Post, November 17, 2011.

REXULTI © (one example of these powerful “antidepressants”) offers these warnings on its official website:

Post-marketing case reports suggest that patients can experience intense urges, particularly for gambling, and the inability to control these urges while taking REXULTI. Other compulsive urges, reported less frequently, including sexual urges, shopping, eating or binge eating, and other impulsive or compulsive behaviors.

Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal, it is important for prescribers to ask patients or their caregivers specifically about the development of new or intense gambling urges, compulsive sexual urges, compulsive shopping, binge or compulsive eating, or other urges while being treated with REXULTI.

Compulsive behaviors may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized (emphasis added).

There also exists an ongoing investigation and pending lawsuit concerning the undisclosed effects of these drugs:

Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers is investigating the drug Rexulti (brexPIPRAZOLE) and its potential undisclosed side effects such as compulsive behavior. Rexulti is a medication typically prescribed for the treatment of depression and schizophrenia.

Like its predecessor ABILIFY (ariPIPRAZOLE), Rexulti may cause compulsive gambling, compulsive sexual behavior, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating and other compulsive behavior. These behaviors can ruin lives and families.

Although the manufacturer has now been forced by the FDA to warn about the compulsive behavior associated with Abilify, these warnings are not being given to patients taking Rexulti. – Link

The pharmaceutical company that manufactures REXULTI warns that,

Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions.

Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.

This issue is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Report any changes in these symptoms immediately to the doctor.

If one were to take the time to read the clinical research required by the government to be publicly available to the consumer (www.rexulti.com), that individual would discover that in the clinical trials of this drug, several people taking the drug committed suicide while those on the placebo pill did not:

There were suicides in the adult studies, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about antidepressant drug effect on suicide.

While the drug company may not feel that the statistics are significant, the results posted on their website show that almost 2% (19 people out of every 1000 between the ages of 18-24) of the young consumers experienced suicidal ideation as a direct result of the drug use. If people are more willing to take their own lives on these mind-altering drugs, then surely they are more willing to take others’ lives as well.

These drugs alter one’s thinking and behavior but not in the suggested positive ways that big pharma needs people to believe. As with measurable science, the Bible also declares that psychoactive substances regularly intoxicate people and lead to violence, delusions, and hallucinations. For example, alcohol, one of the first psychiatric drugs prescribed for anxiety and depression, is said in Scripture to invoke violence under its influence. Proverbs 20:1 states,

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Proverbs 23:33 also points out how alcohol can induce what is framed within psychiatry as “psychosis”:

Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things.

When these powerful drugs intoxicate people, they regularly produce what the DSM-5 calls “medication induced psychosis.” The combination of psychic numbing increased agitation and violent tendencies explain why those who have been through trauma, been abused or bullied, feel abandoned, or were already angry or bitter would act out in violence toward others when under the influence of these drugs or other psychotropic drugs.

The drugs do not cause a person to be angry, violent, or kill; they merely enable the person’s heart to be exposed more easily and carry out a person’s desires. Though the drug invokes violence, it is the spiritual heart of the individual that is responsible for violence and murder (James 4:1-3). For example, in the case of Columbine, the shooters chose to attack one of the sources of their hearts’ anger. In the Southerland Springs church shooting, the killer chose his ex-mother-in-law’s church.

The Orlando shooter chose to attack a group he openly and regularly declared his hatred for, and in the recent Florida school shooting, the gunman went to the school where he had been bullied and from which he had been expelled. These facts also show that, though evil, these gunmen rationally chose their targets. The drugs do not create the wrong desires, but they better enable the consumer to carry them out.

The drugs’ contribution to mass murder and suicide is in their suppression of one’s ability to morally discern or feel empathy. In their creation of intoxication anosognosia (medical spellbinding), in their deception (e.g., “medication-induced psychosis” including hallucinations and delusions), and in their production of neurologic agitation and panic.

The Drugs’ Therapeutic Effect

With each article or book published correlating psychotropic drugs with violence and mass shootings comes as many if not more articles on how helpful SSRIs are for many people suffering from sorrow, despair, and hopelessness. Do these drugs help people to find hope, eliminate sorrow, and alleviate guilt, and if so, how precisely are they offering a therapeutic benefit?

The manufacturers of the “antidepressant” REXULTI claim that empirical evidence has shown that only 30% of all consumers benefit from taking antidepressants. These powerful drugs do, in fact, cause some people to perceive that they are getting better on these drugs. While they are not healing agents and will not correct one’s thinking or an alleged biological defect, the drugs do have two positive “therapeutic effects”:

First, “antidepressants” provide hope. Since hopelessness is one of the primary criteria in the construct of depression, SSRIs must provide hope if they are to have any therapeutic effectiveness. From the labeling of SSRIs as “antidepressants,” to a physician’s care and demeanor, coupled with the numbing effect of the drug, these powerful drugs provide hope to some people.

However SSRIs can only provide a failing hope for those who consume them, and after six months of consuming them, research shows that most people lose hope in their effectiveness. The former head of placebo studies at Harvard University, Irving Kirsch, explains that sugar pills offered to people in clinical trials as powerful “antidepressants” have similar results to SSRIs, and in many studies, they had better results. His conclusion after years of careful research is that hope must be offered in any attempted treatment of hopelessness:

Whereas hopelessness is a central feature of depression, hope lies at the core of the placebo effect. Placebos instill hope in patients by promising them relief from their distress. Genuine medical treatments also instill hope, and this is the placebo component of their effectiveness.

