OVERCOMING SUICIDE and SEVERE DEPRESSION
May 2018, Nature Genetics (Vol. 50) featured an article, “Genome-wide association analyses identify 44 risk variants and refine the genetic architecture of major depression.” Their study not only looked at genetic correlations with other disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia; but also looked at years of education and body mass index. Another studies are looking at mind altering or Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, to alter neuronal structure and perhaps severe depression.
Before getting into this serious and sorrowful topic, please understand i am a researcher and not a doctor; but that have often dealt with depression on multiple levels, as well as been tempted a myriad of times to commit suicide. I am not opposed to medicine for severe depression; but for me it is a personal thing and a spiritual battle. I am an emotional person like all humans, yet by Wisdom & Reason i can control my anger and frustrations (if i… – see below*).
It can be tough dealing with friends and loved ones who fight depression and who are tempted with suicide. Some seek much attention and others push you away. You do not have to bow down or lie, but never add to the temptation with foolish commits – no matter how frustrated or tired you are. It is better to walk away than be the one in a million person to tilt the scales and cause someone to hurt or kill themselves or someone else.
PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT: DNA, THRESHOLDS and BSS (Body, Spirit, Soul)
It is often stated that people who consider suicide do so when they are hopeless and can’t see real or long-term solutions to their problems. It is true that suicide is often connected to depression, alcohol or substance abuse and even drama events. However, some people have hope, wealth and solutions; and still choose suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2019) reports that in the United States: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death; that over 47,000 people ended their lives in 2017 and that self-injury cost of some of the over 1,4 million attempts was almost $70 billion (why the h… does the compassionate health institutions – hospitals and pharma – charge tax payers $1 million for the treatment of one poor citizen – including the ridiculous cost $200 an hour psych sessions? Anyway ‘se la vie’)
The U.S. Depart. Of Health and Human Services (CDC National Center for Health Statistics) 2015 report, showed while number of deaths per 100,000 population for ‘all causes’ fell from 2000 to 2014; especially for heart disease, stokes and cancer, the rate of suicides has increased in America. The Report showed Males – White, American Indian or Alaska Natives or Asian – commit suicide more than any other groups. Suicide was the 7th leading cause of death for males in both 1980 and 2014; but not in the top 10 for females. In 1980, suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15-24; in 2014 it was the second. It was the 5th for ages 24-44 in 1980; and the 4th in 2014.
The youngest serial killer i know of was an 8 year old from Bihar, India; arrested in 2007 for 3 murders. The youngest college graduate i know of was 10 years old; and a 13 year old climbed Mt. Everest. So it should not be terribly shocking – only terribly sad – that a 6 year old hanged herself in 2009. The first grader was sent to her room after an argument with her mother. She then put a belt around her neck, tied it to a crib and allowed herself to hang for it until found, rushed to the hospital and died. The point is people are different and no one knows how each individual will react even when in the midst of same or similar circumstances. And age does not seem to matter, even for ages 45-64, suicide was the 8th leading cause of death both in 1980 and 2014.
According to Save.org, 15% of people who are clinically depressed die by suicide.
Many things can help including love, encouragement, help, involvement, friendship, empathy, spiritual discipline, drugs, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org (1-800-273-8255), www.crisischat.org, 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), www.imhurting.org, etc.; and sometimes nothing is allowed to help.
In 1974, C.C., a TV news reporter was covering a story of a shooting and the tape jammed. She obviously was fighting depression and suicide for some time (having attempted to overdose years early), but at that moment – the snap occurred for some reason – she said, “in keeping with Channel ## policy of bringing you the latest in blood in guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: attempted suicide.” She pulled a pistol out and shot herself; she was rushed to the hospital and died the next day.
In 2002, a 20 year old college student emailed his counselor, ‘I just do not like life anymore… I don’t study anymore and just living is a struggle.’ Weeks later he hung himself in his fraternity house.
In 2016, a 15 year old girl snapped and committed suicide after ‘friends’ posted a nude Snapchat video of her taken and posted without her permission. Can you imagine the mother’s feeling as she saw a puddle of blood coming under the bathroom door and as she tried to save her daughter’s life; moreover, her mother coping with the fact that the gun came from her purse.
