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Old January 11, 2013, 11:14 AM   #26
Mike Irwin
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"The point should be that there needs to be an investigation into this."

There have been MANY investigations into the cause - effect link between certain drugs and violence, suicides, etc.

One of the first big splashes was almost 25 or so years ago when it was found that a man who killed several coworkers at the printing plant in Kentucky where he worked was medicated on Prozac.

Much of that is covered in the book The Power to Harm: Mind, Murder, and Drugs on Trial.
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Old January 11, 2013, 11:23 AM   #27
Pointshoot
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Mike Irwin said:

"There have been MANY investigations into the cause - effect link between certain drugs and violence, suicides, etc.

One of the first big splashes was almost 25 or so years ago when it was found that a man who killed several coworkers at the printing plant in Kentucky where he worked was medicated on Prozac.

Much of that is covered in the book The Power to Harm: Mind, Murder, and Drugs on Trial. "



Yes, of course youre right. There have been many studies and lots of testimony on this.

Here's the experience of an ex Pharma rep. Thankfully, she had the personal experience as an insider, to protect herself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFbs8s3VI6M


BTW - I'm just another citizen supporter of the US Constitution and the 2A. I dont work for the firearms or ammunition industries and have no experience with them other than as a hunter & shooter using their products.
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Old January 11, 2013, 05:17 PM   #28
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Vanya, going back to your depressive example, what if human/primate evolution specifically selected for people to get depressed when they felt enough social pressure so that they wouldn't get violent? Early tribes probably didn't like it when someone went berserk with a club, so they exiled them, from the tribe and from the gene pool. If that selected for depressive behavior and lack of focus under stress, and if that's what's seen in adolescents in modern society, and we're trying to counter that with medication, then these rare but vivid and horrific events should be no surprise.
Tyme while I completely reject your premise, for the sake of discussion I'll play. I have two grandchildren with autism that would have not have done well in your pre-human scenario. With medication, education, and counselling I expect them to be fully functioning members of society, giving back far more than they take. Modern medicine has done much to improve our quality, and length of life. Some would argue that living as long as many of us do puts a burden on the rest of society, and maybe the Eskimo people were right in their handling of older folks. We can second guess all we want about the consequences of medical treatment of all kinds, and we certainly should examine the long term effects psychotropic drugs. What we should not do, in my opinion, is allow our desire to do something/anything to stop aberrant to behavior to set a course that will have unexpected and unwanted consequences.
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Old January 11, 2013, 05:48 PM   #29
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Wow.

Someone had a reaction to a drug.

That's never happened before.

You are aware that aspirin, a drug that has been widely used since the 1890s, also causes severe reactions in some people?

There are a couple of very telling points about this video...

The woman says she took a NEW drug -- Zoloft. That means that the book was still being written on it. Common.

The woman says that she was prescribed these medications without a washout period.

That was typical back then, because the SSRI drugs were new and NO ONE at that time knew that a washout period was recommended.

In other words, the book was still being written.

I find her "testimony" to be very... disingenuous because she, as a former drug company rep, KNOWS that when a new drug is brought to market, and in this case an entirely new class of drugs, that the book continues to be written literally for YEARS on its uses, its drawbacks, its potential flaws, etc.

Here's something very interesting...

Right around the same time as this woman, I also went on Zoloft for severe clinical depression.

A quite heavy regime, actually, at one point 400 mg a day, and at no point less than 100 mg a day, for nearly 3 years.

What were MY side effects from this drug?

Well, the biggest one (and possibly one that is quite troubling to some) is that I didn't kill myself.

What were my other side effects?

Occasional diarreha and dry mouth.

Nothing like what the woman in the tape is describing.

Of one thing I'm absolutely certain, thought.

Had I not been prescribed Zoloft, or one of the other SSRIs, I would be dead.


So, ultimately, what do we have here.

We have one individual bitching and crusading because she had an adverse reaction to the drug she was prescribed.

