Part II: Michelle Starts Prozac and Sees the Devil

Peter Breggin, MD
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Part II of a series of reports on the Michelle Carter story. Updated on August 16. Part I can be found here.

While Michelle Carter and her family worked their way through the crowd and the bristling hedge of TV cameras outside the Massachusetts courthouse on the way to Michelle’s sentencing, the atmosphere inside and outside the courtroom was tense. The same judge had previously convicted her of manslaughter-by-texting in the suicide of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy.

For more than two hours, I had been sitting in front of a camera in a studio in Ithaca, New York, being a pundit in a box. I was waiting to hear in my earpiece that the camera in front of me was now turned on and my mike would go live in a few seconds.

I would spend most of this third day of August from 12 noon to 8 pm listening to and responding to television coverage of Michelle Carter’s sentencing by the judge. The best news was that my wife Ginger was in the engineering room, helping me keep on track with what was important.

Surrounded by Outrage

The word came in my earpiece that I would be live in seconds, and I straightened my posture and focused my eyes on the camera. I prepared once again to talk about the real Michelle Carter, a warm and caring youngster largely at the mercy of forces beyond her understanding or control. Then the control room in Atlanta shut down my camera again.

The coverage shifted to an incident outside the courthouse. As Michelle passed through the crowd looking fearful and frail, someone shouted at her, “Kill yourself!” The channel replayed it to make sure we all heard the words. For the TV producers and commentators, it was great theater.

I felt immersed in an alternative reality dominated by anger, revenge, and hatred toward Michelle, playing out for millions watching Headline News (HLN), owned by CNN. This condemnation, sometimes subtle and sometimes not, was being directed at Michelle by most of the TV network’s commentators; by the bystanders selected for filming; by interviews with the deceased young man’s enraged family members; by the fuming prosecuting attorneys selected for the show; and even by some of the mental health “experts.”

The Larger Picture

After spending a day listening to HLN’s media coverage—with a few breaks to look at CNN, the Fox News Channel, and other media—I began to realize that TV coverage of Michelle’s story and legal case was one more media diversion to keep Americans from focusing on what really troubles our country and the world today. In this instance, the story to avoid at all costs was the epidemic drugging of our children and youth, and how we have handed them over to the drug companies and their medical minions. Instead, hate and blame the victim, and distract us from the stranglehold that the Pharmaceutical Empire has upon psychiatry, medicine, insurance companies, the media, the Congress, the educational system and virtually our entire culture.

ABC TV’s 20/20 devoted an hour to the Michelle Carter story on August 4th, 2017, the day after her sentencing, and did provide glimpses of the hidden realities. Based on filming me for more than 90 minutes in their New York studio, my interview probably had an influence in shaping the story in a more balanced fashion. In several short clips in the final production, they gave me the opportunity to make my most important summary observations: that Michelle tried for two years to save Conrad until she broke down under the influence of his abusive threats to kill himself and the involuntary intoxication caused by a recent change in her medication.

Michelle Experiences Traumatic Losses

Michelle’s story in infinite variations is daily lived by millions of children in America and elsewhere around the world, especially in the industrialized world.

As far as anyone can tell, she was doing well up to age fourteen as a good student, a star athlete, and a girl who was liked and often loved by the people who knew her. She had not a hint of any antisocial qualities.

Then in September of 2010, one month after turning 14 and entering the 8th grade, Michelle endured a double trauma. Her much-loved maternal grandparents, who lived nearby as active members of her family, died unexpectedly in quick succession. First, her maternal grandfather died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and then, within a few weeks, her grandmother died without warning of a stroke. These traumatic losses would be enough to temporarily overwhelm any child and Michelle went through the normal process of grieving—except that it was officially diagnosed as anxiety and depression, instead of a healthy and necessary grieving process.

One month after the death of her grandparents, Michelle’s strong, athletic young body had dropped an estimated 20-30 pounds. She now weighed 85 pounds, in the bottom 2% for her age group and height.

Michelle’s gastroenterology consults described Michelle as “emaciated” from self-restricted eating, and she was diagnosed with anorexia, anxiety and depression. Her liver functions were abnormal, and would remain so for years. Her electrocardiogram showed abnormalities that would clear up. Her cardiovascular system was so unstable that she developed orthostatic hypotension—that is, her blood pressure dropped precipitously when she stood up. She was a very emotionally distressed and physically ill child.

What Michelle and Her Family Really Needed

Michelle needed an experienced family therapist who would have quickly brought the whole Carter family together to help them deal with their grief. Michelle’s younger sister had also lost her grandparents and Michelle’s mother had of course lost both her parents. The two children especially needed help in expressing their inevitable fear and anxiety over death itself. In family counseling, all four family members could have worked together to increase their loving communication and process their shared emotions of grief.

Instead of focusing on Michelle as the patient, a family therapist would have emphasized helping Michelle’s parents, because they are the leaders of the family. In my experience, by helping the parents, the therapist’s need to see the children often declines. The parents, with their new understanding and better communication skills, become able to help the entire family heal. In Michelle’s case, where she was communicating almost exclusively with her peers through social media, a great breakthrough would have involved shifting more of her communications toward her parents and sister.

