Did Psychiatric Drugs Play a Role in the Prom Day Killer’s Violent Behavior?

Sheila Matthews
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The alleged “Prom day” killer, Christopher Plaskon, is a snap shot of the future result of Connecticut’s increased mental health services.  The 17 year-old’s defense apparently will be that his “mental health” caused his murderous actions – not the dangerous psychiatric drugs he obviously has been taking for some time.

Early reports of Plaskon’s behavior included information that he had been taking drugs to treat his alleged ADHD.  What psychiatric drugs? When was the teenager first diagnosed? Had he been further diagnosed with additional “mental illnesses?”  Which diagnoses?  How many psychiatric drugs had the teenager been prescribed during his young life?  Had Plaskon been taking a “cocktail” of psychiatric drugs?  All of these questions are important to understanding Plaskon’s violent actions.

Here’s why.

The teenager is mentally ill. He suffers from one or more psychiatric disorders.  This is the mental health community’s mantra and “ace in the hole.”  Despite there being zero scientific or medical data to support even one psychiatric “disorder” being an abnormality of the brain (objective, confirmable abnormality), the mental health community’s psychiatric labeling goes unchecked, opening the flood gates for prescribing dangerous psychiatric drug “treatments.”

According to recent news reports, Plaskon is being “treated” with two mind-altering psychiatric drugs – an anti-anxiety drug and also an anti-psychotic.  How long has Plaskon been taking these drugs?  Had the teenager been prescribed the mind-altering drugs prior to his murderous actions?

For the sake of argument, let’s assumed Plaskon was being “treated” with both the anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs prior to the stabbing.  Had he, like the Santa Barbara shooter, been prescribed the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax?  What are some of the known serious adverse reactions associated with anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax?  Confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, aggression, hostility and decreased inhibitions are some of the more serious adverse reactions associated with this class of drug.

What about the adverse reactions associated with anti-psychotic drugs?  Like so many of the psychiatric drug “treatments,” known adverse reactions associated with antipsychotic drugs include increased anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, to name a few.

Given the known adverse reactions associated with these psychiatric drugs, and withdrawal from them, it seems fair to suggest that it’s possible that Plaskon’s violent behavior may have been a result of one or more of the adverse reactions associated with these psychiatric drugs.

Will Plaskon’s psychiatric drug use even be made part of the trial? If history is any indication, probably not.  The mental health community, which cannot prove even one of its alleged mental disorders is an abnormality of the brain and which, the state of Connecticut has warmly embraced will effectively and without scrutiny argue the worsening of Plaskon’s mental disorders.

As our mission at Ablechild is one of informed consent, we cannot help but wonder if Plaskon’s parents were made aware of the complete subjectivity of psychiatric diagnosing or, for that matter, advised of the possible known adverse reactions associated with any psychiatric drugs their son may have been prescribed.  This information can be easily verified by the informed consent document parents should sign when the diagnosis is made, like the one linked.

Because of the state’s ill-informed rush to institute costly, increased mental health services in Connecticut, and being fully aware that mental health “treatment” largely consists of prescribing psychiatric drugs, Ablechild believes that the state has an obligation to insure that parents and families are fully informed on both of these issues.

It’s one thing to tell consumers that the mental health increases are being instituted to help those who are “suffering.” But without providing all the information about psychiatric diagnosing and the risks associated with psychiatric drugs, the state is nothing more than a shill for the mental health community and pharmaceutical industry.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

21 COMMENTS

  1. What happened to me was “tolerance withdrawal” , most people know withdrawal from anxiety pills causes anxiety and withdrawal from anti psychotics can cause psychosis even if you never had these things before. During withdrawal drug effects usually rebound in the opposite direction. With “tolerance withdrawal” tolerance rises wile the dose stays the same bringing on withdrawal type reactions. Then add to all this “akathisia”, that horrible state of restless agitation these drugs can bring on and things start getting ugly.

    Did Psychiatric Drugs Play a Role in the Prom Day Killer’s Violent Behavior?

    Last I heard the thing psychiatric drugs do is alter thought mood and behavior so the answer must be yes.

    • At the very least – the drugs didn’t help. Therefore using cases of kids committing acts of violence on psychiatric drugs shouldn’t be used as an argument for more use of these drugs. But hey, logic is not a strong side of modern psychiatry, is it?

  2. Woman fighting for prescription warnings after husband kills twins

    It was a story that shocked Charlotte, even the country.