Is that REALLY ground shaking? Should that really come as a surprise to a former pharmaceutical representative?

Based on her experience, she apparently thinks that the entire class of drugs should be eliminated.

Well I, for one, (and I know that I'm not the only one) don't agree with her or her personal crusade.

Know how many drugs would be available to treat illnesses if the requirement was that there be NO side effects of any kind?

There wouldn't be any.

Aspirin? Gone. People can die from it.

Tylenol? Gone. Can cause liver failure in some people.

Opiates? Gone. Potential for abuse, addiction, and death.

Antibiotics? Gone. Potential for serious allergic reactions and death.

Welcome back to the stone ages.

The sad truth is that people have absolutely unrealistic expectations about drugs. They want newer, better drugs that will prolong their lives without costing anything and that won't cause any side effects.

They want these drugs brought to market lickety split because they want their old lifestyle back.

And when they have a bad reaction to the new wonder drug that they were oh so willing to take because they want modern medicine to make them whole again, they get mad and demand that the drug companies make them whole with lots of cash payouts.

Am I saying that the drug industry is spotless?

No.

There are huge profits to be made from many of the drugs.

But are we even remotely realistic about what these companies can, and should, be doing for us?

Don't make me laugh.
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Old January 11, 2013, 07:35 PM   #30
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Anytime I see Moores name I automatically ignore whatever venue it's coming from. The man is a crazed zealot who wouldn't know the truth if he accidentally found it.
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Old January 11, 2013, 07:47 PM   #31
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DFrame that is probably the most sensible post in this entire thread.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:15 PM   #32
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Mike Irwin - thank you for relating your own personal experience. It is appreciated.

I got a different take from the ex-pharma reps story than yours.

I didnt find it alarming that she had a bad reaction, any med that can
do good can also potentially do harm. What caught my attention was
the type of reactions she reported and that her doctor seem to discount
what she said. Perhaps I'll have to watch the video again to see if she made broader claims than I caught.

In the context of the discussions we are having on the forum regarding the protection of our 2A rights, this is what I see as relevant. As you have pointed out in earlier posts - there has been studies that would suggest more focus needs to be put on this. (That is, violent and/or suicidal behavior in some people using these drugs.) Especially in light of current discussions of bans or restrictions on semi auto rifles. Regards, - - -

P.S. - I bought "The Power to Harm" after you mentioned it, and am now reading that book.

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Old January 11, 2013, 09:55 PM   #33
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Yes, thank you, Mike, for describing your experience -- and for your utter common sense about drugs/side effects. As I've said before, somewhere in one of these conversations, depression can be terminal. I'm glad that it wasn't, in your case. (We need all the smart, sarcastic people we can get. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointshoot
What caught my attention was the type of reactions she reported and that her doctor seem to discount what she said.
This is not unusual. A friend was prescribed Wellbutrin when it was fairly new. She started having wicked headaches, and when she mentioned this to her shrink, he dismissed the notion that they could be a side effect of the drug: "Oh, no, that's not possible, it's not on the list." My friend found another shrink right quick, who started her on a different anti-depressant -- and, funny thing, no more headaches.

And now the list does include "head pain" under common side effects.

It's worth noting, too, that the crusade against anti-depressants has become very big business -- various people, including Dr. Peter Breggin, who is heavily featured in the Michael Moore film, have made fortunes pushing the notion that these drugs are harmful.

It's not unlike what happened with the idea that vaccines cause autism. There are people who made a lot of money by pandering to the fear of this disorder -- and the whole idea grew out of exactly one study that was later shown to have been a deliberate fraud. In the meantime, children are put at risk because they, or their schoolmates, haven't been vaccinated.

Another one that comes to mind is the doctor (I don't recall his name offhand) who made a reputation of sorts, and a great deal of money, by arguing that the HIV virus isn't the cause of AIDS.

