Panorama – A Prescription for Murder.

This week the BBC aired a Panorama documentary titled ‘A Prescription for Murder’ which has stirred some much-needed debate on the mind-altering effects of SSRIs. The very-astute presenter Shelley Jofre is known for tackling ground-breaking medical-related issues, including ‘Who’s Paying Your Doctor‘ and ‘The Secrets of Seroxat‘. (Due to the circumstances surrounding my son Shane’s death, I make a brief appearance in this documentary. )

As expected, the documentary caused a huge furore, with many defending the antidepressants drugs they take ‘that don’t cause them to become murderers’, accusing Panorama of being irresponsible and increasing the stigma of mental illness. Indeed, psychiatrists came out in their droves with their usual defense of psychotropic drugs, with seemingly no concerns whatsoever of adverse effects – or of their profession’s incestuous relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. The possible stigmatization of the people who suffer from serious and well-documented adverse effects of these prescribed drugs never entered the debate.

Anyway, watch the documentary and see what you think. I will say what I have always said – My lovely son would still be alive if he hadn’t gone to the doctor, whose fateful decision to prescribe citalopram for heartache proved fatal. 17 days after being prescribed the drug, following a series of red-flags that the drug was causing havoc, Shane was dead.

Citalopram is an SSRI antidepressant, sold under the brand names of Cipramil in Europe and Celexa in the U.S.

Sertraline, the SSRI that James Holmes was prescribed, is sold under the brand names of Lustral in Europe and Zoloft in the U.S. It was interesting to hear Delnora Duprey speaking on the programme; In 2001, three weeks after he was prescribed sertraline, Delnora’s grandson Christopher Pittman shot and killed both of his paternal grandparents. Then there was David Carmichael, whose account of his time on Paroxetine (Seroxat/Paxil), leading to the death of his young son, is equally harrowing.

Since their inception and without exception, all the SSRI drugs have been implicated in suicides and extreme violence, including homicide. With drug-company reports of ‘self-harm and harm to others’ and regulatory warnings of suicidality, violence, mania, akathisia, worsening depression, severe withdrawal, long-term sexual dysfunction, birth defects, depersonalization, etc., the stance that these drugs are safe for all is no longer tenable.

For more information, see the available research here, and documentation by AntiDepAware and SSRI Stories.

5 thoughts on “Panorama – A Prescription for Murder.

  1. Leonie, I thought I knew all there was to know about my son Olly’s death, but following this documentary I finally understand that it was doubtless the 200mg of Sertraline that he’d been prescribed as an introductory dose (or very soon after starting it) that rendered Olly’s memory virtually non existent and caused him to write in his farewell letter that although he loved us dearly and always would, he had such voids in his mind that he didn’t know where he was, he was in another kind of existence, and it was too terrifying to bear, so, to avoid becoming a burden,he was giving us our lives back. His dad and I are speechless tonight. This drug, after RoAccutane isotretinoin, then SeroxatvSSRI for the isotretinoin induced ‘low mood’, then lots of others, then the long fight back over years, medication free, then Escilatopram in 2010 and 2012, then Venlafaxine suddenly stopped by a crazy psychiatrist who did NLP and didn’t much like drugs, but at the same time, should have respected their effects in withdrawal. Then the high dose of Sertraline coupled with Olanzapine lobbed in because the withdrawal, akathisic in nature, from the Venlafaxine, was probably realised by them to be what it was, their cock up, but they blamed Olly for being attention-seeking and said ‘he needed to sort himself out’ !! And so, like your dear Shane, was lost a wonderful life. I had to write this in support to you tonight. I must confess, my horror at what happened to Olly through no fault of his own, just like with Shane, is beyond words.
    With love and in solidarity, Heather and David xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this.
    A close friend of mine recently visited a GP and in a conversation again and again complained of feeling deep anger. The doctor prescribed Sertraline. If she had fully embraced the Hippocratic Oath, ” primum non nocere” her integrity would have great difficulty in thus, given the recurring murder suicide evidence.
    But then of course there’s the academic mantra..there’s no research that suggests this.
    We’re up against emotional ignorance on a grand scale.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Leonie for this link. Shelly Jofre’s timeline helps put the focus on the effect of Sertraline on James Holmes’ deteriorating mental state. To most of us there is now an undeniable link between increasing the dosage, stopping the drug and a deterioration. Shelly is careful to point out that many people have been helped by SSRIs like Sertraline but there are those who are harmed. Every medication has this potential. Prescribers need to be much more alert to this aspect, they need to provide adequate information for patients and family about adverse effects and not dismiss them as the original condition. Whilst James Holmes’ psychiatrist Dr Fenton increased his medication she made fairly copious notes about his changing state of mind but didn’t appear particularly concerned. This is questionable in hindsight. My daughter was prescribed Citalopram at 17. The dosage was increased and reduced over 3 years. The withdrawal effect was diagnosed as returning depression. There was no information or guidance. After her suicide at 20 when I asked for her GP medical notes I found no detail just dates for 10, 20 or 30mg Citalopram with Xanax on one occasion. That was 10 years ago. Since then prescriptions for antidepressants including SSRIs have increased hugely in the US and UK . Can we expect that Family Doctors and psychiatrists have become more aware and vigilant?

    Liked by 1 person

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