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How antidepressants affect the brain and make people more likely to kill


Antidepressants
(NaturalNews) Thinking back to all the different mass shooting cases we've covered over the years, you may have noticed that there almost always seems to be one common denominator: the use of psychotropic medications by the perpetrators. Brain-altering antidepressant drugs are so often linked to cases of extreme violence these days that these drug-induced stupors, if you will, have been officially pathologized under the name "akathisia."

In Greek, the term literally means "inability to sit," and is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by "subjective and objective psychomotor restlessness," according to Dr. Fernando Espi Forcen, M.D., a Fellow of Psychosomatic Medicine at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Put simply, akathisia is an unusually altered state of mind that, in some extreme cases, can cause an individual to become preoccupied with thoughts of violence, whether against himself or someone else.

The ongoing trial of Richard Henry Bain is a great example of how akathisia is gaining legal precedence as a trigger of violent crime. Though he's being accused of first-degree murder in the infamous election night shooting in Quebec back in 2012, Bain's lawyers say that his use of antidepressant drugs is to blame for the crime, and thus Bain shouldn't be held legally liable.

Whether or not this is a valid defense is up to the judge in this particular case to decide. But the fact that akathisia is now a "thing" in the realm of the criminal justice system begs the question: what exactly is it? And more precisely, how is it possible for antidepressant drugs to so alter someone's state of mind that he becomes unable to control a sudden urge to harm himself or others?

Some people metabolize drugs differently, more quickly than others

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admitted back in 2004 that SSRIs, SNRIs and other "new generation" antidepressants like the kind Bain was using can, in fact, worsen depression symptoms, and in some cases cause users to become suicidal or homicidal. The agency three years later issued a "Black Box" warning for these same antidepressants, suggesting that all users up to age 24 be monitored for extreme side effects including agitation, panic attacks, anxiety, hostility, impulsivity and akathisia.

As to why these drugs do this, researchers say it's predicated upon a variance in how they're metabolized by individual users. So-called "ultra-rapid metabolizers," for instance, absorb the drugs' active ingredients much more quickly than others, putting them at a higher risk of experiencing wild behavioral and mental fluctuations. There's also the genetic factor; certain gene variations can precipitate variances in how antidepressant drugs affect users' brain chemistry.

"Fast-changing levels of psychotropic substances, up or down, can cause behavioural changes as the neurotransmitters in the brain react to reach some equilibrium," a paper entitled Study 329 explains about the chemical process. "This phenomenon makes starting and stopping medication the most dangerous times for suicide and violence, but both can happen at any time, with stress, provocation, dose change, addition or subtraction of a medication."

Antidepressants operate within very specific biological pathways, the balances of which can easily be thrown off, depending on a person's unique biological and genetic makeup. Antidepressants have also been shown to cause long-term brain damage, affecting the intermolecular interactions in such a way as to completely alter brain chemistry, possibly permanently.

Sources for this article include:

CurrentPsychiatry.com

GlobalNews.ca

MadInAmerica.com
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