A lot of people, unfortunately, get sucked in by these contrarian, anti-science movements. People die as a result.
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Old January 11, 2013, 10:18 PM   #34
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Vanya - not to argue with you, because we likely are on the same side regarding the 2A.

But I don't think a call to question what may be going on is 'anti science'.

And, I think its a bit of an Ad Hominem personal attack of the person rather than their arguments to say that some people are making money questioning certain medical practices or medications. The pharma companies have likely made a lot more money by selling them. None of that is particularly relevant.

Each situation should be looked at closely on a case by case basis.

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Old January 11, 2013, 10:52 PM   #35
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Questioning things is great -- that's the heart of science, and of all critical thinking. But there's a pattern to the crusades I mentioned (which aren't the only ones of their kind): the crusaders are less interested in evidence than they are in fear-mongering and the attention it gets them. For just one example of this lack of objectivity, note that in the Michael Moore film, Dr. Breggin talks at length about the fact that Eric Harris was on an anti-depressant, but he never mentioned Dylan Klebold at all -- funnily enough, Klebold wasn't taking any such drugs. The term "cherry-picking" comes to mind here, and it's pretty typical of the way these folks argue: use the evidence that supports your position, ignore that which doesn't.

And when the evidence that supports someone's position is fraudulent, as in the case of the vaccines/autism "connection," or even when it's carefully selected and other evidence is ignored, as Dr. Breggin has been doing for years, I think it's reasonable to question the motivations of the people taking that position.

Reread Mike Irwin's post -- he mentioned many of the facts about anti-depressants, and other drugs, that Dr. Breggin and his ilk choose to ignore.

(And, sheesh -- this is America. When did it become an ad hominem attack to mention that someone makes a lot of money doing what he does? I thought we were sposta look up to those people...)
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Old January 11, 2013, 11:36 PM   #36
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An ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy of attacking an individual rather than their actual arguments. It is irrelevant to the argument and is used as a tactic to try to denigrate the opponent.

I dont know the details of Breggin or his work, and feel no need to defend him or attack him. But as far as I have researched, no one has said "if a person takes medication X, they will automatically go out on a rampage". The fact that a particular murderer wasn't on psychiatric drugs doesnt mean such drugs may/may not be a factor in such other such events. I'm sure there have been many murderers in history who weren't on such drugs. Murder existed before they were formulated.
That said, there are 'reports from a friend of Klebold' that he'd been popping Paxil & Zoloft and he urged him to stop. That mention was from a source dated April 2011 when they also stated that Klebold's medical records were sealed. Perhaps you have a more updated source that confirms an official report. I can't imagine why the medical report of a dead murderer would be sealed. Maybe it was released since last April. From what I've seen, Klebold wasn't prescribed these kind of drugs, but that doesn't mean he hadnt taken them. Only an official medical report would confirm or repute this.

IMO one doesnt have to defend the whole field of psychiatry or psychiatric drugs, if questions are asked regarding the potential impact of these drugs in some violent crimes.

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Old January 12, 2013, 12:37 AM   #37
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Pointshoot, please reread my post #10, above, before you decide that I'm "defend[ing] the whole field of psychiatry or psychiatric drugs, if questions are asked regarding the potential impact of these drugs in some violent crimes."

That's what's known as a "straw man" argument: "...a rhetorical technique (also classified as a logical fallacy) based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position."

But let's not bicker. I think we are basically on the same side here; all I want to suggest is that Dr. Breggin's position, that treating mental disorders with drugs is always a bad idea, is simplistic and wrong-headed. And make no mistake: that IS Dr. Breggin's position. From his own website:
"Nothing in the field of mental health will do more good and reduce more harm than encouraging withdrawal from psychiatric drugs."

"It’s time for therapists—psychologists, nurses, social workers, family therapists, and counselors—to stop pushing their clients and patients to take psychiatric drugs that cause brain damage, harm the body, and shorten their patients’ lives."

