We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A Better Defense Of Andrea Yates...

by Rick Giombetti Thursday, Aug. 30, 2001 at 12:01 PM
rickjgio@speakeasy.org PO Box 2464, Seattle, WA. 98111

...just ask Dr. David Dunner of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington. Andrea Yates' prescriptions to the psychiatric drugs known as Effexor and Remeron are what most likely caused her to go insane and murder her five children.

The August 27 announcement by the National Organization for Women that it will provide financial assistance for the court defense of Andrea Yates - the Houston area mother who drowned her five children in a bath tub - was met with a flurry of national media attention. The Seattle Times ran an Associated Press article about the story the next day. It was a hot topic throughout the day on both KIRO and KVI talk radio stations, with many callers demanding Yates be held responsible for what she did.

The focus of the defense of Andrea Yates has been that she was suffering from insanity induced by post partum depression, or psychiatric symptoms experienced by new mothers, after she gave birth to her fifth child earlier this year. What none of the media or Yates' defenders is focusing on is the fact that the psychiatric drugs she had been prescribed at the time were statistically more likely to cause her to lapse into psychosis, or insanity, and carry out her brutal acts against her own children.

"The chances of a new mother going into a full blown psychosis because of post partum depression is about 1 in 2 out 1,000," said Dr. Ann Blake Tracy of the Coalition for Drug Awareness in West Jordan, Utah. "These are the numbers being used by the psychiatric profession." Tracy's organization provides information for patients who wish to withdraw from psychiatric drugs like Prozac, Paxil and Wellbutrin. Tracy also documents the stories of patients who have experienced adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs in her book Prozac: Pancea or Pandora? She is writing three more books on the experiences of patients prescribed psychiatric drugs. Yates was taking a prescription for two psychiatric drugs when she murdered her children. A prescription for the anti-depressant drug Remeron was added to Yates' existing anti-depressant Effexor prescription after she gave birth to her fifth child, says Tracy.

"Psychiatric drugs are much more likely to induce psychosis in new mothers than post partum depression is," said Tracy. "The drug companies admit that their psychiatric drugs can cause psychosis in 1 out of 100, or at least 10 out of 1,000 patients. Yet one clinical study after another demonstrates that this is an extremely low end estimate, possibly eight to ten times lower. When you add a second drug to a patient's prescription, you are doubling the chances for her to go into psychosis. That's what happened to Andrea Yates after Remeron was added to her prescription. Her psychosis was drug induced. Nobody is paying attention to this."

What about those clinical studies Tracy is referring to? A recent study co-authored by Dr. David Dunner of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington published in the June 2001 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (JCP) is one example of what Tracy is talking about.

Dr. Dunner conducts clinical trials with psychiatric drugs for pharmaceutical companies. He was one of the lead investigators into the clinical trials that lead to Food and Drug Administration approval for the popular anti-depressant Prozac in December 1987. Dunner's published study in the June JCP involved switching depressed patients who had experienced treatment failure with drugs like Prozac, to Remeron, the same drug that had been added to Yates' Effexor prescription. The study was funded by Remeron manufacturer Organon.

Dunner's Remeron switch study involved 101 subjects at seven academic sites around the United States, including Dunner's department at UW. A total of 43 subjects did not finish the eight week study. Of the total who did not finish the study, 26 experienced adverse reactions to the drug, including 16 who experienced psychiatric symptoms. Of those subjects who experienced psychiatric symptoms, two experienced mania, three aggravated depression and four experienced nervousness.

"These are serious psychiatric symptoms in high numbers for such a small group of subjects," says Tracy. "The terminology being used in the study are euphemisms. Mania and aggravated depression are euphemisms for potential violence and suicide in patients on these drugs. Nervousness mostly likely means the subjects had been experiencing akathisia, or extreme agitation, which can lead to violence and suicide as well." So Dr. Dunner's study confirms Tracy's argument. A total of 9 out of 101 study subjects switched from another anti-depressant drug to Remeron experienced serious psychiatric symptoms that could potentially lead to violence and/or suicide.

What of the potential for patients to commit suicide while on Remeron? Dr. Dunner's study doesn't even consider suicide and there aren't many documented cases of patients becoming violent and/or suicidal while on Remeron, as it is a relatively new anti-depressant drug. However, Dr. Peter Breggin describes such a case in his new book The Anti-Depressant Fact Book.

"Vance was convicted of murder without his defense attorney bringing up the adverse affects of Remeron as a defense or even as a mitigating circumstance," writes Breggin. "Attorney's in criminal cases often have no idea that psychiatric drugs can contribute to abnormal, irrational, bizarre,and destructive behavior." Breggin has written a report in Vance's defense in the hope it will convince the judge in the case to reduce his sentence. Breggin has helped other criminal defendants get lighter sentences when they were on psychiatric drugs while committing their crimes, or what is known as a "Prozac Defense."

Finally, what about the lack of media attention to the fact that Andrea Yates' violent acts against her children was more likely to be drug-induced rather than merely post partum depression induced? Perhaps it is time for the media to start paying attention to the arguments being put forward by Drs. Breggin and Tracy and the clinical studies that back them up, like Dr. Dunner's Remeron switch study.

It couldn't hurt the prospects of Andrea Yates' court room defense either. Her attorneys would probably stand a better chance of convincing a jury that it was Effexor and Remeron that lead her to commit her violent acts against her children.

Report this post as:

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News


PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

Sexual Harassment Charges of Men Suing Women who are accused of Harassing Men are now 10% J05 4:08AM

Stases psychiques et stases sexuelles J04 11:34AM

Paraphysique de la sous-vie J02 9:01AM

Paraphysique de la biomasse mondialisée J01 9:45AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy