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  1. #21
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk

    Thanks for your reply David..
    I certainly did not intend our discussion to deterioriate into an attitude conflict. This is not a simple issue and there are plenty of views and interpretations of studies of risk. I don't want to go into more details of my daughter's tragic short life, but I can tell you that drugs were involved - not illicit street drugs, but prescription drugs and the incompetency of more than one psychiatrist. There is no single thing to blame, and I can tell you that after 8 years, I still bear a great deal of guilt and regret and wish that I had studied her illness in more detail, and checked out the drugs as well, but I depended on the recommendations of professionals who were more interested in their own comfort than in my daughter's health.
    I do not say this lightly, or from a position of not taking responsibility for her death, as I feel more guilt than any of them or all of them put together. They are protected by their rationalizations. The only one who really took some responsibility, was our family doctor, but i have to forgive him as he referred her to psychiatrists as one would refer a cardiac case to a cardiologist. He had little real understanding of the scope of her illness or the risk.
    Bottom line, however, is that there is a real likelihood, as i have stated before, that with all the things of risk about her and her situation, the increased dose of anti-depressant may have been the final last straw.
    I have shared my experience of others that lost their children in very similar circumstances of these drugs, and have read cases as well. Unlike other health issues, psychiatric or psychological disorders are far less understood or diagnosible. I read two papers recently on the difficulties of the DSM both in the third and the fifth editions - papers written at the time of those editions, which addressed the complexity of this, and the unfortunate way that a condition is given a name when the criteria can be subjective, and that disorders often cross over.
    To not see that there is indeed a risk to these drugs is something I cannot fathom in a professional. It is not a matter of one side saying 'don't use them' or the other saying 'always use them', but rather more about the "art" of medical care whether from the medical or psychological sides.
    In my case, I can tell you without hesitation, had I known of the risk factors described for these drugs, and especially venflaxine (if I remember the spelling for Effexor's trade name), I would have taken special care in the days at that time, and there is a good likelihood that my daughter might be alive. I regret ever having her on this drug. It is a horrible drug.
    for some who need it for a lifetime, so be it.. but I even asked the expert who recommended it, if she could eventually be off it, and she basically either lied, or failed to describe the side effects.
    You want to basically consider she died of depression, but there were a lot of positives in her life, and it appeared in hindsight that she was experiencing a lot of suicide ideation, but I didn't understand this and thought she was "pushing buttons" as she often did. This is a side effect but I didn't realize it.
    Better to advise people and especially family members of the risk, even if you consider it low, than to face the horror of a patient who takes their own life and that this may have been because of the drug. It is not impossible. It happens. It has been reported. it may seem low until it is your loved one who is the 1 in a thousand who is impacted and that the impact results in the perfect storm that takes away your loved one, when they should have lived a long life, and bid you farewell at end of life in the normal way generations pass. Dismissing this with the ultimate excuse "depression causes suicide" is really the self-protecting rationalization that should not be used ever in this circumstance.
    It is not only depression that causes suicide.. there are many other factors involved when a person make this irreverisible decision and acts on it.
    often on the basis of impulse.. Impulse causes suicide more than depression.
    Sam

  2. #22
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk

    Sam, I just want to say I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. Losing a child in any way is a horrible thing.

  3. #23
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk

    Thank you for your expression of sympathy. I don't talk of it often and do not even mention it to new acquaintances till I know them better. It has been a very difficult journey and I have spoken to people with fresh losses knowing how truly devastating this is. My daughter was 20, and I live every day with memories of her life and the pain is under layers of scars in my psyche. I happened to find this thread through a google alert and came on for curiosity. My point is as I have tried to explain.
    thanks
    Sam
    p.s. she had two cats and in hindsight, I wish they had been a deterrence to her impulse in order to take responsiblity for their care, but she knew I would look after them. if only................ When we hear of a parent taking his/her life, it is hard to fathom abandoning children in the midst of darkness. I see the final act as an impulse against the pain. no simple answers.

  4. #24
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk

    All I can do is repeat that I have researched this issue thoroughly and that I categorically refute and disagree with the viewpoint sbryks has expressed here about the use of SSRIs.

    The risk for suicidal thinking and behavior in depressed individuals is significant.

    There is no evidence from controlled strudies and no evidence at all beyond anecdotal reports such as what sbryks ios providing in this thread that the use of SSRIs in any way adds to the risk for suicide in depressed individuals, and there is a great deal of evidence that the appropriate use of medications significantly reduces symptoms of depression and risk for suicide.

    Perhaps the most compelling statistic is that the ready availability of SSRI medications was followed by a significant reduction in suicide rates, especially among young people, and that prescribing limitations instituted following the emergence of suggestions that SSRIs might increase suicide risk saw the suicide rates rise for the first time in many years.

    I sympathize with and relate to your loss, sbryks, but I think that your personal experience has seriously colored your ability to objectively evaluate the evidence.

  5. #25
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk

    For a new study on this issue, see http://forum.psychlinks.ca/suicide-r...012-study.html

  6. #26
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    Re: SSRIs and Suicide Risk


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