"There is now so much scientific evidence proving that psychiatric drugs damage the brain and overall health and lifespan, that the major concern should be “How to stop taking psychiatric drugs.” "
It seems to me to be a bad idea to jump on this fallacious bandwagon just because it offers some sort of counter to another quite different set of ideas (regarding gun control) that are just as wrong-headed. At best it's naive, and at worst it's pretty cynical.

Edited to add: The evidence of Eric Harris' being on anti-depressants came from autopsy findings, not from his medical records. Had Klebold also been on these or other drugs, that also would have shown up at autopsy, and I'm quite certain that Dr. Breggin would have mentioned that in his interview with Mr. Moore.

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Old January 12, 2013, 12:48 AM   #38
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once again just about any medications can cause severe side effects.

I fail to see, however, how this woman's communication problem with her doctor is the fault of the drug manufacturer.

my mother recently had a reaction to a thyroid medication she was prescribed, 1 that the endocrinologist said was very unlikely that she could be having. she got very insistent with him regarding the symptoms when he wanted to ignore her, and ended up telling him that not only was she disregarding his advice to remain on the medication, she also told him that he was fired.

my mother is a nurse so she will not put up with any crap from a doctor who does not listen to her. ultimately it is the patience responsibility, not the drug companies', to insure that their doctor knows about any possible side effects that their medication maybe causing.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:05 AM   #39
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Don't even get me started about these idiots who campaign to end all use of psychiatric drugs. I would like to see someone like Breggin or Tom Cruise ( h is intense training as an actor makes him qualified to comment on such matters apparently) locked in a room with a violent, delusional schizophrenic and see how long it takes them to ask for psychiatric drugs for their charge.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:01 AM   #40
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Thank you for expressing your opinions.

We probably have more in common than disagreement -

that is, if we are of the opinion that the potential link between the use of certain psychiatric drugs and violent and/or suicidal behavior should be investigated.
IMO that could be a potential game changer, since the current emphasis seems to be on semi auto rifles & gun control.

Its also been pointed out before, that one is more likely to be struck by lightening than find themselves a victim of a mass shooting event. Most gun owners don't go out and do this kind of thing; most people taking such medications don't go out and do this kind of thing either. This whole matter has been agenda driven and fueled by emotionalism.

As for the issues of the effectiveness of psychiatry, psychiatric medication vs. other therapies, 'over' prescribing, etc - those are questions of a much broader scope. Its up to others - especially those directly impacted - to sort those matters out to their own satisfaction.

Regards, - - -

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Old January 12, 2013, 09:57 AM   #41
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Over prescription is an issue with these drugs.

But it's been an issue with just about EVERY drug.

We're currently looking at the end of effectiveness of many antibiotics because doctors over the years simply threw these miracle drugs at anyone and everyone.

Have a runny nose? Take antibiotics just in case. Have a cold or flu? Antibiotics.

Didn't matter if the complaint had anything to do with a bacterial infection.

Far too many people make it sound as if overprescription is something new and sinister and driven ONLY by doctors who want to push drugs to everyone they can.

Sorry, but the patient, or the patient's caretaker, often has a lot of culpability in that.

If both parties are looking for the quick fix from this new miracle drug, what do we expect is going to happen?
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:11 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
once again just about any medications can cause severe side effects.
So if a side effect of SSRIs happens to be (in very rare cases) homicidal behavior, that's just another severe side effect? Nothing to see here, move along?

Not directly on-topic, but there's an interesting report about the VA tech shooter, available by googling for "mental health history of cho site:virginia.gov".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
I would like to see someone like Breggin or Tom Cruise ( h is intense training as an actor makes him qualified to comment on such matters apparently) locked in a room with a violent, delusional schizophrenic and see how long it takes them to ask for psychiatric drugs for their charge.
Tom Cruise's opinion on psychiatry is driven by his cult religion. I don't think Breggin would object to the use of drugs to manage your hypothetical patient, but he'd probably argue that long-term treatment should focus on therapy rather than drugs.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:49 AM   #43
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"So if a side effect of SSRIs happens to be (in very rare cases) homicidal behavior, that's just another severe side effect? Nothing to see here, move along?"