METHODS OF SUICIDE
According to the World Health Organization (www.who.int) “over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year;” and “suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.” www.suicide.org states in 2017 “over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year… (and that) global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.”
In the United States half (50%) of suicides are committed with firearms. The next statement about that should be obvious – keep firearms away from your children always and your loved ones if there is absolutely any reason to believe they will not respect and use them sensibly. The second method, at about a quarter (25%) of all suicides is suffocation or hanging. Next is poisoning at 17% in 2012, followed by Fall/Jumping at 2% and cutting at about 2%.
In England, due to gun restrictions, slightly over half of suicides occurred by hanging and suffocation (52% in 2012) and was followed by drug-related poisoning (20%). Firearms were less than 2%. And like America, about 75% of all suicides were by men – a figure that has been constant since about 1990. Also, men were much more likely to hang themselves, were women were much more likely to poison themselves.
WHO IS AT RISK?
According to the World Health Organization: “While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour. Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners. By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.”
FIGHTING and TREATING SUICIDE / DEPRESSION
Medical experts agree ‘all medications have the potential for side effects.’ So experts will also say, ‘a person must weigh potential benefits against potential risks.’
SPIRITUAL FIGHT: below the following
DEPRESSION MEDICINE: a fair determination can only be made after time has been given to measure the results of both benefits and side effects. Also, allergies must be taken into consideration for all treatment programs.
Though the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries will say that less than 1 in 100 or 1000 or some figure had increased suicidal thoughts due to medication, a couple of things should be noted. First, nearly every major manufacturer of depression medicine has loss billions of dollars in lawsuits, but most have made their owners (and of course stockholders) billions more. Second, many drugs used to treat depression were first intended to treat weight loss – failed – and the pharmaceutical company seeking a use, discovered that in certain instances they could be useful in treating depression – with side effects (such as ‘zombie’ effect).
NOTE: Pharmacology, which comes from the ancient Greek word pharmakon – meaning medicine, poison, and even spell (thus, pharmakeia; evil drug dealers or sorceries in Rev. 9:21), is the study of how drugs act. Toxicology, from the Greek words toxicos (poisonous) and logos (word; reason; study) is the study of adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. A pharmacist dispenses medicines while a pharmacologist studies how drugs cause their actions. And neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. When combined with pharmacology, the study goes beyond structural and molecular, to neuropharmacology and neurotoxicology which discovers the effects of drugs on the central nervous system, i.e. the brain and spinal cord; as well as on the peripheral nerves which consist of 31 pairs of spinal nerves running from the spinal cord and 10 cranial nerves originating from the brainstem. SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor. They are typically used as antidepressants.
Escitalopram, which is called Lexapro; Sertraline, which is called Zoloft; Fluoxetine, which is called Prozac; Paroxetine, which is called Paxil; Duloxetine, which is called Cymbalta; and Fluvoxamine, which is called Luvox; were the top selling half dozen antidepressants according to an article in The Lancet medical journal which took into account 117 studies. After class action lawsuits, Zoloft and Prozac fell from their position.
Like most drugs, prescribed serotonin inhibitors can have varied effects on different individuals. Serotonin is the most studied neurotransmitter because it helps regulate a vast range of psychological and biological functions. Changes in serotonin levels can cause changes in bodies; excess amounts can lead to increased relaxation, decreased sexual drive, nervousness or even sedation. Disruptions in levels can cause anxiety and even aggression.
For more see:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Know the Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they’re important to be aware of.
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Know the Warning Signs
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE
Myself and many believe that at the heart of this issue is fighting the spiritual battle against depression and the temptations of suicide.
Some good advise to overcoming suicidal thoughts according to PsyWeb.com is to “Promise yourself not to do anything right now” and allow yourself some distance “gain some clarity.” “Avoid drugs and alcohol.” Keep you home free of firearms, etc. if you are tempted by them. “Don’t keep the feelings to yourself.”
NOW for me personally, if suicide is selfish or cowardly, which it can often be; then the Lord does not allow that choice without consequences (Rev. 21:8). Also, suicide is murdering one’s self – which i also am not allowed to do without consequences. I love and fear the Lord my God (Deut.10:12) more than i occasionally hate myself and often hate the world. I don’t know what it feels like to have been raped, abused or beaten nearly to death, but i do know many people suffer the same things and that there are many tribulations in the world. And part of a Christian’s duty is bear their cross (Luke 14:27). This world and ours cares and pains are temporary.
Nevertheless, the Bible also says that we are to carry or “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).” Also, though the “flesh is (often) weak, the spirit is willing (Matt. 26:41).” As David (who lost a child and suffered many things) said, “Cast your burdens and cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will not allow the righteous to be moved (Psa. 55:22).” But that brings up another issue of whether we are ‘righteous’ – doing what is right (Gen. 4:7). But even then we can cry out to the Lord and He will answer us and show good things (Jer. 33:3). We can admit if we have been foolish and there is forgiveness and renewal by His Spirit.
NOW FIGHTING THE FIGHT: It is the devil and his demonic host that come to ‘steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)’ our lives, and the lives of our loved ones. Satan and deceiving spirits are cunning and will tempt in all manners – with pride, lust, fear and a hundred other emotions. We must often resist and flee from spirits, and occasionally temporary or longer get away from people doing or allowing harm to us.
We must learn to ‘renew our mind (Rom. 12:2).’ If not with focus and battling head to head with our problem; if not by reading and or quoting useful Scriptures; if not by prayer; if not by praising God or singing in the midst of the trial; then get away from the thoughts and depressing spirit with a good book, game or movie; or online game with chat options (unless the people are jerks and or not helping the situation). Start a blog or write in a journal or write a book – whatever, but shake off the depression. Call a good friend or relative. Have some safety nets in place.
NOW: some of us also must try to respect other people times and responses and do not take some things to personal if they are not meant to be intentionally harmful. However, if you feel you can’t cope much longer – or can’t enduring trying the things listed in the above paragraph, then of course call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They are not just a little trained, they seriously desire to listen, care and help. AND when you are strong and fortunate enough to stand up for awhile – then help someone else – that is the golden rule – love one another – we all need it.
One Medicine for Many
“Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul (king of Israel), and an evil spirit tormented, troubled and terrorized him… His attendants said, ‘let …(us) seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre and when the spirit is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well… David (future king of Israel) is a skillful musician and a man of valor… and the Lord is with him. So …David came to Saul …and whenever the harmful spirit was upon Saul, David …played and Saul was refreshed and would be well and the evil spirit would depart from him…”
*(IF I…) find myself where the harmful spirit(s) of depression/anxiety/fear/despair/pressure/struggle/deception AND if i CHOOSE to fight (many times i don’t; and sadly many can’t), THEN (1) i call for the skillful musicians… Typically, i personally go to worship, sometimes i start with healing music first… but typically after about (2) an hour (often on a good drive; or in a safe place; or yes at a really good worship session at a ‘worship service’ – though they are really difficult to find) of intertwining myself into the spirit of the music (that is why it is important it is proper music) then the harmful spirit(s) leave and i am simply left with the reality of the problems, situations, cares and blessings. (3) of course PRAYER and Meditation are directly related variables. (4) As important is sincerely yielding my spirit to the Spirit of the Lord, which is what dispels the lower spirits.
Examples of Healing Songs for Depression; below is link to over 300 Worship songs:
David Crowder: ‘Can i lie here,’ ‘Come as you are’ or ‘SMS (Shine)’
Tasha Cobbs: ‘Break every chain’
Lauren Daigle: ‘How can it be,’ ‘You say’ or ‘Trust in You’
Bethel Music: ‘Anchor,’ ‘A little longer’ or ‘No longer slaves’
Elevation Worship: ‘Here as in Heaven,’ ‘O Come to the Altar’ or ‘Do it again’
Kirk Franklin: ‘Everyone Hurts’
Jesus Culture: ‘Fresh Outpouring,’ ‘Break every chain’ or ‘Miracles’
Kari Jobe: ‘I am not alone’ or ‘Forever’
Josh Garrels: ‘Slip away,’ ‘Born again’ or ‘White Owl’
Hillsong: ‘Healer,’ ‘I Surrender,’ ‘Oceans’ or ‘Jesus, i need You’
King & Country: ‘God only knows’ or ‘It’s Not over yet’
MercyMe: ‘Even if’
Christy Nockels: ‘Healing is in Your Hands’
Planetshakers: ‘Your Name brings Healing to me’
Plumb: ‘Need You now,’ ‘Drifting’ or ‘Beautifully Broken’
David Ruis: ‘Find Rest’
Michael Smith: ‘Healing Rain’
TobyMac: ‘Move (Keep Walkin’),’ ‘Forgiveness (w/Lecrae)’ or ‘Speak Life’
Bryan and Katie Torwalt: ‘Let there be Light,’ ‘You never let go’ or ‘Set me ablaze’
Francesca Battistelli: ‘If we’re honest’
Jeremy Camp: ‘Christ in me’
Casting Crowns: ‘Praise You is the storm’
Don Moen: ‘Jesus You are my Healer’
Third Day: ‘Cry Out to Jesus’
For more info on the topic
The following is from THE LAST TRIAL (edited version 2016):
| Jus Leges: The defense calls Dr. Experta en Drogas.