    David Crespi, a Charlotte-area banker, called 911 the morning of January 20, 2006 and told the operator he had killed his two twin five-year-old daughters. The moment his wife Kim heard the news she said it wasn’t him but drugs he’d been taking.

    She knew he had in fact stabbed his daughters to death, he’d admitted to it.

    But Kim believed from the second he confessed that her husband committed the crimes in a ‘medication induced psychosis’ brought on by a cocktail of medications he’d recently been prescribed.

    http://www.wbtv.com/story/25443655/uncommon-killers-david-crespi-and-david-carmichael

  3. I hope the truth of what these “medications” do gets exposed once and for all so I can get my record expunged. ‘Medication induced psychosis’ it feels like your just watching yourself act , a bad dream in reality. I only did property damage, thank God, after that reckless doctor had me on six different drugs. Call me stupid cause thats how I feel now, but I trusted this guy, a Harvard educated doctor. I really though he knew what he was doing and believed psychiatry was ‘medical’ back then.

  4. “Despite there being zero scientific or medical data to support even one psychiatric “disorder” being an abnormality of the brain (objective, confirmable abnormality), the mental health community’s psychiatric labeling goes unchecked, opening the flood gates for prescribing dangerous psychiatric drug “treatments.””
    Just one note to add-even if you’d find such an abnormality (as some people claim the fMRI studies show – taken their validity aside for a moment) it still remains to show causality. Simply saying “you’ve got a big amygdala and depression do it’s a biological disease” or something along these lines is not enough.

  5. “[T]he state is nothing but a shill for the mental health community and pharmaceutical industry.” Given the millions and billions in lawsuit settlements the states are getting from the pharmaceutical industry, for allowing these industries to harm the people of the “state,” this now seems quite evident.

    This is just one example, that was listed on MIA today:
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/gsk-settles-illegal-marketing-cases-44-states-105m/

    It’s all so criminal, it staggers my mind. Of course it’s the drugs. Who in their right mind thinks forcing children onto drugs chemically similar to cocaine and LSD or opium is not going to adversely affect the children, of course it’s the drugs.

  6. It really bothers me when religion parades as something else.

    For many years, the Church of Scientology has waged a war on psychiatry. They have worked tirelessly to give psychiatry a bad name, to make psychiatric drugs and treatments (notice the lack of quotation marks) appear to be evil, wrong, and in some cases, equated with nazism (take a look at the Scientology front group “Citizen’s Commission for Human Rights” to see more on that).

    The thing with this group is that they recognize that many individuals discredit them (mainly due to blatant lies, crass commercialization of religion, targeting of poor and disenfranchised members of the community, selling “auditing” services in the place of counseling, dangerous vitamin / sauna / exercise regiments, Narconon (which doesn’t work and has been banned from many prisons), etc.). So to cover this, organizations hide their true allegiances and create groups, like Ablechild, that promote their mission while concealing their identities and motives.

    Ablechild is Scientology. They use the same servers:

    Ablechild.org has Scientology name servers:

    Name Server:HOST1.OUTFLOW.NET
    Name Server:HOST2.OUTFLOW.NET
    Outflow Technologies sponsors Scientology sites such as: The Way to Happiness, Citizens Commission On Human Rights, Thetapages.com, DrugEducation.net and more. Source of information: Outflow Technologies [1]

    My point is, you need to talk to a doctor. It’s fine to get some ideas, and some information (and misinformation) on websites. But the idea that you are going to find the magic solution to all your problems from a Google search is silly and ill-informed. People have bad experiences with psychiatry. That is not being disputed. But the fact – yes, FACT – of the matter is, psychiatry helps FAR more people than it hurts.

    I’m happy to discuss this further, and welcome comments.

    • Well, then I am happy to inform you that this website is in no way associated with Scientology, which you can easily check for yourself. I’d also advice you to actually read some of the articles as to the validity of your point: “But the fact – yes, FACT – of the matter is, psychiatry helps FAR more people than it hurts.” If you’re saying something is a fact in capital letters I’d like to see some actual evidence for it because there is plenty of data out there that shows that psych drugs are marginally if at all effective and most psychiatric treatments as for today are as good as an active placebo. “My point is, you need to talk to a doctor.” Well, many people blogging here actually are doctors…

  7. Glad to hear that, B, but I would recommend taking a look at the “Writers” section of the website. The ties between many of the authors and the CoS is easily found.

    To answer your question, sure. I think that is totally reasonable to ask for examples. Take a look at S Leuct / S Hierl / Kissling W / et al’s article “Putting the efficacy of psychiatric and general medication into perspective; review of meta-analysis,” in Br J Psychiatry (2012;200:97106).” Another good one is F Seemulle / HJ Moller / S Dittmann / R Musil’s article “Is the efficacy of psychopharmacological drugs comparable to the efficacy of general medicine medication?” in BMC Med. (2012; 10:17).

    One particularly relevant article would be RD Gibbons / CH Brown / K Hur / et al’s article “Suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant treatments: reanalysis of the randomized placebo-controlled studies of fluoxetine and venlafaxine in Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2/9/2012. That one is a reanalysis of prior studies that found “antidepressants decreased suicidal thoughts and behaviors for adult and geriatric patients and that the protective effect was meditated by decreases in depressive symptoms with treatment.””

    I want to be clear – I am not trying to trivialize the trials and tribulations of finding the right medication. It is tough. I’ve gone through Lexapro withdrawal, as well as a slew of others — I’m not speaking as an outsider, I’m speaking as a first-hand insider. It is difficult. But it needs to be speaking with YOUR doctor, not someone on the internet. Should you ask your doctor about the things you read here? Yes, without doubt. You should also be prepared for their answers, which may strongly contradict what you have read – perhaps, even what you’ve read from other “doctors.”

    Reliance on evidence from biased sources is dangerous. The best way to find out more about the efficacy, the dangers, and other medical findings are in medical journals, such as JAMA or NEMA. Peer-reviewed, evidence-based.

    Again, happy to respond to comments.

    • “look at the “Writers” section of the website. The ties between many of the authors and the CoS is easily found.”
      Could you be somewhat more specific? Because I fail to see who here is “associated” with CoS.

      When it comes to articles you cited:
      S Leuct / S Hierl / Kissling W / et al’s article “Putting the efficacy of psychiatric and general medication into perspective; review of meta-analysis,” in Br J Psychiatry (2012;200:97106).”
      From the article:

      “Declaration of interest
      In the past 3 years S.L. has received fees for consulting and/or lectures from the following companies: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Actelion, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Essex Pharma, AstraZeneca, MedAvante, Alkermes, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Lundbeck Institute and Pfizer, and grant support from Eli Lilly. W.K. has received fees for consulting and/or lectures from Janssen-Cilag, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Lundbeck, Novartis and Eli Lilly. All authors work in psychiatry.”

      Yeah, that sounds credible… I’d therefore take a closer look at their choice of data. Besides you also cite the review of this paper where authors outline the limitations of this study and these are only a few.

      “RD Gibbons / CH Brown / K Hur / et al’s article “Suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant treatments: reanalysis of the randomized placebo-controlled studies of fluoxetine and venlafaxine in Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2/9/2012.”
      Here we go again:
      “Study Selection—
      All sponsor-conducted randomized controlled trials of fluoxetine and
      venlafaxine”
      “Additional Contributions:
      Data were supplied by the National Institute of Mental Health (Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study), Wyeth, and Eli Lilly and Co.
      Financial Disclosure:
      Dr Gibbons has served as an expert witness for the US Department of Justice, Wyeth, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in cases related to antidepressants and anticonvulsants and suicide. Dr Brown directed a suicide prevention program at the University of South Florida that received funding from JDS Pharmaceuticals. Dr Mann has received research support from GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis”

      Tell me more about bias…

      “Reliance on evidence from biased sources is dangerous. ”
      I agree. And right now clinical trials on psych drugs (and drugs in general) are biased – the studies are designed and conducted under the influence of drug companies which have a huge conflict of interest I don’t think I have to explain. There is a phenomenon of ghost writing of articles. Similarly the drug approval process by the FDA is seriously flawed, whereby the agency can ignore all the negative results studies if there are only 2 which show a significant result. Anyone who has aver conducted a study knows that this is a huge statistical error. And that is not only limited to psych drugs, there has been a number of problems with medications which were approved based on such biased studies and shown to be largely ineffective like in case of Tamiflu:
      http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/antiviral-use-influenza.htm

      “But it needs to be speaking with YOUR doctor, not someone on the internet. ”
      Sure, because of course my doctor will know what’s best for me and I should trust him and follow his lead and never try to inform myself beyond what he tells me is true… That always works out well…

      “The best way to find out more about the efficacy, the dangers, and other medical findings are in medical journals, such as JAMA or NEMA.”
      If you read a bit through MIA articles you’ll be able to see easily that many articles here are based on peer-reviewed research. Plus one can’t blindly believe in every article published out there especially when authors scream conflict of interest by taking money from drug companies. And especially when journals where they publish are also on the payroll (watch out for the pharma ads).