Giving Michelle antidepressants instead stifled her ability and motivation to grieve. One of the most common effects of the antidepressants is the suppression of emotion while imposing apathy and indifference upon the individual. The drugs thereby impede bonding with the family and grieving. After withdrawing from antidepressants, many patients realize that they went through momentous events, such as their children’s graduations or their parents’ deaths, “without feeling anything.” (For studies of antidepressant apathy, see part four of the scientific papers on my antidepressant resource center.)

Starting Michelle on Prozac

Instead of treating her as member of a shocked and grieving family, Michelle was treated as if she had a mental illness. On February 17th, 2011, her primary care doctor started her on Prozac to increase her weight and perhaps to treat her “depression.” Within one week, her doctor doubled her dose to 20 mg.

Twenty milligrams is a common adult dose of Prozac. For Michelle, in her frail condition, it became a mammoth dose. Her cardiovascular system was unstable. She was in the bottom 2% in weight. To add to this vulnerable state, her liver malfunction was likely to reduce her ability to metabolize or break down the Prozac, leading to an even higher level in her bloodstream than anticipated. Her impaired cardiovascular system put her at risk for a drug-induced arrhythmia and death.

Then on April 5th, 2011, without explanation, Michelle’s primary care doctor raised her dose of Prozac to 30 mg. This dose, above average for an adult, was a prescription for tragedy for Michelle.

Within a week of the raising of the dose, the doctor exclaimed in the record, “Weight gain!” Michelle was three pounds heavier and her BMI was now 3%.

At the time, Prozac was already approved for depression in children, but it would never be approved for eating disorders in children. The immediate impact of SSRIs usually causes weight loss, a fact that misguided doctors have used in pushing it on women who want to lose weight while also trying to overcome depression.

Unfortunately, the longer-term effect of antidepressants like Prozac, Celexa and Lexapro is often weight gain, and for a child who is desperately phobic about fat, that feels like a calamity. Michelle’s weight gain on SSRI antidepressants would contribute to her growing despair over the next three years. As she lost control of her weight, she became bulimic, pursuing extreme running as a way to keep herself from ballooning in weight.

What Did We Know How About the Harms of Antidepressants in 2011?

By 2011, anyone who read the scientific literature, much of it from leading American medical centers, would have known that children cannot tolerate SSRIs and should not be given them. The following scientific report, as well as many other confirmatory studies, can be obtained without cost from my website www.123antidepressants.com.

A team led by Riddle from the Yale Child Study Center, affiliated with the Yale Medical School, found that 50% of 24 children, ages 8 to 16 years, developed serious behavioral abnormalities when treated with Prozac. Eleven children (45%) developed “motor restlessness,” which is usually a sign of akathisia, a disorder known to cause a worsening of a child or adult’s condition, sometimes leading to psychosis, violence or suicide.

Six of the children and teens developed “social disinhibition,” which can also cause dangerous behaviors, such as those Michelle would later display toward the end of Conrad’s life. Three developed “a subjective sensation of excitation,” which is the beginning of mania, with all its hazards, including its often disastrous feelings of grandiosity and omnipotence, which Michelle would also express in Conrad’s last days in a way that sounded very nasty.

As if further warning of Michelle’s future, the authors conclude:

Clinicians treating children with fluoxetine [Prozac] are cautioned to be aware of behavioral side effects… These side effects may be difficult to differentiate from common psychopathological symptoms such as hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity.

Drug-induced “impulsivity,” along with “social disinhibition,” and other manic-like drug-induced symptoms, would eventually take over Michelle’s life.

Reactions to Prozac and to all other newer antidepressants can destroy lives. Drawing on my clinical and forensic experience, I have described many such cases in my book Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime.

Borrowing in part from one of my scientific papers, in 2004 and 2005 the FDA modified the Full Prescribing Information for all antidepressants including Prozac. From then on, every antidepressant Full Prescribing Information would have multiple references to an activation or stimulation continuum of adverse effects similar to methamphetamine and cocaine:

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases. The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Section 5.1 (bold in original)

A significant percentage of hospital admissions are caused by antidepressant-induced psychosis and mania. As the excerpt from the FDA-approved Full Prescribing Information confirms, they are often accompanied by drastic changes toward antisocial aggressive behaviors including “irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity” and manic-like symptoms such as grandiosity, all of which Michelle would display for a brief and tragic ten-day period before Conrad’s suicide.

Michelle’s Reaction to the First Round of Prozac

Michelle’s prescriber only recognized “headache” as an adverse reaction after raising Michelle’s dose to what was for her a mammoth dose of 30 mg. Michelle’s texting with her friends shows the first known development of problematic behavior. Although attracted to boys, Michelle developed a girl crush, and compulsively pursued her friendship until the girl’s mother intervened. The loss of that relationship would add to her earlier losses, and add to her grief throughout the next few years.