Bailiff: Dr. Drogas, do you swear to testify truthfully?
Dr. Drogas: I do so help me God.
Jus Leges: Mrs. En Drogas could you please tell the Court your qualifications?
Dr. Drogas: Yes, of course. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Psychology and Forensic Medicine. I hold a Ph. D. in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins; and Ph. D’s in Pharmacology, Toxicology, and in Health Sciences with emphasis on Psychology. I am an Expert Reviewer for the California Medical Board; a member of the American Board of Forensic Medicine; and a Board Certified Psychiatrist in California and Texas. I am an adjunct professor of Psychopharmacology, Toxicology, and Epidemiology; and a consultant to the International Coalition for Drug Awareness. I have dozens of appearances as an expert witness in Prozac, Zoloft, Fen-Phen, and other SSRI related court cases.
Jus Leges: That is quite a list; most anti-depressant experts do not hold doctorates in Pharmacology, not to mention the rest…?
D. A. Luke Warm: Your Honor, is Dr. Drogas an expert on expert witnesses of anti-depressant cases?
Jus Leges: I withdraw the question.
Judge Inquisitio: The witness will disregard that question.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, what is the different between pharmacology and toxicology; and what is neuroscience?
Dr. Drogas: Fundamentally, pharmacology, which comes from the ancient Greek word pharmakon – meaning medicine, poison, and even spell (thus, pharmakeia; evil drug dealers or sorceries in Rev. 9:21), is the study of how drugs act. Toxicology, from the Greek words toxicos (poisonous) and logos (word; reason; study) is the study of adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. A pharmacist dispenses medicines while a pharmacologist studies how drugs cause their actions.
And neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. When combined with pharmacology, the study goes beyond structural and molecular, to neuropharmacology and neurotoxicology which discovers the effects of drugs on the central nervous system, i.e. the brain and spinal cord; as well as on the peripheral nerves which consist of 31 pairs of spinal nerves running from the spinal cord and 10 cranial nerves originating from the brainstem.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, what is epidemiology?
Dr. Drogas: It is the study of relationships between diseases and the environment and animals, primarily humans. A common term from this study is epidemic. Epidemiologists have studied the effects of exposures to things such as alcohol, smoking, Agent Orange, and even stress.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, what are SSRI’s?
Dr. Drogas: SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor. They are typically used as antidepressants.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, what are some well-known SSRIs?
Dr. Drogas: Escitalopram, which is called Lexapro; Sertraline, which is called Zoloft; Fluoxetine, which is called Prozac; Paroxetine, which is called Paxil; Duloxetine, which is called Cymbalta; and Fluvoxamine, which is called Luvox; were the top selling half dozen antidepressants according to an article in The Lancet medical journal which took into account 117 studies. After class action lawsuits, Zoloft and Prozac fell from their position.
Jus Leges: Judge, we would like to now enter Kemp’s medical record from Dr. Rex Fillall as Exhibit B.
Judge Inquisitio: Bailiff, please get that copy for the Court.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas (handing her a portion of Kemp’s medical records), can you tell which SSRI’s or antidepressants Kemp was using?
Dr. Drogas: He was using several of those I mentioned. It appears he changed prescriptions at various times.
Jus Leges: Why would a doctor or psychiatrist change medications?