When the promise of relief instills hope, it counters a fundamental attribute of depression. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any treatment successfully treating depression without reducing the sense of hopelessness that depressed people feel. Conversely, any treatment that reduces hopelessness must also assuage depression. So a convincing placebo ought to relieve depression. – Irving Kirsch, The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth (New York: Basic Books, 2011), 3.

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin also notes,

Because depression is primarily a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair, any therapy that offers empowerment and hope is likely to work. Depressed patients need help in finding renewed strength and courage to engage in life. – Peter Breggin, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, (New York: Springer Publishing, 2013), 71.

A former researcher at Stanford University Medical Center Bruce Lipton likewise remarks,

Another interesting fact about the effectiveness of antidepressants is that they have performed better and better in clinical trials over the years, suggesting that their placebo effects are in part due to savvy marketing.

The more the miracle of antidepressants was touted in the media and advertisements, the more effective they became. Beliefs are contagious! We now live in a culture where people believe that antidepressants work, and so they do. – Bruce H. Lipton, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles (New York: Hay House, 2005), 111.

The placebo pill is so powerful in producing hope that many psychiatrists only prescribe these sugar pills to people who are depressed. The reason that so many people begin to feel better on SSRIs is not that the chemicals are targeting a physical malady in the body; rather, the drug is providing a much-needed hope to the hopeless; faith is the substance of all things hoped for.

But “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12), so when the placebo effect wears off—and it will, the person suffering is often left in a worse state of mind. Simply stated, “antidepressants” allow people to believe that they are being helped out of their despair, and this provides therapeutic benefit at least for a time.

The fact that emotional blunting or dehumanizing is the drug’s significant action is a second therapeutic benefit. When these drugs are flooding the nervous system and blocking the healthy function of serotonin reuptake, the consumer is numbed to his/her sorrow and pain (and most everything else in that person’s life) and often sleeps better at first.

As discussed earlier, this effect causes people to recognize that the drug is doing something to them and further promotes belief in the drug’s efficacy; they believe that the drug is “working” and “saving their life.” Psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff comments,

The emotional detachment produced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and similar drugs may reduce or blunt negative emotions so that people will rate themselves as less depressed. The sedative effects of the tricyclic antidepressants can improve sleep and reduce anxiety.

Since these factors feature prominently in depression-measuring scales, these effects will produce an apparent improvement in depression, despite the fact that there may be no change in the individual’s actual mood (although of course feeling less anxious and sleeping better might improve one’s mood too). – Joanna Moncrieff, “Why There’s No Such Thing as an ‘Antidepressant,’” November 27, 2013

Most people on SSRIs and neuroleptics admit to the suppressing of their emotions, and indifference and apathy describe their mental state. To some, this effect is desirable considering their sorrowful and hopeless condition, while to others, this experience is frightening, increases their anxiety, and leaves them feeling even more hopeless under the drug’s control. This reality is also why people who are on SSRIs regularly become disinterested in sexual intimacy:

It is now recognized that many, if not most, male and female patients will suffer from loss of sexual functioning. Most obviously, individuals become impotent or lose the ability to become aroused and to find enjoyment. Although it is seldom discussed, I believe the impact is not only on the physical aspect of sexual function but also on desire—caring or interest in the partner. – Peter Breggin, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, (New York: Springer Publishing, 2013), 71.

People who take SSRIs will not feel as sorrowful on the drug, but they must attack the healthy function of their nervous system and diminish their God-given ability to feel, empathize, desire, and think clearly to gain the therapeutic effect. Sadly, it is this desired effect that causes so many to commit suicide and to carry out violent attacks on others. With the rise in the number of people consuming psychoactive substances also comes the increase in those who will come under medical spellbinding and act out in violence on others or commit suicide.

Such a reality explains why mass shootings, bombings, and violent acts continue to increase and will occur again and again, more and more as more psychoactive drug consumers are made each day. Drugs are not necessary for the spiritual heart to be violent and act out in horrific behavior, but they are known chemical enablers to violence and suicide.

Whether anyone likes this discussion or not, there is a valid correlation between mass shootings and psychoactive substances that must be addressed. Many are now trying to frame guns and “mental illnesses” as the primary problems behind mass shootings, but the facts show otherwise. People in positions of power are trying to pass legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of those labeled as mentally ill while overlooking or denying clear scientific evidence that points to mind-altering chemicals as highly relevant.

It is important to note once again that this booklet is not intended to be taken as medical advice or to condemn anyone who chooses to consume psychoactive substances. The choice to depend upon dangerous drugs is up to each consumer who must bring these issues before the Lord and their physicians.

Instead, this booklet provides factual evidence concerning drug action and explains why individuals regularly associate psychotropic drugs with violence and mass murder in the United States and all parts of the world. Unless we begin to discuss and consider these issues lovingly, the number of mass shootings, suicides, and other violence will inevitably escalate as more and more people succumb to the influence of these drugs.

For further study on psychoactive drugs from a biblical perspective, please see Daniel R. Berger II, Mental Illness: The Necessity for Dependence (Taylors, SC: Alethia International Publications, 2016).

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