For Michelle, her relationships were always about deep emotional attachments. She wanted to help people and she sought help from them. She wanted to love people and she sought love from them. With boys or girls, youngsters or adults, the goals were always the same, love and mutual help; and people responded very warmly and appreciatively to her.

These passionate but platonic feelings were openly shared in hundreds of texts among Michelle and her friends who held each other in deep affection. Michelle’s potentially hazardous focus on helping and being helped became more desperate and obsessive under the influence of antidepressants and Conrad’s relentless abuse of her.

Because Michelle felt she was doing well for a time, her primary care doctor weaned her off Prozac, ending the taper in early October of 2011. Michelle was off Prozac when she met Conrad for the first time in February of 2012. She was now fifteen years old.

Restarting Prozac Seven Months Later

On May 3rd, 2012, her primary noted in Michelle’s chart: “Returned mom’s call—Mom concerned Michelle overeating—can stop herself from eating then exercises compulsively. Michelle now asking for help, but does not want to return to [other] office as is worried that office staff will view her as a ‘failure.’”

At the time, Michelle’s mother estimated her daughter’s weight at 100 pounds, which was about 25 pounds underweight. Her previous prescriber referred her to a new doctor in the same group at another location.

The new primary, who would remain with Michelle through Conrad’s death, quickly accepted Michelle’s request to restart Prozac. In a very rapid escalation of fourteen days, the primary raised Michelle’s dose from 10 to 30 mg, simply because Michelle had been taking 30 mg in the past.

Michelle and Conrad Have Limited Contact Leading up to his Suicide Attempt

Michelle and Conrad met through their families on a vacation to Florida in February of 2012 when she was fifteen and he was sixteen. The first communications between Michelle and Conrad made available to me are direct message exchanges on Facebook that began a few months after their initial meeting on July 17th, 2012.

They met again in August of 2012 at the Carter home. Their last two meetings were in their hometowns in Massachusetts in the summer of 2013, and they did not see each other again at any time during the year before Conrad’s death.

Their available communications from July 17th, 2012 through September 5th, 2012 seem childlike and playful, often consisting of only one to three words. At one point, Conrad writes, “love ya” and a few lines later Michelle amplifies, “it’s perfect. I love you so much.”

On October 10th, 2012, Conrad began another direct message exchange on Facebook in which he told Michelle that he had recently left a hospital following a serious suicide attempt. Michelle, who had no suspicions that he was emotionally upset, was shocked.

In 2011, Conrad seriously overdosed on Tylenol in the first of four or more attempts (my testimony & Public Records 3, 29, & 51). I testified that changes in Conrad’s antidepressant medications aggravated his suicidality and his mother agreed that his parent’s divorce “hurt him deeply” (Public Record 23). There were also allegations that Conrad was physically abused by his father and verbally abused by his grandfather and uncle (my testimony, police testimony, and Public Records 34, 49 & 50).

Conrad’s first serious suicide paralleled his completed suicide by involving a girl (Public Record 51). Conrad’s father explained to the police, “the first time Conrad attempted suicide he was talking to a girl that he had met in a group and she called the police right away, and she saved his life . . .” (Public Record 2).

For the next two years, Conrad repeatedly threatened to kill himself while texting Michelle. For ten days in July 2014, these threats combined with her antidepressant broke her down mentally, and she agreed to support his goal of dying quickly and easily to go to heaven.

 

Conrad’s Tragic Transformation

During this October 10th exchange on Facebook, Conrad no longer displays the innocence and relative sensitivity of his earlier drug-free communications with Michelle. Instead, he goes on for a day tormenting her with repeated threats that he plans to kill himself that night. Terrified, she begs him not to do it. He insists, “no, I’m going to,” and then explains “just letting you know the voice in my head told me to.” He calls himself a “freak” and says he will carry out his plans.

Conrad continues to torture Michelle with descriptions of his various methods of suicide, insisting, “I’m going to try my best to and not fail like last time.” He repeats his intentions that he will do it “tonight.” She tells him, “You’re scaring me” and reiterates how much she loves him and wants to help.

Michelle becomes frantic and calls a friend and a relative of Conrad in his home town, which is an hour’s drive away. Meanwhile, not yet quite 16 and on 30 mg of Prozac, Michelle remains unsure what else to do until she hears back.

Michelle, whose main goal in life is to love and to help people, is now caught up in a desperate situation. She believes that she loves Conrad and he has her convinced that only she can save him. This desperate pattern will continue for almost two years.

Their messaging is broken off for five hours until after 9 pm that night when Michelle sends a single unanswered message, “Conrad please answer me right now please.”

The next communication provided to me is dated six weeks later. At that time, on November 19th, 2012, Conrad continues with what will become periodic descents into bizarre, dark communications. He talks about, “I want your blood” and “I want it mixed with your saliva and mixed with my blood.” Michelle gets drawn into what she describes in the messages as this “disgusting” talk.

Devil Nightmares and Hallucinations

After midnight on November 24th, 2012, still on 30 mg of Prozac, Michelle sends a direct message to Conrad on Facebook that, for the first time, she is having terrible nightmares about the devil that make her avoid going to sleep.