Dr. Drogas: Like most drugs, prescribed serotonin inhibitors can have varied effects on different individuals. Serotonin is the most studied neurotransmitter because it helps regulate a vast range of psychological and biological functions. Changes in serotonin levels can cause changes in bodies; excess amounts can lead to increased relaxation, decreased sexual drive, or even sedation. Disruptions in levels can cause anxiety and even aggression.
Jus Leges: So it is important to administer proper doses of the antidepressant?
Dr. Drogas: Yes, of course.
Jus Leges: Are there natural serotonin supplements?
Dr. Drogas: Yes, many, the body produces natural serotonin during the digestion of healthy proteins that contain the amino acid L – Typtophan. Controlling one’s diet is of the upmost importance; adding various oats, nuts, rice, fish, eggs, yogurt, cheese, milk, and even a little chocolate can increase serotonin levels. Also turkey or fruits like bananas, and certain supplements help. If one were showing symptoms of scurvy, they would do better to drink some fresh orange juice; yet, due to cost, laziness or distaste, many take an industrial production of vitamin C?
Jus Leges: Why are antidepressants so widely distributed?
Dr. Drogas: Millions of people do not properly exercise, and most of these do not have proper diets. Therefore, as you well know we have obesity problems. However, whether obese or not, if their serotonin levels are deficient they may suffer with a variety of biological problems, such as migraines, anxiety, bipolar disorder, appetite change, and depression.
And, since we have a great demand for serotonin inhibitors, the pharmaceutical suppliers make tens of billions of dollars on this widely prescribed drug: as antidepressants, pain killers, or as antipsychotic medication. In 1971, when LY110141 was developed by Eli Lilly, depression was rarely talked about, and antidepressants were mainly used in psychiatric units and prisons. When people were said to have ‘anxiety,’ General Practitioners often prescribed tranquillizers such as Valium. LY110141 was first tested to treat high blood pressure, but did not work well in humans. Then it was tested as an anti-obesity agent, but it was not very profitable.
When it was tested on psychotic patients and manic depressants, LY110141 or Fluoxetine, provided as much harm as good. But on cases with mild depression it provided positive response in most cases. So Eli Lilly hired Interbrand, who came up with brand names such as Microsoft, Kinect, BMW, Procter & Gamble, and Wi-Fi; and Interbrand proposed Prozac as a sellable name. So after spending millions in advertising, Eli Lilly made Prozac so widely known that it had over 50 million users worldwide, and of course, billions in profits. The story is similar with the other antidepressant manufacturers. According to the U. S. Health Department, in 2010, Americans alone spent about $ 90 billion on antidepressants alone; and it reported very little was spent on alternative choices. Yet, sales – after increasing 400% from 2005 to 2009, began to decline as many consumers learned that they or their children would do just as well on sugar placebos.
Jus Leges: Why were Zoloft and Prozac sued?
Dr. Drogas: According to Zoloft’s own website, their attorneys had them state, ‘antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults…’. Prozac’s website statement was nearly identical. Suicides and birth defects were the primary reasons for the suits.
Jus Leges: Did the sites list any other important disclosures?
Dr. Drogas: Prozac’s stated, ‘PROZAC and other antidepressant medicines may cause serious side effects, including: suicidal thoughts or actions… acting aggressive or violent… worse depression… trouble sleeping… nausea… trouble breathing… abnormal bleeding… headaches… weakness… changes in appetite or weight…’ And Zoloft’s stated, ‘Drinking alcohol while taking ZOLOFT is not recommended.’
Jus Leges: Are there other reliable studies on the effects of antidepressants?
Dr. Drogas: The U. S. Health Department in one report said that as many as 50% of people taking antidepressants would be better without them; and that only about 20% actually improve due to
the drugs. And that nearly 6 out of 10 studies show that antidepressants don’t work at all. Separate studies by Texas Southwest Medical Center and Duke University showed that with proper exercise, for 30 minutes, three to five times per week, that after 10 to 12 weeks, two-thirds of those tested no longer met the diagnostic criteria for depression. National Institute of Mental Health has studies supporting psychotherapy over antidepressants, but also supporting psychotherapy with antidepressants. But the NIMH is a biased organization due to its influencers, board members, and lobbyist.
Jus Leges: Were there test of the leading SSRI’s?
