Mass Murderers and Psychiatric Drugs

There’s an interesting article in the current issue of the National Psychologist written by David Kirschner, PhD, a New York psychologist.  The National Psychologist is a newspaper-type magazine that publishes articles of general interest to psychologists and others working in this field.  Most issues contain a mix of opinion pieces, news, changes in government regulations, etc…

Dr. Kirschner’s article is titled Mass shooters received only limited treatment. 

Here are some quotes:

“As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.”

“After each episode of school killings or other mass shootings, such as the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie murders and Tucson, Ariz., killing of six and wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, there is a renewed public outcry for early identification and treatment of youths at risk for violence.

Sadly however, most of the young people who kill had been in ‘treatment,’ prior to the violence, albeit with less than successful results.”

“Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.”

“Prior to the violent event, for which he is currently serving a life without parole sentence, Jeremy [Strolmeyer], an honor student with no history of violence, was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ‘treated’ with nothing more than a bottle of Dexedrine following a brief 20-minute ‘cost-effective’ psychiatric consultation.”

“And so, despite ongoing congressional debates regarding stricter gun control laws vs. improved access to mental health treatment, our concern should be about the quality of mental health care, not just a societal safety net insuring treatment for all children and young adults. Almost all of them are covered by some type of managed care or insurance company, and the issue is not access to preventive treatment. The real problem, in my opinion, is the quality and competence of therapy for potential violent offenders when insurance companies are the gatekeepers.”

Obviously it’s a compelling article, particularly Dr. Kirschner’s assertion that “almost all” 30 young murderers he has worked with had been in some kind of treatment and had been taking psychiatric drugs.  Dr. Kirschner’s call for more competent and more intensive therapy makes sense, but as long as the mental health system is dominated by psychiatrists and psychiatric dogma, it is likely that psychiatric drugs will continue to be the essential ingredient of these interventions.  And as long as this is the case, all that we can reasonably expect is more of the same.

Dr. Kirschner’s comments are, of course, anecdotal. But there is an ever-growing body of anecdotal information implicating psychiatric drugs in mass killings and suicides. There is a desperate need for a formal study of this matter, but calls for such studies have been routinely ignored and resisted.

In December 2012, a petition on the White House “We the People” website calling for the government to initiate such an investigation was removed without explanation, even though it was well on the way to receiving the requisite number of signatures.

And let us not forget what Patrick B. Kwanashie, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, said on this matter on August 22, 2013 when he was pressed in a freedom of information meeting to release Adam Lanza’s history of psychiatric drug use.

“…you have to advance reasons that you actually do have a real interest in the…medical records.  The plaintiff, the complainant have not shown any such interest.  The complainant is proposing that they can make generalizations, generalized from one single incident, no matter how the outcome of the use of antidepressants, or the causal link between the use of antidepressants and the kind of violence that took place in Newtown.  You just can’t, that’s not a legitimate use of that information.  You can’t generalize just from one case.  Even if you can conclusively establish that Adam Lanza’s murderous actions were caused by antidepressants, you can’t logically from that conclude that others would commit the same actions as a result of taking antidepressants.  So it’s simply not legitimate, and not only is it not the use to which they are proposing to put the information not legitimate, it is harmful, because you can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications, stop cooperating with their treating physicians, just because of the heinousness of what Adam Lanza did.  As the material, the FDA material that they submitted show, it would take a lot of studies over a long period of time and among, and within various demographic groups to even begin to establish causal links between antidepressants and aggressive actions or suicidal behavior.  And the informed opinion has not quite reached the point to say definitively that there’s a causal link between the use of antidepressants and violent behavior.  Having correlations, there are correlations, but to say there are correlations doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is causal.  And this is an issue the FDA is still grappling with, and so far it’s been willing to do is ask the drug makers to put warnings on their products and to advise physicians, treating physicians, to follow monitor their patients closely at the beginning of the taking of antidepressants.  So it’s a complex issue, and to pretend that you can just, based on this one case, make recommendations as to how people should make judgment choices is a disservice to the public and illustrates why these types of reports should not be made available, because in the wrong hands they can be the source of mischief.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, psychiatric drugs are safe until proven dangerous.  And, apparently, the only acceptable evidence is a large scale, randomized, controlled trial.  But the only group who has the data and the resources to conduct such a trial is psychiatry-pharma!  And meanwhile we should cover up any anecdotal information that might cast the drugs in a bad light – because that might induce people to stop taking them!

Psychiatric drugs are not medications in any meaningful sense of the term. Whatever temporary lift they may give people in the short term, is offset by their adverse effects – particularly their contribution to suicides and murder.

Information on this issue is being spun and suppressed by psychiatrists, and by their moneyed collaborators in pharma.  How much longer must this destructive charade continue?

  • Mark Eccles

    Drugs are more likely to make someone irrational, but the drugs are not drugs because they come from a doctor so its called medicine. Only doctors can question doctors. Who else has power over them?

  • Anon

    ” and illustrates why these types of reports should not be made
    available, because in the wrong hands they can be the source of

    Spoken like a true member of the Revolutionary Guard of the Psychiatric theocracy. No, mundanes, you may not have access to this report, because we don’t like what you will do with this report.