In his communications with Michelle, Conrad shows gross indifference toward her feelings, probably caused or aggravated by the emotionally blunting drug effects. When Michelle brings up the disturbing nightmares, Conrad crudely jokes about himself raping her in her dreams.

She replies, “I try to kill myself in them [the nightmares]” and then elaborates, “actually the Devil tries to kill me haha.” She then describes how a girlfriend slept over and helped her with the nightmares.

The next night, she again brings up her nightmares. “I’m going to Hell though. The Devil told me. I swear… I’m not kidding. I’m being serious.”

Conrad asks, “He told you?” and she replies, “Yup.”

Then he turns the attention back to himself: “I saw the devil already.”

Michelle replies, “Me, too, and how did you?”

Conrad answers, “He was at the hospital one night staring at me. And he told me to kill them all.”

There is no discussion of his “kill them all” command hallucination. Instead, Michelle asks, “Are you serious?”

Conrad says, “Dead serious.”

Michelle once again becomes the sympathetic helper. “I’m so sorry baby!”

Conrad describes his sighting of the Devil: “He was red and had a black cape.”

Michelle tells him not to listen to the Devil. “I learned to fight him and yeah I know I’ve seen him too. I see him a lot actually.”

She elaborates that all this takes place in her sleep “but to me it seems like real life.”

Conrad says, “I saw real life.”

Michelle continues, “and I thought I saw him in my bed one night but I think it was an hallucination. I don’t know.”

Conrad replies, “I blinked and he disappeared” and she replies, “Yeah, that happened to me.”

Conrad then introduces the idea that their mutual experiences with the Devil indicate that “Maybe we were meant to be together.”

Michelle says, “No one believes I actually see him but I do.”

Conrad states flatly, “the devil brought us.”

Michelle replies, “and yeah maybe ha funny way of meeting,” which Conrad follows with, “cause I don’t know anyone else that [has] seen the devil.”

Michelle concludes, “we are destined to hell then?” and Conrad confirms, “Yeah.”

Michelle goes on to describe, “like babe one time I hallucinated my eyes were bleeding. It was scary. I thought it was real at the time but it wasn’t. It scared me so much.”

They shared how scary all this seems, and Michelle goes on to wonder, “like I don’t know what he wants from me or you. Like why us?”

Conrad gives the answer to her question, “cause we are his victims.”

Without gaining clarity, they go on to discuss why all this is happening to them.

The nightmares, and Conrad’s emphasis on the devil bringing the two of them together, had to leave Michelle further confused about what is real and what is not real. She would at times in the future cling to her little dog at night in the hope of scaring off the devil.

Prozac Nightmares

From the first Prozac Full Prescribing Information to the most recent one, “abnormal dreams” have been listed as the most frequent adverse reaction to Prozac. Neither Conrad nor Michelle seemed to have been warned about this common but distressing drug effect, despite both being on SSRI antidepressants.

Severe nightmares have also been reported in the scientific literature. Thirty-eight days after beginning a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing Prozac to a sugar pill, a twelve year old boy “experienced a violent nightmare about killing his classmates until he himself was shot.”

He awakened from it only with difficulty, and the dream continued to feel “very real.” He reported having had several days of increasingly vivid “bad dreams” before this episode; these included images of killing himself and of his parents dying. When he was seen later that day he was agitated and anxious, refused to go to school, and reported marked suicidal ideation that made him feel unsafe at home as well. P. 180

This school-shooting nightmare that persisted after waking is remarkable for having occurred long before the outbreak of well-known school shootings initiated by Columbine High School in 1999. The boy’s double-blind clinical trial was stopped and it was confirmed that he was taking Prozac, 20 mg. The drug was withdrawn and he gradually improved. When Prozac was restarted some time later, he again became suicidal, and again the medication had to be stopped.

The Role of Prescribers

Doctors who fail to warn their patients about nightmares, compulsive suicidality, violent feelings and other potentially dangerous and distressing adverse drug reactions from antidepressants are doing their patients and society a grave disservice. Their patients’ lack of information leaves them at the mercy of horrifying experiences that border on psychosis. The unsuspecting patients will fear they are going crazy. They will think that they are “so far gone” that not even the potent antidepressants can help them. That often leads to despair and sometimes to suicide.

Michelle and Conrad in Isolation

These two wounded and distraught adolescents, fifteen and sixteen years old, would develop an on-and-off relationship—mostly without seeing each other, and dominated by Conrad—that would overwhelm the two of them. The mental disturbances induced by their antidepressants, their own emotional vulnerabilities, and their impact upon each other would cut them off from other people, devastate their lives, and cause unimaginable suffering to their families and friends. Most of the time both of them would be taking antidepressants drugs, while displaying all of the most serious adverse effects, including an overall worsening of their condition, irritability and hostility, grandiosity, and suicide.

We can show respect for Michelle and Conrad, and all victims of the Pharmaceutical Empire, by elevating their lives as examples of what we must prevent from continuing to happen. We can tell their stories and listen to their stories. We can be warned and inspired to reclaim our children from what I first called the Psychopharmaceutical Complex in my book Toxic Psychiatry.