Dr. Drogas: Yes, in 2006, the ‘nation’s largest real-world study of treatment resistant depression,’ which was funded by NIMH, was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study suggested that a patient with persistent depression can get well after trying several treatment strategies, but their odds of beating the depression diminish as additional treatment strategies are needed. There were over 4,000 outpatient persons studied; about 1,400 where excluded because they were found not to have ‘at least moderate’ depression. Of the 2,876 ‘evaluable’ people in the level 1 study, 1,439 did not become symptom-free by level 1 treatment.
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, how does drinking even a moderate level of alcohol, such as 2 or 3 wine coolers, affect persons taking antidepressants?
Dr. Drogas: According to the Mayo Clinic, ‘combining antidepressants and alcohol may worsen symptoms, and in some cases it can be dangerous… Medication may become ineffective… The side effects from the medication could also worsen. Some antidepressants cause drowsiness, and so does alcohol… Studies have proved that even social drinking may impair ability to react quickly…’. In nearly all cases, taking antidepressants while drinking even two wine coolers will cause some impaired reactions or judgment. The BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, on the average male Kemp’s size after 2 and half wine coolers could be .07 to .08, and thus, even before the antidepressant chemicals, their bodies are typically changing from a relaxed state to that of disinhibition, whereas, impulses, reasoning, and vision perceptions are impaired.
Jus Leges: Can you be more specific on how alcohol and antidepressants combine impair decision making?
Dr. Drogas: Though most SSRI’s have been found to be reasonably safe. No drug is 100% safe; SSRI’s change the chemistry inside your brain. Drinking alcohol is ethanol, like that used as a biofuel additive, or industrial solvent or even in antifreeze. In industrial solvents it can clean metal, but also in the form of trichloroethylene it increases risk of Parkinson’s disease. Though it comes from food sources, when fermented and distilled, it becomes a clear flammable liquid which is dangerous in itself. Long-term or large consumption of alcohol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and various types of cancers.
According to the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, ‘alcohol’s damaging effects on the brain’ includes ‘vision, speech and memory impairment. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks.’
Now, understand, ethanol is primarily a CNS depressant, that is a central nervous system depressant; CNS depressants usually slow normal brain function and impair motor, memory and sensory skills. The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for motor skills and even learning skills, and it needs thiamine – a B complex vitamin – to function properly; and ethanol causes thiamine deficiency, and thus, when used often damages the brain. Alcohol lowers serotonin levels, impairs NMDA receptors responsible for operant behavior, and effects stress hormones. Alcohol and SSRI’s together definitely affect brain functioning and emotions. Not only can they disrupt self-control, but they can impair the understanding of the force of one’s actions.
Jus Leges: Is it common to prescribe antidepressants to homosexuals?
Dr. Drogas: It is very common due to the connected stresses.
Jus Leges: Are there other dangers to taking these meds?
Dr. Drogas: Yes, numerous suicides had been documented; for example in 2011, a 15 year old Canadian boy wrote on his blog site shortly before committing suicide: ‘I hate being the only open gay guy in my school… I’ve been on 4 different anti-depressants, none of them worked… I go to see psychologist, what the… are they supposed to … do? All I do is talk about problems, it doesn’t make them disappear. I give up.’
Jus Leges: Dr. Drogas, could the use of three or four medical marijuana cigarettes that morning have had and additional effect?
Dr. Drogas: Marijuana, a product of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, has an active ingredient called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. It leaves the body as body fat is burned or through the user’s urine and feces. The metabolites from the THC remain in the body fat for several hours to as long as two weeks.
Urine tests for marijuana can detect the presence of the drug in the body for 10 to 13 days typically. However, regular users can test positive over a month since their last use. And those who were heavy users can test positive as long as three months after their last use.
As for as the effects of marijuana for the regular user; they can be as minor as red eyes or dry mouth, and as significant as a rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, or altered awareness. Studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that the main effects of marijuana by the regular user included mood alterations ranging from euphoria and calmness to anxiety and paranoia.
Therefore, yes three or four marijuana cigarettes, combined with Kemp’s regular prescription use, coupled with the previously mention drugs and wine coolers would have last least distorted Kemp’s judgment.
Jus Leges: Thank you, Dr. Drogas. I have no further questions.