  • Sweet63

    Dexadrine? They still make that? That sounds like something outta 1950.

  • Memay

    This is what happens when a corporation has more power than God. I want to say that I can’t beleive people would be so gullible and fall for such deception, but after learning about nazi Germany, I could never make such a claim.

  • Memay

    Good point Mark. That is the sad state of our society. I honestly don’t beleive it will end until ‘our way’ comes to complete demise, and a full fledged revolution takes place. Sad but true.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Great point. That’s why I never refer to psychiatric drugs as “medications” – because they aren’t. They’re drugs in the same sense as street drugs.

  • cledwyn bulbs

    A lot of these shooters are misfits. In every society, that gallery of grotesques we call the mob, treats some people as mere objects of ridicule. The frustration such people experience simmers over the years, and sometimes boils over into full blown homicidal rage.

    Bergman once wrote a play about a man who every time he leaves his house, gets laughed at by strangers, yet he never knows why.

    As I say, such people exist in all societies. Weirdos we call them. I’ve always been a bit of a so-called weirdo myself. The weirdo is considered the legitimate pray of the mob because he dares to be different, and the average person loves nothing more than to laugh at people who have the sheer audacity to be different from they who have obviously been modeled by the angels themselves on god’s image, such as all these ridiculous human peacocks you see in the city, strutting about the place, these people who spend hours in the mirror beautifying themselves (when they are not engorging on audio-visual excrement like Big Brother, and generally watching and listening to television and music that stirs up only the baser sentiments whilst tutoring the viewer/listener in the ways of vulgarity and evil), just so they can spend the day strutting around turning their noses up at others, and treating with haughty, smug derision all the weirdos, the uncool people; and not forgetting all the religious egotists who are so satisfied with their own example, they imbue their gods with their own vileness (as can be seen on the article about homosexuality, which has become little more than a meeting place for egotistic religious bigots); and also not forgetting all the knuckle-dragging yobbos, with their jaws hanging between their knees (whose natural habitat is the sewer), who walk the streets, pointing and laughing at other people, because some people just love nothing more than to fill the void of their own existence by watching other people suffer, from which they derive so much amusement, like all these people who download videos of “freaks”, and of people getting run over or beaten up (hilarity).

    I mean, just imagine what would happen if you walked naked through the streets, or dressed in a black dustbin bag. Just imagine how people generally would react. Just imagine what depravity you would unearth!

    Weirdos are also hated because they are the people in our midst who expose our intolerance, our often malicious stupidity towards outsiders.

    In Woody Allen’s film, “Hannah and her Sisters”, Max von Sydow’s deliciously misanthropic character mocks all these experts in Holocaust documentaries for, as he said it, perpetually declaring their mystification over the Holocaust, always asking “how could it happen?”, when the only thing truly mystifying is that it doesn’t happen more often, given man’s nature, an observation as felicitous as it is amusing.

    Similarly, on this issue, people are always declaring their mystification over these tragedies, when the only truly mystifying thing is that given how bad we treat some people, why doesn’t it happen more often?

    Which is not say such people are justified, I’m just saying it’s understandable that the world is full of selfish, irresponsible, inconsiderate people, who sometimes test others beyond the limits of human endurance.

  • cledwyn bastardo

    In the last paragraph that should be “…understandable given that the world is…”.

  • howard muse

    “As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.”
    So, you are saying if only they had remained in treatment, their murderous escapades may never have occurred.

  • howard muse

    You are accusing me of doing street drugs, is that right? Is that what you really want to say? I am not taking medication for a disorder diagnosed by a medical doctor. I am taking street drugs to get high.

  • howard muse

    Good point. Only corporations have the power to force a pill down my throat. Nice to know. And I used to think I had choices!
    This antipsychiatry/anti-drug company fad is going nowhere fast. Look who is leading the way! Frederick-I never heard a conspiracy I didn’t embrace-Baughman and Peter-I refuse to make a dime on any of the dozens of books, DVDs, conferences I sell, nor any appearances in court-Breggin, two of the biggest boobs in the history of snake-oil salesmen. Plus Robert–I don’t make a penny from my gargantuan book sales-no matter what they say-Whitaker. Please donate right here.

  • Mark Eccles

    I am saying there is no chemical imbalance. Mental illness is not physical, if “mental” is not physical then people are taking drugs, not medicines. People take drugs to cope with the various stresses of life. Adults are supposed to be able to manage their alcohol and tobacco use, they should be able to manage their psychiatric drug usage. BUT this is the trick. YOU WOULD NOT take street drugs, you need the legitimacy of a doctor for the excuse to take drugs. You worship the holy molecule. The molecule is only holy if it comes from the priest/doctor.

  • all too easy

    No. Of course not. Mental illness is nothing. No one has it cause it doesn’t exist. (Phil’s circular reasoning he loves to use). The brain is made of cast iron. It only malfunctions when it rusts. It, the brain, cannot be anything but perfect. Iron doesn’t have any perfections. Iron is cool. Get your iron checked.