The Pharmaceutical Empire, with its heavy marketing of psychiatric drugs for the real-life problems of children, has robbed these youngsters and their families of the will and capacity to seek out and to use more caring and human approaches for dealing with and overcoming the inevitable struggles that young people face while growing up and becoming mature persons.

Conrad’s escalating emotional abuse and terrorization of Michelle, and their mutual decline while taking antidepressants, will be the further subject of the third installment. Conrad and Michelle will seal off their relationship from everyone else in a profoundly disturbed and eventually doomed manner, but Conrad is always in charge until Michelle finally breaks down and becomes aggressive.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo to Peter Breggin for writing this vitally important story.

    I must say that these installments of this tragic story are an incredible indictment of Biological Psychiatry and the entire Psychiatric/Pharmaceutical/ Industrial/Complex.

    I must also admit that as much as I consider myself a major critic and activist against this whole system, I was to some degree under the influence of the type of toxic propaganda that has been spewed by the news media coverage of this story. My view of this young woman and these tragic events was, indeed, poisoned by the powerful influences of this System’s pervasive media.

    I always tell people to pay attention to the “narrative” of a person’s story and always ask “why” and “how” someone came to behave in a certain way – no matter how bizarre or violent. Somehow in this case, with Michelle Carter, I dropped my guard and violated my own critical thinking skills. I hope this never happens again.

    Thank you Peter Breggin for digging so deeply beneath the surface to expose the true forces and institutions (Psychiatry and Big Pharma) who are ultimately responsible for these horrible and sad actions and behaviors by such young and innocent victims in our society.

    I think this blog series should be spread around far and wide. I do believe it can play an important role in waking people up to the horror of today’s “mental health” system, because it contains so many “holy shit!” type moments as you read the details of the story.

    Richard

  2. These two have a more or less platonic long-distance texting relationship. How unreal is that!? He kills himself, and she gets the blame. Oh, well…For him, it’s too late to say, “Get a life!”

    Great series, very informative. I’m curious about where the third episode is going to take us, but we kind of know that, don’t we? From some kind of adolescent emotional support to suicide encouragement, how do you get there?

    Watch out, people. This girl is being prosecuted for what she said in a long-distance texting relationship where expecting adult responsibility from either party is expecting a little too much. The state is going after her for what she said, not what she did. Pay careful attention, or this thing could come around to bite all of us in the ass.

    Thank you for this series of posts, Dr. Breggin, as it takes us behind the illusory surface of the story that we are getting from the mainstream media, looking for a object of blame, with it’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to the reality of a thorny situation in the lives of two troubled young people, and their respective families.

    The media, in its eagerness to flush out a villain, real or imagined, has missed this aspect of the story almost entirely. We’re not just dealing with the juvenile ‘criminal justice’ system, we’re also dealing with the juvenile ‘mental health’ system, and its penchant for seeking a “quick fix” for some very complex social problems.

  3. Thank you, Peter, for giving us ‘the rest of the story. I sent my wife a link to this and your previous blog. I wish I could get her to understand how fortunate we were that we took a different path with her own healing…but thus far she has chosen to stay ignorant of the wholesale issues with psychiatry and big pharma even though I keep trying to help her understand. But she has shown interest in this story nationally, and so I’m hoping you can open her eyes to the larger problem instead of taking her situation for granted. As hard as things have been for us during her healing, they could have been so much worse if she had been caught in the tentacles of ISSTD and their misguided guidelines.
    Sam

  4. BBC UK:- Bed Found For Suicidal Girl

    “…An earlier ruling heard how unit staff had witnessed “a profoundly disturbing and distressing scene when X self-harmed by repeatedly banging her head and face against the wall”…” ??

    “…. Sir James said: “I feel shame and
    embarrassment; shame, as a human being, as a citizen and as an agent of the State, embarrassment as President of the Family Division, and, as such, Head of Family Justice, that I can do no more for X”…”

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/04/nhs-finds-hospital-bed-for-teenager-at-risk-of-suicide#ampshare=https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/04/nhs-finds-hospital-bed-for-teenager-at-risk-of-suicide

    Katinka Newman – Akathisia Survivor:-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3243688/How-depression-pills-turned-zombie-high-flying-film-maker-ended-needing-24-hour-care-prescribed-medication-didn-t-need.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/author/katinka-blackford-newman

      • As far as I can see Michelle Carter was behaving the same way as all the other people who have had very bad experiences on antidepressants and lived to tell the tale.

        I have attempted suicide twice while in a state of Akathisia, and I had no control over myself whatsoever. It was the worst experience of my life.

      • Well it has been a long road and will continue to be along road, but… when hedge funds realise, drugs companies are up against a response against anything that isn’t required by the body and forged by evolution – my hope is that – they will massively naked short sell them into oblivion to make money for their backers. We have already seen the destruction of banks and whole nations (Greece) by the use of Credit Default Swaps for profit . Maybe Robert, yourself the Peters et al may wish to consider talking to the hedge funds and financial sector, just a thought. They have the financial clout, you have the knowledge and we have the horror experience that qualifies the knowledge.