So you are telling us that you have 100% absolute proof that SSRIs CAUSE homicidal idealization?

You'd be the very first, then, because certainly no one else can agree on whether these (and MANY MANY other drugs not related to SSRIs) CAUSE these incidents, or whether that's a process of the illness the individual already has.

There's a phrase that covers that... Correlation does not imply causation...

It seems, though, that you might be falling on the side of an argument that the gun grabbers have used for years...

If it saves just one life, banning guns (these drugs) is worth it!

You know what the counter argument to that is, of course...


"Tom Cruise's opinion on psychiatry is driven by his cult religion. I don't think Breggin would object to the use of drugs to manage your hypothetical patient, but he'd probably argue that long-term treatment should focus on therapy rather than drugs."

You really don't know much about Dr. Breggin, do you... He advocates pretty much the complete abandonment of pharmocological treatment of mental illnesses. His primary course of argument is that the side effects outweigh any potential benefits of drug therapy.

Only problem is, his recommended courses of treatment, while effective for SOME psychiatric disorders, is completely and totally ineffective for others, such as schizophrenia.

Hell, he's even said that schizophreics are responsible for their own problems because of cowardice and failure of nerve.

Sounds like something you'd hear out of a WW I doctor talking about shell shock...

There have been attempts to treat such illnesses with alternative therapies -- diet, exercise, education, conventional talk therapy, etc.

And all have been pretty dismal failures because the sad truth is that some of these diseases REQUIRE pharmacological treatment. There's simply no other way.


Oh, and regarding Tom Cruise? Doesn't matter where his ideas come from. He's expounding on topics where he has no knowledge, yet because of his fame and standing in the community, some will see him to be a voice of authority, no different than Dr. Breggin.

Breggin and the Scientologist "church" are not associated, to the best of my knowledge, but they are complimentary, so it doesn't really matter who got what from whom in this case.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:12 PM   #44
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If there are studies that show gun ownership linked to increased suicidal ideation or homicidal ideation, let's see them. I don't know how anyone could conduct such a study in an acceptable manner. The only possible method of action is purely psychological, and that's usually what studies try to exclude; you'd be looking for what in another context would be a placebo effect.

Using a gun in a homicide, and being driven to homicidal fantasy and to homicidal action by a gun, are distinct, right?

Maybe you missed my rants in this thread earlier, in which I think I adequately covered the "correlation is not causation" issue.

I don't know where that leaves us. The method of action of these drugs might plausibly cause changes leading to suicide and homicide. It's enough to make me worry. Other people think that the good these drugs do outweighs any possible (but effectively untestable) chance that they might be contributing to homicides, and anyway, "You can't prove it."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22415223
Forget the age correlation. Look at the introversion inverse correlation with SSRI effectiveness. (I think that's what the abstract says... increased introversion means lower effectiveness?) Maybe that's worth investigating? Maybe the homicidal/suicidal cases come from that same introverted cohort? If SSRIs are less effective there, maybe that could inform a practical change in prescription suitability that we could all agree on?
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:33 PM   #45
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Just for the record, the video linked in the OP was produced by Dr. Gary Null, who is an anti-psychiatry (duh), vaccines-cause-autism, HIV-denying proponent of the notion that cancer can be treated with "natural" products. He's a "Doctor" courtesy of a Ph.D. from a study-by-mail diploma mill. His bachelor's degree came from a similar institution. Details here.

You can buy lots of swell products, including videos in which he articulates all of the above positions, on his website. He's also semi-famous for suing the contractor who made one of his own nutrition supplements, after he nearly died from taking it.

Unfortunately, it seems that the magnetic underpants he used to sell are no longer available.

