Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Comments by Richard F

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • @larmac – There is no question that the use of psychotropic drugs, illicit or otherwise, including cannabis and alcohol, can have deleterious effects on mood, and that the developing teen brain may be more susceptible to these effects. However, if there is to be any progress in mental health treatment to reduce harmful behaviours in youth, it becomes important to disentangle psychiatric drug treatment adverse effects from the reasons why the drug/s were first prescribed.

    There is a notable paper by Canadian child and adolescent psychiatrist Jane Garland -2001-where in case studies she describes, in my opinion, the emotional adverse effects described in the http://bit.ly/1cUYcSx story as, “existential crisis that is sort of, ‘I’m empty, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t have any grounding and I don’t know how to manage my negative feelings.”

    A frontal lobe syndrome has previously been reported in adults treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but not in children. Five typical cases of apathy and lack of motivation, one accompanied by disinhibition, are described in a child and four adolescents. Symptoms were dose related and reversible. The subtlety of symptoms, lack of insight in patients, disabling effects, and delayed onset indicate a need for clinicians to inform families of these potential symptoms when SSRIs are prescribed.

    Garland EJ1, Baerg EA, J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2001 Summer;11(2):181-6.
    It is important to read the scientific literature before putting the cart before the horse.

    Another fallacy is that SSRI-induced suicide only occurs within the first weeks of treatment. The FDA warnings clearly state times of dose change – increase or decrease – as high risk times. Abrupt discontinuation and restart may be catastrophic for some. To paraphrase Joseph Glenmullen in his book The Antidepressant Solution – they wouldn’t have put in that warning if they didn’t have to.

    Prescription drug safety, especially with youth suicide, should not be a zero sum game, and publicizing SSRI prescription-induced suicide should not be taboo.

  • Maria….well done & Thank You for an opportunity to comment.

    There has recently been two significant stories in the Canadian mainstream press.

    The first regarding the ever increasing prescribing of SSRIs to youth and more recently a second story describing how Canadian hospitals are stretched by self-harming teens presenting to hospital emergency rooms. They were published by two separate major news outlets but unfortunately neither seems to have attempted to determine if there is a connection between the two.

    The first story ran in The National Post on February 18, 2014 “Prescriptions for Prozac-like drugs for youth growing, study shows” – can be found here:


    “The dramatic increase in prescribing is mainly the result of growing use of a class of drugs known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — antidepressants that have been linked with an increased risk of aggression, violence and suicidal thinking”…..”But concern is growing that children are being over-diagnosed.”

    The second story by the Canadian Press & published by the CBC on Mar 15, 2014 “Canadian hospitals stretched as self-harming teens seek help” – can be found here:


    “Doctors say they are not only seeing a distressing rise in the number of kids seeking help for self-inflicted wounds, but many specialists report that they don’t have the hallmarks of a psychiatric disorder. That is leaving doctors with no clear answers as to why they’re seeing so many more kids with these kinds of injuries.”

    We know that the family doctors are handing out the vast majority of antidepressant prescriptions to youth, usually on a first visit. So the big questions are:

    How many of the Canadian kids presenting to ER with self-harming/ suicidal behaviours are already taking an SSRI prescribed by their GP?

    Are the well known adverse effects of SSRI medications on youth significantly responsible for this increasing number of ER visits for self-harming behaviours?

    We have excellent jury recommendations from our daughter Sara’s 2010 SSRI-related inquest, that address these issues, which are largely ignored. The National Post story of Jan. 17, 2014 “Dying to be heard: Families, safety advocates often frustrated at lack of action on inquest findings” can be found here:


    “More than three years later, most of the key recommendations [Sara Carlin inquest] have gone nowhere:”

    Perhaps a good time for the doctors and their institutions to take a serious look at this growing problem and to stop denying that there is no causality to SSRI drugs.

  • Maria, brilliant blog piece as usual. Mad as hell? Yes, especially at the (supposed) family doctor, whom after twice increasing the dose of Paxil to my teenage daughter, then refused to see her again as a patient, after discovering the girl had gone off the rails with alcohol and substance abuse. An incompetent doctor who is so well protected by her publicly funded malpractice insurer and her liscensing college, as to be impervious to professional accountability. This sort of injustice creates the worst sort of anger, in a bereaved parent, that can become a doctors worst nightmare. I believe the worst thing that one can do to an incompetent doctor is to drag them into a public inquest – which we did. The cost was high, both emotionally and finacially – this doctor no longer practices family medicine. Time to now let go of the anger.

    especially at at doctor who , after

  • Leonie Thanks. We will take you up on that invitation hopefully before too long. It would be wonderful if we all were together for even a brief bit of time.

    And yes, Maria has a way of so eloquently describing the things we all feel.


  • Maria, Thank You for another wonderful piece.

    “They killed my child. They ripped my heart out of my body. They trampled on my soul. Then they lied, covered up, defended, blamed and continued to commit the same brutalities against other families.”

    These four sentences describe everything we have experienced with our Sara’s Paxil-related suicide and the subsequent inquest into her death that was carefully managed to blame the victims and exonerate the guilty.

    I wish I had been in Ireland with you. One day perhaps.

    Best wishes
    Neil Carlin