  5. This is a powerful case study and a startling indictment not only of Prozac, but more importantly, of the damage our “label-and-drug” system does to real human beings, minimizing what is important and isolating those suffering from any possibility of real help. What would have happened if people had TALKED to these kids instead of giving them the message that their brains were messed up and that these drugs would somehow magically make everything all better? What kind of message does it send to say that being upset about your grandparents dying in succession is something “normal” people don’t get upset about, or that your problems are all in your brain so don’t bother telling us what you’re thinking because none of it means anything?

    Thanks to Peter Breggin for this lucid and disturbing account of the poor impact of this approach and the incredible disconnect between what the news media reports and what is really going on.

    —- Steve

  6. Gracias Dr. Peter Breggin, por tener este Blog. En él podemos expresar nuestro dolor, las personas como yo que hemos sido víctimas de los medicamentos, tan dañinos que fabrican estas industrías. El Prozaz, Seroxat, y cualquier otro que sea recaptador de serotonina, me cambio radicalmente el carácter, pase de ser una persona serena a todo lo contrario, no entendía porqué tenía ese comportamiento tan diferente, ni las personas cercanas tampoco, como bien dice usted, cuantas personas somos víctimas, de estas drogas, con lágrimas en mis ojos expreso mi dolor, y el sufrimiento tan grande que me ha ocasionado, y a la familia.
    Solamente un ser tan humano como usted, tiene tan alta empatia, y valentía de defender la verdad, y eso tiene un nombre, “Amor Incondicional”. Porque somos emociones, sentimientos, vivencias, situaciaciones díficiles que nos presenta la vida, y nos sentimos angustiados, perdidos, y necesitamos que alguien nos escuche y nos de una salida, nos reconforte, en fin todo, menos una pastilla, pues eso tapa el problema, ya que sigue estando, ya que somos alma, espíritu, y hay mucho dolor.
    Pero al parecer ser humano hoy es díficil, el poder y el dinero, es su amor. Felicidades Sr. Peter por su trabajo. Haber si con tanto dinero que obtiene, la industría farmacéutica, pueden bajar las grandes temperaturas, que estamos soportando en el Planeta. Porque solo hace falta ver la belleza de la creación, para saber que Dios existe. Y no se nos va ha juzgar, por la religión que practiquemos, seamos católicos judios, ateos, la que sea. Se nos juzgará por el amor que hayamos dado.
    Tuve el gusto del conocerlo en el documental ADICCION CON RECETAS, y a la fallecida Dra. Susan Stanfiel. Que Dios lo Bendiga.

  7. This article was heartbreaking and horrifying. I had no idea that Carter went through so much trauma and psychiatric assault. Not surprisingly, the mainstream #fakenews had never published any articles like this one. In light of these new facts, I think Carter’s “verdict” was a miscarriage of justice. It will protect society as a whole, since future cases will use this ruling as a guide for sentencing REAL perps. But, it wasn’t fair to Ms. Carter. Her quacks are the people who should have been caged for several decades. Thanks for writing the ONE honest article about Michelle Carter, Dr. Breggin.

  8. Thank,Dr. Breggin, for a deeper understanding of this tragic story of confused and suffering adolescents. I know that the psychiatric medication piece was not taken very seriously in the trial with more of a need to seek justice through repudiation of Michelle’s character. Good family therapy for both Michelle and Conrad’s families would have been so valuable here not psychopharmcology psychiatry. They were just teenagers, they needed guidance from the adults in their lives. Where is the repudiation of the adults who did not seem to be a positive presence in their lives?

  9. Dr. Breggin. I am curious what yiur opinion on demonic possesion is. I have been reading that more medical doctors are begging to believw it was more than superstition and I want to say I also heard that drugs like antidepressants makes it easier for one to become possesed.

    • The possession is called Akathisia… it is drug toxicity which can put people into a state of psychosis causing suicide/homicide. Think of it as being in the trade towers and the best option is to jump out the window, only it’s going on in your head… the brain environment is being polluted by drug poison and you go into an extreme state.

    • Sorry, i am not Dr. Breggin, but i can tell from experience that possessions can get real, which is most of the time a soul (dead human) that wants to teach you something (e.g. its existence)
      I sat in a railway station waiting hall, suddenly i became tired and fell asleep, without the the ability to stay awake for long (narcolepsy). I woke up again shortly before entering a train with the strong urge to continue. I boarded the train and gave in to the compulsion to sit down. In front of me was an adolescent girl, apparently alone. I then had the strong urge to warn the girl from traveling alone in the night and i did so. At the next stop i exited the train (at an, to me, unknown station) and was able to fetch the next train back and still reach my original targeted connection.
      This has nothing to do with any chemicals although weening off antidepressants certainly doesnt make one happier. But these souls have to try harder in order to vex you if you take psychopharmaceutics and might try stronger tactics to reach their goals. In Carlos Castaneda, the best way to cope is catch (appease) these spirit guides. E.g. i have brought 2 or more spirits to discuss their issues inside my head, by spinning fantasy stories and monologueing (inside my head) for a long time and humor and good will and an open mind are also productive. But the important thing is not to believe in the negative emotional and cognitive images during acute psychosis and such psychogenic afflictions. My ancestors still vex me, but it doesnt threaten my ego anymore, as i know now that these emotions are not my own. Off course you cannot tell psychiatrists and such about this!
      If you could provide links or citations to your sources we could give these realities an “expert opinion” on bigger forums like wikipedia or others.
      Thank you and have fun. 🙂

