Contribution of Antipsychotics to Suicidality and Depression

Kermit Cole
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Peter Lehmann reviews the contribution of antipsychotics to suicide and depression in schizophrenia in the current International Journal of Psychotherapy.  Publications about the intrinsic effects of antipsychotics on suicidality – which are “currently taboo,” he says – might reduce suicides in ‘schizophrenics.’ He suggests that a suicide register (akin to the mortality registers used in the medical field to identify connections between reduced life-expectancy and the outcomes of medical treatments) would meaningfully identify and lower the rate of suicide in people with emotional problems.

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International Journal of Psychotherapy: 2012, Vol. 16, No 1., pp. 30-49

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

3 COMMENTS

  1. I was totally shaken by this article. All this has been known since the nineteen eighties and psychiatrists are continuing forcibly and oh so nonchalantly, treating their patients with antipsychotics. My son nearly became the victim of olanzapine. He went into hospital suffering from psychosis and a badly infected toe. He was put on olanzapine. On 10mg he developed NMS, on 5mg he became severely depressed and suicidal. Doctors refused to help him off it. He tried to get off it himself with the help of the Internet. He developed severe akathesia and was unable to sleep more than 10mn at a time. He started panicking: he was trapped on that drug. We desperately looked for medical help. Psychiatrists are spell-bound by what they are taught in medical school and don’t listen and don’t believe what you are telling them. I knew more about olanzapine, its side effects and withdrawal symptoms than they did.In total dispair, my son tried to kill himself. Luckily I found him in time.He was put on risperidone,came out of hospital paralysed physically and mentally by this drug,traumatised by what had happened to him certain that life was not worth living.I helped him off that drug behind doctors backs and thanks to Peter Breggin’s book. I t was hell but he made it. To add insult to injury, the psychiatrists diagnosed him “mentally ill” and insist on watching over him. He would rather they left him alone to get on with his life. He doesn’t trust doctors and I don’t blame him

  2. Alix, I could have written this post myself, almost word for word. Thank you so much for sharing this! I quote from you above:

    “Psychiatrists are spell-bound by what they are taught in medical school and don’t listen and don’t believe what you are telling them. I knew more about olanzapine, its side effects and withdrawal symptoms than they did.In total dispair, my son tried to kill himself. Luckily I found him in time.He was put on risperidone,came out of hospital paralysed physically and mentally by this drug,traumatised by what had happened to him certain that life was not worth living.I helped him off that drug behind doctors backs”

    As upsetting as this was to read, it validates to me that I was not alone with my son’s experience. I also saved my son from suicide while he was under the influence of risperdol. I also felt abused and disrespected at the hands of his psychiatrists, and we are both still recovering from the trauma. My son also now trusts NO ONE in the medical or helping professions. He is no longer on any psychotropic medications, nor will he ever be again. I have seen through their lies. I hope that more and more of those abused and traumatized by the Gestapo mindset of modern psychiatry will speak up! Yes, I did use That word, because I feel that it fits. They experiment with their drugs on innocent minds and bodies and are utterly callous about the results!