Frances, Healy at Odds Over Program on SSRIs and Violence


Allen Frances and David Healy have expressed differing opinions on A Prescription for Murder, BBC Panorama’s recent documentary on the association between antidepressants and violence. While Dr. Frances has criticized what he feels is an extremist stance, Dr. Healy has defended the importance of pointing out the causal role antidepressants can play in violent acts.

Click here to read their email exchange.


  1. Very interesting exchange. I’d say Allen Frances can’t entirely keep his mask on. His drug salesman face is peeking out from behind his physician mask. Same physician mask expressing remorse for his part in the DSM-IV fiasco. Despite all his talk about reducing doses, aggression cannot be attributed, by him anyway, to SSRI anti-depressants, and this, to my way of thinking, greatly reduces the impact of his argument, especially when 10 % of the population at home and abroad are on these drugs. He worries about physicians not providing “needed” drugs. Come, come. With 10 % of the population on them, surely, Dr. Frances, you jest. When all is said and done, I kinda think you’ve got another one here more concerned about the wealth in his wallet than the health of his patients.

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  2. In my opinion, I think its important to note that Doctors in general; ignore and dismiss or prescribe “side-effect” medications, to quell the concerns of patients (in general). With all of the new medications coming out, having the warnings of death, suicidal ideation, the damage to internal organs, etc. The fact remains that I’ve noticed people who were calm got put on medications and then became unstable. What is the benefit to individual, the public, institutions, etc.

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