  10. This case is very sad and very unsettling. As a society we act retroactively, hardly ever proactively. The young man kills himself and a large part due to a young woman constantly bombarding him with just do it, etc. It seems she had already wasted 2 years attempting to “save”. him. Folks when you are that sick it is time to hang out with a different crowd. As a society we need to become much more proactive in detecting when people are really really sick enough to do something disastrous such as kill themselves. My basic question is simply, where was anyone in these people’s lives? Both were very ill, yet friends, family, associates, etc., etc, did not or were unable to do anything.

      • As always, thank you to Dr. Breggin for revealing the real problem in this tragic story, psychotropic meds… SSRIs in particular! streetphotobeing, thank you for pointing out Akathisia and the hell it puts people through! I am an iatrogenic illness survivor and I know first-hand how these drugs can destroy your mind and body. I too, experienced the same state of psychosis as the two young people in this tragedy. The ‘devil’ took a dominant role as the ‘voices in my head’ became more powerful and overwhelming. While on an antipsychotic/SSRI cocktail, I became totally unrecognizable to my parents. In an effort to ‘fix’ my brain, doctors destroyed it.
        Society and doctors need to wake up to the power and toxicity that these drugs have over people… before more innocent lives are lost.

        • This man describes the reality in psychiatric units and states his concern for his partner… abruptly brought off lithium due to her kidney function failing, no doubt putting her into mania and back into the hell of a psychiatric ward . What – I assume – he doesn’t realise is that it is the drugs ( anti-psychotics ) that are most correlated to akathisia which is what is most likely to be causing the violence, they are all on these drugs, and the only response is to inject them with more drugs that cause akathisia. This is the insanity we are living through :

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9LrNDh45J4

  11. Dear Dr. Breggin,

    How can I help out? Please get me in touch with Michelle and/or her family. I so much relate to her story.

    I can say that in the 34 years that I was a mental patient I wasn’t often suicidal but one time I was, It was 2012. it was during or following weight gain. I was underweight but was forced to gain via “treatment” and then just couldn’t stop bingeing. I hated my body, hated myself, refused in every way to leave the house except to walk the dog wrapped in the bulkiest coat I could find so that I could hide myself. It was an awful time. Summer came. I couldn’t take off that winter coat. I finally decided the only workable solution was to kill myself. I’m lucky my “plans” never panned out, and none of that ended up on my medical record.

  12. Hey everyone! Call in show, Blog Talk Radio

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/juliemadblogger/2017/08/14/pros-and-cons-of-psychiatric-diagnosis

    Call in! Monday August 14th 2017 at 3pm, Eastern Daylight Time , this is same as NEW YORK, (which is currently -4:00 as Daylight Time (summer), usually -5:00 in winter time).

    Pros and Cons of Psychiatric Diagnosis

    (323) 443-7210 This is only a half hour show until we get the ball rolling. Topics will vary.

  13. I want to add that such Destructive Friendships, though uncommon, do happen occasionally during adolescents. Usually these are romantic partnerships or intense friendships.

    I have located a YouTube series about Destructive Relationships. Almost all of these were teens or junior high age kids. I, too, was involved in such a friendship. In my case, this was with another girl in high school These friendships are intense and often, others are unaware of what is happening. It appears to be “best friends.” Really, in my case, it was slavery. Literally.

    Please read my memoir, “This Hunger Is Secret,” which is available now completely free at my blog, http://www.juliemadblogger.com. Go to the sidebar. Here you will find my memoir, “This Hunger Is Secret” as .pdf. The memoir is not specifically about the friendship with my “best friend” in high school. However, within the book are sections describing what went on. Since the book is written in braided fashion this story is woven within the narrative, that is, the chapter about my high school experience is divided up into sections which you will need to piece together. It starts later in the book, not at the beginning.
    DR BREGGIN, IF YOU FIND IT USEFUL TO THE LEGAL CASE FOR MICHELLE CARTER, please feel free to use it. And tell the lawyers.

    This type of friendship is not common but does happen. Again, usually it is a romantic relationship. And often, it results in a destructive end. I was luckier than most.