    When drugs are introduced into a bowl of iron, of course they don’t help the iron bowl. Preposterous premise. Brains have no biological tissue or chemical structure or electrical pathways, for Pete’s sake. Those fleshy kinds of things are fragile, vulnerable and can fail. They even die, although there is no proof dying leads to death. .

  • Mark Eccles

    To “all too easy”. You do not know of the medical specialty of Neurology?
    If there is a physical problem, then neurology is supposed to fix the problem.

  • all too easy

    I agree. The human brain is cast iron. Street drugs don’t prevent rust. You need a red iron worker to to rivet it back together.

    Are you a coffee drinker? Do you take aspirin? No wonder you don’t think clearly. Your brain is altered from dangerous drugs. Nothing you say s legitimate.

  • all too easy

    Nah. Mental illness is really shoulder illness. Brains have nothing to do with thought, emotion, our will, our decision making capabilities. Those thingz emanate from the right shoulder. Get your right shoulder drunk.

    This is a sensitive crowd with easily hurt feelings. No one has a sense of humor or playfulness. They get their feelings hurt and they run away.

  • all too easy

    Prove there is no malfunction of the brain. Prove brains never misfire due to a chemical imbalance. Prove mental illness is not physical. What happens to our brains when we die? What happens to the mind when we get drunk? What happens when a drunk’s brain becomes wet? You believe the brain never gets ill. It is always immune from any physical attack or deficiency of any kind? Brains and minds are two different entities, is that your belief?

  • Mark Eccles

    You wrote “Prove mental illness is not physical.” If it was physical, it would be called physical illness.

    Yes ” Brains and minds are two different entities” that is correct.

  • all too easy

    How bout that? It is misnamed so it can’t exist. You’ve just about reached my limit wasting time with people who can’t defend their nonsense or articulate intelligent arguments. Even palladapuss tried to slip utter nonsense by me, tucked away cleverly in the morass of words and thoughts he uses to divert attention away from the fact that you all have nothing.

    The mind doesn’t exist without the brain. Where is your mind, btw? When you remove a brain, what happens to the mind? This is the point, I suppose, where you guys go nuts and dogma takes over. The mind is the spiritual, everlasting soulish aspect of human existence and it is incorruptible, or something along those lines. Poor exegesis.

    I am fine with educating others about ADHD. No problemo. But, I don’t waste time with insincere, big mouths feigning a degree of knowledge about this deadly disorder.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t feed the troll, the more the troll is fed the longer it hangs around this blog. We all want this troll to disappear. He will if we ignore him for long enough.

  • all too easy

    Don’t feed the troll “ANONYMOUS”. The more the troll “ANONYMOUS” is fed, the longer it hangs around this blog. We all want this troll “ANONYMOUS” to disappear. He will if we ignore him for long enough.
    In response to a very simple question posed by yours truly, ANONYMOUS did her best to divert (because she has no clue) using the oft repeated command not to try to offer a bonafide answer. I am flattered.
    We all recognize that I, single-handedly, even with 90% of my brain disengaged, have decimated the silly boobs and their vociferous attempts to refute me. It really wasn’t that hard either. Many of their best efforts could be classified as, “If you don’t stop, I’ll tell my mommy.”
    Please ignore the trolls. Do not feed them roast antis. The more you do, the stronger they become.
    Thank you,
    The Boss

  • all too easy

    Where did Kirschner get his PhD?

  • all too easy

    “Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.” Dave Kirschner

    I see. Exactly which cases were you called in on to examine personally? You mean in person, right? Otherwise, everyone who did a little homework on these guys from libraries, newspapers and court documents could say the same thing, correct? Couldn’t find a thing on your Nassau Center, except the dozens and dozens of times you cite it in your list of accomplishments.

    BTW, where did you discover Jeremy’s misdiagnosed ADHD?

    “These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence..” How?

    Watch this! You will never see anyone run away as fast as these boobs.

  • all too easy

    “Drugs are more likely to make someone irrational…” No proof.

  • all too easy

    “Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.” Kirschner

    Regarding the 30 young killers- when, where and name each one of them, each of the 30 murderers you examined, please, sir. Did you publish your findings? And the double-blind controlled studies backing up your statements are where?

    My, my, my old Phil, and Whity, and the Big Bad Baugh Wow and the greedy, deceiving Bad Boy Breggin, are you fellas getting your research published in any peer reviewed, recognized as legitimate, journals? Where’s the beef gentlemen?

    Kirschner has gone to Adelphi University, which tied for the 191st ranked grad school in psychology in the country by U.S. News and World Report. He founded Nassau Center for Psychotherapy and South Shore Institute for Advanced Studies; private practice in Woodbury and Merrick New York. I can’t find an address or phone/fax # for “Advanced Studies.” We read, “Dr. David Kirschner attended and graduated from another medical school in 1957.”

    From HEALTHCARE, “Quality Reporting”

    “He does not participate in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program.
    He does not participate in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Incentive Program.
    He does not participates in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.
    He does not participate in Million Hearts – a national initiative that focuses action by communities, health systems, non-profit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017
    He does not receive PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive.”

    Not one review. How many clients have you treated successfully, Dr?