Such is the company Michael Moore is keeping these days.
.......................
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyme
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22415223
Forget the age correlation. Look at the introversion inverse correlation with SSRI effectiveness. (I think that's what the abstract says... increased introversion means lower effectiveness?) Maybe that's worth investigating? Maybe the homicidal/suicidal cases come from that same introverted cohort? If SSRIs are less effective there, maybe that could inform a practical change in prescription suitability that we could all agree on?
From the abstract of the article you linked:
Statistical analysis showed that SSRI treatment may be 3.03 times more advantageous for MDD outpatients who are younger than 39 years. The patients with an elevated score of above 66T on the Social Introversion Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 scale are approximately 0.37 times as likely to be SSRI responders as are patients with a Social Introversion score less than 66T. Thus, it seems that in MDD outpatient age is the strongest predictor of response to SSRIs.
What this actually says, in normal-human language, is that (in a very short-term study -- 8 weeks ain't nuthin' with these drugs) age was a good predictor of outcome, and introversion was not. Do the math: age was 8 times better as a predictor than introversion. There was a small inverse correlation with introversion scores, but one would have to read the actual article to know whether that correlation was statistically significant.

Short-term, retrospective study, small effect, no indication of whether or how they controlled for dosage, or for who was on which meds... I'm not convinced there's an introversion effect, and if there is a real effect, it's very small.

That said, I do agree that more caution should be used in prescribing these drugs to children and teenagers. The observed effect on suicidality is enough to warrant such.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:13 PM   #46
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Since this discussion is about drug use and how the big pharma stuff hasn't been working.

Why not look to nature?

I think this is a very good argument for Marijuana legalization.

The known side effects are few and even the side effects are very mild when you compare them to what we have on the market now.
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Old January 12, 2013, 05:19 PM   #47
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Quote:
The patients with an elevated score of above 66T on the Social Introversion Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 scale are approximately 0.37 times as likely to be SSRI responders as are patients with a Social Introversion score less than 66T.
With no knowledge of the MMPI (other than having taken the MMPI-A once), I'm assuming higher scores on the introversion scale mean more introverted.

If a highly introverted person is .37 times as likely to be an SSRI responder, that means SSRIs don't work as well for that group, right? If introversion were not correlated positively or negatively, they wouldn't be able to state a figure like 0.37 comparing SSRI effectiveness between groups with higher introversion and lower introversion, right?
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Old January 12, 2013, 05:47 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyme
If a highly introverted person is .37 times as likely to be an SSRI responder, that means SSRIs don't work as well for that group, right? If introversion were not correlated positively or negatively, they wouldn't have much confidence in that 0.37 figure, right?
I think you meant to write: "less likely," above.

But the conclusion given in the abstract is that "... it seems that in MDD outpatient age is the strongest predictor of response to SSRIs."

And in any case, there's not really too much you can say about a weak correlation found in a pretty minimal study. Not saying they're wrong, just that I don't find the result for introversion very convincing.

Even assuming it's correct: let's look at it as crudely as possible, with some rounding of numbers, and assuming that the response to SSRI's is an either/or proposition. If younger people are three times more likely to have the drug work for them, then for every 10 older people for whom the drugs work, there will be 30 younger people for whom they work. On the other hand, if the difference for introverts and extroverts is 0.37, for every 10 introverts for whom they work, there will be not-quite-14 extroverts, who are now probably driving said introverts even more nuts .

So, is that a reason not to give SSRI's to those poor, suffering introverts? I hardly think so. And it's certainly not a basis for setting social policy.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:18 PM   #49
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He's expounding on topics where he has no knowledge, yet because of his fame and standing in the community, some will see him to be a voice of authority, no different than Dr. Breggin.
The same could be said of many celebrities who lobby for gun control. As a culture, we often have a problem distinguishing eloquent voices from competent ones.
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:26 AM   #50
tyme
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I think you meant to write: "less likely," above.
No. 0.37 times as likely was a quote from the abstract.

I still don't think your bolded text in post 45 is right. I think it's saying 1:0.37 or 2.7:1 effectiveness ratio between low-introversion and high-introversion patients.
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