    Julie Greene

  14. “Conrad gives the answer to her question, “cause we are his victims.””

    eyes open, everyone. welcome to spirituality.

    the two of them were prophesying. they told the truth and they were correct.

    michelle was informed that she was going to hell.

    prison is just one of many forms of hell. there, she will be surrounded by other psycho puppets who are tapped in the head and she will be tormented. somebody needs to give her a bible and spiritual guidance. she needs to focus on the lord jesus christ if she is to be saved. the poor girl is sitting with pure hell in her head, body and soul. if nobody is ministering to her the gospel it’s a shame on all god-loving people.

    psycho puppet is a very base way of referring to the interconnectivity of mind that we ALL share in. psyche by definition means spirit. psyche is not a disease of the mind but not all spirit is light and love. there is a dark side (sin, immorality, evil). the three primary states of psyche are: psychic (active in the positive), psychotic (active in the negative), dormant (inactive). a psycho puppet is someone who prophesies (tells, foretells) what they perceive. their utterances are NOT their own.

    we are all conduits and channels through which a multitude of spirits can operate. there is only ONE holy spirit, that of the lord jesus christ, while all others are unclean, sinister and other spirits.

    in most cases, you cannot blame the psycho puppet for they know not what they do. their culpability is solely in the fact that they do not live in the lord jesus christ. when we cast god out of our lives we make room for sinister, unclean spirits to take hold. we dwell in sin, unforgiven sin, unrepentant sin, totally ignorant of sin. it’s disastrous.

    people need to acknowledge that you don’t know and don’t understand “voice hearing” and “a voice” in someone’s mental space. these are spiritual matters that the antichrist system, psychiatry, has succeeded in hijacking for its own aggrandizement.

    Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

    6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

    michelle is better off in prison since we all know the truth: psychiatry is just one of many forms of hell. she’d be worse off, in some ways, if they remanded her to a psychiatric facility (to be further tortured in the false, deceptive, bogus name of “help”).

  15. “The … disturbances …, … vulnerabilities, … unimaginable suffering … . … antidepressants drugs, … serious adverse effects, … .

    … victims of the Pharmaceutical Empire, … elevating their lives as examples … . … be warned … Toxic Psychiatry.”

    you’re welcome. for the edits.

    their lives are elevated to show fate. their lives are elevated to show evil’s gory victories of ghoulish slaughter (which amuses and pleases the foulest of spirits and souls; hell is their paradise and heaven). the dark nightmare of lost and wayward people is theater for all.

    great exploitation
    great demonstration
    great show

    the spiritual war we are in is a battle for souls. the largest entities on earth must feed, eat and consume to grow and to maintain their massive obese existence and their domination.

    we’re fighting against demons
    we’re fighting against monsters
    we’re fighting against evil

    not many are on the mission to save souls. don’t even know how to do it! don’t know how to discern the spirits.

    lost and blind in the dark

    come to the light
    the lord jesus christ
    the only light

    listen here for a glimpse into the near future https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlTVmWPqVNY

    listen here for the way and the path to your salvation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlARyE78vjw

    very soon
    very near
    the great tribulation

    don’t waste another breath
    don’t waste another moment

    the worst is just ahead
    so near

    hurry, run to the lord
    in your heart
    in your mind
    love him
    live for him

    do it now
    because it’s already
    so late

  16. I have put a reading from my published memoir of my experience of a destructive teen friendship (like Michelle and Conrad’s) up on Blog Talk Radio.

    This show is a 90-minute reading I pre-recorded devoted to Michelle Carter which will go live tomorrow, August 15, 2017.

    Here is the URL of the show. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/juliemadblogger/2017/08/15/reading-destructive-teen-relationships-michelle-carter-and-my-own-story

    I provided an introduction explaining what destructive teen relationships are. I don’t make assumptions about Michelle and Conrad. I only ask that the audience consider the POSSIBILITY that Michelle may very well have been cornered into doing what she did. She may have believed she had no choice.

    Julie Greene, another survivor of destructive teen relationship, 1971-75

  17. Then those of us in a position to take action (and are not too preoccupied with bitching and moaning) should take action NOW. How about a protest? Or organizing outside the DA’s office? BTW PLEASE listen to my Blog Talk Radio Broadcast http://www.blogtalkradio.com/juliemadblogger/2017/08/15/reading-destructive-teen-relationships-michelle-carter-and-my-own-story because it is RELEVANT and I would speak out in court on Michelle’s behalf on just how powerful these friendships are, it is like the person has a spell over you.

    Julie

  18. Why Capitalism Makes Us Sick? Dr. Gabor Mate, youtube.com. Mental illness, addiction is simply an Unconscious Reaction in thought, word, and deed to a corporately controlled money driven me first culture and society, given a description of their stressful experiential life, a ‘ diagnosis ‘ by an unaware, often compassionless pro. Then given harmful synthetic chemicals and ECT, electric current through the brain, with No Cumlative Healing Effect, making them instruments, tools of torture, used by pontificating psychiatrists provided by pilfering medical / pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the suffering individual for Control and the MONEY. Allopathic medicine is eugenics. Then, medical records are documentation for the day of reckoning when correctly understood. We, those erroneously labeled ‘ mentally ill ‘, We survive, We thrive, We Have Earned and Only Accept Respect. How Utterly Ludicrous is conventional psychiatry. Kurt E. Wilkens