      • Sure – the writer of the article we are commenting on was present at various CCHR events – CCHR being Scientology’s anti psych group, for example. They share their servers with AbleChild… And Tom Cruise… And “The Way to Happiness.” Much of this site is clearly influenced by L. Ron Hubbard, and it is thinly veiled.

        Moving on…

        You note that trusting a doctor – your doctor – “always works out well.” With a time of sarcasm. Never did I suggest that one should not be an informed patient. That said, yes, you should trust your doctor. If you don’t, get a new doctor. A trusting relationship is critical to a successful treatment.

        Do drug companies fund studies? Sure they do. Does the CoS fund anti-psychiatry / psychiatric drug studies? Yep. I’m going to put my faith in the academic doctors (researching and writing scholarly articles) over CoS, mainly because the guy writing the article isn’t trying to sell me fake counseling sessions.

        Where is your evidence of your claims, by the way? Do you have articles I may reference — and are said articles not sponsored by either of the aforementioned groups? Would love to review.

        As usual, I welcome replies and comments.

          • I’m not comfortable with how glibly I just wrote that someone else’s religion or lifestance “might be wrong.” I think my intended meaning may have come across, but want to make clear that I did not mean to suggest that the CoS is any more “wrong” than any other religion. Why is it acceptable to single out the CoS for ridicule when all religions have aspects that might be considered ridiculous to outside observers? Why does it make sense to assume that if the CoS happens to stand for something, then that something must automatically not be worthwhile?

          • That’s a good point. I’ve found some of the information posted by CCHR accurate, even though I tend to distrust religious organisations in general (I’d not single out CoS here – catholic church and any other religion are just as bad when it comes to certain issues).

        • First of all where did you take the information about Ablechild and Scientology? Because their website reads: “AbleChild is not affiliated with any religious or political organization.” and I wasn’t able to find any reliable source that would confirm your allegations. Same goes for Ms Matthews.

          “Does the CoS fund anti-psychiatry / psychiatric drug studies? Yep.”
          Any proof for that? And even if that was the case (which in most cases isn’t – I have actually not seen a single peer reviewed study funded by them) it doesn’t make the studies funded by pharma any more credible. Again, I advice you to go to the home page on MIA – on the left you have news section, just go from there.

          One example are studies on antidepressants and placebo response done by Dr Irving Kirsch, which show that these drugs are essentially toxic sugar pills in most cases. Which were scrutinised and found out to be correct. Or is he a scientologist as well? The Open Dialogue studies were also not sponsored by CoS.

  8. In the Connecticut newspaper “The Advocate” dated Sunday, June 8, the article, “Schools Working to overhaul mental health program” is this quotation by a NAMI staff member advocating for more of a psychiatric presence for young people:

    a staff member of the Stamford/ Greenwich chapter of the National Alliance of the Mental Illness, suggested getting pediatricians more involved in mental health treatment. She wants pediatricians to have training in adolescent psychiatry and that, just like regular physical checkups, children be given mental health evaluations.

  9. Right to exist. People have this right to exist, not corporations with no merit changing the circumstance of “suffering” but naive or ill-informed people. This is what I mean…in the late nineties when anti-depressants were prescribed like gang busters, many people became bipolar in result of taking these medications. Parents and young adults were told that this manic reaction had nothing to do with the drug but the drug just coaxed out this “other” diseased self. So blame was shifted off the drug and the band marched on. A lot of these parents and young adults were referred to “bipolar experts” during this time, to reassure the parents and young adults that indeed the young adult now had this lifelong diagnosis, but it was okay, because everything about this diagnosis was above board and the parameters were confidently explained by these “experts”. Fast forward 15 years. I see the “expert” I talked to promoting “pediatric bipolar disorder” in a public space, to naive parents who have no idea of brain biology. He shows OCD studies as proof and hope that more and more is being found about the brain in studies. He is showing OCD studies as evidence and support for, justification for his proliferation of the bipolar diagnosis, in children. A disgusting and comic example of how my family had been duped those many years ago, and I marvel at the income this person must have made telling families like mine a lie.

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